Heritage or Hate
When thinking about the heritage of the Confederate Battle Flag You must first take into account how it evolved as a symbol. In the early months of 1861 the original Confederate states, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas seceded from the "free" states and adopted the seven-star version of the flag on March 4th.
The Confederate Army attacked Fort Sumter on April 12th and began the Civil War. Later in November, the thirteen-star version appeared.
Here's a map of the States in 1861
Note that the border states Missouri, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Delaware though they were slave states leaned toward Lincoln and his opposition to the expansion of slavery into the western territories.
As the war continued in these states and across the country, whites suspected to support or provide aid and comfort to the Union Army were lynched and executed under Confederate command.
On May 1st, 1863 still yet another flag of the Confederacy
The Stainless Banner
It's now March 4th, 1865, and if you guessed it's time for another flag well here the damn thing is!
The Bloodstained Banner
And wouldn't you know it.. now enter the politicians!! We all know what comes next! More death, more bloodshed, murder, mayhem and you guessed it!
Another fucking flag!
The Confederate Battle Flag
This one was designed by William Porcher Miles who (get ready for it) was the former chairman of the Confederate congress's committee on seals and FLAGS! If the truth be known he was removed because he couldn't make a decision on the other four (five including the unofficial "Bonnie Blue") or is it six?
Five days after General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant and the Union Army a well-known actor and Confederate sympathizer (John Wilkes Booth) who lived in the north during the war, assassinated President Lincoln. The President actually passed away the following morning of April 15th, 1865. Can't we just move the tax "deadline to some other damn day?!
On May 9th, 1865 (according to the declaration) the Civil War ended. The final shots were fired about a month later on June 22nd. By the time the smoke of cannon fodder and burning corpses cleared the southern sky, General Lee reapplied for citizenship in the United States. The combined total of dead American soldiers reached 620,000 and many thousands of civilian casualties.
Can the heritage of the Battle Flag be found in destroyed American cities, bloodshed, and the enslavement of Human beings? Or, was all the destruction and killing necessary so the cotton-based southern economy could profit from the free labor of slaves? Only if you're a psychopath or a capitalist.
Before the ink used to write the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth amendments could dry, the first version of America's original terrorist organization The Ku Klux Klan began to sew the thread of "Jim Crow" and "states' rights" ideology into the southern political fabric.
Nearly 4,000 Black Americans were lynched between the Civil War reconstruction era (1865-1877) and the mid-1960s. Under the first southern-born President since 1856 Woodrow Wilson (a Democrat elected from New Jersey) initiated "Jim Crow" shortly after taking office in1913. Segregation was now a part of the United States government and culture.
William J. Simmons founder of the second version of the KKK introduced
cross burning in 1915.
By 1944 the white supremacy movement of the KKK grew rapidly to 6,000,000 members.
The third version of the KKK (1946) resurfaced during the Civil Rights movement and the Battle Flag was back and along with it came the burning cross, a push for continued segregation, racism, and more lynching
In 1948 the extreme conservative sector of the Democratic party split and formed the Independent party known as the "Dixiecrats". On the platform of segregation and states' rights, Strom Thurmond with only about 2.5% of the vote lost his presidential bid to Harry Truman. During his presidency, Truman (a Democrat) messaged his cabinet to address the issues of desegregation, lynching, and civil rights but got nowhere due to blocking by the southern-controlled senate.
The Confederate Flag was put over the statehouse of South Carolina on April 11th, 1961 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War. And why not? Up to this point in history is it any more symbol of hate and racism than the Stars and Stripes that fly above it? After all, the equal but separate axiom of "Jim Crow" influenced American society and politics under both flags.
President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law The Civil Rights act on July 2nd, 1964 prohibiting discrimination based on Race, Color, Religion, Sex, or National Origin. That's when the political demographic changed drastically. The Democratic Party paid dearly losing almost all its constituency of the southern states to the Republican Party by the end of 1964.
And where is the Battle Flag today?
Is it a symbol of White Supremacy?
Or this Asshole?
This picture alone triggered the biggest media bullshit storm in recent history. 24/7 all the big news outlets speculated for days as to what could have prompted Dylan Roof to mass murder 9 members of the historic South Carolina AME Church. If they could understand English or have listened to the survivors delineate the words of the killer during the horrific slaughter even the narcissistic talking heads of mainstream news being the sensationalists that they are (they're not journalists) should have been able to reasonably wrap their pinheads around what enticed the cockroaches to come out of the woodwork of this sick bastards mind.
And then, America witnessed the surviving victims of the shooting forgive the little prick that opened fire killing members of their church family, politicians on both sides of the aisle in the South Carolina legislature began clambering and pissing all over each other to be the first in line to take down that damn flag!
Please don't tell me anyone believes that the Battle Flag animated the racist psyche of Dylan Roof and drove him to murder
What empowered the racist punk can be seen in the picture in his right hand, it's the gun. No one wants to say it not the"good guy" with a gun, not the media and you can bet not any politician. None of them have the guts!
NONE OF THEM!
The removal of the flag from the South Carolina Statehouse grounds was merely an empty gesture by Governor Niki Haley and the cowards in the state legislature. It wasn't their caring and compassion that took down the flag on behalf of those who suffered for years subjected to slavery, oppression, murder, and death at the hands of the racists and their organizations who embraced the Battle Flag.
What brought it down was...
Another racist with a gun.
Through the lens of modern-day America, it's easy to see the heritage and contributions of the southern culture.
Florida: the birthplace of NASCAR (see the Flag)
Louisiana: the Mardi Gras
and don't forget the Po' Boy sandwich
or New Orleans Jazz
Mississippi: Birthplace of B.B.King
Alabama: Birthplace of Hank Williams, the father of country music
Tennesse: You guessed it...
Who can argue that the most famous southern rock band on the planet isn't
They warned us about prolonged hard drug use.
They wrote two of the most memorable southern rock anthems ever.
And they lamented then as we do now over guns.
And Texas? Well, let's see...
OH, Hell No!
Texas did elect a Yankee-born Governor.
Obushma? No, that's not him.
L.B.J. signed The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and The Voting Rights Act of 1965.
So, let's do something positive with the Battle Flag. We could consign it to all branches of the Military Industrial Complex and display it in all arenas of war across the globe. Replace the Stars and Stripes with this...
The Military Industrial Complex Battle Flag
No, I'm not kidding! That way both flags can wave with dignity and serve as a symbol of purpose. The Stars and Stripes are a symbol of America, flying over the homeland for all its people, and the Battle Flag (it's in the name) flies high over any land that has a terrorist cell that needs their ass-kicked hard and often. Face it the war machine isn't going away any time too soon.
Southern culture will always be the main ingredient in the jambalaya of American life regardless of the Battle Flag. Even if the Stars and Stripes came down for the last time tomorrow we would all still be Americans living together in the UNITED STATES. Don't offer your patriotism to a flag. Instead, share it with the people close to home, where it belongs.
As a free speech issue, if you want to nail a Battle Flag to the wall in your garage, hang it from the eave of your house, wave it from a flagpole in your front yard, display it as a bumper sticker on your pick-up truck or even a tattoo or t-shirt, go ahead you have every right to do so but with free speech comes great responsibility.
When passing down that heritage to the next generation remember something very important.
Racism is not something children are born with... they are taught it.