TOM THE DANCING BUG - The True History of the Confederate Flag


#1

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#2

There is actually a flag of New England, dating back to the colonies and Revolutionary War:

I have seen neighbors flying it, and most folks don’t even know what it represents. It’s perfectly benign of course, I doubt anyone thinks it represents “Hatred of King George.” So, in theory, a region could have a flag that represents local pride without any dark subtext attached.

The Confederate battle flag does not fit that definition.

If Southerners really need to have a special flag for their region, then come up with one that wasn’t also used to justify slavery (and stop pretending the Civil War was about “states rights” . . .c’mon, states right to do what exactly? It’s not like they seceded because they wanted to print their own money or lower the age of consent.)


#3

It’s funny, because my American life has been Southern, and I actually like a lot of things about the American South, but I have never once felt that the rebel flag was an emblem that represented anything but racism and/or bigotry. What’s interesting is that in there is a lot to look for in the pre-civil war era flags of various states. I know a proud South Carolinian who pastes a palm and moon on just about everything. People from Georgia have long embraced the peach as symbol, even if it doesn’t go back quite as far as other symbols. There’s a lot more going on in the daily South than racism if you’re looking for a symbol.

Ah, the 8chan flag.


#4

On one level, a non-verbal symbol means whatever the person making/displaying the symbol wants it to mean.

BUT

The whole point of displaying a symbol is to communicate with others. And in the case of the Confederate flag (even presuming perfect sincerity from those who declare it a “cultural” thing) that communication is deeply, fatally flawed.


#5

Heritage not of Hate.


#6

Of course they DIDN’T believe in the rights of states to declare than any person who stepped on their territory was free…


#7

So, in theory, a region could have a flag that represents local pride without any dark subtext attached.

The Pacific Northwest, or Cascadia, has just this.


#8

My father’s got a confederate flag up somewhere outside or inside (basement or garage maybe) his house. He’s not a racist – he offers his opinion up enough that I’d know that by now – but while he’s in the south he’s not actually from the south either, so I don’t know what’s going on. I think it was to fit in with the few locals who actually venture up to the place which is way off the beaten path. Anyhow, he took it down and replaced it with this Bonnie Blue flag. It’s the next battle.

I’m afraid to ask for all the details. Maybe for his birthday I’ll get him a Conch Republic flag.

Lastly, comedian Jason Popp on the Stars and Bars: http://www.cc.com/video-clips/ev3kk4/stand-up-jesse-popp--stars-and-bars


#9

Here is a moment of catharsis from Dalton GA…


#10

HA! I was just about to post this same video.


#11

I saw it, and where it was filmed, and I was so totally not surprised they had a stupid rebel flag parade in their big ass trucks. I grew up near there, so… yeah.


#12

(I’ve actually been to Dalton, spent a few hours thrift shopping there on a long drive north from Florida.)


#13

That’s one thing small towns in the south have in abundance, pretty great thrift stores and flea markets. Also, come for the sweet tea…


#14

I grew up in the CSA(1), but emigrated to the United States when I got out of the military. I eventually settled in Wisconsin. There are quite a few people around here with the confederate flag plastered on their garage (such that it’s visible from the road) or on their vehicles (inevitably, pickup trucks.) I really don’t understand this. If I thought interacting with them wouldn’t be such a negative experience, I might ask them if they realized where they lived (i.e., Wisconsin and not even remotely part of the South) or if perhaps they were lost and needed assistance in returning to the CSA. I’d be more than happy to help them leave, of course.

(1) – For those unclear on the concept, the reference to CSA is what we call a “joke.”


#15

edit: he’s in the south for certain, but not originally from the south


#16

The thing is, I’m a Yankee, and I like the south, I’ve always enjoyed my time there-- pleasant weather, friendly people, good food-- it’s not like I hate the south. But insisting the Confederate flag is somehow separate from the war that introduced it to the world, a war that was fought over the right to keep other humans as property, is just being selfishly, deliberately ignorant, and flying that flag is just showing pride for being ignorant.


#17

Agreed. Although I’ve lived here since I was like 6 months old, I am too considered a yankee. I fully agree about the flag. It also whitens the definition of a southern, as if African Americans aren’t also southerners, as if they haven’t made important contributions to southern culture, etc. Well, of course they are. It’s really just white supremacy attempting to justify itself in another manner.


#18

A good analogy is the swastika. This has been a symbol used for many many centuries and has only been recently corrupted. Sure, the confederate flag may have been a symbol of regional pride but it was corrupted. And…in the same way I wouldn’t walk around sporting swastika a shirt and tattoos and then when people are offended say, “no, I’m referring to the Viking Age symbolism not the holocaust.” The confederate flag is a modern symbol of hate and you cannot override that.


#19

Not sure that’s a great analogy. The swastika has thousands of years of positive history behind it—it’s even been found carved into mammoth tusks. It was only associated with fascism very recently in that very long history. By contrast the Confederate battle flag was inexorably linked to racism and slavery long before it was ever proffered as a “symbol of regional pride.”


#20

If the South really sincerely wants a symbol of regional pride everyone can share in, then there’s already one that’s much more inclusive, and even stands as a testament to human achievement that the whole country can be proud of: