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Author Topic: Are all people carrying Confederate Flags Racists or Bigots?  (Read 8942 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: January 23, 2008, 02:12:08 AM »

I have to admit that everytime I see a person with a Confederate flag, I feel like I have to look around me to make sure I'm not kidnapped and sent to a secret KKK torture camp for Ay-rabs like me.

But then a friend of mine brought me to enlightenment on this issue.  He's half Chinese and half white, and he tells me his white mom simply uses the Confederate flag as a symbol of her proud Southern history.

So, the question I have for you is how often is it a representation of merely Southern pride and how often is it a symbol of bigotry and hate in the American South?

I know I put this in "other topics" but I figured this would be respectful enough where we don't turn this into a political debate as not my intentions.
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« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2008, 02:27:58 AM »

Probably depends on the person, I personally fly a Confederate flag because I view it like the Confederacy herself as the embodiment of the American ideal, of self-determination. Of course there were, in general, several flaws in American society at that time, both north and South, neither did anywhere near enough to protect personal freedom which we really only saw substantially expanded in the second half of the 20th century. But, from the standpoint of political philosophy and self-determination, the Confederacy represented the essence of the American ideal:

'That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.'
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« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2008, 02:30:53 AM »

I have to admit that everytime I see a person with a Confederate flag, I feel like I have to look around me to make sure I'm not kidnapped and sent to a secret KKK torture camp for Ay-rabs like me.

But then a friend of mine brought me to enlightenment on this issue.  He's half Chinese and half white, and he tells me his white mom simply uses the Confederate flag as a symbol of her proud Southern history.

So, the question I have for you is how often is it a representation of merely Southern pride and how often is it a symbol of bigotry and hate in the American South?

I know I put this in "other topics" but I figured this would be respectful enough where we don't turn this into a political debate as not my intentions.
Mina, I cannot tell you how much it bothers me seeing our dear symbols hijacked by racists.  I have several Confederate flags, but save for the American holiday (for those of y'all not familiar with American holidays) of Memorial Holiday when we honor those who have died in service of our nation, I keep it inside so as to avoid any offense to those of color.  I can tell you that your friend's mother is correct; it is a source of immense pride for people of Southern heritage.  Anyone who has traveled through the hallowed grounds of the South, you will encounter our glorious flag to some degree or another.   And so, rather than shrink back from it, read up on it from a Southerners' point of view.     
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« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2008, 02:37:19 AM »

As a Yankee, I see the Confederate flag as a distasteful symbol of slavery and rebellion. My forefathers fought in the war on the Union side against this flag.

I honestly do not understand why anyone would value it---but I'm a Northerner, so that is not a surprise.
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« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2008, 02:38:14 AM »

It depends on the individual. For some, Southern pride; for some the mark of a being a redneck (like in the back window of your pickup truck, as a nice scenic backdrop for the gun rack) - that could mean redneck in the fun sense of Gretchen Wilson's song and being conscious and proud of it or in the more ominous sense of being a hater; for some a sign of white supremecy; and for some because it looks cool (it is an nice looking flag aesthetically).

But very few, if any African-Americans can look at it without seeing slavery, Jim Crow and racism. For that reason I think it ought to be retired permanently by white people out of Christian decency.

I think whenever you see a confederate flag, as a person of Arab descent, you should keep a low profile and practice avoidance because you don't know if the person is the fun kind of Gretchen Wilson redneck, or a real racist who will wish you ill. Better safe than sorry.

When I lived in central Florida and occasionally would be at a convenience store late at night and the boys would pull up in a pickup with the confed. flag in back window all liquored up and whooping it up, I made my purchase in silence, avoided eye-contact and got out quickly. Didn't want to give away my accent as a yankee. Central Florida in 1981 was like stepping into the twilight zone and finding oneself in 1954.

South Carolina was a world of difference. I never once felt fearful in S. Car.
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« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2008, 03:14:03 AM »

As a Yankee, I see the Confederate flag as a distasteful symbol of slavery and rebellion. My forefathers fought in the war on the Union side against this flag.

I honestly do not understand why anyone would value it---but I'm a Northerner, so that is not a surprise.

Well, I can see your point as a Yankee, but as Yankees we also sorta give a lot of respect to General Robert E. Lee, who lead the Confederate South.
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« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2008, 03:15:38 AM »

As a Yankee, I see the Confederate flag as a distasteful symbol of slavery and rebellion. My forefathers fought in the war on the Union side against this flag.

I honestly do not understand why anyone would value it---but I'm a Northerner, so that is not a surprise.

The north was totally unjustified when they marched into the south destroying everything in their pathway. Lincoln was a racist tyrant along with General Grant the slave owner. I don't know how anyone can support what the north did. They totally devastated the south and half a million lives were lost as a result. To get the real facts about the war of northern aggression, you should check out a book called "The South was Right."
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« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2008, 03:29:48 AM »

The north was totally unjustified when they marched into the south destroying everything in their pathway. Lincoln was a racist tyrant along with General Grant the slave owner. I don't know how anyone can support what the north did. They totally devastated the south and half a million lives were lost as a result. To get the real facts about the war of northern aggression, you should check out a book called "The South was Right."

We actually agree on something...how often does that happen? Wink

Of course, one shouldn't forget about the atrocities of Sherman, Sheridan, and Pope either.
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« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2008, 03:43:15 AM »

Lincoln was a racist tyrant along with General Grant the slave owner. I don't know how anyone can support what the north did. They totally devastated the south and half a million lives were lost as a result. To get the real facts about the war of northern aggression, you should check out a book called "The South was Right."
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« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2008, 03:46:18 AM »

I'd agree; depends on the person.

I'm about as far away from redneck as you can get.  I've lived my entire life in TX and OK, though, and much of that in close contact with rural family and friends, so I've had enough exposure to it to understand why it's a source of pride for them.  The flag means being unsophisticated and proud of it to lots of good ol' boys.  To some it's pride in twangs, grits, and banjos -- cultural distinctives, in other words.

For me, it reminds me of what GiC stated: "the embodiment of the American ideal, of self-determination."  What that entails is a severely curtailed federal govt. (I feel the feds' encroachment especially as a teacher).  Really, though, since the battle flag is usually associated with things I won't touch with a ten foot pole (i.e., racism and bein' a good ol' boy), I prefer the flag below to stand for those ideals, as it resembles the Union flag, reminding us that it IS what the Union was MEANT to originally be, a hearkening back to the founding fathers...

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« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2008, 04:02:51 AM »

Well, I don't personally fly the battle flag, but neither do I fly the stars and bars. My preference is, in accordance with the Flag Act of 1865, for the third national flag of the Confederacy:

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« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2008, 09:23:01 AM »

Well, I can see your point as a Yankee, but as Yankees we also sorta give a lot of respect to General Robert E. Lee, who lead the Confederate South.
As one who is a alumnus of Washington and Lee University where "the General" was president for the last five years of his life and where he lies at rest, I can understand this sentiment. Under Lee Chapel are the the real Confederate battle standards he flew. That is history, not bigotry. (They are not what is symbolically flown today.)
I realize some do use a lookalike standard for nostalgic purposes, as if anyone remembers the South as it was - or if the southern way was worth remembering. I question the romanticism imagined. I have no ax to grind for either side, my family beginning to arrive here in 1871.
Personally when I see a 'Confederate flag flown - I DO think 'bigot', just as I feel when I go to the Homewood section of Pittsburgh and see 50 youths gathered, milling about on a street corner all dressed alike - bigots. I've seen the CSA flag flown up here in rural PA and can only think- bigot.

Anyone have a copy of the constitution of the CSA, BTW?
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« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2008, 09:53:54 AM »

The short answer to the question, "Are all people carrying Confederate Flags Racists or Bigots?" is simple.  No.  Not all.  Some?  Certainly.  Just as some people who wear crosses are racists and bigots.  And some people who wear a Star of David are racists and bigots.  Some people who wear red are, too.  As are some people who wear purple.  There are also people who carry the U.S. flag who are racists and bigots.  As well as some people who carry other flags.  No, not all people who carry or display a Confederate flag are racists and bigots.

My personal opinion, as a "Yankee" (born in Michigan) who has lived in the South for most of my life ... As many here in Alabama would say, "I haven't got a dog in this hunt."  My family are recent immigrants to the United States.  My father's family arrived here shortly before WWI and my mother is the first member of her family to live in the United States, having been a subject of the British crown until 1969.  So I have no real vested interest, beyond the historical.

My personal opinion regarding the so-called "Confederate flag" (and all of the flags and battle ensigns associated with the Civil war) is that it is a symbol of much more than slavery, racism or bigotry. That some idiots (and idiot groups) have co-opted this symbol to be used as something that it is not and was never intended to be is shameful.  Not unlike the ruination of the English language as words are co-opted by groups with an agenda (when was the last time you heard someone sing the lyrics from West Side Story, "I feel pretty. Oh so pretty. I feel pretty and witty and gay," without some young person snickering? 

I just am amazed by the double standard.  When some bleeding heart liberal wants to make a point about how awful the United States is, they burn a U.S. flag.  Then, in response to the controversy and outrage that generally follows they utter, "It's just a piece of material."

Unless that particular "piece of material" is a Confederate flag (or any flag that includes any part of any of the flags used by the CSA).  Then it is more than a piece of material.  Then it is a "symbol" of something "more."  Even when that something more is nothing like what they try to portray.

It is a travesty when the true meaning of any object or word is bastardized in such a manner.
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« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2008, 10:00:00 AM »

Are all people who fly the Stars and Bars bigots? No.

Are some people who fly the Star & Bars bigots? Yes.

Are some people who fly the Stars and Stripes, or Union Jack, or Maple Leaf, etc. bigots? Sure; happens with every flag flown.

I have only twice been harassed by people because of where I was from, even though I've lived in many places throughout the US but my accent is mostly that of the Midwest. Both places that people truly did not respect me as a person due to my external characteristics was:

-One of the times I was in London and my accent revealed me as an American (foolishly I answered 'yes' when asked; I should have said I was Canadian, and that would have been one ugly scene I would have been spared); and

-When I was in Canada and my driver's license gave me away.
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« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2008, 10:05:20 AM »

We actually agree on something...how often does that happen? Wink

Of course, one shouldn't forget about the atrocities of Sherman, Sheridan, and Pope either.

The real reason why y'all lost the war was because Jeff Davis was an idiot and wouldn't let Lee do what he wanted to.  If he had, Washington would have fallen and the Federal Government would have given up the fight (at least in the short-term).
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« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2008, 11:31:03 AM »

I'm originally from Texas, but moved to Georgia when I was six and lived there up until a couple years ago.  I also went to the University of Georgia, and while I was there, took a class called Reconstruction History- entirely about the reconstruction period after the civil war.  We read tons of primary sources from both the North and South, and the accounts were horrifying.  It doesn't surprise me that for so many people in the South, it's as though the war isn't over yet. 

My mother's family goes all the way back to the Revolutionary War, and are all Southerners.  There is a lot of pride there, and a lot of sorrow and suffering that is remembered from the war... after all, it's only been a few generations.  Memories of such devastation, poverty, sickness, and suffering reach through the generations and are still very much alive.  The war was so much more complicated than it seems on the surface.  Despite popular opinions, it really wasn't about slavery.  Slavery would have died soon anyway.  But the abolition of slavery, for those who suffered in it (and they did suffer terribly) was a miracle, and those feelings reach through the generations as well. 

I've had plenty of experience with Southerners from "high Southerners" all the way down to some very poor, uneducated "rednecks" in rural parts of Georgia.  My Dad had a restaurant out in rural Oglethorpe county, or as I fondly call it, "the armpit of America."  You can imagine how a Greek immigrant in that area was treated, especially after 9/11.  He had plenty of threats from the KKK before 9/11, but afterward was even worse.  He hanged a huge American flag on the outside of the restaurant, and on the inside he hanged a Greek flag with a map of the world with Greece circled, as well as an extra icon of Christ and a cross.  It was scary.  And what it came down to was ignorance on the part of those people- being intimidated by what they didn't understand.  But there is a culture of acceptance and pride in that type of community.  They proudly admit that they know nothing of the world outside the South, have no desire to learn, and staunchly refuse to even try and understand anything else.  It was quite a learning experience.

While it is sad that the Confederate flag has been hijacked by these types of people, it is a reality that is not going to change.  It was terrible how the North treated the South before, during, and after the war.  But for me, the abolition of slavery trumps any and every other issue surrounding the war and reconstruction.  And while the South did suffer terribly at the hands of the North, the slaves suffered more, and for longer.  I think it is important to be sensitive to that fact, swallow our pride, and put the flag in the closet. 

I try to relate it to the suffering of the Greeks at the hands of the Turks (as many countries suffered at their hands).  Most Greeks get their backs up when it comes to the Turks, and for good reason.  Imagine how we would feel if we were in the situation of African Americans- having a symbol of that suffering flaunted in front of us with pride.  It would be hurtful.  As Christians, I think it is most important to consider what they have gone through and put our pride away with the flag.  There are plenty of other symbols of the South that are less controversial and less hurtful.  We should try to focus on those instead.  Just my $.02.
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« Reply #16 on: January 23, 2008, 11:36:46 AM »

The north was totally unjustified when they marched into the south destroying everything in their pathway. Lincoln was a racist tyrant along with General Grant the slave owner. I don't know how anyone can support what the north did. They totally devastated the south and half a million lives were lost as a result. To get the real facts about the war of northern aggression, you should check out a book called "The South was Right."

Uh-huh. Without the Southern rebellion, no lives would have been lost. States' rights do not extend to enslaving human beings. If only Reconstruction had succeeded---but you can't change hearts and minds by force (as our current president has discovered).
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« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2008, 11:51:09 AM »

Anyone have a copy of the constitution of the CSA, BTW?

http://americancivilwar.com/documents/confederate_constitution.html

As to the OP question, I would say no. When I had time, I was a huge family historian/genealogist. My mom's family in part comes from the United States, and she is descended from one of the prominent Virginia families of Jamestown. I had relatives on both sides of the war....Revolutionary, Civil, War of 1812....to me having never been to the South, I personally do not have an issue with every case of the CSA flag being flown. In reality, it is not my place to answer such a question, I am not a Southerner.
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« Reply #18 on: January 23, 2008, 01:16:51 PM »

The north was totally unjustified when they marched into the south destroying everything in their pathway. Lincoln was a racist tyrant along with General Grant the slave owner. I don't know how anyone can support what the north did. They totally devastated the south and half a million lives were lost as a result. To get the real facts about the war of northern aggression, you should check out a book called "The South was Right."

Well sometimes God use evil people to take out evil people.  God used the racist North to punish the racist south. For the evil act of the racist south was more manifest, although the hatred of black people in the hearts were the same. The south engaged in an evil act, slavery, they used slaves for money.  I regard it as an unlawful form of income.   No different then the drug dealer on the corner of the street, the only difference between the two, the South used the Bible to jusifiy their evil actions, when Ham looked upon Noah's nakedness and Noah replied, Curse be Canaan a servert of servants shall he be.  They believed blacks were cursed, and thus destined to be slaves.

God has punished those who use His word to justify their evil acts.  So the outcome of the war was Good.  The slaves were freed, that was a good outcome.

I have racist in my family, and I utterly hate racism.

There is nothing wrong with be proud of your lineage and there is nothing wrong with being proud of your country.  But the true followers of our Lord Jesus Christ do not support evil no matter who does it.
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« Reply #19 on: January 23, 2008, 01:26:30 PM »

There are plenty of other symbols of the South that are less controversial and less hurtful.  We should try to focus on those instead. 
Like our famous hospitality and cuisine! Cheesy 

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« Reply #20 on: January 23, 2008, 01:32:45 PM »

Uh-huh. Without the Southern rebellion, no lives would have been lost. States' rights do not extend to enslaving human beings. If only Reconstruction had succeeded---but you can't change hearts and minds by force (as our current president has discovered).

But states' rights does extend to nullifying federal law and regulating tariffs (though any more only in theory, unfortunately)...and these were the primary reasons behind the war. Lincoln offered the South a Constitutional amendment (the proposed 13th Amendment) which would have changed the Constitution to make it clearly state that slavery a states' rights issue AND make it impossible to even propose the alteration or repealing of this amendment:

'No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish or interfere, within any State, with the domestic institutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of said State.'

The amendment was passed by the house and senate, but the south rejected this compromise and and seceded from the union, even though they knew the victory of their cause was doubtful...obviously slavery was not the primary issue at hand. In the end the issue was that 'Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government.' The federal government no longer had the consent of the Citizens in the southern states, thus the only appropriate and honourable course of action was secession, regardless of the likelihood of success.
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« Reply #21 on: January 23, 2008, 01:43:04 PM »

Like our famous hospitality and cuisine! Cheesy 

Hey, I used to live in Florida and North Carolina. I like barbecue and hush puppies as much as the next guy! (Though I've never been much of a fan of ham hocks and fatback  Wink).
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« Reply #22 on: January 23, 2008, 01:45:48 PM »

Like our famous hospitality and cuisine! Cheesy 



Southern Hospitality is awesome.  And they sure can cook.
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« Reply #23 on: January 23, 2008, 01:46:51 PM »

In the end the issue was that 'Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government.' The federal government no longer had the consent of the Citizens in the southern states, thus the only appropriate and honourable course of action was secession, regardless of the likelihood of success.

The "Right of the People" does not include only the Southern people. It was unlawful to unilaterally secede.
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« Reply #24 on: January 23, 2008, 02:08:09 PM »

By the way, has anyone bought that design off CafePress that says "Orthodox by Faith, Southern by the Grace of God!"??
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« Reply #25 on: January 23, 2008, 02:12:43 PM »

The War Between the States was about the expansion of slavery into the western territories and new states entering the union. The South did not accept Lincoln's ammendment proposal because it would have preserved slavery only where it already existed.

The South did not wish to become marginalized in Congress; the North was already exceeding them in population and the West soon would. The addition of all those free state senators would upset the balance in the Senate and they would be overwhelmed in the House of Representatives. The South would lose it's former pre-eminence in national politics.

Granted there were other issues and grievances with the Federal government; but it came down to, the "Peculiar Institution."
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« Reply #26 on: January 23, 2008, 02:19:38 PM »

The War Between the States was about the expansion of slavery into the western territories and new states entering the union. The South did not accept Lincoln's ammendment proposal because it would have preserved slavery only where it already existed.

The South did not wish to become marginalized in Congress; the North was already exceeding them in population and the West soon would. The addition of all those free state senators would upset the balance in the Senate and they would be overwhelmed in the House of Representatives. The South would lose it's former pre-eminence in national politics.

Granted there were other issues and grievances with the Federal government; but it came down to, the "Peculiar Institution."

If you look at the Confederate constitution linked to above, you will see that it expressly prohibits the prohibition of slavery in any new territory or state of the Confederacy.
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« Reply #27 on: January 23, 2008, 02:31:10 PM »

Article IV, Sect. 3:

The Confederate States may acquire new territory; and Congress shall have power to legislate and provide governments for the inhabitants of all territory belonging to the Confederate States, lying without the limits of the several Sates; and may permit them, at such times, and in such manner as it may by law provide, to form States to be admitted into the Confederacy. In all such territory the institution of negro slavery, as it now exists in the Confederate States, shall be recognized and protected be Congress and by the Territorial government; and the inhabitants of the several Confederate States and Territories shall have the right to take to such Territory any slaves lawfully held by them in any of the States or Territories of the Confederate States.


You'll also note the enshrinement of Dred Scott into the constitution in section 2:

No slave or other person held to service or labor in any State or Territory of the Confederate States, under the laws thereof, escaping or lawfully carried into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor; but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such slave belongs,. or to whom such service or labor may be due.

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« Reply #28 on: January 23, 2008, 02:42:20 PM »

Lincoln was not a racist. He was a pragmatist and federal unionist. At the beginning of his presidency, he was not going to sever the national union to end slavery, but he wished for its end. In the end, he DID in fact end slavery, however! Although it is nonetheless true that he went to war to preserve the national union and not to end slavery.

In weighing the actions of Sherman et al, one must weigh the cost of several more years of war and the death and destruction that would have caused vs. a swift and terrible end to a terrible conflict. Sherman also wanted to make sure that no one would ever be tempted again to withdraw from the federal union, so there was the aspect of making an example. William Bennet's History of the US states that Sherman's troups were very disciplined and although they cut their swath to the Atlantic, they did not rape and pillage and did not harm women, children and non-combatant males.

Also, every Confederate apologist states with such certainty that slavery would have ended eventually.
Well, what if it hadn't? Or what if the Confederacy had become South Africa on North American soil?

Finally, had the Union not prevailed, what would the history of the 20th century looked like? The Allies likely would not have won WWI or WWII. Either that or they would have had to revert to nukes in Europe as well as Japan in WWII. The United States and the Confederate States, even had their been some rapproachment, would not have been the same formidable foe in both world wars as the one United States of America was.
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« Reply #29 on: January 23, 2008, 03:09:18 PM »

OK, fellas.  Why don't we all just 'simmer down' and not force username! to move this into the politics forum?
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« Reply #30 on: January 23, 2008, 03:11:47 PM »

Yes. Just like the red flag with hammer and sicle is a symbol of the horrible Soviet Coommunist state, let it be cursed forever, the Confederate flag to me is a symbol of racial discrimination and slavery. If people think that it's just their heritage, etc., in both cases - I don't care.
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« Reply #31 on: January 23, 2008, 04:04:29 PM »

The real reason why y'all lost the war was because Jeff Davis was an idiot and wouldn't let Lee do what he wanted to.

You got that right.

Uh-huh. Without the Southern rebellion, no lives would have been lost. States' rights do not extend to enslaving human beings.

Actually...

Quote from: The U.S. Constitution, Article Four, Clause 3
"No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, But shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due."

God has punished those who use His word to justify their evil acts.  So the outcome of the war was Good.  The slaves were freed, that was a good outcome.

So the ends justify the means, then?

The "Right of the People" does not include only the Southern people. It was unlawful to unilaterally secede.

Citation(s)?  Source(s)?

By the way, has anyone bought that design off CafePress that says "Orthodox by Faith, Southern by the Grace of God!"??

Oh, you got me started on that one...ugh...what an ugly design -- I know that might offend if the designer reads this forum, but...really...wow -- The 3-Bar Cross is the 3-Bar Cross.  The St. Andrew's Cross is the St. Andrew's Cross.  Let's not warp either design by attempting to merge them somehow.

The War Between the States was about the expansion of slavery into the western territories and new states entering the union. The South did not accept Lincoln's ammendment proposal because it would have preserved slavery only where it already existed.

And so, in the footsteps of many other marginalized, powerless congressional groups throughout the almost 85 years of American history prior to 1860, the southern states exercised their right to leave a Union that no longer represented them yet still wanted to tax them.  Heavily.  (Boston Tea Party, anyone?)

Granted there were other issues and grievances with the Federal government; but it came down to, the "Peculiar Institution."

This needs to be extrapolated: it came down to the fact that the Federal Government wanted to end something, unilaterally, that it had no right to force states to accept.  As I showed above, it was understood that slaves and laborers were constitutionally the property of their masters under the laws of whatever sovereign state they lived in.

Do I delight in the fact that slaves were bought, sold, and abused under this rule?  No, of course not.  But neither do I think that an illegal invasion meant to force free men back into a Union that they had no desire nor obligation to support--and at the point of a bayonet, no less!--is any kind of solution to the problem.  Not only did Sherman and the like run roughshod over the South, but they did a "heckuva job" in providing those forty acres and a mule, yessiree... Roll Eyes

Lincoln was not a racist.

I disagree.  He met with Fredrick Douglass and several other prominent black leaders of his day in order to attempt to reach a sort of...well, not a "Back to Africa" movement, but a "Back to the Caribbean" movement, as he said it was better for the races to be separate.  He also stated in his first inaugural address (as well as a stump speech in '58) that he had no intention of ending slavery or bringing about the equality of the black man with the white man.

In weighing the actions of Sherman et al, one must weigh the cost of several more years of war and the death and destruction that would have caused vs. a swift and terrible end to a terrible conflict. Sherman also wanted to make sure that no one would ever be tempted again to withdraw from the federal union, so there was the aspect of making an example.

Well, he certainly did that.  No one's attempted to exercise that constitutional right since.

William Bennet's History of the US states that Sherman's troups were very disciplined and although they cut their swath to the Atlantic, they did not rape and pillage and did not harm women, children and non-combatant males.

I'd be interested in hearing what GreekChef's primary sources have to say about that.  I know I've met some descendants of that era who would beg to differ....

Also, every Confederate apologist states with such certainty that slavery would have ended eventually.
Well, what if it hadn't? Or what if the Confederacy had become South Africa on North American soil?

How could slavery not have ended with the South needing both England's and France's recognition of the CSA as a separate nation?  Both nations were VERY abolitionist at the time--they'd already cut off trade with Brazil because of the latter's slave status--so even if they DID side with the Confederacy in order to weaken an American superpower (which undoubtedly would have been to their liking), there's no WAY they would have continued to allow this new ally to continue receiving their help if slavery were allowed to continue.  It just would not have happened.

Finally, had the Union not prevailed, what would the history of the 20th century looked like? The Allies likely would not have won WWI or WWII. Either that or they would have had to revert to nukes in Europe as well as Japan in WWII. The United States and the Confederate States, even had their been some rapproachment, would not have been the same formidable foe in both world wars as the one United States of America was.

This I do agree with.  However, using events that happened later to retroactively justify wrongs committed in the past is like, well, trying to justify attacking someone because they "might" come after you.  Doesn't work.  In spite of the fact that good HAS come out of a forced Union, we need to remember how this country was originally set up--as a loose confederacy of states.  Losing that sense of sovereignty (and, thus, freedom) is what those who founded the colonies wanted to avoid at all costs.  I fear, though, that our forced habit of commitment to the federal juggernaut is too hard a habit to break.  These flags are some of the symbols that (should) help us remember how it was before.
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« Reply #32 on: January 23, 2008, 04:07:37 PM »



Finally, had the Union not prevailed, what would the history of the 20th century looked like? T

Harry Turtledove's alternative history novels, anyone?  Smiley
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« Reply #33 on: January 23, 2008, 04:27:49 PM »

Yes. Just like the red flag with hammer and sicle is a symbol of the horrible Soviet Coommunist state, let it be cursed forever, the Confederate flag to me is a symbol of racial discrimination and slavery. If people think that it's just their heritage, etc., in both cases - I don't care.
Heorhij, while I respect your opinion and your experiences, the OP is asking are ALL people who carry the Confederate flags racists.  Can we really see inside the hearts of ANY man or woman let alone ALL of them?  Afterall, if ALL people who carry or own a Confederate flag are racists how do you explain this photo? 
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« Reply #34 on: January 23, 2008, 04:31:18 PM »

The "Right of the People" does not include only the Southern people. It was unlawful to unilaterally secede.

It is the inherent right of any state, hell of any county, to secede. Government by the consent of the governed does not mean that I am somehow compelled to submit to washington because of the opinion of some bostonian, or submit to sacramento because of the opinion of someone from L.A. for that matter. These are the principles on which this republic are formed, these principles are the very basis of our declaration of independence from the British crown.

This is not only a right of the Southrons, it is also the right of those in the north or midwest or west. Every group of people has the right to disolve their government and form another.
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« Reply #35 on: January 23, 2008, 04:34:10 PM »

Harry Turtledove's alternative history novels, anyone?  Smiley

They ARE entertaining, to be sure!  Grin
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« Reply #36 on: January 23, 2008, 04:35:19 PM »

They are all good people.
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« Reply #37 on: January 23, 2008, 05:02:54 PM »

Finally, had the Union not prevailed, what would the history of the 20th century looked like? The Allies likely would not have won WWI or WWII. Either that or they would have had to revert to nukes in Europe as well as Japan in WWII. The United States and the Confederate States, even had their been some rapproachment, would not have been the same formidable foe in both world wars as the one United States of America was.

As long as we're discussing alternative history, without an allied victory in WWI there would have been no rise to power by the Nazi party and no WWII. So, it could be argued that a Northern victory in the War for Southern Independence was the reason for WWII, the holocaust, and the deaths of millions.
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« Reply #38 on: January 23, 2008, 05:12:45 PM »

As long as we're discussing alternative history, without an allied victory in WWI there would have been no rise to power by the Nazi party and no WWII. So, it could be argued that a Northern victory in the War for Southern Independence was the reason for WWII, the holocaust, and the deaths of millions.

Are you trying to tell us Lincoln was a Nazi?
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« Reply #39 on: January 23, 2008, 05:16:24 PM »

Are you trying to tell us Lincoln was a Nazi?

Well, not exactly...but now that you mention it...
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« Reply #40 on: January 23, 2008, 05:19:25 PM »

The first word that comes to mind when I see a Confederate flag is "traitor".

I do realize that most of those who fly the flag are not bigots. And although the South had the 'right' to secede, the Federalists also had the right to take back what was their's.
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« Reply #41 on: January 23, 2008, 05:23:06 PM »

As long as we're discussing alternative history, without an allied victory in WWI there would have been no rise to power by the Nazi party and no WWII. So, it could be argued that a Northern victory in the War for Southern Independence was the reason for WWII, the holocaust, and the deaths of millions.

Well.....you would have to prove that the War for Southern Independance also caused a Great Depression in the 1930s. The Allied victory wasn't the issue....mainly Chamberlain's stupidity and French revenge......another thread though.

Btw, I'm currently reading a alternative history novel where the British side with the Confederacy, no AK-47s involved.
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« Reply #42 on: January 23, 2008, 05:26:05 PM »

The first word that comes to mind when I see a Confederate flag is "traitor".

Funny, I hear the British think the same thing when they see ours.  If Boston's rebellion against Britain was justified on grounds of self-determination, it's manifestly hypocritical to deny the South the right to do so on the same justification.
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« Reply #43 on: January 23, 2008, 05:42:09 PM »

Oh, you got me started on that one...ugh...what an ugly design -- I know that might offend if the designer reads this forum, but...really...wow -- The 3-Bar Cross is the 3-Bar Cross.  The St. Andrew's Cross is the St. Andrew's Cross.  Let's not warp either design by attempting to merge them somehow.

Hehehe. I don't neccesarily disagree.....I just have this mental image of someone saying that phrase with a Southern twang.
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« Reply #44 on: January 23, 2008, 05:52:56 PM »

Heorhij, while I respect your opinion and your experiences, the OP is asking are ALL people who carry the Confederate flags racists.  Can we really see inside the hearts of ANY man or woman let alone ALL of them?  Afterall, if ALL people who carry or own a Confederate flag are racists how do you explain this photo? 

Well, on the second thought, let me modify my answer. No. The vast majority of them are. A few of them are misguided. Smiley
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