View single post by TimHoffman01
 Posted: Mon Mar 26th, 2007 08:34 pm
 PM  Quote  Reply  Full Topic 

Joined: Wed Nov 9th, 2005
Location: Mechanicsville, Virginia USA
Posts: 74

  back to top

Hi Susan (and others),

   Your post reminded me of two interesting personal annectdotes fairly recently:

   My father (NJ Yankee that he is) was visiting my mother's side family reunion this past July in upstate NY.  While there he noted the flag that was flying in front of a neighbor's house.  He remarked on it to my uncle (who was hosting) who said something along the lines of "yeah, we noticed he was flying a revolutionary flag there, but something about it just looks a little different from how I've always seen the Betsy Ross flag."  My father thought that was very humerous and tried explaining to him, and other family members, that it was, in fact, a Confederate flag known as the Stars & Bars.  They didn't believe him at first, since it wasn't the "cross flag."

   The second annectdote was during a recent trip with my in-laws to Williamsburg.  They have the state flags of all 13 colonies flying at the visitor center.  As we walked by I started chuckling and my brother-in-law asked what was funny.  I asked if he rememberd the controversy surrounding the Georgia state flag and demands that the battle flag be taken off it. He said he did.  I then pointed out the Georgia state flag and asked him if he couldn't see what was funny.  He just looked at me.  I should probably point out that he also happens to be from NJ and also isn't the most into history beyond 1900.  I pointed out that, excepting the Georgia state seal, the new pattern state flag was, in fact, the Stars & Bars, 1st national of the Confederate States.  He also asked if the S&B wasn't the one with the "crossed bars."

   These just go to show how recent events, far more than actual history, often color or completely change symbolism, meanings and even memories.  I've always felt that the battle flag was a military flag and needed to be kept that way - displayed only in Museums, in the hands of actual reenactment units, and possibly on military memorials, but NOT on houses, and flapping in camps.  I was actually surprised how many CS Reenactors at a recent event agreed with that, but had been over ruled by a more vocal minority who were intent on making political statements and who believed (whether the rest of us do or not) that if they curtail flying it at all, then they will lose any ability to fly it at all, even where it should be. 

    The question to me, has not so much been "what does it really mean," since it is clear that it means two very different things to different groups of people and NEITHER can be said to be wrong.  The actual question is more along the lines of "what do we do about it?" and "can preceptions be recovered such that it can be shown in its proper historical context without others having an immediate negative response?"

 Close Window