Thursday, June 25, 2015

Five Little Known Facts About the Confederate Flag

The Confederate flag has always struck me as distasteful. I feel something unpleasant in my gut when I see it. It makes me think of rednecks swilling Miller Lite, arm less shirts and those old re-runs of the Dukes of Hazzard. The feeling I get isn't as strong as if I see a Swastika but it's along those lines.

Now in the wake of the terrible Charleston church killings in which a white youth who took pictures of himself with a gun and the flag, killed nine black worshipers, politicians have been racing to distance themselves from the Confederate flag. The Republican party has been in the vanguard with Mitt Romney leading the way. In the past some Republicans have defended the right to fly this flag which is odd really when you consider Abraham Lincoln was a Republican.


The Confederate battle flag still flies close to South Carolina's capitol


I'm not sure this flag should have any place in the American psyche but the fact it does says much about the American psyche. There have also been reports this week of a large upsurge in demand for products with the Confederate flag on, perhaps in anticipation of a ban.

Locally people have been going even further and calling for the removal of Confederate war memorials from the Civil War which frankly I think is stupid because these soldiers died in large numbers, admittedly fighting for a disturbing cause. The Confederate flag flying in official places is a different matter entirely.

Here are five little known facts about the Confederate flag.

1 - It was never the official flag of the Confederacy. Instead, it was the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia and the Army of Tennessee.

2 - The Confederate battle flag came into widespread use during anti desegregation protests in the mid 20th century. It's modern use is closely mired in racism. It was adopted by South Carolina politician Strom Thurmond who ran for president on a segregation ticket.

3 - Mississippi, which has a good claim to be the most backward and depressing state in the US, is the only state to feature the battle flag in its state flag.

4 - The battle flag was also called the Southern Cross.

5 - General Robert E. Lee, who led the Army of Northern Virginia, was closely associated with the flag but he rejected the symbols of the Civil War after his defeat and no flags flew at his funeral.


4 comments:

  1. Still, as a Brit, it's nice to know the American history of this time. I would never have known any of this without the history of this flag in my face, as it has been lately, on the news.

    As I understand, blacks were also soldiers.

    Anyway, nice to know these five little known facts. Thanks for sharing.

    Have a nice weekend, David. Take care and I hope life is well in your neck of the woods.

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    1. very true Jacqueline - hope you are doing well

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  2. Your facts are spot-on, David. There's really no translation for the difficult times in the '60s that led to SC's decision to fly the Confederate flag. I lived thru it and it was all about race, not honoring relations and heritage (as that could have been done in in, say, 1920 if those were the honest reasons.) I also applaud Governor Romney for speaking up and leading the way. In all fairness to Mississippi, the state's consisently rated the most integrated state in the nation (just the messenger here).

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    1. oh it is ? yes I guess all that Mississippi burning stuff was sometime ago Agree re Romney Kittie..

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