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The Confederate Flag a Symbol of Hate not Southern Heritage.
The "Confederate Flag" is Subject of Recent Debate
After the recent racially motivated shooting in a church that left nine black people dead, there has been much debate about the confederate flag. The people of state South Carolina have been asking for the removal of the Confederate flag from the state capitol. Many southerners claim that the flag represents southern heritage, not racism. They also claim that the Civil war was about state's rights, not slavery. The problem with that argument is that the state's rights they were fighting for was slavery. And as far as southern heritage goes, the south existed long before the Confederacy.
Saying the Confederate flag represents southern heritage is like saying the Nazi flag represents German Heritage. Tell German Jews That the Nazi flag represents German heritage and see what kind of reaction you get. They would probably feel the same as southern blacks if you say the Confederate flag represents southern heritage.I doubt they would feel that it's part of their heritage.
The Actual Confederate Flags
Battle Flag of the Army of Northern virginia
Not the Confederate Flag
Besides "southern heritage" and or slavery what else does the flag represent? The obvious answer would be the Confederacy. Problem is the obvious answer is wrong. The current flag known as the Confederate flag, was never used as the Flag of the Confederacy.It was designed by William Porcher Miles. It was rejected as the national flag in 1861. It was used as the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia, but was never the confederate flag. So, not only does the flag not represent southern heritage it also doesn't represent the Confederacy.
What the Confederacy was All About
With as much pride as there is in this flag and much admiration for the confederacy from southerners, lets examine the reasons for the formation of the Confederacy. The beginning of the road towards secession was the Federal government's attempt to make slavery illegal in the Territories that were not yet states. The south feared that if slavery was kept from spreading into the territories, that the abolitionists would gain power and slavery would be outlawed across the land, including the south. So, yes the Civil War was very much about slavery.Yet we have Confederate flag supporters and people in the media, such as Bill O'Reilly saying that the civil war was not about slavery. Is it possible that they are wrong? The short answer is yes.
So, you aren't buying it? Here is the official statement of the state of Mississippi of why they seceded from the Union:
"Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery—the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin"
If you are still not convinced, here are some quotes about slavery from Jefferson Davis, The president of the confederacy:
"If slavery be a sin, it is not yours. It does not rest on your action for its origin, on your consent for its existence. It is a common law right to property in the service of man; its origin was Divine decree."
"My own convictions as to negro slavery are strong. It has its evils and abuses...We recognize the negro as God and God's Book and God's Laws, in nature, tell us to recognize him - our inferior, fitted expressly for servitude...You cannot transform the negro into anything one-tenth as useful or as good as what slavery enables them to be."
"African slavery, as it exists in the United States, is a moral, a social, and a political blessing."
So, as the Evidence shows, the main cause of the Civil war was slavery. The purpose of the Confederacy seceding, was protecting their "right" to own other other human beings, human beings they saw as inferior. This is the very definition of white supremacy, and that is what the Confederacy was all about. This should end this debate once and for all.
Another Example of Supporters of the Non-Racist Flag.
The So Called Confederate Flag
As we discussed earlier in this article, the "Confederate flag" was never the flag of the confederacy. It was also not a very popular Symbol, until it's adoption in 1948 by the Dixiecrats, as a protest to desegregation.The Dixiecrats were a short lived political party that ran on the platform of segregation.It was a renegade offshoot of the Democratic party. They saw segregation and racism as the "Southern way of life." They felt that their southern lifestyle, as being encroached upon by the Federal government. They broke off from the democratic party, because they did not agree with either candidate, because they both ran on a platform of civil rights.They formed their own party which they called States' rights Democratic party. They chose J. Strom Thurmond as their presidential candidate. After they lost the election they returned to the Democratic party.
In the 1950's the flag made a comeback because of the civil rights movement, in defiance of desegregation. In conclusion, all of the evidence seem to point out that the Confederate flag is indeed a symbol of racism, not of southern heritage.