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Do the Confederate Battle Flag's Colors Have Religious Significance?

Discussion in 'Civil War History - General Discussion' started by CMWinkler, Mar 16, 2017.

  1. AndyHall

    AndyHall Colonel Forum Host

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    They did. The UDC has objected strongly in the past to uses of Confederate iconography in anything other than strictly memorial uses. It really only became an issue in the late 1940s with the rise of the Dixiecrats, when the CBF became a widespread (but I think unofficial) symbol of that party.
     
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  3. civilken

    civilken 2nd Lieutenant

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    I had heard in a lecture that the first Confederate flag was turned down because of a large Jewish population and make you not want to offend them with a Christian cross. For myself I find it hard to believe but I have been wrong before.
     
  4. AndyHall

    AndyHall Colonel Forum Host

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    That was the reason that the Confederate battle flag designer, William Porcher Miles, gave for the design with the diagonal cross. As far as I know, there was no previous design that was formally rejected. From Coski's book, which is near as dammit to definitive (my emphasis):

    William Miles’s disappointment with the Stars and Bars [i.e., the “First National” flag of the Confederacy] went beyond his strong ideological objections to the Stars and Stripes. He had hoped that the Confederacy would adopt his own design for a national flag-the pattern that later generations mistakenly and ironically insisted on calling the Stars and Bars. The design that Miles championed was apparently inspired by one of the flags used at the South Carolina secession convention in December 1860. That flag featured a blue St. George’s (or upright) cross on a red field. Emblazoned on the cross were fifteen white stars representing the slaveholding states, and on the red field were two symbols of South Carolina: the palmetto tree and the crescent. Charles Moise, a self-described “southerner of Jewish persuasion,” wrote Miles and other members of the South Carolina delegation asking that “the symbol of a particular religion” not be made the symbol of the nation. In adapting his flag to take these criticisms into account, Miles removed the palmetto tree and crescent and substituted a diagonal cross for the St. George’s cross. Recalling (and sketching) his proposal a few months later, Miles explained that the diagonal cross was preferable because “it avoided the religious objection about the cross (from the Jews & many Protestant sects), because it did not stand out so conspicuously as if the cross had been placed upright thus.” The diagonal cross was, Miles argued, “more Heraldric [sic] than Ecclesiastical, it being the ‘saltire’ of Heraldry, and significant of strength and progress (from the Latin salto, to leap).”
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2017
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  5. Southron_98

    Southron_98 Private

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  6. civilken

    civilken 2nd Lieutenant

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    thank you for some good information I appreciate it.
     
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  7. Mike Griffith

    Mike Griffith Sergeant

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    I would not display a Confederate sticker or flag on anything I own, but I acknowledge the right of others to do so.I have no problem with anyone having a Confederate bumper sticker on their car or flying the flag at their home. I certainly don't mind CSA symbols displayed at memorials and buildings built in honor of Confederate figures. I thought the removal of Confederate flags from the Lee Chapel at Washington and Lee University was patently absurd, ignorant, and intolerant.
     
  8. CSA Today

    CSA Today Colonel

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    Many Southerners saw and still see the beloved Battle Flag as a beacon of hope against the barbarians at the gate.
    :wink:
     
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  9. DixieRifles

    DixieRifles 1st Lieutenant

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  10. WJC

    WJC 2nd Lieutenant

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    I'm not sure whether the designers of the 'stars and bars' gave it much thought (after all, the US flag and the Union Jack were red, white and blue). This sounds like a judgement after the fact....
    That said, it is worth remembering that the English flag (red cross on a field of white) was the design presented by the Pope to William, Duke of Normandy as he prepared to invade in 1066.
     

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