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Guest
Posted: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 4:13:27 AM

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Joined: 12/1/2006
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It is no secret that I am a southern girl, born and bred in Virginia. As a matter of fact, I was born in Manassas, where on July 21, 1861 and then again on August 28, 29 and 30, 1862 - the armies of the Union (North) and the Confederacy (South) clashed in bloody battle and the South being overwhelmingly victorious in both engagements. I am extremely proud of my southern roots! I am a member of the Daughters of the Confederacy society. Yet, the flag that symbolized the Confederate States of America is today seen as nothing more than a symbol of hatred and racism. And I am often chastised for being proud of my heritage. So, what do you think? Is the Confederate Flag really a symbol of hatred? Or is a truly a landmark and a crucial piece of American History? What did the War Between the States accomplish? It was fought for national unity! To make the United States into a nation instead of a collection of independent states. But is that really what it accomplished when one side is almost forced into the closet and viewed as one of the darkest anals of human history? Tell me what you think.
SixtyMinuteMan
Posted: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 5:36:08 AM

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Joined: 6/6/2010
Posts: 119
Location: San Diego, United States
The thing about that flag is that you have to undestand exactly what the history is. It is not a flag associated with the antebellum south or with the plantation society or with, honestly, anything good or defensible. It was only used during the war itself, a war fought to preserve a horrible institution. It's the flag of sedition.

A timeline of that flag's history-

Before 1861: Does not exist. There is no link to the antebellum (pre-war) South. Neither the stars and bars nor the battle flag (which is what we now think of as the Confederate flag) were dreamed up until the war.

1861-1865: The naval ensign and battle flag of the Confederacy, albeit in different forms. This is the first and predominate association for ALL the Confederate flags. They were the flags of a people fighting to keep other people in bondage.

1865-the early 20th Century: Little seen. Not officially outlawed as the stars and bars were, but generally out of use.

19-teens and twenties: Revived by the Klan. The main reason they chose the naval ensign was that the stars and bars were still technically illegal in a lot of places.

1950's and 60's: Comes back into popular usage as a symbol of those opposed to the Civil Rights Movement. Note that until this point it was not on state flags (except maybe one- Mississippi, maybe?) but during the height of the hate southern states adopted it left, right, and center.

That flag has no history that is not associated with hate. Flying it is absolutely no different from flying a swastika to taunt Jewish people. I understand that a lot of people are unaware of its full history and just why it even survives, but that doesn't make it okay. "Heritage not hate" is bullshit. The heritage IS hate.
LadyX
Posted: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 9:16:26 AM

Rank: Artistic Tart

Joined: 9/25/2009
Posts: 4,827
Interesting question and first reply to this one.

I only learned about the south seceding and then the civil war in school history class, never having lived, and barely even visited, in any of those confederate states. I have heard, off and on, talk about that flag, and while I don't have the knowledge that 60MM has about it, that sentiment is the only one I've ever known: that it stands for racism, and seems to really reach back to a time when those values were socially acceptable.

I say this knowing I could be very lacking in what else it might involve besides racism, but my heart at least tends to side with the reply above mine.

My question for you, Stephanie, or anyone else who feels like that flag stands for their own heritage etc., is this:

What beyond racism does it stand for exactly? What is it about the confederate states that gives you pride about your history? I ask this out of sheer curiosity, coming from a completely different background and culture from 'The South'.

Oh, one more thing-
StephanieSlit wrote:
But is that really what it accomplished when one side is almost forced into the closet and viewed as one of the darkest anals of human history?


In case anyone's interested, I think the darkest anal in human history is scene 3 of this video:



Hope that helps...


But back to the subject-



I look forward to more responses here- just keep in mind how easily sensitive subjects like this can fly off the rails with the wrong attitude or wording.
Jillicious
Posted: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 11:49:58 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 10/28/2009
Posts: 1,293
LadyX wrote:
StephanieSlit wrote:
But is that really what it accomplished when one side is almost forced into the closet and viewed as one of the darkest anals of human history?

In case anyone's interested, I think the darkest anal in human history is scene 3 of this video:


holy shit that was funny.






This pretty much sums up my feelings on the Confederate flag:




I also agree with what SixtyMinuteMan said. And the civil war as been over for 145 years. Time to move on.



Thousands of user submitted stories removed from the site. You are nothing without your users or their freely submitted stories.
Remington
Posted: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 11:56:35 AM

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Joined: 1/21/2010
Posts: 1,753
I think it's an important piece of history. It symbolizes the South's heritage, as racism and hatred seemed to breed from there. I'm from the South and have dealt with racial matters first hand because my sister's boyfriend happens to be black and he accuses me of being racist because we sometimes don't agree on things. It's not fun at all.. As far as what it stands for with the people in the South is beyond me.. The question I've always had - how would this country be if the South had won the war?

I don't particularly care for the Confederate Flag, but I feel that it is indeed important to our history.

Go check out my new story - How Did This Happen? - John's Story

MrNudiePants
Posted: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 12:42:28 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 8/10/2009
Posts: 2,140
Location: United States
Florida has a state monument where they fly the flag of every government ever to rule over the peninsula. This includes old Spanish Colonial flags, Seminole Tribe standards, Old Glory, and yes, the Confederate "Stars and Bars". Several times, people have sued the state, trying to force them to remove the Confederate flag from this memorial, and they lost their suit each time. The flag itself doesn't stand for slavery, any more than Betsy Ross's original flag did (remember - many of our founding fathers were slave owners).

Also, keep something else in mind - from the viewpoint of the Southern governors and politicians, the War was not about ending slavery. At that time, the "United States of America" was not the way we know it. It was, as it's name implies, a group of independent States, united by common locale and purpose. These States had all agreed to help look after each other's welfare, and band together if the need arose for common defense, but in most other ways, each state was it's own independent entity, responsible for writing and enforcing it's own laws. If one state decided that a 30-year-old man could marry a 10-year-old girl, for instance, no other state could gainsay it.

The issue of slavery became a hotbed of dispute. There were factions on both sides of the issue, living in all the different states. Many Northerners didn't care about slavery, while many Southerners felt that it should be outlawed. The war came about because the Federal government, in the person of Abraham Lincoln, decided that it could over-rule the individual State's statutes, based on the idea that the federal Constitution was the law of the land, and should rule supreme. Many states felt this usurped their own authority and wanted to separate themselves for the rest of the United States. Hence, slavery was the cause for the war, but not the reason for it. Many people think that the slave economies, not being as competitive as free ones, would have died out eventually, and should have been left to dwindle and die on their own. You can even see hints of this in "The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass", when Douglass (an escaped slave) compares the wealth he sees evident in his new northern friends to the wealth he had always assumed existed with the Southern slave owners.

In my opinion, the flag itself only represents the failed government of the Confederate States of America. What's dangerous about flying it is the meaning that some of our citizens who do fly it imbue it with. They use it as a symbol of their own hatred, racism, fear, and superstition. Part of being American means you're free, though, and that includes having the freedom to have an unpopular opinion (and demonstrate it vividly). Therefore, I support the rights of people to fly that flag, no matter what their motive, because you never know when an opinion YOU hold dear will become "unpopular"...


MrNudiePants
Posted: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 12:45:01 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 8/10/2009
Posts: 2,140
Location: United States
LadyX wrote:

Oh, one more thing-
StephanieSlit wrote:
But is that really what it accomplished when one side is almost forced into the closet and viewed as one of the darkest anals of human history?


In case anyone's interested, I think the darkest anal in human history is scene 3 of this video:



Hope that helps...






laughing3

Magical_felix
Posted: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 1:07:08 PM

Rank: Wild at Heart

Joined: 4/3/2010
Posts: 4,902
Location: California
I think that with these kind of symbols it is important to learn their history and what they used to stand for but it is much more important to learn what they mean today. Not everyone is going to look at a confederate flag flying from the back of a truck and say "those boys sure are proud of their history." It's more likely that people will assume they are racist whether they are or not.

At one time the word gay meant happy or carefree but now it means something else. Most people don't use gay in place of happy because of what it means now. Like I wouldn't say "my friend John is really gay because he got a raise at work."



DamonX
Posted: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 1:52:33 PM

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Joined: 1/25/2009
Posts: 795
I think it is an important part of US history. So I think people should be aware of it and what it represents. I don't think any state should still be using it as/or part of their state flag though. I think doing so, shows reverence for a hypocritical ideal that went against the very notions of freedom that the USA was founded on. Let's leave it for rednecks to stick on the back windows of their pickup trucks instead.

Should Germany fly the swastika along with the tri color? Nah. It belongs in a museum, not on a pole outside the legislature.
mercianknight
Posted: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 2:14:28 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 8/11/2009
Posts: 2,029
Location: whispering conspiratorially in your ear, Bermuda
MrNudiePants wrote:
Florida has a state monument where they fly the flag of every government ever to rule over the peninsula. This includes old Spanish Colonial flags, Seminole Tribe standards, Old Glory, and yes, the Confederate "Stars and Bars". Several times, people have sued the state, trying to force them to remove the Confederate flag from this memorial, and they lost their suit each time. The flag itself doesn't stand for slavery, any more than Betsy Ross's original flag did (remember - many of our founding fathers were slave owners).

Also, keep something else in mind - from the viewpoint of the Southern governors and politicians, the War was not about ending slavery. At that time, the "United States of America" was not the way we know it. It was, as it's name implies, a group of independent States, united by common locale and purpose. These States had all agreed to help look after each other's welfare, and band together if the need arose for common defense, but in most other ways, each state was it's own independent entity, responsible for writing and enforcing it's own laws. If one state decided that a 30-year-old man could marry a 10-year-old girl, for instance, no other state could gainsay it.

The issue of slavery became a hotbed of dispute. There were factions on both sides of the issue, living in all the different states. Many Northerners didn't care about slavery, while many Southerners felt that it should be outlawed. The war came about because the Federal government, in the person of Abraham Lincoln, decided that it could over-rule the individual State's statutes, based on the idea that the federal Constitution was the law of the land, and should rule supreme. Many states felt this usurped their own authority and wanted to separate themselves for the rest of the United States. Hence, slavery was the cause for the war, but not the reason for it. Many people think that the slave economies, not being as competitive as free ones, would have died out eventually, and should have been left to dwindle and die on their own. You can even see hints of this in "The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass", when Douglass (an escaped slave) compares the wealth he sees evident in his new northern friends to the wealth he had always assumed existed with the Southern slave owners.

In my opinion, the flag itself only represents the failed government of the Confederate States of America. What's dangerous about flying it is the meaning that some of our citizens who do fly it imbue it with. They use it as a symbol of their own hatred, racism, fear, and superstition. Part of being American means you're free, though, and that includes having the freedom to have an unpopular opinion (and demonstrate it vividly). Therefore, I support the rights of people to fly that flag, no matter what their motive, because you never know when an opinion YOU hold dear will become "unpopular"...


Thank you, thank you, and again, thank you.

It is so refreshing to read the truth when it comes to sensitive issues like this one. As a Brit, and having no affinity for said flag, I was initially dismayed to see that the usual propoganda re the Confederate flag was winning out. We olde Europeans are experts at demonising the flags of losing armies, regardless of how long they may have lasted.

Want so examples and enlightenment? Research the "Wars of the Roses" or the English Civil War and remember, to the Victor goes the right to re-write history!!

"Whoa, lady, I only speak two languages, English and bad English." - Korben Dallas, from The Fifth Element

"If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must man be of learning from experience?" - George Bernard Shaw
LadyX
Posted: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 2:28:26 PM

Rank: Artistic Tart

Joined: 9/25/2009
Posts: 4,827
mercianknight wrote:

Thank you, thank you, and again, thank you.

It is so refreshing to read the truth when it comes to sensitive issues like this one.


Applause That's why we love our Nudie-Bear. drunken
SixtyMinuteMan
Posted: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 5:01:18 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 6/6/2010
Posts: 119
Location: San Diego, United States
MrNudiePants wrote:
Florida has a state monument where they fly the flag of every government ever to rule over the peninsula. This includes old Spanish Colonial flags, Seminole Tribe standards, Old Glory, and yes, the Confederate "Stars and Bars". Several times, people have sued the state, trying to force them to remove the Confederate flag from this memorial, and they lost their suit each time. The flag itself doesn't stand for slavery, any more than Betsy Ross's original flag did (remember - many of our founding fathers were slave owners).

Also, keep something else in mind - from the viewpoint of the Southern governors and politicians, the War was not about ending slavery.


Yes, it was. From what is known as the Cornerstone Speech, by Confederate VP Alexander Stephens, one of the prime figures in the Secession and the formation of the new southern government:

Racist Fucktard Alexander Stephens wrote:

The new constitution has put at rest, forever, all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institution — African slavery as it exists amongst us — the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution. Jefferson in his forecast, had anticipated this, as the "rock upon which the old Union would split." He was right. What was conjecture with him, is now a realized fact. But whether he fully comprehended the great truth upon which that rock stood and stands, may be doubted.

...foundations are laid, its corner–stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery — subordination to the superior race — is his natural and normal condition.


MrNudiePants wrote:
At that time, the "United States of America" was not the way we know it. It was, as it's name implies, a group of independent States, united by common locale and purpose. These States had all agreed to help look after each other's welfare, and band together if the need arose for common defense, but in most other ways, each state was it's own independent entity, responsible for writing and enforcing it's own laws. If one state decided that a 30-year-old man could marry a 10-year-old girl, for instance, no other state could gainsay it.


Also untrue. The Constitution was the law of the land in 1861, just as it is now. Some peripheral responsibilities like banking have come and gone, but our basic system of federal government and state participation has remained constant since 1788.

MrNudiePants wrote:
The issue of slavery became a hotbed of dispute. There were factions on both sides of the issue, living in all the different states. Many Northerners didn't care about slavery, while many Southerners felt that it should be outlawed. The war came about because the Federal government, in the person of Abraham Lincoln, decided that it could over-rule the individual State's statutes, based on the idea that the federal Constitution was the law of the land, and should rule supreme. Many states felt this usurped their own authority and wanted to separate themselves for the rest of the United States. Hence, slavery was the cause for the war, but not the reason for it.


Revisionist, apologist, and factually wrong. See the above, and here's Republican Senator Charles Sumner weighing in:

Senator Sumner wrote:
[T]here are two apparent rudiments to this war. One is Slavery and the other is State Rights. But the latter is only a cover for the former. If Slavery were out of the way there would be no trouble from State Rights.

The war, then, is for Slavery, and nothing else. It is an insane attempt to vindicate by arms the lordship which had been already asserted in debate. With mad-cap audacity it seeks to install this Barbarism as the truest Civilization. Slavery is declared to be the "corner-stone" of the new edifice.


MrNudiePants wrote:
Many people think that the slave economies, not being as competitive as free ones, would have died out eventually, and should have been left to dwindle and die on their own. You can even see hints of this in "The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass", when Douglass (an escaped slave) compares the wealth he sees evident in his new northern friends to the wealth he had always assumed existed with the Southern slave owners.


Which was why the South seceded. They'd long controlled much of the government through the 3/5ths compromise, which for those unfamiliar was the absolutely reprehensible practice of letting slaves count as 3/5ths of a human for purposes of government representation. Meaning that, in essence, slaveowners got to use their slaves to vote for slavery.

Lincoln's election was seen by both sides as a signal of the death knell for slavery. The key point of argument at that moment was whether the new territories east of the Mississippi would be slave or free. If they were slave, the slave-voting mob would overwhelm the free states and slavery would be the law of the land for the foreseeable future. If they were free, slavery was doomed. It wasn't that Lincoln had promised emancipation or anything like it; he hadn't. It was what he signified.

MrNudiePants wrote:
In my opinion, the flag itself only represents the failed government of the Confederate States of America. What's dangerous about flying it is the meaning that some of our citizens who do fly it imbue it with. They use it as a symbol of their own hatred, racism, fear, and superstition. Part of being American means you're free, though, and that includes having the freedom to have an unpopular opinion (and demonstrate it vividly). Therefore, I support the rights of people to fly that flag, no matter what their motive, because you never know when an opinion YOU hold dear will become "unpopular"...


Nobody's imbuing it with anything it didn't have all along. The Confederacy was never about anything but slavery. That flag never belonged to anyone or anything that was not a directly racist entity. The Confederate government, the Klan, and the opposition to Civil Rights. That's it and that's all. All the bullshit revisionist lost-cause posturing is just that- bullshit. It was the symbol of a government whose sole reason for existence was to perpetuate slavery.

Revisionists like to claim that the South wanted to limit federal power in some non-specified way, that they wanted a weaker constitution and thus a weaker central government. And yet the Confederate Constitution was a word-for-word copy of the US Constitution with the addition of this phrase: No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law denying or impairing the right of property in negro slaves shall be passed [by Congress]

So they established exactly the same government with exactly the same powers, point-by-point, except that it could not impede slavery. Hardly seems like this was a conflict over the form of federal government.

You're a bright guy, I encourage you to do some objective reading. It's a racist symbol, man, whether everyone who flies it is aware of that or not. When it flies over southern capitols it is a not-so-subtle reminder that a great percentage of white southerners are still nostalgic for a time when blacks were property.
SixtyMinuteMan
Posted: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 6:09:56 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 6/6/2010
Posts: 119
Location: San Diego, United States
LadyX wrote:
In case anyone's interested, I think the darkest anal in human history is scene 3 of this video:


Got busy with the serious reply and forgot to say that this was absolutely hilarious. I was going to let "anals" slide, but I'm glad you didn't. I literally laughed out loud.
MrNudiePants
Posted: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 6:24:50 PM

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Joined: 8/10/2009
Posts: 2,140
Location: United States
Meh. It's been said that opinions are like assholes - everybody's got one and they're usually full of shit. Including Senator Sumner and Vice President Stephens.

From the Civil War Preservation Trust.

Quote:
The concept of states rights had been an old idea by 1860. The original thirteen colonies in America in the 1700s, separated from the mother country in Europe by a vast ocean, were use to making many of their own decisions and ignoring quite a few of the rules imposed on them from abroad. During the American Revolution, the founding fathers were forced to compromise with the states to ensure ratification of the Constitution and the establishment of a united country. In fact, the original Constitution banned slavery, but Virginia would not accept it; and Massachusetts would not ratify the document without a Bill of Rights.

The debate over which powers rightly belonged to the states and which to the Federal Government became heated again in the 1820s and 1830s fueled by the divisive issue of whether slavery would be allowed in the new territories forming as the nation expanded westward.


A Southern Perspective

Quote:
Tariffs levied in 1816 were aimed at lucrative Southern markets. Many Northern politicians were looking at wealthy plantation owners and wanting to share that wealth with their constituents and tariffs were the means by which to accomplish this goal. Protectionist fervor, fanned by pre-1816 success creating industrial growth through the Embargo Act was somewhat muted by shippers and merchants who opposed tariffs, but in 1820 and 1824 the United States once again was trying to increase tariffs.

The Tariff of 1828 precipitated the first secessionist crisis, in South Carolina in 1832. The battle pitted Vice-President John C. Calhoun against President Andy Jackson, ending with the Nullification Crisis. Luckily, another compromise was reached, courtesy of Henry Clay, and the crisis was avoided. Part of the compromise included a roll-back of tariffs to the 1816 levels over a 10-year period.

When the period was up, however, the pro-Tariff Whigs decided to reapply them to pay for their "internal improvements." The only problem was these internal improvements benefited Northern shipping interests and Western land speculators and not the South. For example, lighthouses had always been state-owned and run. The Northern shipping magnates wanted more lighthouses in the South and when state governments said no, they simply nationalized existing lighthouses and began increasing the number with the tariffs. Tariffs are generally considered to be a "Lost Cause" of the Civil War, but the cited example is directly out of the Georgia Causes of Secession document.


Quote:
Thomas Jefferson knew as President he did not have the power within the Constitution to agree to buy Louisiana from the French, but he did it anyway. This single act set the stage for a major shift in the political power in the United States, away from the states and to the President and Congress. The South felt that the President and Congress only had powers specifically granted them in the Constitution, but northern and western interests wanted a government who would do more for them and favored expansion of these powers. Even the federal judiciary got in the act, extending its authority over the province of state courts, again reducing the power of the states (Martin v. Hunter's Lessee (1816) and Cohens v. Virginia (1821).

Politicians, Northern and Southern, were generally labelled "strict constructionist" or "loose constructionist" based on their concept of how closely the Constitution should be followed in determining the power of the federal government.


Quote:
"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people" is directly from the Bill of Rights.

Considered to be a "Lost Cause" advanced after the War Between the States, state's rights involved the decreasing power of the states and rights not granted the federal government being usurped. It is not a southern concept by any means. After the Embargo Act of 1807 and other legislation designed to reduce trade with England, the Northeast attacked the expansion of federal power. In the 1830's the western states wanted a central bank to control speculation and tried a state's rights argument to support their stand.

In 1832 Georgia simply ignored the federal government when it stole the Cherokee Nation in spite of federal rulings preventing them from doing so (Worcestor v. Georgia). Andrew Jackson did nothing to force Georgia to obey the ruling of the court, granting Georgia state's rights. Of course, South Carolina used this argument in the early 1830's to justify nullification, which Jackson did oppose with federal troops. When state's rights arguments were proposed in the late 1840's in support of disunion, Congress responded with the Compromise of 1850.

In the early 1850's states rights arguments faded, but by the end of the decade Southerners talking disunion were talking states rights, hardly the "Lost Cause" some want to make it out to be. The South got support from some unusual places: Wisconsin defended the sovereignty of the state in 1859, albeit over sentences imposed under the fugitive slave law.


An essay by Curt Smothers

Quote:
According to "The History Buff's Guide to the Civil War" by Thomas R. Flagel (Cumberland House:2003), the rallying cry of "State's Rights" was one of those slogans that tend to unite people, even though separated by class and economic status. Such was the case in the South before the Civil War, and "States Rights" became one of the major causes of the conflict that became our nation's four-year Civil War.

The controversy over whether the federal government should be preeminent over the individual states, who entered into the contract of federalism voluntarily, went back to the beginnings of our constitution. The Federalists versus Antifederalist contest culminated in the first major (albeit peaceful) change in American government as John Adams ceded power to Thomas Jefferson.

In 1832 when Congress adopted a series of high import tariffs against the wishes of the Southern states, the "states' rights card became a popular Southern response to any unpopular national policy.


Another essay on the "true meaning" of the confederate flag.

Quote:
The false notion that the Battle Flag must be a racist symbol is born of the mistaken belief that the Civil War was about slavery. This bit of propaganda has been repeated ever since President Lincoln and his political allies decided to “free the slaves” (in actuality Lincoln only freed those slaves in the Confederacy, slaves in Union states such as Maryland and West Virginia remained slaves). The truth, however, is plain to anyone who wishes to delve into the history, and the proof lies in the proposed Corwin Amendment of 1861. This amendment was proposed by Congressman Thomas Corwin (R) from Ohio and stated,

No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish or interfere, within any State, with the domestic institutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of said State.

Prior to his election, Lincoln had voiced his support of the amendment. Like many politicians of his time, Lincoln believed in the preservation of the Union beyond all else. When the Bill was brought before the House seven states had already formally left the Union (Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina) never the less the bill passed 133-65 and was forwarded to the Senate. In March of 1861 the Senate approved the bill 24-12. Both of these votes were from a Northern majority, seeing as most of the South had already left. Both the outgoing President, James Buchanan, and the newly elected Abraham Lincoln publicly endorsed the amendment. In fact, during Lincoln’s inaugural address he had this to say of the Corwin Amendment,

I understand a proposed amendment to the Constitution–which amendment, however, I have not seen–has passed Congress, to the effect that the Federal Government shall never interfere with the domestic institutions of the States, including that of persons held to service. To avoid misconstruction of what I have said, I depart from my purpose not to speak of particular amendments so far as to say that, holding such a provision to now be implied Constitutional law, I have no objection to its being made express and irrevocable.1

The amendment went on to be ratified by Ohio, Maryland, and then Illinois before the outbreak of the Civil War halted the process of adopting the new amendment. Now ask yourself, if the Civil War was really about slavery why didn’t the Corwin Amendment, already passed by the Federal Legislature and well on its way to ratification (given the three free states which had ratified it, and the 15 slave states which would as well, only four more states would have needed to ratify it), end the conflict? The Northern states had already compromised on slavery. The truth is that the Civil War was not about slavery, it just became popular to create propaganda to make it seem so because it gave the Union an image of moral superiority.

Despite these facts, I still oppose the use of the Confederate Flag and applaud Obama’s statement. Not because the flag is racist, but because flying it, especially on government property, is treason. The Confederate flag represents a nation which declared open war on the United States and attempted to do her harm. No matter what the basis of the original grievances, flying that flag now suggests a willingness to rebel against the United States of America, and suggests a certain disloyalty towards our nation. As such it is a treasonous act and one to be held in contempt.


You can tell that this is a very contentious subject. Just as we're divided on this issue today, they were divided in the early 19th century. I wasn't alive then to have an opinion. I'm not in favor of slavery, nor am I in favor of rebellion against the government of the United States. But in pointing out just ONE part of a complex issue and saying, "Here it is! This is the cause of it all!" is short-sighted, narrow-minded thinking at it's worst. "Revisionist" is leaving out all the other factors of history that led up to the war. Welcome to the club, fellow Revisionist.

SixtyMinuteMan
Posted: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 7:40:42 PM

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Joined: 6/6/2010
Posts: 119
Location: San Diego, United States
If the state rights argument was the crux of the southern miscontent, why were they so eager to use the federal government to deny northern states the right to emancipate any slave who made it onto free territory? And they gladly endorsed tariffs that protected their interests.

"State Rights" is not a term that exists in a vacuum. The rights in question were to maintain and expand slavery.

You're just going right down the Revisionist arguments, aren't you? The Nullification Crisis occured thirty years before the Civil War. And it was only South Carolina that threatened to secede. They'd done so once before, mind you, when the federal government prevented them from arbitrarily imprisoning all black sailors who arrived in their state.

Again: Tariffs had nothing to do with secession. There are no protections from government tariffs in the Confederate Constitution, because that was not their concern. There are protections for slavery because that was their concern. The tariff that Revisionists cite as cause for the sedition was the tariff of 1857. Look it up. It was written by a Virginian and most of its support came from the South.

Lincoln won the Presidency without even token electoral votes from the South. They were being overwhelmed, and they knew that his tenure would bring assaults on rulings like Dred Scott and the Fugitive Slave Law- both of which, by the way, are clear examples of the hypocrisy of southerners claiming that state rights had anything to do with their grievances. When they had control of Congress they were happy to use it to assert slave rights over northern states.

It was not a coincidence that they seceded when Lincoln was elected. He was not a symbol of trade tariffs, for God's sake.

I'll rise above your attempt to provoke and point out that the quotes I provided are not opinion. The Cornerstone Speech was the enumeration of the Southern cause for secession. It was their own stated case for the war. Shall I respond to your out-of-context quotes by quoting the foremost Civil War historians? McPherson, Catton, and Shelby Foote have all gone out of their way to call the Lost Cause bullshit what it is. Bullshit.

Okay, I had more typed here, but I don't want this to sound personal. I will point out, again, that that flag fell out of use during all the long decades after the war and was only revived by the Klan, then adopted by the openly racist opposition to Civil Rights. It has no history that is not about racism, period.
MrNudiePants
Posted: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 8:21:42 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 8/10/2009
Posts: 2,140
Location: United States
You're completely ignoring your own point that no one issue "exists in a vacuum". The Civil War was just as much about states rights as it was about ending slavery. For you, maybe ending slavery was the most just cause. Others may have other priorities. I have no dog in this hunt. None of my ancestors were slave owners, nor were they abolitionists or freed slaves. You can curse and get "personal" all you want. The only thing that will happen is that nicola will slam this thread shut with the sound of a thousand drums all going "boom" at once.

Quote:
I will point out, again, that that flag fell out of use during all the long decades after the war and was only revived by the Klan, then adopted by the openly racist opposition to Civil Rights. It has no history that is not about racism, period.


Racism has never gone out of style. It existed after the war, it existed in those years during which the "flag fell out of use", and it exists now. As did the Klan.

Q: If the flag (and the war) was ONLY about racism, then why did the flag fall "out of use"?

A: Because this is a more complex than you make it out to be, and it's not a "one issue" discussion.

The world would be a much simpler place if all issues could be divided up evenly, with the pro on one side and the con on the other. Unfortunately, when you're talking about politics, you're dealing with a multitude of shades of gray, with no one issue as simple as positive/negative.

SixtyMinuteMan
Posted: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 8:52:11 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 6/6/2010
Posts: 119
Location: San Diego, United States
It fell out of use because of the Reconstruction-era necessity to keep up at least a pretense of being undercover with the racist activities of the Klan and others- nothing subtle about that flag, after all. Then in the early 20th Century the Klan reached the height of their power, they didn't have to hide anymore. They openly endorsed politicians and created an entire power structure based on racism. Accordingly, they could be more open with their symbolism.

And yes, the world is shades of gray. Hence the survival of slavery in the first place. But sometimes those shades of gray are dark enough to closely resemble black and light enough to closely resemble white. I'm not sure what it would take to convince you- the southerners of the day said it was about slavery, the northerners of the day said it was about slavery, today's historians say it was about slavery. The only people denying that are Revisionist apologists who seize on a blatantly transparent alternate excuse. If you'd like to respond with any factual counterpoints, I'd be happy to continue the debate, but it's impossible to argue with blind rhetoric. You say you have no dog in the hunt, yet you cling to specious arguments in the face of the historical record. While that's certainly your right, I'm obviously not going to get into a pointless back-and-forth with you.

And, for the record, what I meant was that I didn't want to throw a massive wall of text at you for fear of making you feel... not sure what word I'm looking for... picked on? Not that I was going to personally attack you. And may I humbly suggest that if the word "bullshit" is problematic for you that you don't start responses with "opinions are like assholes".
MrNudiePants
Posted: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 9:00:19 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 8/10/2009
Posts: 2,140
Location: United States
You are correct in one way - it WAS about slavery. But you're wrong when you say it was ONLY about slavery. I've been re-reading the Cornerstone Speech. Is it an accident that the first "improvement" to the Constitution that he notes in his dialog is the removal of tariffs?


Quote:
This new constitution, or form of government, constitutes the subject to which your attention will be partly invited. In reference to it, I make this first general remark. It amply secures all our ancient rights, franchises, and liberties. All the great principles of Magna Charta are retained in it. No citizen is deprived of life, liberty, or property, but by the judgment of his peers under the laws of the land. The great principle of religious liberty, which was the honor and pride of the old constitution, is still maintained and secured. All the essentials of the old constitution, which have endeared it to the hearts of the American people, have been preserved and perpetuated. [Applause.] Some changes have been made. Of these I shall speak presently. Some of these I should have preferred not to have seen made; but these, perhaps, meet the cordial approbation of a majority of this audience, if not an overwhelming majority of the people of the Confederacy. Of them, therefore, I will not speak. But other important changes do meet my cordial approbation. They form great improvements upon the old constitution. So, taking the whole new constitution, I have no hesitancy in giving it as my judgment that it is decidedly better than the old. [Applause.]

Allow me briefly to allude to some of these improvements. The question of building up class interests, or fostering one branch of industry to the prejudice of another under the exercise of the revenue power, which gave us so much trouble under the old constitution, is put at rest forever under the new. We allow the imposition of no duty with a view of giving advantage to one class of persons, in any trade or business, over those of another. All, under our system, stand upon the same broad principles of perfect equality. Honest labor and enterprise are left free and unrestricted in whatever pursuit they may be engaged. This subject came well nigh causing a rupture of the old Union, under the lead of the gallant Palmetto State, which lies on our border, in 1833. This old thorn of the tariff, which was the cause of so much irritation in the old body politic, is removed forever from the new.


(emphasis mine)

WellMadeMale
Posted: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 9:07:39 PM

Rank: Constant Gardener

Joined: 9/30/2009
Posts: 10,288
Location: Cakeland, United States
Well, I think we've read a pair of differing versions here.

Anyone else care to chip in?

If ya can't beat 'em... pay someone to do it for you.
SixtyMinuteMan
Posted: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 9:30:45 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 6/6/2010
Posts: 119
Location: San Diego, United States
MrNudiePants wrote:
You are correct in one way - it WAS about slavery. But you're wrong when you say it was ONLY about slavery. I've been re-reading the Cornerstone Speech. Is it an accident that the first "improvement" to the Constitution that he notes in his dialog is the removal of tariffs?

*snip for brevity*


No, it's not an accident. It's him building up to the central point of the speech. He also covers changes in the tenure of the president, the government's reasons and methods for scheduling internal improvements to the new country, and several other points that are comparatively trivial and clearly not reasons for war. Then he comes to the thrust of the thing, and my apologies to those whose stomachs will turn at this speech. I excised the nastiest bits last time, but let's have the thing in the open:

Racist Fucktard Alexander Stephens wrote:

But not to be tedious in enumerating the numerous changes for the better, allow me to allude to one other though last, not least. The new constitution has put at rest, forever, all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institution African slavery as it exists amongst us the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution. Jefferson in his forecast, had anticipated this, as the "rock upon which the old Union would split." He was right. What was conjecture with him, is now a realized fact. But whether he fully comprehended the great truth upon which that rock stood and stands, may be doubted. The prevailing ideas entertained by him and most of the leading statesmen at the time of the formation of the old constitution, were that the enslavement of the African was in violation of the laws of nature; that it was wrong in principle, socially, morally, and politically. It was an evil they knew not well how to deal with, but the general opinion of the men of that day was that, somehow or other in the order of Providence, the institution would be evanescent and pass away. This idea, though not incorporated in the constitution, was the prevailing idea at that time. The constitution, it is true, secured every essential guarantee to the institution while it should last, and hence no argument can be justly urged against the constitutional guarantees thus secured, because of the common sentiment of the day. Those ideas, however, were fundamentally wrong. They rested upon the assumption of the equality of races. This was an error. It was a sandy foundation, and the government built upon it fell when the "storm came and the wind blew."

Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth. This truth has been slow in the process of its development, like all other truths in the various departments of science. It has been so even amongst us. Many who hear me, perhaps, can recollect well, that this truth was not generally admitted, even within their day. The errors of the past generation still clung to many as late as twenty years ago. Those at the North, who still cling to these errors, with a zeal above knowledge, we justly denominate fanatics. All fanaticism springs from an aberration of the mind from a defect in reasoning. It is a species of insanity. One of the most striking characteristics of insanity, in many instances, is forming correct conclusions from fancied or erroneous premises; so with the anti-slavery fanatics. Their conclusions are right if their premises were. They assume that the negro is equal, and hence conclude that he is entitled to equal privileges and rights with the white man. If their premises were correct, their conclusions would be logical and just but their premise being wrong, their whole argument fails. I recollect once of having heard a gentleman from one of the northern States, of great power and ability, announce in the House of Representatives, with imposing effect, that we of the South would be compelled, ultimately, to yield upon this subject of slavery, that it was as impossible to war successfully against a principle in politics, as it was in physics or mechanics. That the principle would ultimately prevail. That we, in maintaining slavery as it exists with us, were warring against a principle, a principle founded in nature, the principle of the equality of men. The reply I made to him was, that upon his own grounds, we should, ultimately, succeed, and that he and his associates, in this crusade against our institutions, would ultimately fail. The truth announced, that it was as impossible to war successfully against a principle in politics as it was in physics and mechanics, I admitted; but told him that it was he, and those acting with him, who were warring against a principle. They were attempting to make things equal which the Creator had made unequal.

In the conflict thus far, success has been on our side, complete throughout the length and breadth of the Confederate States. It is upon this, as I have stated, our social fabric is firmly planted; and I cannot permit myself to doubt the ultimate success of a full recognition of this principle throughout the civilized and enlightened world.

As I have stated, the truth of this principle may be slow in development, as all truths are and ever have been, in the various branches of science. It was so with the principles announced by Galileo it was so with Adam Smith and his principles of political economy. It was so with Harvey, and his theory of the circulation of the blood. It is stated that not a single one of the medical profession, living at the time of the announcement of the truths made by him, admitted them. Now, they are universally acknowledged. May we not, therefore, look with confidence to the ultimate universal acknowledgment of the truths upon which our system rests? It is the first government ever instituted upon the principles in strict conformity to nature, and the ordination of Providence, in furnishing the materials of human society. Many governments have been founded upon the principle of the subordination and serfdom of certain classes of the same race; such were and are in violation of the laws of nature. Our system commits no such violation of nature's laws. With us, all of the white race, however high or low, rich or poor, are equal in the eye of the law. Not so with the negro. Subordination is his place. He, by nature, or by the curse against Canaan, is fitted for that condition which he occupies in our system. The architect, in the construction of buildings, lays the foundation with the proper material-the granite; then comes the brick or the marble. The substratum of our society is made of the material fitted by nature for it, and by experience we know that it is best, not only for the superior, but for the inferior race, that it should be so. It is, indeed, in conformity with the ordinance of the Creator. It is not for us to inquire into the wisdom of His ordinances, or to question them. For His own purposes, He has made one race to differ from another, as He has made "one star to differ from another star in glory." The great objects of humanity are best attained when there is conformity to His laws and decrees, in the formation of governments as well as in all things else. Our confederacy is founded upon principles in strict conformity with these laws. This stone which was rejected by the first builders "is become the chief of the corner" the real "corner-stone" in our new edifice. I have been asked, what of the future? It has been apprehended by some that we would have arrayed against us the civilized world. I care not who or how many they may be against us, when we stand upon the eternal principles of truth, if we are true to ourselves and the principles for which we contend, we are obliged to, and must triumph.


So no more beating around the bush. THAT is whose flag you're defending. Clearly, clearly, he saw the war as about slavery above all else. If you think flying that guy's flag is okay, I honestly don't know what else to say. And if you don't feel a little queasy after reading that speech, well, maybe you need to spend some time in introspection.
WellMadeMale
Posted: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 9:55:37 PM

Rank: Constant Gardener

Joined: 9/30/2009
Posts: 10,288
Location: Cakeland, United States
Was it Alexander Stephens or Stephenson? I think Alexander Stephens (the confederate VP) stated pretty eloquently how he felt. It's a point of record. And his words are in museums.

I was checking out This Website, trying to figure out how far South of where I currently reside, Manassas, Virginia is.

Actually, it sits at roughly Latitude:38.7503066°

Where I live is at roughly Latitude:38.7100476°

Almost due West of Manassas. Actually I grew up in a small town South of Manassas and I live in a small town South of Manassas, still. Kansas City, the largest 'town' in the vicinity is just a few 'minutes' North of Manassas.

The earliest that any of my descendants arrived in this country was 1872. They were from the countryside around Prague.

This entire area was split as to whether they were Union or Confederate. It wasn't uncommon for neighbors to be against one another, all because of some really fucked up shit, IMO.

I identify the confederate flag with racism. I always have. Sort of how I identify the Stars & Stripes with freedom. I look at flags from other countries and have no feeling for or against them.

I hate when people from the United States feel they need to wrap themselves in the Stars & Stripes and proclaim how patriotic they are and how different or inferior, every other country is to the hypocrite who is doing all the blustering.

The confederate flag is a relic of history and belongs in museums along with Stephens stated thoughts. It doesn't represent freedom for this country in this time. To the victor go the spoils and the ability to write the histories.

If ya can't beat 'em... pay someone to do it for you.
SixtyMinuteMan
Posted: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 10:18:06 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 6/6/2010
Posts: 119
Location: San Diego, United States
Erp. Don't know how I did that, I got it right the first time. Stephenski? McStephens? Stephanovich? One of those.

And yeah, I'm generally against -isms when used to divide. Pride in where one is from is all well and good, so long as it doesn't blind one to the flaws of that place and people. And so long as it doesn't turn into a reason to view everyone else as less. It's the line between patriotism and nationalism, I suppose.

Obviously I agree with you about that flag. Fondly reminiscing about the Confederacy is like fondly reminiscing about Apartheid, and flying that flag is just signaling to the world "Hey, I'm the bad kind of southerner, out here giving the decent people a bad name!"

A significant percentage of the people of this country had to be shot to convince them to stop enslaving their fellow man. I'll never comprehend why some see that as a thing to celebrate or honor in any way.
MrNudiePants
Posted: Thursday, July 29, 2010 5:41:43 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 8/10/2009
Posts: 2,140
Location: United States
SixtyMinuteMan wrote:


So no more beating around the bush. THAT is whose flag you're defending. Clearly, clearly, he saw the war as about slavery above all else. If you think flying that guy's flag is okay, I honestly don't know what else to say. And if you don't feel a little queasy after reading that speech, well, maybe you need to spend some time in introspection.


I'm not DEFENDING the flag. Read what I've actually written. The War was partly about slavery, partly about other things. Saying anything else is lying, pure and simple.

When it was introduced, the Stars and Bars was a standard flown so troops on a hazy, smoky battlefield could more easily identify their own armies. Nothing more, nothing less. At THAT time, it wasn't even the true adopted flag of the Confederate States, just a battle standard. Any meanings that the flag has been imbued with since then are strictly the products of other people's bigotries and vileness.

SixtyMinuteMan
Posted: Thursday, July 29, 2010 6:22:51 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 6/6/2010
Posts: 119
Location: San Diego, United States
MrNudiePants wrote:
I'm not DEFENDING the flag. Read what I've actually written. The War was partly about slavery, partly about other things. Saying anything else is lying, pure and simple.


Right, yeah, I'm a liar. I have every piece of scholarship plus the words of the actual participants on my side, but I'm lying.

OP: "What do you think of the Confederate Flag? Do you think it's racist?"

Me: "Well, yeah, actually."

You: "No it's not! No it's not!"

Me: "It is, and here's why."

You: "Well I'm not defending the flag, I'm just saying it's not about racism!"

So now I say: "That's pretty much the definition of defending it, since racism was the accusation."

Obviously you're intending to call me a liar, but the thing is you're actually leveling that accusation at every southern politician of the Civil War era, every northern politician of the Civil War era, and virtually every modern historian.

James M. McPherson, the scholar of the Civil War, won a Pulitzer Prize for his book on the subject, Battle Cry of Freedom. The book is so respected, so thorough, so balanced, and so exhaustive that it is chapter six in The Oxford History of the United States. It is absolutely where you start if you want to learn about that war, and not having read it is the same as saying "I don't know a thing about that era." From chapter one of that book (and I'm editing only for brevity, anyone with the book can confirm):

James M. McPherson, Pulitzer Prize-winning Civil War historian, Professor Emeritus of US History at Princeton, and member of the editorial board of the Encyclopædia Britannica wrote:
The greatest danger to American survival at midcentury... was sectional conflict between North and South over the future of slavery. To many Americans, human bondage seemed incompatible with the founding ideals of the republic...

By midcentury this antislavery movement had gone into politics and had begun to polarize the country...

The slavery issue would probably have caused an eventual showdown between North and South in any circumstances. But it was the country's sprawling growth that made the issue so explosive. Was the manifest destiny of those two million square miles west of the Mississippi River to be free or slave?... The country's territorial growth might have created a danger of dismemberment by centrifugal force in any event. But slavery brought this danger to a head at midcentury.


Call him a liar, I'm done. Personal insults are where any debate, internet or not, reaches the point of absurdity.

MrNudiePants wrote:
When it was introduced, the Stars and Bars was a standard flown so troops on a hazy, smoky battlefield could more easily identify their own armies. Nothing more, nothing less. At THAT time, it wasn't even the true adopted flag of the Confederate States, just a battle standard. Any meanings that the flag has been imbued with since then are strictly the products of other people's bigotries and vileness.


The Stars and Bars, which was the "national" flag of the racist, slaveowning, seditious assholes:




The battle flag:




The naval flag:




And maybe if you don't even know that much about the subject, you shouldn't be throwing names around.

The secessionist southerners were racist. Their war was racist. The flags they flew during that war were symbols of that racism. The Klan is racist. The opposition to the Civil Rights movement was racist. The flag that they adopted because of its ties to the racist government of the slaveowning south is as racist as any symbol can possibly be. There is no more racist symbol, not even the swastika, because at least it has non-racist affiliations in Asia.

Liar, huh? I'm demonstrably not, and you've definitely made a strong case for another ugly word to apply to you. This is my last foray into this thread, I'm not getting myself kicked out of a place I think I like because one guy doesn't like being wrong.
MrNudiePants
Posted: Thursday, July 29, 2010 7:46:38 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 8/10/2009
Posts: 2,140
Location: United States
sign5

There are several problems with your arguments.

1. You're attributing things to me that I've never posted.
2. You're not actually refuting anything I HAVE posted - you're just ranting on and on about how you're right, therefore, I MUST be wrong.
3. You've admitted that there were other issues being discussed at the time, while refusing to admit that those issues actually influenced the political fields of the pre-war South.

This makes your arguments specious at best. What you're calling the "Stars and Bars" is not the flag the original poster was referring to when she wrote the original question and you know this. It's not the flag I was referring to when I wrote "Stars and Bars" either, and you know this as well. Instead of refuting arguments, you go off onto tangents that don't even apply to the original question.

I've never disputed the evil that is slavery, and I've never disputed the fact that it was present and it was one of the factors that influenced the South's secession. What I have posted is that it was not the ONLY factor - a claim which you have yet to dispute. You'll never find any reputable historian willing to go on record as saying slavery was the ONLY reason for the secession or the war. I've also posted that the flag itself is not inherently racist, nor is it evil. It's just a symbol. Some people who have flocked to that symbol and claimed it for their own were evil (and indeed, some who do so now are evil). The flag itself is just cloth. It only has the meaning you attach to it.

LadyX
Posted: Thursday, July 29, 2010 9:22:12 AM

Rank: Artistic Tart

Joined: 9/25/2009
Posts: 4,827
Okay, so...

Sounds to me, just like so many of these internet discussions/debates, that the above exchange has more in common than you'd think at first. Nudes even said that slavery caused the war (but wasn't the reason, which I finally understood after about two hits of marijuana and a careful re-reading of what he wrote), but mainly disagrees with a broad-brush treatment of the civil war as being 100% about slavery. I think it's splitting hairs, really. Without slavery, there is no war. Without racism and defiance about lifestyle being dictated by a different group of people ('the North') based on the outcome of the war, the confederate flag isn't an issue, or seen anywhere outside of museums. It's true that an object made of cloth can't be racist on its own, it has to be viewed that way by people- but again- is there any question that it represents racism, both blatantly and based on its history?

Can you really fly a nazi banner and say "oh, there's nothing wrong with flying this banner, it's just cloth with a symbol on it." That would be true, but also playing everyone else for an idiot, to expect anyone to believe that you would fly that flag for any reason other than white supremacy, fascism, and anti-semitism. I see major similarity between that and the confederate flag in terms of how offensive it is, both to people who wish to move on, and to people who were oppressed by those that flew that flag.

In the hopes to move this thread forward- I'll repeat a question I asked early on: for those that have pride in their confederate history, and proudly display its flag, or support others' display of it, what other than racism does it stand for in your eyes? It's part of history, yes- but why not let it stay there? What does the confederate flag have to do with your life now?
MrNudiePants
Posted: Thursday, July 29, 2010 9:50:35 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 8/10/2009
Posts: 2,140
Location: United States
LadyX wrote:
Okay, so...

Sounds to me, just like so many of these internet discussions/debates, that the above exchange has more in common than you'd think at first. Nudes even said that slavery caused the war (but wasn't the reason, which I finally understood after about two hits of marijuana and a careful re-reading of what he wrote), but mainly disagrees with a broad-brush treatment of the civil war as being 100% about slavery. I think it's splitting hairs, really. Without slavery, there is no war. Without racism and defiance about lifestyle being dictated by a different group of people ('the North') based on the outcome of the war, the confederate flag isn't an issue, or seen anywhere outside of museums. It's true that an object made of cloth can't be racist on its own, it has to be viewed that way by people- but again- is there any question that it represents racism, both blatantly and based on its history?

Can you really fly a nazi banner and say "oh, there's nothing wrong with flying this banner, it's just cloth with a symbol on it." That would be true, but also playing everyone else for an idiot, to expect anyone to believe that you would fly that flag for any reason other than white supremacy, fascism, and anti-semitism. I see major similarity between that and the confederate flag in terms of how offensive it is, both to people who wish to move on, and to people who were oppressed by those that flew that flag.

In the hopes to move this thread forward- I'll repeat a question I asked early on: for those that have pride in their confederate history, and proudly display its flag, or support others' display of it, what other than racism does it stand for in your eyes? It's part of history, yes- but why not let it stay there? What does the confederate flag have to do with your life now?



Once again, my Lady, you cut to the heart of the matter. That really IS the question we all should be asking.

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