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.