Skip to comments.Confederate Flag still an issue?
Posted on 10/19/2004 5:14:54 PM PDT by stainlessbanner
As I drove down 5th street yesterday, I spied a bumper sticker that addresses an issue I have been waiting for an excuse to write about. It was in the back window of a pickup truck, whose ability to operate I found simply amazing, strategically situated between an empty gun rack and another sticker depicting Calvin (of Calvin and Hobbes fame) urinating on "Osama" with a devilish grin on his face.
I will leave the "Osama" reference and defamation of an innocent newspaper comic strip character alone for the purposes of this article, and will concentrate on the content of the other bumper sticker. It was a simple, Confederate flag, next to which was written the words, "Heritage not Hate". Now, if I have ever read something more deserving of one of my diatribes, I cannot recall.
This statement, which for the record I believe to be sheer nonsense, speaks of an issue with which I had very limited experience before relocating to North Carolina, but an issue of importance nonetheless.
All my life, the Confederate flag was something of a joke to me. M history classes in high school and earlier had taught me that the Confederate defeat during the Civil War was a good thing, that the moral argument against slavery (espoused by the Lincoln government in Washington) was a black and white issue, about right and wrong, and that the Union triumph is 1865 was righteous.
Granted, the history I was taught spoke from a biased perspective, from the moral high ground of the abolitionists and northern intellectuals, and never really addressed the true, underlying reasons for the Civil War, which I would come to learn much later. After considering all the information I have been able to locate on the subject, after long hours of trying to understand just where the Confederacy was coming from and why they wanted to defend their way of life, I have come to a few conclusions.
Naturally, these conclusions reflect my upbringing and Northern perspective, and I am more than confident than my loyal readers will have more than a few comments of their own to contribute.
First of all, "Heritage not Hate", is an extreme cop out. Sure, the Confederate flag, displayed in the year 2004, some 140 years after the actual conflict ended, may stand for some long forgotten Southern pride issue. It may stand for the struggles that people in the Southeastern region of the United States suffered through and the wars that they fought.
It may stand for some perceived difference between the North and South, which apparently has persisted to this day, and may fondly recall the era of Southern dominance of the United States.
Woops, little mistake there. The South has never "dominated" anything. It is another region within the greater whole, just as it was then and remains so today. As for the "Not Hate" part of the bumper sticker, a more laughable statement I cannot recall. There are far too many damning coincidences that will forever relegate the Stars and Bars to the level of racist propaganda.
Why is it that hate groups all over the country, to this day, fly the Confederate flag as a symbol of their ideology. White Supremacist organizations,
, the sad, pitiful remnants of the Klu Klux Klan, along with many other neo-Nazi and racially motivated groups all include the Confederate flag amongst their symbols of worship.
Is this coincidence? Are people who fly the Confederate flag, be it in bumper sticker form or on the end of a flagpole, trying to align themselves with such openly evil and backward-thinking organizations? I don't think so. I think that people fly the flag to recall the once glorious Confederated states of America and celebrate their history, while at the same time somehow overlooking the racial implications inherent in the very symbol they hold so high.
Make no mistake. Whether you choose to recognize it or not, the fact remains the same: The Confederate flag is a racist symbol. It was during the Civil War, it remains so today. I challenge anyone to show me an African-American person with a Confederate Flag bumper sticker or "The South will rise again" written in their computers screensaver.
Is this a coincidence? You would sooner find a swastika flying outside the Israel embassy as you would a Confederate flag flying at an N.A.A.C.P rally. To me, the symbols have long been morally relative to each other. Both stand for hate, oppression, and the wanton murder and destruction of a group of people because of some perceived inferiorities. Plantation owners in the South, before and during the Civil War, treated slaves the same way they treated horses and sheep.
They were not human beings, quite the contrary. They could be bought and sold like farm equipment and with as much compassion. So to during the Nazi era in Germany; Jews were not considered people in the same way that German citizens were, therefore their wholesale murder could be justified. Anyone who cannot see the glaring similarities between the Confederate flag and the Swastika needs to pick up a history book and do some research.
If you care to display a symbol that represents the brutality and viciousness and lack of humanity that was involved in something like the slave trade, as the Confederate flag clearly does, you are entitled. The first Amendment to the Constitution allows you the freedom to display just about whatever you care to, but consider this. If you are going to fly the Stars and Bars, don't sugar coat it. Don't downplay the racial aspects and idealize the cultural aspects. They are one in the same.
Be up front and honest about your feelings. Confederacy= Hate I think would be a far more realistic bumper sticker, and as we speak I am in negotiations to have a number of said bumper stickers produced. Let us just call a spade a spade and forget about the "Heritage not Hate" nonsense. It is hateful, you know it is, and beating around the bush about it only takes away from the power of the argument. Let the responsive mud slinging commence!
The author, Peter Kalajian
Dear Mr. Kalajian: Interstate 95 runs both ways, north as well as south. Take advantage of it if you don't like North Carolina. Please. Perhaps a tolerant, non-racist, inclusive city like Boston or Philadelphia would be more to your liking.
Way to go HK!
I suspect this is a reality which permeates your entire life.
Puh-leeze! If this twerd asked his Armenian parents how they felt about Greeks and Turks, he'd get an earful of absolutely justifiable HATE, and he wouldn't have to ask how people could look back on their history and wish it had turned out differently.
There are rainbows on the bumpers of cars all across the country, and they represent a perversion of God's creation of human sexuality.
See the analogy?
Author seems oblivious to the fact that that our constitution was given us mostly by southerners, some were slave holders. Who brought the slaves here and sold them in the south???
That would be this one - most folks wouldn't recognize it:
I'm not weighing in on all of your talking points, but I've seen KKK, Neo Nazi's etc. on T.V. Oftern they are parading with both confederate and U.S. Flags, often just the U.S. Flag, does that mean the U.S. Flag "stands for hate".
Bottom line, War's over, get a life and when you get it do us a favor and take it to the blissful utopia of N.Y.
There's one flying in my subdivision. I don't think most people get it!
Join the club. Hurrah for the Bonnie Blue!
Armenian, although some settled in Iran after over 1,000,000 were massacred by the Turks in 1917-18. He ought to understand "heritage" perfectly!
How about the thousands of African-American Mississippians who voted to keep it on the state flag?
From another yankee who moved south,
Nobody mentions the fact that there was legalized slavery in the north before, during, and after the war. So the U.S. flag=hate???
You know what, this is stupid and this country has lost it's collective minds!
It's, "Well I heard Ol Neil sing about here!
The boy's from Alabama, were talking about Neil Young!
The Star's and the Bar's represent the rebel!
Not the Klan, or the Biggot!
Those would died for the South, stood up for their land and way of life!
What would you do?
My Flags fly 24/7.
And am very proud of both flags!
This story reminds me of a theory I've had for years: that (some) people who identify with a certain group (whites, blacks, latinos, Evengelical Christians, Muslims, etc) exhibit symbols and figures to express their hatred of others or their frustration with their station in life (more perseption than reality). These symbols (or symbolic behaviors) are expressed, by many, in leau of threatening others, outright discrimination they wish were publicly acceptable or outright violence itself.
Our society is a civil one, and most of us don't wish to see it Balkanized, by I sense there are those among us who would cheer if another bloody civil war broke out or if Al'Qaeda had pulled off more 9-11s and killed more Americans. Some examples:
1. Rap artists praising bin-Laden and Al'Qaeda following 9-11, and my own personal observations (and reports I read)of US Muslims cheering as the towers in NYC fell....
2. A conservative state lawmaker (whose name escapes me) stating that McVeigh's hit on the Oklahoma City Fed. Bldg. expressed the sentiments of many on the right who hate the government....
3. Bumper stickers like "If I'd known then, what I know now, I would've picked my own cotton" next to a sticker displaying the Waffen SS emblem....or "I love Farrakahn" or "David Duke for President" obviously displayed by those who wouldn't be out protesting if the violence that both advocate suddenly broke out....
4. Hatred of American and the Stars and Stripes I personally witnessed, and tried to stop during a parade, when several Puerto Rican teens pulled down US Flags and in place hoisted their island's own flag....
5. Residents of Western NC with signs displaying their support for a fugitive who perpitrated abortion clinic bombings....I forget the guy's name....
6. And finally, as Mr. Kalajian points out, the flying of the Confederate Flag by those who espouse white supremacy or nostalgia for the Confederacy....who aren't neccesarily the same people. Hate doesn't motivate all of those who fly a symbol of their heritage...
I could bring up other examples....I wish I'd written them down....of symbols and public figures held up by people who are extremist enough to celebrate their causes, but not bloody enough to follow through on the unspoken desire for a return to institutionalized racism, fanatical religious war against nonbelievers or the destruction of the federal govt....
Okay, that's my rant (I hope this isn't taken as mud-slinging). As an observer of human nature, I have picked up this pattern of behavior in this country and others.
And to Mr. Kalajian: Not everyone who flies the Confederate Flag is a white supremist, just as not everyone who wear the black or white caps of the Nation of Islam, or every woman who wears a veil, supports Al'Qaeda. Thanks for the interesting article, it got me thinking....again.
I know who the boys were talking about!
I know what the flag represents!
Being Southern born and bred, I know what the war was about!
Being a life long citizen of Alabama I know what it's like to be smeared by northern pinheads as well as anyone!
What I don't understand is your question, nor do I see what ever point it is you are trying to make!
BTW! It's "Her" not "here"!
Many a brave man died under the CBF - defending their country from the invaders. Just like many Yankees died defending Mr. Lincoln's vision of America under Old Glory.
Oh yea and before I forget, hey Mr. Peter Kalajian, the American Civil War was fought over STATE's RIGHTS! Not slavery like you were taught in that liberal school.
You make me ill - blow it out your a$$.
In retrospect, shooting up Fort Sumter was a pretty stupid thing to do, wasn't it?
People wrongly call the war between the states, a Civil War. That is a Yankee term. It was a war of northern aggression. A war of independence. A war of freedom and separation.
War of Southern Rebellion would be the most accurate.
FYI, the war wasn't about slavery.
Of course it wasn't.
They are raising hell because they are flying them at Nascar races because it makes them feel uncomfortable at the race. The young black guys I seen protesting couldnt tell Rusty Wallace from Jeff Gordon.
"Who brought the slaves here and sold them in the south???"
Why it was staid Bostonians, along with other pious and proper hypocritical New Englanders. The shipping magnates of New England plied the seas running slaves, when that collapsed they entered into the opium trade of China and California.
John F. Kerry's Grandfather was an opium dealer and dope runner who amassed the Forbes family fortune that Johnny boy still derives filthy lucre from.
Care to address the other question????
Ft. Sumter contained foreign soldiers who were "asked" to leave.
The south legally left the union, or don't you know your constitution. Amendment 10 - "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." It seems to me that modern jurists have ignored this ammendment.
It was never about slavery. Historians know that, you should too. It was about the constitution and the right of the states.
George Orwell's Notes on Nationalism has been posted here in previous years. His theory of "transferred nationalism" is an interesting look at how some people choose a group which they don't belong to as a proxy to express their own feelings and attachments. Either they see in such a group virtues that their own people no longer possess and they use that people as a stick to beat their own group, or they identify with the sufferings or threatened position of the other nationality.
And to Mr. Kalajian: Not everyone who flies the Confederate Flag is a white supremist, just as not everyone who wear the black or white caps of the Nation of Islam, or every woman who wears a veil, supports Al'Qaeda.
True, but some of the rationales people develop to justify the use of such symbols can draw them closer to that sort of movement. If one is forever trying to explain why the Battle Flag is okay, one may give in to feelings of victimization and self-righteousness, and end up minimizing or overlooking what was wrong about the Confederacy.
Funny, you obviously thought enough of what stainless thinks to add your post to his thread.
The War was fought for many reasons, including love & hate.
Here's the flag of the 1st Maryland Cavalry, CSA under which my 2nd great uncle fought. I'm still looking for a better GIF image of it.
An Armenian should know better than to write a piece of trash like this that is only worthy of an Ottoman hack.
You'd think so ... maybe he's been cut off from his heritage.
I think maybe the poster "Do Be" was responding to the original article, rather than to Stainlessbanner.
Is that one of Dr. Spock's offsprings?
Mr. Kajolian: Let me guess. 1) you ain't from around here, are you? 2) you went to government school?
Hey I recently had lunch with that guy! He doesn't like his mexican food too hot, right HK? :-)