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American Viking

Do you consider the Confederate Flag racist?

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American Viking

I don't. I live in the South and I see it everywhere. I know a few people who have Confederate Flag themed hats but they are not racist. I figured I'd open this thread just to see how other Americans and people elsewhere feel about it. My goal here is not to start a war but to have a civil discussion...so please go away trolls. To me, the Confederate Flag is not about racism, it's about showing Southern Pride...but since the North won the War for Southern Independence, they got to write the history and have pegged it as such. If you know history, you would know that the ships that brought African slaves to the Americas flew the Stars and Stripes flag, not the Confederate Flag. You'd also know that the Civil War was not a war over slavery as they claim, but a war to unite the country when the South just wanted to be left alone, you'd know that freeing the slaves were a byproduct of that war...and that the North had no problem buying cotton and other necessities that came from Southern slave labor. Hypocrites.

 

Anyway, back to the basic question, do you consider it racist?

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AlienTwo

Yes.

 

But I think in the limited context of the American South, it can be hung without racist intentions as a pride (however misplaced) issue. But that is in only the most limited context possible. Anywhere outside of the South it will be viewed as a hateful banner, as it is truly the war flag of an aborted nation, built upon slavery and the desire to be permitted to continue to enslave humans based upon the color of their skin.

 

EDIT: Claiming the "War of Southern Independence" or the "War of Northern Aggression"(more properly called the American Civil War), was not about the ability to hold slaves is 100% false. Sure, "States rights" people claim, but the "rights" that caused the war were the "rights to hold slaves".

Edited by Alien

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make total destroy

Uhh, yes?

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SausageInACan

I don't believe the flag its self is racist. I do believe however, that the people who still fly that flag are racist.

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 dice

The people who fly the flag have a larger possibility of being racist

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Tyler

The ideas behind the formation of the rebellion to which that flag belonged were at a fundamental level devoted to the idea that not all men were created equal. Demarcation into chattel slavery based on the color of one's skin is racist, that is trivially known. No amount of cultural cover-up will hide the disgusting base at which that flag is planted. No amount of apologism will defer from it being used as a symbol for those who align with racist values. It cannot be appropriated, not in our lifetime.

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epoxi

Among the ordinances of secession passed by the individual states, those of three Texas, Alabama, and Virginia specifically mentioned the plight of the 'slaveholding states' at the hands of northern abolitionists. The rest make no mention of the slavery issue, and are often brief announcements of the dissolution of ties by the legislatures. However, at least four states South Carolina, Mississippi, Georgia, and Texas also passed lengthy and detailed explanations of their causes for secession, all of which laid the blame squarely on the movement to abolish slavery and that movement's influence over the politics of the northern states, The southern states believed slaveholding was a constitutional right because of the Fugitive slave clause of the Constitution. In a message to the Confederate Congress on April 29, 1861 Jefferson Davis cited both the tariff and slavery for the South's secession.

While the civil war was not completely about slavery, it was very much central to the Confederacy's policies, and by endorsing the Confederacy you are at the very least condoning slavery. Even if you are against slavery in principle, by siding with the confederacy you are saying slavery is worthwhile for your political interests.

 

Think of it this way: it wouldn't be acceptable today to wave a Nazi flag because you "take pride in Germany and agree with the axis's economic policies," so I don't see why the Confederate Flag should be treated any differently.

Edited by epoxi

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GTA_stu

I don't think it's as inherently racist as some would suggest, but it certainly has at least some negative connotations. Personally it doesn't bother me, I think people especially these days actively look to get offended way too often.

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WHAT!?

I have seen it widely exploited as a symbol of rebellion, which is why I think it still holds some bit romanticism over some Americans. The flag was a banner for people who essentially bound together and told the federal government to "f*ck off". That said, the reason why they wanted the federal government to f*ck off was because the southern economy was based on cotton, and cotton required a sh*tload of human labor to process. Southern plantation owners didn't want to pay for human labor and felt that they had the right to own people as property in order to support their economy. The way a person might own a horse... or a toilet. Conditions varied depending on plantation, but families were often split up. Mothers were forced to stand at auction and watch their child be sold to another plantation. Some plantation owners even went so far as to control breeding amongst their slaves, deciding who would lay with who to produce the most desirable offspring. This would ensure they would fetch a good price at auction.

 

I'm just skimming the surface. Anyway the point I am getting to is you can't pick and choose what the Confederate flag stands for. It holds the pride of the southern peoples fighting spirit, but it also represents the deplorable and hateful attitude that was held against African-Americans and their agenda to deny those people basic human rights. It's a racist symbol. I'm sort of shocked at any argument to the contrary. Nobody (for example) defends the swastika. After all ze Germans were pretty ballsy too.

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Dingdongs

OP, perhaps you need to learn your history. The ships that brought slaves to the U.S. flew the Stars and Stripes yeah, but that's because the slave trade was banned in the US in 1808/1809 and no further slaves were imported. So there was never importation of slsves when the confederacy even existed..

 

As for whether or not it's racist, I would say truthfully yes. The flag is a symbol for slavery whether or not you want to admit it, it is. We can debate why the civil war was fought all we want but at the end of the day, it was over the expansion of slavery into the new territories. Lincoln did not want to ban slavery in the South. I know for plenty of people it represents rebellious nature, Southern pride, states' rights, and they are not trying to be racist with it. But at its core, that flag represents slavery. The fact that part of the Mississippi state flag is the confederate flag and the State House in SC flies it is unsettling...

Edited by Irviding

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Docfaustino

"

Our new Government is founded upon exactly the opposite ideas; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and normal condition."

 

- Alexander H. Stevens, Vice President of the confederacy.

 

I understand they are a romantic government to some because they gave an FU to the federal government but by and large those who support them for taking an aggressive, rebellious stance are ignorant of the reasons they rebelled in the first place. Or in some cases just deluding themselves.

 

Here's the simple version. The South failed to diversify their economy, becoming overly reliant on slave labor in a small handful of industries. The abolitionist movement grew and grew and the south refused to be humanly decent. The only iota of sympathy one should have for the confederacy is for the farmhands who fought out of a sense of duty. To support the government and to fly its flag? Well, I wouldn't fly a National Party flag if I lived in South Africa, man.

 

The "states rights" argument boils down to one right only, the right to own slaves. You might recall the Missouri Compromise and the early 1800s legislative battles. What states rights were the southern states fighting for then? Name one.

 

Another misleading argument from confederate apologists is that history, being written by the victors, has time and time again painted the confederacy negatively. It was a negative group.

 

On another note, it's worth mentioning that the railroad boom never hit within southern borders. This reinforced a feeling of otherness. For that alone, I can sympathize. But recognizing this major disadvantage, even, will never absolve the confederacy of its sins.

Edited by Docfaustino

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WHAT!?

Lincoln did not want to ban slavery in the South. I know for plenty of people it represents rebellious nature, Southern pride, states' rights, and they are not trying to be racist with it. But at its core, that flag represents slavery. The fact that part of the Mississippi state flag is the confederate flag and the State House in SC flies it is unsettling...

From my understanding Lincoln may have actually wanted to ban slavery but held off on doing so, or even proclaiming further that he would like to see the practice stopped (he had publicly made known his despise of the practice earlier in his career). He knew that he couldn't sustain the union should he become vocally abolitionist. He wanted to avoid starting a civil war. Unfortunately we never got to find out how Lincoln might have handled it peacefully. Southern opinion was such that as soon as Lincoln won the election talks of succession were already in the works. His reputation proceeded him before he even took office.

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Dingdongs

 

 

Lincoln did not want to ban slavery in the South. I know for plenty of people it represents rebellious nature, Southern pride, states' rights, and they are not trying to be racist with it. But at its core, that flag represents slavery. The fact that part of the Mississippi state flag is the confederate flag and the State House in SC flies it is unsettling...

From my understanding Lincoln may have actually wanted to ban slavery but held off on doing so, or even proclaiming further that he would like to see the practice stopped (he had publicly made known his despise of the practice earlier in his career). He knew that he couldn't sustain the union should he become vocally abolitionist. He wanted to avoid starting a civil war. Unfortunately we never got to find out how Lincoln might have handled it peacefully. Southern opinion was such that as soon as Lincoln won the election talks of succession were already in the works. His reputation proceeded him before he even took office.

Pretty much. He had zero plans to ban/free slaves that were already in the South and had only wanted to stop further expansion of slavery into the territories. The idea painted of him that he was a wonderful liberal abolitionist is just wrong. He was an excellent strategist, and in fact if you look at the Emancipation Proclamation it only freed slaves in the Confederacy and did not free the ones in the border states that had slaves and were members of the Union (Maryland for example).

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GTA_stu

Some good points, but just to play devil's advocate here: You can argue that the flag is perhaps tinged with it's history, but in it's modern context it is very much about pride in Southern culture and in showing respect for those who fought under it. There are plenty of flags which you could argue have just as much bad history associated with them. European countries like the UK and the Netherlands both have flags now which were flown across their historical empires, which practiced slavery just as the southern U.S. states. Now you could argue that those 2 countries changed and abolished slavery, whereas the confederacy fought to it's eventual death to keep slavery. But to those who fly it the flag isn't representative of just the confederacy, but of Southern history and heritage as a whole. That partly encompasses slavery, but that doesn't mean they're proud of it or condone it. The same way a Dutch person or British person can be proud of their history and heritage as a whole and be proud of their flag, but it doesn't mean they think their country's practitioning of slavery was right.

 

In terms of comparing it to the Nazi flag, I think there's a difference. The Nazi flag is only representative of the Nazi rule and that particular point in Germany's history. The confederate flag is not solely about the confederacy and that point in time, it is pretty much seen as the flag of the South and encompasses the South as a whole and it's history. Germany has a flag now which is representative of itself and it's history both good and bad, and the South has a flag which is representative of itself and it's history both good and bad.

 

You could argue that what matters is what the flag represented during it's formation and the type of place it was representing, but again you can make the point of saying there are other flags of modern countries which were created during a time when the countries held unsavoury views and practiced unsavoury things. Also correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the original confederate flag largely white with the blue saltire on red backround (what we currently refer to as the confederate flag) in the corner? The large white backround represented the idea of white supremacy, and the saltire on red backround represented the actual states. If that's true, you could make the point that the current confederate flag without the large white backround is intended more to represent the states and people, rather than the racist ideology or slavery. If I've got the history of the confederate flag mixed up there, then disregard.

Edited by stu

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WHAT!?

I see your point, however I have a harder time looking at the confederate flag in the context you are referring to. It only (officially) existed as long as the confederacy existed. If the south had been successful in the civil war and won their independence from the union, then over time abolished slavery on their own without an outside influence, the status of the flag would be redeemed. Just as the other nations you mention have redeemed themselves of past injustice. Of course a symbol can evolve and change, but that takes time and proof of intent to remove an association of acts of performed by the forefathers of that nation. The south never having the chance to do that sort of traps the confederate flag as symbol for a moment in time. Just as the comparison I made to the swastika on the German flag. The swastika is supposed to be a symbol of peace, put it on a German flag and it's the ultimate symbol of hate. It cannot escape that association with a moment in time. The Reich lost the war, they never evolved, their existence in history will eternally be an evil one as will the symbols they used, by association, be evil.

 

It's possible my viewpoint is subjective. My rule for what constitutes an honorable or a dishonorable flag might just be my own... but this is where I end up with it.

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Vaulttec

well i know for one the flag is a navel battle flag and not a racist flag. to answer you question any flag and be racist to anyone it's all how you look at it

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t3h PeNgU1N oF d00m

No, a flag is a piece of cloth, and is not capable of holding judgement or racism because it does not have a functioning brain.

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161isaiah161

Yes since most the people who fly the flag are racist

 

 

But It does look good when its on fire

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universetwisters

Is it the actual Confederate National Flag or the Confederate Battle Flag?

 

 

Many many people believe the Battle Flag to be the actual Confederate National Flag.

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Art:Vandelay

The flag is not racist, the people that fly it often are.

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Dingdongs

I don't think that everyone who flies a confederate flag is racist. As I mentioned earlier I do think the flag itself is simply offensive because it represents a country that fought to maintain slavery, but with that said most people who fly it today will tell you they are doing so for Southern pride. Actually you can find many black people in the South that fly confederate flags. But that doesn't change the fact that to many, it does represent slavery.

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PhillBellic

Some African American people don't consider the flag racist. Whilst conducting basic research, I came upon the following website.

 

"If you want to ask me about my ancestral roots, I am a Confederate-American. I was born colored, negro, then one day somebody decided to make me African-American. Nobody asked me about that. Africa didn't want me then, and she certainly doesn't want me now."

On slave reparations:

"Our history has been lied about so much starting back in 1865, with the Northern propaganda used to try and drive a wedge between black folks and white folks."

"Reparations is just another lie. I'm not looking for reparations. That's just another way to divide white folks and black folks."

H-K-Edgerton.jpg

H.K. Edgerton

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Nick1020

I always thought that flag represent southern heritage. If I'm right then chances are the history behind the flag is often forgotten or ignored.

 

Edit: Also forgot mention that the Nazi symbol was a religious symbol that ment luck before the Nazis ruined it.

Edited by Nick1020

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PhillBellic

I always thought that flag represent southern heritage. If I'm right then chances are the history behind the flag is often forgotten or ignored.

 

Edit: Also forgot mention that the Nazi symbol was a religious symbol that ment luck before the Nazis ruined it.

The religious symbol is reversed if I'm not mistaken.

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Twilight Sky

Well Jefferson Davis would probably ask those flag fliers what the hell they are doing.

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Doc Rikowski

I think that we should stop to give to graphic symbols and flags such powerful moral attributes. We should understand what they symbolized in the past and what the people that wore them stood for but at some point a process of "liberation" of meanings should be implemented. I know it ain't an easy thing to accomplish but it could be done. After all millions of people wear logos of companies that used and use child labour or shamefully cheap labour to produce their items. and no consumer doing that is accused of being a supporter of child labour. The confederate flag just means South to a lot of people. Outside the US I've seen using it as a symbol for Southern people and in general as a symbol of oppressed masses, which is kind of ironic considering it was used by oppressors. But isn't that exactly the point? The karma of such symbol to go from being the sign of oppression to being a sign of who's oppressed?

When I was a kid, the flag was just the decoration of the Dukes of Hazzard boys' car. A beautiful flag indeed from a merely graphic point of view.

Same for the swastika, a very ancient and graphically perfect symbol abused by the nazi. Wouldn't it be the time to free the swastika from the meaning we give to it? Can't we, as a society, overcome the meanings of a mere graphic symbol? That would be a sign of maturity.

Edited by Doc Rikowski

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I Love Anna Kournikova

It depends on where you live. I am sure in some areas of the country it signifies pride and what not. Where I live, it is flown by people who think they are cowboys and might be racist who want attention and to cause trouble.

 

These people are idiots.

Edited by ILAK

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El Dildo

it's pretty much just racist.

 

you can fly it because "pride" or because "Southern heritage" or whatever you want to tell yourself. but the Stars and Bars represents a segment of the American population who believed that they deserved the right to own other human beings like property. it represents slavery whether you like it or not. and they believed in that right so much that they were willing to create their own sovereign union - in opposition to their own brothers and sisters - in order to have it.

 

it doesn't matter that most Southern citizens were not personally slave owners.

most of them still believed in slavery.

 

remember the Swastika?
it's technically a symbol of peace and harmony.

 

swastika.jpg

 

but maybe you remember this little event called World War 2?

there was this guy named Adolf and he decided to use the Swastika as the representation for mass genocide and destruction. so it's kind of difficult to claim that your sweet new tattoo is just a simple reminder of 'pride' or 'heritage.'

 

AmericanHistoryX_.jpg

 

I might be inclined to believe a redneck when he says that his Stars and Bars are just about pride and history. but the context is usually difficult to swallow. almost every time I see the Confederate Flag, it's being flown in service of sheer ignorance.

 

ConfederateFlag.jpg

Edited by El Diablo

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I Love Anna Kournikova

I believe the swastica was originated in India for religious purposes. I cant remember if it was Hinduism, or Sikh's who were the ones who came up with it.

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AlienTwo

Also the Navajo, called the Whirling Log. Point is, once a symbol has been claimed by a more powerful movement, it's incredibly difficult to re-claim it. If, and that's a big if, the CSA Battle Flag ever didn't stand for slavery, it sure as hell does now.

 

9890417_1.jpg?v=8CD32EB56B95D80

Edited by Alien

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