Regarding the letter ‘Confederate flag is emblem of slavery.’ The logic used in this argument is so obviously flawed that I felt compelled to respond. So, please excuse me for butting in all the way from over here in Australia. The author is right that the South was fighting to preserve the institution of slavery. However, this was only one of the many rights they were fighting for, namely, states rights.
If the South was only concerned with slavery the best way they had to preserve it was to remain in the Union. Lincoln himself had promised to make the institution of slavery permanent and unrepealable if the South would agree to remain in the Union.
In a nutshell, the South was fighting for what all Americans were fighting for in their rebellion against the British — the right to self-determination and self-government.
But regardless of all that, if you are going to single out the Confederate flag, and I assume we are really referring to the Army of Northern Virginia Battle flag (or Naval Ensign as most people confuse it with), where is the logic? If one really wants to pick a flag that is associated with slavery in America, the Stars and Stripes is the best choice. The slave ships that brought the slaves to America all flew the American flag.
Now if you are going to turn around and say, yes, but that was only a small part of American history and if you overlook that issue (along with other less desirable issues such as the genocide of Native Americans), the America flag stands for all things good in the world, you are right. I totally agree.
All history is based on good and bad. That is hopefully how one learns, from past mistakes. When people honor the American flag they are honoring the good things that have been done under it.
Just so you need to look at the good things the Confederate flags symbolizes. The fact that during its entire short lifespan the South embraced the institution of slavery and never progressed past that isn’t the fault of the South.
Lincoln and his invading army saw to it that the South could never mature and bloom into a great nation. I’m yet to discover any notable historian to thinks that the institution of slavery could of existed for much more than a decade or two even if the South had of won their independence.
As a re-enactor of the War for Southern Independence, I am yet to attend a reenactment where Confederate soldiers herd groups of black Americans around the field in chains.
I’ve seen plenty of battle flags flying proudly, however. It’s pretty obvious what the flags symbolize to re-enactors and to all proud Southern people. Courage, pride and the determination to fight on in the face of a numerically superior foe.
Now, you tell me these are bad things to honor.
Capt. Greg Kealy
Co. G Rainforest Rangers
37th Texas Cavalry