Both flags, at different times, protected an abomination of mankind.

One flew at the birth of a republic.

The other flew at the attempted murder of that republic.

One said that it represented the best of mankind, while consciously protecting the worst of mankind.

One said it was defending a way of life, while causing the death of the soul of a large swath of humanity.

One fronted armies purporting to fight for freedom -- for some.

The other headed armies seeking to cancel that freedom won -- for some – while still denying it to those same others.

The one flag flew through a night of bombardment, set off by the rockets' red glare.

The other, at Shiloh, Manassas and elsewhere, exposed blood and intestines for reasons unfair.

The first flag completed a step in its progress; the freedom it had promised was only half done.

The other, now tattered, defeated, but shameless -- while cynically denying a freedom well won.

It retreated, though venom-stained, but still would not die.

The Stars and Stripes "unity" claimed, but it was a farce.

The now-furled flag of cause lost was soon to be again unfurled.

The Star-spangled Banner, while attempting to reign, sustained strained relations at home.

The flag of the other, again unfurled, waved lazily with strange pride and hate.

And, thus it remained, until nine souls prevailed – not on earth, but from Heaven's gate.

confederate and american flags

Curtis W. Long

Curtis W. Long

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