Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Confederate Flag

5 years ago, we did a post on why the confederate flag does not exactly square with American patriotism.  Given the recent shooting of Black church members in South Carolina by a proponent of the confederate flag, and in light of the recent outcry to finally remove it from the state flags of
several southern states, it seems only fitting to revisit our old post, which we will reprint here in pertinent part:

March 4, 1861 - 7 states in the South (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas) were pissed off at the anti-slavery infringement on "state's rights" by the Federal Government, declared that they were officially seceding from the United States of America (aka "the North"), and formed their own government: the Confederate States of America. [can you imagine how wild that would look in today's context?]  About a month later, they attacked the United States at Fort Sumter, causing 4 more states to join the cause (Arkansas, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia).  President Abraham Lincoln, who had just taken office by the way, ordered the troops of the United States to fight the Confederacy and officially started what we all now know as The Civil War.  That war lasted for another 4 years killing more Americans (over 620,000) than any other war or military operation that America has ever been a part of since.  As we all know, the United States (aka the "Union") won the Civil War in 1865, reclaimed the Southern states through the "Reconstruction" period, and ended slavery in America.

A while back, The Fed did a post about the so-called "Real Americans;" people who claim that their patriotism for America is superior to others because of certain enumerated beliefs typically revolving around a social conservative agenda.  One of the biggest ironies (or perhaps "hypocrisies" is a more apt description) of this group is their love for the Confederacy, it's flag, and all things associated therewith.  Nothing could be more anti-patriotic.

All racial implications of slavery aside (and that is a HUGE aside, people), the reason why honoring the Confederacy is anti-patriotic is simple: secession from the United States is treason. Text-book treason at that.  If you love America, you cannot love something that tried to destroy America. The two concepts are mutually exclusive.  We can add this inconsistency to the long line of inconsistencies of so-called "Real Americans" who seem to be missing the point about what it means to actually be, well, an American.

In Germany, federal law strictly prohibits the use, sale, or display or any kind of the Swastika -- a symbol from that country's past that, much like the Confederate Flag, is associated with an unpleasant chapter in that nation's past that cost many lives.  Bottom line, the retirement of the Confederate Flag has been long overdue.  Now that we're about 150 years removed from the Civil War, the only real question is "what took you guys so long?"
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