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A Tale of Two Flags

A Tale of Two Flags

There have been some changes in the United States and they can both be symbolized by two flags; one, the Confederate battle flag – the old stars and bars – and the rainbow flag that is the symbol for the LGBT movement. For the latter, the Supreme Court established that individual states could no longer enact laws that prevented couples of the same sex from marrying.

The former is more complicated. In the aftermath of the tragedy in Charleston, South Carolina in which a white male entered a Bible study meeting in an iconic African-American church and shot nine people to death, including the Pastor who happened to be a South Carolina state senator, state governments around the South – Republican state governments at that – came to the realization that the symbol of the battle flag was more negative than they at first thought. Pictures of the killer holding the battle flag seemed to cement the relationship between violent racists and the Confederacy.

All of a sudden, the movement picked up momentum in amazing time – South Carolina, which flew the Confederate battle flag over a monument on State Capital grounds, has already run the legislature through that allowed it to remove the flag from the grounds of the Capital. Kentucky announced it was looking into doing the same. The governor of Alabama went so far as to remove the flag personally without any input from the state legislature. Even Mississippi, whose state flag includes the Battle Flag, is looking to make changes. Just a few weeks ago one would scarcely have thought it possible.

I think what’s stunning about this is not just the speed at which this change of attitude is taking place, but also that it seems to be coming from both directions, the left and the right. Sure, there is some righteous indignation coming from a certain segment from the South who maintain that the battle flag isn’t a symbol of racism but rather a part of their heritage.

Yes, the Confederacy is a part of the heritage of the South but hopefully not the legacy. You could also say the same thing about the Swastika; sure, the Nazi regime in Germany was a lot different than the government of the Confederacy but both of them stood for morally untenable positions. You don’t see Germans waving around the Swastika (for, among other reasons, that it’s illegal) but it is part of their heritage too.

And why should anyone be proud of their Confederate heritage? This was a government that largely benefitted slave owners – who only made up about 2% of the population – because the South perceived that this was the economic engine that made the South prosperous when, in actuality, it didn’t. It only made the 2% prosperous. In the meantime, while the North was building factories and improving technology, the largely agrarian society of the South was doomed to failure from the get-go. They simply didn’t have the resources and the industry to survive in the 19th century world economy. The government of the Confederacy – again, largely made up of the slave owner segment – sent their boys out to be slaughtered for an economy that benefitted only them that they intended to ride out to its inevitable conclusion, by which time they’d have bled the economy dry. Does that sound familiar? (*KOFF* Oil! *KOFF*)

I have friends who have been complaining about the rush to take down the stars and bars and before they get all over my liberal ass, let me clarify a few misconceptions I’ve seen in some of their social media posts. The first is that nobody is trying to obliterate the Confederate battle flag from the face of the Earth; the only complaint is that it shouldn’t be flying from state houses or government facilities. Technically, the Confederacy was a foreign government separate from that of the United States; you don’t see the flag of Spain flying over the state capital of Florida, or the Union Jack from the capital of Pennsylvania, right? The only flags that should be flying on state-owned properties are the flag of the United States of America and the flag of the particular state that the property belongs to.

I also tend to agree that digitally removing the Confederate flag from the General Lee stunt car from The Dukes of Hazzard is going overboard. The message here is to separate the state from the Confederacy; flying their flag implies tacit approval of the aims and philosophy of the Confederacy, which would include the subjugation and enslavement of Africans. I wouldn’t dare to speak for the African-American community, for whom the battle flag represents some very different feelings than those of the white sons and daughters of Dixie, but I would guess that flying a Confederate flag on state property would feel much like a slap to the face. In case anyone has forgotten, the Confederacy lost that war. they shouldn’t get to display their flag as if they won. And incidentally, respecting the courage and loyalty of those who fought for the South during the Civil War is a far different thing than embracing what they fought for.

I do find it…not interesting so much as inevitable…that the same people complaining about the eradication of their Confederate heritage by those gosh darn libtards are those complaining about the Supreme Court ruling that states could not enact laws that infringed on the rights of same sex couples to marry. In other words, the same folks who are complaining that Liberals are forcing their values on them are complaining that their values are not being forced on the LGBT community in regards to marriage.

Fortunately, they are in the minority. The majority of the country recognizes that granting the LGBT community the same rights and dignity afforded to straight couples when it comes to marriage doesn’t diminish the institution; if anything, it enhances it. Nobody – but nobody – can come up with a single concrete way that a gay marriage has any effect on a straight marriage. None whatsoever. Frankly, in an era in which relationships dissolve at the drop of a hat and more than half of all marriages end up in divorce, any chance to increase the amount of love that is generated in this country can only be one worth taking. We need all the love we can get around here.