Flag and Country.
Law and order.
Concepts that sounded good and true and righteous. The Klan appealed to the common man as a group that would protect and defend them. However, most people overlooked the two words that would eventually turn the group into something else entirely: white supremacy. As the group grew in numbers and power they moved from defending the law and the Constitution, to creating their own version of it.
However, it is interesting to read these early accounts and to understand why some of our ancestors joined the group so willingly. One of the best explanations for the growth of the Klan in Oklahoma can be found in the Oklahoma Chronicles . I urge you to read it, after you read this item.
The Caddo Herald
April 28, 1922
Ku Klux Make visit to Methodist Church
Sunday evening just as Rev. Naylor was taking text for the sermon, a body of ten men clad in the regalia of the Ku Klux Klan made their appearance, filed down the aisle, gave the preacher a paper, to which three five-dollar bills were attached. While they stood the congregation arose and sang, “My Country ‘Tis of Thee”. After which the men departed, going to the Nazarene meeting and left there a similar message and some money.
The message was typewritten on plain paper, and was as follows:
Will you kindly read as we retire:
To the Methodist Minister, Caddo, Oklahoma,
“We are with you and we stand for everything that is for the moral uplift of the individual, community and the national life.
We believe in upholding the American Flag, the Constitution of the United States, the tenets of the Christian Religion and the strict enforcement of law and order.
We believe in the separation of church and State, we believe in one hundred percent American. We are Americans pure and simple.
We have for our motto: Free Schools forever. Pure womanhood. White Supremacy.
Down with lawbreakers, and we only want to help to make this country a better place in which to live.”
Knights of the Ku Klux Klan of Caddo, Oklahoma
Rev. Naylor took occasion again to commend the Klan, to assure those who were doing right that they had no need to fear the Klan; that the Klan was there to make life safe for the little folks, and to protect American womanhood.
How anyone can condemn any precept of the Klan we fail to see. Every good citizen can endorse their every line of principles. It is known that wherever the Klan appeared there has been less violation of law; and if it thus serves to make our land better, who is there to say them nay?
The Klansmen also left an American flag at the church, which will be always displayed so that those who come to meetings may know that the church reverences the flag that protects it.
The visit of the Klansmen has been the talk of the town since their appearance. The fact that there are 54 in the Caddo Klan is sufficient to restrain any evil doers and to restore the confidence of the people in American ideals.