Is your revulsion of this flag well founded?
Three questions and answers that may challenge what you think you know.
I’m going to step out on a limb here and assume there is a rationality to those that hate the Confederate flag. If you believe you have a well formed, rational reason for despising this red white and blue design, then I challenge you to read the post below.
Question 1: Ask yourself, “Do I know the real history of the Confederate flag?”
Many people wrongly think that the Confederate flag purely represents racism and is only flown by folks who believe in white supremacy. That idea couldn’t be further from the truth, and those who continue to spread that myth are either content in their ignorance or so anti-American that they don’t even bother to learn their own country’s history.
Why People Believe the Myths
In fairness, it’s not hard to understand why so many people hold wrong beliefs about the Confederate flag. It was, after all, flown by those in the Confederacy, and the Confederacy did, of course, support slavery. But connecting those few dots and assuming the flag is a racist symbol to everyone who flies it is shortsighted.
The Truth about the Confederate Flag
The truth is, what we now call the “Confederate Flag” wasn’t actually the national flag of the Confederacy but instead was its battle flag — and only one of many. Back in the 1860’s before the days of mass media and the internet, sharing information and getting any group unified was no easy feat. Consequently, it took a while for all the different factions of the Confederacy to settle on a single flag to represent their whole “nation.” It wasn’t unusual for different bands of the army to fly their own version of a Confederate flag, which represented the unique culture of their own micro-group.
The Southern Cross became one of the most memorable of all the various Confederate flags and is the source of today’s controversy. However, it wasn’t designed as a symbol of hate but was meant to represent the culture of many of the Southern citizens.
For instance, the flag features the cross of St. Andrew (the apostle who was martyred by crucifixion on an X-shaped cross), which is why the flag is commonly referred to as the “Southern Cross.” Many Southerners were of Scottish and Scotch-Irish descent and strongly related to St. Andrew, as he was the patron saint of Scotland. Also on the flag are stars to represent each state in the Confederacy as well as Kentucky and Missouri.
Thus, those who designed the flag did so with the intent to represent their shared history, culture, and unity. It was never meant as a symbol of hate. Similarly, most people who fly it today do so to honor their ancestral past and Southern pride — not out of nostalgia for the “slave days.”
Question 2: Do you recognize that flying this flag (and others) represents our shared American rights?
There is arguably nothing more American than having freedom of speech and allowing people the right to express their own opinions. Trying to ban the Confederate flag or forcing viewpoints about it onto others is about as un-American as it gets. The fact of the matter is, people have different feelings and opinions about the flag — and that’s okay! Even if we disagree with someone’s stance, we should all just be proud that, as Americans, everyone has the right to their own beliefs. Trying to put undo social pressure on people to conform to certain opinions or attempting to ban a flag goes against everything this country stands for.
As Former US Democratic congressman and actor from the Dukes of Hazard, Ben Jones — who, by the way, is not too happy about Dukes being taken off the air due to that idiot shooting out a church and using the Confederate flag as his symbol-of-choice — said,
This is like the book burning in Nazi Germany or something. This sweeping cultural cleansing that they’re doing. It’s got to stop.”
Seeing the Flag from Other People’s Perspective
In addition to respecting people’s rights to their own opinions, if you really want to go out on a limb, you might try putting forth an effort to understand why some people have positive feelings about the Confederate flag.
As mentioned above, for many the flag represents honor and respect for their ancestral past, but the sentiment often goes much deeper. One of the best explanations for why Confederate symbols still have meaning is attached to a Confederate monument at the South Carolina Statehouse. (These types of monuments, by-the-way, are also under attack.)
This monument perpetuates the memory, of those who true to the instincts of their birth, faithful to the teachings of their fathers, constant in their love for the state, died in the performance of their duty: who have glorified a fallen cause by the simple manhood of their lives, the patient endurance of suffering, and the heroism of death, and who, in the dark hours of imprisonment, in the hopelessness of the hospital, in the short sharp agony of the field, found support and consolation in the belief that at home they would not be forgotten.”
Flying the Southern Cross doesn’t signify a wish to bring back slavery or support for some of the atrocious actions of the Confederacy. As the quote above explains, it’s about remembering those who fought and died for what they thought was right — and surely that’s something we can all respect.
Question 3: Are you secretly uncertain in your beliefs?
It takes courage to grant another freedom to express beliefs and options that counter your own. The less certain you are in your own beliefs, the more sensitive you are to expressions by others that challenge them.
If you’ve read through this whole post, you shouldn’t be completely ignorant, since you should now have a little better understanding of the history of the flag and why people choose to fly it.
If you’re still unwilling to explore our country’s multi-faceted Civil War history, and if you still can’t honor people’s rights to their own beliefs and opinions (even if that means flying a flag to which you’re opposed) then you factually misunderstand freedom OR you are not well founded in your own beliefs. If your first urge is to shout down all opposition, then you should look at this personally.
Those who ignore their history and blatantly try to deny citizens their basic rights, need to reevaluate how far they’ve veered from the tenets that our founding fathers set up as the foundation of our great country.
The largest independent online flag store.