Others, have waved it as a symbol of their hatred and bigotry and their disdain for the rights and freedoms guaranteed under the Constitution. I don’t have any empathy for these people. The only words that come to mind are “Bite Me” you ignorant SOBs.
There is a third group with feelings about this flag. As a native Georgian (the state, not the country) I count myself among them.
They see it as a legitimate symbol of their heritage and history and of a noble, albeit misguided, struggle for a cause that took the lives of 620,000 Americans.
Slavery is, and was, an evil horrendous institution. The very thought of enslaving others should anger any believer in Liberty. It does me.
But let’s be honest, at the risk of inflaming PC police who would try to make sure that no one is offended at the expense of everyone’s liberty. On second thought, let’s inflame the hell out of them.
At the time of the Civil War about a third of southern families owned slaves and the actual number of slave owners (heads of those families) represented between 4% and 6% of the population…far from a majority. Did my ancestors own slaves? I have no idea. I spend no time thinking about it. What they may have done two hundred years ago has no bearing on who I am today, or on what I believe. As I said, I find the very concept of slavery abhorrent and repugnant.
As a southerner, I do have tender feelings about, and pride in, the place where my ancestors originated … much the same as African Americans do about their ancestral homes (where black slavery was common ), or Native Americans (who routinely fought and enslaved other tribes) or Italian Americans (Roman slavery helped them conquer the world) or Arabs, Germans, French, English, Dutch, etc. etc. (All have slavery and slave trading in their history)
I know that other Americans, whose ancestors came from different places around the globe abhor slavery as much as I do. Their pride in their culture and their heritage and the sacrifices of their countrymen is not about slavery. It is about the struggle, overcoming and leaving a better future for their children.
For the record, the flag pictured above, commonly called the Confederate flag, was not the flag of the south, of the Confederate states, or of slavery. The flag pictured, the one that causes so much controversy, was the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia. It was carried into battle at the head of the regiments who fought and died. Therein lies its meaning and sacredness to true Southerners.
How about flying it over state capitals then? My answer…No.
Let me explain.
Prior to the mid 1950s and early 1960s most southern state flags were simply the state seal or some other emblem. States began to incorporate the Confederate battle flag into their state flags in response to the Supreme Court’s and federal government’s effort to eliminate racial discrimination. As an honest southerner I have to say that that is absolutely the wrong reason to fly the battle flag under which so many brave Americans died whether their cause was misguided or not. Unlike their forbearers, who fought and died for a cause, these politicians were fomenting racial discontent and pandering to the ignorant for votes in an attempt to perpetuate the Jim Crow laws of the day.
As proud as I may be of the Confederate Battle Flag and those who carried it and fought under it, I am ashamed of the politicians and common citizens who fought against the civil rights of all Americans. With that in mind, and knowing the history of the flag and why it was adopted into southern state flags, I wholeheartedly support removing the Confederate battle flag from State houses. My only regret is that it has not been done legislatively before and is now being done in abeyance to the Political Correctness of the day.
The point of the caption on the picture of the flag above is valid, however. Those of us who revere and respect the Confederate battle flag are no more racist than any other freedom loving American … just as the majority of Muslims are not terrorists.
It would be too much to expect honesty and fair discourse from the PC Police. Political Correctness is not about honesty. It’s about thought control.
So, here’s what I have to say about the PCers. As a loyal American, I’ll fly the honored and respected Confederate Battle Flag of my ancestors any damn time I choose.