The Confederate Flag: Heritage vs. Hate, History vs. Culture?

Discussion in 'Debate Corner' started by Boy Wonder, Jun 23, 2015.

  1. Boy Wonder Dark Phoenix in Training

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    Alright, so this is something that I've had strong opinions about for several years, having grown up in the South.
    As much as I'm exposed to it, I'll admit I've gotten kind of jaded in having it around. However, now with the Charleston shootings and the returning controversy surrounding the flag's role, I've found myself now discussing it in length with others around here, in Tennessee. Whereas most people I know are against the display of it, I still know several who are supporters of it, including my future in-laws which just makes me uncomfortable, especially as a minority.


    I am a proponent of removing the flag because I do find it racist and at the very least, historically inaccurate.

    Something I noticed growing up here is that a lot of people don't actually see it as a racist symbol, but more of a cultural symbol. Not so much "white" as "Southern" or "country." That doesn't mean that I don't see it used racially, but that's how I was exposed to it more as a kid.

    Anyway, I would like to hear from you guys and see what you think?
    Is the Confederate Flag, despite never having actually been the flag of the Confederacy, able of simply being a symbol of heritage, and not hate?
    Does the history of the flag matter? It was the flag of a battle, not the Confederacy as a whole and obviously has racial undertones. Can that be ignored for the pride the flag brings?
    and the more important question, is honoring the flag surmountable to a degree of treason?
     
  2. Patman Bof

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    I' ve seen people raise the same questions on a news site, but I' m confused about the history of that flag. Wikipedia hasn' t exactly cleared things up for me, if someone could break it down it would be appreciated (or provide a better link, I get the feeling it' s a long story). I' ll refrain from stating any opinion right now but I' m curious to see where this thread goes.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2015
  3. ~Master Xehanort~ KH3 was amazing. Fight me.

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    Honestly, whenever I see that flag, I feel a sense of uneasiness inside me. To me, that flag reminds me of everything I found wrong with the arguments the South made for seceding from the Union more than a century ago. I actually am shocked to see that people still proudly display them to this day.

    On the other hand, as much as I hate to admit it, people do have the right to display them if they want. As cliched as it sounds, rights like these were what the United States were founded on. But if we're talking about places such as government buildings, then I think that flag has no place there.
     
  4. Arch Mana Knight

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    Well nobody can deny that the Confederacy and its flags were a huge part of the US's history but aside from that, nobody should ever be proud of having that as part of their heritage.

    Honestly, I see raising that flag as some kind of minor(if such a thing exists) form of treason. It belongs in display cases not flag on flag poles. I don't think I've ever once seen the flag raised here but I do live in the most "liberal" part of Texas. Though I have seen some of my neighbors raise flags from whatever sports team their supporting. Which is almost as stupid but at least it's not all about supporting the ideals the Confederacy held.

    If you live in the US and want to raise a flag, then raise the good ol' stars and stripes. If you want to raise another country's flag then that's fine I guess(though if the US flag is there too don't ever put it above the US one. Rules, huh?). The Confederacy wasn't even recognized as a country. It's a recognized symbol of racism and ideals that the US has put behind. Despite all the racism that still exists today we've made progress. Pretending that the Confederacy is something anyone should be proud about is just mocking everything our society is striving towards.

    tl;dr: Let's host a Confederate Flag burning celebration. Drinks are on me. In exchange for money.
     
  5. libregkd -

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    ...
     
  6. tamale Hydaelyn's Chosen

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    The swastika has heritage and history, too.
     
  7. Patman Bof

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    ... I' ll be with him. ^
     
  8. libregkd -

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  9. Misty gimme kiss

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    This is an inherent issue with any sort of iconography, really. When you display a symbol or a logo or a flag, you're attempting to communicate some abstract ideal or value in an image. But images are even more open to interpretation than words, and you're therefore risking conveying not only your value, but whatever else other people have attached to that image, what has been done in the name of that image (or under its banner, in this case).

    The swastika, for example, -- which has already been mentioned in this thread -- meant something before the Nazi Party appropriated it, and we now associate it almost exclusively with them and other white power groups. If your house had a flag with a swastika on it right outside, because the swastika originally stood for good fortune, you're at the very least misrepresenting yourself -- and at the worst, normalizing and furthering the symbol of a hate group. Many (private) business have stopped selling the flag and I absolutely support them in that. I believe eBay banned all listings with it today. If you side at all with the right-wing -- and there's a significant overlap between the right and people who approve of the Confederate Flag -- you should too, because otherwise you would approve of the government/the public interfering with private business.

    The Confederate Flag's origins are greatly misunderstood in this country but those who continue to fly it claim it's a matter of "Southern Pride," to which I ask, what exactly are you proud of? How many atrocities have been committed by those who fly the same flag? Do you really wish to associate yourself with that? Because as much as you might deny any connection with people like Dylann Storm Roof and his ideologies, you two apparently have similar taste. That wouldn't sit right with me. I'm American and I understand and appreciate the historic origins of our flag, but I do not and will not fly it, pledge to it, or otherwise stand under its stripes, because I do not agree with what it stands for today and what has been carried out in its name. Again, emblazoning a symbol of some kind isn't for yourself and the nice feeling of pride it bubbles in your stomach. It's about what that image, that symbol, means to other people -- otherwise you could just hang it up in private in your house (which, nobody is stopping you from doing -- this is a free country, theoretically). Just because you have the freedom to do something does not mean that you're exempt from the consequences of the action.
     
  10. Laurence_Fox Chaser

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    I would just like to say that the German people are very, very hesitant to show any sort of pride in their country. They don't raise their flag. At least not to the degree that we here in America see our flag. You don't see the German flag on poles outside of homes or being sold in ever dollar store like in the US.

    Because it was National Pride that gave rise to Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. Among other things but they are very careful to not allow a repeat performance.

    But onto the topic at hand, the flag itself doesn't bother me but the history itself does. Not so much the civil war era history. Had it been only that, it would gladly be regulated to museums. But it's what has occurred since the Fall of the Confederacy and how the battle flag has been used since then.

    I am all for preserving history. But this flag should be taken down. We shouldn't forget the history associated with it.

    There are other flags that can be flown in its place. States have their flags. There's the American Flag. There's the P.O.W flag.There are many many options to consider besides the Stars and Bars.
     
  11. Patman Bof

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    Yeah I' m told it' s pretty common for Americans to raise a flag in their garden or their home but I' ve never seen anyone do it here, nor in what I' ve seen of the rest of Europe. Not once.

    Germany is another can of worm altogether because of their recent history. I met a German girl once, she was hitting on my sis in a bar. She told us they' re taught to be extra careful with what they say and how they word it, hate speech isn' t exactly looked upon kindly in their schools. Apparently even swear words are a no no. We couldn' t help pushing the topic further, given our family history and all, but she asked us to drop it after a while. Which I guess is understandable. I assume French people kept bringing it up around her and it probably made her squirmish.
     
  12. Styx That's me inside your head.

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    I have yet to see anything worthy of respect be associated with that flag. Why would you even want it as part of your heritage? Then again, my knowledge of American history is limited.

    What I do think though, is that there is too much weight given to this and other symbols altogether. This isn't an American problem (heck, I can think of a case in Belgium and The Netherlands that caused a somewhat similar controversy). I realize that I, as a straight Caucasian male am privileged in saying this, but someone's got to remind everyone that sitting around and having a good laugh about history is preferable to getting offended every time someone blows his nose in a hanky that's the wrong colour.

    Last but not least, getting to be offended has its expiration date. When you fly into a rage about something that happened to your grandfather's grandfather, that's about time to take a good look at yourself and wonder what the fuck you're still doing. What happened then still leaves ugly scars, sure, but would you not rather mock Dylann Roof for waving a flag around that you got over than give him the satisfaction that it still gets under your toes?

    TL;DR: Being proud of the Confederate flag seems dumb, partly but not entirely because it's just a damn flag.
     
  13. Chad Thundercucc The dharma of valvu; the dream of a clatoris

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    Welp, my feelings on the confederate flag have already been wonderfully articulated in this thread. So here's a anecdote of my interaction with someone wearing the confederate flag on their hat.

    I was working the early morning shift at Tim Horton's (coffee shop) and these two old guys come in; One wearing a pearl harbor shirt and another wearing the confederate flag on his hat. I couldn't help but feel a bit uneasy, especially since I live in New York, no where near the South.The guy with the confederate flag on his hat wouldn't even talk to me (I'm a minority) and instead had his friend do it. So, I get them their order, and they leave. In less than 10 minutes, they come back to get more food, and I serve them again. They get a pretty big order, and I allegedly forgot to make a coffee for their order (I honestly don't know if I actually made it or not, it was so early in the morning and I was running on 3 hours of sleep, and I'm not sure if I got distracted by some other task or not). So, the guy with the confederate flag on his hat decides to get the store number and information so that he can file a complaint to the head office over some coffee that was late. He told my supervisor that it was me who was serving him and he wrote a big "F" on a notepad and angrily presented it to me. And then they stormed out.

    It was weird.
     
  14. Magick ~Meaner then my demons~

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    The moral is to never trust a man who wears a flag as a hat. Shirt, fine. Pants, whatever. Hat? Crossing the line bro.

    To me, it seems strange that this subject even warrants as much attention as it as gotten, like gay marriage. It seems common sense that it should be placed in a museum, given its due as a part of American history, and that should be that. It's a symbol of prejudice and racism, and quite honestly I didn't even think it was still circulated until I saw it on the news (but I live in the North, so what do I know?). To me the flag is a divider, which was used by both sides of the Civil War to divide the United States while the North and South fought each other to prove that they were the better. It's like a divorced woman waving her marriage certificate around years after she's been separated for her husband. It's only a painful memory, and it just shouldn't be brought up.

    A lot of people died around those colors, and while the same could be said of every war, revolution, and coup, the point is that the Civil War should, and could have been avoided. We could have come together as the United States, instead of each and every state acting like a spoiled child that couldn't get their way, and abolished slavery together. It's a shameful part of our history, and it doesn't necessarily have to be hidden as such, but it shouldn't be brandished with pride.
     
  15. Hayabusa Venomous

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    Late but I thought I'd throw in my simple two cents on this subject.

    I'm perfectly fine with people displaying this flag on their own private property. Like outside their house. Same with a Nazi flag. People can at least just choose to ignore you.

    But flags with histories such as the Confederate and Nazi flag have no place being flown around government-run facilities. Museums, sure, because they'll at least explain the context and there's no personal bias for it.