Confederate flag

When Anti-Racists Adopted the Confederate Battle Flag

Beyond heritage and hate

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This is my favorite picture of a Confederate flag:

Like 'The South's Gonna Do It' mashed up with 'Ebony and Ivory.'
Southern Student Organizing Committee

That was the emblem of the Southern Student Organizing Committee, a New Left group founded in 1964. At a time when the activists most likely to be waving a Confederate banner were affiliated with the Ku Klux Klan, SSOC decided to adopt—and adapt—the battle flag for the other side of the civil rights struggle. The group did most of its organizing among southern whites, and it went out of its way to draw on regional iconography: Its newsletter was called The New Rebel, its founding manifesto was called "We'll Take Our Stand," and its logo…well, you saw its logo. In Gregg Michel's history of the organization, Struggle for a Better South, a former member says the group was "constantly studying Southern history, looking for antecedents that would satisfy a need for rootedness."

The symbol got mixed reviews on the other side of the color line. The graphic had actually been designed by a black man, Claude Weaver of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee; and the chairman of Weaver's group, John Lewis, gamely posed for this picture with SSOC's Archie Allen, reenacting the logo for the camera:

Listen, Yankee!
Palgrave Macmillan

But not everyone in the movement thought the emblem was a good idea. "Explaining to their white counterparts that the battleflag had only one meaning to them," Michel writes, several "black activists stressed that no matter how SSOC altered the flag's image, African Americans forever would see it as a symbol of racial oppression." SSOC was predominantly white, but it wanted to become the biracial alliance implied by those clasped hands. And so it dropped both the emblem and the name New Rebel at the end of 1964.

Yet the group wasn't finished with the idea. In 1967 it brought the emblem back, and its members started flirting with other Confederate symbols as well. Protesting Richard Nixon's inauguration in 1969, a bunch of them carried a banner identifying themselves as the "Southern Liberation Front"; Michel reports that they "led rebel charges and let loose with rebel yells" and then "gathered, symbolically, in Sherman Square." Meanwhile,

What if they gave a Civil War and no one came?
Southern Student Organizing Committee

talk of rebellion and secession crept into [the] group's publications and the activists' conversations and speeches. SSOC invoked these historically portentous terms both to connect with their forebears and to symbolize the drastic, all-transforming changes they envisioned for the South. Although the activists did not actually contemplate a day when the South once again would secede or rebel, they knew that their ironic use of these terms would give added weight to their cause. As Tom Gardner recollects, "we started promoting kind of a positive view of being rebellious, a 'rebel' of a different kind, a rebel against racism, a rebel against the war."…

Secession was a particularly useful concept for conveying SSOC's opposition to the Vietnam War. In the words of a SSOC-affiliated group in North Carolina, southern students should secede from "the oppression that our country is practicing in Vietnam by SECEDING from the SSS [selective servive system] or…pressuring school administrations to SECEDE from the military-industrial complex by dropping ROTC, Defense contracts, and selling their stock in war industries."

The maze of symbols got even twistier when the group started invoking the legend of the Republic of Winston, an Alabama stronghold of anti-war and anti-slavery sentiment that supposedly seceded from the Confederacy. Here was a sort of separatism the whole movement could get behind.

By that time, SSOC wasn't the only New Left group playing with Confederate signifiers. The Young Patriots were a Chicago-based organization made up mostly of working-class whites who had migrated to the city from the Appalachians; the Patriots joined the Black Panthers and the Young Lords (a Panther-like Puerto Rican group) in an partnership called the Rainbow Coalition. (This was unrelated to Jesse Jackson's outfit, which was launched much later.) "In a decade when symbolism mattered like never before, most Left groups chose their radical dress code—whether the dignified suits of civil rights leaders or the sleek leather jackets of the Panthers—to consciously send a message," Amy Sonnie and James Tracy write in Hillbilly Nationalists, Urban Race Rebels, and Black Power. "For better or worse, the Patriots adopted the Confederate flag as a symbol of southern poor people's revolt against the owning class."

If that ain't country, it's a damn good joke.
The Patriot

"From historical experience, we know that the people make the meaning of a flag," they wrote in their newspaper. "This time we mean to see that the spirit of rebellion finds and smashes the real enemy rather than our brothers and sisters in oppression."

Unafraid to ruffle a few feathers, the choice of the Confederate flag also raised a blatant middle finger to the student Left. Most Patriots took pride in their ability to rattle the cage of middle-class politeness. They also needed a radical uniform they could actually afford. Flag patches were cheap from the local military surplus store and sewing them onto jean jackets and berets seemed easy enough. As the Patriots sat around discussing their options, Panther Bob Lee weighed in with his full blessing so long as members were up for all the explaining they would have to do. Lee even spent his first three weeks breaking bread with folks in Uptown without telling Chairman Fred Hampton. Once Lee had something to show for his effort, he took the idea of the coalition to Hampton who "got the idea" right away. Not everyone responded as Hampton did. Members of the Panthers and Lords questioned the choice of emblem and outsiders were simply confused about the seeming contradictions of Black radicals standing beside self-proclaimed hillbillies wearing Confederate flags.

Some of the Chicago Panthers and Lords opposed the coalition and exited their organizations. Nonetheless, the rebel-clad Patriots were able, in the words of the historian Jeffrey Ogbar, "to bond with blacks and Latinos in class terms in ways that the Students for a Democratic Society or most other white radicals could not." Before long, Ogbar writes in his book Black Power, it was possible to see Hampton "give a typically awe-inspiring speech on revolutionary struggle, while white men wearing berets, sunglasses, and Confederate rebel flags sewn into their jackets helped provide security for him."

Save your Confederate T-shirts, boys: NuSouth shall rise again!
NuSouth Apparel

All this would fade. Both SSOC and the Patriots soon dissolved, and by the end of the '70s the closest you could find to any of this—or at least, the closest I've managed to find—was the appropriation of Confederate symbols by certain segments of the white counterculture. And that didn't have much to do with racial unity. (Still later, in 1999, I'd find myself covering a black-owned business called NuSouth Apparel, which sold shirts that recast the battle flag in the colors of African liberation. In a clever publicity stunt, its founders marched on the South Carolina legislature to demand that their flag be raised in place of the more traditional Dixie banner then flying over the capitol. But they were being more irreverent than militant.)

Some schmo is bound to read the above as a "defense" of Confederate iconography, so let me be clear: When the battle flag made a comeback in the middle of the 20th century, the number one reason for its return was its popularity among the partisans of Jim Crow. The number two reason was the centennial of the Civil War. If you scraped together a list of additional reasons, I doubt that anti-racist radicals détourning the symbols of white supremacy would crack the top ten. This is a historical byway.

But you should remember that byway the next time a news outlet addresses the flag debates with that hoary old cliché, "Heritage or hate?" That phrase doesn't merely miss the possibility that heritage and hate aren't always opposed. It ignores all the other meanings that different people can attach to a symbol, especially one as charged as the battle flag.

NEXT: May the government require an apology as part of a criminal sentence?

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  1. So would these fall under Amazon’s and eBay’s ban too?

  2. Republic of Winston? Now I’m gonna have to find some books about this. One of the main reasons (ha) I read reason – all the interesting little historical side notes and that send me down rabbit holes. Thanks for the very interesting article Jesse

    1. There’s a similar situation with Van Zandt county in TX. Contrary to popular belief, the South was not a monolithic bloc of racist hate mongers before or during the Civil War.

      1. That’s the white privilege talking.

  3. It’s like when the Tea Party adopted the Gadsden flag, taking it from a symbol of independence and making it pro-racism.

    1. Yeap, rattlesnakes are racist cause they only bite white people.

      1. Yeap, rattlesnakes are racist cause they only bite white people.

        It’s true. They’re attracted to the “wet dog” scent we give off.

      2. they’re smart enough to know that “colored” people will quickly turn and eat the rattlesnake… after making certain he’s dead of course. And the snake definitely does not want to be eaten.

    2. WTF? That’s fuckin’ ridiculous.

    3. No. No. No. You’ve got it backwards.

      It’s like when burgeoning capitalists started buying cheaply made Che Guevara T-shirts and making radical individualist statements with them.

      1. Or capitalists making a huge profit exploiting the image of a murderer/terrorist and exploiting stupid pseudo-intellectual college students

    4. I am stealing that and not giving you a hat tip.

      1. I would actually prefer it that way.

    5. No, the media made it a racist thing. NOT the Tea Party. The Tea Party never was – nor is it now – racist. That is a lie perpetrated by left-wing groups looking to denigrate and demonize. Just like calling Tea Party people “Tea Baggers”

      1. Calibrate you sarcasometer.

      2. And they succeeded. Isn’t that kind of amazing? And scary?

        If enough people call you something, then it becomes “true.”

  4. The Centennial is #1 reason for the mid-20th century resurgence of the flag as a cultural icon. The early 20th century KKK favored the US flag, being concentrated in PA and the midwest. The state capitals and state flags incorporating the battle flag did it for the Cenntennial. Legislative minutes and contemporary news coverage document this.

    1. I’ll grant that states started suddenly incorporating the Confederate flag into their state flags as a reaction to desegregation. It was a middle to finger to desegregation.

      The other resurgence in the use of the Confederate flag had to do with the emergence of “Southern Fried Rock”. It wasn’t just Lynyrd Skynyrd either. It was the Marshall Tucker Band, The Alman Brothers, the Outlaws, Blackfoot, 38 Special, Molly Hatchet, ZZ Top, The Charlie Daniels Band, and many, many others.

      That’s when it really started showing up in pop culture. And it didn’t represent racism. It represented all things Southern in that context.

      Progressives without a windmill to tilt at have no reason to exist, so they manufacture them when needed.

      …especially when doing something substantial about racist government policy would make progressives take a long hard look at themselves and the Drug War perpetuating President they’ve defended to the wall for the past six years.

      I suppose we should be thankful they’re just going after something symbolic like the rebel flag. Otherwise, they might be coming after our Second Amendment rights.

      1. If states adopted the Confederate flag to protest integration and civil rights they kept their motive secret and cleverly waited until the Cennenial to do.

        1. The centennial celebration began in 1957.

          http://tinyurl.com/o3wrqc2

          Meanwhile, Georgia incorporated the Confederate flag into its state flag in 1956.

          Meanwhile, Rosa Parks happened in 1955.

          Meanwhile, Brown v. Board of Education happened in 1954.

          The centennial was the #1 reason?

          I respectfully disagree.

          1. Then find contemporary evidence for why they adopted the flag. It doesn’t support your proggie “feelz”. University of Indiana began publishing it’s Cenntennial Series of Civil war books in the 1950s. BROWN v. Board no doubt

            1. You want me to find contemporary accounts of Southern legislators explicitly telling reporters that they’re incorporating the Confederate flag into their state flags because they’re racists?

              It doesn’t work that way now. It didn’t work that way then.

              How ’bout George Wallace, the governor of Alabama, stating, “Segregation today, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever!”

              I’m not a proggie, so I don’t have proggie “feelz”, but just because I’m a libertarian doesn’t mean I have to pretend that the Southern states weren’t resistant to desegregation or that the Confederate flag wasn’t used by the states as a way to signal that resistance.

              Like I said elsewhere in the thread, it doesn’t mean racism to everybody, but it does and did to some people–and some people used it for that reason. Why pretend otherwise? I’m certainly not calling for a ban.

              1. How ’bout George Wallace, the governor of Alabama, stating, “Segregation today, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever!”

                it worked that way then because Wallace lost his first run at the governor’s job for not focusing on race. There’s an entire backstory to George’s vow to “never be outniggered again.” There is a publication called Settin’ the Woods on Fire that goes beyond the UA schoolhouse door.

                1. The funny thing is that blacks still block voted for Wallace even as he was blocking passage to The University.

            2. Shultz is no Proggie.

              1. This was easily the stupidest thing I have seen on the internet all morning. And I read the LA Times this morning.

                Sometimes I genuinely worry about SIV. Everything SIV writes here is jaw-droppingly stupid, but every once in a while he posts something so completely out of left field that I think he had a stroke. This is one of those times.

      2. Otherwise, they might be coming after our Second Amendment rights.

        I’m fascinated by the fact that the media has been focusing on the confederate flag this time INSTEAD of 2A. Obama has made a couple of half-hearted (and demonstrably false) statements about “common sense gun control reforms” but, by and large, the left is more whipped up about the flag. I thought gun control was trump to them. Really, it makes more sense that you start with free speech and then work your way to gun control…

        1. The progressives are much more concerned with appearances than they are with the reality.

          It’s like the conversation we had with Bo the other day.

          In the progressive world view, striking back against racism–even if it’s just symbolic–is more important than anything else.

          I think it’s Warty that keeps saying that when they see the term “racist murder”, it’s the “racist” part that really makes them upset.

          The NAACP really launched this, too. They could have used this opportunity to lash out against the Drug War–our single most racist policy. The progressives in the frenzy of their cultural revolution just latch onto whatever they latch onto.

          1. Progressives are only concerned with the culture wars. That is it.

          2. The progressives are much more concerned with appearances than they are with the reality.

            Are you saying they haven’t dominated the optics portion of the game?

            IMO, if you can write poor post-war and pre/post-segregation Southern culture in the history books as “Racism”, hang that albatross on GOP necks, and bleach all evidence of it from the culture. If you want the 2nd Am. gone, it’s just a matter of time.

            1. The Democrats put that flag up. Republicans are bringing it down.

              But the MSM and the Left are masters at whitewashing history.

              Most kids now probably think Huey Long was a Republican.

          3. Yeah, a racist white southerner shooting up a black church is kind of a Progressive buffet, with the “white southerner” bit being analogous to, say, the mac and cheese, with the gun thing being more of a prime rib deal. You’d think they’d go for the prime rib, and they do love some beef, but mac and cheese is the kind of comfort food you can’t pass by without piling a heap on your plate.

            I think it’s Warty that keeps saying that when they see the term “racist murder”, it’s the “racist” part that really makes them upset.

            Hence the existence of “hate crimes”, which elevate protected classes to the status historically held by priests or representatives of the king. The early English kings in fact held Jews as royal wards, in large part so that they had a source of ready money, and I suspect the modern Progressive establishment does much the same thing with favored demographics for votes.

        2. Progressive left is always more concerned with controlling symbols and language. Disarmament is secondary to that part of the agenda.

      3. the interesting thing about those bands is how many of those musicians spent time and had huge respect for black talent. Then again, Southerners of a certain generation grew up side by side with black people, which makes it all the more galling to hear self-righteous moralizing from beta males whose only daily interaction with a black person prior to age 18 was the school custodian and the three doctor/lawyer kids who lived in the suburban school district.

        1. Yeah, anybody that went to see ZZ Top do Sam and Dave and thought all the Confederate flags were racist was completely out to lunch.

          They’re making it racist, though. They’re turning the Confederate flag into more of a racist symbol than it has ever been before. And I don’t that’s going to have the impact they want.

          Turning symbols certain people care about into racist symbols doesn’t make those people less racist. It makes them treat charges of racism more like the boy who cried wolf.

          1. You know what it’s like?

            It’s like Virgin of Guadalupe is to Mexicans. Mexican kids will get the Virgin of Guadalupe painted on the hood of their car, or they’ll get a Virgin of Guadalupe tattoo. They’ll wear t-shirts with it. It’s a symbol of Mexican pride.

            If the progressives went to them and told them it was a symbol of racism because of all the atrocities that were perpetrated by the Catholic Church against indigenous Mexicans–that they should be ashamed of the Virgin of Guadalupe–they’d say, “But it doesn’t mean that to me”.

            For most of them, they aren’t even that religious. It’s just a symbol of Mexican pride.

            That’s the way the Confederate flag is to a hell of a lot of people in the South.

            It’s what the shamrock is to the Irish.

            1. “It’s just a symbol of … pride”

              Probably right, but to fewer and fewer people as the Southern Nation gets absorbed into the larger American culture. Since the Katerina hurricane, I understand many Spanish speaking people have moved to New Orleans. I very much doubt that these people and new comers in general take any pride in the flag. Or young native Southerners for that matter, unless they are racists like the mass murderer.

              1. “It’s just a symbol of … pride”
                Probably right,

                unless they are racists like the mass murderer.

                these do not match. If you automatically assume them to be racists, you cannot view it as a symbol of pride.

                1. ” If you automatically assume them to be racists”

                  Yes, I’m assuming the mass murderers to be racists. The others may or not be. I’m assuming these others are an older, dying breed of Southern Nationalists. I’m not assuming these people who take pride in the flag are automatically racist.

                  1. I along with NBC news assume all whites are racist-terrorists…not neccesarily murders…but more likely than any other group.

                    https://slimgur.com/image/6qA

              2. Living in PC America means shouldering guilt and hiding your heritage, even if you and your friends just liked the flag to rock with Skynyrd.

            2. Besides the US paid in blood and coin to eradicate slavery, I see the flag as a symbol of that struggle and Southern culture and racism.

          2. I have personal experience of Billy G and company being incorrigible racist fuckheads. Love his music – hate him as a person…and I am pretty sure Billy G. is capable of feeling the same way.

            1. Billy HowHow used to have sex with my black sister, so I’m pretty sure you’re wrong.

        2. I certainly grew up shoulder to shoulder with poor rural blacks in Greenville, AL. A deep south antebellum town with a set of 5 or so old money white extended families and a mirror image set of 5 black extended families with the same last names.

          My experience there was working summers in my dad’s factory (worst, nastiest job in the building…helped with getting cred) in the mid-late 70’s. I’ve been to beer joints with co-workers in Lowndes County where I was the only white person. I’d much rather be around rural blacks than poor white trash.

          BTW, Roll Tide.

          1. I know where Greenville; driven past it on I-65 many times. I tell people from outside the South that if you’re white and find yourself in a black neighborhood, the most likely consequence is someone asking if you need directions because they think you’re lost. And yes, totally agree about the white trash.

            1. True in small southern towns. Not so sure about some neighborhoods in places like Atlanta…

            1. welcome to the South, y’all, where church is held in fine communities in various time blocks on Saturday afternoons and evenings.

            2. I’m married to a coon-ass, Tigah fan.

      4. “…especially when doing something substantial about racist government policy would make progressives take a long hard look at themselves and the Drug War perpetuating President they’ve defended to the wall for the past six years.”

        They should also take a long hard look at the minimum wage laws and lack of school choice which, when combined, guarantee that most poor children will never attain a level of education sufficient to qualify for an entry level job.

    2. You are embarrassing.

    3. Some people probably just see it (mistakenly perhaps) as a sign
      of rebelliousness and being a redneck and proud of it but not
      necessarily racist.

      1. The confederate flag that is.

  5. I think symbols should only be allowed to mean whatever they mean to progressives.;

    And everyone who disagrees corrects them should be shouted down as racists.

    Otherwise, people might start thinking for themselves, tolerating other opinions, etc., and that just leads to chaos and anarchy.

    Do you want to go through the Thirty Years’ War again, huh?

    Well DO YA?!

    1. The unfortunate part is that so few people understand that the attitude you describe is what gave us the Thirty Years War.

      1. Unfortunately too many dumbasses in the modern world don’t even know there was a conflict called The Thirty Years, let alone what it was fought over.

        1. I like my wars to be six days long.

    2. Yeah, I know. Mel Brooks wrote “Springtime for Hitler” so Jews should just stop bitching if someone puts up a Nazi flag, you know.

      1. They can bitch all they want, as long as all they do is bitch. Why is that socialists like yourself are so keen on conflating violence (including state violence) with legitimate protest?

    3. Well, to be fair, I can assure you that hate-filled graphic designers are whacking up a fresh symbol of dissent as we speak.

      But as long as a benificent government is forever repressing people we have nothing to fear from each other

      1. Hey Gilmore,

        I know you are really smart so maybe you can tell me why libertarians care one way or the other if the government pulls down symbols of racism. I’m travelling on business right now, but I got a chance to visit a southern capitol today and saw two monuments dedicated to Confederate war dead. Why should I care or why should libertarians care if someone puts a couple of sticks of dynamite under these monuments?

        1. Dear Webmaster = please report this individual to the authorities as having made credible threats to blow up public landmarks.

          1. Nonono, webmaster, please don’t. I’m not seeking out internet martyrdom like the rest of you guys. Thanks, but no thanks. I don’t want to be a hero.

  6. The fight over reb battleflags won’t stop at the lawn of the SC state capital. There are plenty of instances where it is displayed, perhaps unofficially, on Federal property. Go to the Wall at Gettyburg, on NPS property, and you’ll always see small reb flags at the marker where Gen. Armistead fell during Picketts Charge. I wonder at what point private cemeteries, like the one in Lexington where Stonewall is buried, will be pressured to remove the flag from veteran gravesites?

  7. Well, those of you who called it that there would be a move to ban private display of the Confederate flag were right. Its already started here in Tampa. Just one more reason to hate Mayor Bob Buckhorn.

    http://tbo.com/news/breaking-n…..-20150622/

    1. It does not reflect the amazing diversity of Tampa or the emergence of this state as a beacon of tolerance.

      Trasnlation: “I’m super accepting and love diversity and I’m really, really tolerant guys! For seriously!”
      Thou doth protest too much…

      1. and he used ‘tolerance’ with a total absence of self-awareness.

        1. Given how Bob Buckhorn ran on a platform of running the homeless out of Tampa, I find his claim of “tolerance” to be a load of horseshit. I especially feel that way because I happened to be homeless (and I’m talking living in a tent on the side of the railroad tracks kind of homeless) when he started his crack down.

  8. Are people really going to die in the last ditch over this Confederate rag? For slavery? So people whose ancestors were duped into fighting for the slave power can continue to feel superior to the dusky races? Pathetic.

    1. Re: Apostate Jew,

      Are people really going to die in the last ditch over this Confederate rag? For slavery?

      And for being against the tariff?

      Never! I’ll die first!

      Right?

      1. I love how everyone characterizes the unwillingness to participate in a cultural witch-hunt as “supporting slavery’

        Its so stupid its cute. Like a 4 yr old insisting that he jumps higher in new shoes

        1. Hi Gilmore,

          Besides the liberal that you regularly pwn in your bathroom mirror, who here has said that a person who does not want to remove Confederate symbols “supports slavery?”

    2. I think the point of the article is that there may be some that die in that last ditch, but not for any of the silly reasons you suggest. See if you can open your mind a bit wider.

  9. I recall an image just a few years ago in an NC paper of two black women in beachwear in Myrtle Beach. The design was the Confederate flag. Struck me as their way of either saying ‘fuck you’ or ‘stop whining’ to the SJW crowd.

    1. Black people wearing Confederate flags always strikes me as a fuck you to racists.

      1. and if that is the case, so be it. Whatever their rationale, it was an eye-catching shot.

        1. But were they *hot*? If so, I demand proof!

      2. That’s the way I always read it, too, Warty.

        It’s like Ice-T starting off a Body Count song with “There goes the neighborhood!”.

  10. I am seriously tempted to get a big confederate flag decal for the tailgate of my pickup truck.

    Maybe I can get one “FYTW” on it.

    1. I have one on my woodchipper

  11. get one -with- “FYTW” on it.

  12. Interesting.

    As usual, Reason shows things aren’t as concrete as the perpetually outraged make it seem. I’m not surprised there’s a nuanced angle to this.

  13. Get out here with your hoity toity “nuance” you Canuckistani degenerate. In America, we view everything strictly in black and white.

    1. I thought viewing everything as black/white was the crux of the problem. Damn….

    2. /lowers head. Gingerly walks away.

      1. Ginger-ly? You really don’t get this whole black/white thing.

    3. Maybe once Americans become more fully accepting of the LGBTIAWXYZ crowd we will start to see things in mauve and teal.

      1. “Maybe once Americans become more fully accepting of the LGBTIAWXYZ GGGwtf? crowd we will start to see things in mauve and teal.”

        ftfy

  14. Nah, Jesse, I don’t read it that way. We all know that Leftists are the true racists so this is yet one more piece of evidence that puts the nail in that coffin, no?

    1. Re: American Stolid,

      We all know that Leftists are the true racists

      Racism is a collectivist ideology. Collectivists are invariably socialists, by definition. Ergo, racists are leftists.

      I’m an individualist. I believe that if a person is an asshole it is not because of the color of his or her skin but because the person is a Marxian. Like you! Imagine that!

      1. Hey OM,

        Just a thought… maybe the reason the Rand Paul revo[love]ution is stalled and the socialist candidate and most honest person to run for office since George McGovern is drawing crowds of 5000 people is because people who call themselves libertarian have such cloistered and idiotic preconceptions of people whose politics they don’t share.

        I think you need some fresh air– and maybe an enema.

        1. I know you couldn’t be talking about that mendacious twat, Bernie Sanders. He’s reaping the benefit of the “oh god, anybody but that Hillary bitch” faction of the Democratic party.

          -jcr

        2. “I think you need some fresh air– and maybe an enema.”

          I think you are starting to enjoy shit sandwiches and are preoccupied with other people’s asses.

    2. Well this dude killed 9 black people. Your ilk has impoverished millions of them and led directly to ghettos, drug epidemics, and gang violence.

      He would of needed a damn nuke to even compare to your side.

      1. Hi,

        Sorry… are you part of the Reason Six? Because I don’t even want to question the wisdom of these martyrs.

    3. We all know that Leftists are the true racists

      Thanks for finally admitting it. BTW, did you know that Marx called for eliminating the Jews to clear the way for communism?

      -jcr

  15. I’ll advocate taking down the Stars and Bars when the left puts the kibosh on left stops using “Uncle Tom”, “Lawn Jockey”, and “House Nigger” to describe blacks who deign to think something other than what theologian elite approves of.

    You know things are fucked when Rachel Dolezal receives more support and recognition from the NAACP than Clarence Thomas.

    1. You know things are fucked when Rachel Dolezal receives more support and recognition from the NAACP than Clarence Thomas.

      Well Clarence Thomas wears black face, duh.

    2. people like Clarence Thomas and Thomas Sowell and the like aren’t ‘real’ blacks, you know.

      1. Or in Whoopi-speak, they’re not ‘black-black’.

    3. Again, this flag is the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virgina, not the stars and bars. The stars and bars is the first national flag.

  16. I already mentionned in another thread but I think it might be worth to mention it again this article from American Thinker about the Confederate flag http://www.americanthinker.com…..lying.html and this blog post as a off-topic sidenote to another delicate subject. http://mikesmithspoliticalcomm…..-flag.html

    1. Link to the article then the blog post mentionned. http://www.iol.co.za/news/sout…..YrOh0aS–1

  17. I am still huddled in my basement with my Lynyrd Skynyrd records. Is it safe to come out yet?

    1. Gimme three steps and then come out…

  18. I think South Carolina should have a whale on their flag. Why do they hate whales?

    1. Whare is dericious!

      1. Am I allowed to laugh at that?

  19. if we remove the flag it will actually only prove Roof’s points, that certain groups now have more or different rights than others and can get what they want. this will only inflame those who are filled with hate.

  20. I think we have to respect that people’s views on the Confederate battle flag differ and that to some it is no different than flying the Nazi flag. Viewed from that perspective – how could you?

    But I’ll offer this perspective. In 1981 I was privileged to attend the Boy Scout National Jamboree as one of several troops from the state of Oklahoma. We were combined with other troops including a group of African American boys from the east side of Oklahoma City. Among the flags we carried during the Jamboree was the Confederate battle flag; it had flown over a part of Oklahoma during the Civil War and was part of our history. As we marched we sang Dixie – and the black kids knew the words better than we did. We all got along great, until one idiot adult scoutmaster made a stupid comment to one of the black kids (“My grand-daddy probably owned your great grand-daddy”) and that did it. From that point on, virtual walls were in place. When we got back to Oklahoma the east side of OKC threatened to pull out of the Last Frontier Council (which oversees that portion of Oklahoma).

    So as much as I get the heritage point and consider myself a Southerner – who’s ancestors fought for Alabama and North Carolina on the side of the confederacy – I get that the flag represents the worst of humanity, not the best. I don’t think it should be banned – but you’ll never catch me flying it, as much as I understand the ‘rebel’ that’s implied and not the slavery/racism. For me, it’s Gadsen’s flag!

  21. I recall seeing some Florida straight-edge bands hanging it at their shows. X’s are just too cool looking.

    1. Its an amazing design. This is probably a large part of its appeal.

  22. For me, it’s Gadsen’s flag!

    Since Gadsen was from South Carolina, and he founded an artillery company that served in an expedition against the Cherokees, and was a slave merchant (not just owner), that one will be next.

    Plus, the the racist teathuglicans use it, so… symbol of racism.

  23. All of this bullshit over a damn flag that most people in this country have never seen in person. I understand that the rest of the country would happily butcher every person in the South but most of you all will never go to the South and probably never meet someone from there. I’m quite partial to the region and people myself, and aside from not wanting to ban the flag like the progs, the overall distaste for Southerners on Reason’s comment boards has not differed far from them.

    Reading and listening to people tell me what the battle flag “really means” is like listening to an ostrich tell a duck what’s it’s “really like” to fly. Most people in the South know what the flag means and fully understands the different meanings. These days it is more in line with young boys putting it on their pick ups showing a form of rebellious attitude. Some adults put it on stuff but being in the middle of the South right now, I see 100 Ole Glories for every 1 Confederate flag.

    Flags are nothing but the symbols we make them. If I took the Hammer and Sickle and said it represents bird watching then it is so. Take the rainbow, it has long been used in Christian symbolism, it’s also synonymous with leprechauns, and then the gay rights movement took it for their own purpose. I look at all of it as being quite similar to saying what you see in ink blots.

    1. Also, all of this hoopla reeks of the times when they went through killer’s music and video games.

      “Oh my God, he listened to Metallica! Metallica obviously encourages violence! Ban Metallica!”

      “Oh my God, he played Grand Theft Auto! Grand Theft Auto obviously encourages violence! Ban Grand Theft Auto!”

      Seems like the soccer moms are still dictating the media’s preferred narrative.

  24. Now the rednecks have a petition to get the USSR flag to not be sold on Amazon and Ebay.

    https://goo.gl/ewrQMO

    Of course the rednecks don’t understand that the USSR was actually a really good idea, it was just not carried out perfectly. How can we expect from perfection from a group that is trying to manage a country of a 100-200 million people?… This is the type of thing that makes the libertard yocals really look stupid, the USSR had a lot of great things about it…amazing education system, healthcare, culture, finest dancers and chess players in the world.

    It was a noble experiment that sadly failed…however a bunch of inbred rednecks whipping black people for fun is a totally different thing.

    1. ok guys this is getting serious. A new NBC(my personal favorite new source) tweet has just infomred me that White Americans are the biggest threat to America.

      https://slimgur.com/image/6qA

      how far are we going to let these rednecks go?! first they shoot up a black church…then when we take common sense measures to prevent this from happening again…they get all hissy fittish and complain we are taking aware their sacred symbols!

      Do you see the picture in the NBC tweet?! I am sorry but that guy you can tell the world would be better if we executed him on sight. He is obviously racist and a danger to America as we know and love it.

      1. I bet these red necks in new hamphsire are all racists too….look at them trying to intimidate completely innocent government workers merely trying to do their honest days work.

        https://goo.gl/YyhqJY

  25. If I may offer a thought, while retired now, previously I worked in various parts of the country, east, west, north and south. I saw evidence and examples of racial prejudice in ALL of the above locales.
    I worked in a couple of European countries too. Same thing there. Strange, isn’t it?

    1. Come on man…don’t confuse the issues here…the south is racist…next thing you know you’ll be telling us black youths are fast and lincoln was in the KKK…we aren’t buying your lies.

  26. Dukes of Hazzard Toy Car Axed Amid Confederate Flag Controversy

    http://time.com/3933901/dukes-hazzard-toy-car/

  27. Southern elites rebelled to preserve slavery. They said it themselves.

    “Those States have assumed the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions; and have denied the rights of property established in fifteen of the States and recognized by the Constitution; they have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery; they have permitted open establishment among them of societies, whose avowed object is to disturb the peace and to eloign the property of the citizens of other States. They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes; and those who remain, have been incited by emissaries, books and pictures to servile insurrection.

    “For twenty-five years this agitation has been steadily increasing, until it has now secured to its aid the power of the common … A geographical line has been drawn across the Union, and all the States north of that line have united in the election of a man to the high office of President of the United States, whose opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery. He is to be entrusted with the administration of the common Government, because he has declared that that ‘Government cannot endure permanently half slave, half free,’ and that the public mind must rest in the belief that slavery is in the course of ultimate extinction.”

    1. Southern elites rebelled to preserve slavery.

      Sure, but that’s not why the lower classes fought to repel the invaders.

      -jcr

  28. I’d be curious whether replacing the battle flag with the real stars and bars (any edition) on war memorials would be acceptable to the aggrieved. Is it the actual symbol–this flag and this flag only–that is despised for its apparently popular association with modern racists, or is it the particular state that the flag was a symbol of?

    If the latter, would all flags affiliated with the CSA or any slave-bearing state, including the old American and Gadsden flags, provoke the same outrage? What about the flags of states that featured conscription or still have slave armies today, like South Korea or the US circa 1963?

  29. I don’t care what you say, I still say it’ll never be over until we dig up and desecrate the remains of every Confederate soldier and burn Billie Idol alive with a fire fueled entirely by rebel flags.

  30. Fairly amusing that the biggest racists/ segregationists – southern whites are also the one’s who’s ancestors are the most responsible for the black population being in America in the first place,

    Obviously southern whites prior to emancipation were importing blacks as slaves or making the slave trade profitable. Now their descendents are the ones that are bitching about having blacks around
    I don’t think that anyone has called southerners on that hypocrisy.

    1. southern whites prior to emancipation were importing blacks as slaves or making the slave trade profitable.

      FYI, the south had very little to do with shipping. Those horrific slave ships were generally British, and later, Yankee-owned. The first state to prohibit the transatlantic slave trade was Virginia.

      -jcr

      1. Virginia was just about to abolish slavery when the North invaded but then they were too busy defending hearth and home to do anything about it before they lost the war.

        Damn Yankees.

    2. Gonna have to raise the bullshit flag on this on. As a White Southerner, living around and working with blacks is no bother. They are people like any other people.

      (Yes, some Baby Boomers still hold on to some prejudice, but they’re old and don’t know better.)

  31. the number one reason for its return was its popularity among the partisans of Jim Crow.

    In other words, the Democrats.

    -jcr

    1. An argument beneath you and irrelevant. The parties and their members were different back then.

  32. BTW, did anyone notice that while the media was flooded with this confederate flag hoopla, the senate slipped the trans-pacific partnership bill onto the “fast track”?

    -jcr

    1. It’s a plot!

  33. Fascinating history. Articles like this are why I read Reason.

  34. You fall to follow the logic, both mine and yours. My logic is that southern elites hoodwinked their cannon fodder into fighting for them. Your logic is that it’s fine to celebrate fighting for an evil cause as long as you can dress it up as fighting for rights against invaders.

    You do realize that the Confederacy was fighting to maintain their power to enslave their fellow human beings? Are you OK with that?

  35. The civil war was over tariff hikes the nullification ordinance sought to repeal. Jackson threatened to send in troops and hang the state legislators. So when the tax-and-spend Whigs were replaced by Red Republicans with a Metropolis voting an even higher tariff plus their own President, secession was the only peaceful option open to the Colonial South. Slavery was a part of the Metropolis-Colony structure of the same Mercantilist system the North took over after defeating Great Britain. England turned against slavery AFTER losing the Wars of 1776 and 1812 then turning India into an opium farm. The exploitation of a brainwashed racial collectivist to further the Red Republican agenda today is puzzling confederate descendants in Americana, Brazil, where Confederate costume fairs, not racial collectivism, are a tradition. When the Communist Manifesto was published in English the Free Soil Party gave way to the looter Republican Party and the war to preserve the Customs Union and collect those imposts became inevitable.

  36. So anyone should be free to hang any symbol they want. Che Guevara T-shirts, Nazi symbology, hammer and sickle, Mao’s Little Red Book, Battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia, whatever. But please stop with the Civil War wasn’t about slavery. O for Odin’s eye! SC, TX, MS and GA all specifically stated the institution of slavery was one of, if not the biggest reason in their declarations of their reasons for secession. Look up the Cornerstone speech by the VP of the Confederacy in 1861. The Missouri Compromise and Bleeding Kansas were all specifically about free vs. slave states being introduced into the Union. And if it was primarily a revolt against taxation and tariffs, why wasn’t there one free state who even came close to seceding?

    I don’t care that only 10% (or so) of Southerners actually owned slaves. A lower percentage of Germans actually killed or tortured Jews during the Holocaust. But we had to defeat Germany, not just the SS, not just those who ran the death camps.And even though the swastika is an ancient symbol of many different cultures, the fact is the Nazis ruined it, probably forever.

    And for the record, arguing about States’ Rights, when black slaves were not considered people has always struck me as disingenuous at best. Absolutely argue that individuals have the right to fly any symbol they choose. But don’t piss down my leg and tell me its raining.

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