Confederates are not Nazis

By Timothy Mahar
Contributing Writer
Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Editor’s Note: This article is in response to Freedom Whiting’s article, “Confederate Flag No More Honorable than a Swastika.”

Comparing the Confederate States of America to Nazi Germany, as was once done in these pages, is not what I would expect of a university newspaper.

Confederates were Americans too. Let us not forget that they died fighting for “another” America, though one with a nearly identical vision, and they lie buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

Descendents of these same Confederates then rose again and helped defeat the Nazis, to whom they are unjustly compared. At this very moment, yet another generation of Confederates is fighting on the other side of the globe against terrorists.

I’m a Northerner whose 5th great grandfather fought in the War of 1812, whose 4th great grandfather, with the Michigan 16th Infantry, was wounded by the rebels at First Cold Harbor, Virginia in 1862 and whose grandfather with the U.S. 5th Army was wounded by the Germans in World War II at the Battle of the Bulge. I do not speak lightly on this subject, but I abhor a lack of understanding of our history.

Yet, an academically corrupt writer penned a piece claiming the rebel flag “never historically represented” the Confederate States of America “as a nation.”

This is only correct if one ignores 1863-1865 when the 2nd and 3rd national flags of the Confederacy flew. Anyone knowledgeable of history should be disturbed by the comparison of the Confederacy to the Nazis. Anyone from the South should be deeply offended. The Nazis had the murderous SS. The Confederates had “good ol’ boys.”

The Civil War was a war not about slavery but about secession. The Emancipation Proclamation was merely a tool to prevent the British from recognizing the South as a sovereign nation. The North fought to hold the country together. By releasing slaves as they marched south, the Union soldiers methodically took apart the South’s workforce, crippling the Confederacy and it’s ability to stand alone..

The Confederate flag was carried into battle by southern men, 95.2% of whom did not own slaves, but were fighting for their country to remain free under their own constitution which was written remarkably similar to the original U.S. Constitution.

True, the Confederate flag reminds us of a country divided, but that is our history and we owe it to ourselves to know it well.

Use of the Confederate flag by any group other than the Sons of Confederate Veterans is simply meaningless and has no bearing on the Civil War. The flag represented a united South, since that is what the definition of a confederacy is. Hitler wanted nothing to do with the Confederate flag inasmuch as it was a symbol of limited government and states’ rights.

As for the dislike of the Confederate flag, Fla. and Ala. bear the same St. Andrew’s cross, Mississippi and Georgia both fly confederate flags, and the Texas flag is the flag of the Republic of Texas (good luck telling Texas to change that). So shouldn’t these come down to?

No. The Confederacy is the heritage of the South and still exists as a living part of the Union. Doubt me? Any Southerner will proudly tell you that they are a Southerner. That same sense of pride and place exists nowhere else, certainly not in my native North.

Freedom Whiting seems disturbed that the World War II Marines from Rebel Company, after shelling from the USS Mississippi, became the first to take the Japanese command post underneath Shuri Castle at Okinawa, Japan, and led by a company commander from South Carolina (the first state to secede), raised the Confederate Flag.

I see no problem here, though obviously the U.S. flag should have flown as well.

True, U.S. Gen. Buckner, direct descendent of Confederate Gen. Buckner, ordered the flag to come down but he also said “OK, now let’s get on with the war.”

Apparently he sensed some things were more important than which flag was flying. 12,000 died taking that island from Japan. Gen. Buckner, only days later, was one of them. We do not honor his service when we forget why he was there.

Nor do we honor those who fight evil around the globe at this very moment when we allow ourselves to be distracted by something like this and away from supporting our troops.

That isn’t my America. That isn’t us, that’s not our roots. Know your history. Support our Troops.

© 2010 The Voyager

On The Web:   http://www.thevoyager.net/opinion/confederates-are-not-nazis-1.2192744