Like Charlie Daniels, I have resisted speaking out on the Confederate Flag Issue™ until now, because I have a lot of thoughts on this topic and addressing this topic without proper research feels like it would be sticking my head into a hive of angry hornets and why would I want to do that?
First, Our nation’s is apparently in need of a little history clarification. The flag that everyone is all up and arms about is the Battle Flag of Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia — aka the Confederate Battle Flag. The CBF was the war banner of the Confederate States of America, a defunct nation that existed for a little less than four years. It is not the “stars and bars.” The Stars and Bars refers to the first official flag of the Confederacy.
Oh heck, just watch this video from CGP Grey — he explains the differences better than I ever could.
Next, the flag in question apparently represents one thing to some people and another thing to others.
When I visited in-laws in Mississippi a few years ago, I was surprised to say the least to see these flags flowing. My SIL (who is from Michigan) explained that locals see it as a symbol of their heritage and their pride. She didn’t have to tell me that only the white locals felt this way.
“People in the South bitterly resented this attitude of [Northern] superiority, and in some quarters the words “damn” and “Yankee” became one word. And a somewhat fierce type of Southern pride came into being,” said Charlie Daniels about the Confederate Flag. “The Confederate battle flag was a sign of defiance, a sign of pride, a declaration of a geographical area that you were proud to be from. That’s all it is to me and all it has ever been to me.”
He went on to say “I can’t speak for all, but I know in my heart that most Southerners feel the same way” and that “every human being, regardless of the color of their skin, is just as valuable as I am and deserves the exact same rights and advantages as I do.”
a friend of a friend had this to say on Facebook:
[This Flag] triggers things that NONE of you understand. Once I learned my history, and what that flag enforced: lynchings, other types of murders, the sale of human beings as CHATTEL, stolen heritage of every. single. African. slave… only being 3/5 of a man, not being able to own property, being scared that the night riders were coming for you and your family, having deplorable living and educational environments, being escorted by the military to go to school, being killed for going to the store, THIS IS WHAT THAT REPRESENTS TO US.
Every time a Black person who KNOWS what this flag really represents sees this imagery, we think about and feel the pain of ALL OF THESE THINGS. The resurgence of this flag was for one thing and one thing only, to promote segregation.
This is the flag of a TERRORIST ORGANIZATION guilty of the HIGHEST TREASON in the land. More than ANY OTHER TERRORIST ORGANIZATION EVER! This is un-American as you can GET. They SECEDED FROM OUR COUNTRY and killed our citizens so they could keep their SLAVES. What do you NOT get about this flag. — Tracy Lynn Deis
Daniels did acknowledge that “the Confederate battle flag has been adopted by hate groups – and individuals like Dylann Roof – to supposedly represent them and their hateful view of the races.”
I suppose if you grew up there and your parents taught you that this flag symbolizes defiance, a sign of pride, a declaration of a geographical area that you were proud to be from, you’d take it at face value. I would also hope though that as you got older and saw more of the world, even if it is just your little corner of the South, you would realize that to many people, this flag does not mean what you think it means.
Finally, if your true goal is to establish, promote and celebrate your Southern Pride, then you should have no problem finding another symbol to represent it. Otherwise, you have to really have an abundance of pride and a lack of common sense to not realize that your symbol of regional pride is rapidly approaching swastika territory.
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Free Fun Friday is where I like to feature a video that has gone viral or is otherwise interesting. It started as a way to make a quick blog entry so that I wouldn’t go too long between post for my readers. Now it’s sort of evolved as a way to stretch my writing muscles and flex my creativity neural pathways.