What are your thoughts on the call to remove the Confederate flag...
from the State Capitol Grounds of South Carolina?
I think it's about time. My opinion may be unpopular, but this flag serves as a symbol of hate and repression to so many people. I can't see the good in having it on the Capitol grounds. Many fought and died to end slavery and the ugliness it stood for. To me it is akin to a Nazi flag and most people don't wave those proudly, especially not over their government buildings. There are other cultural things to take pride in - this is not one of them. The only people I see in the Midwest waving these flags are indeed racists, so perhaps my vantage point is skewed, but to me it is a symbol whose time has come and gone.
I can't for the life of me see how people take pride in a symbol that is so offensive and hurtful to so many. There has to be other symbols of Southern "pride" that don't evoke this kind of distaste. Even WalMart is removing it!
I think the opportunity is here and right now for those in the USA who wish to make a stand against a strong minority of people who still want to live in a segregated country to have this flag taken down from public places. As far as I can tell, and without going into historical detail, this flag represents the ideals of a white supremacist movement that harks back to the civil war. It is a provocative symbol in this day and age and should be removed because it still quietly promotes a mindset of apartheid, a lingering, negative unconscious energy that persists in many southern states.
Dylann Roof's murderous onslaught is the latest unfortunate manifestation of this unconscious energy. He is a victim in a strange way, growing up in such an environment, one in which racism bubbles along under the surface, no one willing or able to prick the boil, lance it, and get the process of true healing started.
He should face the full force of the law, rightly so, but other white people in positions of power in the southern states ought to start the ball rolling at a deeper level...in the fields of education, history and religion, giving the younger generations a transparent and honest view of the past and why things developed as they did, and how they reached a point in Charleston where a 21 year old white guy thought it wise and honourable to murder innocent blacks studying the bible.
As a distant bystander in the UK I hope and hope that someone somewhere - from celebrity country and western singer down to the humblest of manual workers - can stand up and own up and express a need for real change of mindset.
We are one race of humans - black, white, red, blue, pink,yellow - it matters not. It's a cliché but it is proven fact. Hate is hate but it doesn't have to become murder. I think this flag should be removed, it'll be a huge symbolic step forward for good.
Andrew: You are correct. But the issue was state rights. Did a state have the right to leave the union, and accordingly decide if slavery should be allowed. Lincoln said a House Divided Cannot Stand. He did free the slaves & saved the union.
The Confederate flag should not fly above any Capitol. However, it cannot be ignored. It is a part, a tragic part, of our history and it is important for people to know about that era, why we fought that way, the number of people that were killed and how we have advanced. Some will say we have not gone far enough. There is never an end to making things better, but you have to recognize the beginning, no matter how brutal and horrible it may had been, it is part of history and should not be denied. Having the flag inside the Capitol with a banner or plaque recognizing how an ill-conceived practice almost tore this nation apart would not be inappropriate.
The Union Army won the war. We now stand as a united country where slavery is illegal.
The fact that the southern states still fly that abomination over their state house is an insult to all people sworn to protect and defend the United States of America. It is a affront to all people descended from former slaves that they not only have to look at this symbol of oppression but drive down roads named after confederate generals that fought and died to keep them oppressed.
This entire issue is tantamount to flying a swastika over the state house in Brooklyn, NY. or anywhere else where there would be a high Jewish population.
I think that it speaks more about the politicians in charge of South Carolina than it does about the state's history. These are men who are not interested in doing the right thing, they are more interested in keeping their racist base, that was raised on hatred and klansmanship, happy.
This flag should not exist in any form - not the Bonny Blue Flag, the stars and bars, or the two red striped flag with the circle of stars. It should be taken down and burned.
The idea of the Old South exists. Confederate flag should not fly, but it should not be forgotten. It is a reminder of a defining moment in our history and that as a nation we remained united. A southern victory would have given us 2 weak nation.
In all honesty and fairness, never having been a Southerner, I don't feel I could have the full impact of this controversial topic. I am listening and taking to heart what people are saying. On both sides I see the reasons for their feelings on this matter.
I would not want to be the one to make a decision. Traditions are a most delicate thing to change.. No matter what, one group will not be happy.
And such is life!
I can see both sides... being a southerner. I think yes, because of the ones who do use it for hate, it will have to go as representation but for the ones who see it as a love of the south and the history it should not be done away with or seen as a sign of hatred and used to continue an unwanted war. It is a flag... and what it represents is in a persons heart and that will not be erased either way. Until we can erase hatred a piece of material will not make much difference one way or another. People who push hatred for political causes are very dangerous people also. Yet the poor have always been fooled to fight the rich man's battles, no? And continues to this day.
People can get emotional and it's horrible what happened in Charleston. Flags,here are the facts. The Rebel flag, the Stars and Bars, was a soldiers' battle flag, NOT an official Confederate government flag. Check that for yourself. One with knowledge can see where the later may offend, certainly.
But, the fact remains that of the hundreds of thousands of southern men and boys who died and were maimed under that battle flag, the vast majority owned no slaves. Most of them fought what for what they saw as a direct military threat to their state, homes, family, neighbors and Constitutional rights.
Can it be helped if that blood-stained banner is misused, misrepresented by some for no good purposes. It's a disgrace and dishonor to do so to one of the hardest fighting soldiers the world has ever seen, vastly outnumbered in almost everyway for 4 long years. Johnny Rebs often grumbled about a rich man's war and a poor man's fight, but did their duty as they saw it. Just like the Northern soldiers did theirs And remember, slavery was legal under the U.S. flag not that many decades before the war. Same with Great Britain and France.
The Southern cabal of powerful plantation owners and pols would have had to soon end the regrettable practice of bondage or be ostracized by those powerful countries that had only recently done so themselves. What happened. The North basically withdrew out of the defeated South's business in 1877 and you got Jim Crow law.
When you see or hear the term "Heritage Not Hate", you can believe that's the feeling of the vast majority of white southerners today whose roots go back to The War Between the States and before. But, this is an effort in frustration because most people will not change what is in their heads, period.
Hi Alastar. I thank you for your very important message - you have worded your reply much the same as I would. You, Jackie and Paula are my choices for best answer for being able to see both sides and state the facts. I appreciate this very much.
Thank you, Phyllis. I wish someone would write on the 1913 Gettysburg reunion where aged Billy Yanks and Johnny Rebs came together in peace on that former battlefield of 50 years before to become united American soldiers once again, and with respect.
You are welcome, Alastar. I will look into the information you gave on the 50 year Gettysburg reunion of the Billy Yanks and Johnny Rebs - thanks for that information. Maybe we can get Randy to write it, if not, I will. I am sure it will bring tears.
So where it tragically began it tragically ends. Let the flag be retired from the Capital Grounds and let's mourn for the dead of then and now and forge ahead as a country.
Awesome answer, Alastar ...and best answer by far, Phyllis!
And thank you, Faith Reaper. Your a lady who is wise to the power of healing.
If an individual chooses to use the flag, In my opinion whether their reasoning is for good or hatred, it's their choice. I don't think it should fly over any Government/State represented buildings and/or Capitols, as it appears the South still sees them self as a separate entity than the rest of the United States.
We all need to remember, or learn, that this confederate flag has not been flying from the South Carolina capital grounds since the Civil War.
If the flag had been flying since the Civil War, there might be some arguments for keeping the flag flying as a remembrance of family who fought. Although I still find it a weak argument as there are more acceptable ways to remember those who are important to us without offending another whole group of people.
But the fact is, this flag was raised over the capital almost 100 years after the Civil War started. It was raised in 1961, 7 years after Brown vs Board of Education ruled that segregation was a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
The reason given for raising the flag in 1961 was the Civil War Centennial. However, given Brown vs Board of Education in 1954, Rosa Parks in 1955 and forced integration in Little Rock in 1957, it was a very poor choice to fly that flag.
I feel it should be taken down.
28% of the population of South Carolina is black. The Confederate flag does not represent them as South Carolinians. This is just an evolution of more Jim Crow laws crap in another southern state.
I don't think it should have been flown on a permanent basis in the first place, but neither do I think it should be hated and remembered as a symbol of hate. It represents a period of our history when there was, and history will bear this out, a jealousy between the North and the South. Even Abraham Lincoln wasn't for freeing the slaves until he was forced to. I personally do not believe that any human being should be enslaved then, now, or ever. However, I don't believe in erasing our history. What I deplore is the polarization of the two sides.
Now extremists are demanding that the one star representing that the Confederacy existed be removed from state flags. What will they demand next? Are they going to demand that Six Flags Over Texas remove its Confederate flag and be called Five Flags Over Texas? Or worst yet, demand that all flags representing other countries who owned Texas be removed? Am I being extreme in suggesting that might happen? Not hardly. We’ve already had one school change its mascot and ban “Dixie” from being played at ball games.
People, get some sense. It’s only a flag. If you don’t like it, burn it! (Like you demanded and got the right to burn the flag of the U.S.A.)
You have some interesting thoughts, MizB, which I agree with. Thank you for commenting.
Thanks, Phyllis. It reminds me of the "double think" in George Orwell's novel, 1984. Four years before he wrote it he said: " ... there is no such thing as a history of our own times which could be universally accepted ...."
George Orwell was spot-on with that statement.
My husband said something interesting this morning. He moderates a show on PalTalk and observed reactions. He said that "people seem to think there is something magic about a flag." He questioned when will people learn that flags aren't magic?
Personally, I didn't consider the story newsworthy. Here we are in the 21st century when our minds need to address the end of fossil fuels and ensuring our clean air and water.
I used to watch a television series called "The Blue and the Gray" about two brothers fighting on opposite sides during the Civil War. I'm sure there were other relatives in the same situation at that time. Did they possess a personal vendetta against one another? No. The war was fought more over the issue of states rights than it was of slavery. (Some of the slaves were treated very well; many were not.) Slavery, a deplorable concept, became a catalyst for the North to end the war with its evolved industrialism, which the Romantics of Europe detested.
What's important is how people think about and treat one another--it has little to do with colors on a piece of cloth, although colors do evoke a certain vibration, but color psychology is a whole other subject. ~~~
I'm glad you brought that out, Marie. I've had people jump down my throat on HP for saying that it was state's rights, not slavery. They simply have not studied their history.
The south was willing to stay in the union if slavery continued. Federal efforts were underway to abolish slavery. Southern states thought slavery should be allowed. Slavery was the catalyst for the war over state rights and preserve the union.
No, Larry, that's whitewashed history. If you read the Federal Register and get it straight from the horse's mouth, you will find that the war was over a huge tariff the North was making the South pay on imports, mostly on sugar from the Caribbean.
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