I am The Confederate Battle Flag

by Charles H. Hayes

I am a proud flag.
I have led great armies to great victories.
From tall masts I have saluted,
And been saluted by,
The ablest generals in history.

I am a potent symbol.
I have the power to stir the blood
Of those who carried me in battle
Though that blood be continents away
And generations removed from those battles.

I am an honorable flag.
Do not use me for ignoble purposes.
I am a symbol of pride, not arrogance.
I represent love of homeland, not hatred toward anyone.
But no matter who carries me
Or for what purposes, I cannot be dishonored.

I secured my honor in a hundred battles
Where good men dying passed me to good men still struggling;
Where we prevailed against almost impossible odds;
Where we were beaten by overwhelming numbers;
Where I was as bloody, torn, tired, and soiled
As the men who carried me.

I am a worthy flag.
I have stood watch over the graves of patriots.
I have comforted widows in their loneliness.
As a blood-stained rag I have been passed as a rich legacy
To the heirs of those who had lost all for my sake.

I am the Battle Flag of the Confederate States of America.
Do not forsake me.