Commentary: Time For The Confederate Flag To Be Retired

Dr. Richard Land
Dr. Richard Land

Southern Evangelical Seminary President Dr. Richard Land Says ‘Stars and Bars’ Are Soiled By Evil Deeds

Charlotte, NC — The nation’s retail giants have pulled Confederate flag items from their shelves, as Wal-Mart,, Sears and eBay all committed to stop sales of flag merchandise after the Charleston, S.C., community is still reeling from a violent, racially motivated shooting in an historic church where nine people lost their lives.

At Gov. Robert Bentley’s order, four Confederate flags were removed from the Capitol grounds in Alabama, and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and lawmakers there are considering similar actions.

Dr. Richard Land, President of Southern Evangelical Seminary (, a leader in apologetics education, said despite the historical significance of the Confederate flag for some, it’s time for the symbol to be retired.

“The tragic events of recent days have once again focused the emotions of much of the nation on the Confederate flag and what it stands for and what it does not,” Land said. “I understand that for many people the Confederate flag stands for history, heritage, and the bravery and courage of their ancestors. However, the flag has been so despoiled and sullied by the KKK and other white supremacists who have cloaked their evil deeds and beliefs with the ‘Stars and Bars’ that it is now time for it to be retired from public display on government property. Public display on government property cannot be separated from tacit government approval of what the flag represents. It is clear that for many Americans the Confederate flag has come to represent white supremacy and racism, and it must be acknowledged that the Constitution of the Confederacy guaranteed the ‘right’ of Confederate citizens to ‘own’ negro slaves.

“Full disclosure requires that I make it clear that I have direct ancestors who fought under the banner of the Confederacy,” Land continued. “I also have direct ancestors who fought for the Union, a by-product of having a Texan father and a Bostonian mother. As a boy when we played ‘war’ back in Texas, we used to flip a coin, and the losers had to be the Yankees, and the winners got to be the John Rebs. I ‘get’ the emotional attachment to the flag. But, as I stated earlier, the white supremacists have desecrated it beyond redemption. It is past time for the ‘Stars and Bars’ to be retired to the museums where the flag belongs.”

Recently named as one of the top 15 of Newsmax’s “Top 100 Christian Leaders in America, Land recently wrote about the Charleston church tragedy in The Christian Post. His column, “The Charleston Way: Dr. King’s Dream Still Lives,” highlights the community response in Charleston—a testament to Jesus’ love and the true meaning of the Gospel.

Land added that if a young, white supremacist murderer wanted his evil deeds to start a race war, he has failed. Instead, black Christians in Charleston are leading a suddenly reborn, vibrant movement of racial reconciliation in America. Today, with a tragedy still so fresh, Charleston’s Christians, black and white, are uniting to be reconcilers, not revilers—the life-transforming power that is defeating evil in the human heart.

SES is a leader in apologetics education—teaching students to defend their faith and talk intelligently, passionately and rationally about what they believe and why they believe it. Many courses focus on societal issues from a Christian worldview, delve into scientific apologetics or contemplate creation research.

SES’s 22nd annual National Conference on Christian Apologetics will be hosted by Calvary Church in Charlotte on Oct. 16-17, 2015, with the theme, “Ideas Have Consequences: The Bigger the Idea, the Bigger the Consequence.” In addition to Dr. Land, confirmed speakers include Josh McDowell, Dr. Jay Richards, Dr. Hugh Ross, Dr. Norman Geisler and Dr. Paige Patterson.