Some claim offense by the red white and blue image of the Confederate Battle flag and demand its immediate removal from public places. Others embrace it and fly it proudly. Why would in individual chose one side over the other? Here are some possible reasons.

1. Christianity

A prominent feature of the Confederate Battle Flag is the “X” emblazoned boldly from corner to corner. Internationally, the “X” is known as shorthand for “Christ”, thus the abbreviation “X-mas.” The derivation for the design is the pattern of the Scottish Flag adopted in the 15th century to honor Jesus’ Apostle, St. Andrew, who died a martyr’s death on an “X” shaped cross.

Incorporating the “X” in the design in the 19th century southern battle flag by a population heavily weighted with Scottish and Scot-Irish stock should not be surprising.

Neither surprising should be the abhorrence of this emblem by atheists who seek to eradicate all vestiges of God from public view. Dr. Ben Carson has said many times “America has a God problem,” and the disdain for the Southern Cross is symptomatic of that ill. The “Freedom From Religion” movement is a natural bedfellow of the Anti-Free Speech movement – both are avowed enemies of the 1st Amendment to the United States Constitution.

2. Diversity

The modern mantra “diversity is our strength” was never more exemplified than in the war time Southern Confederacy. The population of the South was more ethnically diverse than any other geographical area in the world. The “melting pot” of Jew and gentile, European and African, Hispanic and Asian is credited for producing the most potent fighting force, for its size, ever assembled.

The ranks of combatants fighting under the Confederate Battle flag were populated by a racially integrated military, more than 100 years before the same would be adopted by the foe.

Today, the Confederate Battle flag is beloved by and identified with my people of all ethnicities. What flag other than the Stars and Stripes can make this claim?

3. Identity

Southern-Americans are Americans, as much as any other hyphenated group. Southerners fight our wars, pay our taxes, build our roads and bridges, and write and sing our music.

As Elvis Presley is a world-renown icon of America, her history and her culture, so is the Confederate Battle Flag.

The French writer Milan Kundera opined that “the first step in liquidating a people is to erase its memory.” Shaming the Battle Flag and those that display it, and eradicating it from public view… yes, even in museums… has been the relentless demand of a segment of the political spectrum. The NAACP declared it and “odious blight on the universe” and spokesmen claim it “reminds them” of a “dark time” in our Nation’s past. But then, so do litany of other inanimate objects that are conveniently weaponized to expunge American History and the American identity, which incorporates the American melting pot and suppress free expression.

Those who value American identity cannot refute that, like it or not, the Battle flag is an American icon.

4. Integrity

There are few symbols today that are more criticized than this emblem. It is often likened to the Swastika of Nazi Germany. But over the years the Stars and Stripes has accumulated detractors, as well. Even the Christian Cross has been banned from chapels on public universities and nativity scenes and 10 Commandment displays as well.

The swastika’s benign origin was hijacked by Nazi Germany. Similarly, the Confederate battle flag, originally intended to be a symbol of protection in battle, was hijacked for bad.

Few can disagree that like these other symbols, they are evocative to some and repulsive to others. But intellectual honesty demands that the meaning of an object or symbol that has been hijacked by one group does not change its meaning to all. In fact, by accepting the meaning of the hijackers one acquiesces to hijackers and labels the just unjust.

Americans are known for their ability to see through deceit and injustice and by assigning the true meaning to the Confederate Battle flag, they show their love of justice and integrity.

5. Liberty

Though the United Daughters of the Confederacy fought hard to cloister the flag of their fathers (google “Correct Use of the Confederate Flag”), when Americans needed a truly American symbol, they turned to the Confederate Battle flag.

During the Korean Conflict, the United Nation’s uniform blue helmets and ban on the Stars and Stripes required an identifiable “American” symbol. Enter the Confederate Battle flag. Since its re-entry into world culture, it has gained international recognition as a symbol of resistance to tyranny used by freedom fighters on four continents. What the south developed in its resistance of a tyrannical neighbor has been exported to and adopted by the world.

The need to resist and oppose tyranny is innate to the human condition. God given rights require occasional enforcement. Tyrants oppose resistance in all forms, including the Southern Cross. Calling it “racist” has been effective in suppressing this symbol of resistance, despite the hypocrisy that other beloved American symbols can, when held to the same standard, be judged to be equally or more “racist” than this southern emblem.

Recently, opponents of liberty have admitted that the Confederate flag, to them, is identical to the Stars and Stripes, and all vestiges of them both must go.

In contrast, lovers of Liberty, even those who don’t understand the original message, will embrace, not suppress, a harmless piece of dyed fabric.

6. Unity

“United we Stand…divided we fall” is a practically an American nursery rhyme, excerpted from the 1768 “Liberty Song”.

Americans, like many families, bicker among ourselves, but when the real foe appears, we unite and fight them together.

The Confederate Flag also represents unity. Despite the rambunctious personalities and fiercely independent states that comprised the Confederate States of America, the Confederate Battle flag became the unifying symbol. Yes, it had multiple versions, but the Southern forces were united under the “X”, the Southern Cross, in Southern skies. A defensive fight, the South united, yellow, black, brown and white under the “X” to resist a superior invading force.

This unification in the face of adversity is most certainly a virtue that patriotic Americans can acknowledge. Anarchist, no-borders, one-worlders, naturally are not included in the aforementioned group, and consequently they reject any flag of unity, and instead attack it.

Not unlike the US Flag, the Confederate flag unifies the Southern people, who are a large and important segment of the American population, united with their brethren, but with distinctive differences. Unless they and their memory are to eradicated from the face of the earth, continuing to attack the Confederate flag only promotes division, not American unity against adversity.

In conclusion, Americans who value Christianity, Unity, Liberty and Integrity, Diversity and American Identity cannot justifiably reject the Confederate Battle flag. In fact, it so precisely connotes these defining American values that to condemn it would be un-American. Nothing in man’s domain is perfect – only in God’s.

Each day, Americans strive to improve the human condition. Though imperfectly practiced, the American values represented in the Confederate Battle Flag, are ideals to be aspired to. Falling short of the ideal is no reason to end the striving or for censure the ideal’s insignia.

Let us carefully watch who the critics of the emblems of American are and name them for what they are…enemies of America.

Lola Sanchez

Lola Sanchez is an independent historian in Florida.

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