Posted 04/18/2005
Mr. Griffith:

I am more than 1/2 American Indian, the rest white mutt of dubious origins. My Family were members of the NAACP back in the 1960’s when they represented all people of color, not just those whose skin pigment is slightly darker. When the Freedom Marchers marched from Chattanooga Tenn to Birmingham Ala we were present. As a result of our participation we were visited by the local pointy heads in their white sheets and their ever present burning cross. It frightened my Mother and little sister horribly.

As a result of my families encounter with those who hated us for our skin color and our choice of people that we associated with, I became an student of hate groups from that time and remain one today. As such I have to disagree with your contention about the Confederate Flag being the representative flag of the various hate groups. I have two computers with full hard drives with information both current and historical on all the groups you mentioned and the worst of the bunch, the National Alliance, that you failed to list among your hate groups. For the record, the KKK and you may check all the current web sites has two "official" symbols, the American Flag and the Christian Cross. The Aryan Nation, and Skin heads use the American Flag and the Nazi Flag again as official flags. The Church of the Creator used the German SS flag with a cross on it. Some individuals in the various hate groups use the Confederate Battle Flag, and different State Flags, but they aren’t official symbols, and that is an important difference.

The Confederacy existed for 4 years, the Battle Flag was never a political flag, and more slaves died during the Middle Passage (Black Cargoes by Mannix) than the total slave deaths in the whole US from Slaverys inception until its legal end in Dec. 1865 (or enforced end in 1867). The ships were uniformly flying American Flags, and most landed at Providence RI. where 60% of all Slaves who arrived in the US entered that port.

The ironic thing is that my people were slaughtered to the tune of over 8 million Native American’s. Over 800 tribes with their knowledge and unique history wiped off the face of the earth. More oppression of all people of Color has taken place under the American Flag than can be imagined, yet intelligent people like yourself choose to attack all things Confederate, it just isn’t a rational thing to do. Flags aren’t responsible for the actions of those good or bad who fly them, nor can you correct assume the motives for all those who fly or display Confederate Flags.

My Great-Great Grandfather fought for the Confederacy under the only Native American General in US History, Stand Waite at the battle of Pea Ridge. I have no love for the hate organizations or haters of any ilk, but I fly the Confederate Battle Flag under my American Flag in my yard. I deeply respect those heroes and symbols of the Black People, I would appreciate the same consideration for those symbols of my ancestors. In any case please consider any symbol in the context it is being used. Anything in the hands of a person with a sheet over his/her head is likely being used in a hateful manner because of that person’s hate, but the flag-cross-banner is itself innocent.

Dr. William H Swann
Evangelist/Christian Counselor
Marietta, GA