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Author: Subject: Confederate Battle Flag, racist or symbol of Southern pride?

Extreme Peach





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  posted on 6/24/2015 at 01:07 PM
I know this was touched upon in the thread related to the tragic church shooting but it has been real topic of controversy in the news lately. Southern States are taking it down from their Capitol's and just read Ebay, Amazon and other internet retail sources are going to ban it from sale at their websites. I also read an article that there is some call to outlaw it similar to how Germany has outlawed the sale and display of the Nazi flag.

So what are opinions here about this topic. Is it a racist symbol to be banned or a symbol of the Southern pride and independence?

Some interesting facts about the flag

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/little-known-confederate-flag-fact s-article-1.2268164

[Edited on 6/24/2015 by Bill_Graham]

[Edited on 6/24/2015 by Bill_Graham]

 

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World Class Peach



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  posted on 6/24/2015 at 01:16 PM
http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/24/us/confederate-flag-myths-facts/index.html


(CNN)—The racist massacre in a South Carolina church has tipped the balance in a decades-old tug of war over the meaning of the Confederate battle flag.

Its champions have argued it's a symbol of Southern culture, the historic flag of the South.

Critics say it's a racist symbol that represents a war to uphold slavery and, later, a battle to oppose civil rights advances.

We take a look at the flags of the Confederacy to sort out the facts.

It's not the original Confederate flag

The Confederate states went through three official flags during the four-year Civil War, but none of them was the battle flag that's at the center of the current controversy.

The first was the "Stars and Bars," approved in 1861.

Like its Union sibling, it had a dark blue field in the upper left corner -- or the canton -- and only three stripes, two red and one white. It had seven stars to represent the breakaway states: South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas. And the white stars formed a circle, much like the original Betsy Ross American flag.

It's not even the second, or the third

The original Confederate flag's similarity to the Union flag quickly confused soldiers, who often couldn't tell the difference between the two on smoke-filled battlefields.

Confederate Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard wanted something that looked distinctly different.

So politician William Porcher Miles came up with the design we know today -- the battle flag: a blue St. Andrew's Cross with white stars on a red field.

The Confederacy took the battle flag design and put it on the canton of its next flag, a white one. They called it the "Stainless Banner."

There was a problem.

When the wind didn't blow, only the white was clearly visible, making it look like a white flag of surrender.

So, in the third incarnation of the Confederate flag, a red vertical stripe was added on the far end. This flag was called the "Blood-Stained Banner."

Shortly after that the South surrendered.

It's the battle flag of Robert E. Lee's army unit

While it wasn't the Confederate states' official flag, the battle flag was flown by several Confederate Army units. The most notable among them was Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia.

And even Lee distanced himself from divisive symbols of a Civil War that his side lost.

"I think it wiser moreover not to keep open the sores of war," he wrote in a letter, declining an invitation by the Gettysburg Battlefield Memorial Association.

There were no flags flown at his funeral, Confederate or otherwise.

Slavery was a big part of why the South wanted to secede

In their declarations of secession from the Union, some Southern states expressly mentioned slavery as a reason for their departure.

"... an increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery, has led to a disregard of their obligations ..." South Carolina wrote in its declaration.

The state of Mississippi aligned itself with slavery right off the top of its declaration:

"Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery -- the greatest material interest of the world."

Georgia named slavery in the second sentence of its declaration. The sad list goes on.

"To put it more simply, South Carolina and the rest of the South only seceded to preserve the violent domination and enslavement of black people, and the Confederate flag only exists because of that secession," said CNN political commentator Sally Kohn.

"To call the flag 'heritage' is to gloss over the ugly reality of history."

The rebel flag's resurgence came long after the Civil War

After the Civil War ended, the battle flag turned up here and there only occasionally -- at events to commemorate fallen soldiers.

So, when did the flag explode into prominence? It was during the struggle for civil rights for black Americans, in the middle of the 20th century.

The first burst may have been in 1948. South Carolina politician Strom Thurmond ran for president under the newly founded States Rights Democratic Party, also known as the Dixiecrats. The party's purpose was clear: "We stand for the segregation of the races," said Article 4 of its platform.

At campaign stops, fans greeted Thurmond with American flags, state flags -- and Confederate battle flags.

But desegregation progressed.

As it passed milestones like the Supreme Court ruling on Brown vs. Board of Education, which gave black American children access to all schools, the Confederate battle flag popped up more and more.

It can be removed from the South Carolina Capitol without a supermajority

In 1961, to honor the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War, South Carolina lawmakers raised the Confederate battle flag over the State House.

In 2000, it was moved to a flagpole next to a soldiers' monument, and its position there was protected by the 2000 Heritage Act.

The act said that any changes to the act will require a "two-thirds vote of each house of the General Assembly."

But there's another thing the state Legislature can do. It can vote to repeal the law altogether -- and it only needs a simple majority for that.

"The Heritage Act requires a two-thirds vote to change any of these Confederate and Civil War statues and monuments around the state," U.S. Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina told CNN.

"The Heritage Act must be rescinded, and the only thing required to rescind that is a simple majority vote. And once that Act is rescinded, two-thirds would not be needed to change the locations of the flag or any other Civil War or Confederate memorial."


 

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  posted on 6/24/2015 at 01:45 PM
Flags. Don't get me started.
 

True Peach



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  posted on 6/24/2015 at 01:49 PM
I am NOT in favor of banning it. I do support the decision of Alabama and other other states that may follow suit to remove it from its capital grounds, I support the decision Wal Mart and other retailers to remove it from their shelves and websites, and I support any other individual or organization or government agency that decides to remove it from anyplace that it is currently displayed. But banning it? No, absolutely not.

 

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  posted on 6/24/2015 at 02:01 PM
The problem isn't the Stars and Bars, or the Nazi flag, or Old Glory, or the Hammer and Sickle, it is the whole concept of flags, and the mob psychology that leads people to rally under them, generally for purposes of exercising their will over people with different flags.
 

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  posted on 6/24/2015 at 02:22 PM
quote:
The problem isn't the Stars and Bars, or the Nazi flag, or Old Glory, or the Hammer and Sickle, it is the whole concept of flags, and the mob psychology that leads people to rally under them, generally for purposes of exercising their will over people with different flags.


My own philosophy is that words and flags only have as much power as we allow them to have. The Confederate flag itself, doesn't bother me. It's the overwhelming context that is most commonly used or seen in.

I'm from the deep south. I have seen this flag displayed tastefully (in museums and appropriate pageants, etc.) but more often than not as bumper stickers or rear window adornment on pick-up trucks or even used as ersatz curtains in windows of houses. For the most part, I have to say that most of the displayers are not the most enlightened folks I've ever met.

This flag is commonly seen at KKK and Skin Head rallies and on belt buckles large enough to serve a turkey on.

Even the epitome of "Southern rock" (I still hate that term!) bands, Lynnard Skynnard has announced that they will no longer feature the flag as part of their stage decor or other associated imagery.

I have no problem with a this or any other flag per se. At the same time, I'm completely okay with retiring it to a museum - leaving my deep southern heritage fully intact.

Peace out, y'all.

 

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  posted on 6/24/2015 at 03:00 PM
"Better the pride that resides in a citizen of the world than the pride that divides when a colorful rag is unfurled." - Neil Peart
 

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  posted on 6/24/2015 at 04:05 PM
Racist?



[Edited on 6/24/2015 by OriginalGoober]

 

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  posted on 6/24/2015 at 04:10 PM
The original question - "Is it a racist symbol to be banned or a symbol of the Southern pride and independence?"

Response follows:

I believe it serves both as a racist symbol and a symbol of Southern pride and independence? I have little doubt that there are historians that would argue for or against either side of this head and tails coin.

One thing I have to also believe is that banning the flag will have little or no impact upon bigotry and racism. It doesn't take a flag to possess those disgusting traits. It is my theory that over many years racism will be less than we see today. However, it will never be eliminated. The same argument can be made of other cultural or social issues of today. The acceptance of a more open mindset in a society is an evolutionary thing - inches, feet, yards, miles, etc. Until the inter generational transfer of bigotry and cultural wars are minimized, we can expect more of the same.

 

True Peach



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  posted on 6/24/2015 at 04:26 PM
Racist? Maybe it's in the eye of the beholder?



 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 6/24/2015 at 04:31 PM
The flag thing seems to be a swerve away from the gun thing.

At any rate, had a racist not massacred nine people, that flag still flies, gets made and sold, used as a logo, etc...

 

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  posted on 6/24/2015 at 04:48 PM
I'd say you are exactly right Bhawk. So long as folks see a response they no longer have to worry about the problem.

 

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  posted on 6/24/2015 at 05:03 PM
i don't think anyone is seriously looking to ban the flag. businesses are deciding not to use or sell it, that's fine. decoupling it from government use is what is going on. i think that is a good thing too. people will still use the flag and buy and sell the flag for whatever reasons they have for doing so.

but decoupling it from the government is a good idea.

 

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  posted on 6/24/2015 at 05:19 PM
Flags are not permanent, they change to mark historic changes. The Union Jack was a symbol of oppression to the Irish until times changed and an Irish cross was added. (of course it is still regarded as oppressive by many Irish, but let me make my point).

Way I see it, the blacks were oppressed under that flag, however, it is really a flag of the South, and blacks built the South. For good or ill, blacks were there all along same as whites, and have given the South much of its identity. Maybe it is high time for the South to recognize and honor its black heritage, and change the flag to reflect its black backbone. Instead of banning it, do away with the "white only" civil war symbolism, put that one in a museum and move on with a new flag.

Maybe change the stars to black, or add a black cross, or change the whole flag to a healthy Afro-Rasta color scheme!



 

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  posted on 6/24/2015 at 05:42 PM
They can take down and burn every Confederate flag in the country and it won't change anything. Minds need to change. If anything, this may cause some to circle the wagons and dig in. (mixed metaphor? Sorry) A flag is a symbol, not an ideology.
 

World Class Peach



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  posted on 6/24/2015 at 06:25 PM
Still a bitt on he fence about his one. The /swastika was used only for a short time in Germany; only in association with the Nazi Party. The Confederacy was about more than slavery; but that was the biggest issue in he Civil War. If is like the German flag is OK; if its like the Swastika I say no ban it. I'm leaning towards the latter.
 

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  posted on 6/24/2015 at 07:08 PM
It represents a flag for which people fought to keep a way of life that included free human labor....

Now you can run off about all sorts of other thing it may represent but it represents a way of life that includes slavery...

 

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  posted on 6/24/2015 at 07:24 PM
Not only slavery but breeding killing at will without justice and whipping people.....treating them a like a dog that's breed for fighting...getting rid of them if they had their own will....hamstringing people for wanting to live free....selling them like stock and kidnapping them from their homelands to use at will for their financial gains

I guess that's a heritage to hold on to

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 6/24/2015 at 07:51 PM
quote:
Still a bitt on he fence about his one. The /swastika was used only for a short time in Germany; only in association with the Nazi Party. The Confederacy was about more than slavery; but that was the biggest issue in he Civil War. If is like the German flag is OK; if its like the Swastika I say no ban it. I'm leaning towards the latter.

Actually the swastika has been used for thousands of years as a sacred symbol of eastern religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism. The Nazi's adopted it as their symbol in the 1920's and it's meaning was forever changed. Any prior meaning became irrelevant, at least in the western world.

In much the same way, whatever the confederate flag may have symbolized historically has no relevance in the current discussion regarding racism. The specific flag at the center of the debate, the one flown at the SC capitol, was never even flown there until 1961 when it was raise as a symbol of resistance against racial desegregation. It was raised to symbolize racial oppression and that is the only reason it is there. Every other rationalization about what it represented a century earlier is just noise. It does not belong on state property and needs to come down.

Should it be banned? No. If individuals want to display that flag they have that right and should continue to have that right. In my personal opinion it just makes them look stupid. Typically when I see it here in NC it's displayed on a piece of sh!t pickup truck that has chrome gonads hanging from the rear bumper. Southern pride? Really?

[Edited on 6/25/2015 by bob1954]

 

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  posted on 6/24/2015 at 08:03 PM
quote:
quote:
Still a bitt on he fence about his one. The /swastika was used only for a short time in Germany; only in association with the Nazi Party. The Confederacy was about more than slavery; but that was the biggest issue in he Civil War. If is like the German flag is OK; if its like the Swastika I say no ban it. I'm leaning towards the latter.

Actually the swastika has been used for thousands of years as a sacred symbol of eastern religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism. The Nazi's adopted it as their symbol in the 1920's and it's meaning was forever changed. Any prior meaning became irrelevant, at least in the western world.

In much the same way, whatever the confederate flag may have symbolized historically has no relevance in the current discussion regarding racism. The specific flag at the center of the debate, the one flown at the SC capitol, was never even flown there until 1961 when it was raise as a symbol of resistance against racial desegregation. It was raised to symbolize racial oppression and that is the only reason it is there. Every other rationalization about what it represented a century earlier is just noise. It does not belong on state property and needs to come down.

Should it be banned? No. If individuals want to display that flag they have that right and should continue to have that right. In my personal opinion it just makes them look stupid. Typically when I see it here in NC it's displayed on a piece of sh!t pickup truck that has chrome gonads hanging from the rear bumper. Southern pride? Really?

[Edited on 6/25/2015 by bob1954]


Well said. It should not be banned, but it should not be flying above state capital buildings either. I'm sure many who have some kind of pride in that flag don't view it as racist, but others do. Sometimes I question the loyalty to America of those flying the Confederate flag. Do you want to live in America or not? I kind of view Americans flying the Confederate flag the same way as Mexican Americans flying the Mexican flag. I understand your pride in your heritage, but I question your loyalty.

 

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  posted on 6/24/2015 at 08:50 PM
maybe there are black men and women who wave that flag proudly, i don't know, i don't think there are many. that should answer the question of whether the gov't should be waving it.

 

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  posted on 6/24/2015 at 09:10 PM
Now Hillary is calling for the removal of the Confederate Flag. Of course she and her husband used to stand applauding the Confederate Flag on the State House grounds in Arkansas on Confederate Holidays.

When convenient, Hillary and Bill will say anything to conscript a vote.




 

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  posted on 6/24/2015 at 09:52 PM
It could be racist, regional pride, tribute to Confederate soldiers who died in the war. It could be all the
above or none of the above.

Whatever it is gets some folks really upset, as if a piece of cloth is harming them personally in some way.

 

World Class Peach



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  posted on 6/24/2015 at 10:43 PM
There are lots of symbols that represent The South. You gotta wonder why some pledge their allegiance to the one that supports the evils of slavery. I would object to any legal ban of the symbol, but I applaud the widespread rejection of its entire ideology - which is not "the South". I'm happy to see our nation moving in the right direction socially. The archaic and narrow-minded bigoted thinking towards all minorities is at a standing 8 count, and will be 6-feet under in no time. When the Republicans stop playing to the religious right, they will win.
 

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  posted on 6/24/2015 at 10:53 PM
quote:
There are lots of symbols that represent The South. You gotta wonder why some pledge their allegiance to the one that supports the evils of slavery. I would object to any legal ban of the symbol, but I applaud the widespread rejection of its entire ideology - which is not "the South". I'm happy to see our nation moving in the right direction socially.


Slavery ended 150 years ago. That wasn't moving in the right direction socially?

But say we got rid of the Confederate flag 150 years ago and kept slavery. Would that have been better?

 
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