Confederate flag no more honorable than swastika

By Freedom Whiting
Contributing Writer

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

You see it on bumper stickers. You see it on T-shirts. You even see it waving over some state capitals.

Yep, you guessed it: the Confederate flag, otherwise known as the rebel flag.

While some consider it a symbol of racism and bigotry, others contend that the Confederate flag is a symbol of southern culture and heritage.

But whose heritage? The rebel flag that we see now never historically represented the Confederate States of America as a nation. And let’s be real: The Civil War was about slavery.

People will say, “No, the war was about state’s rights.”

Yeah, state’s rights to own slaves!

South Carolina planter and state Senator John Townsend said, “Our enemies are about to take possession of the government, that they intend to rule us…according to the declared purposes of abolishing slavery.”

Yes, there were other minor ingredients involved in southern secession, but slavery was the meat of the corned beef sandwich from hell that was the American Civil War.

There is a southern culture that should be celebrated — like hospitality, college football, cornbread and chicken. Not racism.

Though proponents of the flag claim it has no political or racial connotations, they really don’t seem too eager to stop hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan or the Aryan Nation from waving the rebel flag proudly.

I’m sure that the Jewish citizens of Germany would not like to see Nazi flags being waved across the country.

In fact Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has stated Germany’s official policy is not to “tolerate any form of…anti-Semitism.”

It’s a criminal offense! Ah, aren’t you glad that we have freedom of speech in this country?

Now there is nothing wrong with showing regional pride. I’m very proud of my southern roots.

Yet images such as the Confederate flag remind most Americans of a country divided. Take the Battle of Okinawa during WWII.

After the battle, a Marine from the self-proclaimed “Rebel Company” raised a Confederate flag over one of the castles.

After three days, Gen. Simon B. Buckner, Jr., son of Confederate Gen. Simon B. Buckner, gave orders for the flag to be taken down, stating that it was inappropriate because “Americans from all over are involved in this battle.”

Not to mention, why wave a flag of the nation that lost and ultimately no longer exists?

Those Confederate images caused problems here locally. From 1972 to 1977 Escambia High School was riddled with race riots after the all-white school was forced to desegregate.

Blacks and other students protested the racially over-toned school song “Dixie,” the Col. Reb school mascot and the use of the Confederate flag during school events.

In 1973, the federal courts ruled the images were “racially insensitive.” After more violence ensued, students eventually voted to have “Gators” become the school mascot. Go Gators!

Still, I know that as long there is Hank Williams, Jr., Lynyrd Skynyrd, and the great state of Mississippi, the Confederate flag isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Though I miss those days after September 2001 when all you saw on bumper stickers and T-Shirts were flags of the United States of America.

© 2009 The Voyager

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