Confederate flag

Plans Afoot to Remove Confederate Flag from South Carolina State Grounds (UPDATED)

Is there now the political will to ignore its defenders?

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Last days?
Credit: Jason Lander / photo on flickr

It appears as though the days are numbered for the Confederate flag waving on the State House grounds in Columbia, South Carolina. Fitsnews, an online South Carolina-based news outlet, is reporting, via unnamed sources, that not only will Republican Gov. Nikki Haley be calling for the flag's removal at a press conference this afternoon, but Republican leaders of the state's House of Representatives have already agreed:

Eager to beat formerly pro-flag governor Nikki Haley to the punch (the governor has reportedly decided to call on lawmakers to take down the flag), House leaders have quickly sketched out an agreement to move the flag from the north lawn of the State House to a "place of honor" in the Confederate Relic Room – a government-run museum located in Columbia, S.C.

Originally, lawmakers had hoped to accomplish this in January via a "special order" piece of legislation – but it's looking now as though they may not have that sort of time.  In fact, sources tell FITS House leaders are currently exploring whether to use a procedural vote to take the flag down immediately … or at least within the next few days.

"We are in 'when, not if' territory now," a legislative leader told FITS.

If South Carolina Republicans take the lead on this, it will most certainly come as a relief to Republican presidential candidates, who will otherwise have to keep weighing in on this controversy and worrying about primary consequences, even though the president of the United States has no role or authority over what South Carolina does with the flag.

Matt Welch noted the history of the Confederate flag in South Carolina in the terms of presidential politics last week. I was actually a journalist in Columbia, South Carolina, back in 1999-2000, covering the presidential primaries down there and the rallies both in favor and against removing the flag (which was at that time flying atop the state capitol). Unfortunately I don't have access to my old reporting (this was before Google) so consider my memories anecdotal and perhaps a little suspect.

I can say that like many cultural conflicts, the battle was essentially driven by the loudest on each side, and it's really hard to evaluate in that sense what South Carolinian residents on the whole actually wanted, even after living there for a time. What was abundantly clear, though, is that those with the loudest of loudspeakers in South Carolinian conservative politics did not like being told by "outsiders" what to do. So when the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) sponsored rallies and calls for boycotts, I heard a lot of pushback in that vein and endured several lectures of what the flag truly meant, even though certainly the anti-flag rallies in Columbia were full of South Carolina residents, national NAACP involvement notwithstanding. And I can say that we can argue about which political movements bear the burden for the existence of slavery and segregation and the role of Southern Democrats back then, but in 1999, the supporters of keeping that flag flying were Republicans.

I can say that Columbia itself didn't appear that thrilled with the flag. Columbia's mayor at the time, Bob Coble, once tried to get it removed. Columbia isn't just the state capitol—it's a big college town with a sizeable youth population and a music and arts scene big enough to support an alternative weekly newspaper (which is where I was working). There were a lot of people there who were embarrassed by the flag, and no doubt that number has grown over time. A new national poll shows that one in five Americans support government buildings flying the Confederate flag. Two-thirds want it down.

This round of news coverage appears a lot less focused on giving soapboxes to flag defenders and more about whether the political will is there to move the flag off the State House grounds into a museum display instead. But we'll have to see what actually happens in the coming weeks.

Update: CNN says Sen. Lindsey Graham will be joining Haley's press conference to call for the flag's removal.

Update II: Haley did indeed call for the flag to come down at an afternoon press conference, saying, "Today we are here in a moment of unity to say it's time to move the flag from the capitol grounds." Read more here. 

NEXT: SCOTUS Overturns L.A. Law Allowing Police to Conduct Warrantless Searches of Hotel Guest Registries

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  1. THE UNION WINS AGAIN. Suck it, The South.

    1. I need 2 volunteers to help do the harmony parts of “The Night They Drove Ol Dixie Down”

      1. If other people just rev their pickup engines in protest, that’s cool too

        1. I was with all the people who were singin’ – they went…

          “laaaaaaaaaaaa lalalalalaaaaaaa…la la la laaaaaa la la la la la laaaaa”

          *instrumental interlude*

      2. The Band’s version, right?

        1. Well, obviously.

    2. It’s a lovely day. I think I’m gonna take a little march to the sea.

      1. You and all the other lemmings. It’s my day off, also a lovely day here. I have climbed a hill today, and am now going to hike to the pub.

      2. Are you going to take Mr. Peabody?

  2. Are they doing this because they and their people want to, or because the perpetually offended crowd says they must?

    1. They were flying the Stars and Stripes back when slavery was a tolerated part of America’s labor market. Its days fluttering in the breeze are numbered , too.

      1. Yep – we need to remove the stars and stripes from every building, because it’s symbolic of a nation whose VERY FOUNDING DOCUMENT CODIFIED SLAVERY. Therefore, it’s teh evul and must be shunned forevermore.

        Amen.

        1. Yeah, Washington didn’t even have the guts to codify it.

          1. I’m talking about Washington. DC. Pre-Washington DC, actually. Founders. US Constitution – 3/5’s person and all that. CODIFIED. RACIST.

          2. We usually refer to the flag of the USA as the “stars and stripes” – that’s not someone else I’m talking about.

        2. “I don’t get all choked up about yellow ribbons and American flags. I consider them to be symbols and I leave symbols to the symbol-minded.” – George Carlin

      2. That’s a terrible analogy. The Confederacy was formed with the main and primary goal of defending slavery, it’s not like ‘hey, among many other things this flag flew over some pretty rotten stuff.’

        1. You know who else made for terrible analogies?

          1. Does this have anything to do with The Charge of the White Brigade?

          2. Radio Shack?

            Oh wait, that was analogs. Sorry.

        2. It was formed with the main and primary goal of secession. The American Revolution was as much about slavery as the War of Southern Independence

          1. What’s more astounding, comments like this on an ostensibly libertarian site, or the fact that everyone else here let’s them slide? It’s so ludicrous to suggest that the preservation of mass slavery motivated the Founding Fathers of the US and the Confederacy equally, it’s incredible.

            1. Jefferson Davis was on record saying that he’d be happy to forgo the slavery issue if it meant independence. Ole Abe was on record saying that he’d forgo any change to the status of slavery if it meant preserving the union. And regardless, states have a contractual right to secede from the union which was the sole source of contention in regards to the war.

              Your fucking delusional if you think the union invaded the south because of their feelz for the slaves. Exactly as delusional as your government funded elementary school teacher taught you to be.

              1. You’re delusional if you think the South didn’t seceed primarily because they were worried about interference in their beloved institution of slavery.

                1. It was more about tariffs, taxation and federal trade policies which were enriching the North at the expense of the South. Even if slavery was the sole basis for secession, it doesn’t excuse the Union for invading. Or do you think the Union sent troops to ravage the South in order to free slaves? Because if that were the case, why wait until secession and not just send troops in 1861 or 1776?

                  Regardless of the socio-economic factors that were a prelude to the secession, the war itself was entirely about the secession. And the Union had no legitimate basis to declare secession illegal and invade.

                  1. 1860*

                  2. “Confederate leaders repeatedly stated in 1861 that the threat Lincoln’s election posed to slavery was the main reason for secession. In January 1861, soon-to-be Confederate President Jefferson Davis said that his state had seceded because “She has heard proclaimed the theory that all men are created free and equal, and this made the basis of an attack upon her social institutions; and the sacred Declaration of Independence has been invoked to maintain the position of the equality of the races.” Davis was referring to well-known speeches by Lincoln and other Republicans citing the Declaration in criticism of slavery. Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens similarly said that “slavery . . . was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution” and that protecting it was the “cornerstone” of the new Confederate government. Many other Confederate leaders made similar statements.”

                    http://volokh.com/archives/arc…..1218531359

                    1. The people of the State of South Carolina, in Convention assembled, on the 26th day of April, A.D., 1852, declared that the frequent violations of the Constitution of the United States, by the Federal Government, and its encroachments upon the reserved rights of the States, fully justified this State in then withdrawing from the Federal Union; but in deference to the opinions and wishes of the other slaveholding States, she forbore at that time to exercise this right. Since that time, these encroachments have continued to increase, and further forbearance ceases to be a virtue.

                      And now the State of South Carolina having resumed her separate and equal place among nations, deems it due to herself, to the remaining United States of America, and to the nations of the world, that she should declare the immediate causes which have led to this act.

                      In the year 1765, that portion of the British Empire embracing Great Britain, undertook to make laws for the government of that portion composed of the thirteen American Colonies. A struggle for the right of self-government ensued, which resulted, on the 4th of July, 1776, in a Declaration, by the Colonies, “that they are, and of right ought to be, FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES; and that, as free and independent States, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent States may of right do.”

                    2. I’m not sure what you think this proves, except that even the secessionist states defined themselves and established their common identity as “slaveholding States.”

                    3. I’m not sure what you think this proves, except that even the secessionist states defined themselves and established their common identity as “slaveholding States.”

                      This.

                    4. That section alone contains a reference to “other slaveholding states” which is curious if slavery wasn’t the issue. Let’s look at a few more quotes from the document, shall we?

                      “In the present case, that fact is established with certainty. We assert that fourteen of the States have deliberately refused, for years past, to fulfill their constitutional obligations, and we refer to their own Statutes for the proof.

                      The Constitution of the United States, in its fourth Article, provides as follows: “No person held to service or labor in one State, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered up, on claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due.”

                      This stipulation was so material to the compact, that without it that compact would not have been made. The greater number of the contracting parties held slaves, and they had previously evinced their estimate of the value of such a stipulation by making it a condition in the Ordinance for the government of the territory ceded by Virginia, which now composes the States north of the Ohio River.

                      The same article of the Constitution stipulates also for rendition by the several States of fugitives from justice from the other States …”

                    5. “… The General Government, as the common agent, passed laws to carry into effect these stipulations of the States. For many years these laws were executed. But an increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery, has led to a disregard of their obligations, and the laws of the General Government have ceased to effect the objects of the Constitution. The States of … have enacted laws which either nullify the Acts of Congress or render useless any attempt to execute them. In many of these States the fugitive is discharged from service or labor claimed, and in none of them has the State Government complied with the stipulation made in the Constitution. The State of New Jersey, at an early day, passed a law in conformity with her constitutional obligation; but the current of anti-slavery feeling has led her more recently to enact laws which render inoperative the remedies provided by her own law and by the laws of Congress. In the State of New York even the right of transit for a slave has been denied by her tribunals; and the States of Ohio and Iowa have refused to surrender to justice fugitives charged with murder, and with inciting servile insurrection in the State of Virginia. Thus the constituted compact has been deliberately broken and disregarded by the non-slaveholding States, and the consequence follows that South Carolina is released from her obligation.”

                    6. And the treaty with Britain dealt with each state separately, as their sovereignty was not collective

                      […]
                      “ARTICLE 1– His Britannic Majesty acknowledges the said United States, viz: New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, to be FREE, SOVEREIGN AND INDEPENDENT STATES; that he treats with them as such; and for himself, his heirs and successors, relinquishes all claims to the government, propriety and territorial rights of the same and every part thereof.”

                    7. You argued that the South seceded over tarrifs and trade, I called you out on it and proved you wrong, and now you’re shifting the goalposts to whether or not George III treated each state as sovereign.

                  3. Sole basis is a strawman. Slavery was just the primary basis. If tariffs were an issue at all, it was because the South had an agricultural economy dependent on slavery to pick cash crops and the northern economy was growing increasingly industrial. Even tariffs – which have been overstated by historical revisionists – eventually boil down to the South protecting slave labor anyway.

                  4. “Union sent troops to ravage the South in order to free slaves”

                    Who fired the first shot? I can’t quite recall.

                2. Slavery is a terribly inefficient business model, and resists being scaled up to industrial levels of production, which is, perhaps, the primary reason that it no longer exists in most of the world.
                  The death of the institution coincided perfectly with the industrial revolution.
                  The cash crops of the south can be grown much better by a guy with a John Deere than by hordes of manual laborers, who must be fed, clothed, and housed.
                  Slavery was going to go extinct eventually, and probably already would have, but for the invention, by Eli somebody or other, of the cotton gin.

                  1. That argument isn’t as accurate as people often think – first off, many areas that banned slavery had little industrialization – such as the Northern states in the late 1700s/early 1800s, when the Industrial Revolution was in its infancy, and nearly all of Latin America that banned it in the decades leading up to the Civil War.

                    But more to the point, even if you think slavery would have eventually been abolished due to industrialization, that doesn’t change the fact that the Southern states explicitly seceded to protect the institution of slavery.

                    1. and nearly all of Latin America that banned it in the decades leading up to the Civil War.

                      Latin American countries banned after it was already a moot point, that was the entire reason they were in a position to “ban it”. The vested interest of slave owners was weakened beyond redemption.

                      But maybe you can explain why slavery wasn’t simply “banned” in the ancient world if it was so simple as passing a statute or issuing an edict.

                    2. But more to the point, even if you think slavery would have eventually been abolished due to industrialization, that doesn’t change the fact that the Southern states explicitly seceded to protect the institution of slavery.

                      But more to the point, even if you think slavery was the sole justification for secession, that doesn’t change the fact that secession doesn’t justify the bloodthirsty carnage of war that the union inflicted.

                    3. The morals and ideology of some of the colonists was very pro freedom, and some of the States avoided the hypocrisy that the federal government engaged in. Good for them.
                      Nor am I involved in the argument about the prime cause of the civil war.
                      I was pointing out that slavery has been considered a natural part of the human condition since the beginning of history. The reason it wasn’t banned earlier is simply because it was the most efficient model available until the advent of steam power.
                      I do believe that civilization has grown up some; we have become more moral in general, I think, and I would argue that Christianity had, at least a little, something to do with that.
                      But, were we still living in a pre -industrialized world, the institution of slavery would still exist, no matter how many pious speeches by Mr. Lincoln.

              2. Let’s not pretend that northerners were overly concerned about the plight of slaves. They’d probably say that slavery was cruel. They might agree that slavery was a moral taint on the country and they might even agree that slavery should be abolished, but they were more likely to argue that slavery devalued white labor. How could white labor possibly complete with free black labor? Surely if employers were forced to choose, they’d choose upstanding white people.

                So I’m not going to argue to you that the North interfered to stop the southern secession because of some great need to protect slaves. They were trying to preserve the Union first and foremost.

                But that doesn’t mean that the North was all too comfortable with slavery. There were many battles over the issue, mostly as new territories entered as states into the Union. What we have is largely a sectional battle, and the source of that sectional battle was slavery. The North feared the “slave power” and the South feared that slavery would collapse and die if the institution could not expand. Its position in the House and Senate would be weakened, and soon the northern states would abolish slavery.

                1. Ha, you said “taint”

              3. The Union invaded the South because the South attacked Union property. But have no doubt, the South seceded because the Republican Party won an election that said slavery would not expand nationwide. The Dred Scott decision essentially said EXACTLY that – that no one could prohibit slavery in federal territories, that state laws prohibiting slavery were not legally enforceable, and that state laws prohibiting slave ownership elsewhere were not valid.

                And the South did not merely passively secede hoping to merely be left alone. The fireaters (see King Cotton speech) saw this as a contest between industrialization and slavery – and they were convinced that slavery and cotton would win. You have merely bought into the Lost Cause mythology that was created after the war.

          2. That’s just blatantly not true. New England was probably the most fervently pro-independence region, and it had a very low slave population, and abolished slavery very soon after the war ended (and in some cases even before it ended).

            1. Yes, i.e. it wasn’t about slavery in either case, while yet in both cases a confederacy in which slavery was legal was fighting to secede.

              1. Oh yes. Of course. Tariffs, right?

                1. What were those salve owning founders rebelling for, a 3% tax? That’s just crazy talk of course it was all about dem slavez!

                  1. And yes – the motive behind many of the southern founders for independence was slavery. specifically the fear that Somersetts Case (where slavery was deemed not possible under English common law) would be expanded to all parts of the world under English common law. It is even cited in general terms in the declaration of independence.

              2. Do I need to quote the Declarations of the Causes of Secession of various states or Alexander Stephens’s Cornerstone Speech to show that you’re very much wrong, and that slavery was, by far, the number one reason for seceding?

                1. Please do. The cultural division in the country was most visible as a line between “slave holding and non-slave holding states”. Slavery is of course mentioned, that’s no secret. But these declarations were long lists of grievances and I’ll give you a hint; they weren’t just repeating “yay slavery!” over and over again. Not that the ‘reason for seceding’ (as if there were but one) had any bearing on the legal character of secession from the union.

                  Here I’ll give you a shortcut; http://www.civilwar.org/educat…..html#Texas

                  1. Thank you for making my case for me. Let’s take a look at how not important slavery was to these states.

                    First paragraph of Georgia’s declaration:

                    “The people of Georgia having dissolved their political connection with the Government of the United States of America, present to their confederates and the world the causes which have led to the separation. For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slave-holding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery. They have endeavored to weaken our security, to disturb our domestic peace and tranquility, and persistently refused to comply with their express constitutional obligations to us in reference to that property, and by the use of their power in the Federal Government have striven to deprive us of an equal enjoyment of the common Territories of the Republic. This hostile policy of our confederates has been pursued with every circumstance of aggravation which could arouse the passions and excite the hatred of our people, and has placed the two sections of the Union for many years past in the condition of virtual civil war.”

                  2. Second paragraph (after a brief introduction) of Mississippi’s

                    “Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery– the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin. That we do not overstate the dangers to our institution, a reference to a few facts will sufficiently prove.”

                    1. I don’t think these declarations prove what you think they prove. That their secession was somehow illegitimate and worthy of a bloody war because some of the reasons they cite for this secession are icky. Again, no bearing on the legitimacy of states to secede and no moral shield for the union to invade.

                  3. I already posted a quote from SC’s.

                    Here’s Texas:

                    “She was received as a commonwealth holding, maintaining and protecting the institution known as negro slavery– the servitude of the African to the white race within her limits– a relation that had existed from the first settlement of her wilderness by the white race, and which her people intended should exist in all future time. Her institutions and geographical position established the strongest ties between her and other slave-holding States of the confederacy. Those ties have been strengthened by association. But what has been the course of the government of the United States, and of the people and authorities of the non-slave-holding States, since our connection with them?

                    The controlling majority of the Federal Government, under various pretences and disguises, has so administered the same as to exclude the citizens of the Southern States, unless under odious and unconstitutional restrictions, from all the immense territory owned in common by all the States on the Pacific Ocean, for the avowed purpose of acquiring sufficient power in the common government to use it as a means of destroying the institutions of Texas and her sister slaveholding States.”

                    But it was totally actually about tariffs and trade, just because slavery isn’t the subject of literally every sentence.

                    1. I notice that you didn’t post the total of the declarations. Probably because they are wel over the character limit.

          3. Secession for the explicit purpose of maintaining chattel slavery. Fuck the Confederacy. I’m not saying the Union was pure and true in it’s motives, but the Confederacy was definitely fighting for some evil shit.

            1. The Civil War was about secession! No one is defending slavery or even the policies of the Confederacy. Just that they had a right to secede just as the non-slave owning states had a right to secede.

              1. Secession to defend the institution of slavery.

                1. How does that change the legal character of secession or the Union’s response to that secession?

                  1. I don’t think secession is necessarily illegal and I’m not talking about the South’s legal footing. I’m talking about its moral footing.

                    1. I don’t think secession is necessarily illegal and I’m not talking about the South’s legal footing. I’m talking about its moral footing.

                      An unlawful invasion in the name of preserving the territorial integrity of the union, is moral how?

              2. Does the right to secede extend to a group that is prohibiting a very large percentage (in some cases over 50%) of the population of the territory they’re claiming from having any say in the matter?

                1. “Does the right to secede extend to a group that is prohibiting a very large percentage (in some cases over 50%) of the population of the territory they’re claiming from having any say in the matter?”

                  Morally or Legally?

                  1. Is that really important from a libertarian POV, or for an analysis of flying the Confederate flag on government property in 2015?

                    1. Yes. Libertarian go out of their way to treat them distinctly.

                    2. My point was that I think it’s pretty clear that the libertarian position is that my example is morally abhorrent, so whether or not it was legal isn’t of much importance. Furthermore, I still fail to see how it’s relevant to the debate today over the flag being flown.

                    3. “My point was that I think it’s pretty clear that the libertarian position is that my example is morally abhorrent, so whether or not it was legal isn’t of much importance.”

                      Libertarianism hinges on legality though, not morality. That’s why so many conservatives hate it.

                      “Furthermore, I still fail to see how it’s relevant to the debate today over the flag being flown.”

                      I raised a hypothetical, basically, what if the majority votes for something immoral (Assume they followed the law in doing so). Should the State be left to it’s abhorrentness or should the fed be called to intervene? I say let them rot (or flourish)

                    4. “Libertarianism hinges on legality though, not morality. That’s why so many conservatives hate it.”

                      That’s not at all true. Libertarianism is based on a moral premise (non-aggression). I think you’re confusing the notion that libertarians think it is in some cases more immoral to ban something that is viewed as immoral (“sins” like drugs, prostitution, etc. that don’t constitute aggression against others) than to legally allow it with the idea that libertarianism has nothing to do with morality. I’m curious how you ever came to this conclusion. By that logic libertarians should be defending the War on Drugs since it is currently legal.

                  2. Morally or Legally?

                    The answer is yes. No state has a right to exist and no state has a right to it’s borders. Much less when those borders are determined by the voluntary membership of the constituent sovereign entities.

                    1. “No state has a right to exist and no state has a right to it’s borders.”

                      You’re making an argument against your case. Your argument falls apart if you don’t grant any legitimacy to the 1860 state government of South Carolina or its claims of representation and control over everyone who lived within its borders, regardless of whether or not they had any influence in its decision-making or wanted the state to be independent or a part of the CSA. How can you possibly argue that it is morally right to coerce people into joining your decision to secede, and preventing them from exercising their right to remain a part of the Union and/or to leave the new state/country?

                2. Does the right to secede extend to a group that is prohibiting a very large percentage (in some cases over 50%) of the population of the territory they’re claiming from having any say in the matter?

                  It extends all the way down to the individual. It’s not as though secession is only a right when there is a democracy to vote on it. I don’t recall the American Founders basing the legitimacy of their rebellion on a plebiscite.

                  1. You’re dodging the question and the point – how do you claim a right to secede when you’re explicitly denying that right to everyone who disagrees with you, and using force to even give yourself the ability to express that “right” in the first place. The people of South Carolina, had they all voted on secession, would have rejected it – because 60% of its residents were black slaves who wanted nothing to do with the CSA.

                    1. You’re dodging the question and the point – how do you claim a right to secede when you’re explicitly denying that right to everyone who disagrees with you, and using force to even give yourself the ability to express that “right” in the first place.

                      What? Of course I deny the right of the burglar to invade my home.The South sent some declarations to Washington that said “Hey, we’re not members of the United States anymore”. The result was Washington sending troops south. The South would have been content to secede without a war, as would every entity that’s ever seceded from any other entity.

                      The people of South Carolina, had they all voted on secession, would have rejected it – because 60% of its residents were black slaves who wanted nothing to do with the CSA.

                      Ahhh democracy makes everything legitimate or illegitimate doesn’t it? It must be so simple to live in a world where you believe right and wrong are determined by a majority vote of some arbitrary grouping of people. Much less thought is required for that world view, I can see why you are inclined that way.

                    2. “What? Of course I deny the right of the burglar to invade my home.”

                      Except in this example, you kidnapped someone into your home, made them your slave, claimed possession of all their belongings, and then claim that no one has a right to stop you from declaring yourself above any other authority, and that anyone you coerce into remaining on your property, or your stolen property, has to abide by your rules instead.

                      Also, I apologize for forgetting that the North fired Fort Sumter at the cannonballs, I thought it was the other way around, my bad.

                    3. Except in this example, you kidnapped someone into your home, made them your slave,

                      Well then your example is shit because supporting the principle of secession is nothing even approaching support for slavery. At this point it’s fair to say that you’re not debating in good faith.

                      Also, I apologize for forgetting that the North fired Fort Sumter at the cannonballs, I thought it was the other way around, my bad.

                      Sorry I forgot that Fort Sumter was in the North and not on sovereign territory of a newly formed confederation.

                    4. Sorry I forgot that Fort Sumter was in the North and not on sovereign territory of a newly formed confederation.

                      The governor sent a demand letter (to surrender the property) to Prez Buchanan – in Jan 1861. And yes SC recognized it as federal property by the very act of sending the demand to Buchanan. There was no attempt to negotiate a transfer or anything. They also blockaded/besieged it (an act of war) and fired the first shots on a supply ship (Jan 1861). That’s all on Buchanan’s watch. And BTW – it is also one month before there was a ‘Confederation’. Two months before Lincoln was inaugurated. Three months before the South fired on Fort Sumter.

                    5. “Ahhh democracy …”

                      If we’re discussing the legitimacy of governments and their ability to claim to represent the people, then yeah, I think it is pretty relevant how democratic they are. That doesn’t mean democracy is the end-all-be-all that justifies anything. But the entire secessionist argument is based on the idea of consent of the governed and that South Carolina no longer consented to being a part of the Union. As I do not think any state or government has rights, the only way that can be considered valid is if the government is speaking on behalf of the people. Which in this case it wasn’t. Because a majority of the people had no say in the matter. It’s one thing to say that everyone down to an individual can secede – it’s another to say it’s ok for them to force their neighbors to secede with them and assume control over them. It’s not just about democracy – even in states where secession-supporters really are the majority (and this statement is not specific to the Civil War), if the secessionists refuse to allow areas that wish to secede from them to do so, or prevent people who wish to leave the state from doing so, I don’t think they are exercising the right to secession in a valid manner, and as such, I do not think anyone trying to stop them is violating their rights. If New York seceded and declared that all non-Democrats must be prevented from leaving and put into concentration camps, it wouldn’t be wrong for the US government to stop them from seceding

                    6. But the entire secessionist argument is based on the idea of consent of the governed and that South Carolina no longer consented to being a part of the Union.

                      Your narrow little view of secession I have no doubt rests on the laurels of democracy. Clearly it’s not the only view. And if you want to use the “consent of the governed” argument then you’re building your house on sand.

                      As I do not think any state or government has rights, the only way that can be considered valid is if the government is speaking on behalf of the people.

                      These governments did claim to be speaking on behalf of the people. And they were certainly doing so at least as much as the Northern states who similarly did not allow freedman to vote, in addition to loads of other groups.

                      Which in this case it wasn’t. Because a majority of the people had no say in the matter.

                      Nor in the north.

                      it’s another to say it’s ok for them to force their neighbors to secede with them and assume control over them.

                      That’s an indictment of democracy, which you are trying to defend. What do you think democracy is? Everyone votes and then the results are only binding on one party of voters? If you think it’s unfair that secession would be binding on the South Carolinians who didn’t want to secede, then how can it be fair to the ones who do want to secede to be forced to remain in the union? Circular logic much?

                    7. “Your narrow little view of secession I have no doubt rests on the laurels of democracy. Clearly it’s not the only view. And if you want to use the “consent of the governed” argument then you’re building your house on sand.”

                      Then please give me your conception of secession that makes what the Southern states did morally valid.

                      Regarding the North, what’s your point? I never said the Northern states were some virtuous example of liberty in that time period. I will say that they were more representative than the Southern states, if only because black people were a much, much lower percentage of the population.

                      “That’s an indictment of democracy, which you are trying to defend.”

                      I have in no place offered any unqualified defense of democracy or majority rule. I have argued that when a government is seceding and claiming to speak on behalf of their populace, that it is relevant how much that populace has a say in the matter. That doesn’t mean anything is fine as long as people vote on it. And it’s not really an indictment of democracy, because in my example it’s not relevant how large the seceding group is, only whether or not the have the power to force dissenters to go along with them.

                    8. “If you think it’s unfair that secession would be binding on the South Carolinians who didn’t want to secede, then how can it be fair to the ones who do want to secede to be forced to remain in the union?”

                      One giant difference is that South Carolinians who did want to secede were more than free to move elsewhere. Not so for most of those who didn’t want to secede. If most people in an area wish to secede, I don’t really care as long as they allow areas within their area opposed to it to refrain from joining them, and allow people to leave and not be enslaved. If an individual wishes to secede, I similarly don’t care as long as they can do so without aggressing against others. None of this applies in the historical example we’re discussing. There would have been no point to the secession of the people we’re talking about if they were not able to coerce and enslave others. Protecting that ability was the entire reason they seceded.

                    9. Democracy is a whole fuckload more legitimate than a state that enslaves the majority of its population.

                      I thought you were more of an anarchist? What’s all this rights of government stuff? Sure, the northern invasion might not be morally justified, but a state that completely shits on the rights of most of its population isn’t morally justified to exist.

                    10. Democracy is a whole fuckload more legitimate than a state that enslaves the majority of its population.

                      Last I checked, the southern states had elections and voters. Even ancient democracies like Athens had slaves. Democracy and slavery are not mutually exclusive terms.

                      I thought you were more of an anarchist? What’s all this rights of government stuff?

                      The right of secession is an individual right. But as a matter of contractual obligations between states, there did exist a right to secede. I’m an anarchist, but does that mean I’m not permitted to take a stance on any conflict between states and polities? I prefer a stateless society and absent that, I prefer small states and I mean small in every way.

                      Sure, the northern invasion might not be morally justified, but a state that completely shits on the rights of most of its population isn’t morally justified to exist.

                      No state is morally justified to exist. They are criminal enterprises. But the Civil War wasn’t waged on libertarian principles, it was waged on statist ones. And within that paradigm, the Union had no legitimate basis for doing what it did. That is my argument.

                    11. I guess I’m just more of a cynic that way. Governments fighting each other is just stupid shit that happens and you just hope for the least awful outcome. When it comes to states, might makes right (in an immoral sort of sense).

                    12. “You’re dodging the question and the point – how do you claim a right to secede when you’re explicitly denying that right to everyone who disagrees with you, and using force to even give yourself the ability to express that “right” in the first place.”

                      By the law, as it was written.

                      “The people of South Carolina, had they all voted on secession, would have rejected it – because 60% of its residents were black slaves who wanted nothing to do with the CSA.”

                      Yet they weren’t legal persons. So their view, like that of women and children was irrelevant. It was all down to the people who could vote (via their representatives, of course).

                      Again, the legal/moral distinction is extremely important.

                    13. Tak, I’ve already addressed this time and time again. I don’t give a shit how fucked up the laws of South Carolina, or the US as a whole were in 1860. All I know is that South Carolina’s government had no moral right to exist or to rule over the population in the way it did. Whether it had a legal right to secede is of much less importance to me, and is something that was debated then and is still debated today.

                    14. “All I know is that South Carolina’s government had no moral right to exist or to rule over the population in the way it did.”

                      Right. And you aren’t wrong (you’re also not right) as that’s morality. Some say they did, some say they didn’t… that’s all there is.

                      “Whether it had a legal right to secede is of much less importance to me, and is something that was debated then and is still debated today.”

                      Indeed, that’s much more important to me. Arguing about (or making bold statements about) morality is like arguing about humor or taste.

                    15. Arguing about (or making bold statements about) morality is like arguing about humor or taste.

                      Horse shit. Murder is wrong. Assault is wrong. Thievery is wrong.
                      Compare to: Cake is a great band, and also tastes good.

                    16. “Murder is wrong. Assault is wrong. Thievery is wrong.
                      Compare to: Cake is a great band, and also tastes good.”

                      Translating…

                      Boo! Boo! Boo!
                      Yay! Yay!

                      Meaningless.

                    17. Really? Ethics have no universal truth? Whether I decide to murder and rape is fundamentally the same as whether I decide to listen to the Stones, or watch Seinfeld?

                    18. “Really? Ethics have no universal truth? Whether I decide to murder and rape is fundamentally the same as whether I decide to listen to the Stones, or watch Seinfeld?”

                      That’s exactly right. Ethics, like aesthetics, are not truth apt.

                      …unless you believe in God.

                    19. I don’t believe in God. I do think that some morality is based on culture, etc. But I also think that there are some fundamentals, and I think the NGO is a good starting point. But you’re not a libertarian, where do you derive your ethics? Utilitarianism?

                    20. Um, NAP, I don’t know what the fuck NGO is, what, non governmental agency or some shit?

                    21. “I do think that some morality is based on culture, etc. But I also think that there are some fundamentals, and I think the NGO is a good starting point.”

                      I think the NAP is a good starting point, for the same reason, cultures share enough similarities. That obviously doesn’t make it a universal truth though.

                      “But you’re not a libertarian, where do you derive your ethics? Utilitarianism?”

                      No, sir. Look into Stirner, Tucker, Crowley, or even Redbeard.

                    22. Ha! I love Alistair! Do what thou wilt shall be all the law, or some such bullshit.
                      So,disregarding myths and magic, how would you develops an ethical framework for human interaction?
                      I gotta admit,I kinda like Jesus’s “turn the other cheek” spiel.

                    23. And you know what? That’s not right either. What I really like is when he’s asked what the greatest law is and he replies”The greatest law is this: That you do unto others as your would have done unto you.’
                      I don’t believe in the religion, but I like it’s starting point.

                    24. “So,disregarding myths and magic, how would you develops an ethical framework for human interaction?”

                      Violence. “Steal from me and I’ll shoot you.” No need for nonsense like God or Natural Rights.

                      “I gotta admit,I kinda like Jesus’s “turn the other cheek” spiel.”

                      Good. I won’t have to worry about you stealing from me.

                    25. Really? Ethics have no universal truth? Whether I decide to murder and rape is fundamentally the same as whether I decide to listen to the Stones, or watch Seinfeld?

              3. Governments don’t have rights. All they have is violence. And the South got out-violenced. There is no right to secede. There is only the individual right to be left the fuck alone unless you are hurting someone else. And neither side was fighting for that.

                If you want to talk about rights, the right of people not to be enslaved far outweighs the right of one group of thugs not to be told what to do by another group of thugs. That’s what the civil war was about. One group of violent pieces of shit trying to assert themselves against another group of violent pieces of shit.

                1. Governments don’t have rights.

                  Correct, states don’t have a right to exist. I never said they had natural rights. However, contractual rights in their relations to other states are legitimate within the paradigm of statism, no? There was no contractual or lawful right of the union to invade the south on the basis of their secession.

                  1. The colonies had contractual obligations to the British crown too.

                    You are right in a way. But I don’t put so much store in laws that regulate the relationships between governments. Governments do what they can get away with. We all know that.
                    I don’t want to argue about the civil war. That’s what happened and it’s not going to be undone.

                    1. The colonies had contractual obligations to the British crown too.

                      Which were voided, arguably, by the failure of the Crown to live up to it’s end of the contract.

                      I don’t want to argue about the civil war. That’s what happened and it’s not going to be undone.

                      It’s important. Because we both know the prevailing wisdom in the US is that “Secession = racism” or “secession = slavery” which is a problem to say the least.

                    2. The colonies had contractual obligations to the British crown too.

                      And I should also make mention, that secession is an individual right so even if the colonial corporations had some obligation to the royal corporation overseas, individuals have no such bounds and their rights supersede that of artificial non-voluntary entities.

                      Conversely, you couldn’t say that Northern individuals had some right to shoot at Southern individuals who chose not to associate with them any longer within a political union.

        3. The Confederacy was formed with the main and primary goal of defending slavery,

          And the Constitution was written with a primary goal of keeping the slave-states in the Union by permitting slavery. I fail to see a distinction that makes a difference, here. YMMV, especially if you are intellectually dishonest enough to pretend to be a lawyer on comment boards when you are really not.

          1. “And the Constitution was written with a primary goal of keeping the slave-states in the Union by permitting slavery.”

            This is hilarious. Sure, RC, the Founders just said ‘we really need to have a Convention with the primary goal of creating a Union in which we will come to a compromise which permits states with slavery in said Union.

            lol

          2. All of which was nullified by the Dred Scott decision. The south loves to prattle on about defending ‘states rights’ but the reality is that the Dred Scott decision overrode ‘states rights’ everywhere

            The right of slaves in Missouri to petition a court for their freedom
            The right of Illinois to prohibit slavery on its territory
            The right of any new (post-Missouri Compromise) state from prohibiting slavery on its territory
            The right of New York to prohibit its citizens from owning slaves outside NY (this was a big deal to the South because it meant slaves were no longer easy collateral for any bank loan – Southern slaveowners loved their debt)
            The right of any state (in practice mostly NY and the Midwest) to extend citizenship to any new immigrant

            I could go on and on. The new Republican Party was elected BECAUSE it promised not to enforce that decision (all of which affected non-slave states). Had nothing to do with slavery in the south – but the extension of slavery into federal territories and the north. The South insisted that that decision be enforced everywhere and essentially keep their control of two branches of the federal govt – which was why they didn’t even allow Republicans on the ballot in the South (not that that would’ve gotten any GOP votes). The South is the one who decided that slavery here means slavery everywhere and anyone who opposes slavery everywhere is a slippery slope to opposing slavery here. Biggest deceit of the Lost Cause mythology.

        4. Lefties are the first to say that burning, stomping on, or just mistreating the US flag is no big deal because it is just a piece of fabric. Just a piece of cloth that has no meaning.

          Yet for some reason they get foaming at the mouth hysterical about the Confederate flag because that piece of colorful fabric has meaning.

          Go figure.

        5. Bo, how old are you? Not a baby boomer or older, I’d guess?

          There seems to be a strong break based on age with regard to the reasons believed for the Civil War; older folks tend to see it as being about “preserving the Union” and the younger crowd tend to see it as basically being all about slavery.

          Just curious.

          1. It’s because our schools are shit. They make it sound like the North was a bastion of anti-slavery fever that was on a moral crusade for human rights while the South was a bunch of slave-owning heathens. Completely ignoring the fact that Northerners didn’t like slaver because it competed with White workers (dey took r jawbsss!!!) and wanted the new Western territories to be reserved for the betterment of white men struggling to find work in the colonies. Not to mention the lynch mobs when people in the North thought Lincoln was trying to free slaves and federal agents continuing to return slaves after the war was over.

            1. That was sort of my point, but I really was curious to continue my survey.

              I find that even between myself and my sister who is only 4 years younger, there is a complete disconnect on this subject. I was flabbergasted when I heard her parroting about the war being “to free the slaves”. Referencing Lincoln’s own writings makes no difference, she knows the TRUTH and nothing will change her mind.

      3. Well, now the flag has 50 stars, and it only had 30 or however many stars before the 13th amendment. So a technically different flag!

        1. True. We should color the pre-1865 states’ stars greenish or something to indicate their shame.

          1. Perhaps yellow stars? I understand they have a history of being a badge of shame.

            1. Pink triangles?

              1. Purple Horseshoes!

  3. If you think the squeals of faux outrage were bad before they removed the flag, the squealing is going to get even worse once they fold it up. Taking away a source of aggrievement from the professionally aggrieved is worse than feeding them feet-first into a woodchipper.

    1. A temporary adjustment. Then, they will have nothing to feed off of. At least nothing that gets them this level of attention.

      1. I doubt it. The next step will be to ban private display. Which is the dumbest idea available on the subject.

        1. Griefers do specialize in “dumbest idea available”, so….

        2. That’s not going to happen.

          1. I wouldn’t bet on it, Zeb. Once we outlaw hate speech, it’ll be a done deal.

            And, if SCOTUS can “discover” that the 1A doesn’t cover commercial speech, they can certainly “discover” that it doesn’t cover hate speech.

            1. Maybe I’m being overly optimistic, but I think there is no chance that any individual speech will be outlawed.

    2. When you run out of things to be aggrieved about, you can talk about “privilege” and “whiteness”.

    3. “Micro aggressions have risen by nearly 1100%”

  4. About time. What an embarrassment. No, it doesn’t matter that it symbolizes your (shitty) culture/heritage. No I don’t care about it symbolizing rebellion (against the tyranny of not owning slaves). It has no more place on a Capitol building than the Swastika has on the Bundestag or the hammer and sickle does on the Kremlin.

    1. Or a beaver tail flying over Parliament in Ottawa!

      1. What we did to those beavers was wholly justified and highly profitable.

        1. They were kind of asking for it…

    2. Right now the hammer and sickle would be right at home on the Kremlin, but your broader point stands.

      1. Putin strikes me more as a neo-nationalist than a commie. I think he sees the old Russian Empire as his ideal goal, with himself as Czar, not the USSR.

        1. Definitely. He sure as shit doesn’t want to hand over control to any kind of Politburo.

        2. This. Communism has been replaced mostly with old-school ethno-imperialism/nationalism.

    3. It doesn’t symbolize our culture. We’re quick to point out that we’ve changed radically from the days that flag was adopted (heck, from the days it was put up to protest integration). It signifies a part of our heritage, one that people would say they disown now.

      1. “one that people won’t say they disown now.”

        I scrolled through the thread just to see what kind of retarded shit the BoSock would say. I am not disappointed.

        1. Sure Suthenboy, there are some Southerners who would say the Confederacy was right and all, I was just ignoring y’all as the minority.

          1. Fuck of Tulpa.

      2. I love that flag more and more. For the sole reason that it pisses off the progtards.

        And I do take great pleasure inflicting pain on progtards.

      3. Most of my ancestors here then (2/3 roughly) fought for the Confederacy. I’m sympathetic to the argument that some people make when they say they are flying the flag to respect/honor their particular ancestors. But I’ll be damned if any of those people actually exist. Inevitably, that sort of statement is just a segue into some nonsensical post-facto justification of the Confederacy – most of which simply parrots post-Civil War justifications (the Lost Cause stuff) for the war itself.

    4. It has no more place on a Capitol building than the Swastika has on the Bundestag

      Of course now that the swastika has been banned from public display, it’s available as a symbol of hatred. Anyone who wants to upset Jews can sprayscrawl one on a synagogue door.

      Treat the confederate flag the same way and anyone who wants to upset blacks will be able to walk up to a church door and spray a rectangle with an X in it.

      Unintended consequences are a bitch.

      Early Christians were a lot smarter. They took a brutal symbol of Roman domination and appropriated it as their own. Now the Christian cross is such a symbol of good that it only upsets militant atheists and vampires.

      1. “Treat the confederate flag the same way and anyone who wants to upset blacks will be able to walk up to a church door and spray a rectangle with an X in it.”

        Because no one got the idea to use the Confederate flag to upset blacks before calls to stop flying it at statehouses!

      2. Now the Christian cross is such a symbol of good that it only upsets militant atheists and vampires.

        And Islamists. And the French, who may or may not be militant atheist vampires.

        1. “…the French, who may or may not be militant atheist vampires.”

          You can’t prove they aren’t, can you?

          I didn’t think so.

        2. That might make for an interesting movie.

      3. Do you really think the only reason the Swastika is seen as an offensive or hateful symbol is that Germany banned it after the war?

    5. *In 2070, the majority Hindu/Jainist nation of Germanrahjah install a swastika on the Bundestag for religious purposes.*

      It’s almost like symbols are arbitrary subjective concepts that can mean entirely different things to entirely different people.

    6. The Swastika and the Hammer and Sickle were the explicit symbols of an ideology. The Confederate Flag was a symbol of sovereignty, not of a political party or an ideology.

      1. A sovereignty based primarily and explicitly on defending the institution of slavery. Come on.

        1. These words, presumably all of them, don’t mean what you think they mean.

    7. Yeah. Fact is, to a whole lot of people that flag means support for racism, segregation and slavery. It may mean other things to some people. And they can keep using it if they want. But for the state to keep flying it is ridiculous.
      Swastikas mean things other than Nazism too. But it is stuck with that meaning, probably for good. Sometimes you need to find new symbols if the old ones are associated with horrible evil shit.

      1. The Finns still put the Swastika on their fighter jets and some of the military units still use them, as they had before the Nazis adopted the symbol for themselves. No one denies that it certainly hurts people’s little feelings but since the Finns aren’t using the symbol to reference National Socialism I fail to see how anyone is harmed or threatened. I could care less if the Finns or the South Carolinians want to get rid of these symbols, but for someone to claim that they’ve been transgressed against because these symbols still fly is ridiculous.

        1. But…….but………FEELZ!!!!!!

        2. Didn’t know that about the finish military.

          I really don’t care, myself. I always thought swastikas were kind of cool.

          But I still say it is bad form for a government to display a symbol which, right or wrong, offends a large part of their constituency. There are other symbols that could be used for state sovereignty just as well.

          1. I agree. It’s generally bad form. But I’m not so sure that in the Finnish case, that the people are clamoring to remove the symbol from official use. In fact I think the attitude is basically, “fuck you, it was our symbol first and the Nazis aren’t going to take that away from us.”

            The symbol also has a lot of use in India as part of some sort of mystical belief system or some such nonsense, and many of those people are completely unaware of the holocausty connotations that outsiders take away from their use of that symbol. But I’m sure they would similarly say that the symbol is theirs and means something else entirely.

            1. If the Finns don’t care, that’s fine. In SC a lot of people clearly do care.

    8. Alright, calm down John Stewart. Let’s not go invading Iraq over 9/11. Lest we forgot the sudden outrage is over a racist terrorist killing blacks in a church. Some people are crazy and do things that are completely out of our control. Removing the flag in South Carolina or jerking off on the Quran doesn’t change that.

  5. Well, thank God! Removing this flag will hasten the day those dead people are brought bad. AND will help prevent future shootings.

    Cause….sYMbOLz!

  6. And they took the awful, awful flag down and no one was ever racist again.

    The End

    1. But your slashporn will continue, right. RIGHT?

    2. Your comment has been victorious

    3. No. They kept pretending the flag wasn’t a secret symbol of their KKK leanings but now that we’re on to them they’re just going to take the flag down. Taking down the flag makes racism that much worse because now those racists bastards are evilly trying to hide the fact that they’re racists. Probably misogynistic and homophobic and glutenphiliac, too.

  7. What is it with you people and the Confederate battle flag?

    What do you mean, “you people”?

    What do YOU mean “what do you mean, you people”?

    Huh!

    1. Oh, you people and your talk about “you people”!

  8. If I’m lucky, this will lead to a slight reduction in the number of half-witted defenses of the Confederacy I have to slog through in otherwise-libertarian forums.

    1. Yes, I’m sure this will help with that.

      *rolls eyes*

      1. Hey man, symbolic tolerance is affirmation, so basically all the people saying the flag is just a flag are pro-slavery

        Half-witted indeed

    2. Why would the flag no longer being flown in S. Carolina change anything?

      1. Silly, when you repress political speech, no one ever has bad thoughts again

        Haven’t you paid attention to why Citizens United was so awful?

        1. Yes, asking the state not to give a place of honor on state grouns=’repressing political speech’

          Derpity derp!

          1. Silly Bo, everybody knows that if the government doesn’t officially promote your opinion, you are being “repressed”.

            1. It’s terrible reasoning, isn’t it? But of course that’s not what it’s intended to do-it’s supposed to signal distance from the awful SJWs calling for the flag to come down, and it does do that I guess.

        2. “Haven’t you paid attention to why Citizens United was so awful?”

          Now that you mention it, I have noticed a slight up-tick in half-witted defenses of corporations on otherwise-libertarian forums since the decision.

      2. Because it is a historical fact that the only reason it is being flown in the first place is as a fuck-you to the civil rights movement. All the crap about “respecting history” and the like is just post-hoc rationalization from people who just can’t tolerate “the other side” actually being right about something for once.

        That’s why there is no movement to fly that flag in more than the handful of places it is currently being flown. In their hearts, even the people who claim to want it flown in South Carolina know they’re just being assholes.

        1. What do “historical facts” have to do with libertarian forums? Slim to little.

          “That’s why there is no movement to fly that flag in more than the handful of places it is currently being flown. In their hearts, even the people who claim to want it flown in South Carolina know they’re just being assholes.”

          And? Let assholes be assholes.

          1. Well, there is something to be said for not wanting such assholery to be tax-subsidized. But beyond that? Nothing.

            I am reminded of the crazy old woman who lived in the neighborhood I grew up in. I guess I was 8 or 9 when she put a hand-written sign up on her front door that was a long screed against everything she hated. It was memorable to me as it was the first time I came across the term “purple Jew”.

            Then the old coot died and nothing else happened.

            1. Who are these “purple jews”? I would like to subscribe to this woman’s newsletter.

              1. I suspect they are related to oompah loompahs

            2. “Well, there is something to be said for not wanting such assholery to be tax-subsidized. But beyond that? Nothing.”

              Well now we’ve just abolished the State entirely!

          2. I’m all for letting individual assholes be assholes. States are a little different. States don’t have free speech rights as such.

            1. States are different. The question is if the state is to say anything (i.e. fly a flag) who should decide on what it says?

              1. The legislature, I guess. That’s who decides things for states.

                The question before us today seems to be whether or not the legislature should. I think they should. I think it would be bad if, for example, some federal court told them they had to.

                1. “The legislature, I guess. That’s who decides things for states.”

                  Agreed.

                  “The question before us today seems to be whether or not the legislature should. I think they should.”

                  And I think they shouldn’t.

                  “I think it would be bad if, for example, some federal court told them they had to.”

                  Agreed again.

      3. It would change things by eliminating the occasional debates about whether or not they should stop flying the flag in South Carolina.

  9. Can we agree that all government flags are pretty stupid? What’s the point of all these American flags I see everywhere? They don’t even symbolize government offices given that they are on every other building in town.

    I suggest we throw all flags in the trash.

    1. FUCK YOU!!! COMMIE!!

      USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA!

      *waves tiny US flags*

        1. You know, I don’t care you y’are….that’s funny. And awesome.

          1. I’m with Almanian! That was fucking awesome. It’s like a real life recreation of the opening scene in Super Troopers where Mac comes running out of the bar.

    2. Fine with me. Flags are good because they help you figure out who you are supposed to kill in a war and so you can know what country a ship comes from. Other than that, pretty pointless.

  10. Everyone is so obsessed with totems and idols. Who cares whether it stays or goes? It’s just a fucking golden calf.

    1. There’s a reason Moses flayed all that calf’s worshippers alive in front of their children, or ate their wives, or whatever it was he did. It’s been a while since I read that book. Anyway, my point is that symbols matter to people.

      1. Actually, he ate out their wives. He did it so well that the wives were persuaded to forsake their idolatrous husbands. Unfortunately, the VD he contracted killed him after he saw the Holy Land but before the Hebrews could capture it.

        The story that the event weakened the Hebrews by depriving them of good fighters who happened to be calf worshippers is baloney. The foresaken men were too weak, poorly coordinated, and disorganized to physically prevent a single man, Moses, from having his way with their wives. They were a bunch of betas.

        They were so beta, in fact, that none of them had VD. Some of the wives had taken up prostitution to make up for their beta husbands inability to hold down a job in the face of PUA competition. Even their wives wouldn’t touch them. Especially after they met a real alpha in the form of Moses.

        You guys really should read the Bible; it has lots of good stuff in there.

        1. The Bible Game

        2. Like Jesus’ commandment, ‘you can fuck with your mouth, you know. Its pretty much the nicest thing you can do for thy neighbor’

      2. And state endorsement of symbols means more. So long as private display remains legal (I’m a dreamer) removing this flag from the state capitol’s grounds seems appropriate.

        1. Yes. And I will bet that private display remains legal. Any ban on displaying any flag would go against a whole lot of 1st amendment precedent. Individual free expression is still quite well protected.

    2. Who cares whether it stays or goes?

      Lots of people do. A better question is why do they care. But that’s probably a pointless question too. Seems to be part of human nature to be attached to certain symbolism.

  11. I couldn’t care less whether the flag stays up, comes down, or is set on fire.

    It does seem to me that even if the battle flag comes down, they’ll still be flying a symbol of a country that held slaves and denied people their civil liberties–just a much more popular one.

  12. Is the idea of letting South Carolinians vote on the matter just beyond the pale?

    1. Is the idea of letting South Carolinians vote on the matter just beyond the pale

      Since South Carolina lies outside the English controlled holdings of Ireland, yes!

      1. Very, very good. That settles everything.

    2. beyond the pale

      ugh. racist wordplay.

    3. Are most decisions related to flag display on government property subject to popular vote?

      1. “Are most decisions related to flag display on government property subject to popular vote?”

        Does it really matter? Is that a bad idea?

        1. I’m just wondering why of all the things that could possibly be voted on directly, this would make the cut. Has there ever been a public vote on a statewide issue of this nature before? I’m asking seriously, I don’t think I’ve heard of any.

          1. “I’m just wondering why of all the things that could possibly be voted on directly, this would make the cut. ”

            Because for many here libertarianism=oppose anything ‘SJWs’ might call for. Look at the crazy, inconsistent arguments being tossed out here.

            1. Reflexive hatred of SJWs is pretty much the whole of it, yes.

              Here’s a thought experiment: suppose, today, 51% of South Carolina voters declared that they wanted to leave the union and re-implement slavery. Who would support it? A handful of nuts. Certainly no libertarian worthy of the label.

              But look back a century and a half, to a time when the small minority of white men who were allowed to vote explicitly left the Union to keep the USA from banning slavery, and otherwise sensible people fall all over themselves praising the heroism and nobility of the people in question. Why? Because left-wingers hate the Confederacy, and anything left-wingers hate must have something good about it, right?

              It is a damned sad thing to see.

              1. Well said.

                It’s amazing, isn’t it. We all hate SJWs, there’s no need to make that your political philosophy in total though.

          2. I’m just wondering why of all the things that could possibly be voted on directly, this would make the cut.

            Well, by all means, it doesn’t have to be direct. Their state reps can vote for it, the actual details are irrelevant.

            But this makes the cut in my fairly anti-democratic leanings simply because it’s toothless.

            1. Your anti-democratic leanings, which were oh so indicated by your quick response of ‘let them vote!!!’ Sure.

              1. “Fairly”

                You can do better.

                1. I was thinking the same of you. Seriously, if you think of yourself as generally one of a ‘fairly anti-democratic’ bent then you should ask yourself if you immediately invoking popular soveriegnty here has more to do with just wanting to oppose what SJW’s or whatever are proposing today. I oppose most of what they propose on any given day (Super Living Wages for all!!!), but even broken clocks are correct twice a day.

                  1. How is right and wrong measured in regards to a flag? Public opinion seems to be the best option.

                    What alternative do you have in mind?

                    And you’re assuming that the popular vote will result in the flag staying, to which I’m actually doubtful. You’re references to SJW’s are simply misplaced here.

                    1. What alternative do you have to popular vote in ‘fairly’ ever other area? I don’t see that deciding what flags or statues should be honored on state property is somehow different enough than the other things that government should be doing that it warrants an immediate nod to a different process.

                    2. What alternative do you have to popular vote in ‘fairly’ ever other area? I don’t see that deciding what flags or statues should be honored on state property is somehow different enough than the other things that government should be doing that it warrants an immediate nod to a different process.

                      “Honored on State Property” seems like a pretty great distinction.

                    3. “What alternative do you have to popular vote in ‘fairly’ ever other area?”

                      A constitutional republic?

                    4. “A constitutional republic?”

                      Are you answering your own question?

            2. I’m pretty sure it is going to be voted on by the reps. I think it has to be, by law.

              1. “I’m pretty sure it is going to be voted on by the reps. I think it has to be, by law.”

                Of course, that doesn’t change anything about the idea though. Are anti-flaggers really going to be content if the Stars and Bars squeaks by? I think many are willing to go above their heads if it doesn’t go their way.

                1. Not the Stars and Bars. Those were the actual flags of the Confederacy and looked more like the American flag (blue field with circle of stars, large red and white bars on the side.) The flag in question is the Battle Flag of the First Army of Virginia.

                  /flag pedantry.

                  1. “Not the Stars and Bars. Those were the actual flags of the Confederacy and looked more like the American flag (blue field with circle of stars, large red and white bars on the side.)”

                    You are the best kind of correct.

                    “The flag in question is the Battle Flag of the First Army of Virginia.”

                    Ha! More like First Corps, Army of Northern Virginia. (God, I hope I’m not mistaken, my pride…)

                  2. It’s the Battle Flag of the Army of Tennessee. The Army of Virginia is square.

                    1. It’s pretty square in the picture there.

                    2. You’ve got a lot of nerve calling anything square after you displayed such knowledge of flag minutiae.

      2. As I recall most decisions about public display of symbols have been subject to popular vote of SCOTUS.

    4. Big fan of direct democracy?

      1. When it comes to flags, yes.

        1. Equal parts hilarious and pathetic.

          1. Flesh that out a bit, please.

            1. I’m just betting that you’re not a big fan of direct democracy in many other areas. But it’s a convenient line in this case.

              1. “I’m just betting that you’re not a big fan of direct democracy in many other areas. But it’s a convenient line in this case.”

                Indeed. I think voting should be proportional to meaninglessness. The more symbolic and meaningless the more it should be up to vote.

            2. Oh gawd, please, no. Why are you engaging it???

              1. It can always find someone to play with, Kristen.

                1. It makes me laugh, why do want to spoil my fun Kristen?

                  1. I dunno. I just find pedants to be the least fun of the trolls. That’s just my personal preference. Engage away….

                2. And that upsets Wary worse than a Confederate flag flying at Oberlin upsets the student body.

  13. Just a little past due and kinda absurd it had to happen in this context, but good.

    1. My only reason not to take it down is because it will be a “historic” moment that will cement Roof’s infamy. Wait like 2 years then take it down so that piece of shit is forgotten.

      1. I agree – how about just take it down as normal at the end of the day and just not ever put it back up, no pomp, no ceremony?

        But the politicians gotta give themselves a mic and a podium.

        1. Perfect. Don’t even announce it. Wait awhile then just don’t put it up.

      2. His infamy was cemented when he murdered 9 people in a church. I really don’t think this is going to make much of a difference. But I do see your point, and that is what I meant by “kinda absurd it had to happen in this context.”

        1. I don’t doubt the shooting alone will make him infamous, but I fear attributing the removal of a controversial symbol to his actions will elevate his place in history.

      3. You forget about the other side of that coin. The families of the deceased will be able to say that their deaths resulted in the removal of a racist symbol. Justification really knows no bounds.

  14. Plans Afoot to Remove Confederate Flag from South Carolina State Grounds

    And about time they did, because ?as we all know? it was the flag that came down that flagpole and carried out the killing inside the Emanuel Church and not some lone wacko. People are NEVER responsible for their acts.

    This purely symbolic and meaningless gesture could have a cathartic effect on some not unlike the effect of Xerxes’ punishment of 300 lashes to the Hellenspont had on Xerxes himself.

    1. You do get that flying the flag in the first place is the symbolic and meaningless gesture, right?

      1. The flag is there on a monument to honor South Carolinian’s who died defending it.

        1. There should be a monument to the hundreds and hundreds of confederate soldiers who went deserted.

          1. *who deserted. My vocabulistics aint so good.

  15. LOL Balko bringin’ the troof, Iowahawk-style

    Radley Balko ?@radleybalko 20m20 minutes ago
    Profiles in courage: “In June 2015, he decided that his state should no longer celebrate slavery.” #Graham2016

    1. So Balko is bashing the gays now?

    2. Better late than never.

  16. Can a Yankee fly the Confederate flag?
    Can a Confederate fly two flags?
    Can three flags be on the same flagpole?

    If not, why not?

  17. I do not care.

  18. OT: The Thread That Will Never End is up to 1477 comments. My man Hihn is still killing it over there.

    1. What thread is that?

      1. Presumably: https://reason.com/blog/2015/06…..les-speech

        1. Yes, thanks p.a. I find it amusing.

    2. My poor old laptop at home with my shitty internet service can’t load that page anymore.

      7:01 Never Forget

    3. I’ve sworn off Hihn threads. I’ve started to realize that I’m probably taunting a clearly demented and unbalanced old man, and that just makes me sad.

  19. I have a really hard time caring about this because, well, Canadian. But this ‘grr, destroy symbols to help solve problems’ attitude really reminds me of historical iconoclasm.

    1. Destroy symbols? I thought the call was just for the state government not to fly it at the capitol?

      1. It’s a symbolic gesture.

        They’re still gonna throw as many black people behind bars for harmless marijuana “crimes” as they possibly can.

        Can you really not tell the difference between an empty gesture and doing something?

        1. It’s a symbolic gesture to fly it in the first place.

          Look, when the USSR fell they people quite rightly tore down statues of Lenin and Stalin. I guess you could have said ‘hey, reform your justice systems first people, stop those silly symbolic gestures!’ but maybe one could be for all of the above?

          1. Look, when the USSR fell they people quite rightly tore down statues of Lenin and Stalin. I guess you could have said ‘hey, reform your justice systems first people, stop those silly symbolic gestures!’ but maybe one could be for all of the above?

            You know, it’s interesting that you bring that up, because I live in Seattle, where people are at once overwhelmingly convinced that the entire state of South Carolina is a hotbed of secessing yearning to revive chattel slavery, and at the same time have nothing at all to say about the statue of Valdimir Lenin that stands in Fremont.

            1. That certainly reflects badly on them then, because I’d be tempted to tear down such a statute myself if it were near me. My dislike of the Confederacy is based on principles which result in my abhoring murderous, totalitarian Communist regimes too.

            2. I went from seeing a statue of Robert E Lee from my house to seeing Lenin. The horror!

        2. It’s the reverse of the tiger-repealing rock, the tiger-attracting rock. Quick! Destroy the rock and no tigers will get us!

          1. “There’s nothing wrong with me being an asshole so long as there are bigger assholes out there” is not a good argument.

            Are there easily a hundred worse things the government does to black people? Sure. Is that an excuse for continuing to fly a flag for the sole purpose of telling black people to go fuck themselves? It is not.

            Reforming criminal justice is complicated. Dealing with inner-city poverty is complicated. This is easy: stop celebrating slavery.

            1. Please prove to me that the Confederate flag is solely used to ‘tell black people to go fuck themselves’. Prove that it doesn’t carry importance for others just as arbitrary reasons (regionalism, local identity, wannabe rebel culture, etc.). Since you clearly hold some kind of psychic power that allows you to read into the minds of every person to ever use a Confederate flag, I can understand why you would argue that. Some of us are actually going to need evidence before we look at this flag as any other, an arbitrary representation of a locality that has equally arbitrary and subjective interpretations by different people.

              Symbols carry different meanings to different people. Arrogantly assuming that your interpretation of the symbol is the sole ‘correct’ one utterly fails to actually understand complicated human behaviour.

              1. I think he’s talking about the motivation for putting the flag on capitol back in 62.

              2. “Please prove to me that the Confederate flag is solely used to ‘tell black people to go fuck themselves’. ”

                No. Oh, and go fuck yourself.

                1. Flag on the public building isn’t an issue for me, take it down if you get public support. It’s this grander theme/argument of ‘these magical symbols that only have one interpretation that must be destroyed to solve other problems’. It’s attaching a literally mythical quality to a purely subjective concept.

                  Mr. Bongard, despite your hostile reply I wish you good day and hope to see your brilliant argumentation again in the near future.

                  1. It’s amazing that you don’t see something in the defenders of the flag there. I mean, who believes in the magical power of a symbol more than those who undertake to have it proudly displayed and maintained?

    2. The closest thing we have to the Confederate flag is what the Quebec flag has come to represent for some Quebecers since 1976. From Bill 22, 101 and 178 to the xenophobic under current of modern political Quebec.

      And Acadia. But who cares about them, right? Off they went to Louisiana!

      1. That came out awkward. I’m not suggesting the south is xenophobic. I’m just pointing out what we have in Canada that resembles what we see in the U.S. regarding the south. I’m gonna stop now.

        1. Well if we’re getting technical, the worst parts of Canadian history, mostly in regards to natives and foreigners (i.e. reeducation camps, bad reservations system, blowing up a lot of Chinese people to make the railroad, helping the British operate concentration camps in the Boer War, etc.) happened under the colonial and British flags. So ban them I guess?

          1. Note that I don’t include anything related to French Canada in our ‘worst abuses’ list. Because they really did get off light for being a religious and cultural minority in the British Empire.

        1. The righteous need not cower before the drumbeat of human progress.
          Though the song of yesterday fades into the challenge of tomorrow,
          God still watches and judges us. Evil lurks in the datalinks as it
          lurked in the streets of yesteryear. But it was never the streets
          that were evil.

      1. Awesome, those suggesting state governments not honor something=the Taliban blowing up relics.

        Some people need to fit in so bad they’ll do, or write, anything.

  20. It’s not just that the defenses of the flag so common in the comments here are so bad (sudden calls for direct democracy! let states do what they want [unless it’s gun control, or affirmative action, or…] false comparisons to suppressing non-state speech, etc.), it’s that they’re so indicative of what’s so anomalous of the ostensibly libertarian commentariat here when compared to the writers/commentariat of other libertarian sites such as VC, Cato, BHL, and the writers here at Reason. It’s not even thinly veiled now, it’s like a Rick Santorum/Ted Cruz campaign event found a home at Reason Hit and Run. Wow.

    1. Do you have something to say about the issue, or are you just here to crap on other commenters?

      1. Have you read the thread?

        1. I have no idea what you’re referring to.

          You think banning a symbol is important because of what some people think?

          Again, you seem to be so obsessed with policing what other people think–it’s almost like you think that’s doing something.

          Do you give a shit about real racism at all–or are you just obsessed with thumbing your nose at people?

          1. Do you think honoring a symbol is important because of what some people think?

            Btw-not honoring on state grounds doesn’t equal banning. How many times has that faulty analogy been brought out here? Why, since it’s so evidently inapt?

            1. I wasn’t the one who came out against the flag based on what other commenters here at Hit & Run think.

              OMG! Can’t you see what other people think?! Hurry up and ban the flag, Bo!

              NOW NOW NOW! BEFORE IT”S TOO LATE!

              Somehow. It seems to me. That you care a lot about what other people think. And you seem to think it’s somehow the government’s responsibility to change that. That would be weird enough–since government control of what people think is the defining characteristic of totalitarianism–but you seem to be going farther than that…

              You seem to be obsessed with what other people think to the exclusion of actually racist and/or murderous government policies.

              Do have any idea how sickening it is to watch Obama’s platitudes about a mass shooting–when he is personally responsible for killing at least 168 children in Pakistan and dozens more in Yemen? What flag can we take down to make that shit stop?

              Do you go hyper over the children Obama kills? If not, why not? Is it because he isn’t a racist? Does killing innocent people seem better or worse to you based on why they did it? If so, why?

              1. “Do you go hyper over the children Obama kills?”

                Yes, I’ve condemned Obama for the drone strikes many times here and am glad to do so again if you’d like.

                1. Yes, I’ve condemned Obama for the drone strikes many times here and am glad to do so again if you’d like.

                  The thing is–and again, I say this as someone who would not care a whit if the CSA flag was unceremoniously thrown in a volcano–what’s the difference between you saying “I endorse the US flag because of these things I believe it stands for, but disavow these other things it stands for like all of the corruption and drone killing of children” and a Southerner saying “I endorse the Confederate flag because I believe it stands for my heritage, but disavow these other things like slavery”?

                  1. PA-I think there’s a difference of degree as to be of kind there. The Confederacy was a brief movement primarily based on defending slavery, the United States is not primarily based on drone strikes.

                2. Do you think taking the Confederate flag down will make Obama stop killing children?

                  1. “Do you think taking the Confederate flag down will make Obama stop killing children?”

                    No. Why should it be contingent on that, though?

                    1. Well if Obama did call for taking down the Confederate flag–in order to prevent his own child killing ways–would you call him out for that?

                      Or would just join in singing his praises with the chorus?

                    2. I know you despise racist rednecks and everything…

                      But sometimes politicians do symbolic shit that amounts to nothing and then turn around and continue to throw black people into cages by the millions.

                    3. “I know you despise racist rednecks and everything…”

                      You’re right I despise racist rednecks. I have no problem with rednecks generally though.

                    4. “Well if Obama did call for taking down the Confederate flag–in order to prevent his own child killing ways–would you call him out for that?”

                      Huh?

                  2. We can all hope, can’t we?

          2. “You think banning a symbol is important ”

            Give that straw man a good thrashing, Ken. Show it who’s boss.

            1. “You think banning a symbol is important because of what some people think?”

              You know, people can see what I actually wrote just a couple comments above this one.

              Accusing someone else of making a straw man in the same comment where you butchered that person’s quote is really bad form.

              My point is that obsessing over–what other people think–to the exclusion of actually racist policies–like the Drug War–is a big problem. And Bo seems to have established himself as quite a talent at that over the years.

              1. You’re topping yourself in your ridiculous false dilemma here Ken. I condemn people that say racist things, that honor racist things and that do racist things (I could care less what people think). I’m a consistent condemner of the Drug War, for example. Miraculously, that doesn’t prevent me from also arguing states shouldn’t honor symbols of slavery. See how that works?

                1. Can you tell the difference between a symbolic gesture and actually doing something about racist public policies?

                  Because this flag issue is a distraction. It’s hand waving.

                  1. Can you not tell that the two are not incompatible with each other?

              2. “Accusing someone else of making a straw man in the same comment where you butchered that person’s quote is really bad form.”

                I omitted the irrelevant part of the quote. The relevant part was where you referred to “banning a symbol”.

                Asking the government to no longer display a symbol is not, in any way, “banning” it. I’m not sure if you are a liar and knew that, or an imbecile and didn’t. Either way, your statement was a straw man.

                1. Irrelevant to your straw man or irrelevant to my argument?

                  “Because of what some people think” was my point.

                  Stupid people should be free to think stupid thoughts. The purpose of government isn’t to change what people think.

                  It’s what they do that matters.

                  Whether you murdered nine people because you’re a racist or a thief doesn’t matter to me anywhere near as much as whether you murdered somebody.

                  People who want to change public policy because they want the government to control what other people think are the scariest people in the world.

      2. That’s all he was ever here for, Ken. Unfortunately a lot of people took too long to figure it out.

        1. I’m taking the same position on this that the writers of Reason, VC, Cato, BHL are taking. Are they just there to crap on what other people think Sugarfree?

        2. For a lot of these people, the issues only exist as means to look down their noses at other people.

          Barack Obama kills 168 children in Pakistan, and they don’t give a damn.

          Some idiot racist goes on a rampage, and now taking a stupid symbol down is the most important issue in the world–because of racism.

          Tens of thousands of Mexicans have died in the Drug War during Barack Obama’s term–specifically because of Obama’s continued prosecution of the Drug War–but no one bats an eye because he isn’t a racist.

          Hundreds of thousands of African-Americans have been victimized by the Drug War in various ways during Obama’s term because of the Drug War, but they don’t bat an eye about that either–because Obama isn’t a racist.

          This is where I think Bo is coming from. The issue for him isn’t about what’s really happening. It’s ALL about the motives. Some racist did something atrocious for racist reasons–and now we have to stop flying a flag? That seems important to him because it’s all about motives. Even if changing the flag doesn’t have any impact on anything substantial in the real world.

          1. It’s ALL about the motives. Some racist did something atrocious for racist reasons–and now we have to stop flying a flag?

            It’s interesting to note that in the phrase “racist mass murderer”, “racist” sounds like the bad word.

            1. Exactly.

              Meanwhile the racist Drug War continues.

              And if the Drug War were only being perpetrated by Republicans, you can bet your ass they would call it the racist Drug War exclusively.

              And it is racist! But the progressives don’t even care about that–because Obama isn’t racist.

              It’s such a skewed view of reality, most of us can’t even understand what they’re saying. It seems inconsistent to us, but it has its own logic. It’s just a logic focused on who the good guys are and whether they’re racist specifically. The good guys can throw black people in prison for nothing by the millions, and that’s okay–because the good guys aren’t racist.

              When they get a real racist in their sites, they go on a self-righteous rampage–because suddenly they can see the difference between a racist like this shooter and Obama. …and just looking at the facts, the difference was hard to tell before.

          2. While people are using the shooting as a moment to talk about taking the flag down, I don’t think that’s the main reason why people are saying it should be taken down (at least not why I am). That reason is because state’s shouldn’t honor the banner of a movement to defend slavery. As a libertarian I oppose banners of slavery, because it’s kind of the opposite of what I believe in (how incredible is it that I have to write this here?). That was why I wanted the flag to come down before this shooting , and why I think it should after the shooting.

            Your reasoning is so specious here. Let me ask you point blank: were the Ukranians and Russians who toppled statues of Stalin or Lenin doing something wrong or right?

            1. Ken, I’m going to repeat this question. Perhaps you missed it rather than are just dodging it:

              Let me ask you point blank: were the Ukranians and Russians who toppled statues of Stalin or Lenin doing something wrong or right?

              1. I will say this, the more people make it out to be a symbol of racism, the more it’s adopted as a symbol of racism by racists.

                When the communists tore the symbols of Stalinism and Leninism down, they were reacting against symbols, but that wasn’t all they were doing. If that’s all they were doing, or if Gorbie had argued for tearing down the symbols of communism and then left all the apparatus of the communist state in tact, I’d have criticized that as being merely symbolic. Wouldn’t you?

            2. Your assumptions about the Confederate flag necessarily being about the promotion of slavery are circular. The stars and bars are not simply racist. I went to a boarding school in New Market, Va right next to the Battle of New Market battlefield. When VMI, to this day, honors the deaths of those teenage cadets that died trying to stop the Union from pillaging, raping, and burning the lower end of the Shenandoah Valley, they are not commemorating those cadets’ racism.

              No doubt, the stars and bars have been used as a racist symbol, but it still means different things to different people. I don’t think it belongs on government property either, but when people display it, it isn’t always about racism. Even during the Civil War, it may be historically correct to say that the war itself was all about the issue of slavery, but no one can say any one thing that is absolutely true about the motives of the hundreds of thousands of soldiers who fought (on both sides).

              Of the soldiers who volunteered to fight for the South, very few of them were slaveowners. Some of them joined for a sense of adventure. Some of them joined ’cause their friends joined. Some of them joined because the North invaded the South and indiscriminately burned down farms. Some of them were in favor of slavery. But it wasn’t all about slavery to everyone who fought for the North either. Ulysses S. Grant was a slaveowner.

              1. Ken, this flag is not the stars and bars. This flag is the battle flag of Lee’s Army of Northern Virgina. The stars and bars refers to the first national flag of the Confederacy.

                And since you brought up how Grant was a slave owner. It is also interesting to point out that Robert E. Lee was against slavery and against secession too. Actually, quite a number of southern generals were against either or both.

                1. Grant freed his slave.

                  1. You mean Abraham Lincoln freed Grant’s slaves, don’t you?

                    1. No. Grant freed his only slave.

                      Are you referring to Grant’s wife’s slaves?

                      Or was that meant to be a joke?

                    2. If find this amusing for a couple of reasons.

                      Grant’s wife’s slaves?

                      We’re talking about the 19th Century!

                      He inherited them from his wife’s family, of course.

                      Meanwhile, let’s not miss the forest for the trees. Are you suggesting that the motivations of hundreds of thousands of soldiers really were all the same–because Grant’s wife (instead of Grant) owned slaves?

                      Are you insinuating that Grant fought against the South because he was against slavery–and we know that because he only owned one itsy bitsy slave?

                      Grant was one example. Grant’s primary beef with the South was treason. He thought they were destroying the Union, that was treasonous, and he was against breaking up the United States of America and willing to fight to keep it together. And even if that weren’t the case, there are still the motivations of hundreds of thousands of other individuals who fought in the Civil War to account for–not all of whom had freeing the slaves (or keeping them in slavery) at the top of their priority list.

                      Even IF IF IF I were wrong about Grant, what difference would that make?

                      The way the real world really was still wouldn’t be that simple.

                    3. Was the Civil War about slavery? Generally speaking the answer is yes. Does that mean everyone who fought for and supported the Confederacy did so for the same reason? The correct answer is no. Does that mean the government should fly the Confederate flag over government property? Of course not! But just because the Confederate flag shouldn’t be flying over government property doesn’t mean I have to pretend that the flag means the same thing to everyone that sees it either.

                      …or that the Civil War meant the same thing to everyone who fought it either, for Pete’s sake.

                    4. Ken,

                      Lincoln didn’t free Grant’s (or his wife’s) slaves. Grant freed his slave, William Jones, in 1859. And the State of Missouri freed Julia’s slaves before the 13th was ratified. Julia’s slaves were long gone by then anyways. (Also, whether they were even ever Julia’s is in dispute, there is no record of Julia holding the legal title to them, and they were de facto controlled by he father throughout the war)

                      I’m not defending Grant (or the Union) at all, (if I had to choose I’d side with the Confederacy), just trying to keep things correct.

                    5. “And the State of Missouri freed Julia’s slaves before the 13th was ratified.”

                      Grant’s slaves were freed by Missouri in 1865.

                      You’re right that Grant’s slaves weren’t freed by Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863–since that only applied to slaves in Confederate States and Missouri never seceded.

                      You want to keep things correct? Grant could have freed his slaves at any time between 1859 and 1865–but he didn’t. And then the State of Missouri did it for him–whether he liked it or not–a few months before the war was over.

                      Grant sure as hell wasn’t no abolitionist.

                    6. “You want to keep things correct? Grant could have freed his slaves at any time between 1859 and 1865–but he didn’t. And then the State of Missouri did it for him–whether he liked it or not–a few months before the war was over.”

                      No he couldn’t. They weren’t legally his or his wife’s. (Except for the one he did free in 1859.

                      “Grant sure as hell wasn’t no abolitionist.”

                      Again, didn’t say he was.

                2. “Ken, this flag is not the stars and bars.”

                  Being from Virginia, I suppose the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia was the only one that mattered. I have to say I’ve heard people use the terms stars and bars to refer to the proverbial “confederate flag” all my life. It is entirely possible that we’ve all been misusing the term for a very long time, and I appreciate being corrected on the matter.

                  Thank you.

    2. Just to re-iterate: I’m not a libertarian, I’ve said that on here multiple times (and my name should be a good giveaway) But my calls aren’t sudden, while I’d prefer not to have states, I think the small should have more autonomy over large, so I’d bit the bullet and say they can (or ought to be able to) vote on things I disagree with, like gun control, AA, abortion laws, etc…) The flag case here is just so easy.

      1. There’s nothing wrong with calling on the elected officials of the state to bring it down, is there?

        1. “There’s nothing wrong with calling on the elected officials of the state to bring it down, is there?”

          No. Call away.

          1. I think that’s all anyone is doing. No one has the authority to order Nikki or the legislature to take it down. They’re calling on them to do so.

            1. “I think that’s all anyone is doing. No one has the authority to order Nikki or the legislature to take it down. They’re calling on them to do so.”

              And I haven’t complained about anyone making calls. Having a vote on the issue would just keeps it more out in the open.

    3. First of all, there’s no way we can simultaneously be some den of socon inequity AND a den of liberaltarianism run amok. The people detracting the commentariat really need to make up their minds.

      Secondly, you really don’t see a difference between the states deciding what they want to do with a stupid flag and actively suppressing someone’s 2A?

      Thirdly, not even the most vocal of yokeltarians or whatever the labeltarians want to call the “other” has voiced support for Rick Santorum.

      Jesus tapdancing christ.

      1. “there’s no way we can simultaneously be some den of socon inequity AND a den of liberaltarianism run amok. The people detracting the commentariat really need to make up their minds.”

        Who has said you’re both?

        “you really don’t see a difference between the states deciding what they want to do with a stupid flag and actively suppressing someone’s 2A?”

        Of course I do. What, though, do you think is the difference that makes calling on a state to do things with the former wrong but calling on them to do things with the latter OK?

        “not even the most vocal of yokeltarians or whatever the labeltarians want to call the “other” has voiced support for Rick Santorum”

        That was a joke about general GOP candidates inability to criticize the flag.

        1. Some of the more right leaning people (open up a thread on immigration or gay marriage and you’ll find them) love to complain about Reason being a big hive of cosmotarian cocktail party wanabees.

          Then people like you, Tony, PB, etc. come in and swear we’re all a bunch of socon Republicans masquerading as libertarians.

          It’s all very tiresome.

          And please “It’s not even thinly veiled now, it’s like a Rick Santorum/Ted Cruz campaign event found a home at Reason Hit and Run. Wow.” wasn’t a joke, that was a direct insult that HnR is nothing but a hangout for wannabe republicans who support Rick Santorum/Ted Cruz types.

          1. Do you notice that the first group is complaining about the Reason writers while the second group is complaining about the Reason commentariat?

            Secondly, I’m sorry you didn’t get the joke, it was maybe poorly made on my part. The idea was ‘just like these wacky GOP candidates carrying water for the flag are all these people here.’

  21. Taking the Confederate flag down because of a shooting doesn’t impress me.

    Invading Iraq because we were attacked by Afghanistan, now that impresses me!

    You never want to let a crisis go to waste, but why couldn’t they do something substantial with all that good will? How ’bout letting some non-violent marijuana offenders out of jail?

    Oh no! They’re taking down the stars and bars?!

    That’s called “hand-waving”.

    Talk about hand-waving.

  22. The Confederate flag is at best impolite. I for one approve of removing this symbol of racist, slaveowning Democrats from government property.

    1. Robert Byrd’s dead, dude.

    2. Depending on who’s flying it, it either means “I like being a Southerner”, “I’m not a Southerner, but I wish I was one because something something rebel”, or “I hate niggers”.

      1. Those three things are mutually exclusive?

        1. No. Boolean OR, not XOR.

      2. No. Bo has spoken. It can only mean one of those things. People who think it means something else,even to them, are just suffering from false consciousness.

        1. Of course, I’ve never said the flag doesn’t mean different things to different people. Symbols can mean different things for different people, but there are also meanings and interpretations that are more shared and/or supported than others. You might have as a nickname for your significant other ‘stinky’ and mean it as a term of endearment, but that doesn’t mean that most other people won’t, and shouldn’t, think calling their beloved that is innappropriate. Likewise, sure, there are people who love the flag who have benign attitudes towards it. But I don’t live in such a relativistic universe that I think the flag that, as an objective fact, was adopted initially to support slavery and later honored to oppose civil rights, should be honored on state grounds by the state.

        2. As I have him blocked, tell me, is he still appending “Esq.” to the end of his handle? If so, considering it is at least a misdemeanor in many states to misrepresent oneself as a lawyer, and that by commenting on this topic, it in itself dealing with legalities, using that post-nominal is prima facie evidence that his comments could be taken as legal advice…someone should notify the office of their state’s attorney general as to this crime.

          Jus’ sayin’

          1. He’s still claiming to be a lawyer. Last I checked, the status is that he’s claiming he graduated in December and took the bar in February and it’s just a coincidence that he got around to bragging about it in May.

            1. Warty’s something else. He was so sure he had me on something, now his more cautious tone obviously reflects that he probably (and obsessively) looked into it and saw that indeed law schools in SC allow one to graduate in Winter but participate in the Spring commencement. Of course, he’s fallen for worse in his obsession with me. It’s been funny to watch.

            2. Someone more vindictive than I should really, really, have someone look into that.

              1. Clutching yields to squeezing!

          2. Oh my, clutch, clutch those pearls HM!

  23. So nice the botox is back. Not really. No.

    1. Someone will always play with it. Why would he abandon such a successful character?

  24. If I lived in SC I’d want it taken down. Seems reasonable to me.

  25. Honestly, I’d rather them obsess over a flag than mount another assault on the 2nd.

      1. Tactically, I agree. Strategically, the amendments that make up the Bill of Rights are like spokes of a wheel. An assault on one is an assault on all, as they all ultimately derive from one place.

        1. It is not an assault if you use the term “common sense.”

        2. I would agree if they were trying to ban private display of the rebel flag. As is the protesters are just asking SC government to not display the flag.

          1. Don’t bring up facts Florida Man, this is about signaling to the Flag’s defenders here.

        3. Which amendment (or, if you’re invoking the 9th/10th, which human or state right) is under assault here, exactly?

          1. In my response to SF, it was hypothetically the 2nd.

    1. Yeah, I’m actually kind of surprised they’re focusing their animistic idolatry on the flag instead of guns.

      1. Their self-realization that they can get nowhere on gun control is both refreshing and terrifying.

        1. I’m relieved. It means no panic buying so gun prices stay reasonable.

  26. Here’s a compromise: replace the flag with Scotland’s flag (St. Andrew’s Cross being the basis of the Confederate flag) and put some star stickers on it. Since it’s technically not an actual Confederate flag, with the same colours, it makes its magical racist power go away right?

    1. Well, that is how it works.

    2. Well, sure, but the colors don’t match up.

      1. Then create a free market program to subsidize lasikcolor surgery for everyone. The individual gets to decide what colors they want to be colorblind for. Those who are most opposed to flying/notflying the flag buy the amount of ‘persuasion’ they feel comfortable with. That persuasion kitty is used to perform lasikcolor surgery on everyone.

        The end result is that everyone gets to see whatever they want to see when they look at the flag flying there. And the people who pay for it are the ones who have the strongest opinions about it.

  27. The battle flag is carried on public streets in the Remembrance Day parade in Gettysburg every November on the anniversary of Lincoln’s Address. I’m not aware of any controversy over that.
    So its display is proper for re-enactment events and at gravesites. By the way, the several Sons of Confederate Veterans meetings I’ve attended all began the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance to the U.S. flag.

    1. Writen by a socialist.

  28. This Confederate Flag thread is getting a little stale. I vote that the editors start another thread concerning this important issue.

    1. They could start one up on what should be done with the Mississippi state flag.

  29. I really can’t muster any shits to give about what SC does or doesn’t with their stupid flag. I do not now nor do I have to plans to ever live there. I suppose that makes me a bad person and an enabler of racism or some shit, but so be it.

  30. Imagine my surprise that Bo Cara the non-Esq is flogging it as hard as he can in a discussion about pure symbolism.

    1. Racists!!! SoCons!!!! Everywhere!!!!
      (Faps furiously)

  31. I would say put off this Vitally Important Debate until the offended classes can no longer exploit this murder.

    I would like to take this flag off government (not private*) buildings, but not because of one homicidal maniac. That just gives too much influence to the freakout brigade.

    *Cue debate: “Eddie wants to take these flags off private buildings.” “No, I don’t!” “You’re a liar!”)

  32. “Confederate Relic Room”? They should get rid of it.

  33. Anybody happen to know whether Six Flags over Texas still flies the six flags, including the confederate one? And if they don’t, when did they take them down?

  34. Yay… Almost 300 comments and 200 of them are from libertarians who think slavery wasn’t such a bad thing. Yeah, man, slavery would probably have died on its own by 1950 so– one, two, three, four… What are we fighting for?

    More comments on pro-CSA libertarians, please!

    1. Find one actual person who defended slavery on this thread.

    2. Yes. That’s totally what I interpreted in the thread.

      Go suck a piece of bark filled with red ants, commie.

    3. As opposed to socialism which isn’t at all about slavery?

    4. As opposed to socialism which isn’t at all about slavery?

  35. “from libertarians who think slavery wasn’t such a bad thing.”

    Which comment from whom?

  36. It would be cool if they did really go back to thier roots and fly a pirate flag!
    Blackbeard was huge in the area, and the ports were a notorius hangout for pirates/
    http://www.charlestonpirates.com/

    1. Symbol of misogyny and larceny.

      Nope. Sorry.

      1. Also, don’t give me any Anne Bonny BS as pseudo-equality.

        1. SIgh.

          We might as well just fly the white flag, then.

          oh, wait. crap. whys it gotta be white?
          i think i see i see the problem here..

          This is why we dont have nice things.

  37. Thousands of blacks fought for the Confederacy in addition to Hispanics, Native American, Jews and foreign born. Should we take down the Star and Stripes because it symbolizes hatred and genocide to some Native Americans?

  38. That flag should never have gone up at any state house anywhere because it’s always been a symbol of treason. The fact that it will come down because it’s also a symbol of racism is fine.

  39. Oh boy, another turf battle between team blue and team red. Just the same, should we care more about the results of a national poll or the results of a poll of south carolinians?

    1. Lets let …. Canada decide..
      and than we can just deal with thier decisions, and if people dont like it, they can blame Canada, preventing civil unrest over here!
      Any takers on outsourcing divisive decisions?

  40. I have to wonder if most of you calling for the Battle Flag to be taken down realize its flying over a Confederate War Memorial that happens to be on Capitol grounds. It is NOT, despite the claims of low-information dumbasses, flying over the Capitol. The US Flag and the Palmetto State Flag fly over the Capitol. Furthermore, I guaran-goddamn-tee you that taking it down WON’T be enough. They will either demand to demolish that memorial or move it. That won’t be enough either, because it never is for the grievance industry. And, as others have opined, banning private display will be on the table eventually. I wouldn’t be surprised if reenactments (already something the BATFE goonsquad hates) end up on the chopping block because of “micro-aggressions” or whatever bullshit “feelz”.

    1. Oh well, too late now. We’re dooooomed!

    2. Actually I don’t care about the flag itself one way or the other. What I do care about is the bullshit mythology about why the Civil war was fought and what that does/should mean today re policy on lots of things.

      Unfortunately there is about a 100% correlation between those who have strong opinions about that flag and those who believe in some bullshit mythology.

  41. This genuinely seems like white guilt manifesting itself in the stupidest possible way. Do people really think that Roof and his ilk do what they do because of a flag on a government building? Do they seriously think that this will change the hearts and minds of racist murderers?

    This is a stupid action just to get the public off their case about not “doing things” to prevent future tragedies. As if the government or any other police force has the power to stop all future acts of racist violence for all eternity.

    Sometimes you just have to pray for the living and remember the dead. And then you have to move on with life.

    1. Especially ironic considering it was the media’s virulent anti-white racism that is what inspired Roof’s rampage. Evidently the only way to prevent future tragedies caused by the media’s anti-white agenda is to double down on the anti-white hatred and propaganda.

  42. Calling for what you don’t like to be outlawed is fascism, not liberty.

    1. Not outlawed, just not displayed on a Government building…

  43. I went to the Civil War Museum last week with family visiting from Ohio. The display there is fantastic.
    I encourage you all to check out Tom DiLorenzo on Lincoln and Lysander Spooner on central banks’ role in the decision to war.
    Slavery is antithetical to freedom. So was the war. Bummer.
    Sam Houston resigned when the Texas vote came in to join the Confederacy. His goal was to have Texas as an independent nation join the Union. I think Texas should have remained neutral. That’s 100+ years after, of course. Slavery was definitely gonna end soon. I bet the south would have rejoined the north as a more equal player had it run its course.
    Slavery bad! Not advocating for slavery!!!

    1. What’s this? You support slavery?

    2. Did they have a Lincolnbot with multiple personality disorder? ‘I was born in 200 log cabins’

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