• Welcome to the edge of the civilized internet! We are a site and community dedicated to freedom of speech. All our official content can be found here. If you have any questions, try our FAQ here or see our video on why this site exists at all!

The Confederate flag

Houseman

The Actual Hero
Sanctuary legend
Messages
766
This is what most people think of when they think of "confederate flag"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_symbols_designated_by_the_Anti-Defamation_League_as_hate_symbols#/media/File:Confederate_Rebel_Flag.svg

This flag is seen, to many, as a hate symbol, right up there with the Nazi flag.
I wasn't content with the media's and the internet's one-sided portrayal of this symbol as "racist", and having no connection with the flag myself, I decided to ask people who fly the flag what it means to them.

Here are some of the top answers that I got back:

- "Southern heritage. I have never associated this flag with anything nefarious. People in the South love the South. You don't hear songs about, oh say, New England...but you hear a lot of songs about the South."

- "It’s origins, the designs before this one were based on Christianity. There was a strong religious presence in the country’s founding."

- " "Rebel yell." Rebellion of TPTB. I've lived in the South most of my life, and I honestly never knew anyone considered that flag as racist until I went to college and heard a group of black people talking about it."

- "Rebellion. Independence. Fuck the system. "I'm still an individual." Underdog. Country rather than city. Rough rather than coifed."

- "Growing up in the South during the 80s, it just meant rebellion. People put it on their truck or car and would yell woohoo and drink beer.
Others displayed it for Southern Heritage. But in my circle we never saw having anything to do with race explicitly."

- "Growing up in the 80s and 90s, I knew more black teens with that flag on their trucks than white teens. But in either case, to us all it meant "rebel" as in you can't dictate my life choices to me."

- "It's the Confederate Battle Flag. It's a symbol of Southern Pride, Resistance to Intrusive Government Power, Rebellion against Social Norms, Individual Liberty, Racial Pride, and Patriotism. It can mean all of these things to a person, or none of these things."

- "the flag represents the blood of my ancestors who died defending their homes from federal govt stooges. it represents my home and my people as they were, unmolested and whole."

Also, I was directed to H.K. Edgerton, a black man who proudly flies the flag and wears the uniform while explaining his beliefs, and what the flag means to him:

Notice how none of them said "I love slavery and want to bring it back!" or "White Supremacy!" as people would want you to think.

What I find sad about this is that people are so willing and ready to believe what they are told about a group of people, that they are racist and evil, or about a symbol, that it is offensive, just because someone told them what to believe. The people who believe this didn't do the work I did just now. They never actually talked to the people that fly the flag. They didn't get both sides of the story.

The moral of the story is: get both sides of the story. Get all the facts before making up your mind. Don't let people tell you what to think.
 
Last edited:

Arnox

Veteran
Staff member
Founder
Messages
4,335
Interesting...

I miss threads like this that actually made you think and/or gave another point of view you would normally never have learned otherwise.
 

Drathnoxis

Adherent
Messages
93
I wasn't content with the media's and the internet's one-sided portrayal of this symbol as "racist", and having no connection with the flag myself, I decided to ask people who fly the flag what it means to them.

Here are some of the top answers that I got back:
I don't care about this topic in the slightest, but who did you ask? People in person or on the internet? All I see are unattributed quotes that you very well could have written yourself. Not what I would personally call facts.
 

Houseman

The Actual Hero
Sanctuary legend
Messages
766
I don't care about this topic in the slightest, but who did you ask? People in person or on the internet? All I see are unattributed quotes that you very well could have written yourself. Not what I would personally call facts.
Well, there's also those two youtube videos.

I asked people on the internet, from the_donald.
 

Drathnoxis

Adherent
Messages
93
I just read Gone with the Wind. It was very interesting to see a story about the American Civil War from the perspective of the Confederates. You never really seen anything about it beyond a black and white freedom vs. slavery thing, but I guess there was a bit more to it. I could see some families holding onto the grudge against the Yankees for their actions after the war for generations.
 

Gauche

Disciple
Messages
438
I don't think much of a flag but I guess people do
I just read Gone with the Wind. It was very interesting to see a story about the American Civil War from the perspective of the Confederates. You never really seen anything about it beyond a black and white freedom vs. slavery thing, but I guess there was a bit more to it. I could see some families holding onto the grudge against the Yankees for their actions after the war for generations.

Just be the better person
 

Arnox

Veteran
Staff member
Founder
Messages
4,335
I just read Gone with the Wind. It was very interesting to see a story about the American Civil War from the perspective of the Confederates. You never really seen anything about it beyond a black and white freedom vs. slavery thing, but I guess there was a bit more to it. I could see some families holding onto the grudge against the Yankees for their actions after the war for generations.
Well, as we all know, the Civil War was heavily about state powers versus federal powers. Slavery was the powder keg that had been sitting there ever since after the Revolutionary War and then blew up, initiating the Civil War and reigniting the big ass debate they had about how much power the federal government should have as compared to state governments. During the writing of the Constitution, a bunch of founding fathers really hated slavery and would have loved to have just shot it in the head that day, metaphorically speaking, but as a way to appease the south and to finally get started on uniting the states, it was allowed with a few small caveats under the assumption that it would be sorted out later.

It was not sorted out later.
 

Paco Smithereens

Outlander
Messages
17
Occupation
Mechanic
The problem with symbols is they don't work that way: the receiver is going to react to or interpret them however they're going to. You can fly whatever flag you like and insist it means one thing, but you don't get to dictate meaning to those receiving it. You hope the receiver will interpret it as you meant, but this just isn't how it works in practice.


The second issue is the term "offense" has been used to cover everything from mild irritation to outrage to trauma.

My thing about the rebel flag is whether or not a person's need to express "Southern Pride" - whatever that is (spoiler for those who haven't been to the South: it's mainly strip malls and chain restaurants, interspersed with rural areas like everywhere else) ought to exceed a person's desire to live a life free of having to revisit past traumas through being reminded of atrocities: or more specifically whether you as a person ought to measure your penchant for flamboyance against the damage flying a symbol like that can do.

The first thing that happens in this debate is one camp of people want to quickly shuffle this under "should be legally allowed to" and have a First Amendment conversation. While there are people who don't believe in the First Amendment, or for those not in the US the more transcendent concepts behind it, this is not where most of the objection comes from. It is easy to say "First Amendment!" and leave it laying there; for me the question of whether someone has the right to fly the flag is boring -- of course they do. Like a Nazi flag.

The question is whether this desire to express your mythical pride is so important to you that you'd rub people's faces in the atrocities committed under it makes you an asshole or not. And yeah, it makes you an asshole. If you are flying a rebel flag, I don't want anything to do with you. Climb out of your own ass and understand that there are people for whom that is a painful symbol.

And if you're okay with that, there's not much left to discuss. Be the asshole you really want to be. But be expected to be called out on it. And I'll expect you to whine about being "cancelled" or something when there are consequences.

And I've noticed that for a lot of people who insist "Southern Pride" is something apart from the racist traditions in that part of the world, it doesn't take more than a few beers to learn quickly that yeah Southern Pride means, I don't know, lemonade and humid summer days and people talkin' all kindly like...but also racism. The same way "I'm totally not an anti-Semite but I oppose the actions of the State of Israel" is a technically feasible position to hold, but follow the person around awhile, and the anti-Semitism they swear they aren't capable of somehow drips out.

Not *everyone.* But as a trend, yeah.

When I see someone flying the rebel flag, I just think they're a moron. I'm in good company. If it doesn't bother you that people think that, well, it's a free country.

Except for me of course; no matter what I do, I rule.
 
Last edited:

Houseman

The Actual Hero
Sanctuary legend
Messages
766
My thing about the rebel flag is whether or not a person's need to express "Southern Pride"... ought to exceed a person's desire to live a life free of having to revisit past traumas through being reminded of atrocities: or more specifically whether you as a person ought to measure your penchant for flamboyance against the damage flying a symbol like that can do.
Past traumas? It's not like anybody alive today suffered under the confederate flag. Nobody sees the flag and then remembers the time when they were a slave. Also, I don't recall the symbol doing any "damage" when it was aired on the nationally syndicated show "The Dukes of Hazzard" (not that I was alive back then).
 
Top