|View single post by naakke|
|Posted: Tue Aug 15th, 2006 04:41 pm||
|The flag represents a lot of things to a lot of people and it seems that in conversations that I have had, none of those reasons resemble what the flag was created for.
Start with B. Franklin's wood cut of a snake in several pieces representing the American Colonies entitled "Join Or Die". He was calling for unity, not in a drive for independence from the crown, but in unity against the threats posed during the French and Indian War.
The Gadsden "Don't Tread On Me" flag evolved directly from an article written by Franklin regarding the unique elements of the rattlesnake and the use of the symbol and phrase by the budding Continental Marines.
The flags of the Confederacy speak to me of many of the same ideals that brought out nation independence. A nation is not a conglomeration of its political wranglings. It is the unity of a people or group of peoples with common heritage and destiny. Our colonial fathers were not interested in letting any power tread on their pursuit of life, liberty and happiness. The imposition of values by one region on another was an unconscienable act to the Southern Americans. They were not willing to be tread on. The flags of the Confederacy say of those flying them for correct reasons, "I will not be tread on by any who seek to force me and my family to live by their values and deprive me of my God-given rights."
The Battle Flag stands even more unique in its defining purpose. As a symbol of the armed forces of the Confederacy, it stands as a symbol of sacrifice just as the Stars and Stripes stands for the United States today. I saw the Star Spangled Banner in D.C. I felt so much pride in being part of a nation full of men with the balls to lay it on the line for what the rights and freedom of their family and people. The CBF represents a body of men who are immortalized, not by a flag, but by the indomitable spirit of unity of purpose and willingness to sacrifice for the right to live according to their own ideals and values.
Live Free or Die
Don't Tread on Me
I don't fly the flag because I do not feel that I have the right to. The courage, honor, and integrity that is bound up in the blood shed beneath it is something special that I respect and honor in the classroom as I teach, but even though I am 5 direct generations removed from a veteran of the Confederacy, I am not a man of enough character and courage to stand beside my forefathers beneath this flag.