Over the course of the last couple of weeks there have been calls from the left to take down the Confederate Flag because it is a hateful symbol of our racist past. I understand how some may feel that it represents racism but I find it quite hypocritical that liberal Democrats call for its removal when it is Democrats who perverted the meaning of the flag to begin with once Reconstruction was over and then again in the 50’s/60’s to stop blacks from being able to participate in their constitutional duties such as voting in a manner which was equitable with whites. But I digress….
Here is why I am against the Confederate Flag being removed from the public square – because to relegate it to a museum will cause people not only to forget the historical significance of the flag but its removal will do nothing to stop racism. It is human nature to hate someone for some reason and it doesn’t matter whether it is skin color, religion, gender or anything else. I think we all can see this with ISIS – their flag symbolizes their cause but even without the flag the hatred is still there. Same with the Confederate Flag and there is one big difference between the Confederate Flag and other flags such as the ISIS or Nazi flag – it was a battle flag in a war that was not solely about slavery and would have happened even without the slavery issue. The flags of ISIS and the NAZI represent the purging of society of individuals or ideologies which are incompatible with their idea of how the world should look.
To be historically accurate, there is no doubt that slavery permeated almost every aspect of the Civil War and it was a main instigator of the War but many other factors went into that war including cultural and financial differences. To say otherwise is to be ignorant and foolish. (I have had a professor say just the opposite – that slavery was the only cause of the war, he is wrong and foolish)But many people who fought under that flag owned no slaves and many who fought under that flag had been slaves themselves and were defending their homeland. Were those blacks who fought for the Confederacy under that flag racist – I think not. They were in fact patriots. The great mistake we make in our historical understanding is pigeon holing an event rather than looking at the event in its entirety which means to go beyond the 5 years of the Civil War back to the roots of the country as well as looking past the Civil War to a time when things calmed down until Wilson became president, segregation became the norm and the nonsense started again. By the way Wilson was a Progressive Democrat who is hailed by the Democrat party as a wonderful president but I digress…
The Confederate Flag is more than a symbol of racism, it is a symbol of a people, black and white, who fought for what they believed in whether it be slavery, states rights, their homeland or whatever other reason they had. It is also a symbol of our past and how we have overcome the destructive force of slavery in our country. It serves as a reminder that we were able to have a Civil War and the years leading up to it which tore us apart and we united together once it ended to become a stronger and more cohesive nation which is what our Founders wanted. Rather than throwing it away or relegating it to a museum because a hate filled mentally unstable man shot up a church, we need to recognize that its symbolism is more than the racism that Democrats have made it into. It is additionally a symbol of a people (white and black) who fought in what they believed and accepted the consequences of defeat to restore the country. It should also serve as a reminder to all generations that racism or any other “ism” can and will be overcome by liberty minded people. By all means take it down from atop state capitals but do not remove it from the public square to do so would put us on par with ISIS and that is a dangerous road to go down.