The Confederate Flag: Symbol of Culture or Racism

The Confederate flag has gone through a number of face lifts since its origin. During the course of the Civil War, this flag represented Southern rebellion and defiance to the United States Constitution. According to the anti-defamation league, although some Southerners see the flag simply as a symbol of Southern pride, it is often used by racists to represent white domination of blacks and Jews. The flag remains a subject of controversy because some Southern states still fly the flag from public buildings or incorporate it into their state flag’s design. Racists also use the flag as an alternative to the American flag, which they consider to be an emblem of what they describe as the Jewish-controlled government.

As a historian and educator, I value the historical past; I see very little value in censorship; however, as an educator, it is important that my students understand the historical role of the Confederate flag. I have few if any friends that will claim the importance of this flag as a means of historical and cultural preservation. Moreover, none of my departmental colleagues embrace the teaching of white supremacy via the Confederate flag. If people believe it is important to preserve history by showcasing the Confederate flag, why not do so in a museum?

There is a historical falsification about the end of the Civil War. After the Civil War, during Reconstruction, there were years of white supremacist terror by the KKK and other organizations, culminating in the establishment of white supremacy by ex-Confederate soldiers in what they call “Redemption”. Many neo-Confederates write of both periods, the Civil War and Reconstruction, as two phases of one struggle, and of the KKK as heroes in Reconstruction.

Historian Eric Foner’s Reconstruction, Americans Unfinished Revolution (1988) describe the relentless campaign of white supremacist violence towards the plight of black folks by writing a chilling account of the evilness embedded behind the confederate flag. I often fear that many blacks will accept the notion that the flag is one of Southern heritage. This, as many Marxists contend, is an example of “false consciousness.” In 1994 the Southern Focus Poll published a report stating that 1/2 of whites could care less about the Confederate flag being flown, versus 1/3 of black Americans. W.E.B. Du Bois stated that “It is ridiculous to seek to excuse Robert  E Lee” because he “led a bloody war to perpetuate human slavery.” I find this to be true of the Confederate flag, too.

I have even heard many whites discuss social and racial progress evident by the joining of both races in Southern churches; yet, as I read historian Paul Harvey’s Redeeming the South: Religious Cultures and Racial Identities among Southern Baptists, 1865-1925, I see two groups using religion as a way of segregation. In addition to white Southern religion in the Deep South, the period of Reconstruction and post Reconstruction saw the Confederate flag used as a symbol of threat and intimidation, much like the noose and the cross.

I do find it interesting that many do not establish Jim Crow until after 1896 – way too late. Because Reconstruction failed, America saw the emergence of white supremacy as an institution to deny blacks the rights given by the 14th and 15th amendments. By the end of the 19th century, conquest and reservations loomed large for various peoples: Mexican lands had been fully annexed by the American cause of class and racial exploitation, Asian workers had been deported, and U.S. terrorism of Jim Crow and the KKK reigned over black Americans.

I ask this question: Does the Confederate flag represent anything differently than this:

?

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165 Comments

Filed under History, Racism

165 responses to “The Confederate Flag: Symbol of Culture or Racism

  1. Pingback: The Confederate Flag: Symbol of Culture or Racism

  2. M Cotham

    I know this is sort of a rant, but just bear with me and read it, please!

    One of the things I have found interesting is the vague use of the words “tradition” and “heritage” in the South. What we’ve inherited or kept as tradition is rarely ever specified. That flag is not representative of the southern culture, contrary to popular belief (unless southerners would like to define themselves as blindly ignorant and easily fooled). It represents a dangerous intolerance of ideas (aka censorship), because the Confederacy was formed on the notion, “We’re tired of hearin’ what those Northern wussies have to say.” I suppose it represents “conservative values”, but these values are the same vague concepts of “tradition” and “heritage” that I mentioned before. I don’t see what heritage there is to be proud of down here, except for the values that we have not held dear, such as the American dream of traveling here and becoming a self-made rich man. That’s precisely why the Confederate flag fails as a symbol of southern culture: it tries to equate politics with culture. Southern culture would be sympathetic to the plight of Hispanics who come across the border, illegally or otherwise, – how many Indians did we violate to expand west? – but for the illogical and racially tinted arguments made by politicians who claim to represent “southern morals and culture”. It’s like trying to equate modern-day German culture with Nazi principles. I am a Texan, and I am fascinated with the culture that eventually became my own. I am not, however, amused by politicians who try to claim that you’re not a “real southern man” unless you’re conservative.

    • Carl

      When will these racists southerners realize they lost the war? And wuzzy I’m quite sure he lives in a pure ignorant as himself trailer park. He would not raise that flag in say NYC, or any where but in his group of ignorant, friends, and family. Sure look around I would also be upset when Jews, Foreigners, immigrants are professionals and come here the land of the free, and make more of them selves then blue color work, and low skilled labor is taken by harder working willing to escalate up the American ladder, Like our president WOW, that must piss them off. As they would say “A Negro President”, what next? Well professor Ignorant, and my parents are of European decedents, we were thought to not judge any race, creed, or color, but a person but what they have contributed to society, and ignore these lets not say Nazi’s and compare Hitler to a construction worker with built up ha tried.

      • First off we might have lost the war but you got to think the south has changed we still fly rebel flags. The whole reason why we rasict is cuz the niggers dont know how to shut up and part of it was when we had black slaves. and were nothing like the nazi so carl why dont you shut up and when you open your eyes and read more about the history then you can critisize us. And to let you know i am a southren and i am racist and i fly the rebel flag.

      • Pam

        I am a biracial by birth but because of my features I am considered African-American. Anyway just to wanted to let you know I do agree with you whole heartedly. This country has every form of racism known but we don’t let that determin what we stand for. There will always be those who can’t accept or countries creed, instead they try to presuade those of lesser knowledge to think as they do. If you not as they are than there is something wrong with you. Like I was always taught to do, Ignore Ignorance!

  3. M Cotham

    One more thing: That part about Baptist churches is interesting. Are there any other denominations that have a sizeable portion of blacks in their churches? I don’t mean like the baptists have it where there’s black churches and white churches, but an integrated church with a fair amount of blacks to balance out whites and other races.

  4. teacherwoman

    M Cotham,

    Very nice point. I really like your comment here: “It’s like trying to equate modern-day German culture with Nazi principles.”

    Of course there are a number of neo-Nazis who are trying to do just that. I believe Southerners have confused, as you mentioned Cotham, tradition with a way of life. The problem I see here is that many whites do not relate race with the Civil War. I suspect many conclude that the flag and heritage and pride have little to do with the rise of the KKK during Reconstruction.

  5. Good question Mark. I suspect the AME and Baptist church; however, let me look into it.

    • Anonymous

      My dad is a baptist preacher and i have asked him many times and my fellow church members. blacks and whites do not worship together because we worship two totally different ways. think about a funeral.. white ppl view for two days and bury. in my town. the black funeral home view and visit for like a week and then bury. its just different values. no offrense

      • Anonymous

        What you think is just an vague view of what you see in your hometown. I am black and have been to many funerals and they have lasted no more than three day. You have a stereo type of the difference in black and white. The church i go to is Baptist and it is filled with white people and black people. My pastor is white. There is some difference in the music and the way a black and white preachers preach. But the color of the preacher shouldn’t make a difference the word should.

  6. AngryReader

    no time to explain WHY i’m saying this, but…

    &%#! off

    thank you

    • REBELCSA

      living up to your name?

    • geo

      loooosa! (if you’re racist and you know it…)

      • Mark

        I say this as my personal point of veiw but when i see the civil war i see half of a nation of scaredpeople. We they scared of endig slavery? Of course. America hasnt turned a profit since the cotton feilds and slavery! That was their way of life, slavery was one small part, it was the feul. When they were fighting, they werent fighting cuz they were terrible people who hated blacks and wanted them all to suffer like so many people think! They say the product of what endong slagery would do. They saw the economical downfall and they saw their “southern” heritage of farming with yes the use of slaves. They didnt have tractors back then yall! Someone hadto do it and in their eyes it was easy labor! Thats why i believ yes the rebel flag represents the southern wAy, ur culture to which you should ALWAYS be proud of, who you are and where you come from and how you were raised. When it comes to white supremecy organizations- that use the false belief against you. Think about it IF the e tire country suddenly accepted that it meant southern pride and not racism- do ya really think they’d fly it? It makes no sense- they play of that ignorance of many people that the rebel flag represents racism.

        To the nazi question- the difference is that nazis hated all jews and blacks- they were the equivilent of our kkk’s. But news flash- the kkk was not fighting the union- the confederates were

  7. jen

    nice post carson. what can i say. i agree. the past is great, but not this part.

  8. Professor Mark Lewis

    Thank you for the thoughtful piece. You have clearly and succinctly articulated the problems with Confederate imagery in America. I used to live in the DC metropolitan area and found my drive along Jefferson Davis highway in Virginia to be a thorn in my side and affront to those who died to end slavery in America. I have never confused “states’ rights” with racial humiliation.

    However, I would like to add a term to the dialogue: “guiding fiction.” Several years ago a wrote a paper on nation-state formation and ran across the concept of the guiding fiction. In general a guiding fiction is a history of a people or nation designed to support a particular view of the nation. Of all the traits and variables available, the authors select those that paint the picture they want and ignore the rest. The white Southern focus on states’ rights, Northern Agression, and honoring their war dead through the “Battle Flag” conveniently ignores the racist slave society that is an integral part of the narrative.

    Ultimately, all nations have guiding fictions that purposefully omit facts that would not serve the interest of those running the state. In fact, at any point in time there are competing guiding fictions that represent different societal strata and interests. At best the first amendment allows the competing voices to remind each other of their respective errors and omissions. However, given the uneven access to mainstream media and financial resources in America, only the most powerful groups have the capacity to take full advantage of their First Amendment rights. Stated differently, free speech does not amount to free speech for all.

  9. Paul Wilson

    Government Does Not Have To Support Racist Speech; in Tennessee, monuments exist to Nathan Bedford Forrest. That these monuments and parks, dedicated to the memory of a man who founded the Ku Klux Klan, remain as part of any municipal or state park system boggles the mind (at least my poor mind). No government today should have a confederate flag flying on public property. It is not a symbol of freedom. It is a symbol of repression and the history of the display of these symbols (largely appearing as a response to the civil rights law, movement and legislation of the ‘50s and ‘60s shows the falsehoods of the claimed justifications. Further, these public displays allow supporters to continue to forward the canard that the U.S. Civil War was NOT about slavery, when that is exactly what was at its root, and to minimizes the hatred of many (especially, but not solely) in the more modern south who resisted integration.

    One can remember brave men and women who fought for a cause that was, in my view, the most wrong of causes – the cause of the Confederacy in the Civil War – just as one remembers the bravery of those who fought for the Japanese or the Germans in World War II. But we should not have public memorials to specific leaders in such wars, for that attempts to glorify those who led the cause, not merely the bravery in battle of individual soldiers. (I.e, a park honoring the war dead might not be objectionable, a park dedicated to Stonewall Jackson or Robert E. Lee would – although a case can be made for Lee on other grounds.) One cannot imagine the maintenance of public memorials for H. Tojo, for example.

  10. E.S.

    Dear Mr. Carson:

    I had this paper published on Confederate Christian Nationalism in the “Canadian Review of American Studies” at the University of Toronto.

    link to paper

    I think you will find it of interest. Neo-Confederates still promote pro-slavery theology amongst other things.

    Your article about the racism and other negative values in the Confederate flag is quite correct.

    These so-called “heritage” groups, the SCV and UDC have an active program of promoting racism that continues to this very day as I can document.

    • REBELCSA

      Not true the confederate flag is not racist the indians and blacks support the confederate flag and slavery was not the problem the confederacy
      fought for their lands and rights and independence. I cant believe schools
      teach that and that i know the truth the nazi flag is racist not the confederate flag. and name the last general who was the last general to surrender.

      • Britt

        i am an african-american in Louisiana, and me and almost every other afr-am i know find the conferderate flag to be extremely offensive.

      • who cares

        so Britt…you were born in africa then immigrated to America? by saying afro-amr thats what i understand…just becouse you are black does not mean you are african american thats the stupid PC shit the schools are teaching people now adays…i am from south africa and am as white as it come…so i cant claim im african american on a damn survey becasue im white? thanks America

  11. Bryan Ericsson

    I don’t have an exclusive amount of background information on this nor do I have the experience, knowledge, or reason to take any side of this argument and support it 100%.

    What I do understand is what it says up there, the aspect of heritage versus racism and vice versa. In reality why do we kid ourselves about it all?

    What the South sees as heritage is a historically compelling past, a time when the South stood up to what they consider courageous, brave, and revolutionary. An aspect that sweeps anyone up into the controversy.

    Though the South perceives it as such, at least the Southern patriots, the Northerners see it as a symbol of tyrrany, oppression, and slavery of humanity. Such an antagonistic view of it would most assuredly bring about alot of protest (i.e. John Brown).

    Being of Northern descent and of Southern birth I am very mixed on this topic, I think the South did what it did to protect its culture, but at the same time the North wanted to preserve the freedoms of humanity as well as keep together a faltering union.

    So it comes down to this, preserve a culture? Or preserve freedom?

    Personally, as hard as it is to say, I believe more in the freedoms of man than in the culture of a society. I prefer Locke over Hobbes.

  12. JRB

    We had moved back to Mississippi in 2000, in time for the state-wide referendum to change the state flag and remove the CBF. I struggled a bit, being one of those who previously admired the thing for its supposed historical significance, deluded to think that this was some constitutional quarrel, not the soul of a nation. By 2000, however, I was convinced that, as a Christian, I could not abide a symbol that, however it is interpretted, is oppressive, offensive and terrorizing to much of the human population of the land.

    My wife and I voted to discard the CBF and replace the state flad, along with 20% of the others who voted in that election. 20% voted to change the flad; 80% voted to keep it.

    What puzzles me still is that black people comprise 30-40% of the population in Mississippi? I fully expected to see a margin at least that large, but this certainly raises more questions about black access to the political process, engagement, isolation and continued marginalization in political conversations.

    Speaking of symbols, EC, I wonder if you might share your insights at our blog on my piece about the recent vandalism of the Confederate Memorial in Montgomery at the State Capitol. The symbolism puzzles me there, too.

  13. JRB,

    I was curious to hear your thoughts on this matter. I think you are correct in your reasoning not to support the flag. Although blacks comprise of a large number of voters, we as a black vote in low numbers. Like I stated in the blog piece, I fear that many blacks have become apathetic to this matter.

    I read that piece on your blog last week and meant to leave a response; I will do so today.

  14. JRB

    In the wake of Mississippi’s failure to change the flag, with some black complicity, I fear, we must ponder an aspirational possibility of reclaiming a symbol. Is it possible for a culture to embrace and transform a symbol like this, or is it so tainted and corrupted that it can never be redeemed? For instance, could Mississippi advance so far toward racial harmony and reconciliation that the state flag becomes a new symbol of equity and justice brought forth from the darkness of slavery and racism?

    I doubt it.

  15. Daniel Lynch

    You make an interesting point by using the swastika as comparison to the Confederate flag. You are right Carson there is no big difference in the flags only that the swastika represents a successful attempt of racial discrimination and extermination while the KKK’s usage of the flag represents a failed attempt at racial extermination. That is why the Swastika has different fellings behind it.

    • RC

      I see the comparison with the Swastika more to do with the fact that they both are only inherently offensive.

      “Archaeological evidence of swastika-shaped ornaments dates from the Neolithic period in Ancient India. It occurs mainly in the modern day culture of India, sometimes as a geometrical motif and sometimes as a religious symbol. It remains widely used in Indian religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Though once commonly used all over much of the world without stigma, because of its iconic usage in Nazi Germany the symbol has become stigmatized in the Western world, notably even outlawed in Germany. (Wikipedia)”.

      The Confederate flag at one time (and I suppose still ignorantly does for some) stood for rebellion against an oppressive government. A noble cause in any day and age, maybe, but once it is known that the so called oppression was largely the idea of abolishing slavery, the flag is held under a different light. I don’t believe anyone wants to take away from the sacrifice that America made. Roughly 625,000 people died during the Civil war because they were told that they were fighting to preserve their way of life and their religion. Their cause was a veil for the rich to stay wealthy and to keep slaves, plain and simple.

      I don’t believe that the Rebel flag is a good representation of the south. I think its ignorant to argue that is. It undoubtedly represents oppression and I don’t see how anyone can intelligently say otherwise.

      • lily

        I think you hit the nail on the head. As an american I feel the sorrowfull loss of americans who died on both sides. I really think the pople actually fighting the war were fighting to preserve a way of life ….religion and so fourth…..much like the wars we enter today. There isnt always a clear freedom we are fighting for. I think as americans, we have the right to fly any flag we wish….but still be prepared to take the flak…flying it may bring
        because no matter the history originaly intened by the Confederate Flag
        in present day it does represent Racisim…. I am a american. My drivers
        license does not say white-american. I don’t think african american should apply to anyone born in the united states.
        If you are born here you are an american, color should not matter.

  16. Jaylon Williams

    I do not see how the swastika was succesful; both examples of white supremacy brought about deaths. I see both as failures.

    JRB – nice point!!!

  17. …but you are correct Daniel in that the KKK has failed. The more they speak and march, the more people see the cowardness of their ideology.

    Let’s begin with two basic premises: (1) Slavery and Jim Crow laws constitute some of the most shameful chapters in American history, and (2) Apologists for either represent the intellectual low-life of American culture (or any other culture for that matter). It is sad that somethings (state flags) are difficult to change.

  18. Walker Parkhill

    “none of my departmental colleagues embrace the teaching of white supremacy via the Confederate flag”
    … there is probably a good reason for that

    “W.E.B. Du Bois stated that ‘It is ridiculous to seek to excuse Robert Lee’ because he ‘led a bloody war to perpetuate human slavery.'”
    …I know you’ll shun me for this but Du Bois was wrong to the extant that he is saying the equivalent to “Hitler fought wars just to kill Jews” or for something more related, “Blacks were only enslaved so that White people could show they were in power (Even Jim Crow laws were not to show white power, but to keep blacks out of any power).” He’s taking a part and acting as if it was the whole reason behind the war.

    The Nazi symbol, in my opinion, is just another example of something being taken by a group looked down by upon, thus giving the symbol a negative connotation. Very similar to what happened to the Rainbow. Now I do not know the history of the swastika but I know it has something to do with Buddhist monks I believe and not killing Commies, Jews, and Gays…
    .

    Which leads me to a kinda off topic question Carson, why do people talk so much about the 6 million Jews Hitler killed but forget about the 16 million communist and gays he killed? Or the seemingly forgotten Mao with his 49 million and Stalin with 69 million… I blame Marx. (sarcasm)

    I guess this could tie in with you blog piece to raise the question of “What do other American symbols say about persecution of other races” or simply how this persecution (Asians and early industrial workers just off the top of my head) is never discussed compared to blacks.

  19. Erik the Red

    On the topic of the Confederate flag being anything similar to the Nazi flag.

    Both flags are symbols of infamous institutions in the mind of modernized civilizations. The Nazi flag is a symbol of a single country’s attempt to dominate the world as well as expel certain people groups including Jews, gypsys, communists, and otherwise killed in the war (thanks Walker for that info by the way). The confederate flag on the other hand is something different.

    The Confederate flag was made to represent a country in its attempt to preserve a culture, though despicable to most the modern world. I do not in any small way like what the “Neo-Confederates” have done with it, using it as a symbol of destruction, racism, and white supremacy. Matter of fact it disgusts me. In my opinion its use is only for the interest of finding a common banner for those vile, intolerant, scum-like racists. And what an unfortunate circumstance that the Confederate flag would be its victim.

    Now before you come to conclusions, that segment just written is only in the interests of my own opinion. The swastika actually represents the Egyptian sign of peace I believe, but the swastika on the flag is tilted, metaphorically showing its intention of a crooked peace. The confederate flag is resemblant of the American flag in a different form, in that same sense, the South was like the North but of different culture and form. It was not meant, and I believe I have said this before, for the purpose of white supremacy.

    Our flags are meant to represent what we make them, the Nazi flag was made for its purpose of oppression and dominance, the Confederate in the hopes of forming a new country. So no, I disagree that the Confederate flag is anything like the Nazi flag when the founders are discussed, but yes in how we were able to perceive them later on.

    • Janey Jones

      Good point. Over time we often loose sight of the original meaning of symbols. We tend to mold them for our own purposes.

    • Anonymous

      actually the civil war was started over Taxes. The south was refusing to pay federal taxes that were only being spent in the north.

  20. M Cotham

    Erik the Red: I agree with you that the comparison of the confederate flag to the Nazi flag is a bit of a stretch. However, I’d like to address one thing you said: “The Confederate flag was made in an attempt to preserve a culture, though despicable.”

    Perhaps the confederates said that they were defending their culture, but were they really defending any cultural aspects? Some would argue that slavery was a cultural institution, but I believe that any culture can survive without such gruesome institutions. I think that what rich southerners knew they were defending was their own version of corporate greed, and what poor southerners thought they were defending was their social status in relation to blacks.

    I’ve recently come up with a more fitting comparison of what conservative politicians have tried to do: Can Islamic/Arab/Middle Eastern culture exist without radical, violent, fundamentalism (borderline racism)? I would say yes, because I have known and heard of Muslims and Arabs all over the world who detest those murderers. In order to protect both our politics, our religion, and our culture, we need to separate all three of them.

    After the Civil War, had any major cultural pieces of the South died out? I don’t think so. The South still remained rural for quite a while, it retained its customs, and it only lost its agrarian way of life as new technology came out later.

  21. Good post and good follow-up discussion.

    One related issue that this topic brings up is that of why the Southern states went to war in the first place. One extreme would say that the Confederacy was formed to preserve slavery, pure and simple. On the other side is the idea that Confederacy was formed to protect the rights of Southern States, and that slavery just served as a flashpoint issue.

    As with most extremes, I’m betting the truth is somewhere in between.

    Were there Southerners who went to war so they could keep their slaves? Certainly. A lot of them.

    But there were also a lot who didn’t own slaves and were actually opposed to the practice, but were also opposed to the idea of a national government telling them what they could and couldn’t do. The idea of “sure, we might have a problem, but we’ll deal with it on our own, it’s none of your business.” As someone involved in ministry, I can tell you that this is a fairly common attitude all around.

    To more specifically address the question at hand, is the Confederate Flag inherently racist? Originally, I don’t think so, but racism was definitely in the mix somewhere. And in the years since the Civil War, it has connotatively become more of a symbol of racism—when I’m at a Civil War museum and see a Confederate flag displayed, as a Southerner, it reminds me of men who fought bravely against great odds for a cause they believed in (whether that cause was states’ rights or slavery). I don’t have a problem with that. When I see it on the back of a pickup truck, I doubt that it’s there to make any sort of historical allusion, and I generally shudder.

    In the end (and my thinking has changed somewhat on this over the last few years), I don’t think it matters whether it was originally intended as a racist symbol or not. The fact that so many people have a problem with it should be enough.

    It is a pity though…from a purely graphic standpoint, both the Confederate and Nazi flags look really cool.

  22. Anonymous

    I agree Cotham, in the Reconstruction the South maintained its identity for awhile, but understand that the South was threatened by the North on many levels. Indeed it was motivated by corporate greed if one may call it that, the South’s only real income was through its agrarian exports especially the king cotton industry (at least until Egyptian cotton came into play).

    Indeed also you are correct as far as the Islamic/Arabic community is concerned, a census dating a few years back read that only 5% of Arabic population in the Middle East supported terrorism, the other 95% is sketchy on its views though.

    I would agree also with the separation of politics, religion, and culture to some extent to protect all three.

    But to the point. The South again felt threatened and we can see this when Missouri Governor David Rice Atchison once said, just before Bleeding Kansas would turn violent, that a victory for antislavery forces in Kansas would lead to the end of slavery in the entire nation, advising his fellow Southerners that the “game must be played boldly”. So they were in the interests in protecting slavery which in turn would protect the agrarian culture of the South. Eventually the South did proceed in a “bold” manner to counter the North during the Civil War.

    But lets be honest, the slaves were literally the blood of the South, without them the South would falter and become vulnerable to Northern states, though I side with the North in the Civil War, I do believe the Southerners were defending their way of life. Even Thomas Jefferson, a slave-owner himself, said slaves were a gruesome institution, but could not be expelled from the country unless through some massive reform (the Civil War). It was in the interest of defending their society and their prosperity in the United States. Despicable is also in the sense that the modern world does not accept slavery any more and normally brings about a negative connotation in our minds.

  23. Erik the Red

    I agree Cotham, in the Reconstruction the South maintained its identity for awhile, but understand that the South was threatened by the North on many levels. Indeed it was motivated by corporate greed if one may call it that, the South’s only real income was through its agrarian exports especially the king cotton industry (at least until Egyptian cotton came into play).

    Indeed also you are correct as far as the Islamic/Arabic community is concerned, a census dating a few years back read that only 5% of Arabic population in the Middle East supported terrorism, the other 95% is sketchy on its views though.

    I would agree also with the separation of politics, religion, and culture to some extent to protect all three.

    But to the point. The South again felt threatened and we can see this when Missouri Governor David Rice Atchison once said, just before Bleeding Kansas would turn violent, that a victory for antislavery forces in Kansas would lead to the end of slavery in the entire nation, advising his fellow Southerners that the “game must be played boldly”. So they were in the interests in protecting slavery which in turn would protect the agrarian culture of the South. Eventually the South did proceed in a “bold” manner to counter the North during the Civil War.

    But lets be honest, the slaves were literally the blood of the South, without them the South would falter and become vulnerable to Northern states, though I side with the North in the Civil War, I do believe the Southerners were defending their way of life. Even Thomas Jefferson, a slave-owner himself, said slaves were a gruesome institution, but could not be expelled from the country unless through some massive reform (the Civil War). It was in the interest of defending their society and their prosperity in the United States. Despicable is also in the sense that the modern world does not accept slavery any more and normally brings about a negative connotation in our minds.

  24. Sean Bell

    I personally think that states shouldn’t be allowed to fly the confederate flag because of what it represents. I have several cousins who live in east Texas, and they take pride in flying their flag because their parents flew it. I have observed both of these people make several racists remarks in the past.

    • http://www.rulen.com/myths/

      i fly the southern cross because it stands for southern pride and that i will fight for what i believe in.

      Confederate Soldiers that fought under that flag with their lives. IN NO WAY does the Confederate Flag represent hate or violence. KKK ,and other groups of sorts, just gave it a bad image.

      • Anonymous

        AMEN!! finally someone who knows..i cant stand when someone says i cant wear my rebel shirt cuz it means im racist..im not i have many black friends..it just means southern pride!!!

      • Codey

        I live in a small town in Iowa and im only 18, but I agree the Flag was flown in the civil war to represent the south and the pride they have, but people who thought/think that because people sound different and look different they should be lower like the song by Ronnie Dunn “WE ALL BLEED RED!!!!!” I think the world needs more people to stand for what they believe in but, NOT TO HARM OTHER PEOPLE.

      • Anonymous

        i am a black man not an african american i have never been to nor have i seen africa. I FLY THE CONFERDERATE FLAG. i embrace the southern life style the confederate flag to me is just a way of stating, I AM A COUNTRY BOY AND LOVE IT. The choice to do so is personal. just because someone takes a thing and usines with bad intent does not defile the meaning of it . just like the crips use of the colr blue or the bloods use of the color red should we stop wearing red or blue also, i think not this is the 21 century wake up stop pointing fingers if u like it sport it if dont.

  25. Luke D,

    How do people in NW Arkansas feel about this?

    Sean — I am with you. The things I have heard.

    Erik the Red — I still think this is a matter beyond just the tension felt between the North and South. Its purpose changed after the war.

  26. Matt S

    Professional basketball player LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers decided to go to a playoff baseball game between the Cleveland Indians and the New York Yankees. The television cameras caught him in the Cleveland stands… wearing a Yankee cap. Needless to say, the locals were not amused.

    Graphic symbols, like logos and flags, have meanings on a personal level and a group level. Lebron was probably making a fashion statement, but forgot the larger context of the logo he was wearing based on location. While you’d really have to scrape the bottom of the barrel for something to redeem the Nazi flag, the Confederate flag is not so completely nefarious… TO SOME. Should it be outlawed because a portion of the community finds it offensive? There is a place for history, but in the case of the rebel flag it should not be on state capitol buildings. Individuals can sport a flag or a team logo of their choice, but they need to realize how that symbol might be interpreted by others.

    I don’t think the Confederate flag can be 100% rehabilitated. Let’s say a piece of clothing is dipped in a septic tank, and after repeated washings 10% of the stink still remains. Would you still wear it in public? What if it was only 5%? It’s mostly clean, isn’t it?
    There is certainly some Southern pride to be had from the flag, but there is also some shame that may be impossible to remove from the flag’s identity no matter how many years pass.

  27. osipov

    Read the book, “The South Was Right.”

  28. Daniel Lynch

    I’d Like to pose an interesting question do thing every person that flys the confederate flag is deliberately trying to be racist or are they simply displaying the cultural icon they were taught to respect and revere by their parents?

  29. No…not at all Daniel. I knew some great people back in college who did so for reasons other than what I have written about; still, it is risky because people draw conclusions that might not be true.

    I would not wear a Black Power shirt for that very reason.

    Osipov — I bet you that I can already guess what its thesis and conclusion is about.

    • Bryan McDermott

      Well put. I grew up in the south and thought it was kind of a cool logo. Let’s face it, kids love logos. Look at a college kid’s car and you’ll see logos for their favorite bands, teams, Greek affiliation, etc.

      I saw the flag a decent bit growing up, but never associated it with racism. If I had it would have been extremely offensive. What I did experience through travel and reading was South-bashing. Ironically that is probably the leading cause of flag usage. What’s the lone identifiable symbol of the region?

      Many who want to say they’re not ashamed to be from the south fly the flag. Would I? Absolutely not. That’s not because I think the flag stands for racism (it stands for whatever the user wants it stand for), but because I don’t want someone thinking I support a vile practice they associate with it.

  30. Emanuel Powell III

    In my opionion, if the history of a symbol is rooted in a culture that degraded or enslaved any group of people, it should not be represented for the public. The swastika is a peace symbol that Hitler warped to mean his belief of Aryan supremacy over Jews, blacks, etc. But many view it as the tyranny and genocide it really was. The confederate flag may symbolize, to some, a group of states standing up for their supposed rights, but if those rights included slavery, then this symbol is as warped as Hitler’s. It seems that slavery is generally associated with physical hard work, but we can never forget the lynchings, the rapes, the beatings. We can never overlook that slaves were not even considered fully human. If this is the history Southerners are trying to protect, what does that say about their belief system. I live in mississippi, and I personally believe the representation of the Confederate flag is not something that should be present in the flag that represents my state. As an African American, I would rather not have to go to my state capital and see the flag that was the symbol of the confederacy that oppressed my ancestors.

  31. It’s late and I’m feeling a bit impulsive today, so I’ll be short and probably overly simplistic.

    I think the main difference between the two flags is the difference in how recently they flew above a sovereign nation at war with the US/Union. Also, our own history is muddled and difficult for high school history teachers (most) to parse in such a way as to make it something students can grasp and see as meaningful. Also, while I think that Americans’ perceived meaning of Nazi Germany’s flag is kristallnacht clear to me and those of my generation I wonder if it is also somewhat muddled among German high school-age children of today. Are the issues clearer as you step further away from the interaction of history and current politics?

    Thanks again for your blog.

  32. I guess I missed the complexity; I agree with you that the elements of nation-state building and nationalism are complex topics, but not that complex to where a student seeking to grasp would not understand. German nationalism, as I am sure you know, is far more complex than that of American nationalism — well, some would even debate me on that seeing the concept of imagined communities exist among a number of ethnic groups that call themselves _______ first then American.

  33. Red Neck Billy

    Hello i’m a proud southerner. If you disagree or make fun of my flag I will retaliate. I think that the south was a special place. It was full of slaves and plantations. Without slaves, there would be no America or clothes, or food. Slaves built the pyramids, slaves built the taj mahal and also, slaves built the WHITE House. The confederacy is a great thing for America, I am racist and I hate Bush but one day I have a dream, that one day, all southerners and other people will UNITE AND ENSLAVE all again and the SOUTH shall be back! AMEN!

    WHITE POOOOOWERRRRRR!!

  34. Erik the Red

    Red Neck Billy, all I got to say is that you may be right about all that history, but you are the same as the next guy over. You are the same as the next black person you see, you are the same as the next Native American that you see, your biology is the same as mine, hers, and his. To enslave is like enslaving your own sibling, so all I have to say is that you and the rest of your ignorant kind are idiotic, dumb, arrogant, disgusting, vile creatures. Don’t ever say that the white race is superior to the African, the Indian, the Native American, the Asian, or the Arabian. Indeed the Southern culture was unique, it was economically powerful as well as strong in tradition and a force to contend with heavily, but in no way will slavery ever, ever. EVER come back like it was before. America stands for the freedoms of men, not of the vile intentions of corporate greed and the enslavement of others, and if the Confederacy ever rose again, which I highly doubt will ever happen, it will be beaten down because the world has caught up to the truth that slavery is above all else a vile institution. Slavery may once have made empires what they are, but this is the real world. Get with it.

  35. Daniel Lynch

    How would you feel if we got a mob and chased after you with nooses and stung you up by your neck. You wouldn’t like it so shut your mouth you ignorant sack of crap.

  36. Edward,

    NW Arkansas is somewhat of an eclectic mix—Fayetteville prides itself on being progressive while it is surrounded by more conservative communities. That means that on one hand, you have people who feel more strongly about this issue than you do (i.e., all Confederate flags should be rounded up and burned), and people on the other end who cover their vehicles (almost always pickups) with the symbol. Heck, Red Neck Billy could be one of my neighbors.

    Then I guess you have people like me. Generally when I see the Confederate Flag, I don’t think of racism, but I know that a lot of people do, and I see that as a problem.

    The slavery of the Confederacy ultimately makes southern culture indefensible, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t nostalgic feelings when I think of it—I wouldn’t have wanted the South to win the Civil War, but it still makes me sad when I watch Pickett’s Charge fail in the movie Gettysburg.

  37. Red Neck Billy

    All I got to say is that the south rules, it is not arrogant or any other of those fancy words you’ve said. Put the facts together, think it’s common sense, I didn’t even go to school and I understand that there would be no America without slaves. The colonies started with tobacco plantations and that is how they attracted people and got money, that is the only way that America could have been. Just think, Mexicans are pretty much our slaves now because they do all the dirty work, without them we would not be able to have construction or anything of that likin. Think how prosperous our nation could be again with slaves of any race.

    WHITE POOOOOWERRRRRR!!

    Daniel Lynch? who dun called em up in this topic? Who is Toureilles? Stay out of this little kid, you don’t know anything until you get a job and have to support a family.

    • Anonymous

      You are a stupid red neck apparently with little education, slavery was one of the worst things we have done… its people like you that I wish had to live like a slave just to see what it’s like… because apparently you have never thought about living the life of a slave and how horrible it would be!! Think before you speak!!

  38. This blog is designed to be a forum to discuss historical, social, cultural, academic, and political matters. I ask that guest articulate their points in a way that readers can understand your point of view. I have yet to hear one good justifiable defense for the flag beyond the historical. I welcome all views.

    As I noted above, and as others including Luke D addressed, those who embrace the flag are not bad people; however, there are culturla matters that should be addressed.

    • Anonymous

      as a black man the confederate flag does not offend me the peson flying the flag might. misinformation is the root of the whole issue. people need to get the facts then they can be more informed.the southern way of life now is not what it used to be. down home as we call people wave even if they dont know you. you can always get a good morning when meet someone.down home you can tell teh ones that dont want to be bothered they make it so obvious. up north is where you get the smile in the face and as soon as you walk away then your a nigger. i have much more respect for someone that i know does not want to shake my hand than someone who will sahke man hand then wipe his hand on his pants leg like my color ran off

  39. Daniel Lynch

    Immigrants are not our slaves, they choose what to work on, they don’t have the ability to get the same jobs as a conventional American or one with a college degree, they do what they can to make a living. The are paid with lower wages, slaves were never paid, get the facts straight man. Me and Erik the Red aren’t saying that you are an idiot about history, do your research, then come back to use with evidence of your claims.

    Social Darwinism is a myth bud.

    We apologize Mr. Carson for disrupting the intellectual flow of this blog, but some people need to be set straight.

  40. Daniel Toureilles

    I agree that the people who support the south or the Nazi belief are not necessarily bad people but they need to understand another point of view as to, what if they were slaves. Would their beliefs be different and how would slaves be thought of now. Being a white supremest serves absolutely no purpose and should be looked down upon and not something people are proud of. If the Klan was proud of who they were, why would they wear masks to hide their identity? I don’t think people are born racist, but something or someone gives them the idea or helps them make their choice.

  41. Walker Parkhill

    People like Red Neck Billy are the reason I’ve lost all hope in humanity…

    And for a justifiable defense besides historical, what about the flag as for cultural in that remembering the time of slavery. As much as I would love to just forgive and forget about slavery, deportation of Asian immigrants, the trial of tears, and other American injustices, many do not/ will not allow that happen.

    People don’t think slavery when they see a cotton shirt or a cigarette; the flag in my opinion is one of the lasting remembrances of slavery.

  42. Kristi

    Crud. Walker beat me. There’s another reason that the confederate flag might be useful: it would serve to point out which people should not be allowed to breed.

    • Drew Almy

      Just a note I thought I would make. I’m a Southerner, a veterenarian, and a veteran from the war on terror. I fly my confederate flag right underneath my Texas flag, which is right underneath my U.S. Flag. I hate racism, and believe it is the dumbest waste of time that mankind has come up with as of yet. My flag is a symbol of my heritage, not hatred. It saddens me that people cannot put aside stereotypes for a moment and see that the way they view a symbol is not the way everyone else sees it. I fly a confederate flag because it reminds me of my roots, not because I need to “point out that I don’t need to breed”.

  43. osipov

    It’s a shame that KKK and other similar groups have warped the meaning of the confederate flag.

  44. Red Neck Billy

    OH, you got everything all wrong. The flag stands for my country, the country of pride and hope. The flag doesn’t stand for slavery we just used slavery.

  45. Pingback: Confederate flag vs. the Swastika « Good Tithings

  46. Joshua Farris

    As a young black male, I believe I can bring a different view to this conversation. First I would like to say that in past coming from a black house hold and being around predominantly black people, to now being around predominantly white people, the experiences I’ve had, and the things I have learned have been priceless.

    Because of how I was raised, I was always taught to be cautious of what I do, how I act, and what I say, because actions speak louder than words. I was taught to represent what I stood for and to act like what I represented and being a Christian that was Jesus Christ. I say that to say this, every person I know that has a lot of pride in the south or that waves that confederate flag proudly, has in my presence or directly to me, made a racist remark with derogatory content, or to the point that all races are or should be inferior to the white race. If the remark was not about me and my race, they have said it about another(most of the time Mexicans). Till this day even at the school I go to, I still have derogatory remarks made about me and to me, so one can not say racism does not exist in the south, because I have experienced the hatred first hand. And through my experiences it lets me know that the confederate flag, which they have so much pride in, represents or still represents hatred, racism, and white supremacy along with their so called “traditions” and “culture”.

    What are these “traditions” and what is this “culture” that is being passed down? I tend to believe that, yes, these “traditions” and “cultures” are being passed down from generation to generation and each generation has pride in them, but I also believe that each generation is passing down everything that they know to be true. This brings up the problem, where does a generation think rationally and go against the grain to say, maybe this wasn’t right? Maybe i should teach my children to love everybody and that we are all equal? Because if the “traditions” and “culture” are being passed down and nobody is realizing that they are not totally good and that not all of these “tradition” and this “culture” should be passed down or practiced, we will have the everlasting problem of racism.

    I have these feelings toward the confederate flag because of my experiences. I just believe if those who fly the flag do not want it to be portrayed as a sign of racism, stop acting racist. It is hypocrisy. It is not a known fact that all people who fly the confederate flag are racist, this is just from my experiences. Its is people like “Red Neck Billy” who give the confederate flag a bad name, and who give people like me a reason to hate it! I thank you for taking the time out to read my opinions and statements and I pray that America can resolve this issue and we can all get along like God intended us to do. Thankyou

  47. Merrill Bohmbach

    I agree that there is a big similarity in the two flags, in the way they are/were flown.
    Though i’ve never been taught about the confederate flag in school. I’ve never really thought it was important…

  48. Joshua Farris:

    Nice comment. I could not have said it any better. The sad part here, Farris, is that some prefer to talk about Christ and love but practice a different act.

  49. Joshua Farris

    Very true. I believe it is something we all need to work on.

  50. johnhaier

    What an interesting question? In my opinion, the swastika represents genocide and the evil deeds of men. When I see the swastika, I immediately think of all the Jewish concentration camps and horrific acts that occurred. I do have this same memory when I see a Confederate Flag. In my opinion, the Confederate Flag represents state’s rights as opposed to a tyrannical federal government. I know that many people fly the Confederate Flag now a days representing thier dislike torward African Americans, but this is evil and wrong.

  51. HMMMEADEN

    WALKER – I think the Jews drew more attention when they were massacred than communists because they were a race…..the communists were marked by an idea not a big nose and bushy course black hair. The Communists came in all races..German… French…. Italian… Russians so it would seem that the Nazi hatred would be less concentrated than to a particular race….Not to mention the fact that the communist russians had less regard for life than the Germans and killed far more Germans than had their own killed.

    CARSON – I find it hard to believe that the Nazi flag and the Confederate flag represent the same idea. I do agree both factions had the same impact….one on a global scale, the other on a national, but the each had different goals in conquereing the inferior race.
    Back in the Mexican-American War James K. Polk saught the fulfillment of Manifest Destiny and had to overpower the southwestern Mexicans to get it. Polk saught more land for an existing ‘better’ race….another race just happened to be in the way….incidental racism. In the southeast blacks were always seen as inferiors e’er since the first Haitian slave came over to Virginia… the plantation owners naturally held a prejudiced against them solely because they were property and had a price paid for them. On the other hand Nazi Germany saught the conquest of the inferior races for expantionist purposes. Hitler instituted a policy called ‘Lebensraum’ (German baby-making factories) as an excuse to gain more land for a race that would soon be born. He was fighting countries for land that couldn’t be occupied with his elite German citizens. Ultimately, US expansion led to racism whereas German racism led to expansion.
    Each faction had different goals whose byproduct was racism. The South wanted more land for the purpose of expanding the slave economy– at whatever cost, even civil war and the lives of their own property. The confederate’s were going to to whatever it took to get their way… they undermined authority and were uber reckless in their dicsipline (uniforms etcc.. part of this was because they had to form their own army without the support of the Government). Nazi Germany saught revenge for average Germans who were loosing at life. (K Sivils) They chose to blame the Jews because factory workers couldn’t get promotions in the workers union, and after a hard days work you’re average middle classmen couldn’t take his wife to the opera whereas his less experienced superior could go and enjoy it every night. Hitler chose to focus this jealousy and hatred toward the Jews….complying with the International Jewish Conspiracy (K Sivils). [The south was already rich and didn't seek revenge on a scapegoat]. In carrying out their desire to wipe out the Jews and become the superior race the Germans were the polar opposite of the southern confederates. They did not tolerate insurrection…..everyone must obey the fuhrer etc. For example, during the second world war 93% fo the German soldiers shot to kill where as only like 15 % of Americans did. Disicpline was the highest regard. (K Sivils).
    Finally southerners wouldn’t hurt their own slaves unless they escaped or betrayed them in some way whereas the Germans whacked anyone who ticked them off.

    just interesting things i came up with last class.

    so i don’t necessarily agree that they ARE the same thing…they had the same result just on different scales. BAH!

  52. Anonymous

    They aren’t the same thing. They both CAN represent hatred and bigotry, but the Confederate flag can also represent the remnants of a southern society not willing to allow change.

  53. Jim Brown

    I see I’m going to have to get busy if I’m going to keep up with this crowd.

    But, just my 2 cents, its a REBEL flag. You show it because you are a rebel. You buck the system and don’t go with the flow. It has less and less to do with Southern culture and I hate it that the racist use it. I just think most people show it today because they want to be seen as rebels.
    I think many of the teens I know wear it as a reaction to a lot of the Mexican Pride and Gangsta clothes that fill our hallways. They feel threatened by it and need a way to show solidarity with each other. Can’t be sure though. Some kids ask if I would hang a Confederate Battle flag in my room. No way. Its just not worth the grief even though I have a Soviet Union flag among other. Had a Mexican flag until someone stole it.

  54. Kristi

    Just a question, Jim, are you actually a rebel if you’re doing something that everyone (or at least a large group of people, perhaps an entire subculture/clique at a high school) is doing?

  55. Jim Brown

    Oh sure! We have hundreds of
    I just don’t think the folks who display the battle flag are necessarily racist. I think a lot of has to do with trying to find some sort of identity and connection with others and to be part of something greater than themselves, the way all symbols do. I just think the main meaning for many folk today has to do with rebellion. How many Anarchy symbols or Che Guevara shirts are out there? You could say the same about those. Che = rebel,and we all want to be rebels now and then. Battle flag = rebel not racist.

  56. William Morgan

    Fisrt of it really saddens me to see the the Battle Flag used as a symbol of rebellon among todays youth as Jim Brown pointed out. They have no clue what it actually stands for.

    I think that John Weaver sums up the views of many Southerns including myself.

    http://www.chuckbaldwinlive.com/rebel_flag.html

    Although he references the Bible a little to much, he puts it a whole lot more elloquently than I could ever put.

  57. E. Chatman

    I believe the confederate flag is a symbol of racism. It’s definitely not a flag of justice that stood for the rights of everyone as a whole. I believe the American flag stands for equality and justice for all.

  58. hello from portugal,

    i think that confederate flag is a simbol of racism.

    so, let’s put this flag in the garbage ok?

    1 luv and keep burning this motherfuc*** flag.

    viva la resistencia viva che guevara viva cuba!

    • Herrick

      Rood to cus like that

    • Anonymous

      are you serious? how can you say viva la resistencia ,viva cuba, and at the same time say burn the rebel flag.talk about hipocritical.the rebel flag represents the resistance. and if history serves me correctly castro did the same thing to his whole country.

  59. steve

    there are many points in this discussion that i agree with and many that are inaccuracies. first of all i do not believe that the flag was a symbol of racism. people do not look at our country as a whole, when we talk about civil war times. the iggnorant spout off saying the civil war was fought over slavery when that was not the reason at all. i love my heritage and where i come from… people dont realize that there were slaves in the north just like the south and less than 5% of blacks in the south were slaves. does no one ever think about all the blacks that volunteered to fight under that flag… the problem with the flag is that it get twisted through history by a hate group (the same hate croup that uses a christian cross, is the christian cross a sign of racism too?) historically nathan bedford forrest was one of the first civil Rights leaders, and he was aGeneral under that flag. the flag does not stand for racism… during those times… we need to remember the north as well… Abraham Lincoln was a know racist, he address white supremecy in his innaguration speach. also, the emmancipation proclamation only freed southern slaves not northern slaves. many northern states were known to still have slaves many years after the war. so with that being true then, is the American Flag a sign of racism as well? we need to think clearly about the origional and not how the Klan took this flag hostage. that flag to me means to me a way of life. easy living, loving one another for who they are, remember where you came from, love your neighbor more than yourself…. basic principles that are not all shared by individuals from the northern states. if we should ban flags from flying in the US then we should go toevery car car and snatch out every foreign flag that is in there…. b/c i am sure we will find german, italian, japanese, veitnmese, Iraqi, Afghani, and British flags… all countries that have stood against the US and all our ideoligies.
    sorry if my points and discussion didnt have the PhD flow to it… but it is how i feel…. and it is historically accurate.

  60. I think you have some very good points here Steve. The flag has been tranformed into a evil symbol. Nice point on Forrest and the Emancipation.

  61. The confederate flag is not an evil symbol. It is a belief. We stand behind the confederate flag just as you stand behind whatever the flag is that you stand by. we love our flag just as you do too so leave us the hell alone and let us be texans southerners whenever the f%&* we wan’t

  62. you know i see left wing nut jobs like this employed by the government all to often. People wonder why there are always demonstrators on universities its because they are a hotbed of Marxist dogma. People wo hate White middle class America but like a filthy parasite live off her labors while attempting to destroy everything she holds dear. Why not emigrate to Zimbabwe or some other dungeon your beliefs created. People wonder where idiotic government programs come from they come from these mental zombies who are so infatuated with an ideal that they would demonstrate against our troops while they fight to defend this conttry. They hate the confederate flag because they are living in a state or terror that White America will organize their altent strenght and break their dammed necks.

  63. Loren

    I am a student of history, and I am stridently against racism and oppression. I know of a few people that are racist, and it pains me. Thankfully, they practice it only verbally and only in private as far as I can tell. They are good people otherwise, just horribly uneducated. My own family were German serfs. When you look up the definition of serf, it tells you that it is akin to slavery. I do not propose that my ancestors’ plight was equal to that of the Africans, but I wish to give some perspective of myself. I do not view the confederate flag as racist, and I do not view the swastika as any more evil or racist. Many people are unaware that the swastika had a beautiful history before it and other ancient symbols were used by the Nazis. Many cultures worldwide had their own version of the swastika. It was even said to represent the footprints of Bhudda. The Confederacy was an entirely different thing than Naziism. Nazis used symbols to build their Facist regime and influence the masses, but Confederates did not use the flag to oppress. Slavery was indeed oppressive, but the flag did not stand for slavery. Some people like to say that the US flag also stands for oppression and slavery. I believe that it is unfortunate that certain groups today use the confederate flag as a symbol of hate, but the vast majority of people do not. Some view the cross as oppressive because some in Christianity’s long history have oppressed others. Should we ban the use of the letter “X” because some commit violence in the name of Malcom X? Why cannot enlightened people see beyond the hate and view the historical context of symbols? That being said, I do understand when a black person says that the confederate flag represents slavery to him. However, it’s the actions of some that cause that and not the actions of everybody. It’s the actions and not the substance of the symbol itself. Things cannot hurt people without people using them. The context of a symbol should be judged. If somebody paints a confederate flag on a black family’s door, then that should be treated for what it is. Otherwise, it’s blown out of proportion.

  64. Tim

    Well, let’s take this approach. I love the Confederate flag. I have a lot of black friends who have no problem with the flag I fly. I have ancestors who fought against the central government of this country because they believed(and did so correctly) that it would become the overtaxing tyrannical dictatorship that they had fought to be free from. Those who cry that this flag denotes racism either fail to realize or refuse to accept the fact that there were fewer slaves in the South and that those slaves were treated better than their northern counterparts. The Confederacy had very little interest in slavery, they were motivated to protect freedoms that have since been whittled away by Washington politics.

    If you want to see real racism, look to the NAACP(the black KKK). An all white college is racist, an all black one is not. We can have an all black beauty pageant, but blacks cannot be excluded from the others. What would become of White Entertainment Television? But BET is ok. Anything that is solely for blacks is acceptable, while anything that is solely for whites is racist.

    I use the term blacks because less than 30 percent of them have African roots therefore I do not respect the term African-American. Over 70 percent of slaves were brought to America by the British from the West Indies. If blacks need to hate anyone it should be the Brits. I cannot find more than 3 documented slave harvests by Americans. They simply bought them from the Brits who captured them. Which was wrong, but the blame should not be solely on White America.

    Did you know that the deliverer of the emancipation proclamation, Abraham Lincoln, stated “I can think of no greater calamity than the assymilation of the black man into our society”? He was forced to do what he did.

    If those who cry because they can’t get everything they want for free just because they were oppressed for 300 years would shut the hell up and get a job, racism would fade into history.

    Ol’ Dixie has zero relevance to racism. It is merely a scapegoat.

  65. Strong Beliver

    i belive teh stars and bars were the best thing that ever happend to the country. also i belive it will happen again and that time couldnt come soon enough!!

  66. Your either white or wrong

    Okay, look, im all for racism, its occurd for thousands of years, and who the hell was there to say the romans were racist? huh? Those damn blacks, as Tim said, need to stop using us as an excuse, as a matter of fact they need to get on their knees and pray to god that we dont do it again, im sick of hearing those idiots blame us southern people for enslaving them, if you look at it, we brought them here and without us they wouldnt even have a chance, now if you wanna talk some crap, well here ya go, my ancestor owned slaves, and treated them just as good as his folks, he also went to war for those bastards, more than i would do, then he came home wounded, and next harvest season, back in the field helping them bring in the crop. that is bull shit, if i owned em’ they would do all the work and id sit back and laugh at them

    • Thinking In Concepts

      I’m sorry, but when I read this I wanted to puke. Without you we wouldn’t haven’t have had to break our back, without you we would have to live in fear of knowing someone had a chain and ball on us and if we didn’t work we would probably die, so I think YOU need to think of a way to teleport your ass back to the slave race time AS A SLAVE and break you back for some person who supposedly had power over YOU.

  67. WHITE POWER

    listen up, daniel lynch, lemme teach you a thing or two, the south, your whole theory that the wet backs and porch monkies have it worse that we do, its a load of crap, have you ever been to the south? have you ever seen whats its like to raise a family here? this is poor, most of them swet backs get jobs in construction and stuff, taking away from us, matter of fact if bush had any good sense they’d come up with a bill that would send all them “immigrants” is the word you used, i use intruders, job takers, they will just do the same thing they did with their pathetic excuse of a country to ours, use everything up then move on, i say we need to build, not a fence, but a fortified wall, mounted guns and everthing, and ship all of them back, first one that puts out any lip gets a 10 cent bullet between the eyes, i would rather pay for that than pay their freakin taxes, then shoot em as they head toward the wall, thats exactly what i think, and i think if you gotta problem with it then you can just go join em if you love em so much!

    • agreed

      im not a white power shithead, but i do agree with you. all these illegals and not illegals are taking away most of out jobs. and i also agree that we should build a huge ass fortified wall with guns and whatnot

  68. lonnie

    yes a big difference between one flag and the other,ever hear of the cross of st.andrew and st.patrick? those are flags of the saints of ireland and scotland and those also are the people who fought for the south and if any of you people know anything of these people you will know that they were the slaves before the blacks the south wasnt fighting for the rights to keep slavery but the right to self independence from the English in witch they forced slavery in ulster ireland and forced them to America so i say to the ignorant and to those who refuse to put that shit in history books for all people to read ****OFF! there will always be racial separation as long as you only put half the truth in the school books
    and we will always feel sorry for the blacks because of the slavery the fact is here in America all whites are as one and we are all grouped together as being the ones who took over America from the natives and so on…but untill all people of America learn the truth then there will be no piece as americans one nation under god!

  69. Ben

    l know I’m late to the party but this author is horribly ignorant. You’re an educator?

  70. Ben,

    You must tell me why I am ignorant? What did you find incorrect in the post?

  71. Tim

    Yes Ben, he’s one of those educators who teach false history and instills hatred in young minds.

  72. Tim,

    I really hope you do not believe that; I work to remove such thoughts from the minds of my students.

  73. Tim

    Your original post says otherwise,

  74. Tim,

    That is not my intent; as an academic who for a number of reasons believe the flag creates fear and pain, only looked to address this from a historical point of view. I would say the same thing about the black panthers or people who wear shirts that cause such emotion.

    But, I am one who does not believe in censorship and who believes that people have the right to express themselves. If this post is really a problem in your view, just say so and I will remove it.

  75. Tim

    No, it’s not a problem for me. If you believe it to be accurate, then who am I to deny you that belief?
    I only meant that such belief is what fuels the fires of racism. As I stated earlier, I have a number of black friends, and I fly an American flag under a Confederate flag at my home. I entertain friends often, both black and white, and they have no problem with my Confederate pride because they know what the Confederacy was about.

    I do hope that you also entertain your student minds with the obverse of the racial coin.

    Regards

  76. Andrew

    i fly both flags cause here in ky the niggers run ramped and i dont like jews or sandniggers or anything else that aint white

  77. Andrew,

    I will not remove this comment because it just shows the rest of the world how stupid people like you are. I bet you go to church and talk about Jesus. Good luck with the heaven thing. I hear the devil shares your views.

    I feel sorry for you. But, I do not hate you. It is your right to be sad and sorry.

    • nicky

      i live in ky an andrew puts a bad name on ky i fly the flag some of myu best friends are black and we ran the the klan out of my town to

  78. Pingback: Flag Comments « The Proletarian

  79. Tim

    Andrew, you and the few like you are the reason that the flag is even an issue. When others see or hear things like you wrote it brings to mind the whole southern redneck Ol’ Dixie flying stereotype judgement.
    You use your mind and your heart to spread hate. Why not channel that hate into something positive, and you will soon forget why you feel the way you do now.

  80. kmoe

    Andrew,
    you have got to be kidding me!!! come on man the Rebel flag did at once symbolise hate but those days are over accept that and people of different races and allow the rebel flag to symbolise what most of us have strived for it to be. A representation of the good ‘Ol Boy doing no harm. We all want to find the dukes inside ourselves and forget about hate so i suggest you do the same

  81. Tim & Kmoe,

    I like what you two represent as it relates to this topic. I suspect if others did the same this really would not be the issue that it is.

  82. Joel

    I would like to make it known that many of these comments advocating Carson’s beliefs actually come from colleagues in the South…the deep south. So saying we don’t understand and that we should come to the South before talking about it. Shut up we’re already there. Arguing and debating distinguishes you between and intellectual and a grade-A ignorant fool. If you want to tell someone there wrong debate them and back it up with relevant and academic support. Otherwise shut up and get off the blog because all your doing is showing how un educated, ignorant, and close minded you really are.

  83. Tim

    Joel,
    Your comment was directed at whom?

  84. The real Joel

    For your benefit Carson, that post was not actually me, just a classmate afraid to put their own name.

  85. Dave

    What about the 1000 black confederate soldiers who fought under the stars and bars?

    The only lie here is that the civil war was to end slavery. the civil war was brought about because of excessive taxes. Pretty much the same reason the revolutionary war was fought against England. All wars a really about money and or power. There are no higher ideals, only greed that powers the nations war machines.

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  87. James Glenister

    Carson I know this is an old piece bu I found something very interesting. Firstly, the KKK (who performed many of the lynchings in the name of “redeeming” the south to the “Christian values” that they orginally held before the Civil War) has a website easily found with a google search: KKK. Secondly, they love to tell guiding fictions of how it is a “very, very, VERY christian organization”. Excuse my ignorance but is this the same “Christian Values” that Jesus said to love your neighbor as yourself; the same Jesus who came to set the captive free both “On Earth as it is in Heaven”. I think somewhere I missed the passage where Jesus said “let there be slaves”. I know that wasn’t an “academic” angle but it is a valid angle.

  88. i think this is kinda crazy. And the people who got a confederate dont need to put it outside they can like put in their house◘

    • what the hell?

      why do we gotta put a symbol of heritage in our houses, but we can fly an american flag outside? THATS BULLSHIT! to me it sounds kinda like racism….

  89. Ignorance is truly bliss between each race.. If you think the confederate flag or racist or even the American flag do your research it’s culture not racism if you think its racism doesn’t that make you a racist to think before you speak next time and don’t act ignorant DO YOUR RESEARCH!!!

  90. and by the way the confederate flag does not resemble the hitler flag in any way do your research maybe you will see that one day and stop hating white folk

  91. averydissapointedreader

    The SCV DOES NOT promote racism in any way. The SCV (Sons of Confederate Veterans) is something to honor our ancestors for their fight in the Civil War. It’s really sad that the Confederate flag is now thought to be a symbol of racism and is supposed to be the equivilant of a Nazi flag. It’s because of groups like the KKK and the NAACP that its frowned upon. The NAACP (or any colored person for that matter) has to play the race card into everything. Kind of like that with Obama. You cant criticize him, you cant talk bad about him, you cant disagree with ant policy of his, or guess what? your a racist. And the KKK, burning crosses and whatnot. The KKK and NAACP is total BULLSHIT. They have turned a symbol of our heritage into a symbol of hate. It’s really sad.

  92. Parker

    The Confederate Flag is and always will be associated with racism.
    I’m not saying if it’s justified or not, it’s just the way it is.
    150 years ago it was the symbol of the south, and people will always believe that the north freed the slaves. I’m also not saying if that’s justified or not.
    But the point I’m making with that is the flag was associated with slavery back then and it was/is such a major issue that they will always be linked together.
    In the same time frame, so about 80 years from now, you can’t expect the Nazi flag/symbol to not have the same affect.

  93. smart one

    the confederate flag IS very much so associated with slavery and racim whether YOU LIKE IT OR NOT! JUST LIKE a swastica (sorry if spelling is incorrect) will always remind us of the holocaust! JUST LIKE a noose will remind us of lynchings! JUST LIKE the twin towers will remind us of the terrorist attacks! HELLO!!! people just find excuses to back up their hidden racims. i wonder why hide the fact that your a racist if ur so proud of ur damn “confederate” flag, then stop making B.S. excuses of how it is cultural and whatnot! its disrespectful and offensive to brandish that stupid racist flag around when WE ALL KNO OF ITS HISTORY AND TIES TO THE KKK AND SLAVERY!

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    • Confederate Rebel

      Only a progressive would say such things. Let me guess, you probably took that poll from a bunch of left wing Democrat nut jobs to right?

  95. No one

    I don’t think the flag stands for racism, but I do think that some black people take it that way. The Civil War wasn’t all about slavery. The North and South hated each other and they didn’t like each others life style. It’s that simple. The flag represented the Confenderacy not slavery. Alot of people get that wrong. That’s just my opinion though,

  96. Confederate Rebel

    The Confederate flag is a symbol of Southern pride,, culture, and heritage. You yankees burned all our factories that made our books, supplies, etc. Thats why we have a mixed population down herein Dixie that half the population think its racist cuz you yankees brainwashed everyone after the war to make everyone believe that the war was really bout slavery and Racism. We had 15,000 blacks join us, but do you hear bout this in the classroom? No you dont! I’m from southeastern Tennessee on the foothills of the Southern Appalachian mountains, and I successfully documented 3 of my great grandpaws served in the Confederate Army under a couple great generals. But anyways, the North had slaves to you idiots. How you think, why yall have more ppl and factories? Oh, and yalls Old Glory flew over slavery long b4 the Confederacy came to bein, so technically the U.S. flag is a symbol of racism, is it not? Tennessee had around 300,000 volunteers in the entire war, but I’m Irish, Cherokee, English, German, and Southern By birth. I know more bout this subject than most of my friends do, and you yankee professors to, cuz I heard all yall do is talk bout how bad things were down here and everythin. It really pisses us native southerners off; and we love our God, our Guns, and our Liberties and Freedom! So just please get out of our homeland and leave us be! We’re sick and tired of yalls form of government and life, we’re not progressives down here, we’re conservatives. Thank you!

  97. Libertarian

    Another perspective…..?

    The War Was Not Fought Over Slavery

    The War for Southern Independence (or as the U.S. Congress officially declared it to be — The War Between the States; it was not a “civil war”) was fought over slavery, with the North fighting to free Southern slaves and the South fighting to keep her slaves.
    This is, of course, not true.

    First of all, all thirteen original states which seceded from England in 1776 and which formed the United States of America, from Maine (a part of Massachusetts at that time) to Georgia, owned slaves. Was the First American Revolution fought over slavery. If not, then neither was the Second American Revolution fought over slavery when the Southern states withdrew from the Union and formed the Confederate States of America. Is the Fourth of July a racist holiday because all thirteen original colonies had slaves? If not, then neither are our Confederate holidays. Is the U.S. flag a racist flag because all thirteen original states had slaves? If not, then neither is the Confederate battle flag a racist flag — or do these intolerant individuals and the news media advocate taking down the U.S. flag as well? If they do, then they will need to take down nearly every national flag in the world, starting with the flag of Nigeria in Africa. What blatant bigotry to call the Confederate flag racist!

    During the War for Southern Independence, many in the North also had slaves, but refused to free their slaves until after the War. People in Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, Missouri, West Virginia, and even Washington, D.C., owned slaves; these states never seceded and were under the control of the United States throughout the course of the entire War. However, they were not required to free their slaves by the U.S. government. The U.S. Congress in 1862 even refused to pass a constitutional amendment abolishing slavery, when the only Senators and Representatives in Congress were from the North (all Southerners had left Congress to form their own nation). How could the North be fighting the War to free Southern slaves when they would not free their own, such as Ulysses S. Grant’s personal slave or Abraham Lincoln’s father-in-law’s slaves? What hypocrisy! Even worse, Lincoln and the U.S. Congress offered to pass a constitutional amendment for the South, guaranteeing permanent slavery forever in the slave states, if only the Southern states would return to the Union. The South refused the offer.

    Northern slaves were even exempt from Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. Furthermore, captured Southern slaves on the Mississippi River were forced to work on the plantations as slaves for the United States Army, growing cotton for Northern factories, rather than being set free. Also, during the War, just as many Union soldiers owned slaves as Confederate soldiers. Is the U.S. flag a symbol of slavery because the North owned slaves during the War? If not, then neither is the Confederate battle flag a symbol of slavery. How could the War have been fought over slavery when both sides had slaves?

    The War for Southern Independence was fought over local self-government by the South versus centralist government by the North; the centralist government won and the local self government lost. The Confederate battle flag is the symbol of the right of the local people and the states to govern themselves and is flown in memory and honor of our Confederate ancestors and veterans who gave their lives for less government, less taxes, and Southern independence.

    In his inaugural address of March 4, 1861, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln stated, “I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.” Furthermore, Union General U.S. Grant said, “If I thought this war was to abolish slavery, I would resign my commission, and offer my sword to the other side.”

    A war over slavery? Not hardly!

    The Confederate States of America even offered to free all Southern slaves in return for independence; Lincoln refused the offer. The term “free state” meant free from Blacks. Northerners did not want to live with Blacks, slave or free, and many Northern states and territories actually passed laws prohibiting free Blacks from entering into them. Lincoln himself stated the opinion of the Northern people during a meeting with a group of Black leaders during the War, saying, “There is an unwillingness on the part of our people [Northern Whites] to live with you free colored people. Whether this is right or wrong, I am not prepared to discuss, but it is a fact with which we must deal. Therefore, I think it best for us to separate.” Acting upon this sentiment, Abraham Lincoln and the United States Congress purchased land, passed laws, and started shipping free Northern Blacks out of the country down to poverty-stricken Haiti. Lincoln put together several such schemes to remove free Blacks from the United States, to send some back to Africa and some to Central and South America. At the end of the War, a few weeks before Lincoln was assassinated, Union General Benjamin Butler asked him what he was going to do with all the recently free Southern Blacks. To this Lincoln replied, “I think we should deport them all.”

    Meanwhile, down South, Confederate States President Jefferson Davis and his wife Varina were adopting an eight-year-old free Black orphan boy named Jim Limber. After his mother died, little Jim was placed with a free Black family as foster parents. However, this family badly mistreated him to such a degree that the news reached the ears of the President and Mrs. Davis, who, in the middle of the War, took the time and effort to intercede and rescue Jim from this child abuse. Little Jim’s wounds were doctored and he was welcomed into the Confederate White House as a member of the Davis family. President Davis himself went to court in Richmond and had free papers registered on Jim Limber, so he would always be free. Even when our President was on his way to prison for trying to obtain independence and self-government for the Southern people, he made arrangements and provided for Jim Limber’s future education and care. In the Old South it was not uncommon for Blacks to take in orphaned Whites or for Whites to take in orphaned Blacks. There was a relationship between Blacks and Whites that Northerners even today do not understand or appreciate.

    The War for Southern Independence was fought over the right of the local people to govern themselves versus a centralist government by the few, the rich, and the powerful. The South wanted less government, less taxes, independence, and decisions made at the local level where the people have control. The North wanted more taxes, more government, and centralism, with a compulsory union at bayonet point and decisions made in Washington D.C. rather than by the local people. The South stood on the principles of the Southerner Thomas Jefferson, who in the Declaration of Independence, stated, “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 a new government.” In other words, the people should control the government, not the government controlling the people. The North stood on the principles of the Northerner Alexander Hamilton, who believed that government should be ruled by an intellectual aristocracy, maintained by the enlightened self-interest of the wealthy rather than the common people, governing themselves. Northern Abolitionists such as William Lloyd Garrison, burned the U.S. Constitution in the streets, calling it “a pact with the devil.” Lincoln likewise brutally violated nearly every article and amendment to the U.S. Constitution, throwing over 35,000 Northern Citizens in prison as political prisoners, including state legislators, without cause or trial, as well as, violently closing a dozen opposition newspapers and suppressing freedom of speech.

    President Jefferson Davis and the Confederate States Congress never did such things. The Southern people took the U.S. Constitution with them when they voluntarily withdrew from the voluntary Union and brought forth upon this continent, a new nation, where the right of the local people to govern themselves was protected.

    Just as with the War for American Independence of 1776, the War for Southern Independence of 1861 was fought over “taxation without representation.” The North was constantly trying to raise taxes on Southerners through high tariffs on imported goods, in order to protect the inefficient big businesses in the North which could not compete with manufactured goods from England and France with whom the South traded cotton. The South did not have factories and had to import most finished products.

    The Industrial Revolution allowed England and France to produce and ship across the Atlantic products that were cheaper than the products Northern manufacturers, who refused to modernize, could produce with their White child labor- ten-year-old children working sixteen hours a day in “sweat shops” for mere pennies and sleeping in the streets. Slaves in the South were treated much better than child laborers in the North.

    When the taxes on imports were rejected, rich big businessmen in the North were promised that, if elected, Lincoln would drastically raise the import tax. That is why the Southern states quickly began to escape from the tax net that Lincoln was spreading. Within Lincoln’s first month in office, the U.S. Congress had passed the Morrill Tariff, which was the highest import tax in U.S. history, more than doubling the import tax rate from 20% to 47%, which was enough to bankrupt many Southerners. This oppressive tax was what pushed Southern states to legally withdraw from the voluntary Union, not slavery.

    Since the Southerners had escaped the tax by withdrawing from the Union, the only way the North could collect this oppressive tax was to invade the Confederate States and force them at gunpoint back into the Union. It was to collect this import tax to satisfy his Northern industrialist supporters that Abraham Lincoln invaded our South and not to free any slaves. Lincoln’s war cost the lives of 600,000 Americans.

    When Lincoln invaded Charleston and then Virginia, all Southerners- Whites, Blacks, Hispanics, Indians, Orientals, Protestants, Catholics, Jews, rich and poor, male and female almost to a person rose up and volunteered their services in defense of the Confederate States of America because all were going to suffer from this horrible federal tax. Nowhere in the history of movements of independence and self-government have a people been so united in purpose and dedicated to the cause of Independence. No, not even in 1776 did the thirteen colonies receive such support and sacrifice by the people, and that war was fought over a 3% tax on tea!

    My fellow Americans, the South was right! The Confederate battle flag represents all Southerners and even Northern Confederates from states such as Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, and others, who supported the South and who even tried to secede from the Union and form their own nation but whose efforts for freedom were crushed by Lincoln’s troops. Confederate Indians, Hispanics, Blacks, and Whites all received Confederate pensions after the War and attended Confederate veterans’ reunions together, year after year, just as they had suffered and fought together during the War. The Confederate battle flag represents all Confederates, regardless of race or religion, and is the symbol of less government, less taxes, and the right of a people to govern themselves. It is flown in memory and honor of our Confederate ancestors and veterans who willingly shed their blood for Southern independence.

    • R. G. Simmons

      Well, I was about to add my voice to this old debate when I discover I do not need to. Libertarian beat me to it. I find it rather odd that the British flag, which flew over slavery for 150 years is not equated with slavery. Nor is the American flag, which flew over slavery for almost a century. However, the Confederate Battle Flag, which was never the National flag of the CSA and was only used by a minority of it’s armies somehow is. That flag never symbolized a people, a nation, or a society. It symbolized a heroic people standing up against a greedy, corupt, federal government that did not represent them. It had in effect become a detriment to them. That sounds like the Revolutionary war doesn’t it?

      That being said, I fear the CBF may be damaged beyond the point of redemption. At least in our lifetimes. Due to that I prefer to fly the First National Flag of the CSA.

      Want to see what it looks like? Look at the current Georgia State flag. It looks suspiciously like that.

      • NotYanknotRebeljustAmerican

        R.G. The problem with your logic is that we don’t see people flying the union flag of the Civil war era. If we saw the 32 star flag flying from the back of pickup trucks, your point might hold water. The other problem is that just because the soldiers who fought on the side of HHS confederacy thought they were fighting against a “greedy, corrupt federal government”, doesn’t mean that’s what they were actually fighting for. Just look at the declaration of secession for the different southern states. You’ll see the real reason the confederate states seceded from the union. It will open your eyes to the real “rights” the states were fighting for. The cbf represents the @ 4 years that the confederates fought for their rights to own other human beings for profit. Not only did the rich southern slave owners oppress slaves, but they also oppressed the poor white soldier who was duped into fighting a war to keep slavery. While making the poor soldiers think they were fighting for a noble cause.

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  99. Ashley Spencer

    I have read quite a few comments about all these opinions on what the flag stands for, but there is one major thing; no not thing; fact, that everyone seems to overlookI m.
    The Civil War which began in 1861 was fought because eleven Southern slave states, wanted secession from the Union. These eleven states stood for the inhuman selling buying and enslavement of human beings. In America, THIS COUNTRY, that flag has and always will have the stain of the evil that those states stood for upon it. You can make up some fairy tale story of why you wear it, but really, your early ancestors might have worn it therefore, it was passed down from generation to generation and now you wear it. That is fine, and you have every right in America, to love, hate, and dress like you want to along as your not hurting anyone. But don’t dare try and make what people in your family believed in a long time ago all sugar coated. That flag in this country means one very very definite thing. And when you wear it…. Fifth teen year old Cuban, African, Jamaican, A.M.E.R.I.C.A.N., girls like me get really fucking offended. Not that you even care.
    I may not be as knowledgeable as other adults commmenting, but i know that it is quite possible that men bearing that flag burned, hung,and or raped people related to me. Therefore no matter what facts you tell me, what crazy logic you have everytime i see that flag i almost want to vomit. But then again this is a world where people don’t care about anything like that the’ll insist on bearing this flag regardless of all the disgusting things people that wore it did.

  100. Ashley Spencer

    This is all i have to say:
    I have read quite a few comments about all these opinions on what the flag stands for, but there is one major thing; no not thing; fact, that everyone seems to overlookI m.
    The Civil War which began in 1861 was fought because eleven Southern slave states, wanted secession from the Union. These eleven states stood for the inhuman selling buying and enslavement of human beings. In America, THIS COUNTRY, that flag has and always will have the stain of the evil that those states stood for upon it. You can make up some fairy tale story of why you wear it, but really, your early ancestors might have worn it therefore, it was passed down from generation to generation and now you wear it. That is fine, and you have every right in America, to love, hate, and dress like you want to along as your not hurting anyone. But don’t dare try and make what people in your family believed in a long time ago all sugar coated. That flag in this country means one very very definite thing. And when you wear it…. Fifth teen year old Cuban, African, Jamaican, A.M.E.R.I.C.A.N., girls like me get really fucking offended. Not that you even care.
    I may not be as knowledgeable as other adults commmenting, but i know that it is quite possible that men bearing that flag burned, hung,and or raped people related to me. Therefore no matter what facts you tell me, what crazy logic you have everytime i see that flag i almost want to vomit. But then again this is a world where people don’t care about anything like that the’ll insist on bearing this flag regardless of all the disgusting things people that wore it did.

  101. ashley biggs

    i would just like to say that i do not believe the rebel flag is about racism. the civil war had nothing to do with whites agaisnt blacks, it was the north and the south. as far as i’m concerned if you live in the south you shouldn’t discriminate against the confederate flag just because you think its racist. i wear a lot of rebel flags and i am not racist by all means, so just because you fly a rebel flag does not mean you are against the black race.

    • Lori Clark

      by the way there is no ‘race’, We are all humans. If a African American and a Caucasian have a child together, it is a human baby. We have our different cultures and ethnic practices, but we are not separate ‘races’. We are human beings.

  102. harry p DeMott sr

    every body should read THE SOUTH WAS RIGHT by james ronald and walter donald kennedy

  103. Luke Murphy

    I definitely think it represents racism, and who on Earth wants to be reminded of a time of when our nation was divided over the issue of racism and slavery

  104. Lori Clark

    150 Years later and we still disagree as a nation what this war was about.
    ” It is flown in memory and honor of our Confederate ancestors and veterans who willingly shed their blood for Southern independence.”
    Which the southern states lost. Now, we failed as a nation to bring back the healing (still needed). We are Americans first, residents of our perspective states next. As a person born in Ohio (never a slave state by the way look it up, it was always a ‘free’ state), my mind is boggles at the resistance of American citizens from the southern states to keep the ‘confederacy’ alive. Southern pride? Sure be proud of the state you were born in, I am proud of being a ‘buckeye’. First and foremost I am an AMERCAN.
    We need to look at history with open minds. History can and is taught with biased textbooks, this needs to stop. If a ‘southerner’ is taught a different history than the ‘northerner’ student then we perpetuate the bias this produces. We should be proud as a nation. Your rights end where mine begins. If people find the confederate flag (and all it ‘represents’ including its checkered past of state rights to continue to have slaves) offensive, then it should not be flown. Put it in a museum and welcome yourself to the 21st century.
    Keep your southern pride, wherever you were born, but IF your pride includes this flag, then take a unbiased look at history and think again if what this flag represents to all of us. We cannot go forward as a nation until we stop holding on to the past, those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Take your ‘confederate’ flags down, the war is over, freedom won. Put the flags in a museum where they belong. Welcome to the 21st century my AMERICAN friends it is nice here, enjoy!

  105. Tez

    All I can say is this, Black people were owned by white people. Black people were not considered to be human beings. Black people were hung and even killed for disobeying orders from “Owners”. Black people were disgraced and made to think that they were simply put on earth to serve others. ( Second hand knowledge, was’nt actually there.) Now I have a question…..When black people are taught about slavery with information passed down from generation to generation they feel a certain way about white people. They feel this way partly because of generational information passed on from grand parents and great-grandparents about the treatment recieved from white people.
    ( Black Grandparents will make it seem as if all white people were the same) The feelings are not always positive. Am I to believe that white people have not recieved similar information about their ancestors perception of black people. Is this ancestoral information handed down from the older white generation not as racist and misinformational as the information handed down to black people from their ancestors. The question sets up my point…Racism exists because we allow it to exist and we put too much stock in what we hear rather than what we experience ourselves. Be your own person and understand simply that a human being is a human being. Forget the argument about was is right and who was wrong. Today the only right is to admit that we all breathe air, we all bleed red and we all live and die eventually. With all of these similarities how are we really different. The real answer is that the difference between us is not so much as who we are, but what we believe and unfortunately that is enough to keep us divided. White and Black describes a skin tone, not a person. When we all die that may be too late to realize that during the history of our existence, we made it waaaaayyy too complicated. God may actually frown and show signs of embarrassment before he casts each one of his creations made in his image into the the fiery pitts of hell. Both black and whites will go together and then and only then will we realize that there is no difference between us. With all of these proposed intellects making comments on this non-issue I find it a little sad that we can not figure this out before its too late. Why not?
    ( I may be suspicious of what really happened in the past but im smart enough not to allow it to cloud my judgement of the people I meet whether black or white…Evil will be evil regardless of color.)
    Thanks for your eyes , ears and attention.

  106. Anonymous

    they are mad

  107. no one

    personally, the confederate flag does not stand for racisim, but others associated racisim into our flag and made it disgraceful, however, the true meanings of the rebel flag is the southern way of life which is being true to you, live out a simple life, carry on traditions, and be proud of who you are. I can see where other people are coming from thinking that this flag is racist but it truly isnt. if u try to look at it at our perspective, you would see that it was st. andrews cross which is the st. of scotland and the 13 stars represented the 11 colonies that broke away from the union due to taxes and no one taking into consideration the southerners point of view and way of life. the other 2 states were the border colonies that were involved in the southern way of life. the red white and blue stood for american colors and the cross was again the st. andrews cross. i am not racist and i have many black friends as i have grown up around them but you need to know the history of the confederate flag in order to judge it. plus, their are really no differences in all races except for the culture, and appearance… that being said, in no way is the confederate flag intended to offend other races, but to embrace the southern pride and to secede from corrupt goverment. another point i would like to make is that many people think that everyone in the south had slaves and were for slavery, not true. Infact, roughly 5- 10% of people in the south owned slaves. Why? Becos slaves were expensive and many families in the south (and still do today) had big families and with the big families they all helped out on a poor little farm that kept food on the table and a hay roof over their damn heads. so research before you associate our rebel flag with anything different and find the true facts from what it really represented and what it really means even tho some people get that twisted.

  108. GL

    I cant believe you would be so ignorant to compare the Confederate flag to the Nazi flag. Maybe you should quit your job as a teacher because if you were teaching my kids I would be extremely unhappy. Nazis are a military responsible for the deaths and torture of millions of Jews and Christians. Whereas the Confederate flag was only the battle flag to represent the 13 colonies that did not want to join and become a nation, but rather be a nation of its own. You forget that the north also had slavery and slavery did not end when the war ended, it took years to clear slavery out of the north and the south. You are very stupid and very ignorant and don’t deserve to be a teacher.

  109. GL

    Also, Slavery came from Africa. Weathly black people owned slaves and traded them to America in exchange for goods. This is a fact that blacks started slavery. So they really need to get over it already and stop blaming it on white people. Blacks were not the only slaves. Germans, Serbians, Polish people were also slaves. In England and France, there were also white slaves in almost every household, especially during the rennisiance age.

  110. Mark

    Mark says:
    June 30, 2011 at 11:57 am
    I say this as my personal point of veiw but when i see the civil war i see half of a nation of scaredpeople. We they scared of endig slavery? Of course. America hasnt turned a profit since the cotton feilds and slavery! That was their way of life, slavery was one small part, it was the feul. When they were fighting, they werent fighting cuz they were terrible people who hated blacks and wanted them all to suffer like so many people think! They say the product of what endong slagery would do. They saw the economical downfall and they saw their “southern” heritage of farming with yes the use of slaves. They didnt have tractors back then yall! Someone hadto do it and in their eyes it was easy labor! Thats why i believ yes the rebel flag represents the southern wAy, ur culture to which you should ALWAYS be proud of, who you are and where you come from and how you were raised. When it comes to white supremecy organizations- that use the false belief against you. Think about it IF the e tire country suddenly accepted that it meant southern pride and not racism- do ya really think they’d fly it? It makes no sense- they play of that ignorance of many people that the rebel flag represents racism.

    To the nazi question- the difference is that nazis hated all jews and blacks- they were the equivilent of our kkk’s. But news flash- the kkk was not fighting the union- the confederates were

  111. Anonymous

    e carson sounds like ure the most racist person on this blog

  112. Anonymous

    lookin for something wrong with the flag

  113. Thinking In Concepts

    While I sit here reading everything that you people have posted, I am also thinking to myself “What am I doing here? I am only 14.” The point of what I am saying is that I never really wondered or fairly thought about the Confederate Flag as mush as I am right now. I truly don’
    t want to put my view out on this because all of you seem to already said everything I had wanted to say and I don’t want to go against anyone’s beliefs.

  114. Pingback: The Flag Topic | The Professor

  115. Anonymous

    The confederate flag is not a sign of racism your retarded

  116. Anonymous — the term retarded refers to a turn backwards; hence, I am not sure how that reflects upon me. Further, you mean you’re which is the proper contraction for you are. Retarded you say.

  117. Nini

    I honestly think America has so much “baggage” from the past for everyone to “get along”, then we have people who like to blame their Insufficient life on their history which is CRAP. My great grandfather was Cherokee Indian, you dont see me using what him & the rest of the Indians went through as an excuse. EVERY race has been through some sort of trials in the past…Is there even a difference in any one race these days? I have Indian, Irish, German decendants and who knows what else because my father was adopted! I look white, but am I considered part of the White race?? If a single flag brings SO much animosity why not just take it down? You have to give a little to get a little. Like I’ve read above and glad to see, God loves everyone, he doesnt see color.

  118. Anonymous

    I am a little bias on this subject being from the south! I see the confederate battle flag or rebel flag as nothing more than a way to show respect for a period of time where people stood up against their government when they felt as though the government wasn’t looking out for their best interest. To be honest with a lot of the recent scandels I believe that we all as Americans have lost the great that that started this country. That is courage! We have simply lost the courage to speak our minds and tell our government, “hey what happened to for the people?” I believe that a flag or any symbol only offends you as much as you let it. I will not deny that there are some sick people out there who wavy this flag for the wrong reason, such as discrimination. That was not the purpose intended. This flag was just simply made to show our (southern’s) courage. I think thats one of the main problems in today’s society. You’re too caught up on what a flag means when instead you should be remembering and honoring all the people who died regardless of whether they were union soliders or confederate soliders. Its a flag point blank! If you want wavy the flag all day everyday and if you don’t like it then just don’t look at it…hell burn it if it makes you happy! I mean hey your in America…home of the free!

  119. Proof read your material before you post. A lot of you write illiteratlly; screw racism your ignorant cuz you’re just plain stupid!

  120. Simply my thoughts

    I could sit and read all this mess for hours if I weren’t laughing so hard at all the typo’s misspelled words and just plain ignorance. If people would do a little research they would know that the original CSA flag was very similar to the US flag in its origin. Due to CONFUSION on the battlefield the flag was changed FOR the battlefield to the flag that is so controversial and known as the battle flag. The sad thing is this country was stolen by force from the people that where here long before any white or black man ever set foot on it. What are they given for their loss? Some parched desert land and mud houses? The black people that where sold by their own people as slaves are given what? I had a young black man working on my crew that was caught sleeping on the job 7 times and got seven warnings before getting transferred to another area on the same job but he got to keep his job. On the same job I had two white guys and an Indian that got fired for standing at a water cooler together drinking water on a 115 degree summer day. It is events such as this that cause racial issues. I am from the south Louisiana actually and am not raciest. Everyone is making a big issue out of symbols, flags, colors etc and not one of these items has anything to do with how people see or treat other people. It’s all you. You can choose to treat anyone like a human being regardless of their color, how they dress, what flag hangs in their yard or whatever. Symbols don’t make people, people make symbols. One of these days professor maybe when our teachers stop teaching it we’ll all get past the symbols and just see people as people nothing more or less.
    I once pulled up to a Sonic and saw an elderly black man digging in the trash; I thought for cans but turned out he was looking for food. I saw this man take a portion of uneaten hamburger out of the trash and start eating it. Of all the people there black, white, Spanish etc, not one other than me stopped him and got him something to eat. I wouldn’t have cared what color he was, or what gang he was associated with or what flag he flew or country he was from. I saw a man that was hungry enough to dig in trash for food in front of others. When all you people put all your trivial ideals to rest and quit judging others by someone else’s actions this world may have a REAL chance.
    Wake up people live a life that matters.
    Live a Life that Matters
    Ready or not, some day it will all come to an end.
    There will be no more sunrise, no minutes, hours or days.
    All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten will pass to someone else.
    Your wealth, fame and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevances.
    It will not matter what you owned or what you where owed.
    Your grudges, resentments, frustrations, and jealousies will finally disappear.
    So, too, your hopes, dreams, ambitions, plans, and to – do list will expire. The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away. It won’t matter where you came from.
    It won’t matter whether you where beautiful or brilliant. Even your gender and skin color will be irrelevant. So what will matter?
    What will matter is not what you bought, but what you built. Not what you got, but what you gave.
    What will matter is not your success, but your significance.
    What will matter is not what you learned, but what you taught.
    What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage or sacrifice that enriched, empowered or encouraged others to emulate your example.
    What will matter is not your competence, but your character.
    What will matter is not how many people you knew, but how many will feel a lasting loss when you are gone.
    What will matter are not your memories, but the memories that live on in those who loved you.
    What will matter is how long you will be remembered and for what.
    Living a life that matters does not happen by accident.
    It happens by choice.
    Choose my friends to live a life that matters.
    These are thoughts I share with you

    Simply my thoughts Dean Butler

  121. srjohnson southern girl

    i know im a sothern girl and yes i know many people of the south were rasict but to me the confederate flag as you call it to me is the rebel flag and it just means i am proud to be a southern girls and everyone i know that is proud to be a southerner would say the same.

  122. Anonymous

    i dont think it wrong to fly the flag as long as your flying for the right reasons like southern pride instead of flying it for racism

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  124. Aya

    lol I just know about this because ray William Johnson used this flag in one of his newest songs, and of course ray is against it so so am I ^~^

    • carpetbagger

      The whole point is what did the confederate flag stand for. It stood for people who wanted to continue slavery. So it stands for pro-slavery plain and simple. A law banning it from being flown should have been passed years ago along with a heavy penalty for flying it. Plain and simple like the people who fly it.