Am I just a flag?
Some know me as the “Rebel Flag”, and others know me as the Battle Flag of the Confederates States of America.
Either name I will proudly bear with honour.
There is no shame in being called Confederate, as the people who bore that same honourable title are remembered for their bravery on the field of battle, and a culture built upon hard work, chivalry, loyalty and a faith in their creator.
As for the name “Rebel”, it was the Revolutionary War soldier and outstanding pamphleteer, wasn’t it Thomas Paine, in his series “The American Crisis”, who said:
“Let them call me Rebel and welcome – I feel no concern from it”.
Because you see, it was none other than George Washington and his Colonial Army who were the original Rebels.
My boys who wore the grey were but the second to bear the name.
My soldiers were immensely proud of me and held me in high regard.
Many songs and poems were written to praise me.
Southern ladies especially loved me and often I was lovingly hand made by them and presented to Dixie’s heroes at formal ceremonies.
My folds still bare the brown stains of the blood of countless young heroes.
Abram Ryan wrote:
“Once ten thousand hailed me gladly, and ten thousand wildly, madly, swore I should ever wave. For though conquered, they adore me! Love the cold dead hands that bore me! Weep for those that fell before me”.
I was carried high on Memorial Day, and Dixie was included in the July 4th ceremonies.
On Veteran’s Day, my men marched along with those from other wars.
I waved proudly beside state flags in front of every state building in the South.
The great grandchildren of my soldiers put me on their vehicles and posted me proudly in front of their homes.
At some universities, I became the rallying cry at athletic events.
The descendants of my warriors remembered both them and me with honour and reverent pride.
But then, history began to be rewritten, and virtues such as hard work, personal responsibility, chastity, civility, even Christian symbology such as the cross, the nativity, and the Ten Commandments became unfashionable as society became more crude, more coarse, more uncaring and more degenerate.
I found that I, the once honoured flag of the Confederacy, had now become one of the primary targets of the politically correct, the liberals and the hated speech police.
I have heard of this thing they speak of called “diversity”, and if I understand it correctly, it means that this country is working toward the inclusion of and equal treatment for all ethnic groups.
Then why is my group singled out not only for slander, but also for eradication?
The saddest part for me is that a great number of Confederate descendants have let the liberal mainstream media brainwash them to feel ashamed of who they are.
Others have now become to frightened to even display me.
How I wish I could take them back through time, so they could witness with their own eyes, their own ancestors holding my colours proudly aloft at Shiloh, or stand and watch the calm resolve at Gettysburg as General Pickett sent them forward into waves of white hot cannon fire and musket shot while I flew above their heads.
There were no cowards at these places, no liberals, no oppressors of free speech and thought, there were only the valiant of heart willing to die for the Constitution and the protection of their beloved homes and the preservation of their way of life.
Perhaps my people need to be reminded of who they are and what I am.
I am primarily a Christian symbol based on the Saint Andrew’s Cross, the native flag of Scotland.
According to tradition, Saint Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland was crucified on an X-shaped cross.
The X-shaped cross in my colors and in the flag of Scotland is also the Greek letter chi which has long been a Christian abbreviation for “Christ”.
19th century military tactics required perfect alignment in order to fire effectively upon an enemy. This rigid formation depended upon being able to align troops on the flag.
Therefore, I was the rallying point for the “boys in gray”.
I was respected by the Union, too.
Union troops received the Congressional Medal of Honor for the capture of a Confederate Battle Flag.
Because of the confusion between the similarity of first national flag of the CSA and the national flag of the USA, General P. G. T. Beauregard and Joseph E. Johnston adopted my design for their battle flag.
I was first known as the Southern Cross and today I am generally referred to as the Confederate Battle Flag.
Even the gaping bullet holes that appeared in me after every engagement were pointed to with pride as being further indication of valour for the men of the unit.
It never fails to remind me of their courage and dedication.
Confederate soldiers had only to look upon the blood of their fallen comrades which each battle had placed upon my colors.
Even in the 20th Century I have been carried into battles for freedom.
As the United Nations fought to protect South Korea from the aggression of the North, I flew over the front lines with the U. S. 7th Marines, 3rd Battalion, E Company.
When the TV cameras scanned the crowds witnessing the fall of a communist dictatorship in Eastern Europe that came with the destruction of the Berlin Wall, I was seen waving in many hands among that seething mass of humanity.
In Logar Province, Afghan Freedom fighters placed me on a pole into the barrel of a captured Soviet tank as they struggled to remove Russian control over their nation.
During Operation Desert Storm, a British unit took me with them into their zone of responsibility as they worked to lift the aggression of Iraq over Kuwait.
Many times across the years, I heard again, the “Rebel Yells” as brave men once more carried me into battle.
In the War for Southern Independence, Corporal T. J. Carlisle of the 37th Alabama Infantry said this about me:
“Hail thou flag of the brave. We lift our hats in reverence as we behold the speechless but unmistakable evidence that you have passed through the firey ordeal of war in all its fury. We are proud of your history proud of your scars and venerate you for your age, trusting that your scarred folds may be preserved for ages to come and when time and its inevitable ravages shall dissolve your sacred folds into dust, may the patriotic emotions which actuated us in that memorial struggle pervade American hearts and live in vivid memories of Southern heroism and Southern chivalry.”
So why do my people not still love me?
Why do they not display me on their government buildings and their businesses?
Above all, why do they not fly me on the occasions of Confederate Memorial Day (fourth Monday in April), General Lee’s birthday (third Monday in January) and President Davis’s birthday (June third)?
Perhaps they just need to become reacquainted with who I REALLY AM, and ignore those who hate me and everything I represent SAY I AM.
Remember and honour me openly, my children.
I am based on a Christian symbol; I represent the fight for independence, and I have been carried by fearless men; and loved by generations of Americans.
I am The Confederate Battle Flag.
Fly me proudly.
I am your Inheritance.
Please Don’t Let Me Die this way.