Major General Joshua Chamberlain of the 20th Maine Regiment received the formal surrender of Confederate forces at Appomattox Virginia. Chamberlain himself was wounded six times during the course of the war fighting against Confederate forces. He was so badly wounded at Petersburg that a newspaper wrote his obituary. Chamberlain was a very moral man and he hated slavery. Yet when he looked into the eyes of those proud, ragged, barefoot and gaunt men, he was looking into the eyes of honorable manhood.
"Before us in proud humiliation stood the embodiment of manhood, men whom neither toil and suffering, nor the fact of death... could bend from their resolve; standing before us now, thin, worn and famished, but erect, with eyes looking level into ours, waking memories that bound us together as no other bond; was not such manhood to be welcomed back into a Union so tested and assured?" Speaking for myself, this is why I honor the Confederate flag.