FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

An Open Letter to the Pope on the Confederate Flag

June 24, 2015

His Holiness, Pope Francis

Apostolic Palace

00120 Vatican City

Dear Pope Francis,

I am a novelist, poet, playwright, songwriter and professor living in the United States. My vitae is at IshmaelReed.org. This is what I know about Saint Andrew.

Saint Andrew was martyred by crucifixion at Patras in Achaea in Greece. Because St. Andrew deemed himself unworthy to be crucified on the same type of cross on which Christ had been crucified, he asked to be tied to a crux decussata or an X-shaped cross. Thus the Saltire became known as Saint Andrew’s cross.

Your Holiness, it baffles me that the symbol of this martyr is being used on a flag that was the banner for one of the cruelest regimes in history, the Confederate States of America, under which families were broken up, thousands tortured and murdered and subjected to day-to-day humiliations. The kind of medical experiments that were practiced on the victims of the Nazis were used on these slaves. For those who kept slaves under imprisonment, these human beings were little more than property.

Pope Francis, you are very much admired here in the United States. Last weekend, a very highly placed opinion maker called you “a radical” and a presidential candidate said that you were a “miracle.”

Your Holiness, you can do much to weigh in on the side of those who are mourning the victims of racial hatred like those killed in Emanuel A.M.E. Church last week. Their supporters and members believe that removing the Confederate flag from the capitol of South Carolina–this symbol of oppression–would bring them some peace. But the same flag flies in other southern states. Doesn’t the fact that Saint Andrew’s cross appears on this evil symbol serve as an insult to the Catholic church which lead?

There are many examples of Confederate regime’s brutality, but nothing shows its satanic leanings than an illustration that appeared in Harper’s Weekly for November 1862. It depicts members of the Confederate army on horseback, whipping black men women and children walking on foot as they are being returned to slavery.

Pope Francis, the Confederate flag has nothing to do with Saint Andrew, a martyred Christian.

It is up to you to denounce such an association.

Thank you

Ishmael Reed

IshmaelReed.org

Ishmael Reed is the author of The Complete Muhammad Ali.

More articles by:

Ishmael Reed is the author of The Complete Muhammad Ali.

Weekend Edition
July 10, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Lynnette Grey Bull
Trump’s Postcard to America From the Shrine of Hypocrisy
Anthony DiMaggio
Free Speech Fantasies: the Harper’s Letter and the Myth of American Liberalism
David Yearsley
Morricone: Maestro of Music and Image
Jeffrey St. Clair
“I Could Live With That”: How the CIA Made Afghanistan Safe for the Opium Trade
Rob Urie
Democracy and the Illusion of Choice
Paul Street
Imperial Blind Spots and a Question for Obama
Vijay Prashad
The U.S. and UK are a Wrecking Ball Crew Against the Pillars of Internationalism
Melvin Goodman
The Washington Post and Its Cold War Drums
Richard C. Gross
Trump: Reopen Schools (or Else)
Chris Krupp
Public Lands Under Widespread Attack During Pandemic 
Alda Facio
What Coronavirus Teaches Us About Inequality, Discrimination and the Importance of Caring
Eve Ottenberg
Bounty Tales
Andrew Levine
Silver Linings Ahead?
John Kendall Hawkins
FrankenBob: The Self-Made Dylan
Pam Martens - Russ Martens
Deutsche Bank Fined $150 Million for Enabling Jeffrey Epstein; Where’s the Fine Against JPMorgan Chase?
David Rosen
Inequality and the End of the American Dream
Louis Proyect
Harper’s and the Great Cancel Culture Panic
Thom Hartmann
How Billionaires Get Away With Their Big Con
REZA FIYOUZAT
Your 19th COVID Breakdown
Danny Sjursen
Undercover Patriots: Trump, Tulsa, and the Rise of Military Dissent
Charles McKelvey
The Limitations of the New Antiracist Movement
Binoy Kampmark
Netanyahu’s Annexation Drive
Joseph G. Ramsey
An Empire in Points
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
COVID-19 Denialism is Rooted in the Settler Colonial Mindset
Ramzy Baroud
On Israel’s Bizarre Definitions: The West Bank is Already Annexed
Judith Deutsch
Handling Emergency: A Tale of Two Males
Michael Welton
Getting Back to Socialist Principles: Honneth’s Recipe
Dean Baker
Combating the Political Power of the Rich: Wealth Taxes and Seattle Election Vouchers
Jonah Raskin
Edward Sanders: Poetic Pacifist Up Next
Manuel García, Jr.
Carbon Dioxide Uptake by Vegetation After Emissions Shutoff “Now”
Heidi Peltier
The Camo Economy: How Military Contracting Hides Human Costs and Increases Inequality
Ron Jacobs
Strike!, Fifty Years and Counting
Ellen Taylor
The Dark Side of Science: Shooting Barred Owls as Scapegoats for the Ravages of Big Timber
Sarah Anderson
Shrink Wall Street to Guarantee Good Jobs
Graham Peebles
Prison: Therapeutic Centers Or Academies of Crime?
Zhivko Illeieff
Can We Escape Our Addiction to Social Media?
Clark T. Scott
The Democrat’s Normal Keeps Their (Supposed) Enemies Closer and Closer
Steve Early - Suzanne Gordon
In 2020 Elections: Will Real-Life “Fighting Dems” Prove Irresistible?
David Swanson
Mommy, Where Do Peace Activists Come From?
Christopher Brauchli
Trump the Orator
Gary Leupp
Columbus and the Beginning of the American Way of Life: A Message to Indoctrinate Our Children
John Stanton
Donald J. Trump, Stone Cold Racist
Nicky Reid
The Stonewall Blues (Still Dreaming of a Queer Nation)
Stephen Cooper
A Kingston Reasoning with Legendary Guitarist Earl “Chinna” Smith (The Interview: Part 2)
Hugh Iglarsh
COVID-19’s Coming to Town
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail