Wednesday, June 24, 2015

"Flying High"

Well looky there, a Confederate Flag is under attack for being a "racist symbol". You know, the one that flies over the South Carolina state capital building. Or DID. Anyone feel like looking at this logically with me? C'mon, let's take a little trip through our country's history....
Now, some people call that particular flag the "Stars and Bars". Those people would be wrong. That's ok, not everyone knows the history of the confederate flags. The flag that's causing all this uproar is actually the Confederate Navy Jack. It wasn't adopted by the Confederacy until 1863. Why is that one the symbol of the south? Because it looks cooler than the original flag of the Confederacy that originally liked quite a bit like Old Glory. Looking cooler is important because being a redneck is one thing but you've still gotta have fashion sense. 
Is it a symbol of racism? Of course not. It's a reminder of a historical period. Something called "the Civil War". We studied that while I was in school. They're quick to say that the war was over slavery. At the time some of us asked questions like "so the Northern states didn't have slaves and the Southern states did?" To which we were informed that the Northern states had slaves too; there's no way to deny it. Oh. Well then why were they fighting over slavery? That makes no sense. Granted, slavery is a shitty deal. I get that. 
So what WAS the Civil War about? Surely we have history books around here somewhere. Wait, I get it now..."In the spring of 1861, decades of simmering tensions between the northern and southern United States over issues including states' rights versus federal authority, westward expansion and slavery exploded into the American Civil War"
Well right there it says it's about several things including States' rights versus Federal authority. So it makes perfect sense that, during a time when the federal government is flexing even more muscle, any symbol of States' rights should be done away with. 
We have Federal income tax enforced by the IRS. The federal government forces us to purchase health insurance. The federal government has the right to take its citizens' property through "right of eminent domain". The federal government talks about "gun control". That same federal government is losing sight of the "by the people, for the people" part of the constitution. What the federal government doesn't want is a reminder that its citizens stood against once and it had a hell of a fight on its hands. 
What prompted the idea of getting rid of the flag? A shooting in Charleston. A tragic one by a disturbed individual whose father gave him a gun as a gift. He had a "rebel flag". So let's blame the flag. Sure. Except a flag doesn't shoot people. He was an idiot that didn't understand the meaning of the flag.
People latch onto the idea of racism because it helps continue to spark the flames that divide us as Americans. They tend to forget certain things like states' rights and focus on the slavery issue. They also tend to overlook the fact that the flag that so offends people also reminds us of a time that brought about the end of slavery. It signifies the states' rebellion to being slaves to the federal government. But I'm probably the only person that looks at things from that angle I suppose. 
We celebrate freedom. We use symbols to do so. The American flag, Old Glory herself, is a symbol of our rebellion against the oppressive control we were under from British rule. If the Queen of England finds that flag offensive are we going to get rid of it too? No. Why? Because it's part of our history and our heritage. Guess what, so is that Confederate flag. Don't try to destroy history, learn from it. 
It is necessary to disclaim any connection of these flags to neo-nazis, red-necks, skin-heads and the like. These groups have adopted this flag and desecrated it by their acts. They have no right to use this flag - it is a flag of honor, designed by the confederacy as a banner representing state's rights and still revered by the South. In fact, under attack, it still flies over the South Carolina capitol building. The South denies any relation to these hate groups and denies them the right to use the flags of the confederacy for any purpose. The crimes committed by these groups under the stolen banner of the confederacy only exacerbate the lies which link the secession to slavery interests when, from a Southerner's view, the cause was state's rights.