Time To Settle The Confederate Flag Controversy Once And For All.

Yeah, like that will happen because some clown in Minnesota says it will. Nope. But the point of this blog is to offer my thoughts on it now that the furor has died down. It has been my experience that while everyone is in full-throat over any controversy the logic of the situation fails. I may be full of beans, but I do have some points that will make you think. Or, possibly, fling poo. That’s up to you. Just remember: I don’t print negative comments on the blog. That’s the great part of owning the keys to this thing.

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Don't get picky.

Don’t get picky.

Yes, even an uncultured Yankee like me knows that this is not “the” Confederate flag. But for purposes of argument, let’s pretend it is just that symbol. Because for 99.999% of the universe it is what it is and it’s the Confederate flag. It is also, whatever it is called, the flag that is creating a stink among many.

Ground rules: You can fly anything you want over your own property, put it on your vehicle, tattoo it on your forehead. Have at it. Confederate flag, Fozzie Bear, Hitler, swastika, hammer & sickle, five stars (Communist China), or your mother’s smiling face. That’s your business. Be prepared for consequences including public shaming (this doesn’t mean I’m playing the dozens on your mama) and ridicule. But it’s your property, so be free.

Now we’re down to a bit of the probably-revisionist history involved here in the real world. The simple fact is that after the Civil War, the winning side – The Union – was as tired of the fight as the losing side – The Confederacy. So rather than make a big stink about some states having it as a part of their state flag, and some losers (remember, they’d been beaten in battle) flying the flag, the United States turned a blind eye. It was much easier than occupying the whole south and dealing with an indefinite insurrection. Enough lives had been lost, and frankly most people up north didn’t really care that the black population was left to fend for themselves. Politics – it was as bad 150 years ago as it is now.

Fast forward to the late 1950’s and the emergence of the civil rights movement. Suddenly the flag was taken up by some chowder heads in a few places and made a symbol of racial oppression. To be precise, they were governors of the Democrat party. Not Republicans. In specific, they put the thing up to annoy the federal government. And to scare black people and northern liberals and college kids who came south to help organize the black vote. (That’s pretty loose, I’ll admit, but it does cover the major points.)

Now the thing is a big point of contention. And while many innocently viewed it as a form of ancestor worship, and historical significance, it was still the symbol of the losing side. I’m trying to remember how many other losing sides we let keep their colors… Well, I’m sure there are some. But you’ll have to go a long way to find a Third Reich flag flying in Germany. Out in the open at least.

Fast forward fifty years to 2015. It’s pretty clear that our fellow citizens with black skin don’t like the symbol. Not all, but most. Some people with white skin don’t like it either. Some, as a matter of fact most. But it’s not a big deal to most white people. Why? Because most northerners write it off to the south being a bunch of in-bred, ignorant hill-billies. Like it or not, that’s the way it looks from the cultural elite centers in New York and Los Angeles, and right here in my own neighborhood. Hard to work up too much animus about ignorant people.

Mind you, I know that’s not true, but perceptions are what they are. And the perception is that the Confederate flag that is shown above, and most of its derivatives, are viewed as symbols of oppression, racial hatred, and slavery by most black people. (I’m not black, but I do listen.)

So how about we do this: On private property fly what you want. On state property, and that includes license plates, school football rallies, school grounds, etc., you can’t fly it. The one notable exception would be national cemeteries. That is because members of the Confederate armed forces were deemed to be veterans of the United States of America in 1958. (Yes, even that is steeped in controversy, but let’s let it go – they’re all dead now. At this point, what difference does it make.) So if their great-great grandson wants to put up a flag the person fought under on the grave, let’s let it go. Please? Hassling the dead is a losing game.

Back to the present. I am not advocating removing any Confederate monuments. Most are to local heroes (yeah – again, let’s not quibble. Besides, some are fine statues) not to the cause per say. I think anyone that defaces those monuments is a disgrace. Please tell me what that accomplishes.

But it is wrong to continue to fly that flag from state grounds, school grounds, and display it on state symbols. Get a new design. Let’s get together. I have a lot of friends in the south, and I’m pretty sure that none of them own slaves. Or endorse slavery. Or are members of the Klan. Or any of the other reasons the south is routinely bashed.

We owe that to our black brothers and sisters. It’s not much. It’s an acknowledgement that we are all one nation, one people. Under one God. Pray for unity, avoid the taunts.

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