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 Posted: Tue Apr 4th, 2006 04:13 pm
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javal1
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The editorial Ulysses mentioned was actually about 3 or 4 various issues with the Confederate flag being one of them. It was written well over a year ago, but for what it's worth this was (and remains) my take on the subject...

"CWi has been around for over eight years, and we have never publicly stated our position on what some mistakenly see as an important issue. There’s no doubt that we could fill our front page every day with news accounts of kids getting suspended while wearing confederate flag t-shirts, and similar stories. The problem is that those stories have nothing to do with the Civil War.

   The whole flag issue – as it has evolved – is a silly exercise, many times assisted by those who claim to be “the protectors” of the banner. As proof, I offer this challenge:

   Find a photograph of a KKK rally in which the Confederate flag is being carried. It’s not hard – there are thousands out there. Any Klan rally, march or demonstration from any decade will do. Now look for the groups in the crowd that are protesting the use of the flag by that hate group.

   What’s that you say? You can’t find anyone protesting the use of the flag as a symbol of hate? Surely you must be wrong, because I can google “Confederate Heritage Group” and come up with dozens of organizations that claim to protect that flag from “misuse”. Is it possible these groups didn’t exist in the 20th century – during the 60’s, the 70’s. the 80’s? Did they just spring up in the last few months? Perhaps they were busy on the days those particular rallies were held.

   But yet these very same groups today sit, wringing their hands and writhing with indignation, bemoaning the fact that the Confederate battle flag has become a symbol of racism. It has, but before you continue to berate others for it, you need to answer the simple question: Where the hell were you, oh self-proclaimed defender of the banner, when this hijacking was happening?

  There are two types of places the Confederate flag should be displayed. It’s the same two places where the 32- or 35-star United States flag deserves to be displayed – at historical events and sites, and in museums and other educational venues in the course of learning. They are historical artifacts. All of the other symbolism and rhetoric (on both sides) is a personal issue. So for those who advocate its use on lunch pails and book covers, and for those who feel it promotes heritage to wear it as a prom dress or a tee-shirt, I can only respectfully disagree and suspect that your use of the flag is not what our ancestors had in mind.

   And to the “hard-core” heritage groups I can only say this: Your first inclination will be to call us “anti-Confederate” – that is, after all, your modus operandi. But you got so caught up in making the story about YOU rather than your ancestors that you lost the rest of America. You lost us when you demanded that a Lincoln statue not be put in Richmond. You lost us when you said it was offensive to fly an American flag at the Hunley funerals. And you continue to lose us with your “South Will Rise Again” t-shirts. I’m sure the south will rise again – and in fact has already done so - as part of the United States of America. Most of the southern veterans of the war understood that. Too bad about the intellectual generational degradation.

     We belong to a larger heritage group. A group dedicated to remembrance and preservation rather than trying to “keep alive” a historical era. A group that respects the Confederate soldier and the Union soldier equally. A group that never resorts to personal aspersions directed towards the men who fought that war on either side. And we don’t justify slavery. Not when it was practiced by the North or the South. A group that understands that this was a tragic and bloody and costly war, not to be treated as if it were a sporting event where we “root, root, root” for the home team. And most of all we understand that our views and our opinions on events that led up to the war are irrelevant to the basic task of preserving history. We even have a name – we call ourselves History Lovers. Membership is free…. join anytime."

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