The Confederate flag.
a flag proposed.
The two articles that appeared in this paper on Saturday and yesterday urging objections to the Confederate
flag, were from the pen of a citizen of Georgia
, a man who, the reader must, have at once seen, was possessed of very superior talents, and who is, moreover, a devout patriot, enjoying the high esteem of his neighbors.
We gave his contributions the position and prominence of editorials, because we most heartily approved every word they contained.
We make this explanation now because we are about to publish a description of a new flag which the author has designed, and we wish it to be in no way affected by individual influence.
We desire that it shall be considered upon its independent merits neither prejudiced nor favored by personal considerations.
For ourselves after reading the glowing argument of our correspondent, we are ready to say without hesitation, that if there be no artistic difficulty in the way, we are willing to live and die under the ‘"Flag of the Sun
We heartily commend the closing article of the series on the Confederate Flag
to the public.
The Confederate flag.
It is impossible, by mere description, to give a correct idea of a flag.
There must be a model, or at least a delineation, to make the idea at all complete and adequate.
The description we shall give, of the proposed flag is only such as to enable the reader to prepare a model or design of it. We are not word painter enough to make the flag stand out before the eyes-- visible by mere force of language.
The discussion of the objections to the present flag, has, we hope, elucidated the principles for the selection of another — showing, at least, what a flag ought not
to be, if not what it should be. Distinctness, appropriateness, beauty, are to be consulted in their due order.
Before presenting his own favorite suggestion, the writer would refer briefly to the proposed ‘"Southern Cross."’ This does not seem to him to be, by any means, a nail in a sure place.
Aside from the objections of those who regard with suspicion any symbol of connection of Church or State--or, who consider this the symbol of a particular religious denomination --there are graver difficulties.
appropriateness of the Cross is all confined to the name.
The Southern Cross itself has no appropriateness North of the Equator.
Who ever saw it?
Not the writer, certainly.
Probably not one of his readers.
Not one in ten thousand of our people ever saw it. Perhaps a large majority --including all the uneducated — never heard of it. In South American, or Africa
, it would be appropriate enough.
It might do for Brazil
But we know much more here of the constellation of the Great Bear, near the North
pole, than of the Southern Cross
near the South
So far from having any hold upon the national heart, it is not even known by sight, or name, to the mass of the people.
No solitary endearing association, no lodgment in the affections or regard of the people, furnishes any foundation on which to build the loyalty and attachment of the country.
In general appearance it is, perhaps, not sufficiently distinct from the flag of Great Britain
--the nation with which next to the United States
, we are most likely to be confounded.
But were it entirely distinct, it is sufficient to say that any other flag, adopted at random, would be equally appropriate with the Southern Cross
, which has no solitary association in the history of our people, nor root nor fibre in their hearts.
Our criticisms have perhaps ere this set our readers upon edge, and prepared them to receive, in a very critical spirit, our own suggestion, and to reject it at the first blush.
But we have faith in it, if considered with candor.
And its obvious appropriateness, we are sure, will grow with reflection.
The hypocritical may hesitate and weigh, but the heart of the people will respond to it; the universal heart, cultivated and uncultivated, alike.
For it is a big and broad sympathy to which it appeals.
The flag we propose would consist of three belts and two triangular spaces.
First, a broad blue belt, passing diagonally from the lower corner of the flag, next the staff, to the upper corner, farthest from the staff.
On each side of the blue belt a narrower belt of white.
The remaining triangular spaces red, viz: the corner next the staff above, and the corner most remote from it below.
The disposition of the tri-colored belts is both unique and beautiful.
In the centre of the broad blue belt, (which represents the zodiac, or track of the sun in the heavens,) we would represent the sun in his ascending pathway.
This is the appropriate symbol of our country.
We dwell in the land of the sun. No other natural feature is so prominent.
The sun is dear to us, at home and abroad.
At home we enjoy and rejoice in it. Abroad, in more inhospitable climes, we pine and long for it. The name by which we most love to call our country is the ‘"Sunny South."’ It is the predominance of sunshine here which forms the most striking feature to strangers who visit us. Let us then — not in arrogance, as the symbol of affected superiority over others — nor as the token of any political creed or institution — but in grateful acknowledgment and appreciation of this prime blessing of Providence
, adopt the ‘"Flag of the Sun
"’ as the symbol of our land — as that which at home and abroad recalls its dearest features — makes as love and cherish it — willing to foster, defend, and if need be, fight for it.
The mind may dwell long upon it before finding another symbol so characteristic.
We are not afraid to challenge reflection.
Indeed, the appropriateness is obvious, and recognized by all. But there are deeper reasons which may bear investigation.
Adopt this flag, and you have a broad natural foundation for the loyalty of the people.
They will love it instinctively, and at once.
The difference between the attachment to it and to one less appropriate, will be like that of a parent to an adopted child and to his own. The former is the result of time and habit — the latter of nature and instinct first, and then of time and intercourse.
Wherever our people see it, the light will revive the dearest associations of their native end. Amid the fogs of old England
, how would the sight of it stir up deep memories and longings for the sunny land of home ? It is our peculiar happiness that an object so grand and beautiful should likewise be appropriate.
It is the emblem of all we would like our country to be — of light, of warmth, of beneficence, of cheerfulness, of glory.
It will be observed that distinctness
is attained in an unusual degree.
The most conspicuous portion of a flag is the upper corner, near the staff.
This is best supported, and never concealed behind other portions or folds of the flag.
This portion is filled with red, the most conspicuous of colors.
The only distinctions possible are those of shape and color.
The proposed flag differs widely from the United States
flag in both.
A triangle of red
in the one occupies the space filled in the other by a square of blue.
The diagonal belts are peculiar also to this flag, representing the varied hands of fight often seen across the heavens.
The general effect of the flag must be seen to be appreciated.
It is fine — indeed, we think happening.
To this flag one or two objections may be urged, already listed at. One, that it might be interpreted an assumed superiority over other nations.
The other, that it does not symbolize our political institutions.
For neither purpose, however, is it intended.
We simply adopt a grand natural feature of our country as an appropriate emblem.
If the party objecting to this should chance to be the North
, we might towards them afford to indulge a little fanciness.
They are of the night, we of the day. It is fit that the stars should disappear when the sun rises.
The sunshine of freedom dispels darkness and its emblems.
As to political institutions, it is not important nor usual that a flag should symbolize a form of government.
The Thistle of Scotland
— the Irish Shamrock
— the British
flags — have no political significance.--The flag of the United States
once represented States--separate and sovereign — but that principle has been repudiated by them and has lost all its appropriateness.
There is no reason why the North
should now love its flag.--The old motto ‘"E. Pluribus Unum
"’ they have, in fact, if not in form, rejected.
It is all ‘"unum
"’ now, without any ‘"pluribus.
"’ Their defied Ape has abolished the ‘"pluribus,
"’ converting States into mere counties, and making the flag a stupid solecism.
In it they perpetuate the evidence of their own treason to the Constitution
and the original principles on which the Government
It is a living rebuke to the traitors who kept the symbol and have abolished the reality.
They proclaim it no longer a galaxy of stars — but the stars fade into a pale, nebulous group.--The glory has departed.
Let us not symbolize our form of Government, but our land itself, by adopting its grand natural characteristic as the emblem of our nationality.
The sun in a peculiar sense is ours — let us claim our heritage and gladden in all lands the heart of every son of the South
who sees his nation's flag.
It will speak for itself to his heart, and every association will hallow the original impression.
No broader foundation could be laid for a nation's love and loyalty.--How would the heart of the people have been knit to it already, had it been adopted at the beginning of our brief, but already glorious history.
But it is not too late.
Let us have this new bottle, sound and free from taint for the new wine still being pressed from us — the blood of the brave, spilled in its defence.
It is noble in itself — noble in its suggestions — a fit symbol in prosperity — a cheering one in adversity — fit for peace — fit for war. A flag to live under — to fight under — to conquer under — to die under.
The dying soldier, lifting his last expiring glance to the rising sun on its folds, would find the symbol of hope to his country in the flag of the sun.