The Confederate Flag, a Symbol of What?
Up until this moment, I have remained completely silent on the latest controversy surrounding the Confederate Flag. I’ve seen heated discussions fired back and forth among my Conservative brothers and sisters about what the Confederate Flag represents and where it should be exhibited. I’ve listened to the free speech arguments, the racist arguments, the “it’s history” arguments, the Southern pride arguments, the good, the bad, the ugly . . .
In the aftermath of the church shootings in Charleston, South Carolina, our nation is completely gridlocked on what to do about that old Confederate flag. It took awhile for me to absorb it all, to figure out exactly what is it that I feel about the flag. To be truthful, I dont feel much of anything. I do not believe everyone who defends it is racist, as some do. And I also believe that there are a host of things that could better represent Southern heritage than an old relic wrought by the Democrat Party in their failed attempt at secession of the Southern States of America.
With as many Conservatives and Republicans as I see defending it (for whatever their reason), I find it ironic that the Republican Party and a Republican administration were the ones in opposition to the Confederacy.
True, the Confederate flag is both a part of Southern heritage and United States history. To deny that is irresponsible. The Confederate rebellion led to the bloodiest war in U.S. history. The Confederate flag is a reminder of that war.
Whether you believe the reason several southern states attempted to secede from the union was to uphold slavery, States’ rights, taxation, or rebellion in response to the election of a Republican president, I believe the reason is all of the above. The issues that led to the American Civil War were, in my assessment, moral, economic, and political. The Confederate flag reminds me of that.
The Confederate flag also reminds me of the year 1865, the year the Civil war ended. That year is a very important year indeed. The Confederate Constitution died in 1865, slavery was abolished in 1865, the KKK was born in 1865 by the Southern Democrats of the Confederacy, the Reconstruction Era began in 1865 . . . so yes, we should remember the Confederacy through its flag and all the happenings surrounding its formation. I do not advocate removal of the Confederate flag from our memory, because these things we never want to forget. But for me, besides being a powerful reminder of a significant time in American history, the Confederate flag means little else.
To me, the South has a unique appeal, a rich history, and great moral fortitude. I’m no Southerner, but I still believe that Southern heritage is much more than the Confederate Flag.
For me, I recognize that every soldier who gave their lives in that bloody war, in the North and in the South, was American. Why do we choose to honor some with a flag other than the American flag?
I understand the arguments on both sides. I understand freedom of speech. Wave the flag high and wear it as a badge of honor if you so choose on your person or on your property. You have the liberty to do so. But understand this, people are also free to interpret that same flag as a symbol of hate and a painful reminder of chattel slavery. Following the death of the confederacy was freedom for black slaves in America, so understand that the Confederate flag is viewed differently by different people.
Looking back in history to present day, I see that the since the Democrats devised it, the Confederate flag has always divided. It did then and it does now. It does not represent a state, or a nation. Nor does it, in my humble opinion, represent the the values of the South or our nation as a whole better than the American flag. The Confederacy and the Union were at odds and refused to mutually exist, both flags could not occupy the same space. Attempting to do so led to the death of many. My allegiance is to the American flag, not the Confederate. So no, I will not defend the Confederate flag. I will not honor it. I will not uphold it. That is my right and my choice. Godspeed.