Sunday, August 1, 2010

Symbol of heritage / Symbol of hate

Perception is reality.
Friday on my way home from work, I stopped at a gas station to fill up on gas and pick up some lottery tickets. I needed the gas because I was damned near on E and I needed the lottery tickets because I'm sick and tired of working for a living. Anyway as I was walking out of the gas station another man in a suit was walking out too with a couple of twelve packs of beer in his hands. As he walked by me he dropped his keys. I bent over and picked them up and handed them back to him. I noticed the Steelers emblem on his key chain and told him that I'd do almost anything for a fellow Steelers fan. He laughed and we struck up a brief conversation as he put the beer on the front seat of his pickup truck. We spent a few minutes talking about the upcoming NFL season, Steelers glory from the past and Ben Roethlisberger. We both thought that Ben was an idiot. I've always been amazed how people with absolutely nothing in common can come together to discuss sports. Maybe that's what they need in the Middle East?!? Maybe they need college basketball and the NFL?!?
Anyway eventually we said our goodbyes and I walked to my car. He said something to me about not seeing a Steelers bumper sticker on my car; as if to say that I wasn't a serious fan. That's when I saw both his Steelers bumper sticker and the Confederate Battle Flag stickers all over the back of his truck. So I turned around and said "Nah I don't have any Steelers stickers or any Confederate Flag stickers". When I said that he made a face; and so I asked him why he had those ugly stickers on his truck. He stammered over his words at first and then he told me that his great great great great grandfather was a Confederate soldier who served as a sergeant in the Army of Northern Virginia. So I said, "so he served under Robert E. Lee?" He said yes and then he told me his ancestor's company, the brigade he served in and how his family still has some of the letters and his journal and almost all of his uniform from the war. He was proud and I respected that. I told him that when I see that flag, that I don't feel good about it; that to me, it's a symbol of treason and hate. He didn't necessarily agree with my thoughts on it. I have always been a student of history and he and I actually stood there and talked about our Civil War for about twenty minutes before we said our goodbyes and left. He was well versed in the history of our Civil War and I have the utmost respect for anyone who knows what the hell they're talking about concerning history and doesn't just pull stuff outta their asses.
So many times in the past I've engaged what I would call rednecks in conversation about our Civil War and I've usually found myself laughing at what they believe to be the facts of the war. To me, it's a crime and a shame to pretend to be knowledgeable about something or purport to support something that you know next to nothing about. I'm proud to say that I'm a southern man. I'm proud to say that my families roots in this country are centered in the south. I have farmers on both sides of my family. Men and women who tilled the soil to make a living. Family on both sides who loved living in the south. It's my south, my home too. I have many friends from different backgrounds and I'm not ever surprised to see a Confederate Flag on the back of a pickup truck. Hell, I'm not surprised to see Klansmen walking about in their Halloween costumes, seen them many times. I've seen them solicit donations on the side of the road; as if they were Boy Scouts or Firefighters. I live in South Carolina and there are more rednecks here than Van Camps has pork 'n beans. When I think of rednecks though, I generally think of a very ignorant person who is not particularly sophisticated. Rednecks aren't usually deep thinkers. They usually yell their arguments at you as if them screaming makes them right.
Even to this day, when I think of a redneck defending the southern stance of our Civil War; I compare that to a German defending Hitler and the Nazi cause. Anyway you look at it, the war was about slavery. All that nonsense about states rights, is just that, simple nonsense. Had the south won the Civil War, slavery would have continued in the south. Although I know that many of the people in the north weren't concerned about my ancestors in the least, their cause is one that I can identify with. The enemy of my enemy is my friend.......whether I like them or not.
The picture above is one of the few times that I've seen a Confederate Flag and not felt quite so bad about it. There is a store not that far from my house that actually sells Confederate paraphernalia, including these bikinis. I actually went in there once to look for something for myself.
I find this toilet paper comes in handy at times.


  1. I have found that how people look at the flag of the CSA depends on how the history of the nation was taught to them.

    There are people who fly that flag in Ohio. When anyone is questioned about it, the answer pretty much runs along the lines of Southern pride for their ancestors who fought in the Civil War. The CSA flag has also been used at some of the most racist public events held our state.

    What it means is in the eyes of the beholder. I have been questioned when I display my Black Flag. People still identify it as a symbol of militancy. I see it as a symbol of my unity with people of African descendant all over the world.

    At one time there were Black guys wearing hats with that same flag on it. When they were confronted about it-they didn't even know the story about the flag. "It's just in right now" was their answer. *sigh* They didn't see a problem with sporting the colors of the Confederacy.

  2. That flag is actually the Confederate Battle Flag MsLadyDeborah, it's not even their national flag.

    I think that the rationale behind displaying it when the Klan is out and about is symbolic with still being at war or openly rebelling.

    I don't feel good about the flag at all.

    But I did respect the stance of the redneck Steelers fan I met. His argument was intelligent and I respect him for it.

    I know conservatives that believe that the best way to heal our economy is through tax cuts. I think they're wrong, as has been demonstrated over the past decade, but they're entitled to their opinion too.

  3. The Confederates were traitors, period. And as far as I'm concerned people who fly the flag are anti-American and racists.

    The Confederate flag is the American equivalent of the Swastika.

  4. Val I can't argue with that assessment at all. The facts are that they took up arms in open rebellion against the federal government. Their leaders should have all been hung and anyone who took up arms against the government should have had to pay some kind of fine and had their rights to vote and own land taken my opinion.

    In the very least, all of them should have had to pay some form of restitution to their government.

  5. The license plate picture sums it up for me - "Redneck"..

    But, I must admit, Donna DOES OWN a Confederate Flag bikini (I bought it for her because I thought it was funny), and it looks GREAT on her.

  6. I'm sure that it does look great on her Heff. But I'm sure that ANY bikini would.

    What do you think of when you think of rednecks or or the Klan or when you see a Confederate Battle Flag?!?

  7. I think that there are some people -a very few- who honestly do believe in a sort of Confederate heritage that is not by definition racist. I think these people are wrong. I feel that they are akin to the people who argue that they are not being racist when THEY use n***a as opposed to n****er because they are attempting to redefine the word/symbol. Van Zant and Rossington fall into this category perhaps although even there I think they were lying to themselves.

    However for the vast majority of people who fly or otherwise embrace the Confederate Flag I think it is just a f*** you to black folks. They know it. We know it. Enough said.

    If, during the Civil Rights movements, white people waving Confederate flags had appeared out of nowhere to assist in the struggle of black people for freedom , maybe there would be a legit argument for redefinition of the symbol and regional pride and so on. But unless I missed something, when people waving Confederate flags showed up that generally wasn't a good thing. They tended to be on the other side...

  8. Shady_Grady I think that the vast majority of people of color that live in the south know precisely what the Confederate Battle Flag implies.

    One thing that I will say about that redneck that I met at the gas station the other day, I believe that he was being honest. His pride showed and I didn't have a problem with that. My problem is with the people that clearly embrace the racist/hateful nature of what it implies. People choose to be identified with those people; and you're right, they would have been the folks spitting on those children of color trying to go to school in Little Rock Arkansas so long ago.

    It is what it is. You just can't polish a turd.

  9. Also as mentioned unlike in WW2 the defeated Confederates really never had to pay for their crimes, admit they were wrong or face imprisonment and execution. This mistake led to another century of black oppression and even now bears witness to "respectable" historians and media giving the Confederacy a pass that is not given to Nazi Germany. Can anyone imagine a "Gone With the Wind" style movie set from 1938-1948 Germany? I don't think it could ever be made but if it were it certainly would never be as popular as Gone With the Wind was (and is).

  10. Another great post Reggie!

    Reading this I was reminded of a time when I was in Kingsland, GA on my way to Jacksonville, FL. Kingsland, when I was there, was pretty much a town straight out of a white is right-black is evil film (Mississippi Burning, A Time to Kill etc.,)

    After seeing the confederate flag displayed prominently around town, it became clear to me brown people were the minority there. One that stood out the most was on the back of this dude's pick-up and it said "It's not hate, it's heritage." I always think about that when I see a confederate flag.

  11. Jumpin Jackrabbits!
    Reggie I can't understand why folks cling to the Slavery option as The cause for the war.
    Lincoln's first inaugural address:
    "I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so."
    So why did Lincoln invade the South if not to free the slaves? If you have an inability to think for yourself, then you stick to repeating the same government lies. But if you are interested in finding the truth, you can again examine Lincoln's very own words. Again from his first inaugural address:
    "there needs to be no bloodshed or violence, and there shall be none unless it be forced upon the national authority [...] to collect the duties and imposts"
    Also, recall that slavery was supported by the US government, not just by the South. Moreover, most of the slave trade went through Northern ports and the North was profiting from slavery just as well as the South through cheap Southern-produced goods and tariffs. So if the media is going to attack all things Southern as racist, should they not been held to do the same for all things US government or all things yankee? The hypocrisy is truly unbelievable.
    Another major factor leading to secession was the unfair tariff taxation
    of Southern states to support the Federal government and Northern
    infrastructure improvements. Most of the money coming to the Federal
    government came from the South. Like most wars, money was the driving
    factor, and losing the tariff money from the South was unacceptable to
    Washington. Hence, Lincoln's call for volunteers to "put down the
    rebellion." Slavery became a moral justification for the war later on.

  12. That's a good point Shady_Grady, but a few of the Confederate leaders were imprisoned, but not in the wholesale manner that I would have done it.

    They did have to swear allegiance to the Federal Government again.....but what did that really mean?!? In my mind, they should have had to forfeit all of their property period; and just like today's felons, denied their rights to vote or serve in a government position again.

  13. Dammit, I erased my comment!!! Let's try this again.... I live on Long Island... no where NEAR the South, so you know damn well when you see someone with a Confederate flag bumper sticker they are a die hard racist.

    SO, one day I was in a friends car and saw a man in a truck with a Confederate flag sticker. I started screaming at him and flipping him the bird, but I do not think he saw or heard me (we were kinda far apart) I told my friend to follow the man, so I could give him a piece of my mind. He refused. I don't know what I would have done if I did confront him, because while I am not afraid to shout my opinions from a roof top, I have never actually been in a physical confrontation, and I would not put it past a man with that kind of hatred in him to physically assault me. But, I was LIVID!!

    Wasn't there a rap group a few years back who made a new version of the Confederate flag using the colors of the Black Nationalist flag??

  14. Jason I am a graduate of Alabama State University in Montgomery. When I was an undergrad I was the president of the school's chapter of the American Marketing Association during my junior and senior years. The day I turned 21 (a Saturday, a day I'll never forget) we were tasked by our student advisor with conducting a survey on a sewage system for a nearby town that had a lot of military retirees. It was a sleepy little town where there seemed to be a Confederate Battle Flag flying in front of every single house there. We set up in groups of three or four and conducted our survey over the course of an afternoon. Most of the people were either nice or nice enough not to be rude; however, several were downright mean and nasty as hell. I must have been called "nigger" a hundred times that day; not to mention, "jig", "boy", "Alabama porch monkey", "coon", "sambo", and some other names I've thankfully forgotten.

    I saw that flag all day long that day. I know what that flag means despite what people will say.

  15. First of all True Confederate, thank you for coming to my page. I was hoping that someone with a view from the other side would decide to stop by and leave their heartfelt comments.

    Even though I don't agree with you, I respect your rights as an American to voice your matter how misled they are.

    True Confederate the facts of history absolutely show otherwise and don't support what you say. Lincoln was initially elected president November 6th 1860 on a platform supported by abolitionists from the north. Most of the southern states seceded from the Union during a 6 week period starting at the end of December, after he was elected and before he took office. They had already threatened to secede IF Lincoln was elected. Lincoln was inaugurated to his first term on March 4th 1861 and AFTER Fort Sumter was attacked the following month, Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers to put down the rebellion.

    By the way, once again the states only threatened to succeed if he were elected and threatened their institution of slavery. Pull up any state newspaper online that has copies from those times and you'll see this. But just for you, since I live in South Carolina where all that began I went to a state website and took the passage straight from there.

    The State of South Carolina sited as a reason for secession:

    "[A]n increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery, has led to a disregard of their obligations, and the laws of the General Government have ceased to effect the objects of the Constitution... Government cannot endure permanently half slave, half free."

    I also found this from Georgia's state website....

    Before Georgia seceded, Mississippi sent its commissioner, William L. Harris, to the Georgia Legislature.

    He decried the threat of Lincoln and the Republicans and told the members that they had to choose between "This new union with Lincoln Black Republicans and free Negroes, without slavery; or, slavery under our old constitutional bond of union, without Lincoln Black Republicans, or free Negroes either, to molest us."

  16. ...cont.

    While you may embrace a certain part of your history True Confederate, the states that actually seceded have no reason to LIE about it. People attempt to re-write history all the time. I'm sure that had the Germans not been stupid enough to attack the Russians and had they actually won the war in Europe, that their version of the Holocaust would have been decidedly different from the rest of the world's view.

    Oh and one more thing, I'm not one of the people that actually think that Lincoln was a saint. I'm sure that I wouldn't enjoy sitting down having dinner with the man and he probably wouldn't enjoy or even condescend to have dinner with me. To me, he was an opportunist.

    Lincoln also said:

    I would save the Union. I would save it the shortest way under the Constitution. The sooner the national authority can be restored; the nearer the Union will be "the Union as it was." If there be those who would not save the Union, unless they could at the same time save slavery, I do not agree with them. If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree with them. My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause.

    Thank you again for coming to my page and I would hope that you come again, even when the topic has nothing to do with what I see as that symbol of hate called the Confederate Battle Flag.

  17. I sincerely welcome all points of view on my blog. That goes for now and in the future as well.

  18. Joanna I have a hard time getting excited over other peoples views; particularly when they're minding their own business. You should be careful, that man might have taken a shot at you.

    Although I always make a note of it and perhaps even shake my head when I see a Confederate Battle Flag; I rarely say anything and when I do, it's usually something respectful. I acknowledge everyone's right under our constitutional laws to have whatever stupid assed, pinheaded opinions they want to have.

    I would never probably throw bricks or beer bottles at Klansmen again......probably not anyway.

  19. Confed Toilet Paper and Black Nationalist Flag all on one page. There is a joke in that somewhere. The flag doesn't bother me. It lets me know what I'm dealing with. What I think is crazy is the civil war reenactments. Now that is some crazy stuff.

  20. There's a big part of me that feels the same way Citizen Ojo as far as knowing what you're dealing with. Personally I'd be happier if they'd just go ahead and fess up and tell me what I already know when I see it.

    Either way, I know how the biscuit is buttered.

    I have a friend that's from Boston, he moved here a few years back. He used to participate in reenactments when he lived in the Boston area and he now does it here. He's a student of history and he enjoys it.

  21. Thanks Reggie I feel welcome. I live in VA. and had many ancestors who fought for VIRGINIA.
    One of whom William Henry Tatum has over 60 letters in the VA Historical Society -
    Call # MSS2778960. I know what was in his heart.
    He was Defending his state Virginia from an invading army.
    He was not a traitor, at the time secession was taught at VMI as being legal.
    My first ancestor came to America in 1619 as an indentured servant. The same year as the first 20 African Indentured servants arrived.
    One of whom Mr. Anthony Castor became the FIRST Slave owner in the new world.
    Sorry to ramble but I know my history.
    I respect your view of the Battle flag, and understand it. In the past and even today it was and still is used as a hate tool. But the same radicals who have adopted the battle flag also fly the Stars and Stripes. Yet no one attacks the stars and stripes.
    I support the Battle Flag of my great grand father to honor his courage.
    He defended his home state of Virginia, for four years against an invading army!
    He had broken no law. Instead he faced overwhelming forces, better armed, and vastly outnumbered! And kept them at bay for four years.
    That is something worth honoring! And if you can not understand that concept I do not know what else to say.
    The hate groups who have adopted the Battle Flag are out of my control, but the horror my ancestors deserve for their efforts will not be lost in the mist of time.

    Dave Tatum
    Suffolk VA.

  22. I will throw bricks and bottles at the KKK.
    I dislike them as much or more than you.
    They have taken a sacred symbol and misused it.


  23. Damn...
    Mr Tatum killed it.
    While I'll never wave a Confederate Flag I understand why he could.

  24. @Reggie, well said. Living in the deep south, we see this flag fly all too often.It has much more to do with hatred than heritage.

  25. No way to justify the stars and bars. No way!
    The toilet paper will cause a rash! No, we need Angel Soft! (LOL)

  26. Perception in this case is truly reality.

    True Confederate I remember reading somewhere that Robert E. Lee turned down command of the Union Army at the start of our Civil War because he refused to draw his sword against Virginia. I believe that many of the soldiers that fought on both sides were men of conviction; who were honable and felt a need to support their home states during our Civil War. Of course, all of them didn't do that and all of them weren't necessarily honorable either. One of the few advantages that the south had during our Civil War was that so many of our professional soldiers back then were southern men. Much of our officer's corp were from Virginia and Mississippi and Georgia and South Carolina. I've never read anything negative about Robert E. Lee or Stonewall Jackson. Now I have read rather nasty things about Nathan Bedford Forrest, but that goes without saying.

    While I can't speak for your ancestor's thought processes or yours; in my mind when he took up arms against his government, he became a traitor to his country. While that might seem harsh to you, it makes perfect sense to me. If our revolution against England had failed; Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and the lot would all have been hanged......and I would have understood it. When you take up arms against your government and you lose, it doesn't usually end well for you.

    If a group of men anywhere in this country be they white, black, brown, yellow or plaid; took up arms and started shooting at our military or local police. I believe that they should be arrested, duly tried and hung if found guilty. It is what it is. If a group of Muslim Americans attacked one our our bases or a school, I'd be disappointed if they got anything less than the death penalty.

    I understand your respect for your ancestor, I completely understand it. But I don't honestly see a difference in what he did and what John Brown did. It's the same thing, except on a larger scale. When John Brown was hung, all the southern newspapers applauded the government's quick and fair justice. What the rebels did from 1861-1865 was no different.

    The stars and stripes are a conflict in terms for me as well. Our colors have flown more than a few times when we were clearly in the wrong or taking advantage of our superior firepower over a weaker foe. The Klan has proudly waved those colors just as often as they've waved the stars and bars; but the Confederate Battle Flag is a symbol of insurrection against our federal government. No matter what, I can't co-sign that. I believe that you should honor your ancestor, but I can't say that anyone should fly that flag and not feel somewhat apprehensive about it.

    It is what it is.

  27. True Confederate I guess I'd feel better about your denunciation of the KKK; if organized southern groups would come out against them publicly as well. They are as Un-American an organization as there could possibly be; and yet, the silence from organized southern Civil War groups is deafening when it comes to their use of the stars and bars.

  28. Even though I don't agree with him John, he does make some good points. I respect his position, I just don't agree with it.

  29. BayouCreole when I lived in Metairie, my state representative was David Duke. He wore a suit and he died his hair blonde and he always smiled.

    I was never fooled by that bullshit. I knew what he was the moment that I saw him.

  30. Mista Jaycee, truth be told, I prefer Charmin. But just in case of an emergency, I've got the stars and bars around here somewhere. I just hope that I don't end up with a red and blue ass and a rash.

  31. truth be told reggie... i know next to nothing about the american civil war... when i see the confederate flag i have always thought of two things... Bo and Luke Duke!

    seriously tho... i have always correlated it with racism.

  32. Traitors ?
    Mr Lincoln stated ====
    "Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up, and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable - a most sacred right - a right, which we hope and believe, is to liberate the world."

    I shall have more to post later, but its late and I must get some sleep.

  33. It sounds as though TC sees it as not hating others but just liking himself.
    While this may not be the case for far too many - his point of view is similar to Blacks who support the Black Panthers, NOI, or any other Black nationalist group.

  34. I dislike no 1, but I pray 4 all....I hav say that I wouldn't mind using that confederate toilet paper.

  35. Wow now I know what its like to be the minority. : )
    First of all /Mista Jaycee said...
    "No way to justify the stars and bars"
    You are talking about the wrong flag! The stars and bars was the first National Flag of the CSA. The battle flag ( Rebel Flag ) was Saint Andrews Cross . It's a very common misconception!

    uglyblackjohn said...
    "It sounds as though TC sees it as not hating others but just liking himself."
    OK I'm not the brightest candle on the cake but you have lost me on this one"

    I understand the predominate opinion that the Battle Flag is a racist symbol. But it just depends on who is holding it!

    Is the NAACP a racist group? They don't support me in any way.

    Dr King said it best!
    I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

    I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

    I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

    I have a dream today.

    I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

    I would not wish to wipe myself with an image of DR King. Or NAACP logo toilet paper.
    That would only show my ignorance and intolerance of others opinion.
    Dr King was one of the greatest men this nation has known. A man who gave his life for his people. I am old enough to remember him. I remember the signing of the 1964 Civil Rights act.
    I remember the KKK bombing black church’s! Three beautiful children were killed for being black.
    But the man who turned me around was "The Champ" ALI, He went to jail, & lost his title.
    For what he believed in.
    So if you must wipe with the Confederate Battle Flag , So be it. But then who is showing their hate?

  36. Michelle I know you're Canadian; and to be honest, I don't know that much Canadian history myself.

    Other than the General Lee, which is what I think of when I think of Bo and Luke Duke; why do you identify the Confederate Battle Flag with racism?!?

    I'm curious I suppose because you're an outsider. Why?!?

  37. True Confederate I guess you didn't notice that passage where I stated:

    Oh and one more thing, I'm not one of the people that actually think that Lincoln was a saint. I'm sure that I wouldn't enjoy sitting down having dinner with the man and he probably wouldn't enjoy or even condescend to have dinner with me. To me, he was an opportunist.

    I believe that he was not only wrong about what you're speaking on, I believe that he was wrong about so many other things as well. I particularly believe he was wrong when he stated that in order to preserve the union that he'd free no slave...or some...or all.

    To me, you've gotta walk the walk and talk the talk. He was an opportunist and if you take the time to read my blog roll, you'll see that I've said that before. I don't think that the man is a saint, nor do I believe that he's always been right.

    I give him credit for two things. First being the primary catalyst behind the union winning the war; and second, being the primary catalyst behind the Emancipation Proclamation and freeing the slaves.

    ...and yes, they were traitors, every mother's son who participated in the rebellion.

  38. I would agree John, it's blind loyalty regardless of the reality. I've never admired that quality in people of color either.

  39. Champ I'm saving mine just in case of an emergency.

    Still, I'm hoping that it doesn't leave red and blue streaks on my ass.

  40. But True Confederate, this blog isn't about Dr. King or the NAACP. I'd also challenge you to go through the 75 or so blogs on my blog roll and find either one of those topics there. You won't.

    I would also say that within that quote from Dr. King where he talks about the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners sitting down together at the table of brotherhood; that's it's not the sons of slaves that are the reason why that's not actually happening, nor hasn't happened on a regular basis yet.

    And I'd also say True Confederate that it's not me selling Confederate Battle Flag tissue paper. It's someone that looks like you and sells it in a store with Confederate Battle Flags on anything from t-shirts, coffee mugs, hats, bikinis, bumper stickers, pajamas, dog's attire and toilet tissue. If they're selling it, someone's wiping their ass on it. I understand that they want to make a dollar and I ain't mad at them. We live in a capitalist society with a free market economy and people want to get paid. It is what it is.

    .....and by the way, I don't hate anyone.

  41. Part 1

    In 1781 13 states joined a Confederation ! Part of which said ” Each state retains its own sovereignty, freedom and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right which by this Confederation expressly delegated to the United States.”

    ” where does it say that in the Confederation, or Constitution for that matter ,
    ” All states joined in this union are forever forbidden from the departure of it ! ” ?
    The Declaration of Independence states,
    ” Whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to abolish it, and institute a new government”

    Even Honest Abe said ==
    “Any people, anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government and form a ne one that suits them better”

    I again quoted honest Abe to show the thinking of Americans at the time !
    1814 The” Hartford Convention” in New England considered Secession !
    and also in 1845.
    So you tell me ! Where does it say joining the United States of America is Permanente and Binding !

  42. Part 2

    "Slavery was a tertiary cause of secession and of the war.
    The primary cause was money. By 1860 high export tariffs on Southern raw goods (specifically the 54% Morrill Tariff) and import duties on European finished goods generated approximately 70% of the Federal budget, about 90% of which was being spent to develop infrastructure for growing Northern industrialization:

    "The South has furnished near three-fourths of the entire exports of the country. Last year she furnished seventy-two percent of the whole...we have a tariff that protects our manufacturers from thirty to fifty percent, and enables us to consume large quantities of Southern cotton, and to compete in our whole home market with the skilled labor of Europe. This operates to compel the South to pay an indirect bounty to our skilled labor, of millions annually." - Daily Chicago Times, December 10, 1860

    "They (the South) know that it is their import trade that draws from the people's pockets sixty or seventy millions of dollars per annum, in the shape of duties, to be expended mainly in the North, and in the protection and encouragement of Northern interest.... These are the reasons why these people do not wish the South to secede from the Union. They (the North) are enraged at the prospect of being despoiled of the rich feast upon which they have so long fed and fattened, and which they were just getting ready to enjoy with still greater gout and gusto. They are as mad as hornets because the prize slips them just as they are ready to grasp it." ~ New Orleans Daily Crescent, January 21, 1861

    "...the Union must obtain full victory as essential to preserve the economy of the country. Concessions to the South would lead to a new nation founded on slavery expansion which would destroy the U.S. Economy." - Pamphlet No 14. "The Preservation of the Union A National Economic Necessity," The Loyal Publication Society, printed in New York, May 1863, by Wm. C. Bryant & Co. Printers.

    "What were the causes of the Southern independence movement in 1860? . . . Northern commercial and manufacturing interests had forced through Congress taxes that oppressed Southern planters and made Northern manufacturers rich . . . the South paid about three-quarters of all federal taxes, most of which were spent in the North." - Charles Adams, "For Good and Evil. The impact of taxes on the course of civilization," 1993, Madison Books, Lanham, USA, pp. 325-327
    By 1860 most of the large plantations which depended on slave labor were either bankrupt or on the verge of bankruptcy. When Lincoln established the sea blockade of Southern ports it was stated that it was specifically for the collection of revenues. This was the same stated reason for attempting to maintain Ft. Sumter as a Union outpost.
    The insistence of Southern states that an equal number of slave states join the Union as more "Free" states entered was not out of desire to ensure the spread or the preservation of slavery, it had to do with an attempt to maintain at least some balance of power in the government. Northern states, with their greater voting populations, controlled the Congress and this enabled them to override any wishes or needs of agrarian states for decisions which favored the industrializing states.
    Southerners correctly perceived that admission of more "Free" states would further imbalance the Senate and allow an even greater burden of taxation.
    This imbalance of power was the secondary cause of the war. The imbalance of power and the secondary status of the Southern states continued long after the war:
    "Eight decades after the end of Reconstruction, the National Emergency Council created to examine the Depression of the 1930s reported its findings to President Franklin D. Roosevelt: The South, it said, had been reduced to the status of a colony." - Report of the National Emergency Council (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1937)

  43. Part 3
    The Southern States did not secede nor fight to preserve slavery just as Lincoln and the Northern states did not start or wage a war to end slavery. Twice the North offered the South chances to preserve slavery - the first time permanently, the second time for 37 years - and both times this failed to entice the Southern states back into the Union so they could fund the government that was not acting in their best interests
    On March 2, 1861, the 36th U. S. Congress minus the seven seceded states of the Deep South passed by a two-thirds majority the proposed "Corwin Amendment" to the Constitution after extensive lobbying on the amendment's behalf by President-elect Lincoln. Had it been ratified by the requisite number of states before the war intervened and signed by President Lincoln who looked favorably on it as a way to lure the Southern states back into the Union, the proposed 13th Amendment would have prohibited the U. S. government from ever abolishing or interfering with slavery in any state.

    The proposed 13th Amendment read:

    "No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish or interfere, within any State, with the domestic institutions there of, including that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of said State." Note that this amendment was designed to be unrepealable (i.e. "No amendment shall be made...")
    This exposes that claims the Union went to war in 1861 to free the slaves were and are lies. It also undermines claims that the South seceded to preserve the institution of slavery. If that had been the South's goal then what better guarantee did it need than an unrepealable amendment to the Constitution to protect slavery as it then existed?
    In December, 1862, shortly before Lincoln's hypocritical "Emancipation Proclamation," during his State of the Union address Lincoln proposed gradual compensated emancipation with slavery lasting another 37 years until 1900. Again, this failed to lure the Southern states back into the Union.

  44. Part 4
    If the South had seceded to preserve slavery and the Federal government was willing to permanently preserve slavery why would they refuse that offer? If the South was still fighting to preserve slavery after the shedding of blood and the Federal government offered them 37 years to wean themselves off of slavery why would they pass up that chance?
    The simple answer is that the South was not fighting to preserve slavery except as a corollary issue.
    On the other hand, the Federal government had made clear by the proposed Corwin Amendment and by the offer of gradual compensated emancipation that it was not fighting to end slavery. After all, there were slaves in the North (Union) before, during, and AFTER the war and Northern states had their own "Black Codes" that were in place before the war and endured long after the war. Under the specifications of the "Emancipation Proclamation" the status of slaves in Union slave states, areas of the Confederacy under Union control, and even the Confederate states of Tennessee remained unchanged until December, 1865, some eight months after the end of the war and until the ratification of the the 13th Amendment.
    In Illinois, not satisfied that a mere law could sufficiently protect them from Free Blacks and Free People of Color, the restrictive "Black Law" was made an amendment to the state constitution in 1856. This allowed for the arrest of any Free Black or Free Person of Color who remained in the state longer than ten days, when they could then be tried for a "high misdemeanor," fined, assessed court costs, and sold into slavery if they could not pay the fines and costs. Free Blacks and Free People of Color were being sold into slavery in Illinois during the Civil War even after the so-called "Emancipation Proclamation."
    In contrast, even though Virginia had "Black Codes" on the books, the 1860 U.S. Census reported that there were 64,000 Free Blacks and Free People of Color living in that state. A review of the Census records shows that they owned houses, farms, businesses, and slaves.
    It is therefore ironic when one considers the following:
    "Robert (Uncle Bob) Wilson, Negro veteran of the Confederate army who observed his 112th birthday last January 13, died early yesterday morning in the veterans' hospital at the Elgin State hospital...He enlisted as a private in Company H of the 16th regiment of Virginia Infantry on Oct. 9, 1862 and discharged May 31, 1863."- Elgin (Illinois) Daily Courier-News, Monday, April 12, 1948
    Please note that Robert Wilson was a regularly-enlisted Confederate private at a time when Blacks were not yet allowed in the Union ranks except in servile roles. The status of Free Blacks and Free People of Color in the South was different from what it was in the North:
    "Almost fifty years before the (Civil) War, the South was already enlisting and utilizing Black manpower, including Black commissioned officers, for the defense of their respective states. Therefore, the fact that Free and slave Black Southerners served and fought for their states in the Confederacy cannot be considered an unusual instance, rather continuation of an established practice with verifiable historical precedence." - "The African-American Soldier: From Crispus Attucks to Colin Powell" by Lt. Col [Ret.] Michael Lee Lanning

  45. Part 5
    Perhaps the best assessment of the situation and the best prediction of the future was made by Irish-born Confederate Major General Patrick Cleburne from his January, 1864, letter which proposed the mass emancipation and enlistment of Black Southerners into the Confederate Army:
    "Every man should endeavor to understand the meaning of subjugation before it is too late...It means the history of this heroic struggle will be written by the enemy; that our youth will be trained by Northern schoolteachers; will learn from Northern school books their version of the war; will be impressed by the influences of history and education to regard our gallant dead as traitors, and our maimed veterans as fit objects for derision...The conqueror's policy is to divide the conquered into factions and stir up animosity among them...It is said slavery is all we are fighting for, and if we give it up we give up all. Even if this were true, which we deny, slavery is not all our enemies are fighting for. It is merely the pretense to establish sectional superiority and a more centralized form of government, and to deprive us of our rights and liberties."
    To reduce the causes and conduct of the "Civil War" to a knee-jerk comment about slavery is disingenuous and uninformed, specifically designed to continue to demonize the South and Southerners, and maintain us in a status as second-class citizens who must either preface our existence with an apology for imagined sins or forever bear the "stain" of slavery.
    We have nothing for Through painstaking research and thorough, uncommented documentation we celebrate the courage, sacrifice, and heritage of ALL Southerners who had to make agonizing personal choices under impossible circumstances.
    "The first law of the historian is that he shall never dare utter an untruth. The second is that he shall suppress nothing that is true. Moreover, there shall be no suspicion of partiality in his writing, or of malice." - Cicero (106-43 B.C.)
    I simply ask that all act upon the facts of history

  46. True Confederate I'm sure that I don't have to quote history to you. I'm sure that you're aware that those 13 colonies originally banded together under the articles of Confederation until the constitutional convention of 1787 took place; at the end of which they all signed and became one government.

    I know you know this.

  47. True Confederate you can sugar coat that all you want, the primary cause of the war was slavery. If slavery wasn't an issue, none of that would have ever come to pass.

    You trying to say that taxes are the cause is akin to Germans blaming the French for WWII or Osama Bin Laden blaming this country for the death and destruction of September 11th.

    It is what it is and you cannot rewrite history. If it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck; you can call it a chicken if you like, but I can still hear the quack sir.

  48. The government wouldn't have had to send troops to put down the rebellion, if the rebellion didn't exist. If Fort Sumter wasn't fired upon and states weren't calling up militias, it wouldn't have been necessary.

  49. True Confederate I don't believe that the southern states would have walked back into the union at that point, because at that point they weren't exactly getting their asses handed to them like they did the following year.

    Gettysburg was the turning point of the war and that didn't occur until July of 1863. Until the Battle of Antietam in September of 1862 Lincoln dared not declare the Emancipation Proclamation, because Lee was kicking the Army of the Potomac's asses up and around Virginia.

    It wasn't until Lee invaded Pennsylvania and got his army shot up at Gettysburg that the tide really started turning. Up until then, many people were foolish enough to believe that the south had an actual chance. Given their lack of industry and population, they went above and beyond in the first two years of the war.

    After Gettysburg, Lee's mystique of invincibility was gone.

  50. At least a few southern leaders suggested arming men of color, but those suggestions were shot down again and again. Primarily because to admit that they should fight would be tantamount to admitting that they were actually men and secondly because they didn't want to arm former slaves. You know, those people they'd been them guns.

    That wouldn't have happened. There were slaves that went to war with their masters, but you'd have never seen whole regiments of men of color.

    I'm sure you know what happened at Fort Pillow and why. Nathan Bedford Forrest had no love for the black man and that's why his men massacred those black troops and that's why he eventually became a Grand Wizard in the Ku Klux Klan after the war ended.

    By the time the Civil War ended, almost 200,000 men of color were in the Union Army.

  51. Reggie

    We can point / counter point until hell freezes over.
    you have every right to feel as you do.
    As the Great grand Son of former slave owners I have pulled out the chair. I welcome anyone to sit.
    We can go through my family records and see the extent of my familys involvment. I'm not defending slavery !!!!
    It was and is wrong!
    But Uncle Toms cabin was fiction !
    Child labor was slavery and exsisted until 1932.
    Coal Miners were slaves, until the unions freed them.

    If as you suggest a person of my color makes the toilet paper. I hope it is made out of cactus.

    Then wipe away !

    " If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything"

    May Peace be with you !


  52. As the great great grandson of a slave I'm going to have to throw the bullshit flag on slavery not being the primary cause of our nation's Civil War.

    I did appreciate you stopping by my blog though. Please feel free to come again, even when I don't blog about anything to do with the Confederate Battle Flag. I appreciate your logic and reason, even though I don't agree with all of it.

    Please come again.

  53. No Problem sir.
    I hope we both have learned just a little about thr others way of thinking, its the only way to close the gap. open conversation.
    As for the "Bullshit" flag. Its in front of my home 24/7/365, along with =


  54. That is probably the worst flag ever invented... I was going to add another flag to it but I'll keep that comment to myself. You always have the best posts. Love your blog.

  55. Great post Reggie. I can understand you having respect for that Steeler fan. I would have pretty much had the very same take on things myself as it applies to the Confederate Stickers.
    There is no way anyone can legitimately claim that the Confederate Flag represents anything but a treasonous attempt by some Americans to wage war for an unjust cause. Period. The shame of that is the really somehow find heroism in displaying and defending their so-called Honor in that flag. I don't find an institution whereby people...human beings are treated as anything less than people, denied basic fundamental rights and owned as honorable. I could never either. I thought you handled that situation like a true gentleman. I really do.

  56. In Matthew, Pilate washes his hands of Jesus and reluctantly sends him to his death.

    That is the way the north handled slavery.

    Slavery was the sin of a nation.
    To lay the burden of slavery on the doorstep of the south is just like Pilate washing his hands of Jesus !


  57. @ TC - Ummm... I'm not sure ho to state it better.
    Maybe you don't view the sybolism of the flag as hating others but as a way to memorialize your own ancestors.
    It's not really a symbol of hate as much as it is a symbol of your history.

    But really - what COULN'T be viewed as a symbol of hate by one group or another?
    A Cross?
    An Afro?
    A raised fist?
    The American Flag?

  58. TrueConfederate make no mistake about it, I understand your passion.

    My maternal grandfather was a farmer, he had a third grade education; and yet, I find myself quoting him time and time again. He had five children, all of which went to college. He had 25 grandchildren, all of which went to college and at least 20 of us graduated. My grandfather was a man used to working from sun up to sundown and he used a lot of common sense to get through his day. There isn't a man I've ever met that I respect more than him.

  59. Monstah there was a time in my life when I was far less polished. But with age, comes patience and wisdom and even understanding. I want to show the respect to others that I'd demand myself. Until people show me disrespect, I'll always take the high road and show them respect. I think we're all deserving of that.

  60. I find it interesting that you would quote the Book of Matthew TrueConfederate; because I'm sure you know that Lincoln borrowed from that book in one of his most famous speeches from Matthew 12:25.....

    "And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand".

  61. John there is one thing that could never be viewed as a symbol of hate and that is my good old Alabama black snake. It has stood as a symbol of love for decades........and God willing, it'll stand for many decades to come; even if eventually it'll need the aid of a little blue pill to stand.

    I like to think of that last paragraph as a public service announcement.

  62. John does have his moments TrueConfederate.

  63. Hi Reggie, good post. I think everythings been said. Long live the little blue pill.

  64. Reggie, great post and comments. Well handled.
    True COnfederate... sometimes the best way to honor our ancestors is admit they were wrong and not repeat their mistakes.

  65. History teaches us everything Brohammas; the past, the present and sometimes the future. If we've made the mistake of shitting the bed in the past; then we'd be fools to risk making the same mistakes in the future.

  66. Some of the comments made about the Civil War come across as incredible shallow and ignorant. Before you even study the Civil War, start by reading the Federalist Papers and other works by Madison and Jefferson. Then start to study the War and the immediate aftermath, which as I look at history the reason for continued racism, not the war itself, but the reconstruction era, which is a long study in itself.

    While the central issue of the War was slavery, in reality it comes down to economics and culture. Thus States Rights comes into play. Now go back to the origins of the country and bam telling other parts of the country how to live because another section of the country has more votes.

    However, the vast majority of the confederate soldiers didn't even own slaves. The worst thing to happen to race relations in the USA was the how the reconstruction and aftermath of the Civil War was handled.

  67. Anonymous not everyone is a student of history. I read things all the time and chuckle........for instance that assinine comment you made about race relations and reconstruction. if that would have really mattered.

  68. @msladydeborah

    "As for the South, it is enough to say that perhaps eighty per cent. of her armies were neither slave-holders, nor had the remotest interest in the institution. No other proof, however, is needed than the undeniable fact that at any period of the war from its beginning to near its close the South could have saved slavery by simply laying down its arms and returning to the Union."
    --- Major General John B. Gordon

    "History is written by the victors"


  70. Micheal racist doesn't have an "e" in it. Even a dumbass like me would know that.

  71. Please consider this new FB page. An opportunity to vote your support for Bradley Manning. Seeing Americans kill civilians like it was a video game popped this kid over the top. He's no John Gotti. He did everything he could to stop the war.

    Thank you.

  72. Bradley is 24 years old. He was old enough to understand that what he was doing was wrong. Whether he thought it was the right thing to do or not, he was appropriately charged for the crimes that he commited. While I've got hair on my ass his age and I understand that young people make mistakes, it's no different to me than someone who takes a life at a young age.

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