Skip to comments.Confederate Flag represents both heritage and hate
Posted on 03/05/2008 6:38:02 PM PST by Rebeleye
Does the Confederate battle flag represent heritage or hatred? The answer is yes. It represents a heritage that included hatred.
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The American Civil War is unique in that the federal government sought to restore rather than destroy the rebels. The winners chose to honor the losers. Its true that plenty of exploitation went on following the Civil War, including political corruption and carpetbaggers who came down from the North to prey on the disaffected Southerners and snap up failing estates. Still, the Union pursued an overarching theme of reconciliation. Men who raised arms against their country were granted a presidential pardon. Even the generals, who resigned their position with the Union army in order to fight against it, were pardoned in full.
The United States immortalizes soldiers who fought on both sides of the conflict, erecting monuments in honor of both Confederate and Union victories. As such, the Confederacy has been venerated rather than condemned in American history.
Its no surprise that many Georgians still cling to the image of a noble Confederacy. Georgia is the home of die-hards. We value independence. We mistrust Big Government. We are proud and we are stubborn, and we consider it an honor when someone tells us so.
We are also a family-oriented people, bound to revere the blood that once spilled on the grass, yet still flows through our own veins. It is natural that we want to honor and defend our Confederate ancestors who probably never even owned slaves, and fought valiantly for what they believed was right.
As Lincoln famously stated when dedicating the battlefield at Gettysburg, It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. And we do. Thousands of acres of fields and monuments, numerous museums, battalions of re-enactors, along with dozens of country tunes, ghost stories, and an entire genre of literature ensure that we will never forget.
But is it altogether fitting and proper to continue flying the Confederate flag and indeed, not just any Confederate flag but the actual battle flag over public buildings in Georgia today? Can white Georgians claim the right to keep waving that emblem in the face of other Georgians who experienced attacks and demonstrations, feared lynching, and faced every kind of discrimination?
Perhaps we can, legally but that does not mean we should. I applaud the City of Ringgold for taking a stand back in 2005 when the city council voted 3-2 to remove the flag. I applaud the city again today for standing firm against pressure and even lawsuits from radical extremists.
As for historical accuracy, the city has done its homework and determined that the blue and white flag of Gen. Patrick Cleburne was the flag flown at the depot during the Civil War. At the Battle of Ringgold Gap, no flag was flying; it was an ambush.
If historical authenticity is the goal, the city already has the right flag flying. But what if the goal is something else? Consider the battle over Georgias state flag, for example.
Those who pine for the real Georgia flag are not aiming for historical accuracy. The flag of 1956 had never before been a Georgia state flag. In fact, no previous Georgia flag featured the Confederate battle cross. The flag of 1956 was introduced as an act of resistance against Civil Rights progress especially Brown v. Board of Education, which declared segregated education unlawful. Adding the Confederate battle cross to the Georgia state flag was clearly a slap in the face of black Georgians, and many still feel its sting.
Ironically, the United Daughters of the Confederacy spoke against the adoption of the 1956 flag, warning that it would cause strife. They upheld the then-current Georgia flag as a more pure commemoration of the Confederacy. In fact, the pre-1956 flag was almost a replica of the stars and bars flown as the first national flag of the Confederacy. The Perdue flag that we fly today is also based closely on that Confederate flag.
If Georgians ever want a historically accurate flag that does not stir up racial tensions, one is available. The original Georgia flag depicted the state seal on a field of deep blue no stars, no bars, and no battle emblems.
Does the Confederate battle flag represent heritage or hatred? The answer is yes. It represents a heritage that included hatred. Humans were bought and sold like livestock and our culture declared that such practices were condoned or even mandated by God. Hatred also reigned during the 50s (and before and after) when crosses were burned and bombs were detonated in Catoosa County. Hatred still clings to the Southern culture today. Hatred is not always passionate and fiery. It may manifest in simple disregard. Hatred may say, This is my right, and I dont care who it hurts.
For some people, waving that rebel flag is a way to curse the present times when they must compete alongside people of color in the job market. Their romanticism of the Old South knows no bounds. Its as if these people watched Gone with the Wind and believed that life was really like that. They imagine debutante parties on big plantations, black slaves who loved their bonds and were considered part of the masters family well, the cotton-picking part of the family anyway.
Perhaps these would-be Confederates imagine that if the North had not intervened, they would be standing on a balcony with a woman in a big hoop skirt while a black person stood by silently fanning them, like a human appliance. Of course, this reality existed only for a few. The truth is that there were as many poor white people in Georgia as there were black slaves.
If these Sons of Confederates want to get back the Good Ole Days, they ought to climb into their overalls and start picking cotton. Thats what most of our Southern ancestors did. They worked the land, they scraped by, and they were lucky if they had a pair of shoes on their feet. In many ways, their life was not much different than the black slaves who worked the fields of the rich. But at least they were free.
The rest of us are happy to honor dead Americans on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line once in a while and with historical perspective. We can appreciate the ideals behind the struggle and the bravery of those involved without condoning the more sinister agendas that propelled both sides into battle. We know the history, and we have no desire to turn back the clock.
For those who insist on flying the Confederate flag just fly it on your own property. Fly the Bonnie Blue secession flag bearing a single star. Fly the battle flag with St. Andrews cross. Fly the 1956 segregation flag. Fly a swastika if you prefer. But do not pretend that your actions dont hurt or anger some of your neighbors, and embarrass the rest of us.
Jeannie may be contacted at email@example.com, or you can leave a public comment on her blog at JeannieBabbTaylor.com..
So does the seal of the Democrat Party.
It represents independence and the rebel. That is all.
The Stars and Stripes flew over slavery for 80 years before the Rebel Flag was ever conceived. Shall we get rid of that, too?
The War of Northern Aggression
How about all those British Flags seen around the USA. We had two wars with those people.
Ban the Union Jack
Who let the boobs out? This is about the 5th anti-confederate flag screed that’s been published in the last week. What gives?
British flags represent the corruption of King George, the softness of the NorthEast liberal academe that has crept down from where the Brits and their supporters were chased after the American Revolution.......
Rather, the War of the Rebellion to Further the Promulgation of Slavery.
FTA: “The winners honored the losers.”
Like hell they did! Yankee occupation was horrendous. They treated Southerners like sh!t.
Revisionism is such a pathetic weakness of cowards, and revisionist history is ample proof of that.
Actually, the British were chased from the North while they continued in the South. The last battle was in Virginia (Yorktown) after the last campaign from South Carolina to Virginia. The Northern Continental army was led by Washington from New Jersey down to Virginia to bottle up the British (with the crucial help of the French Fleet).
So young fellow, get a clue.
How many of those are alive today? Not many, I'd imagine.
Perhaps this little contretemps is about something else. Such as the full-scale attack on Southern heritage and traditional values everywhere by liberal twits like the writer quoted abovewhich began well before the (unconstitutional) Brown vs. Board of Education decision of 1954.
Hey Bud, I have a clue. You get one. After the war, British sympathizers that couldn’t get comfortable with the idea of not being subjects of the King were forced into Canada, kapich? Your history has some expanding to do.
NOBODY has been better at the historical revisionist game than Southern historians, who have successfully pushed the ahistorical myth that the Civil War "had nothing to do about slavery."
Fly the Bonnie Blue Flag instead.
Early in 1956 the Southern states began planning on how to observe the 100th anniversary of the War for Southern Independence from hereon known as the Civil War. Some of these states decided to use the flag in their state flag or to raise it below the United States flag. Others decided to obtain a proclamation to observe the 100th anniversary of the Civil War.
A joint resolution was placed upon the floor of both houses of Congress to study and coordinate the observance of the 100th anniversary of the Civil War. Both houses passed the resolution on September 7, 1957 to establish the Civil War Centennial Commission to coordinate the observance.
Many people have ignored these facts as documented in the Congressional records. Some have gone so far as to place a fictional idea that the Confederate Battle Flag was raised in defiance of the civil rights movement. Maybe the civil rights movement actually used the Centennial to promote their activities. These very same people also presented the fictional idea that the South had invented segregation when in fact segregation was a Federal Law established by U.S. Congress as a result of the Jim Crow case. This was nothing more than an extension of reconstruction.
Not one single person that says the Confederate Battle Flag was used in defiance of the civil rights activities will ever admit that it was done as an observance of the 100th anniversary of the Civil War. To admit this fact would be to admit that they are wrong in assuming otherwise. Their information and stories are blown apart by the facts and documents that prove what they have said about this wrong.
On December 6, 1960, a little more than three years after the first indication of an attempt to organize an observance by Congress, President Dwight D. Eisenhower did something that has been overlooked when discussion of the Confederate Battle Flag comes up. It was on this day that President Eisenhower issued a proclamation declaring observance of the 100th anniversary of the Civil War. It was labeled Civil War Proclamation No. 3882. In this proclamation, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, invited all of the people of our country to take a direct and active part in the Centennial of the Civil War.
This took effect on December 6, 1960, just as the civil rights activities were starting, coincidence or perfect planning? The proclamation and observance originated in late 1956. It was done to observe and honor those who fought on both sides and to better understand what had happened. In the South it was a chance to raise the Confederate Battle Flag, not in defiance of the civil rights movement, but to honor the men and women who died fighting under the flag for what they believed.
Furthermore: The people were fighting for independence not for the wealthy elite of slave owners as the article rightly points out (much to my surprise) that most inhabitants of Dixie were dirt poor. Ergo those who display the Confederate Battle Flag are being proud of their culture & are not "pining" for any old bygone era where they were themselves lorded over by the slave owning elites. This columnist should get out of the office more often & try to learn about their history and their compatriots.
No....it’s called DERMATITIS! :)
Sadly, that is not true. It has also been co-opted by racist groups with no ties whatsoever to the south.
While it’s wrong to ignore those for whom the flag does represent what it means to you, it is equally wrong to pretend those are it’s only meanings.
NOBODY has been better at the historical revisionist game than Southern historians, who have successfully pushed the ahistorical myth that the Civil War “had nothing to do about slavery.”
It was Lincoln himself who said (not verbatim but close) “If I can preserve the Union with freeing the slaves, I would do it....If I can preserve the Union without freeing the slaves, I would do it” (words to that effect)
Lincoln’s main objective was to preserve the Union. Note that the Emancipation Proclamation did not take place until 1863...and did not cover all areas of the Confederacy
And, many abolishionists’ real objectives in preventing slavery was to keep blacks out of the new territories and states
This is not revisionism, this is the reality. I find most of the revisionism is done by historians with an anti-Southern bias that borders on bigotry
I couldn’t agree more, and that is coming from a born and raised Yankee! I hope and pray I will be able to retire in “rebel country”!
I cannot believe ANY Conservative would actually think the Civil War was about slavery! It was not.
That's why Catoosa County voted against the big government Confederates when the secession question came up in 1861. Maybe if some of the local people better knew the history of Catoosa, they wouldn't be so ready to publicly display a flag of the Confederate occupiers.
Perhaps these would-be Confederates imagine that if the North had not intervened, they would be standing on a balcony with a woman in a big hoop skirt while a black person stood by silently fanning them, like a human appliance.
For some people, I'm afraid that's the misconception. The whole Tara and Scarlett O'Hara bit. The more likely contact with a plantation for the average white southerner was harassment from the local boss who wanted you to fight his fight against the Yankee while he stayed at home suppressing servile insurrection.
I am a 50 year old woman who has lived in Georgia all my life. For most of my life I looked at the Confederate flag as just a part of history. Period. Some years ago I began to see so much hatred associated with the flag that it made me ill.
In some ways it makes me sad that I can’t look at it as a part of history anymore without feeling sick to my stomach.
Please don’t jump on me. I am just presenting President Lincoln’s words.
Washington, August 22, 1862.
Hon. Horace Greeley:
I have just read yours of the 19th. addressed to myself through the New-York Tribune. If there be in it any statements, or assumptions of fact, which I may know to be erroneous, I do not, now and here, controvert them. If there be in it any inferences which I may believe to be falsely drawn, I do not now and here, argue against them. If there be perceptable [sic] in it an impatient and dictatorial tone, I waive it in deference to an old friend, whose heart I have always supposed to be right.
As to the policy I “seem to be pursuing” as you say, I have not meant to leave any one in doubt.
I would save the Union. I would save it the shortest way under the Constitution. The sooner the national authority can be restored; the nearer the Union will be “the Union as it was.” If there be those who would not save the Union, unless they could at the same time save slavery, I do not agree with them. If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree with them. My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause. I shall try to correct errors when shown to be errors; and I shall adopt new views so fast as they shall appear to be true views.
I have here stated my purpose according to my view of official duty; and I intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men everywhere could be free.
I’m not trying to argue anything.
I’m not trying to change anyone’s mind, just providing information of which people may not be aware.
Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863 was a powerful move that promised freedom for slaves in the Confederacy as soon as the Union armies reached them, and authorized the enlistment of African Americans in the Union Army. The Emancipation Proclamation did not free slaves in the Union-allied slave-holding states that bordered the Confederacy. Since the Confederate States did not recognize the authority of President Lincoln, and the proclamation did not apply in the border states, at first the proclamation freed only slaves who had escaped behind Union lines. Still, the proclamation made the abolition of slavery an official war goal that was implemented as the Union took territory from the Confederacy. According to the Census of 1860, this policy would free nearly four million slaves, or over 12% of the total population of the United States
no it’s called beaten up by a whip
“Confederate Flag represents both heritage and hate
Walker County (Ga.) Messenger ^ | Jeannie Babb Taylor”
Yes... the HATE of our HERITAGE!
Post 30 Ref: Wikipedia: Slavery in the United States
I guess this means we need to stop flying the American Flag as well. It reined over slavery one hell of alot longer than the Confederate Battle Flag did.
With the constant encroachment of government power it seems it will again very soon.
Only problem Mr.Grumble
It wasn’t a Civil War. The 2 sides were not fighting over control of one government, one side wanted to leave the other wanted to enforce their will by force of arms.
It was, as has been accurately stated before, Mr. Lincoln’s War or the War of Yankee Aggression.
If I remember correctly, 63,000 black soldiers served in the confederate military. At least one state (Texas) gave them a pension and other honors after the war. Many of them met with white veterans at unit reunions.
Ref: Walter Williams
After reading the first 3 sentences, I quit.
The writer (author implies knowledge) of this ignorant screed should sit down and learn about the economic reasons for the War of Northern Aggression. Hint #1, it didn’t start at Fort Sumner. Second hint, it had nearly NOTHING to do with slavery.
The ONLY reason that slavery was an issue AT ALL was because of the sanctions and tariffs the North forced on the South. A black vote being equivalent to 2/3 a white vote was put into the Constitution BY THE NORTH!
I hear you. Not that the brainwashed will ever even recognize their base error.
Interesting picture. Where is it from and what is it of (other than the obvious)? A victim of inter-tribal or internecine warfare in Africa? The victim of a Belgian colonist in the Congo? A wayward servant of an Arab?
Slavery was and is a terrible thing. Even when it was practiced in the North. Even when New England shipping interests made fortunes trafficking in their sad cargo.
Inhumanity is evil, even when perpetrated in Detroit.
It was, in fact, a rebellion.
It was, as has been accurately stated before, Mr. Lincolns War or the War of Yankee Aggression.
War of Southern Rebellion, or The War of the Rebellion. Either one would be more accurate.
You're looking at it backwards. War was what the confederacy chose to further their aims. And the reason why the confederacy seceded in the first place was to protect their institution of slavery from what they saw as threats from the Republican president. So when you look at if from the South's viewpoint, it was most certainly a war about slavery.
“NOBODY has been better at the historical revisionist game than Southern historians, who have successfully pushed the ahistorical myth that the Civil War ‘had nothing to do about slavery.’”
Read the contemporary writings on the conflict. The issue was economic freedom and states’ rights. If the war was about slavery, then why didn’t the Yankees invade Delaware, for instance? Or Maryland? Or Kentucky? Delaware, a Yankee state, still practiced slavery in the early 1860s. Maryland and Kentucky were slave states, but did not secede. If the war was about slavery, one would think the altruistic Yankees would have marched into Maryland and Kentucky to free the slaves there. But, they didn’t. If the war was fought to free the slaves then why didn’t the fraudulent Emabcipation Proclamation free anyone? Talk about revisionist history! Tell me, exactly, who was freed by the Emancipation Proclamation?
I suggest you ask others on this forum about that picture.
The slave wasn’t beaten in the South. It was a publicity stunt.
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