Friday, June 10, 2011

Confederate flag and religion

What does this flag have to do with religion?

       I recently recieved a paper from a friend that talked about the Confederate Battle Flag and Saint Andrew's Cross. So I wanted to study Saint Andrew and try and understand why his cross was picked for the Confederate Battle Flag.
       Andrew was the brother of Simon Peter. Both were fishermen and when Jesus approached the two men, he told them to follow him and he would make them ‘fishers of men’. We know that Andrew preached the gospel of Christ in Romania and parts of Russia.
       Andrew was crucified in Greece at a very old age, some say he was ninety years old. Like his brother, Andrew didn’t feel that he deserved to be crucified in the same manner as Jesus. Peter asked to be crucified upside down. Andrew asked to be crucified on an ‘X shaped’ cross. His wish was granted.
        In 1964, the pope sent back all the parts of Andrew to be kept by the Greek Orthodox Church in the city where he was crucified. These parts included a part of his skull, a small finger and parts of his cross. The rest of Andrew’s remains are in a tomb in Italy.
       According to legend, in 832 when the Scots were going into battle against the Angles, the Scottish leader said a prayer and stated in that prayer that he would appoint Saint Andrew the Patron Saint of Scotland if his army was victorious. Just before entering the battle, white clouds were observed making a Saint Andrew’s Cross in the blue sky. The Scots saw it as a sign of victory from God. Although badly outnumbered, the Scots won the battle.

Flag of Scotland

       The present day flag of Scotland has a blue background with a white ‘X’ on top. The background represents the sky and the ‘X’ represents the clouds.

Spanish Military Flag

       Spain also used a flag based on Saint Andrew’s Cross a couple of centuries ago. They also still use that emblem on many of their military patches. The Soviet Union still uses the cross on many of their military flags because Andrew preached there.

Naval Ensign of Russia

       It wasn’t by accident that the Confederate government used the same cross in it’s battle flag. Over 75% of the people in the South had a Celtic background and Saint Andrew’s Cross was a religious symbol for those people. Because of this, the Confederate battle flag, though hated widely by people who misunderstand its meaning has come to be called the Southern Cross by the people who respect it. The following are more Confederate Flags with religious symbols attached to them.

3rd Kentucky Infantry Flag

Major General Dabney Maury's Headquarters Flag

Missouri State Battle Flag

Lt. Gen. Leonidas Polk's Headquarters Flag

Dept. of East Tennessee Flag and Scottish Flag

Alabama State Flag and Saint Andrew's Flag
(Ironically this flag has been protested as looking too much like the Confederate Battle Flag)

Florida State Flag
(Florida claims the Confederate Flag has nothing to do with this, it's Spanish in origin)

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