HOW I SEE IT: The truth about the Confederate flag

By Christopher H. Ezelle
Locust Grove
March 14, 2011

Five Confederate flags flew between 1861 and 1865. The Confederate Battle Flag is the one most people know best. Some believe this flag is a sign of hate, racism and repression; but the truth is that it’s a symbol of honor, valor, truth, heritage and faith in Jesus Christ.

After confusion of flags during the Union and Confederate engagement of First Manassas, Brig. Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard charged his aide, Col. William Miles to design a battle flag.

Accepted was an adapted Scottish Cross of St Andrew-based flag, the famous battle flag known today.

St. Andrew, a disciple of Jesus Christ, was martyred by crucifixion at Patras, Greece, ordered by the Roman governor. He deemed himself unworthy of being crucified and nailed to a Latin cross like Jesus Christ. He requested crucifixion on an “X”-shaped cross and to be bound, not nailed. He preached the word of God to all that passed until he died. His martyrdom was during the reign of Nero, A.D. 60. Latin and Greek churches keep Nov. 30, his death date, as a day of feast. St. Andrew is honored as chief patron by Russia and Scotland.

Here are some more interesting facts surrounding the flag:

» In the 1860s, two-thirds of the country’s population was Scotch or Scotch Irish. This flag design was a carryover of the Scottish National Flag and ancestry.

» The Confederate States of America was a nation from 1861-65.

» The battle flag was the flag of common soldiers for only four years.

» No historical document exists to support that this flag represented hate, slavery, racism, deceit, infamy or repression. Not one flag of the Confederacy was ever described in its placement to represent anything other than the Confederate States of America.

» No Confederate ship ever ran slaves.

» The Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) adopted the battle flag as part of its logo in 1896, long before “hate” groups began to abuse the flag, and they condemn misuse of any Confederate flag.

» The KKK and other “hate” groups didn’t use the flag until late 1950/early 1960s.

In his book “What They Fought For, 1861-1865,” historian James McPherson, after reading more than 25,000 letters and over 100 soldier diaries from both sides of the War for Southern Independence, concluded that Confederate soldiers "fought for liberty and independence from what they regarded as a tyrannical government."

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