9 People Who Display The Confederate Flag Explain Why They Do It

July 3, 2019 | No Comments » | Topics: main

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1. I used to have a Confederate flag hanging on my wall. I thought it was a cool piece of Americana and I’m a total history nerd so I liked to look at it. To me, it was a symbol of rebellion and Southern heritage. When I looked at it, my first thought was big homes with wraparound porches in the hot sun with ice tea and BBQ, not slavery.

I took it down because I live in a diverse area and it made friends and guests uncomfortable. I recognize that flags mean different things to different people, and I didn’t want people to get the wrong idea about why I owned that particular flag.

 

2. My dad is a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and I have some other family in it and the UDC as well. We have three Confederate Veterans we know by name as ancestors, and one Revolutionary War vet we know by name as well. Family is also in Daughters/Sons of the Revolution groups.

When I left for college, my dad got me a Confederate battle flag from an SCV meet. Until that time, I didn’t have a lot of Confederate stuff. I had a portrait of Robert E Lee I found at the Goodwill in my room growing up. I had a beach towel that was a rebel flag design that one of my black friends bought me during a JROTC field trip to Myrtle Beach circa 2000/2001. But I never had an actual flag until my dad got it for me. It went up in my dorm in college and no one was bothered by it. A lot of reefer was smoked under that flag with whites, Cambodians, blacks, and this one Iraqui kid. So that flag I had/displayed because it was a gift from my father to remind me who I was and where I came from. I’m a Southerner. I can’t be anything else. Part of my family history in the South involved at least three men deciding to take up arms under that flag.

My civil war era family was part of a strange Christian sect that believed salvation was shown through prosperity and self sufficiency. If you had any man do work for you, you weren’t a good Christian. You weren’t a man. So, none of these greycoats owned slaves. Instead, they owned land that they put years of swear and blood into, and they had wives and children to worry about. When an invading army invades, regardless of how Nobel the statesmen claim their cause is, they do what all armies have always done: rape and pilliage. These guys didn’t fight to help their rich neighbors keep slaves, they fought to keep their livelihood and family from being ruined. If an army can’t invade, it can’t rape or pilliage, so enlistment is a good way to help repel an army. It turns out General Sherman decided that his troops could wage Total War on all the Southern people, so it seems to me that there fears were justified and their reasons for fighting were honorable.

For that reason I still have my flag. It represents those who battled. It represents their fight, and that soldiers had many many reasons to fight that war. The national flag of the Confederacy can only ever represent the political cause of the war. The Battle flag, however, represents the bravery, honor, courage, fear, hope, and doubt of the common soldier – like those in my family – who fought for more personal reasons.

It hangs in my apartment bothering no one. I have a small square battle flag decal on my truck for the same reason, and general Southern Pride. We are a unique region. We are a unique people. We do have our own culture(s) and it is something to be proud of. We invented almost every genre of popular music the US has ever given the world. We have had some of the greatest poets and writers. Our food is amazing. We have our own dialects and languages down here too. When foriegners think of American culture, they’re usually thinking of us. I also keep Betsy Ross flag in my apartment to honor my ancestor who fought for our nation’s independence, and a decal on the truck too.

 

3. I have four, and I used to have one up. It said G.R.I.T.S. on it which stood for girl raised in the south. I didn’t understand any of the historical connotations until I moved and learned more about slavery and the civil war in school. I would never display it now because I’m no longer in the states and now I know what it means.

A little bit of backstory. I was born in the south, and I moved when I was little. I’m mixed, half black half white, and people would give us Confederate flags when we lived there. We never bought any ourselves. When we moved we took the flag down but we still have all of them in storage. Many people there were nice to us but were of the mindset that the civil war wasn’t about slavery and it was heritage not hate.

 

4. I’m just gonna be honest, not sugarcoat why I use it like everyone else is doing.

It’s just a staple in the south. While other people like white nationalists might use it for racist reasons, trust me that is the minority of why people fly it. It really just means your proud to be a southerner. You may ask, “Why would you want to be proud of being from the south?” Same reason you love your hometown/city (if you do). Brings back memories of pick up trucks in high school and just hanging out.

 

5. I have many flags that I collect. It’s just a piece of history. What it stood for should not be repeated. But those that flew it should not be forgotten. American blood was shed on their soil, fighting for what they knew. They were people of a less enlightened time, and their grandchildren should not be obligated to hide their history. It makes me sick to think that someone out there is ashamed of their family history because of societal pressure. I don’t think it should be displayed in public or just sold at thrift stores for people to hang on their porches. But I think that is obnoxious with any flag (and I collect them!)

 

6. The south stood against the centralization of the federal government. They were 13 sovereign states, bound together through past struggle and believed each was allowed to choose it’s own destiny. The official cause of rebellion was in defense of states rights, which was a very legitimate reason. They saw that Washington was gaining more power over the states and no matter where you stand on the issue, that should be seen as a fact. The federal government was in the process, and still is, of stripping the states of their rights as sovereign entities.

Yes, slavery was a part of the reason for rebellion, it would be naive to say otherwise. Slavery is wrong, an abomination that every civilization that has ever existed took part in at one point or another. At the time, in 1859, a slave was seen only as a man’s property, by the south, by the north and by most of the world. The north believed in uncompensated emancipation, meaning that the 3% or so of southern slave owners would be losing a huge amount of money in assets. This was the spark that set off an already filled powder keg.

I own the flag because I am a southern man. It is a part of our past and should be a part of our future. Slavery should not be forgotten and the struggle of the country during that time should not be either. It is part of who we are as Americans, whether you despise the cause or not, it is something that should be studyed and understood so that we do not make the same mistakes again. It hurts me that our flag has been adopted almost soley by the ignorant and displayed in such nasty ways.

 

7. I fly it because I’m from the south, and I hold close alot of the classic values of the south, and the southern way of life.

No, I don’t support slavery, or the confederacy just because I fly that flag. To imply that would be to also imply anyone who flies the American flag supports a very large number of atrocities. No, I acknowledge those parts of the flags history, but they aren’t what I personally want to represent.

Before you call all the people who fly it racist, it’s also worth noting that I’ve witnessed people of all skin colors fly the confederate flag. White, black, brown, some guy wearing a fursuit on his porch (???). It’s not bound to race at all.

It’s a little hard to explain why the confederate flag is flown. It’s a very cultural thing, and I feel like in order to understand it, usually you’d have to grow up here. In the same vein, why does anyone fly the american flag?

 

8. Born and raised in the south. The confederate flag is heavily tied to the major schools in the area. The football teams, the school colors, everything. Growing up the flag just ment Rebel Pride as in pride in our schools. Even my class ring has the flag on it. I understand to some it means slavery but to us here in my town it never ment anything hateful or mean.

 

9. First off, I’m a black woman. Second, my dads folks are from Selma, Alabama, and my Mama’s folks are from North Carolina. I have aunts and uncles that were black panthers. And one of my aunt’s was actually jailed for marching with Reverend King. My whole family are filled with veterans. My parents are veterans and so am I- and that might also have to do with what I’m about to say. I DO NOT CARE ABOUT THE CONFEDERATE FLAG. Like, at all. I feel like for some white people the confederate flag is what the “n” Word is for some black people. The origins are vile, but they “made it their own”. And why I personally think that’s kind of nonsensical, people in this country have the right and the freedom to do that. I understand that some people who fly it do so as an appreciation for “southern life” and “southern heritage”. For a lot of people it represents the romanticized view of the south. For others they do it for intimidation purposes against minorities. It’s crazy because even in south Florida, I see confederate flags alllllllll the time. Especially in Davie and around the chili cook off. The confederate flag doesn’t make me cringe, or instill fear in me though. And for people to allow that flag to hold so much power is why racists continue to go out of their way to fly it. This is just personal opinion though. People in this country have a right to believe whatever they want. Although sometimes they are interchangeable, people flying confederate flags are not necessarily neo-nazis. Neo nazis, however come from ALL walks of life, not just the south and while they too, like the confederate flag….even THEY want you to know what they’re really about. So they fly the swastika. Now THEY, should be labeled as domestic terrorists. The “war” over the confederate flag is trivial. Much bigger fish to fry in the world against prejudice and racism than that.

 

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