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Ku Klux Klan (U.S. organization)

Last modified: 2008-04-05 by
Keywords: kkk | ku klux klan |
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[KKK flag] image by António Martins, 19 Dec 1998

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One of the KKK emblems is a blood drop (I called it a teardrop and was corrected). They may have a flag with that emblem, but for the most part there are three flags used: United States, Christian and Confederate.
Rick Wyatt, 3 February 1998

The original flag of the Ku Klux Klan is on display in the Tennessee state house in Nashville. The organization was founded after the War Between The States in 1866 I believe and until disbanded a few years later was a secret law enforcement organization in a region under federal law. The flag is a pennant with scalloped edges and has a dragon with the words in Latin "What Always, What Everywhere, What by All". So, it has nothing to do with the CSA. The Klan of the early 1900's had millions of members, flew American flags on their march on Washington, and was based in Indiana. Today there are hundreds of so called KKK groups with few members and they usually fly U.S., Christian, Confederate, and a KKK flag that is red with a celtic circle of some sort. The anti-CSA flag folks only notice the occasional Battle flag and not the USA or Christian flags.
Soren Dresch, 3 February 1998

The KKK had guidons in their first incarnation. One is on display in the Tennessee State Museum. The later version of the KKK, when it came back into being in the early 1900's mainly used the flag of the United States in their marches.

They did not use the rectangular CS battle flag (actually the battle flag of the Army of Tennessee in that shape) until the late 1940's when, their membership dropping like flies, they started using that flag to try and appeal to a baser Southerness they perceived as being there for new recruits.

I have seen many newsreel films of the KKK marching before this time and the only flag you see is the Stars and Stripes of the United States.
Greg Biggs, 6 February 1998

Invisible Empire

The first Invisible Empire, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan was founded--as a social club, not a hate group--in 1865, and disbanded in 1869, as its head (and at least one of its founders) were appalled by its violence. The second was founded in 1915 and disbanded some twenty years later when faced with a huge tax bill. In 1948 or so a survivor of the second Invisible Empire, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan tried to revive the organization. Faced with the same tax bill (plus interest) he gave up the attempt. The name "Ku Klux Klan" is now free to all comers, and there are indeed several dozen similar (but separate) organizations using similar names.
John Ayer, 20 December 1998

Clarification: Nathan Bedford Forrest did not found the KKK. That was founded by six former CS soldiers, none of whom was named Forrest. He was brought in to be the first Imperial Wizard to begin to establish some control over the organization as so many copy-cats had begun and there was no established charter to regulate what the KKK was supposed to do. This was some time after the KKK began. Forrest was indeed from Tennessee, but that had nothing to do with the shape of the CS flag that the KKK used starting in the late 1940's.
Greg Biggs, 3 March 2004

Variation of the flag

[KKK flag #2] image by António Martins, 27 May 1998

Nazism Exposed | Flags and Symbols (Pål’s site) states

The Cross of the Klu Klux Klan sometimes appears as an inspirational emblem in Europe where the Klan is weak and does not have any tradition.
António Martins, 27 May 1998

Other Flags Used

I watched a KKK-documentary on TV last night and noticed two flags used by parts of the KKK:

Marcus Wendel, 28 September 1999

These flags seem surprisingly european (neonazi european, that is). Couldn’t they be “fellow organizations” flags instead?... The first could be a symbol merging of two swedish neonazi organizations, VAM and NRP, and the second could be the flag of British Union of Fascists, a british pre-WWII party.
António Martins, 29 September 1999