Confederate flag

South Carolina Should Dump the Confederate Flag

In 2015, it's an expression of hostility, not only toward black people, but to broader ideals of how the nation should come to terms with the legacy of racism.

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Credit: Jason Lander / photo on flickr

When I went off to college in 1972, leaving Texas for New England, I took something to remind me of home: a large Confederate flag. With my roommates' indulgence, it hung on the wall of my freshman dorm suite the entire academic year. 

It seemed harmless at the time. I didn't intend any racial message, and I didn't feel any sympathy for racial bigotry. Although I had attended segregated public schools all my life, when my high school integrated my senior year, I co-chaired a student human relations committee to address racial conflicts. 

Like a lot of people below the Mason-Dixon Line—white people, anyway—I saw the emblem as a token of regional pride. I didn't revere slavery and Jim Crow. But I thought there was much about the South to love. 

And if the flag annoyed the Yankees a little, that was OK. They were not as noble and blameless as they pretended to be. They were not going to make me repudiate my native region. 

But when I recently ran across a photo of me and a friend hanging that flag out the dorm window, I winced. The banner, the familiar red rectangle with a blue X, hadn't changed. But my understanding of what it signified had. 

In 2015, anyone displaying that flag knows what it means to viewers, particularly black ones. It's an expression of hostility, not only toward black people, but to broader ideals of how the nation should come to terms with the legacy of racism. 

It's a gesture of defiance by many whites who feel victimized by the growing visibility and influence of minorities. It's a giant middle finger, aimed at anyone who would find it offensive. 

In a free society, expression of that sort is protected. So it's not surprising to know that the flag can be seen in many places in the South. But it is jarring to be reminded that it still flies at the state Capitol of South Carolina. There, it's justified as a tribute to the state's Civil War heritage and history. 

Except it's not, really. The flag didn't fly over the state Capitol until the early 1960s, and it was revived in direct reaction to the civil rights movement. It was a token of whites' attachment to segregation. 

South Carolina's impulse was not unique in the South. In 1956, Georgia changed its state flag to incorporate the Confederate flag. In Texas, at least, there was a fad of naming schools after Robert E. Lee, another coded message. 

Dylann Roof, the accused shooter in Wednesday's massacre of nine parishioners at a black church in Charleston, had a car with a Confederate flag license plate. It's not hard to guess why: He was a white supremacist, flaunting a symbol of white supremacy. 

South Carolinians and others have been arguing over this flag for years. In 1999, the NAACP mounted a campaign to boycott the state as a protest of the state Capitol display. The city's mayor urged its removal. The legislature agreed that instead of flying over the building, it would hang at a monument to Confederate soldiers on the grounds. 

But that mild concession was not enough to satisfy the NAACP. And Gov. Nikki Haley has refused to reopen the issue. 

It arose in the 2000 GOP presidential primary, when George W. Bush and John McCain refused to utter a bad word about the Capitol flag, insisting it was something for South Carolinians to decide. 

But there is no way to justify its continued place of honor in Columbia. Getting rid of it would be a step toward acknowledging that the history many South Carolinians revere was oppressive, brutal and unconscionable. Its enduring fallout is a burden on whites as well as blacks. 

After losing the 2000 primary, McCain admitted he was dishonest in defending the flag. But he didn't just reverse the position he had taken to win votes in South Carolina. 

The Arizona senator said his Confederate ancestors "'fought on the wrong side of American history. I don't believe their service, however distinguished, needs to be commemorated in a way that offends, that deeply hurts, people whose ancestors were once denied their freedom by my ancestors." 

McCain didn't force South Carolina's defenders of the flag to admit the obvious. Maybe Dylann Roof will. 

© Copyright 2015 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

NEXT: "Glenn Reynolds: U.S. attorney chills Reason-able speech": The Instapundit Weighs in On Our Gag Order

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  1. Free Speech covers many things, including this flag. You may not like it, but the rights of others must also be protected. Popular speech needs no protection, only by its content does unpopular speech require it.

    1. That’s why he’s not arguing for a restriction on private use of the flag, just on its display and veneration by the state.

      1. Which is an issue that should only be decided by the people within South Carolina. Yahoos outside the borders of that territory can bitch and moan, but at the end of the day, they don’t get a say in what flies over the state capital.

        1. But they can comment on it and I believe that’s what he did. Yes?

          1. You’re going to make me repeat myself?

            Yahoos outside the borders of that territory can bitch and moan

            1. I compel no person. You volunteered.

            2. And the bitching and moaning of yahoos can be sneered at as ‘anti intellectualism’ unacceptable to Real Libertarians? so no one ever has to confront unpopular ideas

              1. ?

                A: I never claimed to be libertarian, real or otherwise.

                B: My stance on the issue is that all the wailing from outside South Carolina is irrelevent to the matter at hand. What flies over a government building is a matter for it’s people and not the world at large.

                C: what ‘unpopular ideas’ are you tangentially referring to?

                1. B: My stance on the issue is that all the wailing from outside South Carolina is irrelevent to the matter at hand. What flies over a government building is a matter for it’s people and not the world at large.

                  I agree with that on principle; however, let’s not forget that Congressmen from South Carolina are only too happy to dip their hands into the communal trough of Federal tax money and carry as much of it as they can back to their state.

                  1. You mean that because SC government sucks up federal dollars, we outside SC get a say in how they do things?

                    Fuck off, statist collectivist slaver.

                2. Oh, I agree with you, I’m just pointing out that being on the ‘wrong side’ of some kulturwar scuffle earns one instant “anti intellectual pickup driver status”, and some very dramatic moans of exasperation from the box-seat socialite set

                3. f you’re not a libertarian, then what the dickens you talking about? you got no rights

              2. And the bitching and moaning of yahoos can be sneered at as ‘anti intellectualism’ unacceptable to Real Libertarians? so no one ever has to confront unpopular ideas

                Don’t you mean “And the bitching and moaning of yahoos can be sneered at as ‘populism’ unacceptable to Real Libertarians? so no one ever has to confront ideas that don’t originate from intellectuals”?

                Not that I agree with that sentiment, but that seems more accurate.

                1. HM, an intellectual’s opinion bears even less weight than that of a yahoo.

          2. yeah, well you can run your chariot really fast up and down sharp inclines and over rocks and bushes and go all over hell for no reason, but you’ll still be an idiot.

        2. The same goes for state-level asset forfeiture, drug, and police-conduct policies, and yet Reason keeps writing about them.

          1. God forbid anyone should ever criticize at the un-Federal level! Banish the thought!

  2. Even if there was something wrong about flying a flag that some professional victims find offensive (there isn’t), the worst POSSIBLE reason to find to stop doing it is because of the actions of some insane psycho.

    1. (Judge the actions of indivisuals, not the symbols which they bear)

    2. The Stars n Bars represents philosophical, cultural, political and racial elements. That’s pretty wide territory. If you don’t like any aspect of that, burn the fucker. At least free speech still lives. Almost.

      1. Hardly anyone flies the Stars ‘n Bars these days.

      2. That flag is not the stars and bars. That flag flying is the battle flag of Lee’s Army of Northern Virgina. The stars and bars is the first national flag of the confederacy.

  3. So if the confederate flag shouldn’t be flown, then I guess old glory should be taken down as well. Gov’t institutionalized slavery, jim crow and the black codes under both flags.

    Why don’t individuals learn from such history and promote liberty and peace instead of one nation of force, theft, coercion and violence led by whatever side is in power?

    1. No, that’s different, I guess because the North won and with it’s victory purged all its past and future sins.

    2. Old Glory oppressed Japanese Americans = ergo, Steve Chapman supports internment camps like Gitmo

      This is fun! I think libertarianism will be much more popular when we can join in arbitrary symbolic demonization

      1. Isn’t that what Chapman’s saying? The Confederacy favored slavery, therefore flying the battle flag indicates that the flyer hates black people? Christ, here is is damning all of southern history: “the history many South Carolinians revere was oppressive, brutal and unconscionable.” That might play well with his cosmo friends in New England but it’s sloppy collectivism from where I’m sitting. I thought Salon was the premier venue for populist liberal rhetoric…

        1. Look man, we need to celebrate diversity here, and if that means erasing all symbols of regional identity then its all for the good

        2. The history of the south is a lot richer and deeper than a handful of years of the Confederacy. SC has a regional flag – the Palmetto flag – that’s older and more regionally specific than the Confederate flag. That’s what basically all the non-assholes display. Boiling down Southern culture in general, and South Carolinian culture specifically to “the Confederacy” is what’s damning, and doing so as a conscious choice doesn’t necessarily signal racism but it most definitely signals assholery, since the only other reason to display it is to go out of your way to piss people off.

          1. The history of the south is a lot richer and deeper than a handful of years of the Confederacy. SC has a regional flag – the Palmetto flag – that’s older and more regionally specific than the Confederate flag”

            Oh, why won’t these ignorant southerners celebrate the parts of their legacy Yankees find tasteful and quaint?

            1. Well since I’m a 4th generation Southerner (as far back as I’ve cared to trace), and spent my childhood in schools named after Confederate generals, that makes me a perfect Yankee I guess. If that’s the best counterargument you have, thank for proving my point; “Those damn Yankees are trying to make me stop looking like an asshole!” [/Foghorn voice] It’s childish contraianism, nothing more.

              1. …contrarianism

  4. Dylann Roof, the accused shooter in Wednesday’s massacre of nine parishioners at a black church in Charleston, had a car with a Confederate flag license plate.

    You know who else had a Confederate flag on their car?

    1. Just a couple good ol’ boys?

      1. +1 “General Lee”

      2. It’s nice to know you think of Hitler and Goebbels as good ol’ boys.

        1. Hitler had the Confederate Flag on his car?

          I bet he jumped the gorge every other day, too.

          1. Don’t be stupid. That would have bent the frame.

        2. German National Socialism was both Christian and Socialist–ideologies that revere altruism. Before DNA was known Germans believed that altruism, like blonde hair and blue eyes, was a desirable inherited trait and that selfishness was also an innate condition their eugenics program sought to cure by government coercion. They still worshipped the Baby Jesus and abhorred commie bolshies for worshipping the political state as a deity (not His humble servant). It is true that southern slavers also invoked the salvation of dusky souls by invoking the benefits of Christian salvation, but this is a far cry from the Final Solution Christian altruism arrived at from European racial eugenics. I could show that tax resisters, secessionists and gun owners were gunned down pretty quickly in the Third Reich. Surely a better guilt-by-association analogy can be found, no?

          1. You know who else claimed the Nazi movement was Christian?

          2. Right alongside of baby Wotan.

    2. Maybe not on their car, but the CLINTON/GORE ticket had no problems using the confederate flag back in ’92.

      http://mediaequalizer.com/bria…..rate-cause

      1. Good for them. Don’t forget contributions from Tyson and Walmart. That’s just smart campaigning.

  5. So “lots of people” saw the symbol as representing harmless regional pride, but were then informed that they were in fact deeply racist.

    1. The civil war isn’t over until we have stripped people of all regional identity save the ones enlightened people apply to them, e.g. “bucktooth yokels with pickup trucks”

      1. I thought the term was “bitter clingers”.

      2. If the Confederate flag is the best symbol of Southern regional identity that they can come up with, then that says something far worse about the South than anything even the most obnoxious Yankee could say.

        1. That’s the thing. Basically no one in the North still cares about the Civil War. In the South it’s fucking growth industry. When I moved North i would say stuff about Civil War history that is conversant, common knowledge in the South that draws blank stares in most conversations north of Maryland. Because no one north of Maryland much cares. A long time ago some rednecks got their ass kicked because they wanted to own slaves, the end. And like clockwork, with the slightest provocation, Conservatives/Libertarians pick literally the dumbest of cultural hills to die on.

  6. First, this isn’t about private display but rather about a government display of the flag, so this isn’t a “free speech” issue.

    Second, there’s a very simple reason to not have the government display the flag, that gets beyond the argument over whether the battle flag is intended as or viewed as racist–it’s the fact that the flag symbolized an army rebelling against the country. The fact that we have state governments flying such a flag is an insult to the many who died to hold this country together. Are you loyal to the United States or not?

    It’s not as though the flag had some other commonly understood use before it became a flag of rebellion–it was conceived as such. Southerners should find some other way to symbolize their regional pride.

    1. Are you loyal to the United States or not?

      No. Any other questions?

      1. Nope–concise and to the point.

      2. “Are you loyal to the United States or not?”

        What in hell does this even mean? Seems like an empty c?nceit to me, perhumps a euphemism for “stop resisting!” Even pretending it to make fucking sense, one has to say, “Holy moly! Why should I be?”, since it’s the USA should be loyal to the citizens (which is to say, to the disposition bona fide of the powers delegated to it through the states by means of the constitution). The State is an instrument to be employed as its membership sees fit, not a totem to be envenerated by animalistic hooligans. Strangely, when speaking to public servants and military men, the question comes to mean almost precisely the opposite of what it seems to mean when applied to other citizens, which is to say, whether the person in question, as an agent of delegated powers, be willing to rightly dispose of those powers. Though when speaking to judges or peace officers, it seems to get some how distorted and gets across as something more like, “Throw me in jail!”

    2. It’s kind of funny how quickly the mask slips from “DAS RAYCISS” to people just being butthurt that someone dared disobey their precious federal government.

      1. The “United States” is not the same thing as “federal government.”

        And while you, as a citizen, have every right to not be loyal to the United States or the federal government, you’d better believe state governments are by law subordinate to the federal government to the extent laid out in the U.S. Constitution (subject of course to principles of federalism).

        Of course, if you believe that South Carolina never agreed to rejoin the union, or its agreement was invalid because it was coerced, then that’s your argument.

        1. you’d better believe state governments are by law subordinate to the federal government to the extent laid out in the U.S. Constitution

          Name the article and clause of the US constitution that, in your estimation, demands states fly or not fly any particular flag.

          1. It doesn’t, specifically–but then again that’s not what I said. If you re-read my comments, I’m saying state governments are bound by the U.S. Constitution and subordinate to the federal government, and the Confederate symbols signify a rebellion against that. Therefore it is inappropriate for state governments to fly such a flag. If you think it’s perfectly appropriate, though, and you reject the concept of states being subordinate to the feds, then by all means make your argument. This was all decided in 1787.

            1. I’m saying state governments are bound by the U.S. Constitution and subordinate to the federal government, and the Confederate symbols signify a rebellion against that.

              Which, to the extent it’s true, means absolutely nothing, as you acknowledge freely when you say that the constitution does not address this issue. Federal supremacy, to the extent it had much teeth before the 14th Amendment was passed, means that state laws do not supersede federal ones. It does not, has never, and hopefully never will mean that states are obligated to only employ symbols and relics worshipful of their federal overlords. You don’t seem to have much more of a clue about what happened in 1787 as you do about what’s happening today.

              1. I think you’re being willfully obtuse here, because you know very well that my saying some symbol is inappropriate does not equate to my saying something is prohibited by law. But if you just feel like arguing, go ahead and misread what I wrote.

                1. So the gist of your argument then is that, even though the flag actually has absolutely nothing to do with federal supremacy (contrary to your tangent that started this part of the conversation), the state should stop flying it anyway, because it disrespects your historical narrative, and they owe fealty to the federal government in exchange for executing the deadliest war in the history of the United States?

                  OK then. Maybe I’m willfully obtuse, maybe your willfully stupid.

            2. I don’t think the issue of subordination was decided in 1787, it was decided in 1865. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison both wrote declarations of interposition and nullification – declarations that states were free to declare federal laws null and void within their own state based on the idea that states were sovereign territories.

        2. You’re pretending in the existence of some spiritual idea USA existing somehow under or besides the material wafer and which is deserving of our adoration and supplication. I can not accept this. If such a magical entity were in fact to come to be, it would most certainly be took over by leprechaunts and perverted to their evil ends by now.

    3. Are you loyal to the United States or not?

      No.

      1. So South Carolina was never re-admitted to the Union?

        1. Even you have to admit that “re-admitted” sounds just a hair Orwellian after a war that killed 600,000 people. Re-annexed might be a more accurate turn of phrase. Either way, I don’t think that’s got jack shit to do with anybody’s loyalty or lack thereof to the United States here. Libertarians tend to have this weird little hang up about not mindlessly paying fealty to the government that happens to be in control of the geographic region of their birth.

          1. It’s true the Confederate states were basically forced back into the Union after the war, but are you suggesting that to this day it is only force and coercion keeping them in?

            There are some neo-Confederates today who still push for secession, but they (seem to be) a small minority. If you’re arguing that route, then we’ll agree to disagree on whether that’s a good idea. But I doubt even most rebel-flag fans are seriously in favor of such a thing.

            1. but are you suggesting that to this day it is only force and coercion keeping them in?

              Today it’s more to do with Medicaid and highway funds, although I don’t think the implications of the Civil War were lost on any of the states.

        2. Wat. I don’t even live in the South. Try to find another gotcha moment.

          1. We’re talking about a state government flying a flag of rebellion against the federal government. Whether you live in the South or not has nothing to do with anything, so touche, I guess?

          2. “Judge Forrest’s Clitdong”

            That nick is kind of scary. Threatening even.

        3. The whole fucking point of the war was that the Federal government declared that states had no right to withdraw from the Union in the first place. Exactly the same way King George III declared the colonies had no right to withdraw from the British Empire, despite what Thomas Jefferson and his buddies thought and expressed in their Declaration of Independence. So how could South Carolina be “re-admitted” to a union they had never (legally and legitimately) left?

    4. …the flag symbolized an army rebelling against the country.

      Your enthrallment to the Whig History of the victorious Yankee occupiers is bemusing. The CSA was a sovereign nation-state that was invaded by a belligerent, intolerant neighbor. Also, those of us who are forever proud of our Stars and Bars display it more as a fuck you to the FedGov than anything else; the fact that it irritates the race-baiting professional victim class is just icing on the cake. Sic Semper Tyrannis!

      1. Well, you’re honest, I’ll give you that.

      2. I find it interesting that discusions of withdrawing from the EU come up in various countries – what if the EU decides countries don’t have the right to secede from the union? Once upon a time, the United States were an assemblage of states similar to the EU with a Federal government – after the war, the United States became a single entity with a national government.
        .
        Now, I think slavery is very wrong and I don’t see going to war over the issue is a violation of the NAP any more than attacking a mugger beating up on a little old lady out in the street is a violation of the NAP, but the North very specifically declared that the war was not over slavery but over the right of the states to secede from the union. Of course, the Southern states seceded from the union because they saw the way the winds were blowing and knew slavery was soon going to be outlawed so slavery was certainly a trigger for the war, but the technical legal justification was over the right to secede.

    5. You don’t like the Gadsden flag either, I take it.

      1. Was the Gadsden flag an official flag of an army that rebelled against the U.S. with no other legitimate meaning?

        1. In 1775, Colonel Christopher Gadsden was in Philadelphia representing his home colony of South Carolina at the Continental Congress and presented this new naval flag to the Congress. It became the first flag used by the sea-going soldiers who eventually would become the United States Marines.

          This flag first saw combat under Commodore Hopkins, who was the first Commander-in-Chief of the new Continental Navy, when Washington’s Cruisers put to sea for the first time in February of 1776 to raid the Bahamas and capture stored British cannon and shot.

          In your face.

        2. I’m sorry, I missed that you were some sort of recognized authority on the legitimacy of flags. Maybe you should include that in your forum handle, like “Brando, PhD Flag Studies”, or “Brando, Director, Federal Symbolism Commission”.

    6. Eh, most Northerners think of the Civil War as a Righteous Crusade to End Slavery and Rebellion. Most Southerners think of the Civil War as the time when Yankees invaded their home, stole their wealth, burned down the farm, murdered Great-Grandaddy and raped Great-Granny–and they didn’t even own any slaves.

      1. Got a generalization for those of us who had ancestors on both sides of the war?

        1. Your ancestors raped themselves?

        2. What about those of us whose ancestors were German up until the 1890’s?

        3. Yeah: You’re a bunch of whiney-babies.

          1. *dismissive wave*

            That has nothing to do with the war.

            1. To be fair, Yankees are a bunch of whiney-babies, too. And True Southrons are ever so much the whiney-babies.

    7. Are you loyal to the United States or not?

      “Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.”
      – Mark Twain

    8. I am loyal to the constitution. I am not loyal to the slavers populating the federal government who wipe their asses with it on a daily basis.

    9. “it’s the fact that the flag symbolized an army rebelling against the country.”

      So is the United State’s flag. I don’t see the British bitching about it all the time.

      The fact that we have state governments flying such a flag is an insult to the many who died to hold this country together.

      This flag is on a monument honoring those who gave their life defending their state from those “holding this country together.” You can rightfully denounce the south for slavery, but forcing people who didn’t want to be apart of your country to remain a part of your country is itself also slavery.

      I don’t know how some self described libertarians can worship Lincoln. He was a tyrant and he’s the one that led our country to this big government clusterfuck we have now.

      1. “You can rightfully denounce the south for slavery, but forcing people who didn’t want to be apart of your country to remain a part of your country is itself also slavery.”

        Well, any government ever will include people within its borders that don’t want to be apart of it. And in the case of the South, 40% of the population (greater than 50% in a few states, including South Carolina, where the war started) had no say in the matter, and by all accounts would have much preferred to live in the USA than to live in CSA. I don’t know if any historians have good estimates of the exact % of white people that supported secession, but it would only take about 20% to oppose it to give opponents of secession a majority. And the CSA not only forced the slaves to be a part of it, but tried to prevent the secession of areas where most white people didn’t want to be a part of it (West Virginia, East Tennessee, etc.).

        1. Some, if not most of the states did not wish to secede until Lincoln called up their state legislatures for troops to invade their neighboring states in “rebellion.” And certainly the north didn’t make many friends even amongst those that didn’t want to secede by invading and destroying their property.

          I just looked up my state’s referendum on it. It was 4 to 1 in favor. Kinda a low turn out though with 50k voting.

    10. “-it’s the fact that the flag symbolized an army rebelling against the country”
      Um, that army only was used to defend it’s new country.
      It was the army of the north that was an invading force.
      That’s why many refer to it as the War of Northern Aggression.

  7. How the hell is it the business of anyone outside of South Carolina what flag flies over their capitol?

    1. Listen, if SC had not been flying that flag on state owned property, then 9 people would not have been slaughtered a few days ago. It’s ALL our responsibility.

    2. Yokels have no business speaking for themselves.

    1. That is one of the most idiotic things I have ever seen.

    2. Ah, white guilt taken to it’s logical conclusion. I wonder how much they paid for the “privilege”?

      1. I got mine as a reward from my credit card

    3. Was that a “day in the life of a Salon intern”?

    4. Was that a “day in the life of a Salon intern”?

  8. South Carolina Should Dump the Confederate Flag

    No.

    And if you persist in this push, fuck you and the horse you rode in on too.

    I’m not southern, I’ve never been to either Carolina, but I’m 110% certain it’s nobody’s place to tell the people of South Carolina what should ot should not be flying over their capital. This is the very definition of a state-level issue. Butt out.

    1. Who’s forcing anyone? He’s expressing an opinion.

      1. Your question and attempt at a justifying statement make no sense in response to what I said. Go back and think it over again.

      2. and so is everyone else here

  9. So burn the fucking flag as an expression of your free speech rights.

  10. Fuck statism whether it comes from the Feds, your State, or your Homeowners Org.

  11. Tulpa’s up early, and agreeing with Chapman.

    1. Dammit, I gotta start paying closer attention. That’s 15 minutes of my life I’ll never get back.

  12. The flag didn’t fly over the state Capitol until the early 1960s, and it was revived in direct reaction to the civil rights movement.

    Now what else may have been going on in 1961-65 ? Perhaps some sort of significant anniversary?

  13. Obviously the solution is to ban all flags.

    In this modern cyber world they’re at best quaint and at worst polluting.

    1. Well what am I going to wipe my arse on then?

      1. Have you tried the three seashells?

        1. I can see how that could be confusing.

          1. Demolition Man may be the most libertarian movie ever.

      2. Do what Obama does- use the constitution for that purpose.

    2. You’re closer to the answer than you might think.

      1. I tried that but Rich isn’t as soft and absorbent as you’d think

        1. Wait…no…I meant…*sigh*

        2. *** giggles ***

          Oh, you!

      2. But that just leads to the question of what he’s going to wipe his invisible furry hand on. Or is it just invisible furry hands all the way down?

        1. *psst* I’m pretty sure IFH is a she.

  14. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
    This is wha- I do…… ?????? http://www.netcash5.com

    1. Is brother friend a Mormon thing like sister wife?

  15. I see something about Sherman up above and a lot of hysterical self-pity. Nothing about Lincoln? Nothing about states’ rights? Come on, I have a bingo card to fill.

    1. I nearly forgot my traditional “Civil War Thread” posting of The Way Lincoln Really Died.

    2. I’m waiting for the next thread to talk about that stuff. I hope it correlates.

  16. The amount of fucks I give on this topic approaches nil; however, I am so glad that the frothing media mob feels they’re only able to grab flags this time around as opposed to guns. Even Obama can only wistfully sigh over Congress’s intransigence over the issue.

    1. What if one has a Confederate Flag engraved on the barrel of his firearm?

      1. No one is going to go after the re-enactors. Their hobby is punishment enough.

        1. “First they came for the re-enactors, and I didn’t speak up…”

          1. Would it be the re-enactors first? Or the LARPers?

            1. We should mix the two.

              1. I don’t see any qualitative difference.

                1. Shut up and take this Billy Yank boffo–unless, of course, you prefer the Johnny Reb one.

  17. Symbols and words only have the power you give them,I don’t give a crap one way or another.I have to mow today in almost 90 degree heat and then drink cold beer.It does show the idiocy of people when some take a isolated event,these church murders,and turn them into a biich about a flag and race.Bad people do bad things.

    1. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar is never acceptable to progs and SJWs.

      1. sometimes a cigar is just a paper-wrapped bundle of toxic plant detritis.

        1. sometimes a cigar is just a paper-wrapped bundle of toxic plant detritis.

          If it is, you better find the guy who sold it to you and get a damn refund.

      2. That’s why they want to ban cigars, too.

      3. A women just a women,but,a cigar,that’s a smoke.

    2. Cry me a river you baby – I’ve got to repair a lawnmower and then mow today in 90 degree heat. (And don’t forget that this wasn’t just a church murder, it included an assassination of one of the more-equal-than-thou humble public servant class.)

      1. Why do your orpans not repair your mower?When I say I have to mow,I mean I’ll be drinking beer in the shade while my orphans mow and trim with hand shears.If one drops due to the heat,into the chipper and spread on the garden.

        1. How did you ever manage to get to where you are without an eye for efficiency. Have a smaller number of orphans tend a flock of sheep on the lawns, then you get the added benefit of the meat and wool. Plus it frees up so many orphans for other labors.

          1. The orpahans cut the grass then feed the clipping to the lambs.I only eat the young sheep. I prefer man made lined gortex for warmth in the winter.I do the killing and buthering myself.Some things you need to do yourself.I give the skins to the orphans for bedding.I’m a kind master.

  18. Do Libertarians accept the First Amendment or not? Where do we draw the line?

    1. I don’t know about Libertarians, I support it simply because I don’t want to be the one censored.

    2. Do Libertarians accept the First Amendment or not?

      Obviously yes, as Chapman is using his rights to speak freely on a political topic.

      Jus sayin

      1. It’s not necessarily un-libertarian to suggest that huge swaths of unwashed Philistines should shut their ignorant whore mouths, but it doesn’t really add to your free speech cred either.

        1. You’re confusing “free speech,” that is, prohibition against government regulation of political and religious speech, with a sort of epistemological ecumenicism. Chapman is completely within his rights to criticize the “yokels”, just as the “yokels” are completely within their rights to tell him to fuck off. Neither of which have anything to do with freedom of speech. Reason could decide to moderate its comments and delete any comment in support of flying the Confederate Flag, and that would have nothing to do with free speech. Furthermore, free speech doesn’t mean that all viewpoints are equally valid and need to be given equal weight. If your kid is sick, are you going to give equal consideration to the opinion of some mother writing on a blog and the opinion of your pediatrician? Of course not. And if you were to state to the mother that her uneducated opinion doesn’t mean shit and she should shut her cow-face, are you violating her right to free speech? Of course not.

    3. Ppppt. Tedious social signaling.

  19. It follows that hippies should cut their hair and grrrls grow it long to avoid offending ignorant bigots. The error is historic. Carolina threatened secession in 1832 over tariff hikes, and the colonial-economy states actually seceded for exactly the same reason. Abolition of slavery was as much a pipedream then as abolition of the income tax was in the 1960s. The confederacy was a protest against taxation even though race-slavers flocked to its colors in desperation. Equally ignorant mystics and brutes today desperately try to imitate libertarian party positions while clinging to superstitious coercion of women and mass-jailing of mostly brown people to protect the liquor and dunce-dunking industries from competition. Mercantilist metropolis bleeding of the colonial south with its peculiar institution helped the tariff lobby just as the extortion of state funds by looters all excited over the new communist manifesto indirectly played into the hands of the slaver lobby. The nullification and secession crises had exactly the same primary cause and Reason should not join the looters in obliterating the fact.

    1. Google up “declaration of secession” and you’ll find that, despite many attempts at revisionist history, the Southern states left the Union because they wanted to keep their slaves and the way of life that it provided for them.

      http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19t…..carsec.asp

      That’s South Carolina’s declaration of secession. The word “slavery” appears six times, and the word “tariff” is there zero times.

      While I agree that the war waged by the North was to preserve the Union, not to end slavery, the Southern states did indeed leave the Union to preserve slavery.

    2. http://teachingamericanhistory…..ne-speech/

      “The constitution, it is true, secured every essential guarantee to the institution while it should last, and hence no argument can be justly urged against the constitutional guarantees thus secured, because of the common sentiment of the day. Those ideas, however, were fundamentally wrong. They rested upon the assumption of the equality of races. This was an error. It was a sandy foundation, and the government built upon it fell when the “storm came and the wind blew.”

      Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.”

      Alexander H. Stephens, Savannah, Georgia, March 21, 1861

    3. THAT’S A REAL BINGO

  20. Who doesn’t want to identify with losers?

  21. How about a referendum of the people of South Carolina?

    1. “Question 1A: Shall the current State Flag be replaced with one bearing the likeness of Dylann Roof, lest we ever forget?”

      1. Why not Toussaint L’Ouverture? Government schools are funded to teach children there was no tax revolt (except, regrettably, against the British, whose brave Lord Dunmore issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1775). To today’s looters this whole issue has no more to do with the slavery that fed ALL mercantilist metropolis-colony exploitation engines than it did in 1860, when a high tariff coincided with the very election that chose Lincoln to enforce it. The Second Amendment held as holy writ by intellectuals of the looter persuasion reads: “A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.” The US Second Amendment is about what is “necessary to the security of a free State” (as opposed to enslaved State). It was easy to find a loudmouthed racial collectivist in 1861, just as it is today. But it was Abraham Lincoln, Republican, who repeated Lord Dunsmore’s proclamation–albeit exempting any States that surrender by the deadline–and signed into law a “progressive or graduated income tax.” To the looters, no income tax would mean ALL children would be brainwashed in Christian parochial schools instead of socialist government schools. Perhaps Reason can find a writer to disabuse them of that fallacy?

  22. Can we just come to a compromise? How about SC replaces the flag with a woodchipper(behind a VIP rope) set against a background of flames?

  23. How… predictable.

  24. There is a reason why that flag wasn’t flown there prior to the 60’s, and as you admit yourself it wasn’t because it represented racism…South Carolinians weren’t anymore sensitive to that topic then than they are today.

    It’s because that flag represents open armed rebellion against the United States…treason, if you will. Just another reason why no state government should sanction it.

    1. Does Reasonable for chrome work on mobile devices? I can’t figure out how to installs…

    2. represents open armed rebellion against the United States…treason, if you will

      I wont.

      The constitution is vague on admittance, and silent on departure. As it does not lay out any rules regarding departure, it ends up in the catch-all bin of the 9th and 10th amendments. A literalist reading says a state has the power to leave, because the lack of such a power and the authority to keep them in was not enumerated for the federal government.

      The defacto state of affairs after the war is that there’s no getting out except as individuals.

      1. But you should, because it’s the definition of treason that matters.

        “Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason. ”

        And a war was levied. Started right there in South Carolina.

        1. There’s plenty of room for argument about who started that war.

          But, to your original point about rebellion, we like to maintain this fantasy about government of the people, by the people, and for the people. We also get taught about how the government draws its authority from the consent of the governed.

          Well, once upon a time, large numbers of people withdrew their consent to be governed by our federal government. And our government decisively told them that they aren’t allowed to do that.

          That is what the confederate flag makes me think of. Sure, the redneck idiots sitting beneath it often make me think of racism… but that’s not the fault of the symbol.

        2. “And a war was levied. Started right there in South Carolina.”

          South Carolina gave the troops in Sumter 4 MONTHS to leave before firing a shot. 4 MONTHS. Every other fort, garrison, post office, etc. in South Carolina just packed up and left or declared their allegiance to South Carolina. This fort was no different than any other. It was just some random fort that was there to PROTECT the city and harbor of Charleston. You would be rightfully pissed off too if someone shot down your harbor.

          1. “South Carolina gave the troops in Sumter 4 MONTHS to leave before firing a shot. 4 MONTHS.”

            And that somehow justifies their aggression?

            “You would be rightfully pissed off too if someone shot down your harbor.”

            The South fired first.

            1. Their aggression? They only fired when Lincoln started to resupply that fort.

              “The South fired first.”

              Sorry, I mean shut down their harbor, not shot. What is the point of controlling a fort at the mouth of a harbor to nor protect it? The land to build that fort was given by the city of Charleston to protect their city.

              Would you like it if your neighbor sat on your front porch for 4 months after being told to leave? Would you just leave him be or would you kick him off of your property?

  25. “….and then they came for my Lynyrd Skynyrd album covers, and i cried out but there were no yokels left to hear me…”

    1. I hope Steve Chapman will remember….

    2. At least we still have Lou Reed

  26. Some thoughts, in no particular order, because I’m still half asleep.

    1) I have no patience with the Confederacy. Never did, never will. The “State Rights” argument might hold water if the Confederate States had not used their political muscle to push through the Fugitive Slave Act, denying the Northern States THEIR right to ban slavery. Consequently I consider anyone who displayed the Confederate flag to be on all fours with the jackasses who sport Iron Crosses (or other Nazi claptrap), and the mass murder fans who iconize Che.

    2) I am, nevertheless, wearily to the point of tears with the modern Anti-Racism Crusaders, who seem determined to run the First Amendment through a blender, and throw the resulting sludge away. I used to find it ironic that they were mostly from the Party of Rebellion, Segregation, and the KKK. Now I’m just sick of them and want to treat them they way Grant treated Vicksburg.

    3) I realize that there is a strong difference between a person flying that flag, and the State doing so. I’m just no longer convinced that there is a moral difference between the nostalgic racists and the hysterical race pimps, and I wish they were all in hell.

    1. The CSA has been dead for 150 years. Virtually everyone who flies this flag–and there are loads in the Old and Deep Souths–does so as a vague symbol of cultural pride in the same general spirit that a veteran might fly an American flag outside his home. They would be as offended if you called the battle flag racist as they would if you called the American flag imperialist.

      Flying flags has always seemed as foolish and egotistical as advertising your views with a bumper sticker–no one gives a damn what you think, and the few who do are now incentivized to vandalize your car or home–but this low-grade whining about this particular flag is widely understood by many Southerners as an attack on Southern culture and history, not to mention spitting on the graves of our ancestors, most of whom volunteered because there were several huge invading armies bearing down on their homes.

      The libertarian solution, as usual, is not to give a damn which flags the state mafia flies on its property–it’s not as though Lincoln, Wilson, and FDR didn’t twist the nation beyond recognition long ago or that there’s anything to celebrate here–and fly whichever flags you like on your own property for whatever reasons tickle your fancy.

      1. Why use that as the generic symbol of Southern pride? It represents the worst part of the South’s history.

        1. Why put flowers on someone’s grave? We should celebrate his life, not his death.

        2. And it comes as no surprise to see you believe that political independence is “the worst part of the South’s history.” Because slavery, unlike war, rape, and invasion, is somehow uniquely a blight on the CSA as opposed to every civilization that ever arose from learning how to save and plant seed.

          1. “And it comes as no surprise to see you believe that political independence is ‘the worst part of the South’s history.'”

            It was – not because Southern political independence is somehow inherently abhorrent, but because its actual manifestation in real life was abhorrent, based on wicked principles, and had horrific consequences.

            It’s true that the CSA was hardly the first or only country to have slaves. However, very few, if any, other countries existed solely to protect and defend the institution of slavery the way the CSA explicitly did. Ignoring that simply results in false equivalences.

  27. I’m not a fan of that flag, but I object to the timing of the current National Conversation.

    Because some fanatic – perhaps a madman – committed horrible murders and used the Confederate flag, suddenly the status of the flag is up for debate?

    Wait until things have calmed down, consider the issue, then hopefully get rid of the flag, but don’t break your arm patting yourself on the back as if you’re striking a blow against murder.

    1. Considering that the most vocal opponents of the flag are, by their politics if not their statements, the worst racists in the country, no we can’t put this discussion off. Because THEY won’t. They will use any pretext to trot out their moral superiority, and use it to club opponents. They are the political and moral descendants of the Plantation Aristocrats, and like those bastards they have created an entire litany of pious mouthings that (at least to them) justify their treatment of those they consider their inferiors.

      Like the Plantation Owners, they break up Black families as a matter of policy. Like the Plantation Owners, they only care about Black lives when it is convenient to their political goals. Having failed to make Eugenics based sterilization popular in the early part of this century, they have achieved the same end by making abortion legal and popular, and making sure that poor black women can avail themselves of it easily. And as the Kermit Gosnell mess shows, they don’t give a fat damn about the safety of those women, so long as the black babies get aborted.

      Crew anybody who flies the Confederate flag. But screw the political pimps and whores who make a living complaining about it twice, sideways, with a rusty spoon.

      1. Eddie concurs in this opinion, except the final clause of the third paragraph.

  28. The problem with Steve’s entire argument here is it is wholly dependent upon caring what OTHERS feel when they see the flag, not what the flag actually was a symbol of. The so-hated ‘confederate flag’ is actually the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia, NOT the flag of the CFS. And Robert E. Lee was against slavery and is still one of America’s most beloved and respected generals.

    Again, people’s “offense” at this flag is based purely on ignorance and what the left wing media was told them to feel.

  29. Here is that same state’s Ordinance of nullification: http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19t…..rdnull.asp
    The words slavery, bondage, servitude… appear nowhere in it–nor does tariff. But duties and imposts on imports are everywhere as the reason for the nullification of federal law. Let the captain of the debating team step up and deny it. They lost and Jackson offered to hang the state legislature, so… next round of tariff hikes the only option left was secession–and exploiting the slaver vote to get it. Losing sight of economics in history is not smart (and never forget that Adam Smith was genuinely anti-slavery). Christian populists took over the Democratic party in the 1890s and ku-klux prohibitionists left “both” parties reeking of racial collectivist looter dogma. But the tax-happy Red Republican (mentioned in Uncle Tom’s Cabin) first published the communist manifesto in English. Should we ban the US flag over state legislatures as a symbol of Soviet communism, famines and firing squads? We should be more worried that large gangs of idiots might try to manipulate the LP into their truthless quarrels.

  30. Once again Steve Chapman displays himself as the good and loyal Democrat party foot soldier.

    Narrative Uber Alles.

  31. “But when I recently ran across a photo of me and a friend hanging that flag out the dorm window, I winced. The banner, the familiar red rectangle with a blue X, hadn’t changed. But my understanding of what it signified had.”

    Given that it’s the one real symbolic reminder of hundreds of thousands of people who were slaughtered by an invading army–slaves, slaveowners, and poor white trash alike–Chapman may want to reconsider his judgment.

    Yes, it’s the symbol of a state and thus anathema to most libertarians, but it’s no worse than flying the star-spangled banner and likely considerably better given what that flag has come to mean since 9/11. If you’re going to fly the latter, there is no reason for a state not to honor its statist past with the former.

    1. This was a retarded non-sequitur to me.

      Because of people Chapman never met or oppressed… guilt.
      Because of Chapman’s guilt… what?

      IMO, it smacks of every other form of SJW. Things *must* change because of vague personal notions that no amount of change will fix factually or otherwise.

  32. Steve Chapman knows what millions of other people are really feeling in their heart of hearts?

    I don’t think so.

    There was a time when people in the South saw the Union flag as a symbol of indiscriminate raping, pillaging, and burning. Some people elsewhere in the world today might see the American flag as a symbol of torture, Guantanamo, killing children with drone strikes, and leaving destruction and religious civil wars in its wake. Some Vietnamese may see the American flag as a symbol of napalm strikes and My Lai.

    But that isn’t what the American flag means to me. Maybe the Confederate flag shouldn’t be on government property, but Steve Chapman doesn’t decide what symbols mean to me.

  33. Meanwhile genuine advocates of real-life enslavement are pointing to one of their fellow collectivists laying hands on a gun as proof of their thesis: that only the murdering myrmidons collecting taxes for looter politicians chosen by secret, unverifiable ballots should have firearms. The first and second amendments are the real issue here. Gullible and guilt-ridden children can publish their hand-wringing flag-ban essays in the Utne Reader, Mother Jones or Tikkun and be paid what it’s worth to them. The second amendment could have protected those people from the lone gunman. The ugly truth is that a racial collectivist bet his life that the community he attacked had been legally disarmed–perhaps for victimless “felonies” like a roach in an ashtray–and won. Now he has the bloody attention he so desperately craved thanks to the ku-klux mentality that filled the NYT (e.g. 2/8/1914) with fanciful tales of “cocaine negroes” immune to police gunfire.

  34. On a certain level, I can see the logic of getting rid of them getting rid of their Confederate flag (actually, it’s not the confederate flag, but it’s battle standard/naval jack, if I understand correctly). That said, I think Ilya Somin wound up giving away where all this winds up leading in his article today. It’s not just the confederate flag. It’s any respect for any member of the Confederacy (“Unfortunately, flying the Confederate flag (as South Carolina still does) is not the only way that state and local governments continue to honor the Confederacy and its leaders. Throughout the South, there are still numerous schools, streets, and other institutions named after Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee…”). This nonsense has the stench of all the more Kulture Wawr!!! ball-spiking that, honestly, I find repulsive.

  35. On a certain level, I can see the logic of getting rid of them getting rid of their Confederate flag (actually, it’s not the confederate flag, but it’s battle standard/naval jack, if I understand correctly). That said, I think Ilya Somin wound up giving away where all this winds up leading in his article today. It’s not just the confederate flag. It’s any respect for any member of the Confederacy (“Unfortunately, flying the Confederate flag (as South Carolina still does) is not the only way that state and local governments continue to honor the Confederacy and its leaders. Throughout the South, there are still numerous schools, streets, and other institutions named after Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee…”). This nonsense has the stench of all the more Kulture Wawr!!! ball-spiking that, honestly, I find repulsive.

  36. Barack Obama uses the attacks, almost literally before the bodies are cold, not to attack the Stars and Bars, but to assault the 2nd Am. and Chapman cries out asking if someone will save us from the oppression of the Confederate flag.

    Thanks Reason!

  37. If the Confederate Battle Flag is racist, so is the United States flag, as it presided over institutionalized slavery, then government enforced racism in the Jim Crow south. (note: former Confederates were prohibited from holding office, “Reconstruction” was dominated by the Republican party that had just destroyed political opposition via 4 years of aggression and bloodshed).

  38. if your going to get rid of that flag then you have to get rid of all flags that pre-date the civil war so no keep the flag you fag

  39. The CSA suspended habeas corpus for most of its existence as well as civilian courts (except in North Carolina, where Gov. Zebulon Vance fought that order from Jefferson Davis.) Its conscription policies were as bad or worse than the North. Jefferson Davis and the CSA did very little to respect state’s rights of the states in the CSA (especially and obviously to those like W. W. Holden would sought a peaceful resolution to the war, or those that advocated that their own states secede from the CSA as they had seceded from the USA.) There are of course worthy criticisms of the conduct during wartime of the USA in that war, but certainly nothing that would warrant pretending that the CSA was any better.

  40. I didn’t realize Reason was doing a full-court press until I saw the other articles on this timely and important topic in the Related section. ACA still going strong? Yup. Increased troop presence in the sandbox? Yup. The Supreme Court allowing San Francisco to blatantly violate the 2nd Amendment (and prior decisions) without argument, with several incredibly important cases coming up? Yup.

    But Reason’s gonna do three articles about South Carolina still flying the Confederate battle flag because there was a racist lunatic who murdered people. Can’t tell if this is SEO-related or signalling or both. I’m sure in Chapman’s case it’s the latter.

    Last I checked black people in SC do in fact have the right to vote and do so on a regular basis. All of this sounds like something they can handle by themselves at the polls. That they haven’t yet seems to indicate that either a.) not enough black people care, or b.) they’re outnumbered by people who want the flag as-is. If the latter is the case, they are, like all other holders of minority opinions, best advised to change minds through persuasion and debate.

    And how’d I know Chapman’s from Austin? No wonder New England was such a good fit for him.

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  42. Why waste time arguing about the Civil War and pieces of ferking colored cloth? There are more pressing matters right now.

  43. The flag is a symbol of racism and treason. Only racist fuckheads are emotionally invested in it. To Southern blacks, it’s a giant middle finger directed squarely at them. Anyone who is not a racist fuckhead should support its removal from capitol grounds simply so that their state stops being such an embarrassment.

    1. The flag there is on a memorial honoring South Carolinian’s war dead. It’s also the BATTLE FLAG of the Army of Northern Virgina, not the flag of the Confederacy.

      And the flag of the Confederacy is no more treasonous than flying a US flag.

      1. The flag is there because white people didn’t like that the feds were making them share their lunch counters with negroes.

        1. Or maybe it was because it was the 100th anniversary of the civil war? Did that ever occur to you that something else went on in the 60s other than civil rights?

    2. What’s true for you, Tony, may not be true for others.

  44. So what, that flag is an outdated relic that no longer represents southern culture. A more modern flag should include an insulin pen or a welfare check.

  45. The confederate flag is NOT just about racism. It is also symbolic of a portion of the US that chose to rebel against the other portion of the US because they loved the ownership of other humans so much they were willing to die for it. So yes, there is nothing good about that worthless flag. It is symbolic of an issue that over 600,000 white people died for. The flag belongs two places: 1) in a museum so we will never forget the hate that it represents; and 2) on the shirt, cars and hats of hateful, worthless trash. And for full disclosure, I’m a white, conservative not a tree hugging’ hippie.

    1. The United States flag is NOT just about tax evasion. It is also symbolic of a portion of the Empire that chose to rebel against the other portion of the Empire because they loved smuggling and not paying their taxes to the crown so much they were willing to die for it. So yes, there is nothing good about that worthless flag. It is symbolic of an issue that over 25,000 white people died for. The flag belongs two places: 1) in a museum so we will never forget the thievery that it represents; and 2) on the shirt, cars and hats of tax dodging, worthless trash. And for full disclosure, I’m a white, conservative not a tea sipping monarchist

      1. Cute. Irrelevant but cute. Why? Because the flag isn’t about tax evasion it is a symbol of freedom from tyranny as opposed to the CSA flag that is symbolic of hate.

        1. First of all, this is not the CSA flag, this is the flag of the Army of Northern Virgina. Second, your post is full of irony. What is not tyrannical about an army invading your land, destroying your fields, looting and burning your towns? The whole era is clouded by the propaganda of both sides trying to declare the moral high ground after the war was over when either side held no morals.

          The people who worship Lincoln disgust me. He was a tyrant and he’s the one that led our country to this big government clusterfuck we have now.

    2. “I’m a white, conservative not a tree hugging’ hippie.”

      You’re also not very knowledgeable about the causes of the Civil War. (My guess is that you learned about it in a northern public school, as did I.) That war was actually about a great deal more than merely slavery (although that was certainly an important element). The actual triggering event had to do with tariffs.

      The flag which currently flies over the SC state capitol isn’t technically a “confederate flag”; it was never adopted by the CSA. Rather, it’s a battle flag used by certain military elements during the Civil War. Today it represents history, and also the desire of certain states to retain the sovereignty which the Constitution supposedly guaranteed them.

      The Confederate states were on the wrong side of history with regard to slavery (which likely would have ended on its own within a decade or two; the industrial revolution was making the institution uneconomic). Obviously, they were also on the losing end of that struggle militarily. But with respect to their desire to maintain their own sovereignty, and to separate themselves from other states which wished to follow a different path, they were not wrong, merely defeated.

      The Battle Flag should remain.

  46. Mr. Chapman,
    While the history of the Confederate flag flying over the capital is relevant, it doesn’t discount the history of the flag itself. A Confederate nation is different from a Federalist one by virtue of the belief that a state should be able to nullify federal laws it does not agree to. While slavery played a monumental role leading up to the Civil War, President Lincoln’s letter to Horace Greeley showed his opinion that preserving the union was paramount to it. The Confederate flag was originally different than what we see today, but it so closely resembled the Union flag during the Civil War, that confusion on the battlefield ensued. A change was ordered, and both whites and blacks fighting for the South were able to maintain their lines. The North, confused by the slaves fighting alongside whites in the South, had a tough fight.
    If people think the current flag stands for racism, then we all know that perception is reality, but they’d also do quite well do experience a couple of college level American history courses where, I can only hope, education would remove many of their concerns. Have awful things been done to black people under that flag? Yes. Have awful things been done to black people under the American flag? If you count the mass incarceration of blacks over petty drug laws, for instance, then yes. Which one is worse? I’d say the injustice occurring now, not the one that occurred to past generations.

  47. Thousands of blacks fought for the Confederacy. Also Hispanic, Indian, Jewish and foreign born. Should we take down the Stars and Stripes because some Native Americans view it as a symbol of hatred and genocide?

  48. Time to put this in perspective.

    Lincoln’s War of Northern Aggression resulted in the death of 2% of the US population (over 700,000 people). What flag were the aggressors flying at the time, and why isn’t it a symbol of atrocities and war crimes? If a flag should be removed from state capitals, perhaps it should be the one that represents the aggressors in the greatest slaughter of Americans in history?

    1. Those were good atrocities committed by good people with good reasons.

      Completely unlike those bad atrocities that are, oddly enough, committed only by the losing sides of the world’s various historical conflicts.

    2. Ridiculous. The South was the side that fired first, and only its ideas about what was its own territory could justify doing so on the basis of a peaceable action– the deliverance of supplies to Fort Sumpter. Lincoln said, “The government will not assail you. You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors.” I decline to cooperate in whatever Newspeak you’d put forward to change the definition of aggression, just as I decline to cooperate with the Left’s Newspeak in defining justice or society or gender to be whatever it needs to maintain its internal fiction of rationality.

  49. I am pretty sure that this issue is not really about the flag itself. It is more about submission. Virtually no white southerner wants to bring back slavery, Jim Crow laws or segregation. I certainly do not. But I really do feel that much of the opposition to the flag is really outrage that southerners would dare to retain some regional pride in their heritage. They want an endless series of submissive gestures, from removing the flag to destruction of Confederate war memorials and renaming anything that was named after any southerner who was alive in the 1860s. But those gestures will never be enough, because no amount of obliteration of history will really solve any of the problems we have with race today. It is possible to fly the Confederate flag while despising racism, just as it is possible to have pride in the US Flag while opposing the genocide of Native Americans. I am proud of many good things about the south. I was raised to see the various confederate flags as symbols of pride, while understanding that ninteenth-century ideas about race were very wrong. I disagree with the flag banning crowd, but I do understand their viewpoint. Of course i also wish that they were not using the recent horror as an excuse to further their political goals.

  50. Let it go! Let it go to a cemetery or a museum.
    Keeping it on the capitol building is an ego trip

  51. This entire piece rests on a single assumption: that the Civil War was about slavery. It’s understandable that that interpretation has been pushed, since it both ennobles the conflict and provides a basis for an African-American epic, in the sense of a founding narrative that fosters a sense of group identity.

    But to steer history to serve politics is to pervert it.

    As I see it, it was fought not about race, but about economics. If American slaves had been owned not by Americans but by cotton corporations in England and France, the South would never have fought to preserve slavery, no matter what the general opinion about African heritage. Slavery amounted to the establishment in law of permanent economic advantage by members of one group over members of another, as though slaves were debtors who could never escape it by repaying the debt. The Civil War was like both the Cold War and the ending of debtors’ prison in being a fight over the nature of property and advantage in human relationships.

    In that light, the Confederate flag on the license plates is only racist to those who insist on that interpretation of the war. Otherwise, it’s a matter of history and identity. I don’t share that identity, being from the North and being descended from Union soldiers, and it seems faintly silly to me. But that the Left (or your average black American) feels a need for the Civil War to have been about slavery moves me not at all.

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