The Confederate Flag: Loser's Crying Towel
Today has been on of those days when the Internet has really outdone itself with stupidity. I have seen so many idiotic things centered around the Confederate Flag, typically saying that waving it is all about “heritage” and “State’s Rights”, followed by a bunch of pseudo-patriotic drivel that makes my brain hurt. And almost all of them say something along the lines of, “People need to learn their history.”
Well, I have a lot of spare time. So I decided to do a little research into the topic of whether or not the Confederate Flag is just a symbol of “state’s rights” or is actually a symbol of racism (which is what I have believed since I was a child).
Guess what? My view has not changed.
The most common thing I’ve seen today is people saying, ludicrously, that the Confederate Flag never represented a State. The “Stars and Bars” was the battleflag of the Confederacy, which means that it was a flag for the CSA, which by definition, is a State. The confusion here comes from a lot of people not understanding the political meaning of the term “state”. A “state” is defined as “a nation or territory considered as an organized political community under one government”. As the battleflag of the Confederacy, it was in fact a State Flag. (Source: A frigging dictionary).
Since it was a battleflag, knowing what the CSA was fighting for might be interesting to learn about. Because this was a dispute between governments, we have a whole lot of historical documentation to go on since we tend to keep important historical documents, such as declarations from states giving their specific reasons for doing things like seceding from the union.
South Carolina has been in the news so much lately, and was the first state to secede from the union, let’s see what they have to say on the subject...
“A geographical line has been drawn across the Union, and all the States north of that line have united in the election of a man to the high office of President of the United States, whose opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery. He is to be entrusted with the administration of the common Government, because he has declared that that "Government cannot endure permanently half slave, half free," and that the public mind must rest in the belief that slavery is in the course of ultimate extinction. This sectional combination for the submersion of the Constitution, has been aided in some of the States by elevating to citizenship, persons who, by the supreme law of the land, are incapable of becoming citizens; and their votes have been used to inaugurate a new policy, hostile to the South, and destructive of its beliefs and safety.” (Source: http://www.civilwar.org/education/history/primarysources/declarationofcauses.html
Clearly, slavery was kind of an important issue here. And yes, State’s Rights was part of it, but it was the State’s right to let their citizen own and traffic in SLAVES. Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that pretty damned racist? Especially in the United States, where the only slaves were people of color?
If you think that this is just some isolated statement, please follow the link and read the declaration of secession from all the states. Slavery is very prominent in every single one of them.
Now, lets move into the Civil Right’s Era, when people of color were getting their faces kicked in, sprayed with fire hoses, and lynched for wanting things like equal access to education and the ability to use things like public facilities without having to go through the side door. At the time (1948), the Democratic Party had adopted a platform that promoted civil rights. These southern democrats (or Dixiecrats), walked out of the Democratic national convention specifically because they were against Civil Rights. It was during this time that the State’s Rights Party adopted the battleflag of the Confederacy as their party’s flag. (Source: http://www.confederatepastpresent.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=163:confederate-symbols-at-the-1948-dixiecrat-convention&catid=36:the-civil-rights-era&Itemid=47
This was the beginning of a trend where southern states embraced the battleflag to give the finger to Civil Rights and as a reminder of what it stood for in the first place. Slavery. Or, uh, State’s Rights? Yeah, totally.
Georgia altered their state flag to contain the stars and bars in protest to Brown vs The Board of Education, the Supreme Court decision that integrated schools.
Then we have South Carolina, who celebrated the centennial of their secession by raising the Confederate Flag above their capitol building in 1961. This was again done under the guise of “State’s Rights”, specifically the State’s Right to fight desegregation.
Then you have George Wallace, who as far as historical assholes go probably deserves a medal. He lovingly adorned his State Troopers with Confederate Flag patches, the same troopers who he used to assault and harass black students attempting to do such bold and subversive actions as entering a school building. He had the backing of the illustrious Ku Klux Klan, who he tried to protect after the terrorist---er---I mean men’s club with the hoods bombed a black baptist church, killing 4 girls. Racist? Uh, yes. Absolutely. (Source: http://www.encyclopediaofalabama.org/article/h-1676
Speaking of the KKK, guess what flag they fly?
Oh, and speaking of terrorist groups who are racist and absolutely horrible, guess what flag is flown by Neo-Nazi groups where the Swastika has been banned? You guessed it! That good old symbol of State’s Rights, the Confederate Flag.
Now, here we are 15 years into the new millennium, and for some godforsaken reason people still want to defend the Confederate battleflag as something nostalgic. Well, your nostalgia is disgusting. This history that you are celebrating is that of a failed nation whose entire economy was based on the dehumanization and enslavement of an entire race of people. You are getting all misty eyed and assed-up in defense of a flag that represents systematic oppression and using a flimsy argument to do it.
History can teach us many things. History is important, because with history we know where we came from. We know the road that has brought us here. Slavery is a giant black-eye on our nation. It is a disgraceful institution, and to support the government that fought to preserve it through some misguided idea of history, is ignorant at best and malicious at worst.
The good thing about History is that we don’t have to repeat it. There is no reason to defend this symbol of racism and rebellion. THERE IS NO DEFENDING IT. There is not one single argument that I have seen that is not directly rooted in either blatant stupidity or racism. People keep saying that the Confederate Flag is part of history. It’s time that people stopped paying lip-service to the concept and actually learned what they are saying.