Is The South Finally Joining The UNION?

 

 

battle flagPINIMAGE

Is The SOUTH Finally Joining The Union?

I recently, started a heated debate between a few of my favorite (and most intelligent) gentlemen friends.

 

It began by sharing, on Facebook, something like this: “South Carolina Takes Down Confederate Flag”, adding my teaser ‘What say you?’

 

Oh boy.

 

I asked right?

 

One person said he was surprised by my additional response: Ban Away.

 

He asked ‘Why?’

 

So here you go…

 

The Southern Cross is a symbol.

 

Symbols have power in that they convey ‘meaning’ and ‘intent’ and often ‘pride’.

 

We all have them/ wear them/ fly them/ stick them on our cars.

 

They are short ‘code’ for quickly expressing a personal opinion.

 

I may not agree with your personal point-of-view on a subject but I defend your right to express it.

 

Fly your freak flag.

 

God love You.

 

But this Flag (which is not EVEN the STATE FLAG of South Carolina!) flies over a public space- a space that is supposed to represent all of it’s citizenry in equal measure and without malice.

 

Let’s break it down:

 

The Confederacy, in a historical context, believed it had the Right to secede from the larger Union.

 

They had their reasons: Economic, Diplomatic, Economic.

 

They attempted to do so, a war was fought, and they were declined succession.

 

In an attempt to break the Confederate economy (and influenced by the moral outrage of such) the United States government enacted the Emancipation Proclamation which led to the ratification of the 13th Amendment in 1865.

 

And yet, and yet…

 

The Confederate battle flag was still flown over courthouses that newly freed black citizens entered seeking equal justice.

 

The Confederate battle flag was still flown over the chambers that laws were written in.

 

The Confederate battle flag was still flapping in the wind.

 

It’s current supporters argue that it represents their History.

 

It does.

 

It’s current supporters argue that History will change without the reminder overhead.

 

It will not.

 

Your state still built it’s economy on the backs of enslaved humans until 1865.

 

Your history will remain. No one’s not going to teach it. The school books will still cover the subject. No one’s requiring you to break up the farm in restitution.

 

Now, for the classic American knee-jerk reaction:

 

I could not care less what Walmart decides to sell. Their decision to remove all items with this symbol on it is kabuki theatre. It’s a monetary decision to increase customer loyalty- it does not have any REAL meaning.

 

I could not care less if you choose to fly your grandmother’s girdle off your front porch, or dress-up your pitbull in Confederate Grey for the Memorial Day parade.

 

I could not care less what you believe, what motivates you.

 

I can’t do a damn thing about changing your heart, or your intellect, or who your daddy was.

 

What I DO CARE ABOUT is the fact that this flag is a symbol of bad policy, flawed moral character, abhorrent economic practices and cost the lives of 100s of thousands of people.

 

And don’t go getting out your pocket Constitution and reading me the wisdom of States Rights.

 

That’s not what this is.

 

Do what ever you want on your own damn property, but when I walk into a government space (which by it’s very nature is public), a place that determines the fate of ALL, what’s JUST and what’s NOT- for ALL, I can’t get my head around the logic of waving a symbol that represents the opposite of LIBERTY, and expecting it’s continued presentation to go unchallenged.

 

Can I just call this for what it WAS?

 

The Big One Finger salute.

 

To all of the rest of the Country.

 

Made by a group of antiquated boots-down grey-haired old white men that are still pissed they lost the War.

 

A War they started.

 

It’s over.

 

We’ve moved on.

 

Time to join the Union.

Is The SOUTH Finally Joining The UNION?PINIMAGE

Is The SOUTH Finally Joining The UNION?

 




  • Tammy - BRAVO. I have never loved you more. Which is saying a lot. I wonder how the conversation would go if the flag were Hitler’s flag and a sector of the German population wanted to fly in in public places to commemorate their “history”. Give me an effing break. This is a care of a bunch of bigoted sore losers who haven’t managed to understand that the country slammed their archaic ideas to dust and moved forward. Fly your damn flag in your own yard so that everyone can know that you support a time when you stood on the wrong side of history.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - 1865- 2015. Time to change the game.ReplyCancel

  • Diana @ Nanny to Mommy - I am from Georgia, still live there. But I agree, that flag should NOT have been on a government building. You don’t see the British flag everywhere in the US, why fly the losing side? I think if you want to fly that flag in your own front yard, you have that freedom, but it should have been removed. This whole debate really is just taking focus off the real debate, which should be gun control, in my opinion.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - And sooooo many other important issues! But this is a step in the right direction. I wouldn’t NOT want to address this (I’m sure you would agree).ReplyCancel

  • Roshni - I actually always thought that the flag was more about the southern heritage etc etc rather than just about slavery until Facebook told me otherwise!
    You always express to well what I’m thinking – fly your flag on your front porch but don’t expect to have it on a public/govt building!ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - I think for many people it IS about Heritage- and that’s fine. Do what you want in your own space, but not in a place that is supposed to be neutral/color blind/ without prejudice, because for so many others it symbolizes hatred.ReplyCancel

  • Carol Cassara - Hubby, who always breaks things down to the basics, said, simply:”They lost. Take the flag down.”
    Of course he went on to talk about the Nazi flag, etc, too, but I had to enjoy his basic premise.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Exactly what my husband said, but I didn’t want to frame it in the space of winners/losers, because I think there is still a sore spot about the outcome in the South, unbelievable as that may sound.ReplyCancel

  • Cary Vaughn - I only have one resounding this to say to this very well stated argument: WORD!ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - WORD back at ya Wordmeister! Love ya Cary!ReplyCancel

  • K. Lee Banks - Excellent post. Not sure why those so vehement in support of THAT flag don’t see it for its actual symbolism.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - They’re still looking for their balls- the ones they lost in 1865.ReplyCancel

  • Tamara (@PenPaperPad) - I’m from West Virginia where that flag flies all the time. I’ve always felt like it was a barrier between me and the person who was wearing it, flying it. It doesn’t really matter what the intention is to me. I remember seeing things like “The South Will Rise Again” and the flag was used as a symbol then too. I’ve always found it uncomfortable that it flies on state capitol buildings. That says immediately to me, “Do Not Enter.”ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Yes- Do Not Enter. And ‘You’re Inferior’ and ‘I’m The Boss’ and ‘I Don’t Acknowledge You’, etc. All wrong. All beyond hurtful. They make everyone small- especially the originator. I’m glad it’s coming down. It should never have been flown in the first place. What bullshit.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa at Grandma's Briefs - This is exactly what I love about you: Telling it like it is!

    This, most telling and true: “…this flag is a symbol of bad policy, flawed moral character, abhorrent economic practices and cost the lives of 100s of thousands of people.”

    That and the finger. Go, you!ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - HA! Sometimes ‘open mouth insert foot’ other times… ‘open mouth insert foot’. I just can’t seem to get away from it. *wink*ReplyCancel

  • Karen D. Austin - I was raised in So. Cal. by parents from Utah and Idaho, so the strong southern cultural identity was something I didn’t encounter until I was a young adult and lived in Virginia, DC and then at midlife in West Virginia. It’s really easy for me to say “get rid of the flag.” But I have talked with people who are extremely passionate about keeping the flag while also expressing a rejection of slavery and racism. I think the flag should go. But I am also willing to hear someone express at length their southern cultural identity going back several generations and involving a lot of things that aren’t race related (even while acknowledging in my own mind that a lot of wealth and culture was borne on the backs of enslaved people). It’s complicated, but my bottom line is, indeed, “take down the confederate flag.”ReplyCancel

  • Candace Allan - You say that so well and I love the photo.ReplyCancel

  • Pia Savage - I’m a New Yorker who moved to South Carolina 6 years ago.
    I know I haven’t been here for generations so I have no say. Only I own a house, pay taxes–the whole bit. EB White said that the people who came to Manhattan from other places were the soul of the city—the people who made it creative and great. Maybe that can be true everywhere but people are so steeped in tradition they forget to include others. Though I live in a part of South Carolina where most people are from other places—and not just North Carolina so maybe it’s easier to feel accepted here.
    I love it here, but…that flag at the capitol. No.
    We know we’re going to see old white men fly the Confederate flag and they’ll be flying on houses all over. Let them.
    The state senate, house and governor—yes! And that incredible speech by Jenny Horne a direct descendant of Jefferson Davis; the speech by Strom Thurmond’s son—this is the beginning of a new era in South Carolina and maybe all the South.ReplyCancel

  • Kenya G. Johnson - I love this. I really wanted to hear something like this from someone on the “outside”. I’m from Columbia, SC. I live in NC now (not much different). But I can’t tell you what a relief it is to me that the flag is coming down. It’s quite emotional actually. I don’t know if the news has mentioned that we’ve been down this road before. In 2000 the flag was removed from the dome and placed more prominently in my opinion on the state house grounds after nearly 45,000 people had rallied to have it removed. It was a slap in the face. The people rushing out to buy flags now can do whatever they want, it’s not going to bother me one bit – I just know where THEY stand.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - I knew all about that- the removal, only to place it in a more obtrusive place. The gall. Here is New Orleans there’s a statue of General Robert E Lee that was placed in the center of a traffic circle after the Civil War. AFTER. The transcript from the dedication ceremony is UNBELIEVABLE. It was placed there to remind people that the Whites still thought their cause was just and the Blacks should still remember their place. If I had known THAT, all these years, I would have taken a different route to that part of town. There is talk that it will also be coming down, and I say BRAVO! I’m so pleased you not only read my piece but that you took the time to comment. Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • Ruth Curran - The only Southern Cross that I want to see is the spectacular one in the night sky below the equator.

    Symbols DO carry meaning and intent. You got it so right, right here: “What I DO CARE ABOUT is the fact that this flag is a symbol of bad policy, flawed moral character, abhorrent economic practices and cost the lives of 100s of thousands of people.” Wouldn’t it be great to watch and hear the door slam shut on the argument right there? Perfect ending place in my liberal, Yankee opinion :)!ReplyCancel

  • Joan Harrington - Very interesting post Cheryl πŸ™‚ Loved how you explained it all!!ReplyCancel

  • Carolann - I agree! Do what you want at home but not on government property. With that said, I was a bit perplexed as to why Obama decided to light up the White House in rainbow colors – doesn’t the same rule apply? I am all for equal rights across the board but that did make me think – hum…what’s going on here!ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Ya know when I saw the White House all lit up in rainbow colors I thought it had been photoshopped. I agree. The House of the People should visibly remain neutral. Odd.ReplyCancel

  • Lois Alter Mark - Flags flying over government buildings need to reflect the entire community. The confederate flag has no business being there. You won’t see any Nazi flags flying over government buildings in Germany just because it was part of their history.ReplyCancel

  • Christine Carter - WELL DONE Cheryl!! I would stand and give you an ovation if I could!!! You NAILED IT. πŸ™‚ReplyCancel

  • Mari Collier - I usually make Southerners really angry when I say it is the flag of traitors. Put it in a museum. If you really want to fly a flag that represents slavery and being traitors to the US, go right ahead on your on property. Now I’ve probably made some of you neighbors angry.ReplyCancel

  • Cathy Steffanci Sikorski - Yes, yes and yes…as an alumni of the University of South Carolina School Of Law…..I salute you and the FINAL TAKING DOWN OF THAT FLAG. It insulted the intelligence of us every day.ReplyCancel

  • Reggie Martin - This will probably get deleted, but here goes. All people commenting here not of Southern roots, your opinions mean EXACTLY…nothing to the people of the southern part of the country. All you folks outside our area of the nation love to get on your pedestals and bloviate about history this and history that, while having zero insight into what being a Southerner really means and is. It’s not about race, it’s about roots in real tradition and a common history that no outsider could ever understand. I’m sure I’ll receive heat over this. Just remember, you push us tpo far we’ll push back. You won’t like it I promise.ReplyCancel

  • Connie McLeod - To those who say your commentors aren’t Southerners, well, here I am. I’m from Louisiana. And for my Momma and dem (that’s a Louisiana phrase for those who might not know), my momma was from Texas and my Daddy was from Alabama. So my Southeren roots run very deep. I even took a class on the Civil War at LSU by reknown historian T Harry Williams. So believe me when I say that the Confederate Battle flag is a symbol of hate that reappeared during the 60’s when the South was forced to segregate. As a Southerener, please know it is a symbol of hate and not southern pride. Even Jefferson Davis (the President of the Confederacy) said to take it down when he surrendered. If you don’t believe me, bless your heart and check your history.ReplyCancel

  • Reggie Martin - It would seem, and I believe correctly so, that most of the animosity over the civil war seems to be coming from everywhere else but the South. And contrary to comments on my previous post, there no threats made by me towards anyone. Heather Wilson, I have studied southern history very closely, and what’s being vomited out in schools bears no real resemblance to the truth. No matter how much you wish it revisionist history always fails under it’s own weight. I honor my past by respecting it, do you truly honor yours?ReplyCancel

  • Alana - Exactly, which is why I love your blog.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Thank you Alana. And I love readers like you. Much appreciated.ReplyCancel

  • Reggie Martin - Heather, the wuote you refer to is in reference to the Confederate flag true enough, it has absolutely nothing to do with the battle flag that’s the center of so much flak. What I’m seeing is a wave of mental illness in the guise of liberalism, political correctness and animosity towards anyone who decides to actually remember who and where they come from. I also see this as a 1st amendment issue, my right to free speech trumps your non right to be offended. If you don’t like what I say then don’t listen, but I’m saying it anyway. You have the right to disagree with anything I say if you’re so inclined. Personally for me, your opinion just doesn’t matter. Go in peace and enjoy your rainbows and unicorns.ReplyCancel

  • Rena McDianiel - Yes, yes and yes and I live in South Carolina it has gotten crazy. I was working on a post for the 2nd part of camping trip from hell all the way in KY and people were acting just plain stupid. Take it down and move the hell on.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - This too shall pass. There are far more important ‘thing’s for most people to rally around.ReplyCancel

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