Why an X rather than a cross?

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

So, why is the Confederate battle flag based on an X rather than a cross?

William Miles’s disappointment with the Stars and Bars went beyond his strong ideological objections to the Stars and Stripes. He had hoped that the Confederacy would adopt his own design for a national flag — the pattern that later generations mistakenly and ironically insisted on calling the Stars and Bars.… Charles Moise, a self-described “southerner of Jewish persuasion,” wrote Miles and other members of the South Carolina delegation asking that “the symbol of a particular religion” not be made the symbol of the nation.

In adapting his flag to take these criticisms into account, Miles removed the palmetto tree and crescent and substituted a diagonal cross for the St. George’s cross. Recalling (and sketching) his proposal a few months later, Miles explained that the diagonal cross was preferable because “it avoided the religious objection about the cross (from the Jews & many Protestant sects), because it did not stand out so conspicuously as if the cross had been placed upright thus.” … If Miles had not been eager to conciliate southern Jews, the traditional Latin (or St. George’s) cross would have adorned his flag.

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