- Politics and Social Issues
The Rebel Flag-The True History Lesson
Dispelling the False Claims
Passed in 1850, The Fugitive Slave Act made it a Federal crime for aiding or hiding escaped slaves. The 1850's saw Southerners in the United States Senate demanding that the Federal government target states where slavery was not allowed and urging them to enforce this law. Refusing to allow the Southern states to dictate "their laws" to them, states like Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York, continued to assist and protect run away slaves, so these Southerners petitioned for a marshal law on these States that refused to comply; to attempt to enforce their law. As a result, the North began to fight against this imposed violation of their rights, and the South began to secede or separate from the North, beginning the Civil War. The Civil War was about slavery. Slaves were the reason the South wanted to create a new country. Calling themselves the Confederate States of America. When the war ended, the country was still divided and torn.
The Rebel Flag; now known as the Confederate Flag was was REJECTED as the national flag for the Confederacy in 1861. It was instead adopted as a BATTLE flag by the Army of Northern Virginia under their general, General Lee. The Rebel Flag NEVER historically represented the Confederate Army as a country and it was never officially recognized as one of the national flags. Curiously, it is now commonly referred to as "the Confederate Flag" and has become a widely recognized symbol of the South.
The Confederate South clearly produced a flag (the rebel flag was in the corner of a white flag) that would shout out white supremacy.There were three flags that were accepted throughout the Civil War era. The creator of the 2nd flag and other Confederates proclaimed:
"As a national emblem, it is significant of our higher cause, the cause of a superior race, and a higher civilization contending against ignorance, infidelity, and barbarism."
A past, Confederate general named Nathan Bedford Forest also began to use the Confederate BATTLE Flag as the rallying banner for his secret society called the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan; or the KKK. Wearing white, hooded robes, they would hide their faces and target freed slaves who they felt were acting as if they had too many rights. They would beat, hang and kill them, while burning a cross nearby.
The Symbolism of the Rebel Flag
The Confederates actually had 3 different flags (as mentioned above) and the "Rebel" Flag was in the corner of the 2nd and 3rd Confederate Flag.
It is important to actually look at history through literature that depicts the truth. Unfortunately, so many people are reading articles written through emotion and a sense of righteous indignation that the public can be easily misguided by arguments that hold no historical validity.
The "rebel" flag that is being shown was actually a battle flag. The 13 stars WERE NOT representative of the original 13 colonies (as some people are claiming), rather the 13 Confederate States. Originally, it had 11 stars and the 12th and 13th were placed to represent secessionist factions of Kentucky and Missouri. The X was not created because the South wanted to cross out their ties with the North, it was placed diagonally instead of vertically because it avoided the religious objection about the cross (from the Jews and many Protestant sects), and because it did not stand out so conspicuously as if the cross had been placed upright . The colors resembled the USA flag because the South wanted to be called the Confederate States of America.
1st Flag of the Confederacy
This was the first national flag of the Confederate States of America.
It was called "The Stars and Bars" and it was adopted March 4, 1861 with first 7 stars and then November 28, 1861 with the final 13 stars.
It had horizontal stripes of equal height, alternating red and white, with a blue quadrilateral in the canton, inside the canton are white five-pointed stars of equal size, arranged in a circle and pointing outward.
The flag was designed by Nicola Marschall.
2nd Flag of the Confederacy
This was the second national flag of the Confederate States of America.
It was called "The Stainless Banner" and was adopted May 1, 1863.
It had a white rectangle two times as wide as it is tall, a red quadrilateral in the canton, inside the canton is a blue saltire with white outlining, with thirteen white five-pointed stars of equal size inside the saltire.
It was designed by William T. Thompson.
3rd Flag of the Confederacy
This was the third national flag of the Confederate States of America.
It was called "The Blood-Stained Banner" and was adopted March 4, 1865.
It boasted a white rectangle, three to two times as wide as it is tall a red vertical stipe on the far right of the rectangle, a red quadrilateral in the canton, inside the canton is a blue saltire with white outlining, with thirteen white five-pointed stars of equal size inside the saltire.
It was designed by Arthur L. Rogers
The purpose of adding a field of white to both the 2nd and 3rd flags was stated by William T. Thompson:
"As a people we are fighting maintain the Heaven-ordained supremacy of the white man over the inferior or colored race; a white flag would thus be emblematical of our cause."
Clearly, the flag represented hatred toward blacks and promoted the purpose of the war.
For those that hang on to the belief that the Rebel Flag was the Confederate Flag, you are incorrect. It was a battle flag that later grew in popularity among the South. It was a symbol of the fight to secede and the fight to continue slavery. To say that the Rebel Flag represents Southern Heritage, is also incorrect. Heritage by definition according to the Merriam Webster dictionary is:
1: property that descends to an heir
3: something possessed as a result of one's natural situation or birth : birthright
A human is not property or an inheritance. Slavery was not a birthright. Slavery was not a legacy that was willingly passed on from one generation to the next by the black community.
To claim that the Civil War is one's heritage or that the Rebel Flag represents anyone's heritage only perpetuates the bigotry and persecution that existed and unfortunately, still exists today among some Americans.
A Painful History
Just as Hitler's flag belongs in a museum where we can learn about and be reminded of the painful history involving the Jewish people, I believe the Rebel/Confederate Flag belongs there too.
The Civil War ended in 1865. We have been the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA since then. It's about time we become united. Our country has a flag that serves as a symbol of life, liberty and justice. The Rebel Flag does not symbolize any of these principles.
What are your feelings about removing the Rebel/Confederate Flag from Government institutions?
I do realize that this topic is very controversial. If you leave a comment, please be respectful. I will not allow swearing or foul comments to be posted. Thank you.