The Confederate Flag has been a point of contention in recent years. Some claim it’s a symbol of racism. Or a symbol of Anti-Americanism as it represents the secession from the Union. Others claim it is a symbol of Southern heritage and pride. I’m not going to argue in favor of one side or the other, since this is a history blog. But I am going to explore its origins. Even among its most vehement defenders, the history of the Battle Flag seems to be an area of only vague understanding.
The Ku Klux Klan was formed by a group of Confederate soldiers after their defeat in the Civil War. The name derives from the Greek word “kuklos,” meaning “circle." It was organized in 1865-66 in Tennessee by six men as a social, fraternal organization. Originally, it was not meant to be a hate group. As the Klan grew, its ideologies began to shift. Its members were bitter about the disenfranchisement of the South in the Reconstruction Era. Its members saw enemies in the freed blacks, their allies, and the Republican opposition.