Funadvice Logo

The Confederate flag--Why?

Home More advice Sex

Why is it that people from the southwest use the confederate flag? I went to basic combat training in SC, and in one "class" they asked if anyone thought that it was racist to put the Confederate flag on their car or for it to be flown in front of federal buildings. I would like to know how that can NOT be considered not only racist, but also un-American as well. It would be the same if Germany still used the Nazi flag.

This is an article I found to support my feelings on this issue.

Confederate Flag still an issue?
eastcarolinian ^ | October 14, 2004 | Peter Kalajian

Posted on 10/19/2004 5:14:54 PM PDT by stainlessbanner

As I drove down 5th street yesterday, I spied a bumper sticker that addresses an issue I have been waiting for an excuse to write about. It was in the back window of a pickup truck, whose ability to operate I found simply amazing, strategically situated between an empty gun rack and another sticker depicting Calvin (of Calvin and Hobbes fame) urinating on "Osama" with a devilish grin on his face.

I will leave the "Osama" reference and defamation of an innocent newspaper comic strip character alone for the purposes of this article, and will concentrate on the content of the other bumper sticker. It was a simple, Confederate flag, next to which was written the words, "Heritage not Hate". Now, if I have ever read something more deserving of one of my diatribes, I cannot recall.

This statement, which for the record I believe to be sheer nonsense, speaks of an issue with which I had very limited experience before relocating to North Carolina, but an issue of importance nonetheless.

All my life, the Confederate flag was something of a joke to me. M history classes in high school and earlier had taught me that the Confederate defeat during the Civil War was a good thing, that the moral argument against slavery (espoused by the Lincoln government in Washington) was a black and white issue, about right and wrong, and that the Union triumph is 1865 was righteous.

Granted, the history I was taught spoke from a biased perspective, from the moral high ground of the abolitionists and northern intellectuals, and never really addressed the true, underlying reasons for the Civil War, which I would come to learn much later. After considering all the information I have been able to locate on the subject, after long hours of trying to understand just where the Confederacy was coming from and why they wanted to defend their way of life, I have come to a few conclusions.

Naturally, these conclusions reflect my upbringing and Northern perspective, and I am more than confident than my loyal readers will have more than a few comments of their own to contribute.

First of all, "Heritage not Hate", is an extreme cop out. Sure, the Confederate flag, displayed in the year 2004, some 140 years after the actual conflict ended, may stand for some long forgotten Southern pride issue. It may stand for the struggles that people in the Southeastern region of the United States suffered through and the wars that they fought.

It may stand for some perceived difference between the North and South, which apparently has persisted to this day, and may fondly recall the era of Southern dominance of the United States.

Woops, little mistake there. The South has never "dominated" anything. It is another region within the greater whole, just as it was then and remains so today. As for the "Not Hate" part of the bumper sticker, a more laughable statement I cannot recall. There are far too many damning coincidences that will forever relegate the Stars and Bars to the level of racist propaganda.

Why is it that hate groups all over the country, to this day, fly the Confederate flag as a symbol of their ideology. White Supremacist organizations, the sad, pitiful remnants of the Klu Klux Klan, along with many other neo-Nazi and racially motivated groups all include the Confederate flag amongst their symbols of worship.

Is this coincidence? Are people who fly the Confederate flag, be it in bumper sticker form or on the end of a flagpole, trying to align themselves with such openly evil and backward-thinking organizations? I don't think so. I think that people fly the flag to recall the once glorious Confederated states of America and celebrate their history, while at the same time somehow overlooking the racial implications inherent in the very symbol they hold so high.

Make no mistake. Whether you choose to recognize it or not, the fact remains the same: The Confederate flag is a racist symbol. It was during the Civil War, it remains so today. I challenge anyone to show me an African-American person with a Confederate Flag bumper sticker or "The South will rise again" written in their computers screensaver.

Is this a coincidence? You would sooner find a swastika flying outside the Israel embassy as you would a Confederate flag flying at an N.A.A.C.P rally. To me, the symbols have long been morally relative to each other. Both stand for hate, oppression, and the wanton murder and destruction of a group of people because of some perceived inferiorities. Plantation owners in the South, before and during the Civil War, treated slaves the same way they treated horses and sheep.

They were not human beings, quite the contrary. They could be bought and sold like farm equipment and with as much compassion. So to during the Nazi era in Germany; Jews were not considered people in the same way that German citizens were, therefore their wholesale murder could be justified. Anyone who cannot see the glaring similarities between the Confederate flag and the Swastika needs to pick up a history book and do some research.

If you care to display a symbol that represents the brutality and viciousness and lack of humanity that was involved in something like the slave trade, as the Confederate flag clearly does, you are entitled. The first Amendment to the Constitution allows you the freedom to display just about whatever you care to, but consider this. If you are going to fly the Stars and Bars, don't sugar coat it. Don't downplay the racial aspects and idealize the cultural aspects. They are one in the same.

Be up front and honest about your feelings. Confederacy= Hate I think would be a far more realistic bumper sticker, and as we speak I am in negotiations to have a number of said bumper stickers produced. Let us just call a spade a spade and forget about the "Heritage not Hate" nonsense. It is hateful, you know it is, and beating around the bush about it only takes away from the power of the argument. Let the responsive mud slinging commence