The Civil War ended in 1865 but the Confederate Flag is still flying proudly today in many southern communities. The red-white-and-blue banner is a symbol of both rebellion and racism that serves as a painful reminder of our nation's history.
Indeed, Ku Klux Klan members still display these flags in their front yards in small southern towns and many retailers sell stickers, T-shirts, bathing suits, earrings, dog suits and other merchandise donning the emblem. The latter is changing in the twinkling of an eye.
Unfortunately, it took a massacre for our nation to wake up to the deep-seated division that the Confederate flag still symbolizes. Less than a week since Dylann Roof, who posed with the Confederate flag online, opened fire on Christians at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C.—and less than two weeks after a stadium prayer event called The Response was held there to pray for our nation—backlash against the flag is reached a fevered pitch.
This Flag Does Not Represent America
"It's time to move the flag from the capitol grounds," Republican South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, told a news conference in the state capital, which is about 100 miles from the Charleston shooting that left nine African-American believers dead. "The flag, while an integral part of our past, does not represent the future of our great state."
Walmart and Sears are putting an end to the sale of products bearing the Confederate flag. Target appears to be taking the same measure. Amazon and eBay are still selling the merchandise sporting the emblem but industry watchers are expecting retailers en mass to put the end to promoting the sale of the rebel flag in the days ahead.
What, then, is the prophetic significance of the sudden and growing rebel flag backlash? My friend Tammie Southerland, founder of Frontline Ministries who lives in Greenwood, SC, pointed out that the flag has been a major point of contention in South Carolina for a long time.
"To the black community it represents oppression and is a reminder that the South fought to keep slavery. That alone should cause us to consider the need to remove it, for if our brother hurts so should we. But the removal is even more powerful that we realize!"
Southerland offered a quick history lesson: South Carolina pioneered the 1860 Secession. The word "secession" essentially means division. Noteworthy is the fact that revival was sweeping the nation at the very same time that South Carolina signed secession papers in Charleston. In an instant, America went from revival to war. The Civil War raged and revival went underground.
Church Pierce's Prophecy
"Chuck Pierce released a prophetic word in 2005 that revealed the reason South Carolina remained in ugly cycles of division—both in the church and beyond—is because we had not repented of the heart of the secession," Southerland recounts.
"But, he prophesied, if we would come together in the 12 most populated cities, including the port cities, gathering the five-fold ministry in prayer and intercession, we would break the spiritual repercussions of pioneering secession—and through South Carolina an outpouring of the Holy Spirit and revival would be released! This would pioneer a movement of unity and a message of Jesus like America had never heard! The Lord said we would be called a state of 'intercession' instead of a state of 'secession' or rebellion and division!"
According to Southerland, many believers in South Carolina took that prophecy to heart and have been waging war with that prophetic word—praying it through in intercession. For Southerland's part, she has been preaching and declaring this prophetic word as she's held "Fire on the Altar" meetings—unity-focused mobile 24-hour presence-driven prayer, worship and revival gatherings—across the Carolinas and beyond.
"Press into the heart of the Father and get this prophetic understanding," Southerland urges. "This is amazing! It is happening and Charleston has been the tragic catalyst to bring an outward act exemplifying the heart of unity."
Pockets of true revival are breaking out across America. Want to know more about the next great move of God? Click here to see Jennifer LeClaire's new book, featuring Dutch Sheets, Reinhard Bonnke, Jonathan Cahn, Billy Graham and others.
Jennifer LeClaire is senior editor of Charisma. She is also director of Awakening House of Prayer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and author of several books, including The Next Great Move of God: An Appeal to Heaven for Spiritual Awakening; Mornings With the Holy Spirit, Listening Daily to the Still, Small Voice of God; The Making of a Prophet and Satan's Deadly Trio: Defeating the Deceptions of Jezebel, Religion and Witchcraft. You can visit her website here. You can also join Jennifer on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.