Monday, June 22, 2015

The Confederate Flag

Why state governments should take down the Confederate flag

"It is long past time that state governments stopped displaying the Confederate flag, and otherwise honoring Confederate leaders. We should not honor people whose main claim to fame was waging a bloody war for the purpose of perpetuating and extending the evil institution of slavery. Some still deny that this was the motivation for Confederate secession. But overwhelming evidence proves otherwise. You don’t have to take my word for the proposition that slavery was at the root of the Confederate agenda, or even the word of John Stuart Mill. Take that of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, vice president Alexander Stephens (who called slavery “the cornerstone” of the Confederacy), and southern states’ own official statements outlining their reasons for seceding."
[go to the link for source links]
Back in the day, I was taught that the Civil war was about "states' rights", not really about slavery. I now know that this was false, that the Civil War was fought about the states' right specifically to perpetuate slavery; that was the position and the entire raison d'etre for the creation of the Democrat party in 1832 and the subsequent secession of the Democrat South. The entire nation was embroiled and bludgeoned horribly by the Democrats' insistence on racial suppression. States' Rights were just the excuse being used to preserve the slavery of blacks.

So my original neutral position on the Confederate flag has changed: I now fully oppose it being flown in any official capacity, or being used within another flag in an official capacity. The flag actually is specifically racist, being a symbol which represents, not states' rights from a federalist, 10th amendment sort of manner, but a symbol which represents official forced suppression of a race. As with all speech, the Confederate flag must not be abolished from the expression private opinion despite its onerous and obvious meaning. But its official use should be stopped.

There needs to be a better symbol for States' Rights, because it is not States' Rights which are at issue with the Confederate flag: States' Rights are guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution. But the Confederate flag is not the proper symbol for that.



Robert Coble said...

My wife is from Petersburg, VA. We recently toured the city and the battlefields there, mostly visiting places she lived while growing up. We also toured the historic Blandford Church and cemetery, where her Dad and Mom and several other family members are buried.

The church has 15 windows that were designed and created by Louis Comfort Tiffany. They are absolutely beautiful windows - dedicated to the "heroes" of the Confederacy from each state of the CSA.

Do you really want to know irony?

The guide on the tour was an elderly BLACK gentleman. He was respectful and very knowledgeable about all of the history. He did not give it any politically incorrect nonsense, nor did he try to "white" wash it as the War of the Glorious Dead or some such euphemism. He just told the story of how it came about, and who was buried there and why there was a segregation between the locations of the Southern and Northern dead in the cemetery. You didn't have to like it, but it was honest history.

If you want to see that Confederate battle flag in a different setting, then take a look at those stained glass mosaics in that church.

Link: Blandford Church

My personal view: I'm all for putting that old battle flag into a museum, along with an honest history of it.

The school I attended for 12 years was Coleridge High School, Coleridge (now considered to be in Ramseur) NC (which included the elementary school). The school was known as the Coleridge Rebels, and the school symbol was a Confederate soldier in battle gray, carrying that flag. The high school no longer exists; it has been rebuilt as an elementary school and the new school is known as the Coleridge Rockets. Thank goodness for the change!

The high school was integrated in 1965-1966 - by 3 black students. They were scared but not cowed by being forced to relocate away from their friends in their former black-only school and into a formerly all-white school with an obviously odious (to them) school mascot. Two of the students graduated with me. We played music together in the school auditorium during lunch hour.

As for the unrepentent racists who wanted to continue the "rebel" tradition: I informed my classmates (there were only 25 of us) before the end of the 1965 school year that I would treat the new black students with the same respect that I did the white students. I also warned them in advance that if any "rebel" was stupid enough to call me a derogatory name such as "ni**er lover," I would do my absolute best to smash their teeth out. After 11 years of being in fights with several of them, they knew I was not kidding; nobody made any trouble for the black kids and no one ever dared call me anything (to my face).

Let's face it: the South lost, the South is NOT going to "rise again," and it is high time to relegate the symbols of that war to historical status. I say that as a former Coleridge Rebel, so don't give me any of that "symbol of Southern pride" BS. There are lots of things to be proud of as a Southerner; that old battle flag and what it represented is not one of them.

Temy said...

I am a Southern liberal atheist rebel. I love my rebel flag and much of the country has now gone barking mad in a cultural cleansing insanity. I will always fly my rebel flag with pride. Has nothing whatever to do with any racism.

Stan said...

Disregarding that the terms "liberal" and "rebel" are contradictory, I really don't care if you fly both a swastika flag and a red sickle and hammer flag, while claiming that neither has anything to do with totalitarian trains to ovens or gulags. That is freedom of speech, no matter how insane.

But the evidence against your claim is clear: the South was fighting to save its "right to enslave".

BTW, the term "barking mad" is not a common Southern term, it is more commonly British. So I doubt the entire content of your message.

Robert Coble said...

The contradictions and over-the-top declarations bear the malodorous stench of troll breath.