Can't we all agree that it is high time we move the banner of apartheid in this country from our government properties and into museums along with slavery bills of sale, "colored entrance only" signs, and other vestiges of slavery?  The claim that the Confederate Battle Flag is a symbol of states' rights is disingenuous as it was the rallying point of states which wanted the right to own and subjugate the black race.  The CSA vice president said as much in his Cornerstone Address, and organizations promoting segregation almost exclusively identify with either the swastika or the stars and bars flag. 


2 Answers

PJ Stein Profile
PJ Stein answered

As with everything context is important. Years ago there was a push to remove the confederate flag from every state owned property in the state of FLorida. I know your first reaction is "Hell yes!", but nothing is ever that simple. The places it was used on state owned property also had the British and Spanish flags flown along side of it. They showed the history of the Florida and which country the land the now state of Florida belonged to. If it were the only one besides the US flag flying, of course it should have come down.

Our history isn't always pretty, but to completely remove any symbol of even the ugly parts, removes the reminder that we can and should do better. Yes there are people who use the symbol to perpetuate hate, but to take it from them isn't changing what is in their heart. And only makes it harder to spot the fools. 

2 People thanked the writer.
Rooster Cogburn
Rooster Cogburn commented
Great answer !
CalTex - Doug Morgan
I have to agree with Rooster. That is a great answer. And if that battle flag were flown in context of other banners under which a state once operated, I wouldn't have as much of a problem. Maybe not any problem.

But I do have a problem when a state like South Carolina passes a law that does not even allow the Stars and Bars to be lowered such that it is flying high above the U.S. flag which was at half staff out of respect for those who were killed on Wednesday by a man who revered that symbol of racial subjugation. 
 And then there are states such as Mississippi which have incorporated the battle flag into their official state flag. What message does that send? How would you feel if your family had been subjugated under that banner? It is a symbol of slavery, and it was the official symbol of the Dixiecrats who in my on lifetime perpetuated that same idea of white supremacy.

If people want to display the Confederate flag on their own property so all the world can see how insensitive (and perhaps racist) they are, then fine. Just remove it from government property.
Call me Z Profile
Call me Z answered

Apparently not.

While you and I, and anyone else possessing any measure of objective reasoning can agree that the Confederate flag represents a dark period of history and a mindset of generational prejudice, there are still too many small minds who cling to dated traditions born of ignorance and hatred who will not be free of this societal cancer until they reject it of their own volition. 

thanked the writer.
CalTex - Doug Morgan
@TheZ: Thanks. I grew up in the Jim Crow South, and I was on the wrong side of history at that time. My peers and I knew exactly what that flag stood for. It stood for apartheid and we supported it. We assuaged our guilt over slavery by saying the Civil War was not about slavery, but about states' rights -- the right to own blacks as property. Anyone who reads the Cornerstone Address by Alexander Stephens will come to the same conclusion as I did:
Call me Z
Call me Z commented
Cal, it is a credit to you that you eventually came to reject the premise(s) inherent in displaying the stars and bars. This is not to in any way demean the valor of the Southerners who died fighting for the cause, but as you've indicated, the period and conditions under which it has been flown are indeed analogous to those of the swastika.
Natalie Holeman
Natalie Holeman commented
The Confederate battle flag is not just one thing. For the blacks it is a symbol of the repression even more than their history of slavery. For the die hard racists it is a symbol of their beliefs. For the rebellious it is a symbol of rebellion and resistance to authority. For many people in/from the southern United States it is a symbol of their unison and history (both good and bad, with both recognized).

I personally do not believe the flag should be flown on government buildings or on government land. To me that is an official sanction of all it could mean and is the same as flying a Nazi flag.

As to individuals flying the flag, well it is legal for an individual to fly a Nazi flag, not smart most places, but still legal. Would I fly the battle flag, not where I live as it would offend my neighbors, but in other places maybe. I personally see the flag as a flag of rebellion. I might also fly the Don't Tread on Me flag for a similar reason.

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