The Confederate Flag and Dixie
Henry Bacon McKoy was the nephew of Henry Bacon, Illinois native and architect of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. The former was born in Wilmington, North Carolina and served as an engineer on the memorial; he was also a partner in the Morris-McKoy firm that built Furman University’s Sirrine Shrine Stadium in 1936. McKoy wrote the following letter to the editor in the late 1960s.
Bernhard Thuersam, Chairman
North Carolina War Between the States Sesquicentennial Commission
"The Official Website of the North Carolina WBTS Sesquicentennial"
The Confederate Flag and Dixie:
“Editor of the Greenville News, Greenville, S.C.
I see great changes made every day. Nations fall, former things thought miracles are commonplace. Heroes are toppled. The road I travel is suddenly forked into a hundred different directions. Religions become questionable and faith a myth.
But little did I think that I should live to see the day when a group of students at the University of South Carolina would advocate a ban on the playing of “Dixie” and the display of the Confederate Flag.
Or, that I would have ever thought it advisable to add dignity and recognition to such a movement, by opposing it. Millions have admired and loved all that the Confederate Flag has stood for and all that “Dixie” meant to the hearts and aspirations of a defeated people.
Only because of ignorance and misunderstanding, and a hate that has recently been engendered by those who are capable of nothing higher, is the Confederate Flag and what it stood for, and Dixie – in thought or words ever considered to degrade or belittle the Negroes.
The South lost greatly in its youth and the best of its men and future leaders, and its wealth, and it has taken a hundred years to partially recover their loss. Their defeat they accepted. There remained, however, honor, integrity, honesty, truth and God. These the South took and engraved them on their hearts and minds and allowed the Confederate Flag to become a symbol of all the good they believed in.
Christians honor the cross, not as a fetish, not for its value, but for what it represents in their hearts. They object to its desecration because in doing so one attempts to destroy what it stands for.
The Negro was not the cause of the Confederate War, but “The Excuse” for a war of aggression and conquest. It has been claimed the reason, and like Hitler’s LIE – told so often, that it finally became to be thought the truth.
It seems wrong to me that the Confederate Flag and Dixie should need any defense on my part – it doesn’t. But if I and others stand silent while this attack is being made, then our uninformed young and our ignorant youths will think that we agree and accept this lie, and that we are ashamed to answer it. A thousand facts and records substantiate my words.
I condemn this movement and the thoughts behind it. Out of sight are the communists who are attacking everything that is sacred – that is right – that is true. Henry B. McKoy”
(Second Thoughts and Talks, Henry Bacon McKoy, 1975, pp. 63-64)