Sunday, August 02, 2009

My Flag Too

The Confederate battle flag. How so many people love to hate this banner! I used to be one of them, being Black and all, but over the years I've come to really like this much maligned symbol. Before you throw stones at me or call me an oreo, hear me out.

First, I like the Confederate battle flag (CBF) for purely aesthetic reasons. I just think it's a beautiful image. I love the mix of colors, stripes, and stars. I was fascinated to learn several years ago that the stripes in the CBF are actually a form of the cross called the St. Andrew's or saltire cross. This is the cross on Scotland's national flag and was chosen for the Confederacy largely because the majority of White Southerners were of Scottish descent. I believe it was an appropriate choice as the saltire works to produce a most delightful treat to the eyes. But, aesthestics aside, what about the CBF'S history as a symbol of slavery and racial injustice, many will ask. Doesn't the Confederate battle flag's association with racism offend me? In a word, no.

The notion that the Confederacy's battle banner is uniquely linked to racism is something that I've never understood. It's like the people who promote that idea don't know anything about history, or just don't care because they're too busy making political hay out of the CBF. But the fact is that there is nothing uniquely racist about the Confederate battle flag, and those who claim there is are being profoundly hypocritical. If liberals hate the CBF because it supposedly symbolizes slavery and racism, then why don't they hate every flag that has ever flown over a slaveholding nation, and every symbol ever used by racist groups?

I mean, if the Confederate battle flag is to be despised because of its association with the slaveholding South, then what are we to make of the Star and Stripes? America's national flag waved over a slavery practicing country just as surely as the CBF did. It also waved over a country that was steeped in racism long after slavery was abolished. And that racism was not confined to the South. A documentary on Malcolm X revealed that when he was born in Nebraska Klan membership there was "five times higher than in Mississippi". Is Nebraska's state flag hated because of that unsavory fact? Of course not.

And what about the Muslim flags?

Arab Muslims started trading in African slaves hundreds of years before Europeans did. Yet today Arab Muslims aren't ashamed of their flags; they don't look at them as symbols of a despicable past. But if symbols matter, and if moral consistency matters, shouldn't they be? Wouldn't they be?

The hatred of the Confederate battle flag has nothing to do with morality. It's about a liberal, anti-White ideology and I embrace the CBF as a form of resistance to that ideology. Unlike many liberals I'm a genuine anti-racist. I don't believe in being racist against anyone, including White people. So, irony of ironies, claiming the CBF as my own is, for me, part of opposing racism. But there's another, simpler reason why I like the Confederate battle flag.

I like the CBF just because I'm a Southerner. The Confederate battle flag isn't a symbol of the slaveholding South; it's a symbol of the South, period. Black Southerners are Southerners. We are part of the South and Southern culture is as much ours as it is the slaveholders'. Black Southerners are as conservative as White Southerners. We're proud of the fact that the South is known as the Bible Belt. Yes, we've been influenced by the anti-traditionalist ideology of modern liberalism, but we still hold traditional, Bible-based, Southern values as the ideal to aspire to. The Confederate battle flag's haters forget that the CBF represents those now embattled values more than it represents anything else. Those are values anyone, White or Black, can believe in. And that's why, even though I'm Black, the Confederate battle flag is my flag, too.


Anonymous said...

you are so right about the flag. If people want to be critical about a flag, they need to be consistent and be critical about all flags.....sheesh...what morons people can be.

Seane-Anna said...

Thanks for your supportive words, Robert.

Jane said...

You're just being intentionally naive. 9/10 chances that flag is used by rednecks to describe their feelings about blacks. Please don't be so oblivious. This reminds me distinctly of a European group whose symbol was the swastika described for the same reasons you did, because it looks pretty and because it is a symbol of "peace."

You're trying to make excuses for the millions of republicans idiots who use that flag.

FYI its also a symbol of separtism aka NOT American. But its the liberals that are anti-American lmao.

Seane-Anna said...

Jane!!!! You're back and still ignorant. Woohoo! Let me cut to chase with you, girl.

If you hate the Confederate battle flag because of it's association with racism, what do you make of the Stars and Stripes? The Stars and Stripes has been displayed prominently in Klan rallies. That makes it as much a symbol of racism as the CBF, doesn't it? So what are you going to do with America's national flag, Jane?

And why do you assume that the people who use the Confederate battle flag are Republicans? You're really showing your ignorance, Jane. If you want to be taken seriously as a fair minded person you need to dump your kneejerk partisan stereotypes. And try picking up a history book!

The Republican party was the party of Blacks for nearly 100 years. A higher percentage of Republicans than Democrats voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964. And the segregated South was known as the Solid South, solidly Democratic.

George Wallace, former governor of Alabama who infamously tried to stop the integration of the University of Alabama by standing in the doorway of Foster Auditorium, was a Democrat.

Robert Byrd, Senator from West Virginia, was a Democrat when he joined the KKK in 1942. He was a Democrat when he said he would "never fight...with a Negro by my side". And he was a Democrat when he filibustered the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for 14 hours. But, Jane, you don't have to go back that far to find instances of Democrats being racist.

For two years during the Bush administration, Democrats effectively fillibusteted Alberto Gonzalez's nomination as the nation's first Hispanic Attorney General. One of the "problems" cited for Gonzalez was that he was Hispanic. These are the same Dems who now sanctimoniously warn Republicans not to oppose Sotomayor's nomination to the Supreme Court.

And just a few weeks ago Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, Democrat, said that Washington DC has a high abortion rate because it's population is disproportionately Black. Imagine, Jane, how a liberal like you would've reacted to such a statement if Rush Limbaugh had said it.

You need to retract your statement that only "republicans idiots" use the Confederate flag. But I know you won't because the malicious myth that racism is peculiar to Republicans serves a special purpose: it lets you and other liberals feel morally superior without having to actually DO anything moral. How convenient.


On the issue of separatism I'll say this: I oppose secession, but I reluctantly recognize there are instances where it might be necessary. And I believe that secession is far more intellectually and morally honest than staying in the Union and rooting for America's enemies, as liberals have done at least since the Vietnam War. And yes, it IS the liberals who are anti-American.


I love the way you casually use the slur "redneck" like it was a term of endearment. Like I said, liberals are anti-racist only when the targets of racism aren't White.

Jane said...

Spin away SA. Twist your facts and simplify the history of the democratic and republican parties and don't dare try to comprehend the fact that we are talking about ideologies not party. In the world of TODAY republican and conservative are one and the same. The party's base is basically a fringe group who will believe anything. So yes, Republicans are the most racist, and they are the majority of rednecks. I've lived with and went to school with these people for 18 years, I know how foul they are, I know where they stand. "Damn liberal" and "Hang a n....r!" their two favorite slogans. So don't you dare try to capitalize on your stereotypes of what you think someone like me should know. You live in your own reality. You defend a racially charged movement and support a flag that is used by millions of redneck racists without any knowledge or history to comprehend what that flag means and you make one garbage post after another for the sake of being controversial. Well congratulations on being different.

Lets get this one thing clear before I leave. You will ALWAYS see the world the way you want to see it and not how it truly is and that is beyond scary and beyond sad. I feel sorry for this country for having deal with the radicalist shit people like you create.

Skunkfeathers said...

Jane, you shot your counterargument in the foot right at the outset, claiming the argument was about ideologies and not parties, whent it was you who made the claim that the Confederate flag was the banner under which "millions of republicans" rally against blacks.

Your own spin rhetoric undermines your debate credibility here. And your concluding cut at Seane-Anna in your "rebuttal" refuses to acknowledge your own slanted, self-biased view of the world. Therein you basically say "Seane-Anna is wrong because of her twisted beliefs, and I'm right because of mine".

Seane-Anna is factually correct on the political-ideological breakdown that defined the South for so many years after the Civil War.

Now, by the logic of the argument you've employed here -- and I remember an earlier one in this blog, where you accused Seane-Anna of being racist when she criticized Obama, and then called her a liar when she said she was black -- have you just revealed yourself to be a racist, by spewing hate toward a black woman with a conservative opinion?

That's not spin, Jane: it's a straight on question. If Seane-Anna can't criticize someone of another race without having you label her "racist", how can you criticize her without being what you claim to loathe?

You're better served by saying that you and Seane-Anna have fundamental differences in your political view of the world at large, and leave it at that, since it's obvious you're not going to swing her to your view, or vice-versa.

JMK said...

Great points, but it should also be noted that many blacks fought FOR the Confederacy during the Civil War;


And it should be noted that the Irish slave trade was even more cruel and savage and that until the late 18th Century, there were more Irish SLAVES (NOT indentured servants but actual slaves) than African slaves.





There is so little taught about the Irish slave trade today...probably because it shows that slavery itself is NOT a permanent handicap unless one allows it to be by wallowing in it.

GREAT post!