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George Allen and the Confederate Flag
Posted by: Jon Henke on Thursday, May 04, 2006

Ryan Lizza has been stirring the pot at The New Republic, trying to dig up a scandal from Senator George Allen's past. He starts by questioning Allen's "authenticity", which I suppose is fine for people who care about such things. Frankly, I'm not sure why I should care whether Allen deserves to wear his cowboy boots, nor why Allen shouldn't have "become a Southerner". Presumably, that's as reasonable a culture to have adopted as any of the other cultures he grew up in as he "hopscotched around the country" while growing up. I'd like to think that a Presidential nominee would be judged on his policies rather than on his shoes.

However, the most significant accusations made by Lizza are of Allen's various connections to the Confederate Flag. Most notably...
I stared closely at Allen's smirk in his photo, weighing whether his old classmates were just out to destroy him. And then I noticed something on his collar. It's hard to make out, but then it becomes obvious. Seventeen-year-old George Allen is wearing a Confederate flag pin. [...] Why would a young man with such a sensitive understanding of Southern racial conflict and no Southern heritage wear a Confederate flag in his formal yearbook photo?
I've said before that the Allen campaign "will eventually have to deal with this smear". For a presumptive future Presidential candidate, it's certainly a question worth asking and the answer will be worth hearing. However, I think a lot of the controversy arises not from Allen's intentions, but from the ethnocentrism (or perhaps "cultural-centrism") of the critics.

Look, the Confederate Flag is a very contentious symbol, but few critics seem to understand that it's contentious precisely because it means different things to different people. As James Joyner wrote in response to this TNR piece...
A large number of Southerners are proud of a glorified vision of the Old South, which emphasized honor, independence, courage, and civility. A tiny fraction of those people are segregationists and a tiny subset of that group thinks slavery was fine and dandy. Surely, one does not have to denounce slavery and racism every time one goes to a barbecue.
I wrote about this last year, pointing out that "while [Confederate flag = racism] is common knowledge among many Democrats and non-Southerners, it comes as a surprise to many Southerners, who grew up around the flag, and yet somehow missed out on the whole "it means you hate black people" angle."

In fact, many people in the South perceive that view of the Confederate Flag—and of Southerners in general—as implicit disrespect for their culture. The Democratic Party has suffered precisely because many Southerners have a tendency to vote against candidates — and Parties — whose views of the South amount to the patronizing reductionism of "race, guns, God and gays". The inability to see the South through anything but the prism of slavery and the racial tension of years past is a painful sign of disrespect — a sign to which Southerners are particularly sensitive.

To illustrate the disconnect on the confederate symbolism of Lizza's story — and in this follow-up story — let me point out another, less remarked-upon, bit of racial insensitivity from Senator Allen's past. Left entirely unmentioned in Lizza's story was another organization with which Allen was associated — an organization Senator Allen called "like Camelot" — which traded on a far more explicitly offensive racial symbol. Yet, despite the pleas of offended minorities across the country, Senator Allen continues to associate himself with this racially divisive symbol.

For the benefit of Ryan Lizza and others, I will produce a picture of George Allen intentionally posing with that racially insensitive symbol below the fold...
 



This country will simply not put up with that kind of racially insensitive symbolism in
our nation's capitol! (or, ahem, in the pages of The New Republic)
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
> Confederate flag = racism

Maybe I am of a minority view but whenever I see the "Stars and Bars" the "race, guns, God and gays" consideration is pretty low on my list. However, I do think of open rebellion against our country and the start of an internicine war that killed 4% of living adult males. To me, any politician that openly displays that flag should be just as answerable as one who displays a Rising Sun or Swastika (or flies Old Glory upside down under a Mexican flag for that matter).
 
Written By: D
URL: http://
In fairness, I also have a hard time taking the actions of a 17 year old and demanding answers 40 years later. There is a reason it is called "youthful indescretion".
 
Written By: D
URL: http://
Y’know... the frothing search for conspiracy and racism in the precis that TNR sent me about that makes me look forward to seeing George Allen run.
 
Written By: Dave
URL: http://
The "Confederate flag" wasn’t necessarily the ’symbol’ 40 years ago that is has become today. It was once simply "Southern Pride" to a lot of people that displayed it (or display today). There’s a whole lotta pride about it.

Hell, I had a cheap Iron Cross necklace (1960’s bling). I don’t think I, for a minute, considered that it represented either the Kaiser’s army or Hitler’s NAZI regime and all the baggage that goes along with that.

Nice to be older and appreciate what sumbols ’mean’, but they frequently don’t mean jack to a 17 year old.

By the way, I’m a Yankee, or a damned-Yankee so it’s not like I’m likely to defend the principles involved in the basis for a Confederate battle flag. That flag was NEVER the National flag of the Confederate States of America, by the way.

 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
The Confederacy LOST THE WAR. The flag exsisted when there was slavery. Because the Old South continued to use this flag and was in denial that they lost, many today may just see as a flag. What’s the big deal/ Who cares if it is hurtful to its black citizens whoes American birthright came from the torture, blood an toil of thoes slaves?
 
Written By: VRB
URL: http://
Not that it’s not cannot be a big deal today, but it was probably less of a big deal back then. All of the associations for all the things you listed hadn’t been drummed into the heads of everyone south of the Mason-Dixon line so they got to understand there might really be more to seeing that flag for some people than just pride in being ’Southern by the grace of God’.

If people are going to judge him, they should do so on what he’s said, and what he’s done in the last 40 years, not whether or not a photo of him as a young man has the (one of the many) Confederate battle flag(s) in it.

 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
If people are going to judge him, they should do so on what he’s said, and what he’s done in the last 40 years, not whether or not a photo of him as a young man has the (one of the many) Confederate battle flag(s) in it.
And if anyone asks he didn’t inhale...
 
Written By: D
URL: http://
Confederate flag = racism

Now just who are the bigots in this story ?
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
To me, any politician that openly displays that flag should be just as answerable as one who displays a Rising Sun or Swastika (or flies Old Glory upside down under a Mexican flag for that matter).
has anyone got a photo of him with a Confederate flag since he grew up and became a politician? Has he attended any KKK rallies? Marched on behalf of segregationist policies? Produced any legislation that would restore Jim-Crow laws? Surely if he’s really meant all those things by wearing that flag as a symbol of his belief in White Supremecy there must be more evidence of it than a 40 year old picture of him wearing a Confederate battle flag pin.


And the Rising sun....I guess someone better have a word with the Japanese Navy, and I DON’T mean the one we sunk most of by 1945. I mean the current one.
It was re-adopted on June 30, 1954 and is now used as Japan’s naval ensign (being the same Naval ensign that flew from the jackstaffs of the fleet that launched the attack on Pearl Harbor).

Here’s an interesting note on the Japanese National flag.
By the time of the Meiji Restoration of 1868, the sun disc design had come to be regarded as the de facto national flag, and it was officially adopted for use as the naval ensign through Proclamation No. 57 on January 27, 1870. However, it was not formally adopted as the national flag until August 13, 1999 by the Proclamation No. 127, which also confirmed its dimensions: the flag has a height:width ratio of 2:3, the disc is at the exact centre of the flag, and its diameter is three fifths of the flag’s height.

This would be the Meatball version - was throughout the war, and still IS the Japanese national flag.

This means, more than likely, that numerous American Presidents have risen to salute the same flag that flew over the country of the fleet that bombed Pearl Harbor.

Is any of the symbolism sinking in here? It’s not always the same thing to everyone, and at different times they all stood for different things.

Please note, I did not include the Swastika in my rant.

 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
...there must be more evidence of it than a 40 year old picture of him wearing a Confederate battle flag pin.
Hey, great minds think alike. I said above "I also have a hard time taking the actions of a 17 year old and demanding answers 40 years later" to illustrate the same point.

Everything you say about the pre- and post-WWII status of the Rising Sun may very well be true. Nevertheless, in the annals of America’s interaction with that symbol the perfidy executed by the crews of the Kaga, Akagi and Soryu loom the largest. Any politician should recognize that before engaging in any explicit public displays involving that symbol; rehabilitated ensigns of allied navies notwithstanding.
 
Written By: D
URL: http://
Honestly I’m not commending the things they stood for - any of the symbols, but then I’m from the opposite side of every symbol I’m sorta defending. I may listen to Allen talk and decide he’s as useful to me as Ted Kennedy, but I’m not about to damn him yet for simply wearing a flag pin when he was too young to really grasp all the implications of doing it.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Two things -

1. Anyone want to bring up Robert Byrd and talk about some of the things he did as an adult? I don’t, but I’m just sayin’...

2. I moved to NC in 1978 from Boston. Lived there until the late 80’s. I was 8 when I arrived in Carolina and 18 when I left. When I moved back up north (to RI) I took my Confederate Flag with me and kept it on my wall for the next 5 years or so. For me it was a representation of all the good things I learned in the South that had somehow escaped me in the hustle and bustle of the north. I guess that means I’ll never be able to run for president now. Hmmm, what ever am I going to with the extra time??? Not ONCE did it ever occur to me that some might find it offensive. Then one day, a friend came over and saw it. He is black and said ’what’s up with that?’. I told him my side, he told me his and I took the flag down. I can’t control how someone else feels about, but I can control what I do so down it came.

How many questions do I have to answer for actions now???
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
You Yankees just dont get it, It is a little bit about southern pride, but its mostly about this: It pizzes off Yankees and liberals, and thats why we like it.
YEEEEHAAAAAW
 
Written By: kyle N
URL: http://impudent.blognation.us/blog
Southern Pride in the Southern way of life included the exact place of black folk. Blacks were not ignored, but were alway carefully watched to make sure the white’s way of life was not disturbed. It was so insidious that it was hardly noticable to outsiders. There are still buzz words used that unless you are part of the culture you would not have a clue.

Some aspects of Southern culture, which sometimes surprises non Southerners, blacks share too.

I don’t think many blacks would be disturbed with Allen having worn the pin as a teenager, but would be if he wore it now. Have you noticed, blacks get upset, when the Confederate Flag flies over their government buildings, being waved at their schools games (even when 95% players are black), or put on their propety?
Seeing the flag on licence plates, Tee’s, coffee cups, etc. has not really been an issue.

Slavery, Jim Crow and racism as it exist now needs to be discussed and not in the sence "I’m still a victim" or "I’m not a racist." I feel its being disrespectful to Americans who happen to be black, have their history and contributions swept under the rug.
 
Written By: VRB
URL: http://
Southern Pride in the Southern way of life included the exact place of black folk. Blacks were not ignored, but were alway carefully watched to make sure the white’s way of life was not disturbed.
The fine gentlemen here at Q&O have politely asked that I refrain from using language that might make the blog non-work safe, so I’ll paraphrase

Firetruck you.

Remove "iretr" and you’ll get my point.

I am southern. Born and raised in Georgia. Southern pride was just that - Proud to be southern. Proud of our culture and heritage. Proud to be polite and caring and loving to our fellow man. It had nothing to do with the color of our skin. Which is good, considering I’m not white. I had friends of every color and race. None of us ever thought for a moment that being southern meant being racist. We didn’t ’keep a watch on darkies’ to keep them in their place.

You are so full of sh!t. Go peddle your lies somewhere else.

 
Written By: Robb Allen (Sharp as a Marble)
URL: http://sharpmarbles.stufftoread.com
For awhile, in the late 1970s, the Confederate flag became a sort of symbol of youthful rebellion. I remember lots of kids in my - northern California - high school with Confederate flag patches, decals, etc, and many of them were white; I recall at least a few Filipino and Vietnamese kids with these patches.

After all, this was when Dukes of Hazzard was hot and the General Lee were popular. I remember at least a couple of movies with protagonists featuring Confederate flags on their clothes as well.

Maybe in 2006, it’s an unambiguous symbol, but it hasn’t been even in my not particularly long lifetime.
 
Written By: Foobarista
URL: http://
You know, Jeff, I have to go with you on this one.

I used to travel all over the eastern US with my reserve units doing battle staff training for various reserve, NG and active duty units. The unit I was in was based out of Birmingham AL, and, as one might imagine, had a good number of black officers and NCOs.

The only time I ever witnessed overt racism was when we were enroute to Camp Edwards, MA. Traveling from Boston to Camp Edwards, we stopped at a pub in Boston to get something to eat. The staff refused to serve the two black officers traveling with me. They did it by simply ignoring their presence. They acted like they weren’t even there (and they were the only blacks in the establishement). I went batsh*t on ’em ... not the officers, the staff, so much so they called the police.

After the police arrived, and the owner asked that I be arrested, I turned to the two black officers and, in a loud voice, asked them to call the local media and have them meet us at the police station. Both said, "no problem, sir" and the water suddenly calmed. Suddenly the owner wasn’t so keen to see me arrested.

The police finally asked us politely to leave, but I was still hot under the collar, I looked around the bar and said "I can’t believe you people are still in here patronizing this racist establishment.". Most ignored me, but to their credit, 4 people (2 couples) got up and left.

The police escorted us to our car and I was still so p*ssed I couldn’t see straight. The sergeant of police told me just to calm down and forget it. And I remember looking at him and saying, "do you know where we’re from? Do you?" And he said no, he didn’t.

I remember looking him straight in the eyes and saying, "Birmigham, Alabama". He cut his eyes and looked away, and I said, "that’s right, Birmingham, AL. Two officers in the United States Army from Birmigham, Alabama have to come all the way to Boston to be reminded what racism looks like".

It still p*sses me off to this day. And that was in the ’80s.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
has anyone got a photo of him with a Confederate flag since he grew up and became a politician?

Yes.

From Sullivan’s Blog:
Ryan Lizza has two new details: 1) Allen had a Confederate flag on his truck at UVA. 2) An Allen campaign ad from 1993 had a Confederate flag in it. In today’s GOP, I wonder why anyone is surprised.
1993. In 1993, George Allen was 41 years old.

Now, put aside for the moment whether the Stars and Bars is a symbol of racism. Let’s assume it was not.

The flag is nevertheless the battle flag of the one enemy of the United States of America that killed more Americans than any other enemy. And this man not only wore it, he used it to get elected. When he was 41 years old.

Game. Set. Match.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Not that it matters, but here is what Allen had to say in 1997:
In 1997, he proclaimed April as Confederate History and Heritage Month and called the Civil War "a four-year struggle for independence and sovereign rights."
No, sir, it was a war fought against traitors to the United States of America.


 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
In fact, many people in the South perceive that view of the Confederate Flag—and of Southerners in general—as implicit disrespect for their culture. The Democratic Party has suffered precisely because many Southerners have a tendency to vote against candidates — and Parties — whose views of the South amount to the patronizing reductionism of "race, guns, God and gays". The inability to see the South through anything but the prism of slavery and the racial tension of years past is a painful sign of disrespect — a sign to which Southerners are particularly sensitive.
And many people in the North perceive respect for the Confederate Flag as disrespect for their culture. I had an ancestor die in the Civil War who fought for the Union. To me, the flag represents those who killed my ancestor as he defended the United States of America. He was an immigrant, but he fought for the United States.

Your post is classic Jon. The Confederate Flag narrative is always told from a Southern perspective, but never from the Northern perspective.

As for those people who killed my ancestor while he defended the United States, I loathe them. But I reserve my real animosty for those who continue to fly their flag.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
The flag is nevertheless the battle flag of the one enemy of the United States of America that killed more Americans than any other enemy.
Well, WWII appears to be a probable winner for more American combat related deaths. If you include the Confederate combat deaths, then the American Civil war would probably be the winner, but that doesn’t appear to be the point you are attempting to make.
As for those people who killed my ancestor while he defended the United States, I loathe them. But I reserve my real animosty for those who continue to fly their flag.
Yawn. War’s over, MK. The Union won and I don’t think that you’ll find a whole lot of the plantation culture left over in the South. Of course, I was going to an integrated school long before the Bostonians did and that was in Giles County, TN. I’ll leave it to you and Google to figure out why I specifically mentioned the county.

You’ll undoubtedly be happy to realize that despite having 2.5 times as many troops as the Confederacy and having to attack during a period when the defense was tactically superior, the Union suffered a total of 634,703 casualities versus the Confederacy’s 335,524 (assuming that the Confed numbers aren’t too low due to bad records). That’s 2.4% of the Union population versus 4.1% of the Confederate population. I don’t have the demographic pyramid available for that time, but I do know that many southern towns lost more than 50% of their free male population due to the war.

That’s not a bad kill ratio, now is it?

I’m sure that this will put a smile on your face. Especially the title of the last chapter.

Too bad we can’t embed graphics in our posts or I’d preface every reply to you with an image of the Confederate Battle flag just to get that foaming-at-the-mouth effect that we all know and love.
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
Hello , good morning and hallelujah,
the earth is north and south and east and west ....
 
Written By: markman
URL: http://
And many people in the North perceive respect for the Confederate Flag as disrespect for their culture.
Yes, that was half of the point I made. The symbolism is different to different people. I even wrote that. Was I not clear?
Your post is classic Jon. The Confederate Flag narrative is always told from a Southern perspective, but never from the Northern perspective.
In point of fact, it is not "always told from a Southern perspective". That is precisely why there is a controversy here.

So, when I point out that it means different things to different people, you pop up to remind me that some people perceive the symbolism as racism? Well, thanks for repeating a point I’d already made, without acknowledging the other side to the coin. Very helpful of you.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
No, sir, it was a war fought against traitors to the United States of America.
I’m not surprised you see it that way. States rights and all that.

Tell me MK - how often have you campaigned again Robert KKK Byrd? Do you spend time writing blogs about him and how he should never have been elected once, much less numerous times? I’m just looking (for once - dear god - JUST ONCE) a little consistency from you.
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
The Confederate flag very well may have signified "Southern pride" for Southerners 40 years ago. But I think the point of the "authenticity" critique is to point out precisely that Allen was not a Southerner 40 years ago.

So the question is, what did the Confederate flag mean for a suburban Californian 40 years ago? And I think the answer to that question may be more troubling.
 
Written By: Mithras
URL: http://mithrastheprophet.blogspot.com
To the gentleman that called my comment "full of sh!t" must certainly have been born much later that I. I’m making this assumption, because he feels free to make assupmtions about me. I assume he must have ADHD since it appeares he didn’t read the rest of my comment. Also he must be so naive, that it was easy to find the phrase "keep a watch on darkies."
 
Written By: VRB
URL: http://
MK - it might interest you to know the Stars and Bars isn’t the flag you’re talking about. But again, so many people who are running around shouting about the Confederate Flag don’t know the difference, and don’t care. There were a lot of different Confederate flags. The one that causes all the upset is one of the battle flags, which was later incorporated into the ’Stainless Banner’ and into the final version adopted just prior to the end of the war (Yes, they had three ’national’ flags in only 4 years, for various reasons that are interesting and some of which have to do with the need for battle flags to be VERY recognizable on a smoke draped lbattlefield or on a day when there’s no wind to ’fill the standard’).

Here’s a link to a picture of the ’Stars and Bars’. Which probably isn’t the one you’re thinking of. http://www.confederateflags.org/images/SBVicks.gif

Your loathing of the men who fought for the South is largely inconsistent by all accounts with the attitude of the very men from the North who actually FOUGHT them. Check out Grant’s funeral to see the number of Southern officers who attended, as just one example, or the number of re-unions between veterans of both sides who re-united at Gettysburg (as but one example) years later.

YOUR attitude on the other hand is pretty much in line with the current crop of historical revisionists who like to say things like "Lee surrendered, I never did", and who make it a practice to treat "damned Yankee" as one word. Men who like to tell themselves that after 4 years of battle and deprivation they would have continued to fight when even the hardened veterans of the Army of Northern Virigina surrendered.

Rather narrow minded of you to ’loath’ men you never met who, by and large, were common farmers & tradesmen, who didn’t personally own slaves, and who, in many cases, thought they were defending the principles of States Rights.

McQ - I’ll ALWAYS remember the openminded "Union" city of Boston and the photo of Ted Landsmark being speared with an American flag in 1976. A black friend of mine once assured me he’d rather live in the south because he always knew who didn’t like because he was black, whereas in the north he felt like they would be civil to you to your face, and call you ’n*gger’ behind your back.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
So the question is, what did the Confederate flag mean for a suburban Californian 40 years ago? And I think the answer to that question may be more troubling.
Maybe the flag meant "wow, that flag looks cool" to him 40 years ago....

Nah, that kind of thing never happens I suppose, no one who becomes a politician is ever young and innocent, are they.

Now, if he’s still waving it in ’93, as a symbol of white supremecy, and not to invoke Southern Pride..that’s another matter altogether.

Guess the research on his actual statements and positions will have to be done instead of deciding what he stands for based on photo ops, bummer.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
No, sir, it was a war fought against traitors to the United States of America.
Does MK realize that during Clinton’s 12 years as governor, he signed a law celebrating the traitor Robert E. Lee’s birthday as a state holiday? Clinton also never opposed the "Confederate Flag Day" that was celebrated every year as mandated by state law. Clinton supports treason and is a racist?
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
What exactly is treasonous about Seperatism? Haven’t you ever heard the snotty totalitarian dictum, "If you don’t like it, you can always leave?"
 
Written By: Effeminem
URL: http://ethermind.blogspot.com
However, I do think of open rebellion against our country and the start of an internicine war that killed 4% of living adult males.
Do you mean the way Iraq is in open rebellion to the US? Or the way England is in open rebellion to the US? Shall we attack the UK for not doing what we tell them?

Our primary document, the Declaration of Independence (DOI) states "Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, —That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government..."

When SC seceded, she rescinded her consent to be governed by the federal authority. As 6 of her sister states joined her and formed the Confederate States of America, they all rescinded their consent. The right of secession was axiomatic. Our "Revolution" was nothing more than secession from the crown of England. Even our Constitution (USC) was a secession from the Articles of Confederation.

Relying upon the DOI and Amendments IX and X of the USC, our forefathers formed a new nation, the CSA, with an independent government, military, and economy. With less than half the population and an army raised from scratch, that we managed to fight off the evil empire of the North for four years is remarkable and something for which every Southron should be proud.
 
Written By: FreeSouthron
URL: http://SaveOurDixie.com
VRB
Who cares if it is hurtful to its black citizens whoes American birthright came from the torture, blood an toil of thoes slaves?
Obviously not the self-aggrandizing yankees who oft forget they were the ones who imported the slaves and used slave labor to build cities like New York. Nor do they remember that slavery existed in the Union throughout the war and that slaves in Union states were still held in bondage some 5 months after the war’s conslusion. Somehow, it still escapes their recollection that one of their very own states refused to sign Amendment 13, abolishing slavery, until 1901!
 
Written By: FreeSouthron
URL: http://SaveOurDixie.com
Southern Pride in the Southern way of life included the exact place of black folk. Blacks were not ignored, but were alway carefully watched to make sure the white’s way of life was not disturbed.


This would be laughable if it were not so pathetic. Black codes in the North were usually very harsh. Since we are discussing the flag, we should also highlight Lincoln’s sentiments toward white supremacy and his desire to keep the western territories as havens for white workers only.
There are still buzz words used that unless you are part of the culture you would not have a clue.


Care to share some of these "buzzwords?" Being in the Deep South, I should probably know them already, but I seem to be at a loss. Was I asleep in class that day?
Have you noticed, blacks get upset, when the Confederate Flag flies over their government buildings, being waved at their schools games (even when 95% players are black), or put on their propety?
Yes. Ignorance and anti-Southern propaganda has done a great deal to perpetuate myths about what the flag means.
Slavery, Jim Crow and racism as it exist now needs to be discussed and not in the sence "I’m still a victim" or "I’m not a racist." I feel its being disrespectful to Americans who happen to be black, have their history and contributions swept under the rug.

And probably one of the most swept under-the-rug topic is Black Confederates who willingly served their nation. Shall we start with those heroes? Why, just the other day I was at Bill Yopp’s grave paying my respects.
 
Written By: FreeSouthron
URL: http://SaveOurDixie.com
FreeSouthron, FYI everything I said was from a Southern perspective. I am not speaking to Lincoln’s or a Black Confederate’s point of view. What the Confederate flag represents to you and it to me, no arguement will ever change that. Although, I think it means the same to both of us. If you are making a comparison to the north as being more brutal. Any form of slavery is brutal even if the slave is never touched. It does not seem that you have any problem with blacks being enslaved. You have to point out that there were Black Confederates. Tell me, just what were they fighting for? The whites way of life?
 
Written By: VRB
URL: http://
My whole family is dyed in the wool Southerners (although I and my siblings are Yankees by birth). I’ve generally had a hard time dealing with the southerner aspects of the family, but having gleaned over the past few years just how p.o.’d the Confederate flag makes liberals, I absolutely have to go out and get me one. And I live in NY. But I’m giving very serious considerating to moving down south, preferably Texas.

This makes me like George Allen more, not less.

 
Written By: Peg C.
URL: http://
Growing up in Texas, I always understood the Stars and Bars to be a Southern Pride thing, not a code for racism. The Texas state flag used to be the flag of the Republic of Texas - does that make it racist and anti-Mexican?

I see a lot of Confederate flags here in the eastern suburbs of Cleveland. The reason: The local school district has two high schools: "North" and "South." "South" are the Rebels, their school color is gray, and their letter jackets have the Stars and Bars on them.

Even though the wearers say, "you guys" instead of, "y’all."
 
Written By: skydaddy
URL: http://sddc.blogspot.com
If it was all about slavery, then why did the Cherokee nation fight on the side of the Confederacy?

If the cause has to be just, as a prerequisite to honor those who fought for the cause, does that mean we have to believe the Vietnam war was right and just in order to honor our veterans who fought in that war?

If a symbol offends a large group of people, is it right and proper that such a symbol’s display be stigmatized and/or banned outright?
 
Written By: OCBill
URL: http://
OCBill: the Cherokee Nation was split on the issue of slavery. The Cherokee abolitionists fought for the Union, while the Cherokee slaveowners fought for the Confederacy.
 
Written By: CL
URL: http://
Mkultra:

You sound like a Bosnian Serb dead-ender. Get over yourself and your silly martyr-by-proxy complex. By your definition, the Founding Fathers were traitors to the Crown.

I’ll see your three ancestors — I have three alone on the Pennsylvania monument at Gettysburg. Twenty-plus others wore the Union blue elsewhere and none of them came home unmarked by the war, whether missing limbs or crippled by pneumonia or scurvy.

As far as I’m concerned, North and South settled the issue (secession, slavery, states’ rights, whatever) on the battlefield and the South was the worse for it.

Lesson learned.

—furious
 
Written By: furious
URL: http://www.shanksvillememorial.com
I’ve lived in the South for about a dozen years and I’ve heard the "It’s About Southern Heritage, Not Hate" argument from Southerners many, many times. But in all that time I’ve never seen a black person with a confederate flag on their car. Why do you suppose black Southerners don’t want to celebrate their heritage? What’s wrong with them? Have they no pride?

 
Written By: Laurence Burton
URL: http://
FreeSouthron, FYI everything I said was from a Southern perspective.


I did not presuppose a North or South perspective on your part. I was simply pointing out some inconsistency with the yankee myths.
If you are making a comparison to the north as being more brutal. Any form of slavery is brutal even if the slave is never touched.
I am implying that often times the free black in the North was treated much worse than the slave in the South. De Tocqueville spoke to the differences between the two. Either case is a form of bondage and unacceptable.
It does not seem that you have any problem with blacks being enslaved.
Let us refrain from ad hominem. I do not condone slavery in any form, nor do I judge people in the past with the looking glass of contemporary morality.
You have to point out that there were Black Confederates. Tell me, just what were they fighting for? The whites way of life?
I do not have to point it out, but it was an address of the quoted point. I believe it is highly offensive and racist to attempt to erase the contribution of black Confederates to the cause of Southern Independence.

Those brave Southerners fought for the same thing most whites fought for, independence and home. They fought to defend their country from the Northern invaders. They were brave men who served their country well.
 
Written By: FreeSouthron
URL: http://SaveOurDixie.com
I’ve lived in the South for about a dozen years and I’ve heard the "It’s About Southern Heritage, Not Hate" argument from Southerners many, many times. But in all that time I’ve never seen a black person with a confederate flag on their car. Why do you suppose black Southerners don’t want to celebrate their heritage? What’s wrong with them? Have they no pride?
Years ago my home state of Alabama flew the Battle Flag over the capitol. One of the local black politicians said he was going to climb up and remove the flag himself if the governor didn’t. So I asked a black friend of mine who went through the Civil Rights movement there what he thought of the situation.

He reached into his pocket and pulled out a large ring of keys. On that ring was a big Battle Flag. He said, "They’ll have to kill me to get mine." As I listened, he went on and said, "Right or wrong, good or bad, it is _my_ history and heritage, and I am proud of it."

Here is a link to some photos of H.K. Edgerton, the ex-head of the Ashville, NC NAACP.

http://www.dixieoutfitters.com/heritage/hkeg.shtml
 
Written By: FreeSouthron
URL: http://SaveOurDixie.com
As far as I’m concerned, North and South settled the issue (secession, slavery, states’ rights, whatever) on the battlefield and the South was the worse for it.

Lesson learned.

—furious

As our glorious President Jefferson Davis said, "A question settled by violence, or in disregard of law, must remain unsettled forever."

The notion that might makes right is archaic and barbaric. This centralized, national government is the embodiment of Lincoln’s revolution. His victory and the subjugation of millions of Southerners under Yankee rule did not make it right.

Deo Vindice
Resurgam
 
Written By: FreeSouthron
URL: http://SaveOurDixie.com
I believe it is highly offensive and racist to attempt to erase the contribution of black Confederates to the cause of Southern Independence.
I ask what independence would a slave obtain? Do you have any slave narrative that can speak to your point? You seem to imply that those slaves would have gained their freedom for their sacrifice. That is taking a leap of faith.

It would appear intuitive; that those who have lived under coercion all of their lives and contained in that world, would fight for those coercive forces.

I don’t think anything I would ever say, would change your view. There is nothing that you can say that would change the fact that I equate the Confederate Flag with racism, slavery and whites longing for "the good old days." Being a black Southerner, I have been offended by the sight of that flag, the song "Dixie," direct insults of my ability,and the question "Why aren’t you satisfied?"
 
Written By: VRB
URL: http://
That some feel the Confederate flag is a symbol of "Southern pride" is a sad commentary on those Southerners. That the best symbol of the vast and rich cultural heritage of artist, writers, and brave soldiers from the South is the flag of a failed regime based on the concept that one human being had the right to own another is a sign either of a lack of imagination or of willful insult.

Human communication is predicated on the fact that we mostly agree what symbols mean, therefore one person can convey a concept to another by that token. Therefore you’re an idiot if you walk into a public place saying that you have a bomb; then once in custody (if not the hospital) claim that to you, "bomb" means something completely different and therefore there shouldn’t have been a problem. Likewise, people claiming that the Confederate flag is some innocuous statement of heritage are either a) being disingenuous, or b) idiots. The connotations of the symbol are obvious; it represents a racist government that attempted the violent dissolution of this country. It’s been embraced by numerous racist organizations (even if ypu argue that this is an "invalid" use, the plain fact is symbols derive a lot of their meaning by the people that choose to embrace them). Therefore to simply say "But I don’t view it that way" and expect that POOF! the predominate meaning that the symbol has conveyed for more than a century is transformed to one of simple ancestral pride is ridiculous. Even if you claim regional or cultural ambiguity over the symbol’s meaning, by now one has to know that to the larger world "Confederate flag" does equal "racism", therefore continued use is either simple pigheadedness or intentionally seeking to cause offense. And intentionally causing offense isn’t an issue, but at least be honest about it.

And since everyone’s breaking out their bonafides, I’m from Virginia, the state that brought you Lee(Robert E.)/Jackson(Stonewall)/King(Martin Luther, Jr.) Day. I grew up around the flags and the abject glorification of the Confederacy. I get so sick and tired of folks trotting it out like it’s a universal Southern rule, welcome and inclusive of all; it’s not. The widespread display of Confederate paraphernalia has been an unwelcome imposition on generations of blacks in the South, a reminder of just what a lot of whites are referring to when they harken back to ’the good ole days’. It is exactly the metaphysical analog of the swastika. I wonder if those here would be as forgiving over a politician who took to wearing a Totenkopf insignia to "honor his heritage".
 
Written By: Junyo
URL: http://
I ask what independence would a slave obtain? Do you have any slave narrative that can speak to your point?
There are many references to black Confederates, including Frederick Douglas who commented that they were not just cooks and teamsters, but carried guns and shot at yankee soldiers.
You seem to imply that those slaves would have gained their freedom for their sacrifice. That is taking a leap of faith.


I have not implied that at all. I clearly stated they fought for Southern independence. That is the sovereignty of the Confederate States of America.

Here are a couple of links for your perusal with some good information on the subject:

http://www.37thtexas.org/html/BlkHist.html

http://www.scvcamp469-nbf.com/billyopp.htm - I was at his grave just a few days ago paying my respects.

http://www.blackconfederates.com/ - A very good book on the subject.
It would appear intuitive; that those who have lived under coercion all of their lives and contained in that world, would fight for those coercive forces.
And yet above you seem to doubt the possibility. Or perhaps it was not coersion, but a sense of duty to one’s home and country that compelled them. Whether you like it or not, these men were capable of having the same sentiments as anyone else in regards to patriotism, duty, honor, and integrity.
There is nothing that you can say that would change the fact that I equate the Confederate Flag with racism, slavery and whites longing for "the good old days."
That is your own bigotry. As many have said, there are none so blind as those who refuse to see. If you are content with perpetuating a myth and whitewashing history, you are correct, I cannot change your will.
Being a black Southerner, I have been offended by the sight of that flag, the song "Dixie," direct insults of my ability,and the question "Why aren’t you satisfied?"
As a white Southron, I am offended by people who spew vitriol whenever they see the flag or any kind representation of Southerners. I am offended by the stereotypes you are content to perpetuate- the myth of the rabid white racists and a klan robe in every closet. And I am offended by those who would deny me my Constitutional Right of free speech and expression, for the sake of their own personal preference. It is a shame they are willing to sacrifice Rights for comfort, as long as it is their comfort and not their Rights.

Earlier you stated we see the flag much the same way. Not knowing your revile for it at the moment, I did not contest your statement. Having now been privy to your prejudice, I will take this opportunity to dissent. I do not see it as a symbol of slavery any more than I see the US flag, under which the slaves arrived, as a symbol of the institution. Nor do I see the flag as a symbol of racism, though I am quick to admit I believe it has been co-opted by hatemongers. That is our fault. We should have stood in opposition to these groups much sooner. As for longing for "the good old days," perhaps we might have some agreement there, though we would undoubtedly disagree on exactly what that means. For me, those good old days would be a less centralized federal government and greater government at the local levels. It would include greater kinship to the soil and Church and neighbors. It would be times when men and women alike were more honorable and integrity was a virtue.
 
Written By: FreeSouthron
URL: http://SaveOurDixie.com
That some feel the Confederate flag is a symbol of "Southern pride" is a sad commentary on those Southerners. That the best symbol of the vast and rich cultural heritage of artist, writers, and brave soldiers from the South is the flag of a failed regime based on the concept that one human being had the right to own another is a sign either of a lack of imagination or of willful insult.
Sadder yet is the incapability of some to use critical analysis. There were slaves in the Confederacy during the War. There were slaves in the Union during the War. How can the yankees be fighting a war to end slavery when they actively engaged in the practice? And how could the great emancipator wage a war against slavery when he refused to help the slaves under his control?
Human communication is predicated on the fact that we mostly agree what symbols mean, therefore one person can convey a concept to another by that token. Therefore you’re an idiot if you walk into a public place saying that you have a bomb; then once in custody (if not the hospital) claim that to you, "bomb" means something completely different and therefore there shouldn’t have been a problem.
This is not an accurate analogy, as words are much different from symbols. Let us then imagine a man walking into a public place with a box with XXX on it. What is it? What is it if the XXX is on a jug or jar?

Let us depart from that analogy and ask what the US flag is a symbol for? What did it mean to the Native Americans at Sand Creek? To Red Cloud? To Tojo? the NVA? Hussein?
Likewise, people claiming that the Confederate flag is some innocuous statement of heritage are either a) being disingenuous, or b) idiots.
Or they are correct. Symbols mean whatever you want them to mean. Not everyone ascribes the same value to every symbol. For example, what does a rainbow symbolize? To one group of people it symbolizes the homosexual movement. To another group, it symbolizes the promise made by God that the earth would never again be destroyed by flood.
The connotations of the symbol are obvious; it represents a racist government that attempted the violent dissolution of this country.
I am seriously doubting your scholarship. Perhaps the fact that I am very tired has made me skeptical. The CSA did not attempt the violent dissolution of the country. Prior to Lincoln’s revolution, we had a federal government, but not a national government, as Madison pointed out during the Bill of Rights debates. SC withdrew consent to be governed. Six sister states followed suit. As the Confederate government took form, they offered payment for all lands occupied by federal forces. That federal troops existed on their sovereign soil was anathema. There was no reason for the military of a foreign government, in this case the US, to be occupying their land. After Lincoln called up troops and violated the Constition by invading the South, several additional states seceded.

As for the government being racist, that term is a wide brush and even a casual glance will demonstrate it painted the bodies of both governments. It is also merely a buzzword meant to engender hatred for its direct object, but carries no weight.
It’s been embraced by numerous racist organizations (even if ypu argue that this is an "invalid" use, the plain fact is symbols derive a lot of their meaning by the people that choose to embrace them).
And yet above you said people claiming it is innocuous are disingenuous. Which is it? Do they derive their meaning from those who embrace them? Or those who view them?
Even if you claim regional or cultural ambiguity over the symbol’s meaning, by now one has to know that to the larger world "Confederate flag" does equal "racism", therefore continued use is either simple pigheadedness or intentionally seeking to cause offense. And intentionally causing offense isn’t an issue, but at least be honest about it.
You have left off another cause. The only way to take the symbol back from the groups who have co-opted it, is through non-hateful display.
It is exactly the metaphysical analog of the swastika.
Come now, you speak of disingenuous and idiocy and then trot out another buzzword? Are they the same? Let us contemplate...

1. There were some free blacks in the South. There were no free Jews.
2. Blacks were neither gassed nor placed in ovens. Jews were.
3. 6-12 million people were exterminated under the Swastika. None were exterminated under the Battle Flag.
4. The Swastika waged a war of conquest, the Battle Flag did not.

Interestingly enough, let us look at the US Flag with these numbers.

1. There were slaves under the US flag before, during, and after the War. (They were also brought under the US flag. Not one came under the Battle flag)
2. The US waged a war of genocide against the Native Americans. A good part of this genocide took place during 1860-1865.
3. Countless millions of Native Americans were exterminated, including the 39 in a mass hanging ordered by Lincoln. He has the dubious honor of being the president who ordered the largest mass executin in US history.
4. The US flag has waged wars of conquest with the CSA, Mexico, England, etc. The entire contiguous states is the result of wars of conquest, most under the US flag.
I wonder if those here would be as forgiving over a politician who took to wearing a Totenkopf insignia to "honor his heritage".


I am assuming you must mean the regimental insignia. I would wager that most people would not recognize it for what it is. In my youth I saw many people wearing it, most believing it was just a neat pin purchased at the music store. It would only be recognized as something "offensive" to those who are compelled to be offended by it. The rest of the world would not look at it twice.
 
Written By: FreeSouthron
URL: http://SaveOurDixie.com
You talk of your rights and the rights of the Southern States; and this is the tone of your comments about slavery.
I am implying that often times the free black in the North was treated much worse than the slave in the South.
1. There were slaves under the US flag before, during, and after the War.
 
Written By: VRB
URL: http://
It would appear intuitive; that those who have lived under coercion all of their lives and contained in that world, would fight for those coercive forces.

And yet above you seem to doubt the possibility. Or perhaps it was not coersion, but a sense of duty to one’s home and country that compelled them. Whether you like it or not, these men were capable of having the same sentiments as anyone else in regards to patriotism, duty, honor, and integrity.


Certainly slaves have fought for their masters, in our Civil War and in many other wars. I seriously doubt that many slaves have *ever* fought primarily for reasons of "patriotism, duty, honor, and integrity," at least as you seem to define those words. Personal ties — yes. Promises of freedom — yes. Fear of an even worse fate if their masters lose — yes. When slave states begin enlisting significant numbers of slaves into the fighting ranks, it’s always been a sign of sheer desperation. Whether it was Rome promising freedom to slaves who took up arms against Hannibal (after 3 horrific defeats), or Sparta doing the same for helots when in similarly desperate straits, the vast majority of slaves who fought almost certainly didn’t fight for "love of country" either then or in Civil War America. If they did, I wonder why fear of bloody slave revolts were so omnipresent in all the slave states of history? One reason antebellum Southern militias were almost uniformly better than Northern militias was precisely because of the fear of slave revolts.
 
Written By: Larry
URL: http://
You talk of your rights and the rights of the Southern States; and this is the tone of your comments about slavery.

FS: I am implying that often times the free black in the North was treated much worse than the slave in the South.

FS: 1. There were slaves under the US flag before, during, and after the War.
What is the tone? Matter-of-factly? Are we resorting to ad hominem again? Is the strategy, "when incapable of addressing points, attack the messegner?"

Do you deny the north had slaves throughout the War? Or do you deny black codes in the North were awful?

http://www.slavenorth.com/exclusion.htm

You have yet to answer the question "How can a country that tolerates and permits slavery prosecute a war against another country to end slavery in that nation?" That would be like us going to war with Mexico because they allow people to drive faster than 35mph on their highways.
 
Written By: FreeSouthron
URL: http://SaveOurDixie.com
Larry,

Here is an interesting counter-perspective for you.

http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams012600.asp

How have I defined the word honor in a manner other than typically used? Integrity? etc? How has the word "home" deviated from standard usage?

As for your assertion regarding bloody slave revolts and fear, this is not germaine to the conversation of whether or not the Battle Flag is a symbol of slavery, but I will address it just the same. Perhaps this fear came from the massacre of whites by blacks up north less than a century before. Or perhaps it was bred from knowledge of the more recent Haitian slave revolts. Or perhaps it was Gabriel Prosser (1800) or Denmark Vesey (1822) or Nat Turner (1831). In any case, it is curious that while there was this fear of a slave revolt the men were able to leave their women with the slaves for safe keeping AND supply some of those who might revolt with guns and ammunition.
 
Written By: FreeSouthron
URL: http://SaveOurDixie.com
A few years ago, I saw a billboard-sized sign with a rampant bull, the Confederate battle flag, and the motto "Southern Pride". It was in Naples, Italy. Apparently, a lot of southern Italians resent the way northern Italians look down on them. Obviously, race has nothing to do with this usage. Given the negative views of the South that have been so common, I think there really is a "pride" element separate from race.

FreeSouthron’s insistence to the contrary, there were no "black Confederates" to speak of. Blacks were absolutely excluded from the Confederate army. General Pat Cleburne, a hero dubbed "the Stonewall of the West", was nearly run out of the Confderate army in 1864 for suggesting the enlistment of blacks. When Davis and Lee proposed it in 1865, at the very end of the war, many leading Confederates were outraged, and only Lee’s prestige got it through the Congress. (A few hundred recruits were mustered before the fall of Richmond.)

After the war, of course, a lot of black drummer boys and cooks and such were retroactively included in the Confederate army. This, and a lot of bogus anecdotes, are often cited as ’evidence’ of black Confederates. For instance, one Dr. Steiner reported seeing "thousands" of black troops in Lee’s army in 1862. Dr. Steiner also reported seeing lots of Confederates with trophies made from the bones of Union dead...

Such anecdotes are treasured - the evidence of actual Confederate enlistment records is dismissed. These records have been carefully examined and only a few dozen ’colored’ enlistees have been found. All of them were expelled from the army when their race was discovered by the CSA War Department.

As for the "sovereignty" argument, let the Confederates speak for themselves, in their own Declarations of Causes and Ordinances of Secession:

South Carolina:
[The non-slaveholding States] have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery...

Mississippi:
Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery...

Texas:
[Texas] was received as a commonwealth holding, maintaining and protecting the institution known as negro slavery— the servitude of the African to the white race within her limits— a relation that had existed from the first settlement of her wilderness by the white race, and which her people intended should exist in all future time.

Georgia:
For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slave-holding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery.

Virginia:
...the Federal Government having perverted said powers not only to the injury of the people of Virginia, but to the oppression of the Southern slave-holding States...

Alabama:
...it is the desire and purpose of the people of Alabama to meet the slaveholding States of the South, who may approve such purpose, in order to frame a provisional as well as permanent Government...

James Webb is just as much of a pander on this issue as Allen ever was. No serious historian claims that "sovereignty" was really a separate issue from slavery for white Southerners. The only significant reason for wanting "sovereignty" was to protect and maintain slavery.


 
Written By: Rich Rostrom
URL: www.yahoo.com
I apologize for the delay in responding, it has been rather eventful here in Dixieland. I apologize for its length, I tried to be comprehensive.
A few years ago, I saw a billboard-sized sign with a rampant bull, the Confederate battle flag, and the motto "Southern Pride". It was in Naples, Italy. Apparently, a lot of southern Italians resent the way northern Italians look down on them. Obviously, race has nothing to do with this usage. Given the negative views of the South that have been so common, I think there really is a "pride" element separate from race.
Agreed. I believe there are several countries around the world which use the Battle Flag as a symbol of sovereignty and pride.
FreeSouthron’s insistence to the contrary, there were no "black Confederates" to speak of. Blacks were absolutely excluded from the Confederate army. General Pat Cleburne, a hero dubbed "the Stonewall of the West", was nearly run out of the Confderate army in 1864 for suggesting the enlistment of blacks. When Davis and Lee proposed it in 1865, at the very end of the war, many leading Confederates were outraged, and only Lee’s prestige got it through the Congress. (A few hundred recruits were mustered before the fall of Richmond.)
It is true the regular army was not permitted for some time to recruit blacks, however, this did not stop blacks from serving in militias and privately raised groups, such as those who served and fought with Forrest.
After the war, of course, a lot of black drummer boys and cooks and such were retroactively included in the Confederate army. This, and a lot of bogus anecdotes, are often cited as ’evidence’ of black Confederates. For instance, one Dr. Steiner reported seeing "thousands" of black troops in Lee’s army in 1862. Dr. Steiner also reported seeing lots of Confederates with trophies made from the bones of Union dead...
I would have to ask at which point Frederick Douglass was lying, when he wrote his narrative or when he commented on the black Confederates? Furthermore, many existing pension applications demonstrate the black applicant claimed he was a soldier and that it was later crossed out and the word was replaced with teamster, cook, etc. Although I and many accounts from well before we were born disagree with your position, let us suppose for a moment that no black ever picked up a gun to defend friend, master, compatriot, or country, how do we dismiss those free blacks who volunteered to work as cooks, teamsters, engineers, foragers, etc? Moreover, does this mean that the men and women who are currently serving in our military do not qualify as soldiers if all they do is provide vital support for those on the front lines?
As for the "sovereignty" argument, let the Confederates speak for themselves, in their own Declarations of Causes and Ordinances of Secession:
I agree. Let us look at their ordinances.
South Carolina:[The non-slaveholding States] have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery...
This is not found in the Ordinance, but in the Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union. Furthermore, your citation is misleading. In context, it is not slavery for which SC seceded, but because she was a free, sovereign, and independent country renouncing the compact with which she was bound due to negligence on behalf of the federal gov’t. Here it is in better context. "We affirm that these ends for which this Government was instituted have been defeated, and the Government itself has been made destructive of them by the action of the non-slaveholding States. Those States have assume the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions; and have denied the rights of property established in fifteen of the States and recognized by the Constitution; they have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery; they have permitted open establishment among them of societies, whose avowed object is to disturb the peace and to eloign the property of the citizens of other States. They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes; and those who remain, have been incited by emissaries, books and pictures to servile insurrection." Citation
Mississippi:Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery...
Interestingly, here are some additional reasons cited against the abolitionist movement. "It has enlisted its press, its pulpit and its schools against us, until the whole popular mind of the North is excited and inflamed with prejudice.

"It has made combinations and formed associations to carry out its schemes of emancipation in the States and wherever else slavery exists.

"It seeks not to elevate or to support the slave, but to destroy his present condition without providing a better." Citation

Texas:[Texas] was received as a commonwealth holding, maintaining and protecting the institution known as negro slavery— the servitude of the African to the white race within her limits— a relation that had existed from the first settlement of her wilderness by the white race, and which her people intended should exist in all future time.

From the Ordinance: “WHEREAS, The recent developments in Federal affairs make it evident that the power of the Federal Government is sought to be made a weapon with which to strike down the interests and property of the people of Texas, and her sister slave-holding States, instead of permitting it to be, as was intended, our shield against outrage and aggression;” This declares the reason for secession the overstepping of its bounds by the federal gov’t.

Here are a few lines taken from the document you referenced. "They have sent hired emissaries among us to burn our towns and distribute arms and poison to our slaves for the same purpose.

"They have impoverished the slave-holding States by unequal and partial legislation, thereby enriching themselves by draining our substance.

"They have refused to vote appropriations for protecting Texas against ruthless savages, for the sole reason that she is a slave-holding State."

So, Texas saw also the failure of the federal gov’t to protect her as reason to dissolve the ties that bound them.
Georgia:For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slave-holding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery.
Let us read the next line or two. "They have endeavored to weaken our security, to disturb our domestic peace and tranquility, and persistently refused to comply with their express constitutional obligations to us in reference to that property, and by the use of their power in the Federal Government have striven to deprive us of an equal enjoyment of the common Territories of the Republic." And yet more, "The public law of civilized nations requires every State to restrain its citizens or subjects from committing acts injurious to the peace and security of any other State and from attempting to excite insurrection, or to lessen the security, or to disturb the tranquillity of their neighbors, and our Constitution wisely gives Congress the power to punish all offenses against the laws of nations.

"These are sound and just principles which have received the approbation of just men in all countries and all centuries; but they are wholly disregarded by the people of the Northern States, and the Federal Government is impotent to maintain them."

It is also interesting to look at the causes of other states. Kentucky, for example, lists a train of abuses at the hands of the federal gov’t, but never mentions slavery. TN also seceded over the federal gov’t’s abuse of citizens. A union by force was viewed as anathema to those who believed in the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution.

No serious historian claims that "sovereignty" was really a separate issue from slavery for white Southerners. The only significant reason for wanting "sovereignty" was to protect and maintain slavery.
We are now chasing that elusive red herring.

1. The original question was: Is the Battle Flag a symbol of slavery? Since no slave was ever imported under the Battle Flag, and since slavery existed in the Union under the Stars and Stripes, one must logically conclude that the flag is not a symbol of slavery.

2. The next question was: How can a country that permits slavery within its borders wage a war to end slavery in a separate nation (and simultaneously wage a war of genocide against Native Americans)? Without being morally bankrupt and a chief example of hypocrisy, it cannot. The war had to be about something else. If it was prosecuted for other reasons, then the opposite side must be fighting for the opposite reason.

3. The third issue was whitewashing history to exclude the contribution blacks made to the Confederate cause. We have yet to see your response.

4. And finally we arrive to the causes for secession. The causes of secession, though many, and inclusive of slavery, are irrelevant to the symbolism of the Battle Flag. To use a practical example, let us say I leave my house to get gum from the store, but forget to close my door. You walk in and rob me blind. Shall we then say I was robbed for gum since that is why I left the house?

Had Lincoln not precipitated and prosecuted war, there would have been no "Battle" Flag. That this flag was oft carried by ordinary men with no holdings in slaves, at worst it represents only them. The majority of these men fought for independence and belief in the gov’t our founding fathers created for us, as opposed to the despotism and favoritism found in a sectional government.

 
Written By: FreeSouthron
URL: http://SaveOurDixie.com
What a bunch of absolute good ol’ boy CRAP! In case you haven’t noticed, America was all about hypocracy in those days. While America fought for it’s independence from England, the slave asked how is that America can pursue freedom and they can’t. America’s answer: Your situation is different.

The war was fought because slavery was to be abolished COMPLETELY...and the south stood up, puffed out it’s chest and proclaimed that it was their "way of life" and that they weren’t going to be told what to do or how to live their life. That overly used, TIRED excuse has hung in there all of these years, and as I see, has morphed into some moronic musings about how it would be too hypocritical to slaughter Native Americans and then go to war with a part of the nation over slavery. Well DUH. Didn’t you realize what kind of people ran this country back then? They didn’t care about being hypocritical....all they cared about was making their money, and doing whatever the hell they had to do to make that money. If that meant killing a lot of Indians and forcing blacks to work for them, then so be it.

But then all of a sudden, the North got a conscience and decided that slavery was wrong. While the South got mad because their primary source of income came about through slavery....(HELLO? King Cotton?? How do you think they got the cotton planted and harvested??) And so why WOULDN’T the Good Ol’ Boys get mad. You’d get mad to if someone told you that they were about to take away your means of making money.

The southern way of life WAS slavery. I wish the die-hard "heritage not hate" morons would fess up to that. I mean, if not slavery then what? Sweet Tea? In-Breeding? Oh...I’m sorry. I guess it’s pride and not letting anyone push you around. No I’m sorry. It was slavery. The north wanted to get rid of it once and for all, and the south wasn’t having it.

Now, let us not still forget that after the confederacy got the CRAP kicked out of them and Gen. Sherman burned a trail through here to seal the deal, racism was still very rampart. And there it was. The Confederate flag. Flappin’ on the backs of hoarses that the KKK rode, terrorizing free blacks. Flying in the crowds of some whites as they yelled obscene things and spit on blacks who tried to attend their schools or eat in their resturaunts.

And you know, that flag probably was carried by men who didn’t own slaves. Any man without a slave didn’t have one because he couldn’t afford one. Let’s not get stupid....VERY VERY few people had enough money and no slaves at all. The norm was that if they didn’t have slaves, it was because they were too poor to own slaves. So you can throw that theory out the window too. And as far as the black confederates....you’re absolutely right. There were some. It was not uncommon for a slave to feel loyal to their master, despite their master’s HELLISH treatment of them. So it was either loyalty, or the promise of freedom, following the war.

I’m sorry Confederate flag fans....but African Americans aren’t buying it. All we ever see....all we WILL ever see, is a symbol of hate. That flag flew during a time when we were looked upon as less than human, and in many cases not human at all. Do some REAL research. Look at some of the archival pictures of lynch mobs standing around a black person burning alive, tied to a tree. What flag do you see in the background?? How are we suppose to feel about that?? And how can ANY of you possibly think we would feel anything BUT ABSOLUTE REPULSION at the very mention of that flag. It is a disgrace...and it should be displayed only by those who still beleive in it and what it stood for, and what it STILL stands for. But the rest of us shouldn’t have to see it flappin around on our state capital everyday as if the entire state still supports "the southern way of life".

The old South is DEAD; as of 1865. And thank GOD it died. Otherwise, southern blacks would not have had a hope nor a prayer of accomplishing even a tenth of what they have today. If the Confederate flag is southern pride, then you can have it. Even as a sourthrener, I’d rather be sick to my stomach then to pledge allegence to THAT. YUCK.
 
Written By: Cheryl
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