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Confederate Flag "Heritage" Program

Apologies to those not close to this emotionally profound issue; bear with me
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The other day I found myself behind a car sporting a Confederate flag on its back, with the caption “Heritage not Hatred.” I sneered and remarked to myself, “For generations of black southerners, the only ‘heritage’ that symbol conveys is a heritage _of_ hatred.” But I am a reasonable person. Now, my wife is a black woman from Mississippi, and sight of that symbol grips her with such emotional pain that it brings me to tears. It speaks to her of centuries of oppression, of lynchings, of segregation, of unmitigated inequality perpetrated against her personally and her “heritage”. However, as I said, I am a reasonable person. I can allow for the moment that white southerners (the ones who so desire to) might be allowed to arbitrarily adjust the meaning of pervasive social symbols to suit a new conscience. I can imagine that it is possible to change society, to readjust our thinking to put a new meaning to an old symbol. But we all (or at least the majority of us) must agree to the terms of this adjustment, or it won’t work. For instance, it’s probably too much for someone to ask that they be allowed to wear Nazi swastikas and say it represents his or her love for Jewish people. But as for this one, let’s just give those who want to make this change (that is, that the Confederate flag represents a unique southern heritage instead of a system of repression and hate) a shot at it. But my idea to make it happen is this: I propose that, to make this shift in social consciousness a reality, black southerners start to carry, wear, fly, etc. the Confederate flag and proudly proclaim it represents their heritage as southerners. The sight of southern black people proudly waving the Confederate flag, perhaps along with some other visible representation of their heritage as strong, resilient, proud people (like superimposed images of MLK, just to serve to minimize the irony factor), would almost immediately begin the transformation process these “Heritage not Hate” people seem to be promoting. Of course, white southerners who already support unity and who otherwise today wouldn’t touch the Confederate flag to save their lives except to tear it down probably ought not to do it right away, as it would initially identify them with the old guard hate group, but even they eventually would stand alongside their black brothers and sisters waving their Confederate flags, proudly proclaiming their unified heritage as southerners.

Now, if those “Heritage not Hate” supporters stop this in its tracks, saying “Hold on, this flag represents _white_ southern heritage,” why then, southern man, we will know for certain what the symbol truly represents, despite your euphemisms – what it always has represented; segregation, separation, repression – and it will most certainly need to be removed from all of those state buildings, where public servants are charged with the duty of serving the interests of all southerners, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native, etc. But if you truly think it represents heritage and not hate, then it won’t bother you if we give this idea a try….

globaltourniquet, Jul 07 2001

"Ashcroft Whistles Dixie" (part 3) http://www.salon.co...artisan/index2.html
"Popo is an old man who once managed to dance his way out of a lynching at the hands of soldiers (Union soldiers, of course)." [Uncle Nutsy, Jul 07 2001, last modified Oct 17 2004]

Lil Jon and The East Side Boyz http://www.bigbaer.com/liljon_esb.htm
Lil Jon claimed in a recent print article that there is more meaning in this image than the immediately apparent. "I'm from the South," he [says]. "That's what it represents to me. We're Southern-born and raised. The flag is part of us. We just look at it as being proud to say we're from the South." [The Military, Jul 07 2001, last modified Oct 17 2004]

(?) Hot Wire http://www.hot104.c...re/0522011152a.html
Southern Rappers Embrace Confederate Flag [The Military, Jul 07 2001, last modified Oct 17 2004]

Now is the time to move forward http://my.barackoba...content/hisownwords
Barack Obama's greatest speech yet. [bneal27, Mar 20 2008]


       Ummm... no duh. (get the point?)
globaltourniquet, Jul 07 2001

       A major part of the Confederate pride movement is the assertion that slaves were cheerful, happy folk who loved the Confederacy. If the descendants of slaves start waving the flag, why, it proves that slavery was a good thing!   

       See link to the Salon article containing an excerpt from the magazine Southern Partisan, the forum through which our esteemed Attorney General John Ashcroft venerated Stonewall Jackson and criticized the failure of his home state of Missouri to join the Confederacy. The stories of Popo and Aunt Mary (at the bottom of the page) are the sort of thing we're talking about.   

       Then, of course, there are people who claim that, while the flag represents *white* heritage, their pride in their heritage doesn't mean they're racists. While this is not necessarily a specious argument (as an Italian-American, I take pride in the heritage of Rome, but am anti-crucifixion), people who make this argument have a tendency to slip into white supremacist-speak.
Uncle Nutsy, Jul 07 2001

       I agree regarding the merit of the idea itself. The point, for the lost, is that the only possible way that flag could truly represent "southern (geographical?)heritage" that doesn't have hatred and separation at its root is if it were embraced by all of those who are proud of who they are and where they came from. The very fact that this will NEVER happen (duh, don't you think I know that black people will never hold that flag -- I also know WHY!) is proof positive that the "Heritage not Hate" argument is specious at best, and downright insidious at worst.
globaltourniquet, Jul 07 2001

       Oh, you mean I can't open the eyes of thoughtful separatists to the evils of their notions with reasoned hypothesis and extrapolation? Damn.
globaltourniquet, Jul 08 2001

       GT: I also got that it was a rant. But that was okay with me, since my response was a disguised rant too.   

       Wait 'til I post my "Northern Pride" idea.
Uncle Nutsy, Jul 08 2001

       Wave that... um... hey, y'all ain't got no flag....
globaltourniquet, Jul 08 2001

       Well....crap. I thought this might be one place that a native of Georgia (pronounced Joeja) might find some peace from all this. Hey everybody! Look at me! I'm a racist. My family owned slaves. Ours was one of the larger plantation owners in the south and most of my family fought (and some died) for their beliefs. The thing that reeeaaaalllly irks me are the people that have fallen into the "civil war being fought over slavery" propaganda that the Union used to gain the backing of slaves and borderline states. It was never the issue of the war. Lincoln was against freeing slaves until his hands were tied on the matter. But let's put this on a side burner for a moment. The flag. A flag. Not even the Confederate flag. The Confederate flag looked so close to the Union flag (our current, national symbol) that sides were often mistaken in battle...hence, the Confederate battle flag (which is close, but not quite the same as what is presented to the public today). The symbol of ire and scorn around the world. Why? Who cares. I'm sorry [GT] but it may be time to tell your wife that she's mad for the wrong reasons and to give it a rest. If people bothered to really do their homework before jumping into the arena about the civil war, you would find that most of what everyone has heard is simply post-war propaganda. I'm not a racist. I'm proud of my heratige. I'm proud of my family name (anyone can email and ask). I laugh at all the rednecks driving around with the 'rebel' flag on their bumpers thinking they are showing off pride in their heritage. It's like the idiots that watch college football. They never went to the school, but don't ever say a bad word about their team...them's fightin' words. It's a flag...and the wrong one at that (that's what makes this so stupid). <GT> Please remove this. This is not my heritage. Hell, it's not even the truth. That's what bothers me. If you wish to keep this post up (that is certainly your right), please replace the word 'Confederate' with 'Rebel'.
Reverend D, Jul 08 2001

       Origins of symbols are not the issue. Witness the swastika link (the reality of which is the reason I explicitly specified "Nazi" swastika in the original post). The issue is why these people are fighting so hard to preserve this symbol of opression and segregation. And origins aside, that is indeed what it is. The obvious absurdity of this idea serves to demonstrate that. There is no reason to sport this symbol other than in support of its separatist and supremacy roots. What, exactly, is "not the truth"? Is your complaint that your heritage has a bad name because the skinheads are using a flag "very similar" to the one that "really does" stand for nothing more than southern pride? Why, then, will the sons and daughters of former slaves not adapt _that_ one as a symbol of their southern pride? It's because the link is inexorable. And the symbol does not belong on official government buildings, where the servants within are charged with the public service of all individuals. If my heritage were one of hatred and oppression, I should hope that I would have no qualms about renouncing it, publicly, symbolically, and philosophically, by also setting aside the symbols thereof. Where it is, and it may well be, I hereby denounce the actions and sensibilities of my ancestors who may have been guilty by word, deed, or lack thereof, of any oppressive behavior. And if they bore any symbols that represented that sentiment, I hereby set those symbols aside.
globaltourniquet, Jul 08 2001

       Us black folks have already done this with the word 'Nigger' we've got it set up so we can say it and white people can't. Call this baked, I'm buying a goddamed flag.   

       PS. I'm picturing Wu-Tang clan with fed-flag head-bans and I can't stop laughing.
futurebird, Jul 08 2001

       And Reverend, just so you understand my approach here, I am well aware of the real issues surrounding the Civil War. I am well aware that Lincoln himself publicly expressed his belief in the supremacy of the white race (though he denied that it was an excuse to enslave the "inferior race"). I also know that the war itself amounted to an imperialistic invasion of a sovereign nation (or at least a nation that fancied itself sovereign), and that the reasons for the invasion were economic, not civil.   

       All that being said, you must realize that none of it changes the reality we have today. The nation that was invaded was a nation that thrived on the oppression of its black population. A direct result of the invasion and conquering is that the existing political apartheid had to give way to a social apartheid; the people that came out of that invasion a conquered people are the people that have systematically implemented that social apartheid, though slowly degenerating over the years, for over a century. And it's those who would maintain that apartheid who value the sentiments that are represented by the surviving symbol of that "sovereign nation" -- whether you call it a Confederate flag or a Rebel flag; whether or not they are exactly the same or not. I don't think this can be denied. It is now time to say to those separatists that their time is past. If you don't share the notions of your forefathers, why agitate about the social move to denounce those notions in a public way?
globaltourniquet, Jul 08 2001

       futurebird, I may be wrong, but with the intimite knowledge of black culture I have been fortunate enough to be exposed to by virtue of my marriage, I get the feeling this idea would largely appeal to southern blacks. Of course they wouldn't really do it as a social movement, but the thought is amusing enough to get croissanted.... I think. :)
globaltourniquet, Jul 08 2001

       <GT>Good. Struck a nerve. Excellent replies all...thank you. I'm very sorry for upsetting you. Just proving a point that your idea will be difficult to initiate (you couldn't). I am always amazed by the power of symbols and the strength they have over people. I've fought this battle many times over...neither side wins. That's the problem. Did I mention I'm part Native American? Yeah, that's right...you freaks tried to wipe out MY people, but I don't hold a grudge. Anyway...   

       The previous C.E.O. of the company I work for was British. We're based in Atlanta, Ga. Shortly after he arrived here, I noticed a 'rebel' flag on the bumper of his car. When I asked him about it he said, "I thought this was the symbol of the south." I quickly corrected him. He still has it.   

       A symbol only has as much power as you give it. The cross (in many forms) is used by the KKK as a symbol of Christian 'White' supremacy. For me it holds the ideology of one man. Here is a scrap of cloth. Wipe of the table with it and it's considered a rag. Wave it in the air and suddenly it's a flag. Wave it in front of a group and it's a symbol. How much power does it have? How ever much you give it. For you and your wife, the rebel flag is a symbol of slavery and oppression. For Bubba (no offense to UB or the other cranially active Bubbas out there) down the street, it's a symbol of hatred. For others, a misunderstood symbol of their heritage. Which side will you allow to carry this symbol? Which side has the 'true' power? After you've made your decision, will you teach your children what is 'right'? What symbol they should 'choose' to follow? Herein lies the crux.   

       I like your idea <GT>. It's one I've talked about with friends and other ministers (in case someone here hasn't heard about the Ga flag flap, they changed the state flag because of the very things that <GT> has pointed out. Several state flags were changed during the early years of racial integration as a show of defiance by whites). Your idea is also something that I doubt I will see, and that's very upsetting to me. My children are growing up in the south. They know who their ancestors were, and will hopefully pass that information on to future generations. I have stories from my Great Grandmother about her nanny (she was a slave) and about other slaves on the plantation (our family has been blessed with longevity). I've told these to my son. During the first story, he looked up at me oddly and asked what slavery was. I told him it was a way of life back when people just didn't know any better. He asked, "Does anyone still do that?" "Some places still do. They don't know any better," I replied. "...but I hope you will."   

       "So what's the point reverend D?" <GT> I wish you all the luck in your war, it's a good fight, but this is not a public crusade...nor should it be. By forcing your views on others you become the very thing that you fight against. You become the oppressor. This breeds hatred and contempt. Where you try to force peace, you end up with hatred. This is the problem. I realize that this is your point, but do you truly understand that you are still a part of the problem? Your mind understands but your heart isn't ready to accept. I haven't seen you go on a rant like this in a long time and it only took a paragraph to set you off. What happens when someone gets in your face about it? It's not the flag. It's something that has been taught to us by our parents and our peers. If you really want to put an end to social rifts, teach your children (by word AND deed) the Golden Rule, love thy neighbor, forgiveness is divine and that ALL men were created equal and should be treated as such (until proven otherwise...sorry, had to get that in).   

       Change a man's heart, not his mind. Time heals all wounds. Teach your kids, they'll do the rest. Eat a taco before bed and wake up with gas.   

       P.S. Sorry about the whole "garden path" thing, but like I said, "I've fought this battle before. Neither side wins." Time to change strategies.   

       Love ya'll and peace out my niggas.
Reverend D, Jul 08 2001

       Ahhh, you snuck in on me Mephista. Well said.
Reverend D, Jul 08 2001

       please don't expire this idea, jutta, I've only skim-read it so far but since I know next to nothing about USA history, all these postings strike me as a well-considered, genuine set of thoughts. That some of them are disguised rants is neither here nor there, because what they result in is this single question - can thousands of people turn around an oppressive symbol into optimism and pride?
How many people in the world wear a crucifix on a chain? (disregarding those who don't think about what it means) There you have one of the most distressing, evil, needless acts of cruelty possible, yet millions bear the symbol daily as a beacon of their faith, hope and love.
lewisgirl, Jul 08 2001

       Symbols should not inflame emotions. But by their very nature, they do. Just as they always have and always will. Whether it be the Stars and Bars, the Compass and Square, the Shield of David, the twisted cross of the Nazis or the double-cross of Exxon, the sign at once defines and transcends the definition of that with which it becomes the most closely associated.   

       Class-warfare demands uniforms identifying the combatants. Take away those that now exist and others will take their place.
The Military, Jul 08 2001

       [Mephista] you have misunderstood, but understandably. My wife would very much "go for" this idea, if it were feasible, in order to dispell the rhetoric of the "Heritage not Hate" group. Like [futurebird] said, the absurdity of it is so amusing that she would do it if everyone else would. It would be positive iconoclasm. And btw, I married my wife because I fell in love, and as a added bonus gift I have become more intimately familiar with the black experience than I was before -- that will happen to anyone in "mixed" relationship of any sort (ask them, they'll tell you -- for that matter, all relationships are "mixed" -- but I digress...).   

       Anyway, it doesn't matter that they would "find another symbol", or that peoples' minds won't change and they will still think the same way. I'm not trying to eradicate racism with this idea. [Reverend] you are right about how to contribute to that noble cause -- in fact what you describe is probably all most of us can do. No, the idea here is simply to disprove the lie -- and this whole thread does -- that those who wave this flag do it not in the name of hate, but of heritage.
globaltourniquet, Jul 08 2001

       [futurebird] — They aren't Wu-Tang, but if you check the links above, you might appreciate the imagery of this Atlanta-based hardcore rap outfit.
The Military, Jul 08 2001

       UnaBubba — There's such a thing?
The Military, Jul 08 2001

       Yeah, don't they say that the Treaty of Appomattox is the longest cease-fire in history?
angel, Jul 09 2001

       // There is no reason to sport this symbol other than in support of its separatist and supremacy roots. //   

       Unless, of course (and this is the crux of my idea) you are black. It is vindicating to find out that the idea is being baked by southern blacks already (I had not heard of Lil Jon or any of those artists before -- thanks [TM] -- although it must be noted that the cover art depicted for the MJG album shows the flag _burning_ so I don't think that counts...). Yesterday I asked my wife how she felt about the possibility, and as I predicted, it appealed to her tremendously. In fact, she said she had already thought of the idea, to take the symbol away from the separatists. So there you go. It isn't a rant after all.... Just baked.
globaltourniquet, Jul 09 2001

       Most certainly the abolishment of slavery was a major issue. It was the reason -- the last straw, if you will -- the southern states seceded. But the war itself only started when the North invaded, so one can truly say that slavery was only peripherally a cause for the war. And the abolition of slavery was a political and economic move -- a truth attested to by the fact that slavery was illegalized only in the southern states; it was still legal to own slaves in the north after the emancipation proclamation. All of the actions of the northern faction were toward the economic deconstruction ofthe south, that is fact.   

       As for taking the symbol away, that was my wife's idea, but I tend to agree with you on that, waug. My idea was only to prove the lie, which this I think still does. I am certain that white separatists who love the Confederate (or Rebel) flag would be very perturbed to see those black rappers draped in their lovely colors....
globaltourniquet, Jul 09 2001

       <GT> I think the world (or at least the South) has a better chance now. Thank you for the understanding.
Reverend D, Jul 09 2001

       Long before the Confederate flag was back in the center of controversy, I wanted it eradicated - to the extent of creating sculptural and flat planed artwork plans which illustrate the beauty of Irony - that is all I'll divulge - they are quite large in proposed finished form and I have neither the time, the money, the space to create these pieces in full. In the meantime, part of a very large website I'm making of my own interests is Slavery and the fate of Native Americans. I have the same general racial and domestic background as GT, save for marital status.
On July 5 this year I walked past a white man wearing a rebel shirt on a Sidewalk. I told him he shouldn't turn right on the next corner, rather - turn around unless he felt like being the bravest man in the world. He compromised by turning left at crosswalk at next corner. The catcalls came from his rear as one black woman approached him and one walked beside him. The one beside him was talking to the redneck, though I know not what was said. The black woman walking towards them shook her head as she walked past and yelled "Dummy!". I saw no reaction on the part of the other two. Whether she was talking to the black female or the white male or both - I don't know. Having business to attend to, I didn't see or hear anything else as I reflected on this during my elevator ride.
thumbwax, Jul 09 2001

       Done that myself
thumbwax, Jul 10 2001

       But I am trying to eradicate racism the best I can, as the Reverend has defined (teach your kids, be an example, speak out against oppression, etc.) Just not with _this_ particular idea. Goodness. Here I am only undoing the "Heritage not Hate" argument with logic -- not trying to get anyone mad, on the contrary, trying to get people to understand how, when they make a specious argument like that, it is transparent.
globaltourniquet, Jul 10 2001

       Some of the people who go around with Confederate flags on their trucks (I've NEVER seen one on a car) are genuine bigots; others are nonbigots with a major case of denial about their own ancestors. The answer is a new improved Southern flag that doesn't have the nasty connotations of the Stars and Bars.
arghblah, Nov 29 2001

       Why do you need a Southern flag at all? The East, West, or Centre don't have their own flags.
pottedstu, Nov 29 2001

       They weren't once a separate country, but the Confederacy was.
angel, Nov 30 2001

       Long thread, but the crux of the idea is valid. If the original idea wasn't couched so specifically (confederate flag), it would probably have been better received: how superb an idea for one group to appropriate the symbols of their "foe" (for lack of better word just now) and use them as if they were their own! It erodes the original meaning of the symbol, and makes us all think about whether symbols should be allowed to become as important as they are. Because so many place so much value on symbols, this idea can never become fully-baked (Jews will surely not wave swastikas, though if they had back in the early 30's before it's meaning became truly sinister, perhaps the swastika would not mean what it does today), yet as an idea it is at least "good". It hurts the "enemy" where it hurts the most - taking away the symbols with which they so closely identify, making the symbols trivial and irrelevent. I like that concept especially. If instead of burning the symbols of the opponent, one aborbs them and waives them proudly in the name of your own cause, what does the opponent waive then? Politicians actually do this all the time, when one side of politics "steals" policies from the other, rendering the opposition impotent - they can't argue against what were after all their own ideas, yet they can't exactly come out strongly in favour either... they're left quibbling about minor implementation details.
kai_g, Dec 16 2001

       Yes, but surely in reality such symbols or policies cannot be re-appropriated by other factions of race or politics simply because those of which we speak here are the most potent; they are the flags which hundreds of years of history will remember, and this idea can only be taking an extreme example of a reasonable concept. Your point is absolutely true for certain areas of European politics but not so for world history and especially conflict history.
Politicians, I think, rarely steal policies from the other side of their own volition - it is largely the work of civil servants who perpetually work on development of governance, and think-tank/spin-doctor etc groups who assess which of the areas of current thinking could be merged and slipped in most effectively alongside existing policy. Thus has politics, certainly in the UK model, become far from a direct elected route from voter through public servant to law or governance, but more a contorted system of voting for general principles which may or may not be held out by the pronouncements and actions of the elected and their staff (who may greatly outnumber the actual parliamentarians). I find it difficult to rationalise the value of my vote within such a system, but vote I do.
Viennoise, Dec 17 2001

       sorry, gt, but the War for Southern Independence didn't start when the North invaded, but when Fort Sumpter in Charleston, SC harbor was attacked by separatists. anybody who makes even a half-hearted effort has learned that states' rights were the main cause of the aborted secessionist effort. the slavery thing was just a P.R. idea dreamed up to make European intervention politically unpalatable.
wireguy, Jan 26 2002

       Most people have absolutely no idea what the confederacy or the war between the states was all about and that definitely shows through some of your comments. I had always thought the same as most people of the display of the "Stars and Bars"- that the whole "Heritage not Hatred" thing was a bunch of B.S. But I didn't understand. Everyone gets a picture of the south as a bunch of cotton plantations where slaves were raped and abused but in reality most Southerners didn't even own slaves and those that did worked alongside those slaves. No one condemns the North for their treatment of blacks and we don't even mention the immigrants as industrialization came to the north around the time of the war. Read up on that. No one whines about the Irish being mistreated. It's said that the winner of the war gets to write the history and that's seen very clearly in the case of the war between the states. Some of the finest people I know support the Confederate ideals. At first I was shocked because, as I said earlier, I had viewed the flag (which isn't the only or even the most commonly displayed Confederate flag of the time.) as an ignorant display of racism and hatred but these people aren't racists! I genuinely believe that there are people out there who are proud of their heritage- one which they don't link with slavery because that's not what it's about. That's not what the war was about, that's not what the confederacy was about, that's not what the south was or is about. I know that these people would not have a problem with southern blacks displaying the flag as long as it wasn't out of ignorance. I also know that these people DO have a problem with the people who are on "their side" in this matter who maim the symbol into one of hatred. They'd rather see a sincere, knowledgeable, black person display it. I think the idea is great but probably most would have the wrong motives. At my college there were/are black frats/sororities and white frats/sororities. Every once in a while you'd get somebody who wanted to join one of these organizations being in the minority ethnic group. Most of these people just wanted to get attention. They wanted to be the token spokesperson for a group that feels as though they are being discriminated against. It amounts to nothing more than that and that would be my reservation about this idea. Otherwise- I think it would be great for blacks to wear the flag because it's NOT a symbol of hatred and people would come to see that if a few sincere blacks displayed it because they understood what the Confederacy was about. I DO have a HUGE problem with people pushing to have the flag removed. That infringes on civil liberties that we're supposed to have here. It's okay to have a bumper sticker that says you hate the president. You can hold to which ever ideology you please. If hatred is offensive to you, combat that mindset in individuals. Don't hate them back. Most times hatred is ignorance at the root. Trying to remove the flag will only be inflammatory. Attack the root. Which brings me to my final point (I know- it's about time, right?) - a note about the Confederacy. This is one of the reason people love the Confederacy: Because, as the very construct of our government allows freedoms and a government by the people, it is also laid out that, if at any time, the people feel that their government is not serving them, they have the right to change it or, ultimately, to dissolve it. That's exactly what the Confederate states did! Their stand epitomizes Americana! They were standing for the exact same freedoms and principles and liberties that you anti- hatredians (ya like that word? Just made that up all by m'self:D ) are standing for! They were doing exactly what our government had said they should. Think about the weight of such a large scale movement! With so many people on so many different sides of so many issues- even those with massive fellowships- do you think that such a thing will ever happen again? Will so many people be unified behind an ideal? Never again! These people had guts! I'm proud of them. So, yes, wear the flag! But your wearing it in ignorance is no better than those racist white folks wearing it as a symbol of hatred.
jocat, Oct 01 2002

       Nearly a year later, I happen upon this discussion.... Well, both sides of the issue make compelling arguements for their respective positions, and I personally am familiar with many of the facts previously presented here.... I have a set of two pennies (ironically, they have the likeness of the hated and revered Mr. Lincoln on them) to throw into the fray. I seem to recall one of the most basic rights in the First Amendment of our own Constitution reiterates that we have the right to 'free speech'... And our own Supreme Court has ruled that even offensive speech is protected by that amendment. So, when you see a 'confederate' flag decal on a ratty old pick-up truck, just smile and remember that you live in such a great country that you can even wave a rebel flag if you want! God Bless America! (flawed as it is!)   

       I hope I remember this correctly....   

       "I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it!" - Voltaire
MarxNutz, Jul 01 2003


       Alright, first let me say that I am about the furthest thing in the world from a southerner. I have seen the south quite a bit and I really don't care for it. (For one thing, the accent sounds really stupid to me. Not that I hate southerners and think they're all uneducated, but... MAN, you know?)   

       On the other hand, I completely support the South's position in the Civil War. If I were alive back then and had been of enlisting age, I would have defected to the Confederacy or not fought at all. Because what a lot of people don't understand is, the war was not about slavery. I concede that, had the South won, slavery would have continued there, at least for some time, but the point of the war was that the South no longer wished to be a part of the United States of America and the federal government would not allow them that option. Yes, the South struck first, but that was because the USA refused to withdraw their troops from Confederate land. The war was a war for independence, just like the one we fought with England in the 1770's.   

       So, then, the "Heritage, not Hate" statement refers to the fact that the reason the South seceeded was not to oppress black people (or whatever politically correct term is current, I don't keep up or care to), but to be free from the United States. They are proud of the fight for freedom, not (in most cases) their enslavement of others.   


       Now get me out of this friggin' Redneck Riviera.
JimX, Dec 21 2003

       I'm getting the impression here that the whole war was over the South's right not to use paragraph breaks....
normzone, Dec 21 2003

       Speaking as a true Southerner I can tell you that it really is heritage and not hate. The history of the civil war was written by the north to make their cause appear under a better light. But we in the South do not buy into it, and we will not forget. You may be able to take the flag off some government buildings but you will not take it out of our hearts or off of our trucks. The civil war was not begun over slavery. The civil war began because our southern forfathers wanted to succeed from the union. They did not want to be governed from afar and pay taxes to a government that would force their own ideals upon them. After all this is why their ancesters left England in the first place. Yes the South had slaves, as slaves were needed to farm the large plantations of the day. That is what made them become so proffitable. But you have to remember that these slaves were not sailed in under the rebel flag. The ships that brought slaves to this country were all built and sailed from the north. Usually built in new england or thereabouts and sailed with crews completely comprised of northerners. The reality is that the north brought slavery as we know it to the new America. Most people do not even realize that after the civil war the north was still no more free to blacks than was the south. Sure blacks may have been paid a wage for a days work, but do you really believe it was a fair wage, or compairable to a white yankee's wage? And that wage surely did not include food or shelter. I am not defending slavery, because I do not believe slavery was ever right, but I want to impart that the north still thoght of blacks as second class citizens and that blacks were not truely free in the north. In fact years after the civil war had ended the northern law makers forced states like Georgia and Alabama to include blacks in their state senates. But Ohio along with many other northern states still would not allow blacks into any of thier state legislatures. I also want to share that I have know a couple of black guys down south who did wear the southern flag, and were proud to be southern born and breed. One of which was one of my best friends during and after high school. I will always be proud to have called him my brother. Alas we lost contact and now I have been living in Dayton Ohio for the last three years. I can personally tell you that from my experiences the north is a place of great racial divide. Never down South did I see as much racial tension or divide. White and black. And I can even see why northerners think the rebel flag is a racial thing. Because of these ignorant fools who use it to justify their fears and prejudices. Poeple who have baught into the north's account of the civil war. Since moving to the north I have incountered many want a be rebel thugs who I'd personally like to rip their rebel flag off their bumper and stick it where the sun doesn't shine for having the gaul to discredit and degrade the flag for which my forfathers faught and died. But hence this is America and as long as they are not hurting anyone then let them live in their darkness. I know my heratige. I can take you to the graves of my forfathers who faught and died for the Southern cause. Graves marked with C.S.A. and C.S.V. And through family tracing and old family tales I can also tell you that none of my ancesters owned slaves. They were just poor white boys willing to die for freedom. Would you have me disregard the lives my family forfitted in the war? Would you have me disregard my family heratige? All for lies ingrained and instilled upon you by yankee schools. Lies made and told to help further the great northern farce. I would never ask you to forsake your family heratige under any circumstances. I say uphold your family values and fight for what you believe in. Surely as my forfathers faught and died for what they believed in during the civil war. My family is from Wilmington, NC. My relatives faught and died at Fort Fisher, the last Southern fort to fall during the war, and I will always be proud of those men and I will always fly the rebel flag in their memory. For it really does stand for heratige and not hate!   

       Now I have a bumper sticker to go buy. Sorry if it offends anyone, but this is America.
rebelanium, Feb 05 2004

       P.S. This website takes out your paragraph breaks...
rebelanium, Feb 05 2004

       (try using < b r > without the spaces.)
k_sra, Feb 05 2004

       (Or hitting [enter] twice.)   

       What's an America?
Detly, Feb 05 2004

       You had to have been there, [Detly].
k_sra, Feb 05 2004

       Dumber than "Eagle Body Transplant"? really?
dbsousa, Feb 05 2004

       Dumber even then "pierce the world with your body" or "remote sex drive" ? I kinda doubt that... <frowns>
k_sra, Feb 05 2004

       //Why do you need a Southern flag at all? The East, West, or Centre don't have their own flags.// <pottedstu>   

       //They weren't once a separate country, but the Confederacy was.// <angel>   

       Actually, they were. California, Texas, and Hawaii were countries that were brought into the US. Most of the midwest was bought from France, the Southwest from Mexico, and Alaska from Russia. And of course, the East was once English.
GenYus, Feb 05 2004

       I'm a white man who grew up in the Mississippi Delta and now live in Atlanta.   

       Here's a sign of progress for you. I just asked my 10-year old daughter if she knew any derogatory words for black people. I'm happy to report she does not.   

       Obama '08
bneal27, Mar 20 2008


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