Today I read an interesting article in the Washington Post about the history of the much maligned Confederate Flag. It was actually designed in Fairfax City so that troops could distinguish between North and South.

fairfax flag 2

Most people were unfamiliar with the history of this flag.  People on the street  were questioned about their opinions.  The article is a must-read.

 

One man’s comments struck me:

But the issue is complicated, and opinions vary. Jim Webb (D), a former U.S. senator and a potential 2016 presidential candidate, defended the flag’s historic significance Wednesday.

And on Main Street in Fairfax City, Mike Mpalong, who is African American, applauded the marker and defended the use of the flag.

“I really don’t think they should take it down,” the 20-year-old said, explaining that he was worried about a racial backlash, among other things. “Taking down the flag would just create more stuff, more problems.”

Besides, Mpalong added, “It’s a part of history.”

How interesting that one so young would see the possible ramifications rather than just living for the victory lap moment.  It isn’t really about “taking down the flag.”  I don’t agree  with Mr. Mpalong.  I do think that the states who fly various Confederate memorabilia should take down those relics from state-owned property unless the flags are over museums and cemeteries.

What scares me is the bandwagon mentality going on all around us and that really is what we should all fear.  There are people calling for the destruction of the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial because those edifices honor slave holders.  There are those who want to rename schools, various buildings and anything else that has a Civil War General’s name or anything remotely connected to that war.  Some are calling for total historical whitewashing.  There will be backlash, especially the more absurd the banning of “all things southern” becomes.

Meanwhile, Ebay and Amazon continue to feature merchandise with swastikas, the KKK depictions and logos of South Africa.  Isn’t that just a little hypocritical?  Those merchants hopped aboard a rather wobbly bandwagon.  They are clueless.

The bottom line is, you cannot regulate good taste and you can’t wipe out history.  This is the United States,, not the USSR where if something bad happens, it just disappears.  Surely people still think?

I simply wish many people who hate that flag would also hate hearing the N-word or variations of the N-word  in song after song after song.  No it isn’t alright.

I am more than willing to never see another Confederate flag soaring above state property…just because some pool of legislators said it was OK.  No, it isn’t alright.  Just please spare me from the musical N-word.

 

 

15 thoughts on “Symbols of hate still on the market

  1. Lyssa

    The debate over Confederate symbols flared in Richmond on Thursday after vandals painted the message “Black Lives Matter” on the Monument Avenue statue of Jefferson Davis, prompting a call to action by a group focused on preserving Confederate displays.

    1. It will continue on. Rather than just calling out the graffiti squad to clean up the statue, there was a full call to action. Everyone will fight at symbolic windmills and will never hear each other, will never really communicate. Perhaps none of the groups really have anything to say. Perhaps its all really jut screeching.

    2. As a segue of sorts, I am reminded of similar bantering over statues. One of my favorite statues is in Charlottesville right where Ridge Street merges into Main (right across from the old bus station). It is a statue of Lewis, Clark and Sacagawea. I love the statue because the tall trees the Pacific coastal region are depicted and because our cousin, Paul Goodloe McIntyre commissioned the statue. Both Lewis and Clark were from that area.

      Some do-gooder and a bunch of stupids from the University came before the city council several years ago and demanded that the statue be taken down. Sacagawea was shown in a subservient position to Lewis and Clark was the reason given. The statue was disrespectful to women and Native Americans, in their modern 21st century view of things.

      Well DOH!!!!!! The Corp of Discovery headed out at the very beginning of the 19th century. Sacagawea was both female and Indian. The reality was, yea, she probably was subservient to white men. We might not like it but that’s the reality of the situation. York was a slave, Clark lied to him about his freedom, and Lewis was a manic depressive who in all probability blew his own brains out. Jefferson never got his full manuscripts out of Lewis because dead men don’t write. More reality.

      Yet, despite all of those drawbacks and setbacks, the Corp of Discovery is one of the most remarkable, amazing feats in the history of this nation. Every time I read about it or see any of the trail of discovery, I am simply awe-struck at the magnitude of their collective efforts.

      And some bunch of fools wants to come along and demolish a reminder, a dedication to this mammoth accomplishment simply because a statue doesn’t depict their rather ignorant and twisted vision of their version of history. They need to just SDASTFU.

  2. Scout

    As happens so often in this mass-media influenced culture, I think we’re in danger of throwing a lot of important history down the memory hole simply because it’s easier to flail away at symbols than it is to deal substantively with the problem of ignorant, mentally disturbed, angry men who self-radicalize on the internet, or in the interior of their heads, and then take advantage or the ready availability of guns to kill large numbers of people.

    Consign to museums the Confederate symbols that were hijacked by segregationists and Dixiecrats (for that matter get rid of the segregationists and Dixiecrats who, for some inexplicable reason have found homes in the modern Republican Party). But our history, its monuments, its cemeteries, can be left as learning devices for the future.

  3. Starryflights

    Jon Stewart scoffs at Confederate flag defenders (with a Nazi metaphor)

    The controversy over the Confederate flag this week inspired Jon Stewart to air a new “Daily Show” segment for the first (and possibly last?) time called: “Huh, I Guess It Is Pretty F*****’ Weird That We Fly A Flag In Honor Of A Pro-Slavery Secessionist Army.”

    Stewart noted the wide support for taking down the flag and took particular issue with those who say the flag exists to honor Southern heritage.

    “I’m sure your soldier ancestors had other redeeming qualities, but this is the thing that they’re known for,” he said. “It’d be like saying you support flying the Nazi flag because you’re proud of their robust anti-smoking agenda. But that wasn’t really their thing.”

    He also wasn’t too congratulatory of South Carolina’s efforts to remove it from the capitol, since it’s taken so long.

    “Taking down the flag only 150 years after the South surrendered and 20 years after NASCAR did it,” he said. “Congratulations South Carolina for coming in just two decades after America’s favorite crash-based sport.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2015/06/25/the-confederate-flag-to-honor-southern-heritage-jon-stewart-doesnt-really-get-it/

    LOL!

    1. Jon Stewart apparently didn’t spend enough time in te South, even though he is a William and Mary graduate. Pro-slavery army? I doubt seriously if most of those grunts had much care about slaves or slavery. They mostly just wanted to preserve their way of life.

      Furthermore, SC didn’t keep e flag up for 150 years. It was resurrected in 1961 to ostensibly commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of the Civil War. My guess would be that as an added bonus that flag was resurrected as a visible sign of resistance to those opposing Jim Crow laws, attempts at integration, and other Civil Rights initiatives.

      Its the peripheral fallout that I find so offensive–the hatred of people I consider honorable, the lack of historical knowledge before engaging one’s mouth, etc.

  4. blue

    @Moon-howler

    Well said Moon. I would only challenge you to look again at the Democratic party. The Democratic party has been and remains the party of hate. Yes, it was the Democrats who fought for salvery, who instituted Jim Crow, and who resisted the 1960s Civil Rights movement. And today what have they done? They still work in hate, the only difference is that in order to move their socialist agenda forward they must forment hate between the haves and the have nots. The current attack on the flag is less about the removal of a symbol of our slavery past as it is an attack on a modern symbol of Freedom, the supremacy of local & State government, honor to the fallen, the memory of home grown revolution and limited government.

    1. Blue, Thanks. I am just not a party person. Suffice it to say, I hate aspects of both parties.

      But be honest–look at the history of Democrats in the south. Radical Republicans lowered the hammer on the citizens of the south after the war. The South was treated more poorly than any other defeated nation by the USA. It’s undeniable. In the 50s and 60’s the roles reversed and politicians like Kennedy and Johnson worked for Civil Rights. Since they were Democrats, those descendents of the Southern citizens became Republicans.

      It was probably a difficult thing to do. My mother would never tell me who she voted for after a point. I don’t know if she made the switch or not. I think my family would have voted for Hitler before voting for a Republican for many years. It was not because they had liberal leanings, it was because they were southerners.

      I have never felt the Democrats owned hate. I have felt more hate from some Republicans, not all.

      I just avoid party affiliation as much as possible. I tend to think for myself and that doesn’t bode well with either party.

  5. blue

    OK, fair enough, we won’t go into the southern mythologies of reconstruction – the need for troops and the impact of their leaving under pressure in 1877 – or who or what Wilson, LBJ or Robert Byrd really were or LBJ’s political justification for signing of the Civil Rights Act anymore than we can or will examine southern mythology regarding the burning of Atlanta or Richmand or even Sherman’s march to the Sea. Segregation was and is still owned by that party and they are still active in racial and economic hate mongering – albeit through more modern appeasement and redistribution strategies. Even a blue dog democrat was loyal to his party – but they don’t exist anymore either.

    What was true during reconstruction and is true now is that carpetbaggers did descend on the south, buying up the anscestoral lands, farms, banks and industries displacing the remaining middle class. At least during reconstruction, there were individuals. Today it is being funded and led by government politicians and bureaucrats.

    1. Blue, let’s do talk about what you are calling southern mythologies of reconstruction. I do know it was harder on some folks than on others, depending on where they lived.

      I don’t really want to talk about the politicians. Politicians are pretty much whores, if you ask me.

  6. blue

    Ok, well, In another conversation here i took strong offense to any attempt to confuse the ANV’s battle flag, which flies at the SC Capital military memorial and the rectangular and unbordered flag of the southern racists that flew during the 50s and even early 70s – in this area and others. I think most thinking people understand that the latter was the flag of southern Democrats, not northern Democrats (although they treated the Irish, Poles and Italians in much the same way – to include – even though rarely discussed – share cropping) and NOT Republicans. The battle flag – not the racist banner – represents a war that did not need to be fought, could have been avoided and does indeed represent the destruction of the southern economy. They brought it on themselves. Emancipation in Washington DC was achieved in 1862 – not 1863, by (1) making slavery illegal and (2) by having the Federal Government compensate those “property owners” for their losses – and this was done during the war. If you took out $90 billion of property today – as the Emancipation Proclamation did in any state still in rebellion, without some form of mortgage adjustment, loan adjustments, or other compensation, the effect would be the same. All historians today agree that it was Confederate troops that lit the fires of Atlanta and Richmond, for example, to keep the stores in trains and warehouses out of Federal hands. Farms were destroyed by both armies as the south, with its less than adequate transportation system tried to feed 60,000 + men per day in VA and Union troops sought fresh meats, vegetables and fruits. Prince William and Spotsylvania were particularly hard hit. A journal in the Spotsy museum talks about how hard it is, with no chickens or pigs or horses to do the work, but then there are no fence rails to keep them in or to cook with anyway. What trees there were were gone for much the same reasons. The men who fought for the freedoms they believed were their due under the Constitution and for which their grandfathers fought were greater than slavery. That the Civil ‘War was just about slavery is modern day political theater and it is simplistic. The racist flag of southern democrats, however, was very much about segregation and hate, because they could not blame themselves for what – unnecessarily – happened.

    1. I don’t recall that. I agree with you that the ANV square bordered flag is not the same as the rectangular one used to intimidate blacks and whites who didn’t buy into the party line. However, the flags are close enough that I doubt most people can tell them apart. I don’t think any confederate flag needs to be
      flying on capitol grounds.

      However, while I support removing any flag other than the USA flag and the state flag, those folks in that church weren’t killed because of that flag. Roof was a psychopath with metal problems. A door knob could set him off.

      I don’t know that I agree with all your history. I don’t claim to be a historian. I know what happened to one side of my family. They lived in Charlottesville which wasn’t a major hit during that war. Part of their woes was because of having confederate money. The other part had to do with a scavaging army led by Custer. Still more problems because of a deflated economy before the war even started. Middle class people became very poor after the war. My maternal great grandfathers family lost their mills and orchards They were land poor. His wife’s people, my maternal great grandmother, made out a little better and I am not sure why. Perhaps because they were farmers and not dealing with tradesmen. They wee never rich but they did have life a little easier.

      There is a great deal that I don’t know or understand about them but…I think a lot has to do with just the fact that there were different times.

  7. blue

    Now locally this flag issue is of particular importance since the battle flagewas first introduced to the new CSA Army of Northern Virginia on November 28, 1861 during special presentation ceremonies at Centreville and Manassas, Virginia. Because red silk was hard to come by and very expensive, many had a more pinkish tone when waving in the sun.

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