The Truth About The Confederate Battle Flag
Date: June 29, 2008
This is the complete text of the speech/sermon by Pastor Weaver defending the Confederate Flag. Minor editing was done for the recent CD which is being distributed. I consider it an excellent defense of the flag although there has been some controversy within SCV about certain statements.
James W. King
Past Commander SCV Camp 141
Lt. Col. Thomas M. Nelson
The Truth About The Confederate Battle Flag
By Pastor John Weaver
Pastor John Weaver is a native of Georgia, and a graduate from Bob Jones University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theology and attended graduate school. He has been in Christian ministry for over 30 years.
Pastor Weaver has traveled across America preaching and lecturing in churches, colleges and conferences. John Weaver is an expositor of God’s whole Word. His preaching style is in the tradition of those early American pastors whose pulpits were the cradle of America’s Christian Liberty.
(Permission granted to copy.)
Open your Bibles to the Book of Numbers Chapter 1. Numbers Chapter 1 and we will read some verses there and then in Chapter 2 as well. Numbers Chapter 1:52 – “And the children of Israel shall pitch their tents every man by his own camp and every man by his own standard throughout their hosts.” Note that phrase, “Every man by his own standard throughout their hosts.” Now look in Chapter 2:2. “Every man of the children of Israel shall pitch his own standard or banner or flag with the ensign, banner or flag, of their fathers house far off about the Tabernacle of the Congregation shall they pitch. And on the East Side toward the rising of the sun shall they of the standard of the camp of Judah pitch throughout their armies; and Nahshon, the son of Amminadab shall be Captain of the Children of Judah.” Notice if you would please, in verse 10, “On the south side shall be the standard of the camp of Reuben according to their armies: and the captain of the children of Reuben shall be Elizur the son of Shedeur.” Note on the south side shall be the standard of the camp of Reuben. Look in verse 17, “Then the tabernacle of the congregation shall set forward with the camp of the Levites in the midst of the camp: as they encamp, so shall they set forward, every man in his place by their standards. On the West Side shall be the standard of the camp of Ephraim according to their armies: and the captain of the sons of Ephraim shall be Elishama the son of Ammihud.” Then verse 25, “The standard of the camp of Dan shall be on the north side by their armies. And the captain of the children of Dan shall be Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai.” And then verse 31, “And they that were numbered in the camp of Dan were an hundred thousand and fifty and seven thousand and six hundred. They shall go to hindmost with their standards.” Then verse 34, “And the children of Israel did according to all that the Lord commanded Moses so they pitched by their standards and so they set forward every one after their families according to the house of their fathers.
Let me begin by asking a simple question. Why in the world is there so much fuss over a flag? Is a standard, a banner, and ensign, or a flag worth fighting about? Everyone knows that a flag is a symbol. It represents something. But what is it a symbol of and what does it represent? If you will study your Bible you will find that our English word “flag” does not occur in our Bibles, except to refer to “the reeds” or more specifically the “paper I plant that dwells by the riverside.” But if you will take the time to go through a concordance you will find that the word “banner,” the word “standard,” the word “ensign” occurs frequently over and over. I want you to see by way of introduction tonight the importance of a flag or the importance of a standard. You see, when the children of Israel were encamped in the wilderness they camped everyone under their own standard. Do you realize that they were centered around that Tabernacle according to their standards as well? If you will look back in your Bibles to the Book of Numbers 2:2. Note this statement: “Every man of the children of Israel shall pitch by his own standard. So evidently a tribe had its own standard, with the ensign of their father’s house. So there were not only tribal standards, there were also family standards, so usually then, each family carried two banners – one for their tribe and one for their father’s house. And of course, all of these families in Israel, all of the tribes then were centered around that tabernacle. When they marched, they marched according to the order that God gave. Now there were four leading tribes: the Tribe of Judah, Rueben, Ephraim and Dan. Now according to tradition, the standard of the Tribe of Judah had a Lion on it. Hence we know Christ as the “Lion of the Tribe of Judah.” That of the Tribe of Rueben had the likeness of a man’s head. That of the Tribe of Ephraim had the figure of an ox and that of the Tribe of Dan had the symbol of an eagle. If you will study the book of Ezekiel, you will find the four living creatures there that Ezekiel saw had the faces of these four standards that are mentioned here in the Book of Numbers, Chapter 2.
Now I want you to turn in your Bibles to Psalm 20:5. The Word of God says this: “We will rejoice in thy salvation and in the name of our God we will set up our banners. The Lord fulfill all thy petitions.” So banners or flags then have a religious significance. Here is the importance of a banner: we set it up in the name of our God. It represents our theology. It represents our Christianity. Look in your Bibles to Psalm 60:4. Note how plain the Bible is here. Psalm 60:4: The Word of God says, “Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee that it may be displayed because of thy truth.” So God then gives us a banner that we might display that banner. Why? Because of the truth. Not because of error, not because of anything else, but because of the truth. Now go back in your Bibles to the Book of Exodus 17:15. You are going to be surprised when you find one of the names of God mentioned here in the Bible. Exodus 17:15, “The Children of Israel had fought against the Amalikites and had won.” God had given them the victory. Exodus 17:14: Note what God tells Moses. “And the Lord said unto Moses write this for a memorial in a book and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under Heaven. And Moses built an altar and called the name if it Jehovah-nissi. Jehovah-nissi. For he said because the Lord had sworn that the Lord would have war with Amalek from generation to generation.” Now note Moses built an altar and called the name of it Jehovah-nissi. Jehovah-nissi means “the Lord our banner.” In other words God is the banner of His people. The name of God is associated with the warfare of His people. So a flag then is not just given to us for the truth, but God Himself is said to be our flag, our banner. Look in your Bibles at the Book of Isaiah 59:19. Here is a very powerful verse. Look in Isaiah 59:19. Note, if you would this verse: “So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the West and His glory from the rising of the Sun when the enemy shall come in like a flood, the spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard or banner against him.” Did you hear what I just read? When the enemy shall come in like a flood then the spirit, that is the third person of the Trinity, then the Holy Spirit shall lift up a standard against him. Now let me ask you a question. If the Holy Spirit is lifting up a banner, if he is lifting up a standard against the enemies of God’s people, what standard or what banner is he lifting up? Look in your Bibles to Isaiah 11:10 and you will find out. Note if you would please, what the Word of God says concerning Christ, “And in that day there shall be root of Jesse which shall stand for an ensign or a flag of the people and to it shall the Gentiles seek and his rest shall be glorious.” So when the enemies of the Lord come in like a flood, the Spirit of God lifts up a standard against them and that standard is Jesus Christ! So God the Father is said in the scripture to be our banner. God the Son is said in the scripture to be our banner. I don’t know about you, but I believe God places a great deal of importance upon banners and flags and ensign in the Word of God.
No one can deny the importance of a standard based upon the Word of God. But what about the Confederate Flag? Is the Confederate Flag a Christian symbol? Interestingly, when one mentions the Confederate Flag, usually what comes up in someone’s mind is the battle flag as we see right here. I want you to know tonight that there were numerous Confederate Flags. This is the battle flag. Let me just point out the fact that there were five major flags. There were many, many more, but the first flag that I want to point out is the Bonnie Blue flag which was a solid blue flag with a single star right in the middle. Now the Bonnie Blue flag was the unofficial flag of the Confederate States of America. It was never officially adopted, but it was an extremely popular flag and there is a song written about it from that period. Then secondly, there is what is known as the first “National Flag”, which is sometimes called the Stars and Bars. Now there is a problem, and I am going to deal with it a little bit later. But the Stars and Bars looked a lot like the Stars and Stripes, and there was a conflict because of that. Then thirdly, there was the second “National Flag”, which is referred to as the stainless banner. It just had this symbol in the upper left-hand corner and then it was pure white; it was silk. The only problem with the stainless banner was when the wind was not blowing and it was folded, it sometimes looked like a flag of truce, or a flag of surrender. And then fourthly, we have the third “National Flag” and that was the same stainless banner but with a solid red bar all the way down it and that is the one that is usually flying today. It was officially adopted, but very few of them were issued. And then of course, we have the Confederate Battle Flag as we know it. Interestingly enough, the first four flags are very rarely spoken against because most people don’t even know about their existence, and they are totally absolutely ignorant of them and so consequently it is the battle flag that catches most of the flak.
So let me begin tonight with some negatives. I want to tell you what the Confederate Battle Flag does not represent! I want to tell you what it does not symbolize and I want you to hear me very carefully, because I am going to give you the historical proof for what I am going to say. First of all, the Confederate Battle Flag is not a racist flag. I can hear it now though, “Brother Weaver, don’t you know that the Ku Klux Klan uses the Confederate Battle Flag, and don’t you know that the white supremacists groups use the Confederate Flag, and don’t you know the hate groups use the Confederate Flag?” Yes, I know this. But I also know that they use the Stars and Stripes and I also know they even use the Christian flag as well. Let me ask you a question. Why are not the Stars and Stripes and Christian flag considered racist flags as well? I mean if someone is going to be guilty by association, or if something is going to be guilty by association, I can show you pictures of the KKK marching in Washington, D.C. and there was not one Confederate Flag amongst them. They are all carrying the Stars and Stripes, the U.S. Flag! If we are going to condemn the flag because the KKK and the white supremacists and the hate groups use it, let’s condemn all the flags. Be consistent! Condemn the Stars and Stripes. Condemn the Christian flag. Let me ask you another question, just to show you the absurdity of this position. Do you realize that the Darlington 400 for years used a picture of the Confederate Flag on its billboard and advertised itself as the Rebel Raceway? Does that mean that anyone who attends the Darlington 400 is a racist? What about the Scottish soldiers? I’ll explain this a little bit later. Even today Scottish Soldiers who were in the British Army wear the cross of Saint Andrews. Does that mean that all Scottish soldiers are racist as well?
Let me show you the enmity and the hatred and the venom that is being spoken against this flag and I am going to tell you why before I close tonight. I found a website and the name of the website was basically, “The Confederate Flag Must Go!” and it was put there by Jack Crawford, who evidently is a black man based upon his other writings, and here is what he said. I am quoting him verbatim, I took it off his website. He says this, “The Confederate flag is a well recognized international symbol of racism, slavery, hatred, murder and white supremacy. It should be outlawed, not just banned. Anyone flying it should be corrected in a manner that is usually reserved for overseers, slave masters, and leaders of lynch mobs responsible for the murder of children. Am I clear?” So what does Mr. Jack Crawford say? He says anyone who flies this flag ought to be condemned to death. That is basically what he is saying. What would you do to a murderer who formed a lynch mob and hung a child? Well, very clearly you would see that he got the death penalty. Well that is what he is saying. Now let me just tell you very quickly, Mr. Crawford’s statement is unhistorical. It is unconstitutional and it is untrue. Do you realize that most attackers of the flag are either motivated by historical ignorance or pure unadulterated malice toward the South, its symbols, its heritage and its people? In 1994, a Harris Poll found that two-thirds of black Americans had no problem with the Confederate Flag. No problem at all! Why in the world make the flag an issue? In fact, there are numerous black Americans that speak out for the Confederate Flag. Let me give you one of them. R.J. Wilkins of Miami, Florida, had this to say. They were flying the Confederate Flag at the capitol in Tallahassee, Florida, and he wrote this: “I am a black man who is not offended by the flying of the Confederate Flag beside the Capitol in Tallahassee, Florida. The Confederate Flag is as much a part of my history as it is of any white person. It may not represent the best of my race, or be held by some as a contribution to this country’s greatness, but it does to me. My great grandparents were a part of the plantations. They worked the cotton fields, cleaned the big houses and in many ways supported the development of American society. We should let the Confederate Flag fly as a reminder of our American history both black and white.” But let me tell you something. You want to hear a black man speak out and speak the truth? Let me give you a quote that W. Earl Douglas gave. He was a black journalist in Charleston, South Carolina, and he is now dead, but here is what he said concerning the Confederate flag, ”If hate had been the prevailing emotion between the races, then it is a safe bet that the Confederacy would have never been born.” Did you hear what he said? If hate had been the prevailing emotions between the blacks and the whites in the South, he is saying it’s a safe bet that the Confederacy would have never, ever been born. I continue, ”Fortunately,” he says, ”There was love, understanding, and compassion.” Now listen to what this black man says. ”And the two greatest lies ever perpetrated by history are, number one, that the South instigated the war, and number two, that it was fought by the North for the purpose of freeing the slaves! The Negro was merely used as the excuse for that War while the real reason for it is reflected in every area of our lives where the tentacles of government form the bars of a new slavery. No! Don’t furl that Confederate Battle Flag. Let it wave all across the South to remind Americans that there exists here a yearning for liberty, freedom, and independence that will not be denied. Let it fly as a testimonial to real men and real women who would rather work and fight and shed tears than to beg the government for charity.” He understood, folks. He had more sense and more knowledge than most people today.
You see the Confederate Battle Flag is not a racist symbol and it never has been. One of my favorite stories is about a black representative, John F. Harris, who was a legislator in Washington County, Mississippi. And he had the opportunity to vote for Senate Bill #25, which was a bill to erect a Confederate Monument on the Capitol Square in Jackson, Mississippi. Now the bill did pass and Mr. Harris, who was sick and got out of his bed to give his speech before the Senate, did so and, on February 23, 1890, the Daily Clarion Ledger of Jackson, Mississippi printed his speech in full. Let me read a portion of it to you. He says, ”Mr. Speaker, I have arisen here in my place to offer a few words on the bill. I have come from a sick bed. Perhaps it was not prudent for me to come, but Sir I could not rest quietly in my room without contributing a few remarks of my own. I was sorry to hear the speech of the young gentlemen from Marshall County. I am sorry that any son of a soldier should go on record as opposed to the erection of a monument in honor of their brave dead. And Sir, I am convinced that had he seen what I saw at Seven Pines and in the seven days fighting around Richmond, the battle field covered with the mangled forms of those who fought for their country and for their countries honor, he would not have made that speech. When the news came that the South had been invaded, those men went forth to fight for what they believed. And they made no requests for monuments. But they died and their virtues should be remembered. Sir, I went with them. I too wore the Grey. The same color my master wore. We stayed four long years and if that war had gone on until now, I would have been there yet. I want to honor those brave men who died for their convictions. When my mother died I was a boy. Who Sir, then acted the part of a mother to the orphaned slave boy but my old misses. Was she living now or could speak to me from those high realms where gathered the sainted dead, she would tell me to vote for this bill and, Sir, I shall vote for it. I want it known to all the world that my vote is given in favor of a bill to erect a monument in honor of the Confederate dead.” Here was a man, a black man, who wore the Confederate gray and he understood the War was not a racist War. Now, let me tell you, the Confederate Flag is not a racist flag.
But, now wait, if you want racism, if you want hatred, if you want white supremacy, I will tell you where to find it – under the Stars and Stripes, the U.S. Flag. Not under the Confederate Flag. Do you realize the Emancipation Proclamation was signed on January 1, 1863? On August 14, 1862, less than five months before the Emancipation Proclamation was signed, Abraham Lincoln invited a number of leading blacks to the White House to give them his words of wisdom and to demonstrate to them why he was attempting to colonize them back in Africa. By the way, Lincoln’s Negro policy was to send them all back to Africa. That was his policy. William Seward, William Stanton, all of them wanted the same thing. And so he invited these Negroes to come to the White House to hear his words of wisdom, and I am quoting verbatim what Lincoln said. Listen carefully, he says, “Why should people of your race be colonized and where? Why should they leave this country? This is perhaps the first question for proper consideration. You and we are different races. We have between us a broader difference than exists between almost any other two races. Whether it is right or wrong I need not discuss. But this physical difference is a great disadvantage to us both as I think. Your race suffers very greatly, many of them by living among us, while ours suffers from your presence. In a word, we suffer on each side. If this is admitted it affords a reason at least why we should be separated. You are free men here I suppose. Perhaps you have been long free, all of your lives. Your race is suffering, in my judgment, the greatest wrong inflicted on any people, but even when you cease to be slaves, you are yet far removed from being placed on an equality with a white race. The aspiration of men is to enjoy equality with the best when free, but on this broad continent, not a single man of your race is made the equal of a single man of our race.” – Abraham Lincoln. Let me translate that: Blacks aren’t equal to Whites, never will be. That is what he just got through saying. Listen to what Lincoln said in a speech in Charleston, Illinois, 1858. Lincoln said, “I am not now nor have ever been in favor of bringing about in any way the social or the political equality of a White and Black races. I am not now, nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of Negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor of intermarriages with white people. There is a physical difference between the white and black races, which will forever forbid the two races from living together on social or political equality. There must be a position of superior and inferior and I am in favor of assigning the superior position to the white man.” – Abraham Lincoln. You see the Confederate flag has never stood as a racist symbol. If you want racism, you go to the Stars and Stripes. In the South, although there was separation, the blacks respected the whites and the whites respected the blacks. And I will tell you this, there was no trouble in the South back then nor in the 1960’s until the North came down and started stirring up trouble. So the Confederate flag is not a racist flag. Secondly tonight, the Confederate flag is not a flag of slavery. It does not represent slavery. Are you listening to me tonight? There was not one slave ever brought into this country under the Confederate flag. Every slave that was brought into this country was brought in by Northern ships under the Stars and Stripes. There was not even a slave brought into this country on a Southern vessel! The slaves were brought into this country on Northern vessels under the Stars and Stripes.
Did you know that out of the 224 years that slavery was legal in this country, only four of those years did the Confederate Battle Flag fly? And by the way, there were slaves in this country in 1620. What flag flew over the country more than any other flag during those 224 years? It was the Stars and Stripes. It wasn’t the Confederate Battle Flag. It was the Stars and Stripes! Why hate and attack the Confederate Flag? I mean, if you want to hate a flag of slavery then you ought to hate the Stars and Stripes! And if you want to hate another flag of slavery, why not hate the British flag? Did you know that England was responsible for taking five million blacks from Africa and selling them to every country under the sun? If you want to hate a flag, why not hate the Dutch flag or the Portuguese flag, or the Spanish flag? They sold slaves. And if you want to hate a flag today, how about hating the Muslim flags because even today the Muslims are still involved in slavery! I mean let’s be honest. Now if you want to believe that the War of 1861 to 1865 was over slavery, I can show you two things that ought to forever correct your thinking in that area: The War was not over slavery. Slavery has only been made an issue by the liberal revisionists. It was not an issue. Let me prove to you just by two simple statements. I will give you more, but let me prove to you that the War was not fought over slavery, and therefore, this flag could never ever have represented slavery. You see Abraham Lincoln proposed a thirteenth amendment in March of 1861. It is the only proposed constitutional amendment that was signed by a sitting President. It bears Abraham Lincoln’s signature. Here was Abraham Lincoln’s proposed thirteenth amendment: “No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give Congress the power to abolish or interfere within any state with the domestic institutions thereof, including that a person’s held to labor or service by laws of said State.” Did you hear that? Lincoln’s proposed thirteenth amendment said Congress shall not have the power to interfere with any institutions within any state including those held to labor or service by the laws of that State. In other words, what Abraham Lincoln was saying to the South, if you will accept this proposed thirteenth amendment, you may forever keep slaves. Folks, Beauregard never fired on Fort Sumter until April 9. This was in March of 1861! If the War had been about slavery and if the South wanted just to keep slaves and that was it, why fire a gun? Why fire a shot? Just simply accept his proposed thirteenth amendment and it would all be over. This resolution was passed unanimously by Congress on July 23, 1861. You may read it for yourself in the Congressional Record. Here is what this resolution says: âgœThe War is waged by the government of the United States not in the spirit of conquest or subjugation, nor for the purpose of overthrowing or interfering with the rights or institutions of the states, but to defend and protect the Union.” Congress said the War is not about slavery! I will even give you a thirteenth amendment that will allow you to make slavery permanent.
You see what was happening was this: There are a lot of issues and I can’t cover them all tonight, but one of the issues was an economic issue. Do you realize the South, before the War, was extremely wealthy? And the South before the War funded probably 75 to 80% of all the taxes. But the North wanted a 40% tariff. The south said no. The most we will ever agree to is a 10% tariff. And what Lincoln and the radical republicans were doing was this: They were saying we would give you the thirteenth amendment. We will let you keep your slaves if that is what you want. You just let us keep our tariffs. In other words, the North was willing to sell the blacks out for money, for higher taxes! They could care less. You see, Hapgood’s book, Abraham Lincoln, The Man of The People, on page 273, quotes Abraham Lincoln as saying, “If I could save the Union without freeing any of the slaves I would do it.” Abraham Lincoln later said that slaves are property and if freed they should be paid for. Later on Lincoln said, “I have no purpose directly or indirectly to interfere with the institution of slavery in the states where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so and I have no inclination to do so.” Now here Lincoln is acknowledging that he has no lawful right to interfere with slavery. Slavery, by the way, was constitutional. All thirteen colonies agreed on it and by the way, in 1776, all thirteen colonies held slaves, not just the South, all of them! Lincoln said, “I have no lawful right to interfere nor,” he says, “do I have an inclination to do so.” In a letter to Alexander Stevens who happened to be later the Vice President of the Confederacy, Lincoln wrote and said this, “Do the people of the South really entertain fear that a Republican administration would directly or indirectly interfere with their slaves, or with them about their slaves? If they do, I wish to assure you that once, as a friend, and still I hope not as an enemy, that there is no cause for such fears. The South would be in no more danger in this respect than it was in the days of Washington.” So once again, Lincoln is saying it’s not over slavery.
You say, but Brother Weaver, Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. And the Emancipation Proclamation freed the slaves. No it didn’t. The Emancipation Proclamation did not free one slave! Do you know what Abraham Lincoln tried to do with the Emancipation Proclamation? In fact he says so himself and so do other men in his Cabinet. They say that the Emancipation Proclamation was a war measure. Lincoln, number one, wanted to keep England specifically, and the rest of Europe particularly from joining in with, or recognizing the Confederate states of America. That was his first goal in the Emancipation Proclamation. His second goal was another war measure, in the sense, he was hoping that the blacks in the South would rise up in rebellion against their white masters and the white people. Let me tell you something, just to show you there was no trouble in the South – there was not one rebellion during that war of black folks. Do you realize a thousand torches in a thousand black hands would have emptied the Confederate armies, because the men would have gone home to protect their families? And Lincoln knew that. You see what Lincoln did was this. Now listen to me. Lincoln tried to free the slaves in the South where he had absolutely no authority and he refused to release the slaves in the North where he did have authority. Did you know that in the Northern armies even when they were fighting the South there were over 300,000 slaveholders in the Northern armies? Did you know that General Robert E. Lee before the war ever began, when he inherited some slaves freed them? General Ulysses S. Grant, who was the main General of the North and afterwards became President, even after the war was over, kept his slaves. And he did so with this excuse: good help is hard to find. You see the truth of the matter is this: the Emancipation Proclamation was not only unconstitutional, and everybody recognized it, it cost the Republicans a lot of elections. There were five Northern states that refused after that to elect Republicans to Congress. And moreover, there were a lot of Union soldiers that deserted because of it and refused to fight. Slavery was not the issue. Slavery has never been the issue until recently, until political revisionists and the political correct people wanted to make it the issue.
There have been numerous warnings down through history concerning our flag and concerning our heritage and our culture. One of those warnings came from General Patrick Cleburne. I want to read to you what General Patrick Cleburne said in January of 1864. And he was warning the South in regards to subjugation. You talk about a prophet, listen carefully. General Cleburne said this: “If the South lost it means that the history of this heroic struggle will be written by the enemy. That our youth will be trained by Northern school teachers, will learn from Northern school books their version of the war, will be impressed by all of the influences of History and Education to regard our gallant debt as traders and our maimed veterans as fit subjects for derision.” Folks let me tell you that is exactly what has happened in this country. You pick up any textbook that you want to pick up and it will just simply say, the War was over slavery, the North was right and the South was wrong. And most folks believe that junk. They have been taught it. The War was not over slavery, not over slavery at all. One of my favorite stories is about a reconstructed Southerner who ran into Mildred Lewis Rutherford. Mildred Lewis Rutherford was one of the finest Southern Historians that you could ever come across. I believe she died in 1928. But this one reconstructed Southerner said to Mrs. Rutherford, he said, “My father was a Confederate soldier, but had he lived, I am sure he would have regretted having fought for the wrong side.” To which Mrs. Rutherford replied: “Far more probably he would have regretted having a son so disloyal to the principals for which he was willing to give his life”. The Confederate flag is not a racist flag. The Confederate flag is not a flag of slavery.
Now here is the third thing I want to teach you tonight, and I want you to listen carefully: The Confederate flag is a Christian flag and it represents freedom from tyranny. The Confederate Battle Flag as we know it, really did not come into existence, or I should say, into full-blown presence until after First Manasses, July 21, 1861. Most of you know, or at least you should know, that the South and the North called their battles by different names. So it’s either First Manassas or First Bull Run depending on what section of the country you are from. But during that battle the Confederate Battle Flag was the Stars and Bars, and the Stars and Bars was very easily confused with the Stars and Stripes, not only at a distance, but also especially under battle conditions. And you have got to remember all of the smoke that those black powder rifles and cannons made at that particular time. It was during this battle that General Beauregard was observing the battle and he sees a large body of troops moving toward the union right flank. And Beauregard tried and tried to make out the flag and to see if it was a Northern flag or Southern flag, and he just simply could not make it out. So he called some of his young lieutenants up and he said, “Tell me, is that our flag or is that their flag?” They could not make it out either. So he stood there very cautiously trying to determine whose flag it was, what group was there. And all of a sudden a little puff of wind came and it unfurled and he could see that it was the Stars and Bars and he cried, “The day is ours. Attack! Attack!” And with that, of course they won the day and the Yankees literally threw down their weapons and ran all the way back to Washington, D.C. Later Beauregard wrote “At the Battle of Manassas I found it difficult to distinguish our then Confederate flag from the United States flag, the two being so much alike especially when General Jewel A. Early made the flight movement that decided the fate of the day. So Beauregard said, “I couldn’t tell if it was ours or theirs.” Then he wrote “I resolve to have our flag changed or to adopt for my command a battle flag, which would be entirely different from any state or federal flag. Beauregard later said after the War, “After the battle it was found that many persons in both armies firmly believed that each side had used as a strategy the flags of his opponents.” So the North thought the South was using its flag and the South thought the North used our flag trying to confuse us. Thus Beauregard ordered a totally different flag to be carried into battle. There were two designs, one by Colonel Walton and one by Colonel Miles. Colonel Walton’s flag had a Latin cross on it and Colonel Miles’ flag had the “X” or the St. Andrews cross on it. And Beauregard chose the one with the Saint Andrews cross.
Now let me tell you that Andrew was the first disciple of Jesus Christ. He became a follower of Jesus Christ and preached relentlessly the Gospel of Christ. He not only preached in many of the Asiatic nations, he preached in Russia. Andrew was crucified around 69 AD in Patria, Greece. Unlike Christ, who was crucified on a Latin cross, Andrew was crucified on the Andrews cross. It looks like an X. And the reason he was crucified like that was by his own request. He did not believe himself worthy to be crucified as Christ was crucified. So he talked his prosecutor and persecutor into crucifying him on the X shaped cross instead of having his hands nailed to the cross as Christ was. He had his persecutor tie him to the cross even though he knew that he would suffer longer and deeper pain and agony. You have got to remember Andrew was approximately 90 years old when this was being done. For three days he hung on that cross, preaching to everyone who came by while he had breath. Finally, so many of the people were impressed by his preaching, they went and asked that Andrew be cut down from the cross and allowed to live. The powers at be consented and they went and cut Andrew down and as they cut the rope he fell to the ground dead. He died as a martyr for Jesus Christ. Andrew became the patron Saint not only of Russia, but also of Scotland.
Did you know that in the 1800’s about 75% of the South were either Scotch or Scotch-Irish? The Confederate Battle Flag is based upon the national flag of Scotland. The national flag of Scotland is the cross of Saint Andrew and the cross of Saint Andrew is a symbol of the Christian faith and the heritage of the Celtic race. In fact, another name for the Confederate Battle Flag is the Southern Cross. It was adopted consciously, purposefully, deliberately and premeditatedly in order to display faith in the sovereign God of heaven and earth, faith in the providence of that God, the God of history and the God of salvation. How can I say that? Did you know that the Confederate Constitution recognized the sovereignty of the Providence of God? Let me read to you the preamble, it goes like this: “When the people of the Confederate States, each state acting in its sovereign and independent character, in order to form a permanent federal government, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity invoking the favor and guidance of almighty God do ordain and establish this constitution for the Confederate States of America.” Even the Confederate States motto, “Deovendickia,” (The Lord is our Vindicator), illustrates the sovereignty and the righteousness of God. The Saint Andrews cross is also known as the Greek letter CHIA (KEE) and has historically been used to represent Jesus Christ. Why do you think people write Merry X-mas, just to give you an illustration? The “X” is the Greek letter CHIA and it has been historically used for Christ. Moreover, its importance was understood by educated and uneducated people alike. When an uneducated man, one that could not write, needed to sign his name please tell me what letter he made? An “X,” why? Because he was saying I am taking an oath under God. I am recognizing the sovereignty of God, the providence of God and I am pledging my faith. May I tell you the Confederate Flag is indeed a Christian flag because it has the cross of Saint Andrew, who was a Christian martyr, and the letter “X” has always been used to represent Christ, and to attack the flag is to deny the sovereignty, the majesty, and the might of the Lord Jesus Christ and his divine role in our history, culture, and life. Moreover, let me tell you this. That Confederate Flag today represents the valiant and courageous Confederate soldiers who died and gave their lives for the principles for which they fought. General Beauregard had one of the three first original Confederate Battle Flags. On May 28, 1883, he donated that flag to the Louisiana Washington artillery. Beauregard was unable to be there but Colonel Walton was and he accepted the flag for Beauregard and here is what he said: “In the name of General Beauregard, under whose eyes you first went under fire at Manassas, I have the honor to present to you this sacred emblem of Southern valor and patriotism.” Said Judge Alfred Roman. “Its colors are yet as fresh as when it received the parting look of its fair maker. Its value is enhanced by the fact that the upper portion of its staff is made of a piece of a flagstaff of Fort Sumter, shot down by the Confederate gunners in April 1861. Gunners, who, by the way, were under the command of General Beauregard. Unsoiled though it is by the smoke of battle, it was none the less, born in war and the breeze first kissed it in the tented field. It is the genuine model of the glorious flag around which all of us fought and so many of us bled and so many of us fell.” What did he say? It is a symbol of Southern valor and patriotism.
Now let me try to answer a question for you. Why attack the Confederate Battle Flag? Why attack Confederate symbols? Let me tell you something. Whenever the Confederate Battle Flag is attacked, and the attacks are so vicious and so ferocious, it is because it is an attack on the truth. Because the South was not fighting as a racist nation or as a slave holding nation, they were fighting for constitutional rights. They were fighting for State’s rights. Did you know that there were many in the South when it came to adopting a flag, that said, “Let’s take the Stars and Stripes”? Why? Because we are the ones that are remaining true to the Constitution. Let them adopt another flag because they are untrue! To attack the flag is a attack on political incorrectness. The flag represents those who are opposed to unlimited federal government. The flag represents a limited Constitutional republic. A view of government opposed to the powers that be. Let me tell you something folks, all one has to do is to look at present day Washington, D.C., to know exactly what our forefathers fought against. Two hundred and fifty thousand Confederate soldiers gave their lives to prevent from having what we have today! The extension of government into every area of our lives is a result of the fact that the South lost the war. To attack the flag is to attack the truth, which the flag represented. The Confederate Flag not only represents a limited view of government, but it also represents freedom from tyranny. It represents freedom from tyrannical governments. I don’t know how many of you will remember this, I know many of you saw it on TV, when the Berlin Wall was being torn down. Do you remember what was flying over the Berlin Wall? The Confederate Battle Flag waved as the wall was being torn down. Did you know that the Confederate Battle Flag has been adopted and used by the people of Poland, Hungry, the Ukraine, Lithuania, and East Germany, as they were victorious over the Union of the Soviets? Even Quebec in more recent years used the battle flag as a symbol of its independence in trying to secede from Canada. Historically, everyone understands that the Confederate Battle Flag represents liberty and freedom and independence from tyranny. The Confederate Flag represents truth against error, freedom against tyranny, light against darkness and the Kingdom of Christ against the Kingdom of Governance. You see, we have forgotten the fact that the War of Northern Aggression was a cultural war. It was a religious war and the North was predominantly Unitarian and humanist, while the South was predominantly Christian. And in reality, the War was an attempt to crush Christianity and Christian culture.
Now, why must the flag be attacked? Why must the flag be destroyed? Why must Confederate symbols and monuments and heritage be defamed, destroyed and derided? I’ll tell you why. Because if we are allowed to keep our symbols, we might just one day begin to inquire into the origin and meaning of those symbols. And in so doing, begin to questions the myths and the propaganda of the political correctness that’s in our country today and as we see the truth, we might actually begin to stand for the principles for which our forefathers stood and fought. And my, would that cause problems for the present day administration and the present day Socialist program. Now listen to me folks, in order to keep a people enslaved and content in the present, you must destroy their past. A people, who have no past, will have no future. The attacks today, are attacks against the truth. What you and I need to do is this: we need to study our history. We need to study our heritage. We need to come back to the basics. We need to come back to our Christian roots. I want you to turn in your Bibles to Jeremiah 6. Let me close with this verse. Jeremiah Chapter 6:16, “Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way and walk therein and you shall find rest for your souls, but they (the wicked people) said, We will not walk (therein.)” What did God say? God said, “Stand in the ways and see and ask for the old paths, wherein is the good way.” Let me tell you something folks, I would trade the culture we have today in a heartbeat for the culture that the South had before the War of Northern Aggression. I would trade the character that men have today for the character that men had before the War of Northern Aggression in a heartbeat. I would trade the morality today for the morality that was in the South before the War of Northern Aggression. We better stand in the way and soon ask for the old ways, which is the good way. We not only need to keep our symbols, we need to defend their principles and apply those principles in our present day life.