The Seven Symbols of the Klan

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The Seven Symbols of the Klan

by an Exalted Cyclops of Texas


The language of symbolism is the most beautiful, the most expressive and the most impressive of any language known to mankind. Who can read the story of Noah's Ark without thinking of the Church; or the story of the scape goat, the brazen serpent or the feast of the Passover without thinking of the Christ who takes away of our iniquities and delivers us from the bondage of sin?

In the sublime ceremonies of Klankraft, I take it that we use seven significent symbols, each of which conveys and inculcates a very beautiful lesson, and emphasizes a great Klan principle, when the language of symbols is properly understood. They are, in the order of their importance: The Bible, the Cross, the Flag, the Sword, the Water, the Robe and the Mask.

Not many Klansmen have ever thought of these commonplace things as having any special significance, or as being especially expressive of fundamental Klan principles. Whether the founder of the Klan had this idea in mind or not, we do not know; but we do know that the symbolical meaning of these things makes a wonderful impression on Klansmen, and gives a most surprising emphasis to the sacred, and sublime principles of Klankraft. Everywhere we have lectured on this great subject and explained the meaning of these symbols, men have listened with an intense wonderment, saying afterwards: "We never heard it like that before. That is wonderfully beautiful and strangely gripping. I want a copy of that explanation."

As we have no copyright on it, and seek to contribute our small bit to the success of our great Order, we are giving you the benefit of our ideals, with the sincere and unselfish hope that it will help every Klansman who reads it to be a better Klansman, and have a higher, nobler and holier regard for, and opinion of the Empire of Chivalry, Honor, Industry, Patriotism and Love.

The Bible

This Book Divine signifies that there is a God. No sane man of reasonable intelligence can look upon this sacred volume without thinking of God as its author, righteousness as its aim, and eternal life as its end. It is a constant reminder that God is our Father, life is our opportunity, and Heaven is our Home. It reveals the way of life, and the cause of death. It is a lamp unto our feet, a light unto our pathway, and the only sure guide to right living. It is the book of books and reveals the only true God.

In a Klavern you will always find this wonderful Book opened at the twelfth chapter of Romans. This is the most practical and the most complete chapter in the whole Bible on Christian living. It is a constant reminder of the tenets of the Christian religion, and is a Klansman's law of life. Every Klansman should read it the first thing every morning and endeavor to live by it during the day. "I beseech you therefore brethren by the mercies of God" that you follow its teachings.

The Cross

Out of the wonderful story of the sacred pages of this old Book Divine comes the sad, sweet story of Calvary's rugged, but holy cross. This old cross is a symbol of sacrifice and service, and a sign of the Christian religion. Sanctified and made holy nearly nineteen centuries ago by the suffering and blood of the crucified Christ, bathed in the blood of fifty million martyrs who died in the most holy faith, it stands in every lawn of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan as a constant reminder that Christ is our criterion of character, and His teachings our rule of life-blood-bought, holy, sanctified and sublime.

It was once a sign of ignominy, disgrace and shame; but being bathed in the blood of the lowly Nazarene, it has been transformed into a symbol of Faith, Hope and Love. It inspired the Crusaders of the Middle Ages in their perilous efforts to rescue the Holy Land from the heathen Turks; and is today being used to rally the forces of Christianity against the ever increasing hoards of anti-Christ, and the enemies of the principles of a pure Americanism.

We have added the fire to signify that "Christ is the light of the world." As light drives away the darkness and gloom, so a knowledge of the truth dispels ignorance and superstition. As fire purifies gold, silver and precious stones, but destroys the dross, wood, hay and stubble; so by the fire of Calvary's cross we mean to purify and cleanse 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 with being inspired with a holy desire and determination to be a better man? "By this sign we conquer."

The Flag

This old flag, purchased by the blood and suffering of American heroes, represents the price paid, for American liberties. It is the symbol of the Constitution of the United States of America, free speech, free press, free schools, freedom of worship, and all Constitutional laws, both state and national.

Its red is the blood of American heroes that stained a hundred battlefields. Its white symbolizes the purity of American womanhood and the sanctity of American homes. Its blue is but a patch of America's unclouded sky, snatched from the diamond-studded canopy that bends over our native land. Its stars re-present an aggregation of undefeated states bound together in an inseperable union.

"Its red is the red of the sunset's evening glow,
Its white is the white of the winter's driven snow,
Its blue is the blue of the ocean, sea and sky,
Its stars the states of a union that must not die."

It has never been trailed in the dust, trampled in the mud, or defeated in battle. It has never led a retreat or been hauled down at the command of an enemy. It is the greatest and most glorious flag that ever floated in a breeze or waved over land or sea. It was purchased by the sacrifice and blood of our fathers, and we have most sacredly vowed that we will uphold and defend it with our sacred honor, our property, our blood and our lives. May we ever be true to our vow.Under its fluttering folds, as it floats in the gentile breeze in every Klavern, the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan will forever defend the principles of a pure Americanism, and thus perpetuate the sacred memory of our venerable and heroic dead.

Who can stand under these Stars and Stripes, remembering the sacred traditions that entwine about its holy past, without feeling that sublime patriotism that inspired our noble sires to die for our own, our native land?

The Sword

This unsheathed sword of steel is a symbol of law enforcement. It represents the military, or enforcement powers of our government, from the president down to the constable. Its presence on our, sacred altar signifies that we, as an organization, are solidly behind every enforcement officer in the land, to "help, aid and assist in the proper performance of their legal duties." We stand unconditionally and unqualifiedly for the just and impartial enforcement of law, and for the defense and protection of all rights and privileges of all citizens alike, regardless of race, color, creed, lineage or tongue.

This sword also signifies that we are set for the defense of our Flag and all that it symbolizes, against the attack and invasion of every foreign power, government, sect, ruler or people in the whole world. We believe in America for Americans, and are sworn to defend it by all justifiable means and methods, from any encroachment whatever, from any source whatever, whether it be traitors within or enemies without. This sword is a constant reminder of our obligation to defend our country and enforce its laws, through duly constituted authorities and justifiable means and methods. May we wield it wisely and well in defense of our country, our home, our flag, our liberties and humanity.

The Water

"This God-given, powerful, life-giving fluid, more precious and far more significent than all the sacred oils of the ancients," is a symbol of the purity of life and the unity of purpose. With this divinely distilled fluid we have been dedicated and set apart, in body, in mind, in spirit and in life, to the sacred, sublime and holy principles of Klankraft. In this dedicatory service we are solemnly admonished to keep our character as transparent and as clear and clean as the liquid in this glass. A drop of ink or blood in this crystal fluid will have the same effect as sin in our lives. May we keep our record clear and transparent, free from the sin-stains of evil and wrong doing.

As water is useful to human life, so may we, as Klansmen, be useful to humanity: As drops of water mingle and intermingle, thus becoming one solid mass, may we, as Klansmen become so united, each with the other, that we will become one solid mass, or one body in Klankraft. Thus we see that water is a beautiful symbol of unity, usefulness and purity. Who can fail to learn from these drops of water, the lesson of real Klannishness, and of brotherhood in a common service to mankind?

The Robe

"The distinguishing marks of a Klansman are not found in the fiber of his garments, or in his social, political or financial standing; but they are spiritual, viz.: a chivalric head, a compassionate heart, a prudent tongue and a courageous will; all devoted and consecrated to our country, our homes, our Klan and each other."

We use the robe to signify that we do not judge men by the clothes they wear, and to conceal the difference in our clothing as well as our personality. There are no rich or poor, high or low, in Klankraft. As we look upon a body of Klansmen robed in white we are forcibly reminded that they are on a common level. By this means we also help to conceal our identity, which is an essential principle of Klankraft.

This white robe is also a symbol of that robe of righteousness to be worn by the saints in the land of Yet-to-Come. The aged apostle, a prisoner on the isle of Patmos, peeped into the portals of the Great Beyond, and caught a glimpse of the saints robed in white, "which was the righteousness of Christ." Taking Christ as our criterion of character, and endeavoring to follow His teachings, Klansmen wear this white robe to signify that they desire to put on that white robe which is the righteousness of Christ, in that Empire Invisible, that lies out beyond the vale of death where there will be no more parting and no more tears.

"A lying scoundrel may wrap his disgraceful frame in the sacred folds of a Klansman's robe and deceive the very elect, but only a Klansman possesses a Klansman's heart and a Klanman's soul." Therefore, as we seek to cover here our filthy rags and imperfect lives with the robe of a Klansman, may we through the grace of God and by following His Christ, be able to hide the scars and stains of sin with the righteousness of Christ when we stand before His Great White Throne.

The Mask

That hated mask, the terror of every crook in the land, how they , cry, "take off the mask." But they don't know what they say. They do not understand why we wear it or what it means. "If they only knew."

In the first place it helps to conceal our membership. The secret of our power lies in the secrecy of our membership. We are a great secret service organization to aid the officers of the law and we can do our best work when we are not known to the public. By this means we see and hear everything. We know the criminal but he does not know us. By our secret membership we gather a world of evidence and help to gather thousands of crooks into the meshes of the law that would is otherwise escape.

It is also a symbol of unselfishness. With the mask we hide our individuality and sink ourselves into the, great sea of Klankraft. Not as individuals, but as Klansmen, "we sacrifice to serve." Our motto is, "Non Silba Sed Anthar—not for self but for others." Therefore we hide self behind the mask that we may be unselfish in our service.

Who can look upon a multitude of white robed Klansmen without thinking of the equality and selfishness of that throng of white robed saints in the Glory Land? May the God of Heaven, Who looks not upon the outward appearance, but upon the heart, find every Klansman worthy of the robe and mask that he wears. Then when we "do the things we teach" and "live the lives we preach," the title of Klansman will be the most honorable title among men.

Thus with our symbols we seek to emphasize and impress the sacred, sublime and holy principles of Klankraft. With God as our Father, Christ as our criterion, the Bible as our guide, the cross as our inspiration, and the flag as our protection, we mean to march on to a triumphant victory for the principles of right in the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.

From: The Imperial Night-Hawk, December 26, 1923

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