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Rebel Flag meaning

PHJim 24 Oct 09 - 01:20 PM
GUEST,Stew 24 Oct 09 - 01:28 PM
wysiwyg 24 Oct 09 - 01:53 PM
Greg F. 24 Oct 09 - 01:53 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Oct 09 - 02:17 PM
GUEST 24 Oct 09 - 02:19 PM
M.Ted 24 Oct 09 - 02:29 PM
wysiwyg 24 Oct 09 - 02:56 PM
GUEST,Big Mick 24 Oct 09 - 03:13 PM
Greg F. 24 Oct 09 - 03:23 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Oct 09 - 03:39 PM
artbrooks 24 Oct 09 - 03:42 PM
wysiwyg 24 Oct 09 - 04:00 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Oct 09 - 04:09 PM
Lighter 24 Oct 09 - 04:46 PM
Gervase 24 Oct 09 - 05:04 PM
Bobert 24 Oct 09 - 05:10 PM
GUEST,eric the viking 24 Oct 09 - 05:17 PM
Gervase 24 Oct 09 - 05:22 PM
wysiwyg 24 Oct 09 - 05:23 PM
Greg F. 24 Oct 09 - 06:02 PM
Dead Horse 24 Oct 09 - 06:23 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Oct 09 - 06:35 PM
GUEST,eric the viking 24 Oct 09 - 07:21 PM
GUEST,eric the viking 24 Oct 09 - 07:37 PM
Bobert 24 Oct 09 - 07:42 PM
Rapparee 24 Oct 09 - 08:42 PM
Bobert 24 Oct 09 - 08:51 PM
M.Ted 24 Oct 09 - 08:52 PM
M.Ted 24 Oct 09 - 09:03 PM
artbrooks 24 Oct 09 - 09:08 PM
Dead Horse 25 Oct 09 - 07:12 AM
Greg F. 25 Oct 09 - 08:28 AM
Bobert 25 Oct 09 - 08:41 AM
Gervase 25 Oct 09 - 09:47 AM
Rapparee 25 Oct 09 - 11:46 AM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Oct 09 - 02:41 PM
Greg F. 25 Oct 09 - 03:46 PM
Rapparee 25 Oct 09 - 04:14 PM
John P 25 Oct 09 - 07:42 PM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Oct 09 - 07:55 PM
mg 25 Oct 09 - 07:58 PM
John P 25 Oct 09 - 08:23 PM
gnu 25 Oct 09 - 08:28 PM
Greg F. 26 Oct 09 - 09:00 AM
Greg F. 26 Oct 09 - 10:42 AM
John P 26 Oct 09 - 10:43 AM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Oct 09 - 01:06 PM
artbrooks 26 Oct 09 - 01:39 PM
mg 26 Oct 09 - 01:48 PM
Lighter 26 Oct 09 - 01:58 PM
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artbrooks 26 Oct 09 - 03:14 PM
mg 26 Oct 09 - 03:43 PM
Lonesome EJ 26 Oct 09 - 03:59 PM
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Bobert 26 Oct 09 - 05:17 PM
gnu 26 Oct 09 - 05:23 PM
Lonesome EJ 26 Oct 09 - 05:32 PM
Peace 26 Oct 09 - 05:33 PM
mg 26 Oct 09 - 05:51 PM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Oct 09 - 06:31 PM
Peace 26 Oct 09 - 06:35 PM
catspaw49 26 Oct 09 - 06:54 PM
Peace 26 Oct 09 - 06:59 PM
Lonesome EJ 26 Oct 09 - 07:05 PM
Peace 26 Oct 09 - 07:10 PM
MGM·Lion 27 Oct 09 - 06:10 AM
greg stephens 27 Oct 09 - 06:27 AM
Azizi 27 Oct 09 - 07:21 AM
Greg F. 27 Oct 09 - 08:19 AM
Bobert 27 Oct 09 - 08:57 AM
Lighter 27 Oct 09 - 10:01 AM
M.Ted 27 Oct 09 - 11:49 AM
Jack Campin 27 Oct 09 - 12:37 PM
Greg F. 27 Oct 09 - 01:19 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Oct 09 - 01:28 PM
Big Mick 27 Oct 09 - 01:50 PM
Stringsinger 27 Oct 09 - 02:24 PM
Jack Campin 27 Oct 09 - 03:46 PM
romanyman 27 Oct 09 - 04:49 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Oct 09 - 06:37 PM
Bill D 27 Oct 09 - 07:22 PM
Greg F. 28 Oct 09 - 11:23 AM
Gervase 28 Oct 09 - 12:49 PM
GUEST 29 Oct 09 - 06:46 AM
GUEST,bankley 29 Oct 09 - 06:47 AM
McGrath of Harlow 29 Oct 09 - 07:44 AM
John P 29 Oct 09 - 10:49 AM
Lighter 29 Oct 09 - 11:01 AM
artbrooks 29 Oct 09 - 01:23 PM
Big Mick 29 Oct 09 - 01:27 PM
mg 29 Oct 09 - 01:50 PM
Hrothgar 29 Oct 09 - 11:01 PM
wysiwyg 29 Oct 09 - 11:35 PM
McGrath of Harlow 30 Oct 09 - 07:22 AM
Greg F. 30 Oct 09 - 10:05 AM
Greg F. 30 Oct 09 - 10:13 AM
artbrooks 30 Oct 09 - 10:15 AM
Greg F. 30 Oct 09 - 10:32 AM
Jack Campin 30 Oct 09 - 10:47 AM
McGrath of Harlow 30 Oct 09 - 10:55 AM
mg 30 Oct 09 - 12:48 PM
MGM·Lion 30 Oct 09 - 01:04 PM
Jack Campin 30 Oct 09 - 01:52 PM
Stringsinger 30 Oct 09 - 02:09 PM
McGrath of Harlow 30 Oct 09 - 02:38 PM
mg 30 Oct 09 - 03:06 PM
McGrath of Harlow 30 Oct 09 - 03:15 PM
GUEST,pattyClink 30 Oct 09 - 04:01 PM
MGM·Lion 30 Oct 09 - 04:07 PM
McGrath of Harlow 30 Oct 09 - 04:48 PM
Bobert 30 Oct 09 - 06:21 PM
McGrath of Harlow 30 Oct 09 - 07:32 PM
GUEST,biff 30 Oct 09 - 08:31 PM
Greg F. 31 Oct 09 - 01:17 PM
McGrath of Harlow 31 Oct 09 - 03:28 PM
MGM·Lion 31 Oct 09 - 05:22 PM
GUEST,pattyClink 31 Oct 09 - 09:24 PM
PHJim 01 Nov 09 - 02:54 PM
Greg F. 01 Nov 09 - 05:13 PM
McGrath of Harlow 01 Nov 09 - 05:34 PM
GUEST,Allan Connochie 01 Nov 09 - 06:25 PM
Greg F. 02 Nov 09 - 08:18 AM
Greg F. 02 Nov 09 - 10:53 AM
McGrath of Harlow 02 Nov 09 - 01:55 PM
GUEST 02 Nov 09 - 04:10 PM
GUEST,Allan Connochie 02 Nov 09 - 04:11 PM
Greg F. 02 Nov 09 - 05:06 PM
McGrath of Harlow 02 Nov 09 - 06:43 PM
Bobert 02 Nov 09 - 07:31 PM
McGrath of Harlow 03 Nov 09 - 08:01 AM
Greg F. 03 Nov 09 - 10:35 AM
McGrath of Harlow 03 Nov 09 - 11:03 AM
Lonesome EJ 03 Nov 09 - 11:24 AM
McGrath of Harlow 03 Nov 09 - 01:33 PM
Greg F. 03 Nov 09 - 01:54 PM
wysiwyg 03 Nov 09 - 02:17 PM
Greg F. 03 Nov 09 - 03:17 PM
Bobert 03 Nov 09 - 05:08 PM
Lonesome EJ 03 Nov 09 - 09:03 PM
M.Ted 04 Nov 09 - 12:56 AM
Greg F. 04 Nov 09 - 08:42 AM
McGrath of Harlow 04 Nov 09 - 12:43 PM
Lonesome EJ 04 Nov 09 - 02:57 PM
Ron Davies 05 Nov 09 - 12:23 AM
M.Ted 05 Nov 09 - 01:16 AM
Greg F. 05 Nov 09 - 08:31 AM
Greg F. 05 Nov 09 - 08:36 AM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Nov 09 - 09:44 AM
Greg F. 05 Nov 09 - 09:58 AM
Greg F. 05 Nov 09 - 10:19 AM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Nov 09 - 11:18 AM
Greg F. 05 Nov 09 - 01:05 PM
Stringsinger 05 Nov 09 - 04:08 PM
Stringsinger 05 Nov 09 - 04:20 PM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Nov 09 - 06:01 PM
Greg F. 05 Nov 09 - 06:35 PM
Ron Davies 05 Nov 09 - 10:17 PM
GUEST,Allan Connochie 06 Nov 09 - 02:48 AM
MGM·Lion 06 Nov 09 - 07:29 AM
GUEST,Allan Connochie 06 Nov 09 - 07:48 AM
Greg F. 06 Nov 09 - 07:52 AM
Greg F. 06 Nov 09 - 07:56 AM
Bobert 06 Nov 09 - 08:22 AM
Greg F. 06 Nov 09 - 08:57 AM
GUEST,Allan Connochie 06 Nov 09 - 10:09 AM
billhudson 06 Nov 09 - 12:12 PM
Big Mick 06 Nov 09 - 12:30 PM
GUEST,jts 06 Nov 09 - 12:38 PM
Big Mick 06 Nov 09 - 12:46 PM
Lonesome EJ 06 Nov 09 - 12:51 PM
McGrath of Harlow 06 Nov 09 - 12:58 PM
Bobert 06 Nov 09 - 01:02 PM
mg 06 Nov 09 - 01:02 PM
billhudson 06 Nov 09 - 01:03 PM
GUEST,jts 06 Nov 09 - 01:09 PM
pdq 06 Nov 09 - 01:25 PM
GUEST,jts 06 Nov 09 - 01:38 PM
McGrath of Harlow 06 Nov 09 - 01:57 PM
Lonesome EJ 06 Nov 09 - 01:58 PM
pdq 06 Nov 09 - 02:07 PM
Lonesome EJ 06 Nov 09 - 02:31 PM
pdq 06 Nov 09 - 02:52 PM
Bobert 06 Nov 09 - 03:41 PM
Greg F. 06 Nov 09 - 03:59 PM
Lonesome EJ 06 Nov 09 - 04:03 PM
Greg F. 06 Nov 09 - 04:18 PM
GUEST,jts 06 Nov 09 - 04:50 PM
Bobert 06 Nov 09 - 05:01 PM
pdq 06 Nov 09 - 05:19 PM
Ebbie 06 Nov 09 - 05:31 PM
Stringsinger 07 Nov 09 - 12:02 PM
McGrath of Harlow 07 Nov 09 - 12:14 PM
GUEST,Allan Connochie 07 Nov 09 - 06:48 PM
Ron Davies 08 Nov 09 - 09:52 PM
Greg F. 09 Nov 09 - 08:35 AM
John P 09 Nov 09 - 10:08 AM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Nov 09 - 10:55 AM
Greg F. 09 Nov 09 - 03:09 PM
Mr Happy 16 Nov 09 - 08:54 AM
Ron Davies 26 Nov 09 - 10:44 PM
Stringsinger 27 Nov 09 - 03:40 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Nov 09 - 03:58 PM
Greg F. 27 Nov 09 - 06:05 PM
Stringsinger 27 Nov 09 - 06:33 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Nov 09 - 08:09 PM
Riginslinger 27 Nov 09 - 09:32 PM
Greg F. 27 Nov 09 - 10:22 PM
GUEST,999 28 Nov 09 - 01:20 AM
Ron Davies 28 Nov 09 - 01:04 PM
Greg F. 28 Nov 09 - 01:19 PM
maple_leaf_boy 28 Nov 09 - 02:02 PM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Nov 09 - 02:12 PM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Nov 09 - 02:36 PM
GUEST,Lighter 28 Nov 09 - 06:19 PM
Greg F. 28 Nov 09 - 06:50 PM
Stringsinger 28 Nov 09 - 07:37 PM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Nov 09 - 07:42 PM
Greg F. 28 Nov 09 - 10:25 PM
Greg F. 28 Nov 09 - 10:42 PM
Stringsinger 29 Nov 09 - 01:21 PM
McGrath of Harlow 29 Nov 09 - 03:24 PM
Greg F. 29 Nov 09 - 05:32 PM
Bobert 30 Nov 09 - 04:55 PM
GUEST,biff 01 Dec 09 - 04:21 PM
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Subject: Rebel Flag meaning
From: PHJim
Date: 24 Oct 09 - 01:20 PM

Today I passed a picket line in Port Hope, Ontario and was surprised to see a Confederate flag being carried by one of the picketers. What is the meaning of the Confederate flag these days? It brings images of the KKK and modern Nazis and skin heads to my mind, since it is often seen in photos of their rallies and meetings. It also brings to mind the Dukes Of Hazard and "good ole boys".
What does it mean to you? Is it a harmless symbol of rebelion? Is it a racist symbol? Is it just a fad?


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: GUEST,Stew
Date: 24 Oct 09 - 01:28 PM

It's the same reason that the fleur de lis is plastered all over Quebec. Sentimental hangovers from history.
Stew


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: wysiwyg
Date: 24 Oct 09 - 01:53 PM

The meaning varies with the person waving it. No short answer.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Greg F.
Date: 24 Oct 09 - 01:53 PM

It brings images of the KKK and modern Nazis and skin heads to my mind...

As it should.

Is it a harmless symbol of rebelion?

Hardly. Although some will employ this lame excuse.

Is it a racist symbol?

Without a doubt..

Its also the symbol of those who took up arms against the government of the United States in 1861. Look up the definition of "treason".

Its also the symbol of those who perpetrated the 'War Against The Blacks' from 1865 thru the eras of Black Codes & lynchings & thru the Civil Rights Movenment of the 60's & down to the present day. Also of the Sons of the Confederacy, the KKK and other such hate groups.

It should have been consigned to history's scrap heap long ago, and those who display and defend it in this day and age should be ashamed.
Assuming they have any shame.



Those who display it


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Oct 09 - 02:17 PM

In England, when you see it on a market stall, or a T-shirt it seems to mean a preference for American Country Music, without any racist implications.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Oct 09 - 02:19 PM

Very popular with Cork GAA fans, as you know, McG of H!


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: M.Ted
Date: 24 Oct 09 - 02:29 PM

The flag that Flags of the Confederacy

The flag that is being discussed here was never the official flag of the Confederate States--it was used as a battle flag used by the Tennessee Militia, and it was used as a naval jack--in reality, it has become famous because it was adapted as the official insignia of the States Rights Democratic Party in 1948. They broke away from the Democratic Party on the issue of racial segregation, which they spelled out in the Platform of the States Rights Democratic Party , as follows:

4. We stand for the segregation of the races and the racial integrity of each race; the constitutional right to choose one's associates; to accept private employment without governmental interference, and to learn one's living in any lawful way. We oppose the elimination of segregation, the repeal of miscegenation statutes, the control of private employment by Federal bureaucrats called for by the misnamed civil rights program. We favor home-rule, local self-government and a minimum interference with individual rights.

5. We oppose and condemn the action of the Democratic Convention in sponsoring a civil rights program calling for the elimination of segregation, social equality by Federal fiat, regulations of private employment practices, voting, and local law enforcement.

6. We affirm that the effective enforcement of such a program would be utterly destructive of the social, economic and political life of the Southern people, and of other localities in which there may be differences in race, creed or national origin in appreciable numbers.



It was nothing less than the official symbol of segregation--


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: wysiwyg
Date: 24 Oct 09 - 02:56 PM

... yes.... but no one can assume that every person waving it knows their history, and more than one can assume any person of color knows slavery history. These cultural icons, no matter how painful in their origin, are getting watered down thru time.

Seriously-- I have several times had the deeply odd experience of explaining some of these historical facts and symbols to people of color whose upbringing purposely did not include them.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: GUEST,Big Mick
Date: 24 Oct 09 - 03:13 PM

Horse puckey! There is no discussion as to what the flag represents. There are those apologists (I am not including you in this, Susan) who attempt to rewrite the definition to suit there own prejudices. It was a symbol of segregationists, and it has become the flag of the bigots and racists. We must never, IMO, allow anyone to lend any legitimacy to this type of thought and apologism, or we open the door to rationalizing racist actions.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Greg F.
Date: 24 Oct 09 - 03:23 PM

Jesus H.---

On the website cited by the disingenuous Mr Ted (wch, by the by, is a Sons Of Confederate Veterans site), please note the upper-left quadrant of the "Stainless Banner", "2nd National Flag" and others etc, etc, etc. of which the symbol in question is a constituent part.

ALSO note the following on the Confederate Battle Flag from the same site (emphasis mine):

Quote: " After several incidents of battlefield confusion at Manassas, the staffs of Generals Joseph Johnston and Pierre Beauregard submitted designs for a distinctive banner to fly over the Confederate Army in Northern Virginia to set it distinctly apart from the U.S. Stars and Stripes. The design submitted by General Beauregard's staff was selected as the official banner, due mainly to its simpler design. Conceived on the field of battle for the noblest of reasons, to save the lives of their comrades, the Confederate Battle Flag flew proudly over every battlefield for the next four years, until being furled finally at Appomatox in April 1865."


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Oct 09 - 03:39 PM

Here's a picture where maybe it means something slightly different...


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: artbrooks
Date: 24 Oct 09 - 03:42 PM

The Confederate Army flag was the familiar blue X on a red field but was, for some reason, square rather than rectangular.   The flag of the political entity which attempted to withdraw from the United States, over the issue of slavery among other things, was very different in appearance.   However, when the Ku Klux Klan was founded by Confederate military veterans in 1865, they adopted the military flag rather than the actual flag of the Confederacy. (The first Klan formed in Tennessee, so it would have been reasonable for them to have used the state militia version of it.) Thus the irrevocable association of what we now (erroneously) call the Confederate flag with racism, bigotry and hate rather than with the very real heroism of many men who fought for the South.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: wysiwyg
Date: 24 Oct 09 - 04:00 PM

Thanks, Mick.

And I am not arguing with YOU, but not every situation is a fight. Sometimes it's an arm around a shoulder, a soft question, a quiet conversation... a long, hard cry.

One way oppression works is that it inflames people past the moment to think about what is the actual, immediate opportunity at hand, to seek peace. Sometimes that means that the apologist propaganda you describe so well-- which is deliberate and intentional-- has bamboozled a recipient.

And most folks are somewhere in that continuum. Not here, but "out there" in the 3D world, that's where they are.

To ask a person, "What does that flag mean to you?" as an actual, interested (neutral) question creates a completely different response than the reaction created by an accusatory tone.


Case in point-- the interesting mindset-breaking chat I had once with a rigid, religious-right pastor out on his sidewalk one day, about abortion. (Via pre-birth memories.) The mindset-breaking chats I've had with/from gay friends at different times in my own life. The life-changing orientation-correction about an apect I'd not known, about racism.... this is one way people do grow and do change.


If people are ever going to learn, first they have to be reached. Sometimes reaching someone works better without the fight.

I'm glad for your ability to fight the fight, Mick, and I think about that often-- the need for different gifts among a people. But there is also a place for the softer approach, and in MOST people's daily lives it's seldom an either/or proposition.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Oct 09 - 04:09 PM

The thing is, most of the racist oppression that has happened in the USA has been under the flag of the United States. The same way that moist of the colonial oppression under the British Empire has been under the Union Flag.

Those are indeed reasons for a lot of people to feel uneasy about those flags - but it's wrong to assume that when people display them, that is what they are celebrating.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Lighter
Date: 24 Oct 09 - 04:46 PM

As a current official symbol, any national flag primarily "means" the nation it represents, with or without warts. (The warts are mainly visible beyond the nation's boundaries.) As a mute symbol, one can invest a flag with whatever deeper meaning history and society will support.

The Confederate States flag represents no current nation. As a result, it "means" on the one hand whatever those who fly it want it to mean. On the other hand it's going to mean something quite different - perhaps vastly different - to other people with different experiences.

The sign linked by McG of H is a great example of what I mean. In the American South the "rebel flag" is often taken as merely a regional symbol. Of course the "takers" are almost entirely white people who, at best, have a limited imagination and like the idea of being "rebels" of one sort or another. They like to think the War Between the States was fought not so much over slavery as it was to keep the Yankees out of their hair. During the War, most citizens of the white North were as racist as those of the white South. They just drew the line at owning slaves, partly because the North didn't have big plantations growing cotton, indigo, and tobacco, the crops that made slavery the most profitable.

I never assume that a Confederate flag must be a racist statement. Of course I never dismiss the possibility either.

For the sake of contrast, when I see the Union Jack flying in the U.S., I *never* assume it's a statement that the Queen wants the Colonies back. It could be - but that would be extremely weird. I think.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Gervase
Date: 24 Oct 09 - 05:04 PM

Whenever I've seen it in the UK it's been associated with racists and NF/BNP types, to the extent that I would deliberately shun it, and regard anyone who displayed it as dubious.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Bobert
Date: 24 Oct 09 - 05:10 PM

Well, I grew up and continue to live in the South and there ain't no such thing as "No Nate, Heritage"... It's hate... No two ways about it...

B~


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: GUEST,eric the viking
Date: 24 Oct 09 - 05:17 PM

Just a question, How do you view it when worn by re-enactors of the civil war period both in the USA and the states? Doesn't it take on a different perspective? If no-one represented the side of the confederacy then it wouldn't be much of a re-enactment. In this case there surely must be a parallel with re-enactors who re-enact WW2 battles or similar?


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Gervase
Date: 24 Oct 09 - 05:22 PM

In this case there surely must be a parallel with re-enactors who re-enact WW2 battles or similar
To be honest I've got a big problem with that. Like the American Civil War, it's still too close to now. Anyone who wants to dress up as a Panzergrenadier or whatever is deeply suspect in my eyes, just as anyone who waves the Confederate flag is suspect.
As far as re-eneactment goes, I can just about stomach the Crimean Wars, but anything later smacks of Walter Mittyism and vicarious prejudice.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: wysiwyg
Date: 24 Oct 09 - 05:23 PM

Well, let's take a music break.

Si Kahn has a great song, "Gone, Gonna Rise Again." I never knew when I first heard it that this is ALSO a southern-longing for-old-times phrase and all that entails-- slavery, etc. But I think Kahn's song is NOT about that. Or is it? Or isn't it?

I think his song is about the complicated, messy part of loving one's homeland.

But I would ask him before judging him. Just from that one song-- never mind what else I now know about him.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Greg F.
Date: 24 Oct 09 - 06:02 PM

"Civil War Re-enactment" is a childish oxymoron. Unless you're going to issue live ammunition to both sides.

What you have is folks playing cowboys and Indians & trivializing the experience of warfare & the real participants therein.

There's a reason the U.S. National Park Service doesn't allow these travesties on National Battlefield or National Historic Sites.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Dead Horse
Date: 24 Oct 09 - 06:23 PM

"There's a reason the U.S. National Park Service doesn't allow these travesties on National Battlefield or National Historic Sites."

But dont those same Historical Sites sell those very same flags in their souvenir shops?
Over here in the UK the Confederate flag has just about the same significance as the Jolly Roger - so it probably just means that you are a rebel.
Against what? you may ask
What have you got? is the answer. :-)


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Oct 09 - 06:35 PM

"...the American Civil War, it's still too close to now. ...I can just about stomach the Crimean Wars, but anything later smacks of Walter Mittyism and vicarious prejudice.

Crimean War 1853-1856
American Civil War 1860-1865.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: GUEST,eric the viking
Date: 24 Oct 09 - 07:21 PM

"But dont those same Historical Sites sell those very same flags in their souvenir shops?" A friend of mine has visited many USA civil war battle fields and bought flags and other souverniers back that were from both sides. Cos he bought a rebel flag doesn't make him racist (I'm not aware he is and I've know him for over 35 years..he's never even told a risque joke in all that time)
Over here in the UK the Confederate flag has just about the same significance as the Jolly Roger".

That is quite true. Disney makes a fortune out of the popularity of Pirates, completely ignoring most of the less nice traits they displayed and on the 'Cat, "Talk like a pirate days" and in lots of places it gets big support

There is an Alamo re-enactment in the USA....I don't suppose the Mexicans matter though?

I do agree re-enactment is to some extent playing "Cowboys and Indians"...When I was a kid in England it was Knights in armour, King Arthur, Battle of Hastings etc, then WW2, cowboys and indians etc, but I grown up now (almost, at 60 years) and have "played" steam railway preservation and musician

But the rebel flag in the UK is used for all sort of meanings...certainly "Rebel" (against what..you choose) It's worn by a lot of bikers..without racist connotations. To my own knowledge it was worn large on his back by a guy in our club (When I rode m/cycles big time) who was called Mo.

By the way, he was a practicing Muslim.

"Whenever I've seen it in the UK it's been associated with racists and NF/BNP types, to the extent that I would deliberately shun it, and regard anyone who displayed it as dubious.". Don't think that was true in Mo's case !!

Does this idea only hang true in the northern states?

What about singers who sing "Rebel songs" as part of a folk performance? Tom Petty (Not folk) nearly always had that flag as a backdrop and even a coat with it as a lining.

I would suggest MTed, that very few people in the UK would have any idea of that 1948 declaration and it is very well associated at McGrarth says, country and western music at the very least here.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: GUEST,eric the viking
Date: 24 Oct 09 - 07:37 PM

Sorry, "country and western music at the very least here" doesn't mean much..rather, for most people it is that form of association. One school I worked in..we had a big end of term music production. The head, non racist, but historian suggested we decorate the hall with flags, we had Texas flags, Mexican flags, Confederate flags,Stars and stripes all over the place. you could not acuse us of being racially motivated in flying the flag (Ignorant?...maybe in the light of some of the comments posted) but our kids researched and made the flags, then we got some cheap ones on e-bay as well for the backdrop. Bear in mind that over 50% of our school were asian, Indian sub continent, African-carribean, with a similar mix of staff.(By the way when they did ww2 we didn't hang swastikas, but the kids did draw german soldiers and swastikas on their models and paintings if they were depicting aspects of Nazi Germany).


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Bobert
Date: 24 Oct 09 - 07:42 PM

The Civil War (which it wasn't) was a major blemish on our history... Remembering it so that we don't repeat it is smart... Glorifying it is stupid... This spoken by a Virgininian where much of the war was fought...

As for the "rebel flags"... I have never met anyone who displayed it in public who wasn't a redneck... Yeah, okay, they have a right to fly the sumabich and the rest of us have the right to call them the racists and rednecks that they are... 1st Ammendment wasn't written exclusively for ignorant racists to prove their ignorance...

B~


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Rapparee
Date: 24 Oct 09 - 08:42 PM

The flags of the Confederacy, regardless of the "merits" of the cause, were flags under which a lot of brave men and some women fought and died;. And since the states that were in rebellion were not and are not considered to be a separate country those flags -- the Bonny Blue, the Second and Third "National" flags and the battle flag -- are historical flags of the US, just as the Bennington or Betsy Ross or Gadsen flags are.

It really pisses me off to see any of these used as a racist or political statement.

Personally, I like the Pine Tree Flag with its motto "An Appeal To Heaven."


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Bobert
Date: 24 Oct 09 - 08:51 PM

That, Rap, with you being a skilled gun owner, is why you don't ever need to live in rural Virginia... These folks are somethin' else... Almost as bad as the ones I left in Jeffereson County, WV...

B~


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: M.Ted
Date: 24 Oct 09 - 08:52 PM

I am disingenuous?   Perhaps you misunderstand me--

My point, which I will rephrase, is that the Confederate Naval Jack has been the official symbol of the segregationist movement since 1948, and the historical "Official Flags of the Confederacy" are significantly different--

So the old "we're not waving a symbol of racism and segregation, we're celebrating an important part of our history" doesn't really fly--excepting I guess, that racism and segregation *is* an important part of our history--


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: M.Ted
Date: 24 Oct 09 - 09:03 PM

One thing that you UK-types may be starting to catch on to is that here in the US, we invest a lot more emotion in flags than is either normal or healthy.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: artbrooks
Date: 24 Oct 09 - 09:08 PM

Sorry, but I can't see that the States Rights Democratic Party, which formed in 1948 and dissolved after the 1948 presidential election, was a milestone of anything. The fact that they adopted a symbol that had already had its meaning forever besmirched likewise means nothing.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Dead Horse
Date: 25 Oct 09 - 07:12 AM

"One thing that you UK-types may be starting to catch on to is that here in the US, we invest a lot more emotion in flags than is either normal or healthy."
Right on M Ted.
You wont catch many Brits being upset at the idea of some grumbling foreigners burning The Union Jack or effiges of our political figures.
I guess that it is a national trait, like the Iraqi shoe thing, huh?
And the only time you will see the St George flag flown is when there is an international football contest or similar in the offing.
The racist bigots of the BNP are trying to highjack that flag for their own purpose, along with Churchill, Spitfires and the Poppy.
If they were to fly the Confederate Flag, they would be ridiculed as Line Dancers!


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Greg F.
Date: 25 Oct 09 - 08:28 AM

It really pisses me off to see any of these used as a racist or political statement.

Ah, but you see, these flags ORIGINATED as unequivocal political and racists statements.

the states that were in rebellion were not and are not considered to be a separate country

The Confederate States did most certainly consider themselves a separate country.

And the "acts of bravery" cannot and should not be separated frfoom "the cause". A lot of brave men and some women fought and died under the swastika - or is the Nazi flag an "historical flag" as well?


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Bobert
Date: 25 Oct 09 - 08:41 AM

Actually, Lincoln should have just let 'um go... Slavery, contrary to some folks opinion, was going to go by the wayside and in letting them go we could have more than likely avoided a hundred years of Jim Crow... I mean, even today, the reeason why we can't get meaningful legislation enacted is mostly because of rednecks... Might of fact, if about 11 or so of these states proposed leaving the USA today I'd say, "Good ridence and don't let the door hit ya' on the way out"... I know that I'm gonna get the blast for saying this but, really, we'd be better off without these trouble makers...

B~


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Gervase
Date: 25 Oct 09 - 09:47 AM

Crimean War 1853-1856
American Civil War 1860-1865.

Point taken! I phrased that badly. What I wanted to convey was that the wounds of the US civil War were still too raw, compared with the Crimea.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Rapparee
Date: 25 Oct 09 - 11:46 AM

The states that were in rebellion could call themselves anything they wanted -- they were not, to my knowledge, recognized as a sovereign nation by any nation anywhere in the world. The US did not recognize their right to secede and always considered them part of the Union. Therefore their flags are HISTORIC flags, much as the flag (if any) of the State of Franklin would be historic (as is the Franklin story itself).

What is past is past -- honor the valor, hate the stupidity, and be disgusted with attempts to use history to provoke division once again.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Oct 09 - 02:41 PM

For that matter the swastika symbol had a long and completely inoffensive history, before the Nazis adopted it and gave it associations that cannot be avoided.

In China at one time it was used as a local equivalent of the Red Cross symbol, and in India it was very widely used as a good luck sign, and indeed still is so used.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Greg F.
Date: 25 Oct 09 - 03:46 PM

and be disgusted with attempts to use history to provoke division once again.

Works for me - as long as one is equally if not more disgusted with attempts ignore historical fact & to misrepresent the Confederacy & the southern states' economic and social systems based on a class of what they considered "sub-human" untermenschen owned as property like livestock, both of which systems they went to war to perpetuate.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Rapparee
Date: 25 Oct 09 - 04:14 PM

My God, Greg! No, never!

My g-g-g uncle fought with the Union at Shiloh, among other places, re-enlisted, and made the "March to the Sea." Others in the family did the same. They were not (as far as I know) ardent abolitionists, but they wouldn't derail anyone on the Underground Railroad either -- mostly, I think, because they didn't like "der vealthy men who had all der money und kicked der little man's ass" as my Grandpa put it (he grew up speaking Plattdeutsch).


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: John P
Date: 25 Oct 09 - 07:42 PM

Anyone in the United States who displays the Confederate Flag as a symbol of how they believe is being racist. And they know it. They may try to act like ignorant yahoos on the subject, but they know exactly what that flag means.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Oct 09 - 07:55 PM

So how did that (John P's post 25 Oct 09 - 07:42 PM ) apply to that picture I linked to earlier?


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: mg
Date: 25 Oct 09 - 07:58 PM

No they don't. To many people it is the symbol of home and family and relatives who died miserable deaths buried in unknown graves, if at all...Many of those who fought were poor, ignorant, uneducated, diseased, developmentally delayed, country bumpkins or hill people, or people who immigrated into the wrong port. It would have to be decided by a case by case basis what someone understood the flag to mean..and some would be racist, and some would be segrationist, and some would be rebel, and some would be an expression of unexpressed grief..of things to terrible to talk about..of families run out of their homes..of barns burned down and livestock taken. Of sons and brothers and fathers who never came home. Of the stereotypical woman sitting for 50 years in her wedding dress, waiting for the handsome captain to come marry her.

I just have a song come to me very forcefully about a bunch of young women who decided to have a ball, with no dresses, with no ballroom, with no men to dance with.

Who are the bigots here? Who is talking about people they don't know as if they did know some very deep things about them..which may or may not be true.

We will never heal as a country or as a world until several things happen: the world forgives the Germans, at least the Germsns who did not create the mess, the northern US forgives the southern US, and the Irish forgive the English. Probably other situations as well.

Some of you are very obnoxiously sure of what you are saying but you do not know what is in the hearts of others. mg


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: John P
Date: 25 Oct 09 - 08:23 PM

mg, how many people alive and flying the Confederate flag today were there for the suffering of the Civil War? You post seems to be blending past and present in a strange way. Do you really think there are people in the United States who are so ignorant and isolated from society that they don't know the meaning of a REALLY well know symbol?

Who's the bigot here? Go back and read what you wrote about Southerners -- ignorant yahoos and/or retards that don't know any better. You are also making some remarkable assumptions about other people.

I don't actually know anyone who blames the current crop of Germans for WWII, or anyone who blames anyone else in the United States for the Civil War. I do know that everyone displaying the Confederate flag I have ever talked to was a bigot.


McGrath, I'm happy to say that even rednecks can make fun of themselves, and be well enough educated to know a bad president when they see one. I loved the picture.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: gnu
Date: 25 Oct 09 - 08:28 PM

I am sympathetic to all of these arguements.

However, I'll just ask this... even tho I know it will be "debated"... why fly a flag that is considered "racist" by some? Why not just make a new one?

Or am I way off base?


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Greg F.
Date: 26 Oct 09 - 09:00 AM

Hey, c'mon, the U.S. has a Black president! There's no such thing as racism in the U.S. any longer!

Mary, you've spent too waaaay too much time watching "Birth of a Nation" and "Gone With The Wind".

No one "blames" (or should blame) the current generation of what you call "Southerners" for the Civil War- none of us can choose our parents or grandparents.

However, the "healing" you talk about ain't gonna happen until your "Southerners" admit to what actually went on during the Civil War and Reconstruction, rather than some "redemptionist", "reconciliationist" and "Lost Cause" fairytale.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Greg F.
Date: 26 Oct 09 - 10:42 AM

You're not off base, Gnu, you're just allowing logic to interfere with your thought process.

No-one (well, excepting Holocaust deniers, flat-earthers & Obama birthers I suppose) would question that shoving a Nazi flag in the face of the Jewish population was a calculated insult.

For reasons that escape logic, there ARE those who think that shoving the Confederate battle flag in the face of Blacks and those whose ancestors fought and died to end slavery & preserve the Union is not an insult or a provocation, but a matter of "Heritage" (capital H).

Then there's Mississippi, the State Flag of which proudly displays the Confederate Battle Flag in its upper left quadrant, where a recent referendum on the state flag voted overwhelmingly to retain this outdated, outmoded, and racist emblem- see http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=33123.

------------

Here's To The State of Mississippi
   -Phil Ochs (1963?)

Here's to the state of Mississippi,
For Underheath her borders, the devil draws no lines,
If you drag her muddy river, nameless bodies you will find.
Whoa the fat trees of the forest have hid a thousand crimes,
The calender is lyin' when it reads the present time.
Whoa here's to the land you've torn out the heart of,
Mississippi find yourself another country to be part of!

Here's to the people of Mississippi
Who say the folks up north, they just don't understand
And they tremble in their shadows at the thunder of the Klan
The sweating of their souls can't wash the blood from off their hands
They smile and shrug their shoulders at the murder of a man
Oh, here's to the land you've torn out the heart of
Mississippi find yourself another country to be part of

Here's to the schools of Mississippi
Where they're teaching all the children that they don't have to care
All of rudiments of hatred are present everywhere
And every single classroom is a factory of despair
There's nobody learning such a foreign word as fair
Oh, here's to the land you've torn out the heart of
Mississippi find yourself another country to be part of

Here's to the cops of Mississippi
They're chewing their tobacco as they lock the prison door
Their bellies bounce inside them as they knock you to the floor
No they don't like taking prisoners in their private little war
Behind their broken badges there are murderers and more
Oh, here's to the land you've torn out the heart of
Mississippi find yourself another country to be part of

And, here's to the judges of Mississippi
Who wear the robe of honor as they crawl into the court
They're guarding all the bastions with their phony legal fort
Oh, justice is a stranger when the prisoners report
When the black man stands accused the trial is always short
Oh, here's to the land you've torn out the heart of
Mississippi find yourself another country to be part of

And here's to the government of Mississippi
In the swamp of their bureaucracy they're always bogging down
And criminals are posing as the mayors of the towns
They're hoping that no one sees the sights and hears the sounds
And the speeches of the governor are the ravings of a clown
Oh, here's to the land you've torn out the heart of
Mississippi find yourself another country to be part of

And here's to the laws of Mississippi
Congressmen will gather in a circus of delay
While the Constitution is drowning in an ocean of decay
Unwed mothers should be sterilized, I've even heard them say
Yes, corruption can be classic in the Mississippi way
Oh, here's to the land you've torn out the heart of
Mississippi find yourself another country to be part of

And here's to the churches of Mississippi
Where the cross, once made of silver, now is caked with rust
And the Sunday morning sermons pander to their lust
The fallen face of Jesus is choking in the dust
Heaven only knows in which God they can trust
Oh, here's to the land you've torn out the heart of
Mississippi find yourself another country to be part of


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: John P
Date: 26 Oct 09 - 10:43 AM

No, gnu, you're not way off base. Why, indeed, would anyone do such a thing? Why show up at a town hall meeting wearing a gun? Why paint a Hitler moustache on President Obama? Why advertise so broadly their un-American, un-Christian, irrational intolerance and hatred? Why aren't they ashamed?


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Oct 09 - 01:06 PM

But why should the flag of Thomas Jefferson be any less offensive than the flag of Jefferson Davies? Both were slaveowners.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: artbrooks
Date: 26 Oct 09 - 01:39 PM

I doubt very much that anyone here thinks that slavery was anything other than odious. However, would one of those who thinks that everyone in the American South believes exactly the way a minority of those in the region did in 1860, or that they behave in the manner that a minority of those in the region did between 1865 and some date (according to them) that is yet to be determined, tell us precisely how Southerners are supposed to recognize their ancestors who fought for the Confederacy? It is certainly true that much of the economy of the Old South was driven by industrial agriculture with an enslaved workforce, and it is also certainly true that, at state and national level, politics was driven by the desire to retain the South's "peculiar institution". However, it is also true that the vast majority of those who fought for the South neither owned slaves nor cared particularly if slavery stayed or disappeared. Rather than assuming that everyone who displays the Confederate battle flag is a racist bigot, what alternative would you propose?


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: mg
Date: 26 Oct 09 - 01:48 PM

Many of those who fought in the Civil War were not slave owners and did not in any way benefit from slavery. I have never watched Gone with the Wind..or maybe I saw parts of it..can't remember or whatever other movie there was. You can not expect the pain of war to disappear in living memory, and when I was born it was in living memory of some very old people. You can not expect a proud people to disown their ancestors...you can expect them to realize that their ancestors did bad things..and I have recently found out my ancestors were in the south and did bad things..very bad..and I would not allow the Confederate flag to be flown in public places..but neither do I think that families with an unbroken memory and unbroken history of flying it meant to shove it in anyone's faces...and yes I do believe people can be quite ignorant...

And I certainly don't believe that flying it is an insult to those who died in the Union cause..I do buy that it is very offensive to descendents of slaves..but that was not a common notion over the years....it was buy and large grandaddy died at Appomatox and here is how we honor him.

And the meanness that you have on behalf of other people, Greg F. in partciular, does not do anybody any good. I am through reading what you have to say, and that is only true of one other person on this list. You are just too mean period. There is a lot to be sympathetic about when people, including your awful enemies, have been through a war..hundreds of years later. It does not go away easily. mg


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Lighter
Date: 26 Oct 09 - 01:58 PM

Because the Confederacy virtually defined itself by its slave-based economy and the Union didn't. All states North of the Ohio and north of the Mason-Dixon Line had individually legislated emancipation by 1804. Furthermore, while the Confederacy was frankly proud of its slave economy and went through all sorts of ethical contortions to show that it benefited the slaves, slavery in the Union as whole had grown insidiously and opportunistically. Its only theoretical "justification" was that the Bible didn't condemn it. Despite the nearly universal white racism of the period, Northern state governments were not "proud" of the institution and certainly did not define themselves by it.

When the question came up of extending slavery beyond the Mississippi, the Northern states opposed it but were forced into various compromises.

And of course it was the Union itself that ended slavery by defeating the Confederacy. Which makes up for a lot, even if abolition was not originally a Federal demand.

Chattel slavery is thus a weightier "ingredient" in the Confederate flag than in the U.S. flag. (Not to mention that the current U.S. flag is not identical to the flag of 1776: many more stars for more states, in the majority of which slavery has never existed.)

Of course when you're talking about the "real meaning" of conventional symbols, logic is never a complete guide. See my previous post.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Stringsinger
Date: 26 Oct 09 - 02:21 PM

1. The Confederate battle flag is the same for black people as the Nazi swastika is
       for Jewish People.
2.   Many of the Reenactment groups here in the South get their history wrong.
3.   It became an Alabama state flag symbol under George Wallace, a staunch segregationist
      in 1954.
4.   The Southern soldiers did not believe in integration of the races. They were bigots.
5.   "State's Rights" has been a euphemism for segregation.
6.    The flying of the Confederate battle flag is tantamount historically to treason.

Let's put this BS about the battle flag being something it isn't to rest.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: artbrooks
Date: 26 Oct 09 - 03:14 PM

Well, Stringslinger, you are certainly entitled to your opinion. However, most of your points, while entirely valid, are the result of historical revisionism. History is not black and white, especially where people have made a conscious effort to change the facts over the course of a century and a half. For example, both the Union and Confederate armies included Black soldiers, albeit many more in the North. There were a number of free Black slaveholders, especially in Louisiana and Texas.   To say that The Southern soldiers did not believe in integration of the races. They were bigots. is to imply that Northern soldiers did believe in integration and were not bigots, which are hardly true.   Lynchings of Black citizens occurred in the North as well as in the South (although in much smaller numbers).

My question stands: if the descendants of Southern soldiers wish to honor the memories of their ancestors, and they may not use the Confederate battle flag to do so, what may they use? Or is it your contention that none of these people had any honor and that they should be forgotten? Should the real bigots who have tried for well over a century to hold people back from their legal and moral entitlements be allowed to continue to foul a once-honored symbol?


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: mg
Date: 26 Oct 09 - 03:43 PM

I think some would say not just forgotten but while you are at it go on their grave and stomp on it. mg


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 26 Oct 09 - 03:59 PM

It was the battle flag for the Army of Tennessee and the Army of Northern Virginia, which were the two principle Confederate Military forces, so it didn't gain attention only because of use after the war by racists or segregationists.
It was conceived as a flag that could easily be distinguished from the Union flag, and also because its similarity to the Union Jack might encourage recognition of the CSA by Britain.
Brave men fought and died under the banner, including thousands at Gettysburg, Antietam, and Chickamauga. To say that these men died for racism is a gross oversimplification made by some who neither understand the diverse causes of the American Civil War, nor understand the motivations of the millions of who fought under the banner.
Cowards, psychotics, and racists have used the banner as a symbol for their causes. So have they used the swastika, the Union Jack, the hammer and sickle, and the American Flag. I concede that the use of the Confederate Battle flag has come to be closely and specifically associated with racism. For this reason I can't countenance flying it. But to condemn this flag as inherently evil and racist is an action with which I cannot agree.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Oct 09 - 04:39 PM

I've got a photo somewhere of a Country Music stall at North Weald Market a few miles from Harlow, but I haven't been able to find it. It's got four flags - a Confederate Flag, the Stars and Stripes, a Union Jack and an Irish Tricolour. All basically saying one thing - "music".


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Bobert
Date: 26 Oct 09 - 05:17 PM

Ya' know, there are plenty of learned historians who talk about the various battles and staegies... There are "round table discussion"... I know alot of those folks, too... They don't display the Confederate flags on their cars or stick them out in front of their houses... Rednecks do... I live with them... If folks think the "n word" is a thing of the past then come stay in Page County< Va. for awile... Or even Jefferson or Berkley Counties in West Virginia... These people couldn't tell you what the Civil War was about qand most couldn't name 10 battles but they sho nuff got them falgs a'flyin'...

Makes me want to puke... Heritage, my butt... Rednecks... And I can say rednecks because I live in the middle of them... Ain't like I'm on the outside lookin' in...

B~


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: gnu
Date: 26 Oct 09 - 05:23 PM

Hmmmm... food for tought, indeed. Thanks, all, for the edification. It really is a complex set of circumstances.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 26 Oct 09 - 05:32 PM

And here I thought West By-God Virginia was a Union state, Bobert!


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Peace
Date: 26 Oct 09 - 05:33 PM

"Patriots shout promises and fools salute a flag
While the country which it represents is torn apart like rags . . ."


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: mg
Date: 26 Oct 09 - 05:51 PM

Fools may salute a flag, but fools also will insult the flag of others, including their enemies, or those they just happen to scorn..including people who have done bad crimes to humanity..but the wiser ones will find a way to separate the bad from the other. mg


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Oct 09 - 06:31 PM

I have the impression that just the same kind of people who might wave the Confederate flag as a mark of their racism might also be found waving the Stars and Stripes for the same reason. Or the Union Jack. Or a whole lot of other flags.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Peace
Date: 26 Oct 09 - 06:35 PM

mg: you are NOT the only person here to have served his/her country. And you do NOT define patriotism simply because you have served. It's your opinion. Period. Many others have their own opinions. I'm one of 'em.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: catspaw49
Date: 26 Oct 09 - 06:54 PM

Ya' know Peace, that sounds like a song by some fella' name of Murdoch.....kind of a folksinger type way back in the '60's..............

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Peace
Date: 26 Oct 09 - 06:59 PM

As a btw, the song fragment I quoted is one I wrote about Canada. People were trumpeting the glories of this country while flags were used to rip the place apart. I happen to agree that people will 'take what they want' from symbols. Flags are but one of those symbols. All too often people wrap themselves in it and go forth perceiving that because their flag is at the forefront of the latest charge that things are ipso facto right with the world. Much too often and much too freguently that is another way for rich folks to send poor folks kids off to wars that mean bugger all because they never meant a damned thing to begin with. Just some armaments manufacturer's way of making a buck.

We know today that WWI was a useless cause. So too was Vietnam, imo. I do NOT from that deduce that the soldiers who went were malicious, evil people. I will follow MY flag when it is right to do so. IMO, what makes me a patriot is doing just that. And if the day comes that I refuse, I will go to jail. I will support my country when it is right, not just because it is 'right' to support my country. If I misunderstood the slant of your post, my apologies.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 26 Oct 09 - 07:05 PM

This is just one of those issues that pushes emotional hot buttons for people. Sandy Paton once told me I was full of crap on this topic, and Sandy was about as easy going as they come. It's kind of like gun control, abortion, and harp seal harvesting...everyone who has an opinion has a very strong one.
I have ancestors who fought on both sides of the Civil war, and I'm sure they endured pain, hardship, and months and years away from their homes and families. They were mainly Kentucky farmers who held a little hard-scrabble property and no slaves. Some never went home. I suppose that when I see that flag, I don't just think of slavery, or the KKK, or Lester Maddox. I think of them, too.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Peace
Date: 26 Oct 09 - 07:10 PM

Thanks for a level head, LEJ.

Sorry, Mary.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 27 Oct 09 - 06:10 AM

'Sandy Paton once told me I was full of crap on this topic, and Sandy was about as easy going as they come' wrote LonesomeEJ above.

Not always he wasn't. I'll never forget being in a London coffee bar with Sandy & Redd Sullivan & some others 50+ years ago. Sandy was holding forth about "no racism in folksong; you'll never hear the word {Look away, Azizi!} 'nigger' in a true traditional folksong". So I sang the first verse of Johnny Come Down To Hilo: "Did you ever hear the like since you was born, When a big buck nigger with his seaboots on Sings Johnny Come Down To Hilo? Poor old man". - "That's right," said Redd, a professional merchant seaman as well as a distinguished folksinger; "and that's how seamen sing it too."

But Sandy asserted that it wasn't a 'true traditional version', whatever TF he meant by that; couldn't possibly be, by a question-begging circular-argument=back-to-where-we-came-in assertion: & just wouldn't be told. Easygoing? Not always where he felt strongly: like most of us, I suppose.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: greg stephens
Date: 27 Oct 09 - 06:27 AM

The obsession with flag-waving(or the obsession with not flag waving, which is the same thing) seems a bit scary. I'm with McGrath on this, it is perfectly blindingly obvious that there are people displaying this flag who aren't racist bigots. So to call them such sems to be needlessly trying to raise ordinary discussion into fighting talk.
Statement: some people displaying the Confedarate flag are racist bigots. Obviously true.
Statement: all people displaying Confedarate flags are racist bigots. Obvious baloney.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Azizi
Date: 27 Oct 09 - 07:21 AM

I'm posting these comments in this public thread instead of in a private message to MtheGM because I'm writing them for him and for others besides him.

I believe you mean well, but please don't post comments such as "Look away, Azizi!" when using that racial slur. Also please don't post comments such as "I wonder what Azizi thinks about this" as has also been done when talking about racism or the use of that word.

It is difficult enough being the only self-described Person of Color who regularly posts on Mudcat without such comments.

I have looked racism in the eye many times, and I will comment about racism on Mudcat threads when I chose to. Your writing "Look away, Azizi" does not mean that I'll look away and doesn't mean that I won't still cringe when I read that "n word". Many-but not all- Black people and other People of Color have said & have written that that slur is offensive and makes us cringe when we hear or read it, regardless of the race/ethncicity of the person/s using it.

However, I would hope that it is not just People of Color who consider that word to be offensive. And I hope that it's not just People of Color who recognize that working for a time when race is just a valueless descriptor benefits us all.

Mudcat would be a richer forum if there were more members who are People of Color and Mudcat would be a richer forum if those persons who publicly acknowledged their racial identity at least some of the time. In my opinion, comments such as yours, Michael, no matter how well meaning they are, help make this forum less attractive to Black people and to other People of Color.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Greg F.
Date: 27 Oct 09 - 08:19 AM

To say that The Southern soldiers did not believe in integration of the races. They were bigots. is to imply that Northern soldiers did believe in integration and were not bigots...

It is simply stating a fact. It does not imply anything whatsoever; tho I suppose that it may be perceived to imply something by neo-Confederate apologists...


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Bobert
Date: 27 Oct 09 - 08:57 AM

Yer right, EJ...

Wes Ginny was a Union State... Further evidence that the Confederate flag has nothin' to do with "heritage"...

Soon as you enter Wes Ginny on Rt. 9 from Virginia there's a house on the left side of the road that has for years displayed not one, but two big Confederate flags... Confederate flag decals adorn the rear windows of easily half the pick-up trucks... Round these pasrts of Virginia, it isn't as bad... Bad, but not as bad as Jeffereson County, WV...

The point I was making is that, yeah, there are a lot of folks who are historians who gather to talk battles and troop movements and all that military stuff... Hey, I can understand that... My brother-in-law is one... He can tell you every battle in the Civil (which it wasn't) War, owns several period rifles, reads all the books but this man would never, ever stick a Confederate flag on his car or out in front of his house...

I think it would be very interesting to round up about 10 random flag wavers/displayers and sit them down in front of a camera and have them explain "their heritage" in terms of family members who had died at various battles... Or battles themselves... Or really anything that has to do with history... I think if that were to happen and have it filmed and broadcast it would be very interesting... Face it, these are just angry rednecks with no particular interest in either their heritage or history...

B~


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Lighter
Date: 27 Oct 09 - 10:01 AM

Maybe thirty years ago it wasn't unusual for Southern high-school marching bands to carry the Confederate flag along with the U.S. flag and their state flag. Sometimes they would play "Dixie" as one of their brass band favorites.   

I don't know just when the practice became common or what the ultimate "message" behind it was supposed to be. It made Yankees like me, who'd seen the flag in modern times mainly in pix of KKK rallies, kind of uncomfortable. It must have made African Americans even more uncomfortable, no matter how it may have been rationalized.

When I mentioned the likely offensiveness of the flag to a couple of intelligent, liberal (white) friends, they were surprised nad said, "It's just the flag of the South." They'd grown up seeing it and it never registered beyond that. They understood my point but thought it was exaggerated. They were not racists and the flag didn't "stand for" racism to them.

On the other hand, they weren't flying one themselves. And it was a long, long time ago.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: M.Ted
Date: 27 Oct 09 - 11:49 AM

In the fifties, and even into the sixties, it wasn't uncommon to hear "Dixie"--we sang it in school, in fact, but when the non-violent civil rights marches began, the segregationists began a vicious, angry, and violent response, which included prominent displays of that flag--

For those who have forgotten, the segregationists weren't just "Whistlin' Dixie"--there were murders, cross burnings, church bombings, nightsticks, firehoses and police dogs--and that flag was a short-hand message, "Don't mess with us, or else"--as explained above, they considered integration to be "messing" with them-


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Jack Campin
Date: 27 Oct 09 - 12:37 PM

My experience in the UK is that it's only used a symbol of enthusiasm for the music and culture of the American South - Elvis, bluegrass, C&W. As such it's pretty harmless. The commonest place you'll find it is in the windows of shops selling rhinestone boots. I've never seen it used by fascists (the commonest flags they use are the Cross of St George and the Union Jack).

Whereas I can't imagine any circumstances in which somebody could display the US flag without it being propaganda for indiscriminate state violence.

I'll take Dolly Parton fandom over the prats who fetishize "our troops" any day.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Greg F.
Date: 27 Oct 09 - 01:19 PM

Well, Jack, if folks in the UK were to educate themselves about what the flag actually represents they might be inclined to find another symbol to indicate their enthusiasm, rhinestone boots notwithstanding.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Oct 09 - 01:28 PM

Things represent what the people using them intend them to represent. That doesn't mean that at times it might not be wise, when you us a flag etc, to take into account what other people might see it as representing, but it is also wise to hold off from from making assumptions about what people might intend when they use such a symbol.

Most people displaying the Skull and Crossbones are not actually pirates. Most people wearing a Che Guevara T-shirt are not revolutionaries.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Big Mick
Date: 27 Oct 09 - 01:50 PM

I have been busy since my post, and have just read through this. My comments:

Susan, you have a well established habit of trying to shift the premise when you are not sure how to answer. Your response to this was a grand example. You attempt to move to my "style", appearing a wise and gentle counselor, instead of responding to the post. It is patronizing and insulting. Deal with the issue and let me seek therapy for my well intentioned, but misguided ways, OK?

I have heard many comments about the motives of the Confederate soldiers, and the historical facts of the flag. All of them are correct, and as a person who has a bit of knowledge on the topic of armed combatants, I do not doubt any of it. But the initial question never introduced those subjects. What it asked was, "What is the meaning of the Confederate flag these days?......What does it mean to you? Is it a harmless symbol of rebelion? Is it a racist symbol? Is it just a fad? In that context, and IMO, with very few exceptions, it is the symbol of those that decry the civil rights movement. It is almost exclusively used (outside the re-enactor movement) by those who adopt a segrationist and/or and outright white supremacist viewpoint.

I am with Stringsinger on this. The use of this flag says to African Americans, Hispanics, and others of colour, as well as to white folks committed to the struggle for equality, the same type of message that one would get waving a swastika at Jewish folks. All of the rhetoric about its history is interesting and genuinely offered, but it simply cannot be allowed to somehow make this symbol of hate something other than what it is.

Just my tuppence worth,

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Stringsinger
Date: 27 Oct 09 - 02:24 PM

Mick is correct. Follow the history.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Jack Campin
Date: 27 Oct 09 - 03:46 PM

I do not believe we in the UK have anything at all to learn from Americans about what that flag signifies. We have our own set of significations for it, which are not yours and which are almost entirely innocuous. If we were to start taking it as seriously as you do, we would simply be handing a weapon to the fascists - they can't now use it as a triumphalist symbol, but if it were made as problematic as it is to people like Stringsinger, they could.

The situation with the Union Jack is almost exactly parallel. In the US, it has no very evil connotations. In Britain, it is almost never used by private citizens except as a fascist emblem, and non-white people in Britain have every reason to react to it as Jews do the swastika - it stands for being spat on and beaten in the street, gang attacks and firebombs. So should we demand that Americans stop it being displayed in public over there? No way. Make a big deal of it, and it would simply provide one more emblem for the American racist right to use, and for their victims to be afraid of.

The most freaked-out I've ever seen anyone get over a symbol display was a friend of mine when we'd climbed to the top of a Scottish mountain. One of the other walkers at the top had a t-shirt from some organization like Greenpeace, with a tree on it. She was terrified it was a cedar. For her, the cedar symbol meant the Falangist militia in Lebanon, the guys behind the Sabra and Shatila massacres, and the fear had followed her right across Europe and to the top of a hill 2000 miles away on a bright summer day. So, do we ban people wearing emblems of trees, anywhere? (She wouldn't argue that herself).

We've trivialized the Confederate flag to death. Dead is good.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: romanyman
Date: 27 Oct 09 - 04:49 PM

Why oh why does everything have to have a reason. What would be said if i was to wave my romany flag about, or sing some of the original romany songs, many of them are anti settled folk, is that racist, as a minority in my own country, i suppose it is.
Many people wouldnt even know the romany flag if they saw it, how long before some one says some thing about it to suit themselves.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Oct 09 - 06:37 PM

The Cedar symbol as such is used on the Lebanese national flag - here.   The Phalangists use a re-designed version of it - here


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Bill D
Date: 27 Oct 09 - 07:22 PM

You accidently hit "V" instead of ctrl-v for paste, Kevin. Can you re-do that kink?


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Greg F.
Date: 28 Oct 09 - 11:23 AM

I do not believe we in the UK have anything at all to learn from Americans about what that flag signifies.

Excuse me??? "I reject objective reality, and substitute my own version".

Hey, make up & believe whatever bullshit you want, mate.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Gervase
Date: 28 Oct 09 - 12:49 PM

In Britain, it is almost never used by private citizens except as a fascist emblem, and non-white people in Britain have every reason to react to it as Jews do the swastika - it stands for being spat on and beaten in the street, gang attacks and firebombs.
Fascist like the new Mini, the dresses the Spice Girls wore, the Last Night of the Proms, the flag that Lewis Hamilton and Amir Khan draped around their shoulders...?
Maybe for a while in the Seventies and early Eighties the Union flag was hijacked by the NF and other Far Right organisations, but I don't think it's got that connotation now.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 06:46 AM

I have a Romany flag decal on the headstock of my guitar... it's the only flag that will grace that axe... earth, sky and a wheel in between
no stars, no country.... Yanko gave it to me.... there's a great picture of him in his younger days carrying it to the UN with Yul Brynner holding the charter when they were trying for NGO status for the Roma...


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: GUEST,bankley
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 06:47 AM

that was me


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 07:44 AM

Sorry - Lebanese national flag

Falangist logo

And, to show it's not just fascists use the cedar image, the Lebanese Communist Party flag.

And I'm not suggesting that Jack Campin's friend wasn't quite understandibly freaked out by the cedar tree symbol - but I thought it as well to set the record straight, in case anybody misunderstood its normal significance on a Lebanese flag they might encounter, say on some demo.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: John P
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 10:49 AM

Will someone who thinks the Confederate flag is a harmless symbol of history please respond to the comment that waving the flag at a black person is very much like waving a Nazi flag at a Jew?

Like I said earlier, everyone I've ever talked to (admittedly not many) who was displaying the flag was a racist. And every black person I've talked to sees it as a gross insult.

And the other question: Why would anyone display a flag that they know (or should know) is seen as a racist symbol by lots of folks?


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Lighter
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 11:01 AM

Wordless symbols mean whatever people think they mean. If your interpretation is different from most, watch out.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: artbrooks
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 01:23 PM

I don't think that anyone here has said that "the Confederate flag is a harmless symbol of history". Rather, I (and others) have said that it is unfortunate that, in the century and a half after the American Civil War, it has been co-opted by racists and bigots as their symbol, leaving those who wish to commemorate the individual valor of Southern soldiers with nothing.   I am, by the way, neither a "neo-Confederate apologist" (whatever that is) nor personally interested in commemorating the Confederacy in any way.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Big Mick
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 01:27 PM

Fair post, as usual, from Art. My point, once again, goes to the central question posed in this thread. That is, what has it become today?


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: mg
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 01:50 PM

1. I do not believe the Confederate flag is a harmless symbol. No flag is. Wave the Danish flag in an intimidating way, perhaps in Galway, as if to say we got you once and we will get you again, and that is intimidating. Most people would find the Danish flag to be non-intimidating. Waving the flag at a particular person is an act of intimidation at times. I think a better analogy would be waving the German flag at someone in a hostile way. The Nazi flag should be banned forever, as should the Nazi salute, which a version of was done in my church until recently, calling it a blessing. I would point out to them that the blessing was identical in appearance to the Nazi salute but they went by intention more than obviously what it looked like..but I think they were dead wrong to permit this. Germans did some horrible things in WWII..but not all of them, and I would permit the German flag to be flown and put on graves etc. It is hard to separate the wheat from the chaff, the baby from the bathwater more often than not..to separate people who loved their farms and mountains and fellow countrymen and those who did awful things..and the two groups could be composed of the exact same people.

2. As I said before, I would not permit the Confederate flag to be flown on public lands..with the exception of small ones on the graves of the fallen. It is the least we can do. The flag has multiple meanings and symbolism. There is a lot of gray area..perhaps there should be a permit as to where it can be flown..I think on Memorial Day, which was spread by the ladies of the post-Confederacy honoring all the fallen, North and South.

The bitterness and anger that is behind the use of the Confederate flag is often against the Yankees..or some would say the Damn Yankees. There were terrible abuses in the war and in reconstruction, and an abused people do not easily forget. How we treat our vanquished is a good measure of who we are as a country. Stripping them of all heritage, dignity, ways to earn a living etc. has repurcussions far into the future.

There are families who still revere their ancestors, probably more in the South than elsewhere. That is a huge factor.

And a factor, that no one is denying, is that there are racist and violent people who have always used that flag to stir things up and do bad things, and new groups who have appropriated it.

You have this whole murky mess. Some feelings are noble and some are inhuman.

Perhaps there should be a disclaimer on it that says this is meant to honor our dead and our heritage, which has admittedly shameful aspects to it. It is not meant to approve of racism, prejudice, violence, etc. etc....and then really limit how it can be used...

I don't have all the answers except no to use in public arenas, yes to small flags on graveyards of the fallen and to certain groups in Memorial Day parades and probably no to most other considerations. mg

It is very important to get what people are actually saying in these cases. I get mightily irritated when words are put in my mouth (I am not saying they have been here).


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Hrothgar
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 11:01 PM

In Australia, the Rebel flag is used by the Rebels motorcyle gang, with whom a sweet innocent young man like myself does not associate.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: wysiwyg
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 11:35 PM

Susan, you have a well established habit of trying to shift the premise when you are not sure how to answer. Your response to this was a grand example. You attempt to move to my "style", appearing a wise and gentle counselor, instead of responding to the post. It is patronizing and insulting. Deal with the issue and let me seek therapy for my well intentioned, but misguided ways, OK?

Huh?

WTF.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 07:22 AM

I see some Australian bikers use a better Rebel Flag, as used at Eureka Stockade and favoured by Ned Kelly.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Greg F.
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 10:05 AM

in the century and a half after the American Civil War, it has been co-opted by racists and bigots as their symbol, leaving those who wish to commemorate the individual valor of Southern soldiers...


Oh, please, Art, I think you're smarter than that- the flag was not "co-opted" after the fact- it was since its inception a symbol of racism and bigotry.

Have you ever read the works of Jefferson Davis, Alexander Stephens or the South Carolina Ordinance of Seccession among other things?

What about the works of that great Confederate patriot Nathan Bedford Forrest, the father of the Ku Klux Klan?

There are PLENTY of other options for those who
"wish to commemorate the individual valor of Southern soldiers".
Just so long as the commemoration doesn't erase or pervert the meaning of The Cause that this valor was exercised in aid of.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Greg F.
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 10:13 AM

Mary, please do check your history.

Memorial Day- or more properly Decoration Day - was the creation of the Grand Army of the Republic for decorating the graves of the UNION dead.

It had nothing whatsoever to do with "the ladies of the post-Confederacy".

And furthermore the systematic desecration of the graves of Union soldiers buried in the South was continued up until very recent times.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: artbrooks
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 10:15 AM

Please continue to maintain your personal opinion, with or without factual basis. I'm out of here.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Greg F.
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 10:32 AM

And what, precisely, Art, have I posted that is "without factal basis"?

Are you looking for citations? I've given you several. Have you checked them out? Would you like additional ones?


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Jack Campin
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 10:47 AM

the Nazi salute, which a version of was done in my church until recently, calling it a blessing. I would point out to them that the blessing was identical in appearance to the Nazi salute but they went by intention more than obviously what it looked like..but I think they were dead wrong to permit this.

I've seen that once, by the minister at a Church of Scotland funeral. It was for a friend of mine who had been in the Gay Christian movement, and who wouldn't personally have gone for that minister's utterly traditionalist approach, but funerals are for the living, and I presume his family did. It seemed a bit weird to me, but it would never have occurred to me to ban it. The Kirk has presumably been doing it at funerals for more than 400 years, so why should they let the Nazis take it away from them?

It went along a phrase about hope in the resurrection, spoken as the coffin went into the incinerator. If those words and the accompanying ritual offered some comfort to the guy's family, I'm fine with that.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 10:55 AM

I've got a couple of black shirts and a brown shirt as well. I trust no one will get offended when I wear them, or take as some kind of expressioin of allegiance to Fascism or Nazism.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: mg
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 12:48 PM

If something was an unbroken tradition, like being similar to the Nazi salute, then go back to its original lmeaing. In my church it was never seen until recently, so it is just in the last few years, and no reason at all to do it when you could make up your own symbols..even it it was done 500 years ago it is not an unbroken tradition and has been usurped and so I say don't resurrect that ever, but if you have always done it that is different. mg


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 01:04 PM

But sometimes older symbols do get taken over and polluted and are never again usable in their original context. That is what happened to the Swastika — originally the oriental mystic sunwheel — you will find it embossed on the covers of Macmillan's and Methuen's original Kipling editions. But it can never be used in any sort of innocent or innocuous context again, having been hijacked as dreaded symbol of the Nazi party.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Jack Campin
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 01:52 PM

The swastika may be unusable in most contexts in Europe, but it's doing just fine as a Hindu symbol in India.

The swastika in Kerala

This rather appealing young lady even answers to it: Swastika Mukherjee

(There have been stushies about European Hindus using the symbol. As far as I can tell, those Hindus have nearly always been in the right; they genuinely are just using it the way they always have).


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Stringsinger
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 02:09 PM

You wouldn't want to see a Nazi flag on a grave. Why would anyone want a Confederate Battle Flag there? To commemorate Rebel soldiers seems an exercise in futility and belies this distasteful heritage. The Daughters of the Confederacy seems like an organization to enable the tradition of Southern bigotry. You might as well have a faction of a Nazi woman's organization.

The meaning of the American Civil War was clear. 1. To abolish the Southern custom of slavery and 2. To preserve the Union which we today call the U.S.

Any defense of Southern Confederate "values" is a total whitewash of history.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 02:38 PM

The meaning of the American Civil War was clear. 1. To abolish the Southern custom of slavery and 2. To preserve the Union which we today call the U.S.

Surely it was the other way round.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: mg
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 03:06 PM

I would not put a Nazi flag on a grave. I would put a German or Austrian flag on the grave and I would honor the person there, not knowing if he or she was an evildoer or someone who was born on the wrong side of the river.

The meaning of the American Civil War is probably crystal clear to those with finely honed filters. To those who don't, it is murky and horrible and brave all mixed in together..bad intentions mixed with good, bad people mixed with good, bad causes mixed with a desire to not have one's neighbors slaughtered. mg


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 03:15 PM

I have a feeling that if the American Revolution had been defeated, the flags they used might have had a similar subsequent history, and might have been seen as inextricably linked with "the American custom of slavery".


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: GUEST,pattyClink
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 04:01 PM

Good point, McGrath. Here in Mississippi we voted to keep the stars and bars in a corner of the state flag, and with a considerable portion of the Black vote going towards 'keep it'.   It's a historical artifact. We have no more business banishing it from the earth than we do tearing down Beauvoir or the Illinois monument at Vicksburg.

For some people it is a symbol of racism. For many more people it is a symbol of Dixie, of a region they love, and fallen ancestors they honor. And the vote frankly was more a statement of "Don't Tread On Me" than anything else.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 04:07 PM

Jack: Thank you for the interesting article about the survival of the Swastika symbol and the picture of the beautiful woman who has its name. I found these very encouraging and life-enhancing...


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 04:48 PM

The Indian swastika turns up as jewellery. I was sitting opposite an Indian girl wearing one round her neck in a London Tube carriage where every other person was black or Asian.   Nobdy was seeing it as an offensive symbol.

Context is everything.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Bobert
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 06:21 PM

We sang "Dixie" as well in school... We also sang "Old Black Joe"... The Confederate flag was used at lots of high school football games...

But then again this was much different time in terms of our history...

I'd like to think that we have come a long way since those days... And most of us have... There are always holdouts who will go to their graves thinking that white people are the superior race... Problem is that these holdouts are still teaching their kids the same prejudges and hatreds... I guess if being a bigot is one's heritage then these folks are half right when they say "Heritage, Not Hate"... Problem is that it is hate... Just as swastika represents hate...

No I think the folks who defend these symbols had eductaed people in their ranks they might be able to present a better case... But that is not the case... The haters are the least educated... And the least employed... And the least motivated to be good citizens...

Very sad commentary on our country to have folks who are so steeped in hatred of others because of their race or choic of religion... Bigotry is bigotry is bigotry is...... No two ways about it...

B~


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 07:32 PM

You don't have educated racists? I wish I believed that was the truth.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: GUEST,biff
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 08:31 PM

Siouxsie of the banshees infamously wore a swasticka and never lived it down. an attempt to show others their own shadow through a wearing of the shadow? keep calling everything racist or a hate crime and you will have continually diminished free speech. watch for use of the word "crazy" to be considered hate speech sometime in the next 8 years. oh yeah, look for words to be off limits in songs and literature too. it might hurt the children. maybe, and I might be crazy in saying this, but maybe people are tired of the mass judgements on everything and just want to say "f- you" by rebelling and the confederate flag is one way of doing this. sensitivity issues carried too far lead to sensitivity legislation which is definitely a mixed blessing. personally I'd rather live in an imperfect world rather then one that is so legislated that all is secure and non hurtful nor demeaning. human attempts to create perfection in society inevitably lead to an overly rigid legal structure. a healthy society may need some tolerance for expression that others object to. let the tree bend in the wind.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Greg F.
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 01:17 PM

Here in Mississippi we voted to keep the stars and bars in a corner of the state flag, and with a considerable portion of the Black vote going towards 'keep it'.

Interesting, if true.

Is there an official web-site maintained by the state election commission or similar entity or other official source where the actual figures on this vote, broken down by race, can be verefied?

I'd like to take a look.

Also, can you provide any information about what the NAACP, Urban League, Southern Poverty Law Center & such like organizations thought about this issue and the vote?


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 03:28 PM

This news story from the (English) Independant paper gives some information about that vote in 2001 -
Mississippi votes to keep Confederate flag flying
:

...With all precincts reporting, 488,630 voters, or 65 percent, favoured keeping the 1894 flag, while 267,812 voters, or 35 percent, wanted to replace it....

...The Mississippi vote was largely split along racial lines. In DeSoto County, an 86 percent white county in the Memphis suburbs, the old flag won by a 6–1 margin. In Hinds, a majority black county that is home to the state capital, went almost 2–to–1 for the new design.

In a few majority–black counties, the vote was surprisingly close. The predominantly black Delta went for the new flag, but not overwhelmingly. Mississippi, with 2.8 million people, is 61 percent white and 36 percent black.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 05:22 PM

There is indeed a lot of historical nostalgia involved in some of the State flags: I was most interested to discover that Hawaii maintains the Union Jack in its top-left corner.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: GUEST,pattyClink
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 09:24 PM

Good research, McGrath! It does sound like open-shut black-white voting, doesn't it. However, there were a bunch of white liberals voting down the flag and black conservatives voting it up, hence the 'surprisingly close'.

I was thinking about this whole 'it must stand for hate' assumption. I'm sure there are some Native Americans to whom the American flag symbolizes genocide from 200 years ago. So was everyone who ever fought under that flag a hateful racist out to do evil to the Native American?


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: PHJim
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 02:54 PM

I started this thread by wondering what the flag brings to people's mind when they see it. I stated what images came into my mind when I see it. I'm quite sure that many folks who fly the flag, or wear it on jackets or as front licence plates... don't do it as a racist symbol, but that's what it brings to my mind.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Greg F.
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 05:13 PM

...many folks who fly the flag, or wear it on jackets or as front licence plates... don't do it as a racist symbol...

Those folks need to educate themselves.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 05:34 PM

If the American Revolution had failed would the banners of those who fought for it be seen that differently from those of the Confederacy?

Here is Boston King, one of the many thousands of escaped slaves who fought on the losing side, writing about the end of that war:

"Peace was restored between America and Great Britain, which diffused universal joy among all parties, except us, who had escaped from slavery, and taken refuge in the English army; for a report prevailed at New-York, that all the slaves, in number 2000, were to be delivered up to their masters, altho' some of them had been three or four years among the English.

This dreadful rumour filled us all with inexpressible anguish and terror, especially when we saw our old masters coming from Virginia, North-Carolina, and other parts, and seizing upon their slaves in the streets of New-York, or even dragging them out of their beds. Many of the slaves had very cruel masters, so that the thoughts of returning home with them embittered life to us."


(From here.)


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: GUEST,Allan Connochie
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 06:25 PM

As to how the Union Flag is viewed in Britain - well of course that depends on what part of Britain you are in. The Union Flag itself has less BNP or NF connotations in Scotland. Here some view it, along with the Red Hand Of Ulster and the Irish Tricolour, more as a sectarian symbol. There have been those who have demanded that all these flags are banned at football matches etc. Of course I think that is more of a Scottish and Irish thing. Would anyone wearing a Union Flag to a sporting event in let's say Leeds be mistaken for being anti-Catholic? Of course the idea that everyone displaying a Union Flag in Scotland is sectarian is absurd. The vast majority won't be but it does carry that stigma somewhat. Symbols mean different things in different places. You also see Confederate Flags displayed around here though I don't think I've ever seen them used other than folks wanting to show they like American music etc. I also think the Scots, and the British in general, have a soft spot for the defeated. Hence it would maybe be much more glamorous to be a Jacobite than a Hanovarian; or a Confederate than a Union soldier. Rightly or wrongly I don't think many British who have a Confederate Flag would think on the actual politics or issues themselves. Plus I think some Scots maybe identify with the Confederate Flag simply because it looks like the Scottish Saltire.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Greg F.
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 08:18 AM

With all precincts reporting... 65 percent favoured keeping the 1894 flag, while ... 35 percent, wanted to replace it....

Which makes one wonder what sort of people the 65% of the population really are who thought it a good thing - or even a permissible thing - to deal the other 35% a positive slap in the face each and every time they're regularly confronted by their state flag flying at public buildings, schools, etc..

Insensitive at best, no?

Such is the nature if institutionalized racism.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Greg F.
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 10:53 AM

...the Confederate Flag simply because it looks like the Scottish Saltire.

Except that the design and the colours are completely different, that is.

Looks a bit like the Swedish flag, too.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 01:55 PM

In black and white they look quite similar. Which wouldn't be true of the Stars and Stripes.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 04:10 PM

"In black and white they look quite similar"

Indeed they do. The St Andrew's Cross and the Confederate Flag in question are both Saltires so are similarly designed unlike either the Stars and Stripes, or the Swedish Flag which has a completely different cross shape. I don't know the history but I suppose it is even possible that the Confederate Flag is at least a bit inspired by the Scottish Saltire. Maybe someone knows if that is so or not.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: GUEST,Allan Connochie
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 04:11 PM

"Indeed they do"

Sorry that was me again


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Greg F.
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 05:06 PM

" In black and white they do. "

Jaysus.

Yup, and were an elephant purple, one might mistake it for a grape.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 06:43 PM

I can't put my finger on them right now, but I have a gut feelingb there are a few other significant differences, Greg
.............................
The Saltire:

The Saltire also appears in many other flags, including ... the Confederate battle flag.

All of these Saltires are derived by various historical processes from the Scottish Saltire.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Bobert
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 07:31 PM

By now there isn't one single person who flies the "rebel flag" that doesn't know that it is offensive to about 100% of black people and about 90% of nonblack people...

That alone should be enough to get these borish racists to stop it but no... These folks are so pissed off (at whom and for what is anyone's guess) that they are going to fly it anyway...

Rude is rude is rude is....

B~


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 08:01 AM

it is offensive to about 100% of black people and about 90% of nonblack people. Within the United States that may be true - but as has been pointed out by a number of people, it doesn't appear to be the case elsewhere. Our racists use different symbols, which would be completely inoffensive in the United States.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Greg F.
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 10:35 AM

...but as has been pointed out by a number of people, it doesn't appear to be the case elsewhere.

It is offensive everywhere.

Those to whom it doesn't give offense obviouisly do not know what it is or what it represents. They should educate themselves.

Those who display it not knowing what it is or what it represents are simply irresponsible.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 11:03 AM

The point is that for virtually everyone in the UK, regardless of colour, it doesn't represent the same thing as it does in the USA, and is no more of a symbol for racism than any other American flag.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 11:24 AM

McGrath, you are currently experiencing the essence of the Rule called Righteous Liberal Outrage, or Godly Political Correctness, here in the good ol USA. This rule states that certain questions are not matters of opinion to be discussed from opposing points of view, but are established truths only to be denied by the evil and ignorant. You cannot have a reasonable discussion once the rule has been applied, and certainly can't hope to win an argument once it has been invoked.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 01:33 PM

My impression is that that is an approach which is not confined to the "Liberal" end of the political spectrum in the States. Or indeed elsewhere.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Greg F.
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 01:54 PM

McG, what you are experiencing from ol' Lonesome is the tendency of a segment of the population here in the good ol' USA to label something they don't like an exercise in "Political Correctness" and thereby dismiss it, regardless of the facts and/or the merits thereof.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: wysiwyg
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 02:17 PM

Both Leej and McGrath have been around here long enough to know how to take each others' posts, Greg. And they are both gentlemen who will tend not to rise to bait-- a skill I hope to emulate better as I follow their examples.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Greg F.
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 03:17 PM

Good for you, Susan, its your Christian Duty to do so.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Bobert
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 05:08 PM

I had this same discussion, if you will, with a fgellow musican who thought it was okay to have a confederate flag on his guitar... When I pointed out to him that people were offended by it it was removed... Some folks just don't have the sensitivity to know that they are offedning others... This isn't a "liberal" or conservative" or a "moderate" viewpoint... It is an observation I have made by living in the South and knowing one heck of a lot of black people... Ya' ever wonder why you don't see the confederate flag on black folks cars??? Political correctness, my butt... It's insensitive, borish and rude...

The exception being Civil (which it wasn't) War battlefields, museums, etc...

But not in front of folk's houses... Not on the back of their cars and trucks... Not on their motorcyle jackets... And not tatooed on their arms...

B~


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 09:03 PM

McGrath, you are right. It is a hallmark of smug sanctity, and that is both a Liberal and Conservative trait, the farther toward the extreme boundaries, the stronger the strain. This particular argument is a manifestation of the Liberal end of the spectrum of sanctimony.
I get Bobert. I grew up in Kentucky and I'll bet we had at least as many Rebel-flag-tattoo-wearin shit-kickers in my hometown as Bob did. I know what he's talking about, and that's why I said I wouldn't fly that flag or condone it. It has been appropriated by a crowd of gutless morons who have rendered it a symbol of hate. I do not believe it was conceived as such, but I respect Greg's opinion that it was. I will NOT say I am right and he is wrong. I will simply state, as a died in the wool Southern Democrat from a proud line of the same, that I am just as entitled to my opinion as he is to his.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: M.Ted
Date: 04 Nov 09 - 12:56 AM

For Mr. McGrath, a few lines from the autobiography of Thomas Jefferson relating slavery:

In 1769, I became a member of the legislature by the choice of
the county in which I live, & continued in that until it was closed
by the revolution. I made one effort in that body for the permission
of the emancipation of slaves, which was rejected: and indeed, during
the regal government, nothing liberal could expect success. Our
minds were circumscribed within narrow limits by an habitual belief
that it was our duty to be subordinate to the mother country in all
matters of government, to direct all our labors in subservience to
her interests, and even to observe a bigoted intolerance for all
religions but hers.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Greg F.
Date: 04 Nov 09 - 08:42 AM

I am just as entitled to my opinion as he is to his.

Thanks, EJ - never said you wasn't.

I just feel that historical fact supports my opinion more than it does yours, particularly since the government & society that produced the flag in question was founded upon & supported both economically and socially by a system of race-based chattel slavery, which the Confederacy went to war to maintain.

Best,

Greg


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Nov 09 - 12:43 PM

An interesting suggestion of Thomas Jefferson that it was "the regal government" that was primarily responsible for the maintenance of the system of chattel slavery in America, with the implication that American Independance was a step in the direction of abolition.

It didn't actually work out that way though, did it? And I understand that Jeffereson never freed his own slaves during his lifetime.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 04 Nov 09 - 02:57 PM

McG, Jefferson was nothing if not contradictory. He was a man who spent his life extolling the virtues of agrarian life and hated and was a failure at farming. He protested the idea of slavery and possessed slaves. He detested the idea of a strong federal government, yet presided over the largest expansion of United States territory in our history. I prefer to think of him as a visionary man of ideals who realized he fell short of them, but others have called him a hypocrite.
Greg F, I appreciate the reasoned restatement of your point of view. You are just saying I'm wrong, not ignorant, irresponsible, or evil, and that's what a good argument is about. ;>)


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Ron Davies
Date: 05 Nov 09 - 12:23 AM

The opponent is "wrong, not ignorant, irresponsible or evil": says Greg F . Well, how about that; the leopard can change his spots after all. It'll be interesting to see how long the "gentler, kinder" Greg F is with us.

My prediction:   not overly long. The Greg F. we know and love will be along presently.




One interesting aspect of the slave trade topic, which we have edged into, is that in both the American colonies and Britain itself, probably the decisive factor is not morality but economics.


According to The Slave Trade p 480, by British historian Hugh Thomas, Massachusetts did in fact try to stop the slave trade and was prevented by the Crown-appointed governor. "There before the war (Revolution) the Assembly had made two attempts to stop the import of slaves...But the idea was thwarted by the governor, General Thomas Gage."

The reason for this move by the Assembly, however, was "the usual ground that to have too many might risk a black rebellion", not the morality of the slave trade.

Similarly, when Britain finally managed to ban the slave trade in 1806, the situation for the pro-slave trade forces had changed drastically from earlier attempts by abolitionists.   By May 1806, "the West Indies were in debt, there was a large sugar surplus, and the 'saturated' old colonies did not want new slaves". (p 553) They also had the example of Haiti, as to what could happen with the huge black-white imbalance.   It appears clear that the reason abolition finally passed was that the pro-slave-trade forces no longer had the economic incentive to push against it, and the fear element was also high.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: M.Ted
Date: 05 Nov 09 - 01:16 AM

The revolution resulted in efforts to abolish of slavery almost immediately.
By 1798, slave importation had been outlawed by all thirteen states. Between 1777 and 1804, eight Northern states abolished slavery altogether: Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York and New Jersey. In the South, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina amended their laws to make it easier to free slaves. Largely as a result, between 1790 and 1810, the number of free blacks in the South grew from 32,000 to 108,000.

Though Jefferson only managed to free two of his slaves, Washington freed his, first teaching them marketable skills to assure that they'd be able to support themselves, and providing life long care for those who were unable to work.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Greg F.
Date: 05 Nov 09 - 08:31 AM

Oh great and all-knowing Simple Seeker After Truth, that was EJ's statement, not mine. Check your facts.

Also, re-check the facts on your overly simplistic statement that abolition was grounded in economics. Just displays your ignorance of the history, and complexity, of the entire abolition movement.

By the way: Quoting from a single source don't mean squat- preponderance of evidence is the thing.

And do have a nice day!


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Greg F.
Date: 05 Nov 09 - 08:36 AM

Now back to our regularly scheduled program.

An intriguing look at Thomas Jefferson's complex -one might say scizophrenic - ideas about Black people and slavery is provided by Annette Gordon-Reed's The Hemingses of Monticello New York, Norton, 2008.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Nov 09 - 09:44 AM

"one might say scizophrenic"   

But one would be much better not to.

The Guardian style guide entry on the use and misuse of this term surely gets it right: "use only in a medical context, never to mean "in two minds", contradictory, or erratic, which is wrong, as well as offensive to people diagnosed with this illness; schizophrenic should never be used as a noun. It is a medical term for a terrible condition."


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Greg F.
Date: 05 Nov 09 - 09:58 AM

Sorry, Mom.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Greg F.
Date: 05 Nov 09 - 10:19 AM

By the way, McGrath, is the use of the term scizophrenic more or less offensive than the display of the Confederate battle flag?


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Nov 09 - 11:18 AM

More so, in places where the Confederate flag is seen generally as no more offensive than any other American flag.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Greg F.
Date: 05 Nov 09 - 01:05 PM

Ah but Kevin, as you've repeatedly stated, by your own reasoning and logic[sic], if I don't see "scizophrenic" as an offensive term, then it isn't one.

Also, can you tell me how the total number of scizophrenics in the world populattion who might take offense compares to the total number of persons of color?


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Stringsinger
Date: 05 Nov 09 - 04:08 PM

Remember we are discussing the Rebel Flag (which is the Battle Flag, not the St. Andrew's Cross or the single white star with a blue field that was flown in South Carolina who first seceded from the Union.

The Battle Flag is offensive to many today unlike other variations of American flags.

McGrath, the ignorance of the Brits that fly this flag is appalling. They know nothing of American history and the role this flag played in the subjection of African-Americans.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Stringsinger
Date: 05 Nov 09 - 04:20 PM

Thomas Jefferson was a politician. He may have felt ambivalence about slavery but found it convenient not to rock the boat. He had a romantic affair with Sally Hemmings, a black woman and he provided for her children.

He was a product of his times. Even Abe Lincoln had his doubts about abolition.

Abolitionists were like atheists today. They were reviled and mistreated by many in the Northern States.

William Lloyd Garrison publicly burned a copy of the Constitution in 1844, declaring it "a Covenant with Death, an Agreement with Hell," referring to the compromise that had written slavery into the Constitution. You can see how popular that made him.

He was forcefully removed by violence for his abolitionist speech at Faneuil Halll in Boston.

The Quakers were also reviled by many for their abolitionist stands.

We forget just how hard it was to deal with Civil Rights in those times.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Nov 09 - 06:01 PM

People here perhaps know enough about American history to be aware that racism in America has not been confined to the South - which was why I wrote "the Confederate flag is seen generally as no more offensive than any other American flag." When people make use them, this is about recognition of the music rather than the racism.

(And no, that doesn't imply some suggestion that racism isn't part of British history and society, but it takes different forms and is represented by different symbols.)


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Greg F.
Date: 05 Nov 09 - 06:35 PM

...racism in America has not been confined to the South...

No shit. Has not been and still isn't. Thanks for that startling bit of information.

But what the feck has that to do with the Confederate battle flag?


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Ron Davies
Date: 05 Nov 09 - 10:17 PM

"the Greg F we know and love"...   

QED


You're absolutely right, Greg.    Please, accept my apology for having mistaken you for a reasonable, logical person. I assure you we won't make that mistake again.

I note you continue your winning ways of criticism without basis.   

If you don't think that fear of slave revolts and the economic argument I cited had a lot to do with the 1806 abolition of slavery in Britain--then and not earlier-- exactly why not?

I fervently hope the act of actually putting together a logical argument, with direct quotes,--as opposed to unsupported ex cathedra pronouncements and lists of books--will not prove too much of a strain for you.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: GUEST,Allan Connochie
Date: 06 Nov 09 - 02:48 AM

"What has that got to do with the Confederate Battle flag"

The point was being made that which flags cause offense depends on who you are and where you are in the world. The world isn't attuned to the American mindset and the world isn't fully aware of American history and internal American affairs and most of the world will have no real interest in them anyway - hence it is absurd to expect everyone to react to symbols in the same way as the average American would. As others have said, in the UK the first thing most folk would think if they saw someone displaying the said flag is that the flag owner was a country music fan. Racism or right-wing politics would probably not cross their mind. That may be down to ignorance of American history etc, but never the less it is so.

In truth throughout most of the world there is probably more chance of offending someone if you flew the Stars and Stripes as that is the symbol America marches under. The same of course would be said for the Union Flag. Fly it outside Buckingham Palace or at the Proms and no-one would bat an eyelid. But take it to the Falls Road or fly it in various other parts of the world then you're maybe asking to be abused or worse.

So however dimly the said flag is viewed internally in the US the fact is that it hasn't got the more world-wide bad image that for instance the Swastika has developed.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 06 Nov 09 - 07:29 AM

'hasn't got the more world-wide bad image that for instance the Swastika has developed. '

& even then not 'worldwide: as pointed out above, the swastika has been rehabilitated in India, the country of is origin as a mystic religious symbol. As I said before, I think it good that the symbol has survived its hijacking by the evil & ill-intentioned and been returned to its original status and purpose in the part of the world where it originated.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: GUEST,Allan Connochie
Date: 06 Nov 09 - 07:48 AM

Re-post from MtheGM

Point taken! Thanks


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Greg F.
Date: 06 Nov 09 - 07:52 AM

Before everyone rushes off to purchases a copy of Simple Seeker's bible

The Slave Trade: The Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade, 1440-1870. By Hugh Thomas. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1997,

It would be well to read the reviews of this somewhat flawed work. A representative one is available Here and there are many others.

Please also note that this is a work on the slave TRADE, not the institution of slavery or the abolition movement.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Greg F.
Date: 06 Nov 09 - 07:56 AM

Apologies; technical error. This quote from the review cited above was meant to be included in my last post:

This brings us to the fourth problem: the issue of research. Lord Thomas chose to work with two kinds of literature, narrative primary sources and older scholarly literature, ignoring almost entirely the huge body of research and interpretive works of the last thirty years.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Bobert
Date: 06 Nov 09 - 08:22 AM

There's a reason why Jefferson suggested that every now and then the country might have to revisit the experiement that he and his FFF'a (Fellow Founding Fathers) set in motion... And that is precisely why there is an ammeding clause in the Constitution...

Times change...

There wasn't a confederate flag around during Jefferson's time...
There wasn't a Civil (which it wasn't0 War around... Jim Crow hadn't even been bron yet... Lots of things changed...

So to argue the merits (or lack thereof) of the Conferate flag using 1800 logic is like debating how many angels can stand on the end of a pin...

Meanwhile, millions of Americans, who BTW disporportinately built the infastructure of this nation, have to wake every day knowing that a large number of their fellow citizens hate them because of their skin color... And what makes this even more painfull is that the rest of the country has been so conditioned by generations of right wing propaganda into thinking that these borish rednecks have the right to propagate their hate??? The only "heritage" aspect of the confederate flag is it represents hate that has been passed down from one redneck generation to the next...

B~


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Greg F.
Date: 06 Nov 09 - 08:57 AM

That may be down to ignorance of American history etc

Precisely my point. But the ignorance of the person displaying the item doesn't make it any less offensive to the viewer.

Before shoving something in peoples' faces, one ought to know what it is & what it represents.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: GUEST,Allan Connochie
Date: 06 Nov 09 - 10:09 AM

"Before shoving it in people's faces etc"

Sorry but we are going to have to agree to disagree on this as you are missing the point that in general 'in the UK' the displaying of the said flag (when it does happen) isn't particularly controversial to either the displayer or the viewer - so it isn't generally being shoved in the faces of people who are offended. If it was offending people then more people would know about it being offensive and then it would no doubt become an issue! As various people have said it is generally simply a sign that someone likes country music and doesn't have the connotations you suggest.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: billhudson
Date: 06 Nov 09 - 12:12 PM

As to the Sons Of Confederate Veteran I have met these guys and it was very strange. At the time I was with some friends whom I met on the film set of the film, The Patriot. They were having a western day with cowboys and cowgirls and the kids seem to like it. But there was this guy on a horse ridding around with posters that said, wanted for treason-Abe Lincoln and said a few other things. We all took it as a joke in a way but I looked at them and was thinking…Klan.
Well this guy on the horse had a cap and ball revolver and let it go off right near this one cowboy's face. The cowboy had power burns all over one side of his face. From then on we keep our distance with those folks. And we have not seen them sense then.
This was in Floyd , Va. and not too far from downtown Floyd (not big).


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Big Mick
Date: 06 Nov 09 - 12:30 PM

Allan, if I take your meaning, then it is OK for Irish Americans to wear IRA symbols, because it means something different to us than to English folks. And English folks should just get over our preoccupation with the IRA because to us it is a symbol of our heritage and these folks, to us, are freedom fighters. This is being used as an analogy and not a completely accurate representation of my views, but is my analogy flawed? If so, how?

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: GUEST,jts
Date: 06 Nov 09 - 12:38 PM

PHJim

I'm from Canada, I move to the US in 1998 and have been here since. I've lived in Ohio, Georgia, Alabama, Michigan and now North Carolina. I've talked to people I got to know in each state about the symbolism of that flag and was actually living in Georgia when the debate about removing it from the state flag was quite fresh.


My current neighbors, almost all black, almost all descended from slaves, are not particularly offended by that flag. But they do see it as an indication of the content of a man's character. It is an indication to them that the person is either supporting racism of is too lazy or ignorant to consider the implications of the symbol. So I would say to the folks in Briton who consider it a symbol of American music, that it is certainly not such a symbol for the most of American music. It certainly was not a symbol of Elvis, who was publicly anti-racist.

It is a symbol of so called "southern rock" and of what I would call "the South's gonna rise again" movement from the 70's. "Dukes of Hazard" was a part of that as well and an effort to rehabilitate the confederate flag as a symbol of a resurgent South stemmed from all of that. But the more attention that movement got the more protests came to remove the symbol from state flags and other official symbols of southern states.

As to the deeper, individual, meanings among those who use the flag, I have a well educated friend in the IT industry who supports the flag. Experience has shown me that he may be fairly typical of supporters of the Confederate Flag. He also calls "The Civil War" "The War of Northern Aggression" and he says that it was not about slavery. It was about "States Rights" and over "economic factors." He also uses the word "nigger", not in front of black people of course, but says that for him it does not apply to all black people, just the lazy no accounts who collect and support welfare.

Certainly most who display the flag realize that they will not be respected by black people, and by as Mick stated, supporters of civil rights, and they have no problem with that.

In fact I think that, at the very least, it is quite rude and inconsiderate to display that flag. Anyone who chooses to do so, in the South, is a betrayer of that revered Southern value of good manners.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Big Mick
Date: 06 Nov 09 - 12:46 PM

Well said, jts.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 06 Nov 09 - 12:51 PM

He also uses the word "nigger", not in front of black people of course, but says that for him it does not apply to all black people, just the lazy no accounts who collect and support welfare

This attitude is really repulsive. I have worked with several closet racists who feel the same way. The conversation usually progresses in the same way. A vague remark is made by them about black people in general, or a specific black person in particular, and you can feel that this person is gauging your reaction to see if it will be ok to trot out the N word. The sense of "we're all white here so lets just tell it like it is" is extremely disturbing. "Let's define the word to only apply to the stereotype, and then we can freely use it. I'm not talking about the President...unless you think that's alright."
The effect sought is that the speaker is intelligent, open-minded, and yet sensible enough to call it as he sees it. To me, way uglier than the Klansman in his hood, or a Nazi wearing a Confederate Flag arm band.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 Nov 09 - 12:58 PM

I don't think there'd be any reason Irish Americans shouldn't feel free to wear a Sinn Fein symbol like this , or display a poster like this.

The analogy isn't too close actually - after all, IRA veterans are part of the government in Northern Ireland these days.

Around the same time as the Confederacy came into being, Bruitish forces were engaged in the Second Opium War in China, aimed at reying to protect teh right of British merchants to carry on an producing and sellimg opium inm China. They were fighting under the smam Union Jack that is still used today.

Why should one flag associated with slavery be seen by people in the rest of the world as significantly more shameful than another flag associated with enforcing the drug trade - or, for that matter, other flags associated with slavery, such as all American national flags up until the Civil War?


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Bobert
Date: 06 Nov 09 - 01:02 PM

Yeah, jts, exactly... Part of the South's problem is that it has never recovered from having it's educated class wiped out in the unCivil War... These people would have been the first to get it... But those that didn't get killed became imbittered by the loss of their wealth, their status and a dozen years on Union occupation... Didn't leave much in the way of folks with Southern manners which are, for the most part, a myth...

Southerners propagate lots of myths when it comes to race... I've heard the myth that Southern whote folks "get along" better with black folks because whites in the South have lived with black people longer... That is a big dumbass myth... Just as this "Heritage, not hate" myth... And even those white kids who go to Southern colleges ain't comin' out with any degree of enlightenment... Just degrees... I know, I got a couple of them (degrees from Southern universities, that is)...

So, bottom line, Southern manners ain't all they are cracked up to be unless it's whites with whites...

"We say grace and we say mam
If you ain't into that
we don't give a damned..."

Yeah, that's purdy much it for Southern manners... Hank hit the nail right on the head there in that they "don't give a damned"... Great manners, huh???

B~


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: mg
Date: 06 Nov 09 - 01:02 PM

Big Mick..I think your analogy is wrong...I think it is more like should we be denied festooning ourselves with shamrocks because it is linked in people's minds with IRA support..which it may or may not be. I don't think people who don't have family memories of the Civil War should display the flag..like you going down there and doing it...so basically I think no C flag except in the few circumstances I listed before. mg


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: billhudson
Date: 06 Nov 09 - 01:03 PM

Point made Lonesome..you know when I was young and was always out numbered when that kind of talk would happen. I would not say a word. But now, I am still out numbered but I do not care and speak up. I think it begins right then and there.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: GUEST,jts
Date: 06 Nov 09 - 01:09 PM

I've experienced that as well "EJ" another friend from Alabama was a perfect example of that. But the one to whom I referred was not. I think it was more a case of compartmentalization and rationalization. The word was from his home and heritage. He did not want to reject his grandparents values, so he internalized a different meaning. He pretty much admitted that when I pointed out how, I as and outsider felt about the word and how a person he might consider a "non-nigger" black might feel.

The issue is very complicated. But I think that education and integration is slowly winning over. Maybe in another generation or two that war will truly be over in the hearts and minds of the white South. But I don't think that Canadians and Brits using that flag are doing anything to help. Frankly, they should also have better manners then that.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: pdq
Date: 06 Nov 09 - 01:25 PM

...from long articles about the Civil War:

"The 1860 census counted 240,747 "free Negroes" in the slave states, 15,000 more than lived in the free states to the north."

There were at last 5000 black families in the slave states who owned black slaves.

"...black Americans marched to war with the Southern armies from the very beginning in early 1861. In contrast, the Federal government refused to allow black men to serve in its ranks until well into the conflict. It was 1863 before the North began using black troops in any large number, and only then after considerable opposition."

{for what that's worth}


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: GUEST,jts
Date: 06 Nov 09 - 01:38 PM

Bobert,

For what it is worth, I have observed blacks and whites getting along much better in Phenix City, Alabama, Columbus, Georgia and Wilmington, North Carolina than I did in southern and central Ohio.

In the past I have attributed that to the fact that the races had been together longer in the South. I am not so sure of that now. For one thing, the specific histories of the southern towns I have lived in give more compelling reasons, for another, it is too small a sample to generalize. On the other hand, I have seen enough of the North and the South to firmly believe that manners are generally better, in public at least, in the stores, restaurants, high tech workplaces and hotels, in the South.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 Nov 09 - 01:57 PM

No harm in a bit of thread drift - I wonder if there's been any research into how different societies rate when it comes to good manners and general friendliness. Lots of anecdotal stuff and subject impressions, but I've never come across any evidence-based studies.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 06 Nov 09 - 01:58 PM

There were at last 5000 black families in the slave states who owned black slaves.
I don't buy this. Unless Cherokee slave owners in Oklahoma were counted as black.

"...black Americans marched to war with the Southern armies from the very beginning in early 1861. In contrast, the Federal government refused to allow black men to serve in its ranks until well into the conflict. It was 1863 before the North began using black troops in any large number, and only then after considerable opposition." Another specious or at least misleading statement. The Confederacy was extremely nervous about arming slaves, as you can imagine. The black Americans who "marched to war with the Southern armies" were primarily slaves, retainers, cooks,farriers, and washer women. It was not until January of 1864 that the attrition to the Confederate Armies compelled the CSA leadership to study organizing black troops. This notion was never brought to fruition, although it was considered several times in 1864.
On the other hand, it's true the Union did not pursue organizing Black military units until after the Emancipation Proclamation in summer 1862 for fear of alienating the border states, but after the proclamation, the enlistment of black soldiers was pursued in earnest. By the end of the war, 180,000 black troopers were serving, about 10% of the Union force.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: pdq
Date: 06 Nov 09 - 02:07 PM

"I don't buy this. Unless Cherokee slave owners in Oklahoma were counted as black."

I hope you don't believe that Oklahoma was a state in 1865 or before, much less that it was a slave state. Perhaps you also believe that the state of Oklahoma was part of the Confederacy.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 06 Nov 09 - 02:31 PM

Oklahoma was a territory where slavery was legal. The tribes in Oklahoma fought on both sides of the conflict.
Your information seems to support somebody's agenda about blacks in the Civil War, and to be slanted, subjective, and inaccurate. I suggest that, instead of siting "a long article about the Civil War" and concluding with "for what it's worth", that you be specific about your source, and honest about your intent. If you are suggesting something along the old line of "blacks in the South were happy with their system and willing to go to war to preserve it" be honest about it. If you are suggesting that "black" families had and held black slaves and thus had an interest in supporting the Confederacy, you definitely need more specific and accurate information to support such a claim.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: pdq
Date: 06 Nov 09 - 02:52 PM

You must not even read what your posts, much less what I posted.

Facts don't have a agenda.

Please support your statement that the Cherokee had enough black slaves to be worthy of mention.

One side of my family is Okie and part is Cherokee. The blacks who came west in President Jackson's relocation program were mostly escaped slaves who took refuge on Cherokee lands where they were treated as equals. The fact that state and federal troops could not touch them while they were on Indian lands (early 1830s) was one of the reasons for the relocation of most Indians to the territory west of the Mississippi River.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Bobert
Date: 06 Nov 09 - 03:41 PM

Too bad that there ain't a large number of black Mudcatters 'er this discussion would have ended a long time ago...

As for Southerners having better manners??? Nah!!! Just different... Same "Ahhhh shucks, mam" Southerners use the word "nigger" freely when they are with their buddies... That ain't good manners... That's what the bluesman Son House referred to as folks "smiling in your face" and it is phony as a 3 dollar bill...

As for blacks fightin' in tyhe unCivil War??? Well, yeah... The only home they ever knew was the South and it was being invaded... That is a purdy lame arguemnt for rednecks flyin' the Confederate flag these days...

B~


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Greg F.
Date: 06 Nov 09 - 03:59 PM

Don't waste your time EJ- we've been thru this whole "Black Confederates" "Loyal Slaves" "slaves had it better than free workers in the North" Neo-Cofederate bullshit with PeeDee & others before, and for them no facts need apply. I'll see if I can dig up the earlier thread & post a 'clickie' to it.

If they didn't "get it" then, they ain't gonna now.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 06 Nov 09 - 04:03 PM

From Slavery in America Tony Siebert...
The harsher treatment of blacks by the Five Civilized Tribes, including the Seminoles, possibly stemmed in part from the larger number of enslaved blacks held by Indians after the removal(to Oklahoma). The number of enslaved blacks among the Creeks increased from 502 to 1,532; among the Cherokees, the number grew from 1,592, to 2,511; among the Choctaw, from 512 to 2.349; and among the Chickasaw, the number climbed from several hundred to around 1,000. For the Seminole, the number increased from 500 to less than 1,000, although most scholars dispute this figure as too high in view of the many who are known to have been stolen and sold by slavers or else who had run off to Mexico.

There you go. Whether you think 2511 slaves is worthy of mention I leave to your disgression.

Facts don't have an agenda? I didn't see many facts in your "from long articles about the civil war" post, so I suppose that statement is correct. The general and nebulous "There were at last 5000 black families in the slave states who owned black slaves" might qulaify as a fact in your eyes, but it sounds like horsedroppings to me, and I'd like to know your source, if you have one.

As you requested, I have sited support for my statement.
Your turn.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Greg F.
Date: 06 Nov 09 - 04:18 PM

OK, then, ONE MORE TIME!:

Here's One
and
Here's Another
and
Yet Another
and
And Yet Another


There are at least two or three more related threads, but I can't find 'em quickly.

Something of an eye-opener how ingrained institutional racism is and how little people really know about slavery, the abolition movement, the ante-bellum South, the Civil War and Reconstruction.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: GUEST,jts
Date: 06 Nov 09 - 04:50 PM

Bobert,

I don't know what Southern manners are like when they talk
"with their buddies". I do know how they are when they interact with me and I have seen plenty of interaction between blacks and whites and I am quite willing to stand by what I have said. In general, southerners, both black and white in the few dozen cities I have visited, seem to have better manners.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Bobert
Date: 06 Nov 09 - 05:01 PM

Don't come to Page County, Va., jts... It's so bad here that there is a gas station/ general store that employs a black man so the "boys" take their "nigger jokes" outside... But, yeah, Southern man be perfectly willing and able to "smile in your face"... That's what the older bluesmen called it and, like I said, it is phony... Manners is manners and if someone is smiling in yer face and then callin' you a nigger behind yer back that person ain't all that mannerly... Least that's the way it is in rural South... City folks is prolly better behaved, I donno???

B~


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: pdq
Date: 06 Nov 09 - 05:19 PM

Thank you, Lonesome EJ.

You are a gentleman and a scholar, and there are too few of us left.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Ebbie
Date: 06 Nov 09 - 05:31 PM

I once read that a White Northerner doesn't care how 'high' a Black man rises, as long as he doesn't get too close; a White Southerner doesn't care how close a Black man gets as long as he doen't get too high.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Stringsinger
Date: 07 Nov 09 - 12:02 PM

The dynamics of racism is different in the South and North. The so-called "Southern Hospitality" is just a matter of dealing with societal problems differently. Remember that Nazi Germany also maintained a kind of superficial "civility" while committing atrocities.

There are parts of the South that eschew any kind of civil decorum. There are parts of the North that are polite and civil. These generalizations shed no light on the rampant racism found in every part of the country.

I have encountered both civility and open blatant racist hostility in both Northern and Southern cities. Yes, Virginia, there is North Hospitality as well.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Nov 09 - 12:14 PM

Can't get further North than Canada can you?


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: GUEST,Allan Connochie
Date: 07 Nov 09 - 06:48 PM

"Re-Mick's question about Americans wearing IRA symbols"

I honestly think that in Britain there has never been an aversion to people displaying their political feelings and Irish Republicanism was viewed as a valid cause so I don't think republicanism itself would cause any offence to the vast majority of people. Yes the symbols of terrorist organisations (both republican and loyalist) are viewed in a different light though I suspect Scots are more attuned and sensitive to them because of the measure of sectarianism within Scottish society itself. I remember my English wife seeing the Red Flag of Ulster symbol and not knowing what it was. Personally I think most English people are pretty relaxed to the subject and sectarianism is just about history in England. As to Americans displaying IRA symbols. I suspect that most folk would simply have dismissed them as misty eyed romantasists who didn't realise that the Prov IRA were a proscribed orgainsation not only in the UK but in Ireland itself. So I don't really think that too many people would lose sleep over the symbolism. There was perhaps a bit of an anti-American mood, especially in Northern Ireland itself, because of the allegations that the terrorist campaign was at least partly funded by Irish-Americans in Boston and New York etc. However that is a different matter.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Ron Davies
Date: 08 Nov 09 - 09:52 PM

I've been a bit busy--a bit too busy to monitor Mudcat below the line.


So Greg, you don't like The Slave Trade.   That's peachy.   Anybody who cares to read the criticism of Thomas' book will find that probably the top problem is that he does not consider the problem from the slave's point of view. However this has nothing to do with why British participation in the slave trade ended . So your criticism is a red herring in the issue of exactly why British participation in the slave trade was banned in 1807--and not earlier.

It's also interesting that somehow you have neglected to actually come up with a a logical countertheory to the one I have put forward--with direct quotes of course, as mine had.
One might be possibly tempted to hazard a guess that you have no argument to counter mine--- and that your criticism is so much hot air.   I'm sure you wouldn't want anybody to think that, of course.

I'll break my theory down so you can tell us exactly which part you don't understand.

1) West Indian interests had huge clout in Parliament.   According to Birth of the Modern (p 321), by another British historian, Paul Johnson: "Of incomes derived overseas including Ireland, William Pitt told the House of Commons in 1798, about 80% came from the
West Indies. The richest men in Britain were those with successful West Indian estates."

2) Saint Domingue provided a clear object lesson of a successful slave rebellion.

3) From the French Revolution up to 1802, the anti-slave trade movement had to contend with the suspicion of links to Jacobinism, since during that time France banned French participation in the trade.    In 1802, Napoleon re-instituted it, which removed that argument from the arsenal of the anti-abolitionists.


3) There were however still powerful interests in favor of the slave trade.   The British Navy looked on slave ships to some extent as the "nursery of the Navy".   The validity of this can be seen in the fact that not just Britons learned seacraft on board slavers-- e.g. John Paul Jones, a Briton originally of course, started his career aboard a slave ship.   Certain cities, especially Liverpool, were heavily dependent on the slave trade--not just shipowners, but rope makers, shipbuilders, and even bakers.

Wellington was at one point quoted as saying: Thomas p 546, that he was "bred in the good old school and taught to appreciate the value of our "West Indian possessions and neither in the field not the Senate shall their just rights be infringed, while I have an arm to fight in their defense, or a tongue to launch my voice against the damnable doctrine of Wilberforce and his hypocritical allies".




However, as I noted, in 1806 the West Indies were in debt, there was a large sugar surplus and the "old colonies" did not want any more slaves. Prime Minister Grenville, in January 1807, made exactly this point:   Thomas, p 555:   "Grenville argued that abolition was necessary to ensure the survival of the older Caribbean colonies: 'Are they not now distressed by the accumulation of produce on their hands, for which they cannot find a market?   And will it not be adding to their distress...if you suffer the continuation of further importations?"

This was the sea change. The West Indian interests, powerful as they were, did not themselves want any more slaves.   So they withdrew their opposition to ending the slave trade--and made this plain to their representatives--as reflected in the PM's quote above.
So the moral push to end the slave trade, a movement which had been for decades unsuccessfully trying to get such a bill through Parliament, was able to seize the moment.
It was the economics which changed--and dramatically tipped the balance in favor of abolition.

If you have a countertheory, I'm sure we'd all like to hear it.   Logic and direct quotes, of course, would be considered necessary, as I'm sure you're aware.

Thanks so much.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Greg F.
Date: 09 Nov 09 - 08:35 AM

Well, Simple Seeker, I don't think there's anyone likes the slave trade much these days tho its still going on.

But if you're referring to the The Slave Trade... by Thomas, its not that I personally "don't like it" but that most reviewers panned it, and NOT because he doesn't adopt the slaves point of view, as the reviews make clear. I realize that ignoring 30 years of scholarship may not be a problem for you, but it is for others.

Basing arguments on Thomas makes you very much like Major General Stanley: your knowledge has only been brought down to the beginning of the century.

If you care to rectify that and read a study or two from the last fifty years or so, then get back to me & we'll talk about it.

Til then, have impressing yourself woth your supposed erudition. I ain't gonna play.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: John P
Date: 09 Nov 09 - 10:08 AM

What does the history of the slave trade have to do with whether or not the Confederate flag is a sign of bigotry in today's society?


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Nov 09 - 10:55 AM

Drift, my boy, drift...


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Greg F.
Date: 09 Nov 09 - 03:09 PM

What does the history of the slave trade have to do with whether or not the Confederate flag is a sign of bigotry in today's society?

You'd have to ask the Simple Seeker After Truth and Fount of All Knowledge, LLC. He brought it up, and at great length.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Mr Happy
Date: 16 Nov 09 - 08:54 AM

Another story here http://www.allvoices.com/news/4583628-nazi-symbols-probe-wearing
of inappropriate symbolism


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Ron Davies
Date: 26 Nov 09 - 10:44 PM

"Basing arguments on Thomas..."    Fascinating that after all this time, the poster has not come up with a counter-theory, though he was cordially asked to do so--with direct quotes, logic, sources, etc, of course..   If you think Thomas misquoted the PM, for instance, let's have the exact quote.

Otherwise the carping we've seen so far bears a distinct resemblance to:   shoot the messenger.

And yes, threads do drift--but sometimes other worthwhile topics come up.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Stringsinger
Date: 27 Nov 09 - 03:40 PM

"What does the history of the slave trade have to do with whether or not the Confederate flag is a sign of bigotry in today's society?"

Since the Confederacy was a system that relied on slavery to support it, the slave trade was essential to its survival. Since the Confederate flag was a symbol of the system, it had everything to do with it. Many of the descendants of the Confederacy still support the idea that slavery might have been justified because of their supposed notions of racial inferiority. The question posed suggests a complete ignorance of the feelings of contemporary African-Americans.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Nov 09 - 03:58 PM

Surely what was meant by "the slave trade" there was the international slave thread, outlawed in 1807 as a form of piracy, rather than the internal trading in slaves which continued in the States for the next 58 years, initially under the auspices of the (American) Union Flag, and, for the last couple of years of its existence, under the auspices of thew Confederate Flag.

Both flags symbolised a slave-owning country.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Greg F.
Date: 27 Nov 09 - 06:05 PM

Both flags symbolised a slave-owning country.

Sorry, no.

1. The Confederate States were not a country.

2. However they DID did declare war on the United States in order to perpetuate slavery.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Stringsinger
Date: 27 Nov 09 - 06:33 PM

Actually, history may reveal that Lincoln declared war on the Confederacy to get them to become part of the Union. The evidence surrounding Fort Sumpter isn't in yet. Medical supplies were interpreted as weaponry and gave Lincoln a green light.

Still, Confederacy can't escape its association with the system of slavery. Lincoln didn't care about that in the beginning but he changed his mind in office.

The Confederacy wanted to declare themselves a country independent of the United States.
We should all be grateful that they never became one.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Nov 09 - 08:09 PM

As I understand it the Confederacy did declare themselves a country independent of the United States. The consequences at the time in the shape of war were appalling, and so was the aftermath of that war over a century and more, in the shape of continuing oppression of black Americans.

Perhaps it might have even been better if secession had been permitted. Perhaps slavery would have been ended in other ways, as happened over the following decades in other American countries such as Brazil. Nobody can ever know things like that.

The Confederate flag does of course have associations with slavery, and also with the oppression of black Americans over the years after slavery ended. But so does the flag of the United States. It's a guilt and a shame that has to be accepted and can be used positively, but only when it is accepted. And the same kind of thing is of course true of the flags of many, maybe most, countries.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Riginslinger
Date: 27 Nov 09 - 09:32 PM

"It's a guilt and a shame that has to be accepted and can be used positively,..."

                In any event, it's a development that can be used for positive purposes. It's hard to imagine an industrialized country today where slavery would even have a positive impact. One would have to educate the work force to a point where they would be able to function, and if that were done, it would be impossible to contain them as slaves.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Greg F.
Date: 27 Nov 09 - 10:22 PM

The Confederacy could just as well have have declared itself a ham sandwich. It was never recognized by the U.S. OR the rest of the nations of the world as a separate country.

Sorry, String, but South Carolina attacked U.S. Government property, not 'tother way round. And the ships with Gustavus Fox carried provisions only- no way they could have been interpreted as anything else. The Sumpter episode has been explored & documented pretty thoroughly.

Lincoln was simply following his inagural pledge to hold properties belonging to the government, and that beyond that there would be no invasion of the South or use of military force.

But Confederate apologists have got some mileage out of the "Lincoln manuvered the South into starting the war" shibboleth.

McGrath: so the current flag of thre German Republic is equivalent to the Nazi flag?


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: GUEST,999
Date: 28 Nov 09 - 01:20 AM

'"My [Lincoln speaking] paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume V, "Letter to Horace Greeley" (August 22, 1862), p. 388.'


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Ron Davies
Date: 28 Nov 09 - 01:04 PM

So, Greg, still no counter-theory. Interesting.

It's very simple.   Either you can come up with a theory to rebut mine--with logic, facts, sources, and direct quotes--or you cannot.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Greg F.
Date: 28 Nov 09 - 01:19 PM

Well, Simple, hows about the theory that you're a pompous, self-important, anti-historical, do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do arsehole?

You seem to think that a single quote from a single source somehow legitimizes and sanctifies whatever opinion you choose to expound upon.

One can cherry-pick quotes from a source or sources to support damn near any preposterous theory. But that's how cranks, not historians, operate.
Hence my mention of numerous works on topic which provide a more comprehensive, if more complicated, analysis & explanations - which you chose to ignore.

So fine - I'm tired of playing "Simple Seeker Says" with you - enjoy playing with yourself.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: maple_leaf_boy
Date: 28 Nov 09 - 02:02 PM

I don't think it's offensive. I saw a documentary which included
people who fly the Confederate flag, and they said that it's a symbol
of the Southern U.S. Their intent was not to offend anyone.
That's how I feel about the Confederate flag, it represents the South.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Nov 09 - 02:12 PM

"...so the current flag of the German Republic is equivalent to the Nazi flag?"

A case of Godwin's Law...

My point was that the sharp distinction between the Confederate Flag and other American flags is open to question. They have a shared history involving a tolerance of slavery and oppression of black Americans.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Nov 09 - 02:36 PM

Here's a piece I found which puts a different angle on all this.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 28 Nov 09 - 06:19 PM

Nice link, McGrath. As I've suggested, the flag's "meaning" is not fixed.

In terms of international recognition, of course the Confederacy was not a nation. In terms of its everyday functioning, of course it was.

Besides a flag recognized by the majority of the population, the CSA had a fully functioning government, a loyal populace, a known boundary, a national currency, a postal service, organized and uniformed armed services, a national constitution, and so forth.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Greg F.
Date: 28 Nov 09 - 06:50 PM

McGrath, are you being intentionally thick? Enough of the white supremecist, "Loyal Slaves", war was not about slavery, Sons of the Confederacy bullshit, please. The "Black Confederates" card has been played before;it was crap then, and its crap now. What's next, a screed on "Jewish Nazis?"

This nonsense has been categorically debunked over and over despite what a handful of deluded or psychotic individuals may contend.

The American National Flag - stars and stripes, whatever you want to call it- in its many incarnations (hint: the design of the flag at the time of the Civil War is not identical to the current flag) has flown in its 200 year plus year history over a nation that tolerated any number of anachronisms and atrocities to today's way of thinking. However, the Confederate Flag was created and used by those who went to war specifically to perpetuate the system of race-based chattel slavery that supported the social system and economy of the south. It does not "share a history" with other U.S. flags in any way, shape or form.

As for "I saw a documentary which included people who fly the Confederate flag, and they said that it's a symbol
of the Southern U.S. Their intent was not to offend anyone." I can direct you to any number of documentaries and websites of white supremecist, skinhead, neo-Nazi groups that say precisely the same things about their display of the Nazi flag.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Stringsinger
Date: 28 Nov 09 - 07:37 PM

This man is deeply deluded. His personal experience belies the hangings, beatings, killings and mistreatment of slaves in the South. He says:

"The war was not about slavery. The South had the constitutional right to secede. Confederate soldiers were battling for their homes and their families. President Lincoln was a despot. Most importantly, the victors write the history."

The idea that there was a Constitutional right to secede is bogus. It was a basic flaw in the Constitution that the Founders were aware of and predicted the eventual Civil War. This was in no way a war between the States. It was a war by the South against the United States. Confederate soldiers would never have allowed this man to become a doctor.
He had to opt for physical education because that was what was available to him and yet
he is in denial about that.

Lincoln was many things but not a despot. Bush was a despot. Lincoln had compassion
for the soldiers in the South and took great pains to see that the breach was healed after the conflict. Unfortunately as we find today, with delusions by this man, the healing has been replaced by a pseudo Southern defense of their misbegotten heritage.

It it tragic that we hear a point-of-view by this poor man who attempts to salvage his
family's history as an enabler of Southern slavery.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Nov 09 - 07:42 PM

While it may be true that the precipitating reason for the Confederate States to secede from the Union was slavery, the war aim of Washington initially, and for several years after the war had started, was not to end slavery, it was to "preserve the union". That was specifically stated by Lincoln.

And yet it is by no means clear that there is not an implicit right of secession in any federation. Thomas Jefferson seems to have believed there was: "If any state in the Union will declare that it prefers separation ... to a continuance in the union .... I have no hesitation in saying, 'Let us separate.'"

Loading all the guilt for slavery and racism symbolically on the Confederate flag, and implying that the Union flag (in its various adjustments over the years) does not share that symbolic guilt, is to distort history and involves a failure in some ways to face up to that history, which is a "shared history". Both flags have been flown at lynchings.

Flags are strange and dangerous cultural artefacts. If it is possible to retrieve them from those who would use them to propagate hate and prejudice, is that such a bad idea? In the UK the Confederate Flag is generally seen essentially as the regional flag of the South, in the context of music. I'd see that as positive.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Greg F.
Date: 28 Nov 09 - 10:25 PM

In the UK the Confederate Flag is generally seen essentially as the regional flag of the South, in the context of music. I'd see that as positive.

Its far from positive. Its ignorant and offensive. Its DOUBLY offensive when folks who have been exposed to the real history of this flag chose to ignore that history in favor of some fantasy.

McGrath, you cannot take a single statement by Lincoln the consumate politician and apply it unilaterally. You need to read the REST of his works including those from before the war.

Suggest you read Doris Kearns Goodwin's "Team of Rivals" to get a better understanding of the Lincoln administration.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Greg F.
Date: 28 Nov 09 - 10:42 PM

And Mcgrath, the only one who is "Loading all the guilt for slavery and racism symbolically on the Confederate flag" is YOURSELF.

What is being placed "on the flag" is only the justly deserved portion of the the ACTUAL - not symbolic - slavery, racism, and white supremacy the Confederate Battle Flag represented AS WAS INTENDED AND ADMITTED and evidenced by its creators.

The distortion of history is attempting to erase or whitewash (no pun intended) what the flag represented then as well as now.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Stringsinger
Date: 29 Nov 09 - 01:21 PM

Thomas Jefferson said a lot of things. He, like so many politicians, was not consistent.
He emended his famous speech about "watering the tree of liberty".

The difference in flying the American flag at lynchings and the Confederate flag has more to do with the intention of the lynchers. The Confederate flag being flown has a specific intention and that is to support a system of slavery and the inferiority of a race. The American flag has historically symbolized the opposite.

I think Jefferson would have understood Lincoln in the context of the Civil War and emended his statement.

I don't think that the UK in its entirety would consider the proposition that flying this battle flag would be a positive in light of the sociology of the US regarding its position on slavery.
In short, not one person can speak for an entire UK.


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 Nov 09 - 03:24 PM

The American flag has historically symbolized both. Which is true of the British flag as well.

When South Africa changed, and repudiated the nightmare apartheid era, it would have been very understandable if the new South Africa had abandoned all the symbols of that time. But it didn't. The flag was changed, true enough, but when it came to the new national anthem, that incorporated the both the African anthem "Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika" , and the Afrikaans anthem, "Die Stem". Changing a symbol to mean something new can be a better way of robbing it of its power to do damage.

Here's a reworking of the Confederate Flag incorporating the colours of African Liberation that make up the Southern African flag which was put together a few years ago that might bear considering using. (And here's an article about it.)


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Greg F.
Date: 29 Nov 09 - 05:32 PM

OK, McGrath, I give up- you ARE being wilfully thick & obtuse. Believe whatever fairytale you want. Perhaps you think you're being amusing or cute.

As far as "re-working" the flag, I seem to recall something about lipstick on a pig.

There are, however, quite a few in the UK who do see the Confederate Flag for what it actually is. Since you won't inform yourself by means of the published history works & the non-fiction sources pick up a copy of Ian Rankin's "Mortal Causes" some time. Or if that's too much trouble, watch that episode of the television series.

Of course, Rankin is a Scot...


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: Bobert
Date: 30 Nov 09 - 04:55 PM

Ya know... I was thinkin' about this will in North Carolina last week... Passions run very deep in the South and seems the further Sotuh you get the higher they run... There is a resentment that has been passed down... Some of it somewhat rational and some completely off the wall...

The Rational: Yeah, the Union made for some piss-poor victors... The war had allready turned when Sherman burned a 60 mile wide swath thru the South... What was that about??? And then after Appomatox the Union felt it needed to occupy the South until 1876 and would have stayed longer had a deal not been struck in the Hayes-Tilden election... Yeah, those sins are not easlyy disregarded...

The unRational: The "rebel flag" represents heritage, not hate??? Hey, here's what I'd like to see... Test all the folks who think that on their knowledge of history... I think that would put an end to this argument... Most of these folks think the 3 branches of government are: Anhauser-Busch, NASCAR and Walmart...

Nuff said...

B~


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Subject: RE: Rebel Flag meaning
From: GUEST,biff
Date: 01 Dec 09 - 04:21 PM

while others say don't hate nothing at all except hatred


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