Article Launched: 06/11/2006

This is a reply to the letter about the Confederate battle flag. I have a couple of statements and then two questions.

First, as far as the War for Southern Independence was concerned, there were four national Confederate flags. These flags could be said to represent the political views of the government of the Confederate States of America. The Confederate battle flag was created by three Southern ladies after the first battle of Manassas. The 1st Confederate National Flag resembled the U.S. flag so closely that in the heat of battle soldiers both Union and Confederate often fled to the wrong lines, resulting in capture, injury or death. The Army of Northern Virginia adopted the Confederate battle flag so that soldiers of either Army could more easily determine where their own lines were. Since the Confederate battle flag was never a national nor a political flag, its only association is that of a soldier’s flag, period.

Second, there were instances of jerks carrying or waving all manner of flags during the civil rights movement, including the Confederate national flags and yes, even the Confederate battle flag; even some groups who believe they are white supremacist, though by their very actions they prove to everyone they are superior to no one of any race, sex or belief system. It is critical to do your research on what flags and symbols these haters chose to use for their own official flag and/or symbol. The KKK’s official flag is the U.S. flag, its symbol is the burning cross, and its members open their every meeting with a prayer. The Aryan Nation uses the Nazi swastika, the SS German symbol and the U.S. flag. I could go on but you get the picture. All these hate groups are on the Internet, but you would have to look to discover the flag most misused is the U.S. flag.

The first question is this: since so many hate organizations use the U.S. Flag as their official flag, is it fair to condemn the U.S. flag because it is misused?

The second question is: if it isn’t reasonable to condemn the U.S. flag for being misused, and it certainly isn’t, why is it reasonable to condemn the Confederate battle flag for the same misuse?

The United States is a great country where everyone is entitled to their opinion no matter what information they used to arrive at that opinion. Everyone has the Constitutional right to speak their opinions, and everyone else has the right to like or be offended by that opinion. For those who are offended, it is important to remember that there is no Constitutional right not to be offended by some else’s expression of free speech.

The Rev. William H. Swann
Living Waters Ministries
Marietta, Ga.

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