For starters, the flag I see flying over the capital grounds of South Carolina isn’t THE Confederate flag. Having said that, it doesn’t really matter.

I have not one problem with any southern state incorporating its history during the Civil War within its current state flag. That part of history clearly impacted that state. What most of us do object to is flying the lone flag thought of as the “Rebel Flag,” standing beside the state flag and the United States flag. I simply do not see why it is necessary. It just looks redneck.

What I did not realize is that flag wasn’t flown in South Carolina until the 60’s as a symbol against integration and the Civil Rights movement. This display of the “Rebel Flag” is not time-honored tradition. It appears to be an open “in-your-face” display of defiance and intolerance.

I don’t think this is the time to make any changes, however. The “Rebel Flag” was no more cause of the Charleston Massacre than the Rising Sun was the cause of the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Change needs  to come to South Carolina because it is time.  That flag has been hi-jacked and used outside its historical context.  It has been to reinforce and prop up the notion of racial superiority and power.  I would have no problem if the flag was in some way supporting history and used in that context.  It is not.  The history and culture excuse is pure bull crap.

The change needs to come from the South Carolina General Assembly. They need to retire that display once and for all and get on with life.

41 thoughts on “Time to retire the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia in South Carolina

  1. Rick Bentley

    It shouldn’t be flying. For the same reason that Germans shouldn’t raise a Nazi flag.

    1. Pretty much….

      It should be considered obsolete and redneck. Yea, I said the R word.

      If I want to have a display of various confederate flag in my home for historical and cultural purposes, its a private home. It doesn’t have to offend anyone. One of my best friends has an original Nazi flag. She is no more Nazi than I am. Her father brought it back from WWII. I wish she would give it to me to go along with my Rising Sun. (my uncle brought it back)

  2. Censored bybvbl

    In the Sixties it was seen as a symbol of white power – much as the singing of “Dixie” and mouthing “the South shall rise again”. It’s historical context has long been usurped by its racist one.

  3. Lyssa

    I think it’s interesting there is no concern for African Americans to attend schools named for confederate generals, or enjoy parks so named or drive on roads so named….

    1. I don’t think we have to put the entire south and its heritage under a rock and seal it off.

      I understand that the north won but that doesn’t take away the people that are revered.

      What does Confederate general recognition have to do with African Americans? You want me to kill my dogs that have general names just someone doesn’t dig up something imaginary to bitch about?

  4. Lyssa

    No I don’t want you to kill your dogs!!!! Gracious. I heard Jon Stewart say something along those lines the other day and I’ve just been thinking about it.

  5. blue

    Ok folks lets be sure we know what we are talking about. The Battle Flag of the Army of Northern Virginia is square with a white border. It flies and must continue to fly in honor of those who fought to defend their homes and limit the Federal government’s reach over the states. For most – the vast majority – it had nothing to do with slavery. That is more of a 20th century political slogan, even if you argue that ending slavery became a political and military necessity during the war. In honoring them we also honor those who gave their lives for what we are today – to include the many Yankees and USCTs that gave their lives in that struggle.

    The rectangular flag is that version – sometimes called the naval jack – that was taken by the racists of the 50s, 60s and 70s by southerners and others in support of segregation and was re-introduces into several southern state flags at that time. Burying the battle flag is as wrong as trying to call the Gadsden (Don’t Tread on Me flag) racist and is certainly no more insulting than the Virginia state flag with its steppin on tyranny is to any Briton. That flag flying just off of 95 north of Richmond needs to come down. Its not an historic flag under any definition. I agree with Moon, to the extent that the political correctness of wiping out our history is a very dangerous and a very slippery slope and those who advocate it need to take full responsibility for ramping up the violence that doing so is sure to engender. I also think its worth thinking about who is doing that and why.

  6. Lyssa

    Good point, after all there is King George, VA. Not the same kind of oppression…I wasn’t saying to eradicate the history or slay pets – I heard it and it made me think that’s all. Sorry folks..

  7. blue

    On the same day that the nation saw how the AME church in Charleston could rise above this idiot, I am also struck by the emerging effort to put Republican politicians on the spot over removing the flag in SC. This too IMHO is dangerous PC politics and is not far removed from inciting the likes of Mr. Roof or whatever his name is. The parties met in SC and peacefully removed the flag from the dome in exchange for the spot it has – and, assuming its the proper historic flag and I have looked hard at it and believe it is, a deal is a deal. Those who would now pressure the Assembly through the press to undo that deal will also bear responsibility for what I fear will be more violent acts, by justifying in their minds not just the hate but also that they have no recourse. Using a crisis for political gain should itself be outlawed.

    1. It needs to come before the General Assembly when they convene whenever. The knee-jerk reaction helps no one. It should have been done a long time ago.

  8. Steve Thomas

    We should also ban the lone star flag. It might offend all the Mexicans living here, and we wouldn’t want Texas reminded of it’s independent past. As an Irish American, I also find the union jack offensive, so no displaying that either. And that rainbow flag..that does offend me. This is America, I have a right not to be offended. And NY Yankees paraphernalia…offensive to this Red Sox fan.

    1. I have never said to ban any confederate flag. I just don’t think it needs to fly with such prominence on state property.

      So it isn’t over the state house but over a confederate memorial on the property??

  9. Cargosquid

    http://anarchangel.blogspot.com/2015/06/wounds-and-scars-and-battle-flags.html

    The above is a GREAT write up on the “Confederate Flag.”

  10. Kelly_3406

    I have some family and friends from the state of South Carolina. As a general rule, none of the people that I know appreciate out-of-state lectures about what they should or should not do. My experience has been that race relations in SC are pretty good, regardless of what you may read.

    South Carolina has always been a very independent state that tends to go its own way.

    1. What would blacks say? No arguing, just asking a serious question.

      Virginians don’t care much for out of state lectures either. I guess that doesn’t keep us from giving free advice. I sure did to Arizona, for example.

  11. Kelly_3406

    I would say that roughly 2/3 of blacks would like to see the Confederate Flag come down while the other 1/3 do not mind it flying. The results are probably reversed for whites. My guess is that outside pressure to take the flag down will not be successful. More likely, the General Assembly will decide to remove the flag when out-of-state pressure has subsided and several senior members have retired.

    1. Ultimately, it will be SC who has to decide.

      Do you think economic pressure will 1. take place 2. matter?

      It certainly made Arizona sit up and take notice.

  12. Rick Bentley

    “none of the people that I know appreciate out-of-state lectures about what they should or should not do” i.e. owning human slaves.

  13. Emma

    @Rick Bentley Being from the Northeast, it’s not my flag, nor do I care what happens to it. But the idea that there is some moral equivalency between flying a piece of cloth and the abuse and enslavement of human beings is absolutely ridiculous and maybe just a little reductionist from an historical perspective, don’t you think?

  14. Starry flights

    That flag is a symbol of heritage such as John Wilkes Booth who shot Lincoln in the back; Nathan Forrest who founded the KKK; and George Wallace who cried “segregation forever!” Those of you who wish to fly it, go ahead. It tells us what type of person you are.

  15. Kelly_3406

    @Moon-howler

    There was a bitter debate over the flag more than a decade ago, which resulted in its being moved from the atop the State Capitol to the Confederate Memorial on the grounds of the Capitol. The NAACP pushed for a state-wide boycott that exists to this day (I believe). It has cost SC in terms of hosting NCAA events.

    Given that SC has weathered the boycott this long, it seems unlikely that further outside pressure will have any effect.

    1. Thanks for the clarification, Kelly.

      I guess I have divided feelings. I find the attempt to whitewash the Civil War from history horrifying. I hate that war. The longer I live, the more horrified I am over Americans doing that to each other. But its like a train wreck, I can’t look away. Maybe because I have been steeped and infused in its history by proximity most of my life has something to do with both the fascination and the abhorrence.

      I am also the person who feels both sides were wrong and that nothing, absolutely nothing was worth that kind of devastation and destruction just in terms of human loss and sacrifice, not to mention property. Now, that statement ought to stir people up–sort of like the magistrate in South Carolina saying there were two sets of victims. He is right. Dylann Roof’s family and friends are also victims. They certainly didn’t ask for this. Most perp’s families have victims.

  16. Kelly_3406

    @Rick Bentley

    I am an “amateur” student of the Civil War and have thought about this topic extensively.

    As morally repugnant and indefensible as slavery was, the southern economy was undeniably dependent on it for free labor. The North profited from the slave trade but its manufacturing base was never dependent on slave labor. So it took no moral courage or financial sacrifice for the North to condemn the practice of slavery. The Southern economy would have been plunged into depression and financial ruin if the practice was abruptly ended. Rather than searching for solutions to ease the transition of the Southern economy, the rhetoric was that slavery must be ended immediately. There was no discussion of shared financial sacrifice. There were no practical solutions offered. Faced with economic ruin, the South did not have anything to lose by secession.

    Modern historians now seem to scoff at the notion that the Civil War was about more than just slavery. Much of it (in my opinion) was about economic survival. The mistrust of big government that exists to this day in the South has its roots in the Civil War. I think that this mistrust/disdain is part of the reason that southern states insist on flying the confederate flag.

    I would like to see the “desire” to fly the confederate flag over state grounds go away. It seems more likely that this outside pressure/criticism will increase their resolve to fly it over the SC Capitol.

    1. I believe the aftermath of the Civil War proves that fears of economic ruin were more than justified. Most people ended up very poor. People were hungry and malnourished of all races, at least in Virginia. It took decades for that curse to end.

  17. Ed Myers

    I think it is the same political factions that are terribly offended by others not standing for the pledge or saying the pledge in another language that are trying to convince us a CSA flag is just a piece of cloth. If it is an important symbol of bigotry than tie it to a bumper and drag it to show contempt for that bigotry. Have CSA flag burning parties.

  18. Ed Myers

    The civil war didn’t end slavery, share cropping and Jim Crow was slavery without calling it that and it took 100 years after the war to end slavery.

    1. You are aware that share-cropped was and is done by white people also?

      Using your definition, there is strong argument that slavery still continues. Then we move into the area of human trafficking. Is that not slavery also?

  19. Cargosquid

    If people are opposed to the various Confederate flags because “it stood for slavery,” then they should be ashamed of the US flag and the their citizenship in the country that supported slavery until the 13th amendment.

    The flag in SC is on a MEMORIAL. It is not flying in any official capacity. This is a fake controversy, trying to deflect from the weakness of the Democrat candidacies.

  20. Starryflights

    South Carolina governor Nicki Haley is calling for the flag’s removal. That is good. Time to retire this symbol of murder, oppression and treason.

  21. Starry, I think those words are very insulting. The Civil War and its causes are complex and to say that it was murder, oppression and treason simply ignores history.

  22. Starryflights

    “Some divisions are bigger than a flag,” Haley said. “We are not going to allow this symbol to divide us any longer. The fact that people are choosing to use it as a sign of hate is something we cannot stand.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2015/06/22/south-carolina-officials-and-activists-call-for-removal-of-confederate-flag-near-the-state-capitol/?hpid=z1

  23. Ed Myers

    Slavery in the south was unique in that it enslaved the children too. White forms of indentured servants, sharecropping and farming out children as laborers did not pass on the obligations to the slave’s offspring.

    Economic slavery still exists but we have made progress in eliminating the classing of some racial category as perpetual slaves. Bankruptcy and estate law makes sure that parental debts and obligations are never passed on to the children.

  24. Scout

    CS (#28): the flag in Columbia that is getting the attention is on the Statehouse grounds pursuant to a legislative resolution. That makes it official.

  25. @Cargosquid

    Sure it is official. It was placed there by the state legislature. There is something to say about flying the flag of another nation on state property.

    I just don’t see why it needs to be there. A small plaque by the memorial would serve the same purpose without institutionalizing that flag.

  26. Starry flights

    Having grown up in the south, I always considered the flag an endearing symbol. As I grew older, I realized why it offends blacks and others. Tines change. It has no place on public property in this day and age.

    And Governor Haley has more brass than most of the boys.

    1. Agree, Starry, unless the public property is a museum or around battlefields, which are museums of sorts.

      I am not so sure I found it an endearing symbol…more like a recognizable relic in movies and such.

      Frankly, I associate that particular flag and others like it with pictures of cartoon character rednecks saying “forgit? Hell No!” I might have grown up in a different age than most people here. Remember, I jumped off an escalator as a youngster and ran smack dab into the Imperial Wizard who did NOT appear to be a redneck man.

      Even then, I realized that flag had been hijacked from its proper place in history.

  27. Cargosquid

    @Moon-howler
    It was on a monument honoring Confederate war dead. No different than Richmond idolizing all of its generals.

    1. Do you seriously think that is all it was? How come it moved from flying above the courthouse dome over to the memorial? How come it wasn’t even on the grounds until the early 60’s when the civil rights movement was cranking up?

      I don’t have a problem with relic flags whether they are Confederate, Nazi, Rising Sun or whatever. I just don’t think that the state (meaning any) should put itself in the position of institutionalizing flags from the past of other nations.

      Bullcrap on the heritage line of bull. Charleston has more museum and museum like entities than any place on earth. Have at it.

      Its very different than Richmond and all its monuments. Ask yourself how long many of those monuments have been there. Monument Avenue, for example is almost an outdoor museum and has been for decades. That stuff isn’t flying over the governing branch of government. Those statues and monuments shouldn’t be torn down any more than you would tear down edifices in Europe because someone unsavory might have gone on at one time.

      Touch the Stonewall statue in the Battlefield and half of Manassas will grab torches and pitchforks. Even those who don’t like Stonewall the man will defend his historical cred in this battlefield. He got his nickname here.

  28. Cargosquid

    Those monuments have been there for since the first one was unveiled in 1890.

    Calls have been made to remove such statues elsewhere…such as Lee Circle in New Orleans.

    Polls are out on whether bases named after Confederate generals should be renamed.
    The age of such monuments will not stop any calls for eradicating history. I guarantee it.

    Before the year is up, I predict that flying the Confederate flags will be seen as “hate speech” and support for any Confederate history will make that person a target.

    This isn’t about the Confederacy. This is battle space preparation for the election.

    1. You are probably right, I am sorry to say.

      There absolutely is racism in this country, amongst all people and amongst one’s own race, although it usually is some form of elitism in that case. (yes, I spoke of rednecks)

      Tearing down statues and banning flags is not even a good bandaid for what ails this country. Remember when that statue of Saddam was toppled? What did that solve? Absolutely nothing.

      Remember people getting all bunched up over Stalin’s bust at the D-Day Memorial? Who cares. He was an ally at the time. Yea, he was a ruthless bastard. Allies are funny like that. It’s all relative. Would we have won WWII without Stalin? Hard to say. Not easily.

      1. The ones in Charlottesville are under attack also. (monuments)

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