The stars and stripes may soon have to be removed from America’s landscape. This measure is unavoidable if political propaganda continues to influence the measure Americans use to judge symbols. Currently, the Confederate flag is falling rapidly from flagpoles everywhere due to the malice it is thought to represent. There was a numerable amount of mistakes committed under the stars and bars; however, mistakes are no stranger to the U.S. flag. What must be determined is what measure of judgment we will use to analyze the meaning of symbols. This measure should remain consistent among the evaluation of all symbols. When a right judgment is applied, the Confederate flag can be justly recognized for the decent attributes behind its founding.
Developing your measure means deciding what you will recognize in a symbol. If, for instance, you conclude that the Confederate flag is a symbol of slavery, you must then judge the stars and stripes in a like manner, according to the atrocities committed under it. Wrongdoing under the U.S. flag may seem a novel revelation, but common knowledge of history demonstrates otherwise.
During the war against state sovereignty, the Emancipation Proclamation was enacted by the United States. This was intended to injure the South by causing slave rebellion and fleeing. Being heavily industrialized, the South would find itself short handed on labor, as most slave-holders owned slaves (wrongfully) for economic reasons. Note that slavery was not a prided cultural issue, but an economic issue. With "free" slaves now fleeing to the North, the U.S. began to draft policies to keep "freed" Southern slaves in the South. Most historians note that talk was even mustered in the North to ship slaves to other territories and countries. The average Northern white-man was so apprehensive over an incoming of Negroes that huge draft riots broke out in places such as New York City. Many U.S. citizens could not understand fighting to free a people, supposedly inferior to them, who would soon add to the competition for land and wealth. Also, due to the Union position that blacks were inferior to whites, black soldiers were paid far less than white soldiers. This type of fascism, especially on the part of the U.S. government trying to keep Negroes out of, or at least inferior to, their population is the same type of disregard for humanity that invokes slavery. The principals behind the Emancipation Proclamation, under the stars and stripes, proved themselves to be of the same level of bigotry that is still inferred to be representative of the stars and bars.
Even though the C.S.A. was now branded as pro-slavery and the U.S. continued to politically propagandize the issue, the U.S. would not relent in its own fascist ways. The Dawes Severalty Act was brought about by a congress flying the stars and stripes in 1887. This act would eventually hand millions of acres of tribal land to the U.S. white man. Measures were included in the act to encourage Indians to separate from tribes. Legislators intended to civilize the Indian, viewed as a savage race, trying to make the Indian like the whites, and acquire tribal land for whites in the process. Perhaps this was viewed as a less labor intensive measure than the ongoing slaughter of Indians by the U.S. cavalry. Either way, an act under the stars and stripes proved itself to be based solely on a bigoted, fascist viewpoint of another race.
Not having learned from past mistakes, a U.S. government flying the stars and stripes would once again impose fascism on another race during World War II. Japanese people in the United States, many of whom were native born Americans, were isolated from society by the U.S. government for fear that they might disavow their commitment to the U.S. in order to join the cause of Japan, thus reeking havoc on U.S. soil. Japanese people in the United States were sent to "camps," imprisoned , not for crime but for ethnic descent. This infringement of rights was based solely on cultural heritage and race. Once again, people acting under the stars and stripes committed the same atrocity that the Confederacy is accused of.
Today, the federal government owns huge amounts of state land across the "U.S." (some is confederate land). This is one example that demonstrates federal control over state sovereignty alongside the actual war against state sovereignty. Legislation and policies enacted by recent congresses extends federal power to obtain land to an almost infinite degree. Again, legislation enacted under the stars and stripes proves to be a hypocrisy to its own purpose. This is another occurrence of people acting under a symbol. Today, considering today’s actors of legislation, we must decide with what measure we will use to judge the symbolism of the current United States flag.
I am positive that when my grandfather went to erect the stars and stripes on the side of his house on Veteran’s Day and the Fourth of July, the tears welling up in his eyes were not brought about by thoughts of atrocities committed under the U.S. flag. Rather, he, having served twice in the military to defend America, admired the freedom and liberty for which it stood. What he poured into the meaning of the flag is what he was willing to fight for because its symbolism was something that struck his heart’s admiration. Likewise, the Confederate flag is designed around admirable attributes. The X-shape in the Confederate flag, for instance, is the same shape of the cross that Andrew, one of Jesus’ first disciples, was crucified on. Far from owning cotton fields and slaves, Andrew is noted for bringing his brother to Jesus (John 1:41-42). Most of today’s confederates don’t even own cotton fields, and any good hearted one abhors slavery. The Confederate flag they wave is a symbol of what is right, just, free, and moral. These are the same attributes my grandfather saw in the stars and stripes.
If a Confederate constitutional convention could be held today uninterrupted by U.S. bullets and battering-rams, you would see the decent, kind, and loving heart of today’s confederate put into writing. Just as the U.S. constitution had to be ridded of racist, bigoted clauses, so too will the C.S. constitution when the opportunity arises. People should be led to respect southern heritage and its symbols by this realization. It is no less than spit on a grave to dishonor men and women who fought and died for a nation by misrepresenting the flag under which they struggled. The time has come to stop stereotyping an entire people and their symbols based simply on what a few ill-minded persons did while displaying that people’s flag.
Should you regard the Confederate flag for the slavery taken place under it, don’t forget to regard the U.S. flag for the atrocities committed under it. If you seek the truth as to what representation and meaning is behind a flag, learn the history and current devotion about the principals of those who fly it. One day, when history-twisters, self-serving politicians, penny-flute media, and federal indoctrination institutions (sometimes called public schools or institutions of higher learning), stop espousing cultural and racial differences and conflicts based on stereotype, even the Confederate flag may see justice. Let’s stop the bigotry and hate by using a right measure. Let’s have respect for that which is respectful. Jump off the bandwagon of misrepresentation and think for yourself according to the truth. Black, white, red, yellow, or any combination, you are called to pursue truth and liberty. Put your mind and judgment to where the truth is revealed.
This article may be reproduced only in its original entirety, form, content, and context. M. Bopp–2002.