The Confederate Battle Flag

Craig asked me what I thought about the current brouhaha over the Confederate Battle Flag flying over Charleston, and whether it should be taken down.

I am, thanks be to God, a Virginian by birth.  And I am the child of parents from the Deep South. In spite of being mostly raised out west, I am, and always will be, a Southerner.

I have, in the past, had memorabilia with the iconic Confederate flag.  As one of Craig’s commenters noted on Craig’s post on the issue, it used to be, to most of us, the flag simply represented that something was Southern. But like so much else in our culture today, it has become politicized. And I am not the most empathetic person in the world, but I can see where many Americans see the flag as still symbolizing slavery and oppression. So, I’m not displeased that Governor Haley of South Carolina has asked the state legislature to debate whether that particular flag should be taken down.

Like Craig, my flag is the flag of the United States of America. I feel pride every time I see it, and I see it often.

Flags

But we’ve entered a period of fundamental unseriousness in our country. The current furor over the Confederate flag is in fact, a reaction to the shooting of black Christians by a deeply disturbed young man, which had no reference whatsoever to the Confederate flag. Nothing at all. And yet, a sudden moral panic thrust a decidedly tertiary issue to the forefront of the national consciousness.

We see now people rushing to hide any evidence that the Confederate flag ever existed. National Parks removing the flag from Fort Sumter; TV Land pulling the Dukes of Hazzard from their lineup because the General Lee had the flag emblazoned on its roof; Amazon pulling products from their site.

Those knee jerk reactions to a tiny number of screeching voices are one thing. But the smug superiority of so many who pronounce that their instantaneous adoption of the position that the battle flag must be banished irks me. Those who take a position that is, at its heart, not terribly important at all, and then claim that it gives them some superiority over any and all that do not immediately proclaim their like-mindedness  is simply a tactic to shout down any rational discussion. It is an assault on our usual national tradition of reasoned debate on the issues of the day.

And while I hold no great fondness for the Confederate flag, I deeply despise being told by moral scolds that I may not fly it under peril of being deemed a racist, especially by people who have no idea what prejudices and biases I may or may not have in my heart.

7 thoughts on “The Confederate Battle Flag”

  1. It is sad that everything now is boiled down to hurt feelings. We need to put on our big boy pants and move out! If you have an issue with somebody or something deal with it! Don’t start a nationwide crisis!

  2. The Great American Chicken Foot (a.k.a. the peace symbol) is to me as offensive as the Nazi swastika. It symbolizes the commie inspired, anti-U.S., drug addled, liberal political movement of the ’60s and ’70s that attempted to destroy my country, debase the American culture, misrepresent and obliterate our history in every possible way and demoralize the American spirit ( and they are still doing that). It is not possible, as far as I am concerned, to make a case that there are any redeeming aspects whatsoever to the philosophy for which that symbol stands. Every time I see that thing, I am reminded of the haters who spat on our returning service members; of the self-centered bastards who disrupted every aspect of our universities and war effort, and of one traitor in particular who’s picture occupies a prominent place in a North Vietnam war museum; and who’s lying testimony rocketed him to prominence in our own government. It reminds me of an equally prominent bitch of an actress who feigned compassion for our POW’s while sitting on an enemy AA battery and pretending to shoot down our pilots.

    If it is necessary to ban the Stars and Bars for a war that has been over for nearly a century and a half, where any participant has been dead for many generations – it is equally necessary to ban the GACF, if for no other reason than to in some small measure compensate sensitivities of the living Vietnam era veterans that find the symbol so offensive.

  3. How kind to use such an innocent word such as “unseriousness” to describe the broad spectrum of ills I believe are crippling this country morally, spiritually, and historically. I’m not being facetious here, I truly take your point and again I believe sir you are very kind. I have a host of other words I would use as I’ve historically been one who does not take fools, or foolishness lightly or gladly. My compliments.

  4. Personally, I think it’s an amalgamation of bullshite.

    Do liberals not understand that when you try to ban something, you get more of it?

    Being born and raised in SoCal, but having lived in the South for the last 35 years or so…that makes me native, by the way, I was ambivalent about the Stars and Bars. Since this recent flap over that inanimate piece of cloth, I went out and bought a couple of confederate battle flags. I plan on flying them too…just to piss off any of those pantywaists who might be offended by it.

    1. thatmrgguy:

      Please send me one. Let me know the cost (flag and shipping) and where to send the money. I live in Oregon and cannot get on here. I’ll fly it for the same reason will.

      Paul

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