After the end of the civil war a new era of American History was born, The Reconstruction period. During this time many American citizens were beginning to realize their newly won freedom, however there were groups that arose out of the former Confederacy that attempted to stop any progress. This paper will take a brief look into the Ku Klux Klan and shed some light on The Invisible Empire.
The Ku Klux Klan is considered to be a fraternal movement promoting certain extreme ideals of Western Christian Civilization and White Racial political self-determination. (KKK) The Klan is indeed a complex “social association seeking the establishment of White Christian Political Self-Determination. It is a duly incorporated, non-profit, legally recognized institution, striving to rebuild societies collapsing principles of Christian honor, honesty, duty, courage, brotherhood, and patriotism. (KKK) The Klan is sometimes referred to as the Invisible Empire because of its strong use of symbolism and the hidden identities of many of its members.
One of the Ku Klux Klans ideals is that the white race is the irreplaceable hub of the nation, Christian faith, and the high levels of Western culture and technology. (KKK) This ideal truly shows the extremist nature of the Klan. The Klan also stands behind America first, before any foreign or alien influence, and a military policy of no intervention in foreign affairs. This stance fits in with the Klans strong sense of ethnocentricity. The Ku Klux Klan also believes that the current Governing body of the United States is misinterpreting the Constitution and would like to instate a government conceived by man which is based on the Holy Bible and Christian Common Law. (KKK) The Klan also advocates economic nationalism, opposes the Federal Reserve Bank and the Free Trade agreement. Finally, many Klanspeople belong to the growing Christian Identity Religion that, in the eyes of the KKK, is uniting the Christian Patriot Movement in the United States.
The KKK movement during reconstruction provided the people of the south the leadership and rallying point necessary to fight the struggle for freedom black Americans were facing. The Ku Klux Klan of Reconstruction is remembered for its achievements, and sadly, a reputation for victory. This period is known as the “First Era”, an era when the desire for a White America has never been stronger. (Empire) The Second Era of the Klan Movement occurred in the 1920s. At this time the Klans political power reached its peak across the United States (Chivalry).
Todays Klan, now in its Fifth Era, is still a movement for the ideals of Western Christian Civilization. (Klan) The Ku Klux Klan is not associated with any one political party or association, instead it is considered to be a brotherhood and a new White racial community that lives and functions by the ideals it promotes. (KKK) If the Ku Klux Klan were actually able to realize its goals, the United States would be pure white unity in action. (KKK)
The name Ku Klux Klan is derived from the Greek word kuklos, meaning circle. The circle, according to the Ku Klux Klan, is said to contain some of the unique characteristics of the White (or Aryan) race. The Klan uses the wheel to symbolize creativity; or more specifically the creativity of the White race, and the circle is the oldest symbol of unity. The word Kuklos when thought about in this manner means White Racial Brotherhood to the Klan. Ku Klux was simply taken from the word kuklos and the word Klan was added.
Klan groups traditionally use a Blood Drop symbol, which was popularized during the Second Era in the 1920’s. The Klans idea is to symbolize the blood of Jesus Christ, which was shed for the White Aryan Race. The crosswheel is the symbol of the Knights, which was popularized during 4th Era in the 1970’s. It is simply a cross in a circle. It was, according to the author of KKK, directly derived from the Klan name and from White history because the crosswheel is found in every White civilization. The crosswheel represents a Christian cross, the wheel of creativity, the circle of unity, motion, and also the ancient Aryan symbol for the sun — or light. Over the centuries no symbol has come to represent the totality of the White race better than the crosswheel. (KKK)
The Fiery Cross is used as a Klan symbol to represent their ideals of Christian Civilization. Supposedly, it does not represent the destruction of the cross, instead it is meant to represent the lighting of the cross; the truth and light of the Holy Bible, and the blazing spirit of the White Race. (KKK) It is also said to be that the Fiery Cross was used in Scottish history as a signal of opposition to tyranny and obedience to God. In an essay titled Why We Light the Cross, written by an unknown author he elaborates on why the Klan lights the cross.
From the sacred pages of the Holy Bible comes the sad sweet story of the Holy Cross of Calvary. This Holy Cross is our symbol of sacrifice and service, and a sign of the Christian religion. It was sanctified and made Holy almost 2000 years ago by the suffering and blood of over 50 million martyrs who died in the most Holy Faith. The Cross stands in every Klan Den as a constant reminder that Jesus Christ is our Criterion of character and His teachings our life blood, bought Holy, sanctified and sublime.
This old Cross was bathed in the Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ and became transformed into the symbol of faith, hope and love. Today it is used to rally the forces of Christianity against the ever-increasing hordes of the anti-Christ and the enemies of America and the White Race. We light the Cross with fire to signify to the world that Jesus Christ is the light of the world. Where the Holy Light shall shine, there will be dispelled evil, darkness, gloom and despair. The Light of Truth dispels ignorance and superstition as fire purifies gold and silver, but destroys wood and stubble. So by the fire of the Cross of Calvary, we cleanse and purify our virtues by burning out our vices with the fire of His Word. Who can look upon this sublime symbol, or sit in its sacred Holy Light without being inspired with a Holy desire and determination to be a better person? By this Holy Light of the Cross, we will persevere.
Another traditional symbol of the Ku Klux Klan is their robe and hood. Originally the robe and hood were used to intimidate, scare, and otherwise conceal the identity of Klan members. Today, the Klansmans robe and hood are not typically used for the purpose of wrongdoing. In fact, the Ku Klux Klan will argue that in many old Christian rituals, as illustrated by the carrying of the Pastas in Spain, the hood was worn as a symbol of humility, of anonymity in doing good works. This was the conception of the hood when the Klan was ably led by General Nathan Bedford Forrest, and this is its true meaning for Klan members – selfless dedication to God, the nation, the white race, Klan Brothers and Sisters and the Klan Movement. (Klan)
The Ku Klux Klan has no useful place in todays society and America would only benefit from its disbanding. The ideals that the Ku Klux Klan is conceived upon are extreme, radical, and disruptive.The American society has no room for any activities that go against the endeavors for racial equality and integration of the races.
Maclean, Nancy. Behind the Mask of Chivalry. New York: Oxford University Press. 1994.
Sims, Patsy. The Klan. The University Press of Kentucky. 1996.
Tourgee, Albion Winegar. The Invisible Empire. Louisiana State University Press. 1989.
The KKK Homepage.