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 Posted: Sat Jan 13th, 2007 12:55 pm
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sjh
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ESPN will feature the effects of the Confederate flag on college sports on Outside the Lines Sunday morning at 9:30. One can only imagine the negative press the flag will get from this show. No doubt it will be portrayed as inherently evil.

I can understand how many African-Americans think of the flag, and I might feel the same way if I was an African-American. But for many Southern soldiers, the flag was not symbolic of slavery. It seems to me that there needs to be a sense of balance when it comes the Confederate flag, one which is sadly lacking in a politically correct nation. Where is the tolerance for those who look on the flag with a sense of pride?



 Posted: Sat Jan 13th, 2007 03:49 pm
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Johnny Huma
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I agree that this will do nothing but add to the negative views of how the flag is seen. It is unfortunate that there are people out there who use this flag as hate or terror symbol. These people are those who usually know nothing of the Civil War but see that the KKK uses it as a hate or terror symbol. I do not think it will ever change as it is now set in the minds of people that this flag is a hate symbol. Only knowledge can change how one views this flag. This is viewed as the flag of rebellion. Our own American Flag is not although it was a flag of rebellion which became a flag of the Nation. Afro Americans were slaves under this flag much longer than they were under the Stars and Bars. If you see someone wearing this flag on a T-shirt they usually look like they are a rebellious type of individual. Motorcycle gangs have used it displayed on thier jackets and flying it off the backs of thier bikes. These are not guys you approach and ask for help. So the negative effects also come from these type of individuals. We as people who study History on this site and are caught up in the why's where's and when's and who's, it does not bother because we view it from the Historical aspect. I do not believe in today's world you could change the thinking of a majority of the people on how they view this flag. If you took a survey I believe you would find there are a lot more people who would rather the flag go away than to understand the History behind what it was...

Huma



 Posted: Sat Jan 13th, 2007 04:27 pm
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ole
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Will be watching for the program, sjh. One would hope that it explores the honor associated with the flag rather than dwelling on the dolts who use it for other purposes.  It seems to me that therein lies the rub: the dolts get the air time; the SCV and like minded organizations don't. I have my issues with the SCV, but I'm behind its charter.

Ike



 Posted: Sun Jan 14th, 2007 03:49 am
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Kentucky_Orphan
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Like many other issues, the reaction to the battle flag of the confederacy is all about perception. It is a shame that the flag has been turned into the symbol for hate groups like the KKK for most, and I don't see it changing any time soon. I have tried to explain the different meaning the flag has to other people to some of my northern friends, but to little effect. They have their own ideas about the symbol the flag represents firmly set in their minds. I would be willing to bet anyone on this board that both sides views are not expressed equally on this program. Any takers?

Again, its about perception. Show someone the stars and bars (the first national confederate flag), and they will have basically no reaction one way or another towards it. If the majority of people voted tommorow to remove the flag from all government buildings and public gatherings like basketball games I would not be astonished. What is upsetting to me is the fact that the issue gathers so much attention and funding from civil liberty groups when there are other issues of such greater importance.



 Posted: Sun Jan 14th, 2007 07:39 am
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Hellcat
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Sorry Kentucky, the only bet I'd make would be you being right.



 Posted: Sun Jan 14th, 2007 12:21 pm
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sjh
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When I started this thread, I should have indicated that I am a northerner.  But I do not have negative feelings about the Confederate battle flag. It does not bother me in the least that several Civil War prints on my walls feature the battle flag in some way (I even have one with-gulp-Forrest!). It's unfortunate that Kentucky Orphan's friends from the north have been so influenced by the negativity associated with the flag.

Not all of us are like that. My wife and I are huge Lee/Jackson fans. We have paid homage to them in Lexington, VA and she gets downright nasty when anyone says something negative about Lee. If I was a southerner and had an ancestor who fought in the war, the flag to me would be a tremendous symbol of pride, fortitude, courage, and honor. That is not to say that I think that slavery was a good thing and should have been perpetuated.

It may seem like a lost cause (no pun intended) but flag advocates should continue to point out the positive aspects of the battle flag and combat the negativity of in- tolerant people who preach tolerance.

 



 Posted: Mon Jan 15th, 2007 02:29 pm
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David White
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Anyone watch?



 Posted: Wed Jan 17th, 2007 01:47 pm
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HankC
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Other than football, and I suppose NASCAR, the Confederate flag has limited exposure at sporting events. Football is what I know so I'll limit my remarks to that endeavor. I did not see the ESPN production, so it may either refute or reinforce my own research and recollections ;)

College football, invented and widely played in the North, was a regional sport through the 1940s. The slow emergence of bowl games allowed better-funded northern teams more 'southern exposure' to the deep south college elevens. Until then, the squads of the upper south (Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, Oklahoma) occasionally traveled north to play the football elite: Harvard, Princeton, Michigan, Yale, et al. In those days, it was considered normal for the northern team to bench any African-American players for the game and the southern team would bench their corresponding player as well. Much of the southern football identity in these games was that of under-funded, under-coached, under-uniformed team 'invading' the north in, perhaps, a 'lost cause'.

The first major breakthrough for southern college football came in 1934 when Alabama won the Rose Bowl over Washington. Upon their return to Tuscaloosa, the Tide were greeted with displays of the Alabama, US and Confederate flags.

Beginning in the late 1940s, it became standard practice for the cheering sections at UVa, UNC and Maryland to wave a large Confederate banner on their 'invasions' into 'hostile' northern territory to Princeton and Columbia. At the same time, the 'gentlemen's agreement' of player benchings slowly came to an end.

CSA banners at southern home games were unknown until 1948 when Chester Pierce, an African-American, substituted for Harvard's injured defensive end at a Virginia home game. This was the first integrated college football game south of the Mason-Dixon line and the first appearance of a black player on the turf of UVa's Scott Stadium. Confederate banners appeared in abundance for that home game. As a side note, the replaced injured player was Robert F. Kennedy.

Also in 1948, the 'Dixiecrats' bolted the Democratic party over Truman's civil rights plank. Dixiecrats handed out small CSA flags at Ole Miss home football games that fall as an overt defense of white supremacy and segregation.

Somehow, a seemingly unrelated fad in Confederate flags and caps boomed in 1951. Similar to hula hoops and coonskin caps the fad busted a quickly as it appeared.

In 1954 the Supreme Court issued it's unanimous Brown v. Board of Education case and all bets for and against the CBF became moot as it gained it's new and continuing meanings.

I'll wrap up by saying, before massive resistance to the Civil Rights Movement in the mid-50s, popular usage of the Confederate battle flag had ambiguous meanings for white southern identity. It no longer was the exclusive domain of Lost Causers and increasingly reflected contemporary Southern issues as the United States integrated both culturally and socially. In young men's hands on segregated college campuses the flag became an icon of an imagined warrior, but genteel. class.

That's my interpretation of the early days of southern college football and the Confederate flag.

 

HankC

 

 



 Posted: Wed Jan 17th, 2007 02:09 pm
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javal1
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Excellent post Hank, full of facts I was unaware of. Many thanks!



 Posted: Wed Jan 17th, 2007 02:20 pm
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ole
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A revelation, Hank! Thanks.

Ole



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 Posted: Thu Jan 18th, 2007 02:43 pm
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kj3553
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HankC, thank you for your very interesting revelations. I'm a huge fan of college football but never knew any of this, and must confess that for years, I never gave it a thought (the flag issue) until it came to the attention of the media. I did not see the ESPN program, so am unable to comment on it one way of the other. (Too busy with my other obsession these days, Phantom of the Opera, which is playing here for three weeks. Oh well, we all need something to keep us going! ;) )

KJ



 Posted: Fri Jan 19th, 2007 12:24 pm
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Widow
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Terrific thread!  I didn't see the ESPN show either.

As a Wyoming native with no ancestors in the war, I just didn't think about it.  My first 64 years were spent in almost complete ignorance about the Civil War, its causes, results, etc.  The North won and the South lost.  The Stars and Stripes beat the Stars and Bars, which I thought meant the St. Andrew's Cross.

Living in Virginia for 40 years, I've seen the CBF many times, bumper stickers, etc.  I always wondered, "Don't they know the war is over?  Why don't they give it up?"

Now, after 50 books and several battlefield visits, my attitude toward the flag has reversed completely.  I respect and honor those who fought under it, as much as those who fought against it.

Just goes to show what knowledge can do to one's thinking.

Patty



 Posted: Wed Feb 21st, 2007 02:26 am
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Hellcat
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Well, I know this isn't related to the original topic of this thread, but I thought I'd post it here rather than open a new thread for it. I just saw a nearly two and a half minute CNN clip concerning the controversy over the flag over on Yahoo. It started out talking about the flag being flown by NASCAR fans and how it's expected to appear at the upcoming race in California, then moved on to the political arena concerning the controversy. Ending with where both Democrat and Republican Presidential canidates stand on the whole thing. No clue if this was the entire CNN piece or just a clip that Yahoo ran on the story.

I don't know if this is going to work, but you can try this link to see if it comes up: [url=http://cosmos.bcst.yahoo.com/up/news;_ylt=AjYFV9sMMHSdEVAA6ve7TK3bKs0F?ch=49799&cl=1924981&lang=en','playerWindow','width=793,height=608,scrollbars=no'));]javascript:void(window.open('http://cosmos.bcst.yahoo.com/up/news;_ylt=AjYFV9sMMHSdEVAA6ve7TK3bKs0F?ch=49799&cl=1924981&lang=en','playerWindow','width=793,height=608,scrollbars=no'));[/url]

If not, try checking here to bring it up: http://news.yahoo.com/video/2460



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