The Ku Klux Klan had two incarnations since being organized to restore a semblance of order in the South after the War, and to oppose the Republican party’s Union League. The W.J. Simmons Klan of 1915 was a nativist organization concerned about the influx of European immigrants, their effect upon American institutions and carried the US flag at rallies; the most recent Klan of few numbers has little if any resemblance to the original, and carries the US, Gadsden and Confederate flags.
Bernhard Thuersam, Chairman
North Carolina War Between the States Sesquicentennial Commission
"Unsurpassed Valor, Courage and Devotion to Liberty"
"The Official Website of the North Carolina WBTS Sesquicentennial"
Stealing the Name of the Klan
“[An] event that may surprise many persons who think of the Ku Klux Klan as a bigoted organization opposed to Catholics, Jews and Negroes. They forget that a generation earlier there was another Klan, from which the Klan of the present century stole the name, and that the objective of the earlier Klan, while quite without sanction of law, were scarcely comparable.
Bernard and [brother] Hartwig were rummaging in their attic at Camden [South Carolina]. Opening an old trunk they found the regalia of a Knight of the Ku Klux Klan. It belonged to their father, in whose veins according to family records, flowed nothing but Jewish blood.
Their mother, who had followed the boys up the attic steps to see what they were doing, froze with fear when she saw them unearth the regalia. Dr. Baruch would certainly pay with his life if his membership in the Klan should be disclosed. She swore them to secrecy, and, as usual, they obeyed her commands.
In telling this story, years later, Baruch remarked that, far as he had ever heard, no member of the Klan was ever betrayed. Who were members of that organization of Reconstruction days was one of the best kept secrets in all history.”