Confederate America – Not what you think

By request, I’ve made this available as a blog post, rather than just as a Facebook status update.

Confederate FlagI posted this as a comment on someone’s wall earlier, and the more I thought about it, this expresses my feelings on the confederate flag much better than any ranting I could do.

The issue isn’t what the flag stands for. NONE of the people spouting off “fact” on the matter have any ground to stand on. They can’t decide for me or for anyone else, no more than they can decide the meaning of the American flag for me.

The issue is the freedom to decide what the flag stands for in my own eyes and to remember it and/or choose to honor it if I see it.

I’ll give a modern example: The American Flag. We fly that in every embassy in the world, every military base, and every government building here in the US almost. If an Afghani native walks past a US military FOB and sees the US Flag flying, he might smile to himself, maybe even salute it, maybe inside he’s thankful for the help his people have received in their liberation from oppression. Surely that’s a valid scenario for SOME in that situation, wouldn’t you agree?

The same flag, in the same place, has an entirely different meaning to another local Afghani that might walk by.. he feels occupied in his own land, he hates the Americans. He wished we’d leave his people and his culture alone. He lost a relative, son, brother, or close friend in a skirmish where someone died and we fired the shots that caused it, even though it was accidental.
Can you see how it’s almost 100% guaranteed that some people see our flag that way?

People see a flag and it stands for something to THEM. There is no “this is what this flag means to you” placard attached to every flagpole in the world, and even if there were, it wouldn’t change a person’s opinion on their personal view of it.

To some of you, the confederate flag might be a reminder of slavery. Ok fair enough. However, none of you were slaves. None of your parents were slaves. None of your grandparents were slaves. Basically no one currently alive can even tell you what anyone that WAS alive thought of that flag when it flew in battle. So, the “stigma” you have attached to it is at the very best, a third-hand remembrance of what someone else said to you, either in a history book, a documentary of the civil war, or in general discussion.

So consider it from another perspective; people like me. I’m not racist. I’m not gender-biased. I’m not biased against sexual preference. Anyone that knows me at all, knows that’s 100% true. I have close friends across almost all spectrums of the human condition, and I’m very blessed to!

I’m not a slave owner, nor was I ever chained up or forced to work as a slave. Neither were my parents, or my grandparents. None of us ever owned other people, or subjugated other people, regardless of race, to ourselves. I don’t look at the confederate flag and think of “the good ol’ days when we all had a few niggers around to do chores.” (pardon the use of the derogatory word, but it seems in context to the kind of person people think appreciate the flag).

I look up at the confederate flag and I see the South. (I meant that with a capital S.) It’s a way of life.

I’m a “southern boy” for all that entails. I like hard work. I like being out in the sun. I like working for a living, HARD work. I like to sweat under the summer sun, wipe grime from my face, dip my bandana in a cold cooler of ice to cool me down, and rest a minute under the sky. I like it when my friends say “Man, you gotta take a break. You’re making me tired watching you!” I just want to go work some more just for that reason alone! I like things done the hard way because you respect them more when they’re accomplished.

I’d rather build it than buy it.

I like songs about Dixie, apple pie, tailgates, pretty girls in shorts, hot coffee and cold beer served from a cooler, not a bar.

I like to pick on Yanks, the way they talk, the way they drive, the foods they eat, or more often won’t eat. I’m southern.

I’m proud of my big trucks, love my four-wheelers, and I’m the guy that stops on the side of the road to help people ANYTIME they’re in trouble. I carry 5 gallons of spare gas in my big “redneck” southern truck and a case of water everywhere I go… so i can help someone that needs it. Sometimes they’re black. Sometimes they’re white. The last time it was three young black ladies stranded on the side of the road in Georgia, trapped in a broken down car in the summer heat, sweltering and no one else would stop to see what was wrong… that’s southern pride and southern gentility. I’m proud of the South and the things that means to me. Those are the Southern traits I try to instill in my family and children, and the traits I look for in my friends.

That red, white, and blue star with the X on it.. that’s what it represents to me. It makes me proud to be Southern, not white. It makes me proud to be a country boy, not a city slicker. It means I open doors for strangers, hold the door for ladies, offer my umbrella to an older couple in the rain, reach out to offer a hand up to an old lady trying to get her walker up on the sidewalk in the heat, help someone load their groceries that look too heavy as I walk by them, stop to ask “Hey mister, you ok?” when I see someone that might need assistance, and take food to people when they’re sick or injured and cant’ care for themselves the way they’d like to normally….

THAT is what the confederate flag means to me. The confederate flag represents to ME.. in one small phrase.. “Southern Life.”

So if a few of the rest of the people out there could look at it the way I do, they’d be pissed as hell that some OTHER people out there are TELLING ME what it means. You can’t possibly TELL me what it means.

And if anyone WAS allowed to definitively describe the flag based on what someone else says, then I submit that MY definition of the confederate flag is the better one and it should be MY definition that is expressed when someone chooses to fly it over their capital building, state house, courthouse, or front yard…


1 thought on “Confederate America – Not what you think

  1. The Confederate flag stands for Southern Independence and NOT slavery; States Rights and NOT racism; Home, Honor, and Duty and NOT Hate. Having said that, there are now many people who were educated in the U.S. public Education System which teaches that the South fought for slavery.

    Slavery played a role but to most persons at that time it was not a major one. The deal is that at the time there were thousands upon thousands of poor Irish immigrants in the large cities of the North. The solution for the northern cities to help rid themselves of this mass influx of poor who had no jobs, was to have the western territories opened up for settlement and thus jobs would become available as well as homesteads etc.. Some rich slave owners wanted to go in those same areas with slave labor. If the slave owners did that the immigrant problem would change very little if at all. Therefore, the North did not want the territories to open up for slavery. The North did not care so much about slavery as they did getting the thousands of Irish immigrants out of their towns. No moral high ground can be claimed with that truth.

    The fact is around 20% of the households in the South owned slaves. This means 80% of the households did not own slaves. Slavery held the poor free white man ( and free blacks and Indians) back as every time a rich man bought a slave that meant he/she could farm more prime agricultural land. That meant the free poor of the country could not afford the better or good land and so they were forced to try to scratch out a living in the red clay and rocky land. So slavery was not in the economic interest of the overwhelming majority of people in the South. So, economically it would be hard to argue that the South fought for slavery. It is known that almost 100% of the families in the south were in some way or another involved in that war. Taking that into account, that would mean that the poor white men (the majority of people) went to war leaving their wives, homes, families, parents etc., were fighting so a rich man (who generally would not give a poor man the time of day) could own a slave. That makes no sense today and it made no sense back then either.

    Also there were slaves in the North and the lands controlled by Abe Lincoln and the Union government. A quick review of the 1860 census shows that some 432,000 slaves were in those states and areas. THOSE slaves were NOT freed by the Emancipation Proclamation. Those slaves were not freed until over 7 months AFTER the war ended with the passage of the 13 amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The Emancipation Proclamation only freed slaves in the South. It specifically states that the slaves in the areas controlled by the Union Government were still slaves. It came out 21 months AFTER the war started (1 year and 9 months). So this proclamation, which was never voted on by Congress or the Senate, freed the slaves only in the South and not the North. And the North was at war with the South, so Lincoln had no political control over the South. In the lands that he political control over, he DID NOT free those slaves. Yet today they say the war was about slavery.

    The problem is that so many uneducated white racist have adopted the flag for their white supremacy agenda (the KKK etc..). Also, the news media always tries the portray the war as being fought over slavery and therefore the rebel flag is a racist flag and they project that constantly. You combine that with the young people in this country being taught in the public schools that the war was about slavery and then you get to the point we are now.

    The fact that I am offended when my flag is portrayed as racist based on Yankee lies, the rewriting of history and the actions of the Klan and others, does not seem to matter. So the South and Christian ways are being trounced upon by the news media and politically correct politicians and that does not matter to most people in the country. We are in a bad way right now.

    As for the flag in South Carolina, that is for the people of that state to decide. As for taking the flag off of license plates in NC etc., that is nothing more than a political ploy of weak back politicians to gain black votes. If they make flag license plates illegal you would still be able to fly the flag on your own land. I will do what I have to do, whatever that may be.

    It’s is strange how we as a people are appalled by how ISIS is destroying all these ancient ruins and symbols from cultures of long ago. At the same time, to be politically correct, the country is trying to cleanse and destroy the old culture of the South and no one seems to recognize that they have no more right to do that then ISIS has to do what they are doing. But that is considered different because it is wrong if ISIS is doing it. Evidently it is different if the U.S. does it. Hypocrites abound in the land of the offended

    It is out of our hands. We just need to pray for everyone and pray that Jesus comes back soon.

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