Time to ban Confederate imagery?

I’m honestly wondering whether we should ban Confederate imagery the way the Germans have banned Nazi imagery. It’s been over 150 years since the south was totally and justly defeated at Appomattox and the myth that this cause was about anything other than preserving the genocide of slavery continues to persist. German curriculum, culture and even law devotes extensive time to inoculating its citizenry against Holocaust Denial and it’s time we end Genocide Denial in America.

Slavery was a genocide. This is a fact not an opinion. Millions of Africans died in the triangle trade crossing, and the ones who survived when they got here were subjected to conditions similar to the ones Jews endured in concentration camps-forced labor, famine, family breakup and frequent death. A similar or higher number of blacks died over the course of its two century existence in our country.

And this myth continues to inform our policies today. Conservatives bemoaning lower black literacy rates, lower black property ownership and higher rates of black family breakup,and hostility to police must also reconcile with the fact that it was illegal for blacks to read or own property under slavery and Jim Crow and that slave family breakup was common and by design. Police were used right up until a generation ago as an official tool of enforcing segregation and racial barriers-with many departments continuing this policy in a defacto way in the present. Denying history will only cause us to repeat it. It’s time to say never again to our own genocidal past just as the Germans have.



Discuss

109 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. redlining, sentencing disparities, health disparities

    Don’t forget redlining, which prevent blacks from building wealth via their own real estate. Or sentencing disparities, which still exist; or health care discrimination, which is extremely well-documented. This is *now*.

    “The past isn’t dead. It isn’t even past”

    • This is now -- and this is here

      On the subject of sentencing disparities, in particular the racially discriminatory imposition of mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses in Massachusetts, a recent “State of the Judiciary” address by Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph Gants:

      Racial and ethnic minorities comprised 32% of all convicted offenders, 55% of all those convicted of non-mandatory drug distribution offenses, and 75% of all those convicted of mandatory drug offenses. I do not suggest that there is intentional discrimination, but the numbers do not lie about the disparate impact of mandatory minimum drug sentences.

  2. THAT TRAITOR FLAG SHOULD HAVE BEEN BANNED AS A CONDIDTION FOR RE-ENTRY INTO THE UNION

    Lincoln was too lenient with those damn traitors who stabbed the Union and the Constitution in the back.

    Screw them !

    Fred Rich LaRiccia

  3. In a word

    No.

    Free speech is a pain in the ass sometimes, but it’s heart of our system.

    • ^

      “the heart” of our system.

    • Germany has free speech also...

      No.

      Free speech is a pain in the ass sometimes, but it’s heart of our system.

      .. and Germany was, above, posited as the model to use. Perhaps it’s incumbent on us to recognize that the German experience… an experience our founding fathers could not have conceived when they recognized the freedom of speech… may have led them to more wisdom on the topic??

      In any event, I’m not entirely certain it is a free speech issue. I’m sure I don’ fully understand the German constitution, but my limited brief on them is that their ban on Nazi’s and Nazi symbols and imagery is, I believe, predicated on the idea that Nazi ideology and actions were specifically anti-democratic in word and in DEED : having actively taken advantage of an opportunity to overthrow the government, there is no reason to trust that Nazi’s are just another political faction who’ll play fair within the system: they’ve already demonstrated themselves to be insurrectionist and dedicated to the overthrow of the system. And, so, fair game, therefore, for governmental ban. I think, in the broadest strokes, the Confederacy can be seen in this light also… and that would satisfy me in shutting them down without running afoul of the 1st amendment.

      • The Basic Law regarding freedom of expression

        Article 5 (Freedom of expression).
        (1) Everyone has the right freely to express and to disseminate his opinion by speech, writing and pictures and freely to inform himself from generally accessible sources. Freedom of the press and freedom of reporting by radio and motion pictures are guaranteed. There shall be no censorship.
        (2) These rights are limited by the provisions of the general laws, the
        provisions of law for the protection of youth and by the right to
        inviolability of personal honor.
        (3) Art and science, research and teaching are free. Freedom of teaching does not absolve from loyalty to the constitution.

        Section 1 looks pretty broad until you realize that section 2, especially the first clause, is a loophole big enough to drive a truck through, which our first amendment doesn’t have. They basically do to Nazis what we did to Communists for a long time, not that I blame them given their history, but I think that actions, and not words or the display of symbols, are what should be prosecuted.

        • Yes. And...

          but I think that actions, and not words or the display of symbols, are what should be prosecuted.

          … that’s the point. The Confederacy took the action of deliberate insurrection and attempted secession in defense of slavery. There is a clear, ineluctable, line between what they said and what they did. That’s the action. Anybody who repeats what they said can be expected to repeat what they did, if given a chance. Anybody who flies the Confederate flag can be reasonably be termed a traitor for flying a flag of an avowed — and defeated — enemy of the state.

          That, at the least, is my understanding of what happens in Germany: Nazi ideology leads directly to violent action against the state. It’s not the speech that is censored, it is the actions, that are the clear and undeniable outcome of the speech, that are prohibited and the speech is the clear marker of the action.

          • NO!

            I absolutely cannot abide this line:

            “Anybody who repeats what they said can be expected to repeat what they did, if given a chance. Anybody who flies the Confederate flag can be reasonably be termed a traitor for flying a flag of an avowed — and defeated — enemy of the state.”

            Treason against the United States consist only of levying war against them, or adhering to their enemies, giving them aide and comfort. You absolutely do NOT in a free society presume that certain actions follow from certain words. You prosecute when AND ONLY WHEN criminal acts are actually committed. Even if someone comes right out and says in their opinion black people should still be enslaved, or that the South was right to secede, that is protected speech, as offensive as those opinions are. I’m firmly with the words commonly attributed to Voltaire – I don’t agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

            • You would...

              You absolutely do NOT in a free society presume that certain actions follow from certain words

              … uphold the ‘freedom of” part by denuding –that is to say, rendering entirely valueless — the “speech” part

              Suppose, for example, I say that Ted Bundy was the greatest person who ever lived and we should all follow his example and kill as many women as we can? Under your aegis that’s not a problem at all…

              Speech in support of the Confederacy is speech in support of what the Confederacy did. What the Confederacy did was deemed illegal and wrong. Therefore, speech in support is incitement to do something that was illegal and wrong.

              • It has to be more direct...

                …which I believe is also current jurisprudence. You absolutely have the right to say that what Bundy did was good and right. It only becomes a problem if you directly incite. If you call together a rally in support of him and say such things, your supporters show up with weapons then immediately disperse to carry out your suggestion THEN you could be brought up on charges of inciting criminal activity.

            • The line is not nearly so bright

              It is illegal to yell “Fire” in a crowded theater, even if no action accompanies the outburst. It is similarly illegal to verbalize a threat against the President.

              The line is not nearly so bright as you attempt to paint it.

              Is typing text “action” or “speech”? If the text I type is instructions for how to cause an electrical substation to catch fire and burn or a vehicle to go out of control and crash, is that “action” or “speech”?

              I’m firmly committed to free speech. I do not join those who would jail Americans for flying a Confederate flag. At the same time, I think we need to think very carefully about what constitutes “speech”, “action”, and then associated things like “treason”.

              If the text is computer software — say a piece of malware that will be used to target Americans and American infrastructure — is that text “speech” or “action”? If the text is instructional material whose intended audience is another human — who will then create the same malware — does that change anything? If a piece of computer software can read the “natural language” text (intended for a human) and construct the malware from that natural language text, does that change the nature of said “natural language” text?

              Speech recognition is not far behind natural language processing.

              I think that this distinction between “speech” and “action” is much harder to draw today.

              What does “aid” and “comfort” mean today? Is knowingly passing credentials of a secure server to a Russian agent treason? Is knowingly using information stolen from a breach of a political opponent “treason”?

              Suppose the Donald Trump campaign and now family and staff is — for whatever reason — doing the (indirect) bidding of Vladimir Putin. Does that cooperation constitute “aid and comfort”? Is Russia an “enemy”? How about China?

              In my view, the reality of the world does not allow for the bright lines you seem to prefer.

              • I would say...

                …if the code is written to execute an action it is a problem. If you merely wrote instructions for me to follow that is fine. I would be the one who should get in trouble if I decided to follow them.

              • Certainly passing state secrets constitutes treason...

                …or at least the abetting of espionage. Anything that helps another power weaken or defeat the United States would be included, and of course joining the enemy in a war.

                • LOL

                  anything that helps another power weaken or defeat the United States would be included, and of course joining the enemy in a war.

                  That is quite literally what the Confederacy was founded to do. Frankly, it takes a greater leap of imagination to justify modern day nostalgia for that rogue terrorist state as anything other than racism or treason. I would be ashamed to have ancestors that fought on that side, I wouldn’t be dressing up like them and pretending they won.

                  • Some more facts

                    -The CSA killed more Americans in battle than any foreign adversary we have fought
                    -It is the only enemy power that successfully assassinated a President
                    -It remains the greatest threat to survival our nation has ever faced
                    -It invited hostile powers, including former enemies like Great Britain to join it in destroying the union
                    -Rogue traitors after the war formed death squads to continue it. This is what the original Klan explicitly was. A partisan guerilla force that refused to acknowledge the surrender. As dangerous and deranged as any Japanese soldier who refused to believe Hirohito gave up.
                    -Those forces would overthrow elected governments and deny the right to vote to hundreds of thousands of citizens for nearly a century after the war
                    -Waving that same flag, those forces would actually rape and murder thousands of Americans long after the war

                  • Did I ever say...

                    …that the CSA was not anything other than the very definition of treason?

                    • oops

                      I think I put in a double negative. Did I ever say the CSA WAS anything other than the definition of treason? In other words OF COURSE that’s what it was, which is why you will never see me glorifying the cause, especially since the cause was for the privilege of holding other humans in bondage, which is indefensible.

                    • You actually argued above that it was not

                      I absolutely cannot abide this line:
                      “Anybody who repeats what they said can be expected to repeat what they did, if given a chance. Anybody who flies the Confederate flag can be reasonably be termed a traitor for flying a flag of an avowed — and defeated — enemy of the state.”
                      Treason against the United States consist only of levying war against them, or adhering to their enemies, giving them aide and comfort. You absolutely do NOT in a free society presume that certain actions follow from certain words. You prosecute when AND ONLY WHEN criminal acts are actually committed. Even if someone comes right out and says in their opinion black people should still be enslaved, or that the South was right to secede, that is protected speech, as offensive as those opinions are. I’m firmly with the words commonly attributed to Voltaire – I don’t agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

                      So which is it? Were the Confederates traitors who defended slavery? Can’t it thusly be argued that it’s therefore a flag defending treason in the name of preserving slavery? You prided yourself on disagreeing with an essay prompt that argued any other cause for the war-and yet you are in fact defending genocide denial when you say there are “other reasons” to waive the flag. Is that not implying there were “other reasons” to start the bloody war?

                      What about the fact that the Klan and modern Nazi movements adopt the flag? What about the fact that the flag was only added to Southern states ensigns after Brown v Board to symbolize massive resistance? What about the fact that it was present at lunchings? Would the concept of massive resistance have even been permissible had we listened to Thaddeus Stevens and forced these states to transition back to statehood only by fully agreeing to the spirit as well as the letter of the law of the new amendments? Would the backslide had taken place had we not cowardly agreed to let bygones by bygones? That’s the deeper question I’m probing. How can we finally finish the job the abolitionists started and King continued? Do we do this by denying the evil this flag represents? The very same evil that started the war as you concede?

                    • I'm separating the flag from the nation.

                      The CSA was born of treason. It was treason for as long as it existed, (though maybe that attitude would have subsided if they won; after all we committed treason against the British Empire in the 1770s and now we and the UK are the closest of allies). I do not believe that every person displaying the Confederate ensign is automatically a would-be traitor, and yes I do believe I can hold both views simultaneously. Many also claim to be patriots, and yes, that has struck me as a bit cognitively dissonant at times. I recall laughing out loud during the 2008 campaign once when I noticed a pickup truck with two bumper stickers; one read “McCain-Palin, Country First” and the other was an image of the Confederate ensign. It was only after the flag became a lightening rod again following Dylann Roof that I learned how much a one-fingered salute it was to the Civil Rights movement and thus solidified my view that it has no place in any modern official context.

                    • That's what I am trying to change

                      It was only after the flag became a lightening rod again following Dylann Roof that I learned how much a one-fingered salute it was to the Civil Rights movement and thus solidified my view that it has no place in any modern official context.

                      I don’t fault you for this-but I am saying we should officially teach why this flag is wrong, why the South was wrong, and be very explicit and reality based in discussing exactly what the Confederacy was. It was an institution born of treason to preserve white supremacy. The flag has always stood first and foremost for white supremacy.

                      I see you agreeing with me here and then disagreeing with me elsewhere, so which is it? I am not arguing to ban it-I am saying we should make the symbolism of the Confederacy as anathema to mainstream America as the swastika and nostalgia for the Confederacy as anathema to mainstream America as nostalgia for the Nazi’s.

                      And just like every German schoolchild understands the crimes of the Nazis every American schoolchild should understand the crimes of the Confederacy. I would agree with the idea that the Holocaust is a uniquely terrible genocide and is dissimilar in many regards than American chattel slavery-but American chattel slavery is just as much a form of genocide. Let’s say they are separate but equal in their magnitude.

                      And the slave’s side of the narrative should be paramount and used to discredit the masters side-which far too often is the side our culture takes. Gone with the Wind is just Birth of a Nation in color. And we should know why these narratives are wrong-as objectively wrong as denying the Holocaust or climate change or evolution. There is no controversy to teach. The flag and what it stood for is wrong. And it’s certainly something no locality should be celebrating or endorsing in any way shape or form.

                    • It's like a Trump voter

                      Not all Trump voters are racist, but all Trump voters voted for a racist. Not all Confederate flag wavers are racist, but they are all waving a very racist flag and should be made aware of that fact.

              • "Lines" are not the issue

                There is speech, and there is action.

                At the same time, I think we need to think very carefully about what constitutes “speech”, “action”, and then associated things like “treason”.

                Fair enough.

                If the text is computer software — say a piece of malware that will be used to target Americans and American infrastructure — is that text “speech” or “action”?

                It is quite clearly action, if the software does something and has an intended target.

                I think that this distinction between “speech” and “action” is much harder to draw today.

                No; it’s much more important, because the world is more complex, but it’s just as easy to draw as it ever was.

                What does “aid” and “comfort” mean today? Is knowingly passing credentials of a secure server to a Russian agent treason

                Yes. Quite clearly yes.

                Is knowingly using information stolen from a breach of a political opponent “treason”?

                Probably not, but it is “collusion” with a hostile power.

                Suppose the Donald Trump campaign and now family and staff is — for whatever reason — doing the (indirect) bidding of Vladimir Putin. Does that cooperation constitute “aid and comfort”? Is Russia an “enemy”? How about China?

                Yes, it does constitute aid and comfort. Russia and China are not enemies but they are adversaries. We’d rather that people didn’t help them. As to whether that’s treason, that’s why we have courts.

                But Trump, even as President, can say nice things about Putin even though they make no sense. That’s called free speech.

            • You're failing to make a critical distinction Christopher

              You absolutely do NOT in a free society presume that certain actions follow from certain words.

              I think it’s safe to presume that a person flying the Confederate flag is a racist. I think any black American would be well within their rights to presume that person doesn’t respect their lives and is a physical threat to their existence. Just as any Jew would react to a Nazi flag the same way.

              That said-even Nazi’s have free speech rights and I haven’t argued otherwise. But you aren’t just resisting that-you are resisting the idea that the Confederate flag and Nazi flag are equals. And I am strongly arguing for black Americans they are one and the same-and our entire civic culture has to embrace that viewpoint in order for us to move on from this history once and for all.

              The law doesn’t have to ban speech-but just as we don’t acknowledge climate denial, creationism, or holocaust denial as valid viewpoints in schools or wider society we should also strongly teach that slavery was a genocide and modern day Confederate nostalgia or ‘heritage’ is a form of genocide denial.

              • I AM the one making the distinction...

                …between the CSA and the Third Reich. I just can’t go as far as you do in either your first paragraph or final sentence, though I certainly understand if an African-American has a more visceral reaction to the confederate ensign. I am absolutely resisting the idea that the two flags are equals. I have a visceral reaction to the “flag with the black spider on it” that is almost physical which doesn’t happen with the southern cross. Maybe I’ve been to enough preserved battlefields with flags of both sides, but I said before and I will say again – there has only been one Holocaust/Final Solution.

                • Your experience is the point

                  You inadvertently argue against yourself.

                  You are not an American black. You have perhaps not been to enough of the “battlefields” that have NOT been preserved — urban black neighborhoods where the same cultural forces that created those halcyon fields of Antietam or Gettysburg cause the blood of blacks to run in the streets today.

                  Your experience as a privileged white male blinds you to the experiences of our contemporaries who react very differently.

                  • That's not the issue.

                    The National Park Service does in fact preserve sites of great civil rights struggles as it should. My experience is as someone with a historical background, but who usually focuses on what I call “great people, great events” which is what war battles generally involve. There is certainly a valid field of study in the regular folks of any race and those stories need to be told as well. I resent any implication that my own race has anything to do with it, or that I am at all privileged in this regard. There are multiple perspectives and those of one race should not be held as more valid than another.

                    • So why are you defending a flag

                      That symbolizes a rogue state and an era in time that explicitly privileged one race over another? Why do you consistently deny that one race is privileged over another today in our own era? Why do you elevate the suffering of Jews or the suffering of blacks in American slavery-something the ADL goes out of its way to avoid doing (which it doesn’t do for Armenians btw)?

                      By claiming you don’t see white privilege-even in something as easy to see as in the Confederate flag-you are actually defending it. You have no qualms calling all Trump voters racist but fail to see how every Confederacy sympathizer is. I don’t get it.

                    • Because not every instance of displaying the flag...

                      …is evidence of defending slavery or secession. We need to ALL (Lost Causers and the rest of us) get away from an emotional attachment to history, but remember it in a way that is accessible. Too much emotion leads to the Troubles in Ireland, the ongoing Israel/Palestine issue, the upheavel of the former Yugoslavia, to name a few. For me it comes down to free expression and honestly remembering our history. I’m not Jewish either. In fact I’m probably of the perfect racial background as far as Hitler would be concerned, but the fact remains that the Holocaust was a singular event in global history that has no comparison. Slavery is evil in its own ways, but hardly singular and until relatively recently (and even then not absolutely eradicated) common in human history.

                    • You wouldn't make that argument about a Nazi flag

                      So it is a double standard. We are talking about two nations founded on the notion of white supremacy-both of which engaged in slave labor and atrocities. I can call the famine a genocide while recognizing that the Union Jack symbolizes good and bad. There is no good in the Confederate flag-there is no reason to waive it that can be morally divorced from defending secession and racism.

                    • It is absolutely a double standard.

                      Nazis did worse and thus they get judged worse.

                    • What instances are it's appropriate?

                      Outside of a museum/historical content or in private-when is it appropriate to display it? The onus is on you to make this argument.

                      I can’t think of any other country that allows the battle dead of insurrectionists and their descendants to continue to waive their colors in defiance of the result of that conflict. This is one of the reasons racism continues to be a problem in America because Reconstruction has yet to fully take place.

                    • On the merits...

                      …you’ve already covered it, but the first amendment requires that we permit it even if we don’t like it.

                    • It IS the issue

                      You wrote this:

                      I have a visceral reaction to the “flag with the black spider on it” that is almost physical which doesn’t happen with the southern cross.

                      You are citing your own “visceral reaction” to one flag, and the absence of that visceral reaction from the other, as evidence of a distinction you posit between the two. I am reminding you (again) that there are millions of black Americans whose visceral reaction against the “southern cross” is just as pronounced and just as real as your reaction to the Nazi flag.

                      Your visceral reaction is your own. It sheds light on your background and biases — and does not shed light on the question of the two flags.

                      If a visceral reaction against a flag is to be counted as evidence for the awfulness of that flag, then by that standard the visceral reaction of millions of black Americans is just as real as yours.

                      As you observe — “the [perspectives] of one race should not be held as more valid than another”.

                      Indeed.

                    • It's more than that.

                      I really do think I’m on firm ground regarding the relative horrors and that most people agree hence the heretofore commonly different reactions. For the Holocaust there was a singular instance of an order being given from the top – Kill Them All! – and carry it out in the least humane way imaginable. It was also comfortably enough in the modern era that everyone should have known better. Slavery, OTOH, has existed throughout human history and a deliberate campaign of unmitigated slaughter only serves to reduce the number of available slaves, and thus actually counterproductive. Neither my history background nor my humanity will allow me to back down from this distinction (and before you pop off with one of your snide “don’t confuse me with the facts” lines as you’ve been known to do, let me be abundantly clear that I am confident that the facts ARE on my side).

                    • And to be clear...

                      …I don’t doubt for a second that one’s own background might inform their reactions, but it’s not as if I’m Jewish either. Flags only go so far and I’m not for banning either of them outright, but the historical episodes they represent ARE very different and NOT equivalent.

                • I guess black lives matter-but they matter less

                  Than Jewish lives or the precious memory of white ancestors who defended black bondage. This is exactly the kind of equivocation that allows Dylan Root to find an outlet and a crack in the doorway to something far more sinister. It starts by denying black pain is equivalent to your own or the pain of other victims in history.

                  • No piece of cloth...

                    …made Dylann Roof shoot up that Bible study, nor will erasing all images magically eliminate racial hatred. His actions are on him alone, though I do agree that the Confederate flag is so divisive it has no place at state capitols which should signify unity.

                    • Agreed

                      And it has no place being promoted on license plates or textbooks. Let’s create a culture of love and unity not division of hate. If it’s wrong to display it on a state capital it’s wrong to display it anywhere in public outside of a museum. That’s my take-wrong-not illegal-but wrong.

              • I don't.

                I think it’s safe to presume that a person flying the Confederate flag is a racist.

                I don’t.

                I think lots of people hoisting American flags are racists. Many of them, on the other hand, are just ignorant. Blissfully and willfully so, perhaps, but ignorant nonetheless.

                • Would you make this assumption if you were black?

                  That’s my point. It’s a symbol that threatens black safety by dehumanizing black bodies.

                  • Dunno

                    If I were a black man from Chicago or Connecticut, maybe.

                    If I were a black man from Bozeman or Hattiesburg, maybe not. Maybe I’d know white people who don’t have racism or hate in their heart, but also lack the empathy or experience or social cognitive ability to understand the clear racist implications of the battle flag those white people adhere to their truck bumpers.

                    As a white man who has spent significant portions of his life in the South, I’ve come across 100s of confederate flag waving racists, and 100s of confederate flag waving social ignoramuses. I am immediately cautious and/or suspicious when I see the flag. I don’t assume the person is racist, but I’m far more careful about what I say and what I hear, in order to make a judgment based on that person’s own words and actions.

                    That’s my personal experience, not quite data but far more than an anecdote, with interactions in KY, TN, WV, VA, NC, SC, GA, FL panhandle, AL, MS, LA, and TX.

                    • I would say that's an observation that belies my point

                      You’re either an active racist or a passive and ignorant one. By changing our cultural consensus about the flag we can make sure the ignormsoises are made aware of their ignorance and can educate themselves to overcome it. We will be left with just racists after that. There is a huge role for our schools to treach this history and for our culture to craft this consensus.

                    • pithy subject there

                      By “You’re” you don’t mean me, you mean the Confederate battle flag waver. Right?

                      You’re either an active racist or a passive and ignorant one.

                      At the risk of turning to the definition:
                      rac·istv a person who shows or feels discrimination or prejudice against people of other races, or who believes that a particular race is superior to another.

                      The definition isn’t based around how people receive the action, but rather the action itself. Waving the flag isn’t discriminatory because to discriminate requires the person make a choice or an action; displaying the flag is passive. It’s not prejudicial either, because prejudgment requires determining something prematurely, and the display of the flag doesn’t, in itself, judge anything.

                      IMO, a person who (proudly) displays a Confederate battle flag is racist and/or a not-racist social ignoramus.

                      The folks in the latter category aren’t racist, because to be racist requires that the person either discriminate or prejudge, based on race. And, as lots of folks have discussed, people have a First Amendment right to express ideas rooted in their own ignoramia (and our right to call them ignoramuses). So yes! we should actively work on changing the cultural consensus about the flag, through education, empathy, and social pressure.

                • Irrelevant.

                  I think lots of people hoisting American flags are racists. Many of them, on the other hand, are just ignorant. Blissfully and willfully so, perhaps, but ignorant nonetheless.

                  Ignorance is not a free pass to do whatever you want: pointing a gun at someone is a threat, whether or no you are aware it is or isn’t loaded.

  4. I respect that argument

    But maybe we can officially acknowledge that slavery was a genocide, end federal subsidizes that memorialize these traitors and replace bad mythological history in our textbooks and public displays with actual history? Maybe dictate state governments can’t honor these terrorists with state holidays, public monuments or on their fucking state flag? We need a Truth and Reconciliation committee for our own country and we need to actively
    promote a culture that ends genocide denial just as the Germans actively squash holocaust denial. A ban on speech is surely oncunsonttitional-but this is an area where the government shouldn’t be neutral and our shared history has to be reality based not based on the pernicious myths of the Lost
    Cause.

  5. It would be a denial of history to ban the imagery...

    …not to mention unconstitutional, and I don’t see anyone remotely mainstream romanticizing or otherwise defending slavery. I was never taught that slavery was anything other than an abomination, and I’m pretty sure that’s still how it is taught from my experience in the schools. I roll my eyes and cringe when it sounds like Southerners are still fighting the Civil War, but on the flip side I don’t think the victors need to rub it in either. Precisely because we successfully reunited, BOTH sides are part of this nation’s shared history. The historian in me absolutely opposes attempts either to whitewash this history OR subject it to the practice of damnatio memoriae.

    • The South routinely whitewashes it

      I think the facts I mention are facts and part of history and selectively forgetting them in the name of unity was a mistake.

      -Millions died
      -it was illegal to read
      -families were broken up
      -escaped slaves were hunted down like dogs
      -rape was frequent and brutal

      And yes to this day the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Daughters of the Confederacy and others romanticize slavery or argue it isn’t bad. The Southern Poverty Law Center claims that neoconfederate groups are on the rise.

      The Confederacy was as bad as Nazi Germany. The Germans know how evil their grandparents society was-time for the white South to learn the same truth about their great great grandfathers. My high school was also good-I met southern and northern whites who didn’t know how bad it was at U Chicago. The bulk were from private schools but a few were from magnet schools in Texas where the textbooks recently referred to black slaves as “black immigrants”.

      • Who has forgotten those five things?

        I don’t remember a time when I DIDN’T know them. My read of those organizations aren’t as slavery defenders, though maybe a little too much lost cause defenders for my tastes. No, I can’t agree that the Confederacy rises quite to the level of evil as Nazi Germany as a historian. There have been multiple genocides in world history, including indeed American slavery and the slave trade, but the Holocaust is, and God willing always will be, in a class by itself.

        • The Forward and the ADL disagree with you

          The Forward has a powerful editorial arguing the comparison is justified and those that fought against the Nazi’s and anti-semitism without making that comparison are being poor allies. The ADL explicitly puts it in the same category. There is also a huge overlap between neo-Nazi’s and the Klan/other neoconfederate groups.

          • As modern hate groups, sure...

            …but I stand by my extreme reluctance to compare the CSA with the Third Reich as political entities.

            • Why?

              Denying that history only gives cover to racists.

              • Slavery was horrible...

                …but not the Holocaust; it’s just that simple. If I had to choose between being a slave in the American South or a Jew subject to the final solution I know which I would choose.

                • That's irrelevant

                  Slavery was an American institution and thus the only one relevant to our society, our culture and our laws. The Germans had the maturity to examine their souls and determine how to respond to their crimes in a way that inoculated their society from repeating them. We have not had this discussion, we have not had this maturity.

                  I am not proposing banning Confederate imagery-I am saying the Lost Cause narrative has to become the equivalent of holocaust denial or 9/11 denial or creationism in our schools and our culture. It can never be tolerated by mainstream society in any way shape or form. And it certainly shouldn’t be subsidized by any federal or state government.

                  • Have you changed your view since posting this diary?

                    The title certainly makes it sound like you are at least open to banning the imagery and that is what I reacted to. I also think I am with you regarding how it is taught, but maybe I’m too much of a New Englander to realize this is still a mainstream issue.

                    • It was an open ended question

                      Meant to promote an open ended discussion, which I think we have had here. I said I wonder if we need to go to their lengths. They certainly don’t deny their genocide like we do, and their culture, curriculum and even law inoculates their citizenry from that pernicious idea.

                      I am against government censorship in all forms, and am not advocating that here. What I am instead asking is if our civic culture and curriculum goes as far as theirs in recognizing this genocide and creating a culture that will not repeat it. I think you’d be hard pressed to argue that black lives matter as much as white lives in 2017 America. And this is the reality I think coming to real terms with our shared history and yes, with an American guilt just as profound as German guilt, will make a real difference. Dylan Root doesn’t get created in a vacuum-he is a result of a slippery slope that starts with waving that flag and deliberately excluding the black narrative of American history.

                      maybe I’m too much of a New Englander to realize this is still a mainstream issue.

                      Yes absolutely. Texas shapes our national textbooks and conservatives there have been trying to whitewash slavery for the past few decades. The hard fought progress my parents generation fought for to teach actual history in schools instead of nationalist myths was already backsliding under Obama and who knows what happens with DeVoss and Trump in charge.

                    • And it's not just a southern thing

                      We had a shameful debate in my American Founding seminar where graduate students at the University of Chicago were playing devils advocates for the states rights position that the South took. The most vocal proponent of the Lost Cause narrative in that class was an Asian American libertarian friend of mine.

                      Great debater and a nice guy-he’s now a clerk for Hardiman who was on Trump’s short list with Gorsuch. But there was obviously a gap in his history where he didn’t learn the black side of American life. I do not doubt he’ll be a judge someday, but I worry that his ignorant history will be informing his decisions.

                    • Are you sure he is ignorant?

                      You said they were playing devil’s advocate.

                    • You can't make that argument without downplaying the pain and significance of slavery

                      And he wasn’t being asked to argue that side-it was the side he believed. I am using the expression in the figurative sense as one who advocates on behalf of an unjust person or cause-rather than the literal sense of one arguing a wrong case for the sake of arguing it-as in the actual devils advocates in canonization.

                    • OK

                      I’ve ALWAYS heard devil’s advocate to mean arguing against the side one actually believes in order to strengthen the real argument. Besides, while knowing history is valuable (and God knows I wish more people did), if he is a judge deciding a case he should be worrying about the justice and legality of the case before him without being weighed down by historical baggage.

              • I'm baffled by this discussion

                Why do we need to group horrible things? We can hold two horrible episodes of history in our heads at the same time.

                In my experience racists find cover wherever they look for it (cover that satisfies them anyway). The truth will set us free.

      • "The Confederacy was as bad as Nazi Germany"

        True enough. But according to Timothy Snyder’s book Black Earth, Hitler modeled the holocaust on our other genocide, the conquest of what is now the Western U.S. and the extermination of its inhabitants.
        To stigmatize the misguided people who minimize one genocide while we continue to celebrate the other genocide seems kind of hollow. And a little too convenient.

        • Which genocide is anyone celebrating?

          Our treatment of Natives is an ugly fact of our history and can’t really be reversed, but I don’t see anybody celebrating it. As for Hitler, he went way beyond modelling the Holocaust after what we did. We fought battles with, transmitted diseases to, and occasionally outright massacred Natives, but we didn’t stick them in ovens. If Hitler had only gone as far as forcing Jews to live in their ghettos (like reservations) the comparison might be a bit more apt, but he wasn’t conquering their land. The conquests he did make in many ways he co-opted what was there in an attempt to make things look normal. I really think that there has been a lot of Godwin to go around on this thread.

          • "From sea to shining sea"--via someone else's land

            The fact is that both genocides are so tightly woven into our culture that we are hardly aware of them.

            • A, meet not A. Not A, this is A.

              we continue to celebrate the other genocide

              both genocides are so tightly woven into our culture that we are hardly aware of them.

              We can’t both be celebrating something and be hardly aware of it.

              • Perhaps he's saying something different

                It sounds to me as though he’s saying that there is more than one kind of “genocide” — sort of like IOKIYAR.

                If we’re talking about what the Germans did to the Jews (and other minorities, by the way), then that’s one kind of genocide and it’s terrible and wrong and evil. If we’re talking about what Americans did to Indians (I’m told by my Indian friends that they much prefer “Indian” to “Native American”), then it’s not really “genocide” and it was not so bad.

                “It’s ok if you’re an American”.

                Those among us who pay attention to spiritual matters and who make assertions about the Hebrew Scriptures would do well to re-read the instructions of “God” to the Hebrews regarding the other peoples who surrounded them. I sometimes wonder if at least a part of our revulsion to the genocide of Adolf Hitler is because it resonates with dark themes that are very deeply woven into our culture.

                Perhaps we tend to wrap our own genocide in denialist language and then wrap the result in glowing words of patriotism. I think that’s what the comment was attempting to express.

              • "We can’t both be celebrating something and be hardly aware of it"

                That’s exactly how it works, always. First the past is misrepresented, or sanitized, or revised. Then the false history is celebrated. Have you ever read 1984, or seen “The Man who shot Liberty Valence”?

            • ugly history

              We need to be aware of all the blemishes we have as a nation. Exposing the wrongs committed by previous generations is necessary and hiding the symbols they used will only prevent open discussion of problems.

              American Indians themselves (Choctaw, Creek) had periods where they kept African Americans as slaves. Ugly all the way around.

        • Sure

          That deserves its own thread. I’ll also add that Hitler was going to put the Poles on plantations in the Lebensraum modeled off the Virginia township model, and the first Nuremberg laws are nearly word for word taken from the black codes in the 1920s. Just sub Jew for Negro.

  6. MY FRIEND GREW UP IN THE SOUTH...

    and I can assure you that many Southerners still hate the North for destroying their ‘peculiar institution’ and still refer to the Civil War as the War of Northern Aggression.

    Fred Rich LaRiccia

  7. I don't think so.

    I’ve never completely understood Germany’s policy, but figure they know best what is right for them. This is a country that has been completely reconstructed following a murderous fascism, so I am not going to say they are wrong, even 70 years later.

    However, wherever we may be going, we are not there yet.

    Instead, I hope we are still able to, eventually, live up the the vision of Lincoln. With malice towards none. With charity towards all. The victorious North demanded a period of reconstruction (and then botched that), but they let the South keep their arms and their flag. I don’t think that was wrong.

    Of course, we are in a different period today, but I fail to see how banning these symbols does anything but add gasoline to the pyre. Or that we are in a place where the symbol would be worse than the ban.

    I do think that people have the right not to see it in the official sphere, such as on state flags. But in the private civic realm, it may be the lesser evil.

  8. Surprised you feel that way...

    …I’m one of those people that don’t like the words “ban” and “America” in the same sentence. It starts with banning common sense things like symbols of races or genocide, but it can quickly take a bad turn, especially in the age of Trump.

  9. My wider point

    Is America has to build a post-genocide civic culture capable reconciling present Americans from the crimes of their ancestors and inoculating future generations from repeating them. The Age of Trump is precisely the evidence that America is backsliding on hard fought racial progress and the reason this backslide is all too easy for many white Americans is because our history education and civic culture has not prepared them to grapple honestly with this issue.

    I would wager a majority of Americans don’t acknowledge the facts I laid out here and would quibble with them or resort to myths. And yes Christopher those heritage groups have been explicitly cited as hate groups by the SPLC and for spreading the Lost Cause narrative and neoconfederate ideology. It’s not that I’d ban the Nazis at Skokie-it’s that we have to officially recognize the Confederacy is on the same moral footing.

    • Not that I found.

      I just looked at SPLC’s list of hate groups and did not see either the Sons of the Confederacy or the United Daughters of the Confederacy listed. Some people just want to remember their own past, and I for one see nothing wrong with it. As far as I can tell they are decent civic and community organizations.

      • Careful...

        As far as I can tell they are decent civic and community organizations.

        How many SCV and UDC members do you know? Know well? How many meetings or events have you been to?

        There’s a pretty broad spectrum of decency and community-mindedness among the membership, as one might expect.

  10. Any time someone touts the Confederacy or its battle flag

    It would be good to remind Americans of the crimes of Robert E. Lee from the testimony of Wesley Norris, who was enslaved by Lee.

    …we were informed by Gen. Lee that by the conditions of the will we must remain slaves for five years; I remained with Gen. Lee for about seventeen months, when my sister Mary, a cousin of ours, and I determined to run away, which we did in the year 1859; we had already reached Westminster, in Maryland, on our way to the North, when we were apprehended and thrown into prison, and Gen. Lee notified of our arrest; we remained in prison fifteen days, when we were sent back to Arlington; we were immediately taken before Gen. Lee, who demanded the reason why we ran away; we frankly told him that we considered ourselves free; he then told us he would teach us a lesson we never would forget; he then ordered us to the barn, where, in his presence, we were tied firmly to posts by a Mr. Gwin, our overseer, who was ordered by Gen. Lee to strip us to the waist and give us fifty lashes each, excepting my sister, who received but twenty; we were accordingly stripped to the skin by the overseer, who, however, had sufficient humanity to decline whipping us; accordingly Dick Williams, a county constable, was called in, who gave us the number of lashes ordered; Gen. Lee, in the meantime, stood by, and frequently enjoined Williams to “lay it on well,” an injunction which he did not fail to heed; not satisfied with simply lacerating our naked flesh, Gen. Lee then ordered the overseer to thoroughly wash our backs with brine, which was done….

    To wave the battle flag of the Confederates is to support treason in defense of slavery.

    • I don't think anyone is arguing with this description of slavery...

      ….but the bold line at the end of your comment is an assertion you cannot prove unless God has blessed you with mind-reading powers others of us don’t have. There are plenty who will swear up and down that such is not their motive.

      • That's some weak shit Christopher

        They swear up and down while publishing articles in their own freaking newsletters calling Lincoln a war criminal and asserting the slaves had it good and race mixing is unnatural. They lie about black volunteers serving in the Confederacy. They lie about what the war was even about and exaggerate Lincolns war time powers while forgetting their own government was far more authoritarian-and not just to blacks. States rights? Their constitution made it all but impossible for states to decide against slavery and enshrined the peculiar institution in perpetuity.

        They fought to keep millions in bondage, to continue raping women they considered to be property and they killed thousands in the decades after the war to deny the promises of Reconstruction. Anyone who says “they feel differently” is either a liar or a fuckin moron.

        • And you'll find ZERO blacks defending it

          Which should tell you all you need to know

        • That's quite the illiberal stereotyping there!

          Not everyone with a confederate flag is racist. I’ve acquired a couple as souvenirs myself over the years for crying out loud! You don’t think I know what the CSA was like – ME who has a history degree and a teaching license?! When I took the MTEL for teaching history, the essay we were required to write was how factors other than slavery contributed to the Civil War. Instead I deliberately pushed back and wrote how, no it really was all about slavery and a Civil War would ultimately be unimaginable without it. Yes, I got a high score on that portion and the test as a whole despite utterly rejecting the premise of the main essay question, and of course got my license for my trouble. People can be proud of where they come from without endorsing every historical action. Otherwise the only way we could be patriotic Americans is by endorsing not only slavery (It was ALL of our problem.), but Native genocide, Japanese internment, imperialist wars, etc.

          • They are whether they realize it or not

            Not everyone with a confederate flag is racist

            Would you say that about a kid who kept his grandfathers German uniform or Lugar? I kept my grandfathers battle sword and it’s one of my precious heirlooms. Were he to have fought on the other side-even if he was conscripted or was ignorant of the Holocaust (and many German soldiers fall into this category)-I would be uncomfortable keeping that around.

            So you can probably find someone-Jim Webb is one example that comes to my mind-who hold mainstream views on race and are insisting the flag is a symbol of heritage. Unfortunately, they are in the minority on their own side and universally to African Americans it’s a symbol of death, rape, and slavery. Even Clarence Thomas wouldn’t put it on a license plate. You won’t see any German Americans insisting their grandparents WW2 uniforms or flags should be publicly displayed. So I agree with the idea that not all Confederate soldiers died for slavery and they are honoring their ancestors-but there are ways to honor them that don’t endorse the cause. Flying or venerating that flag endorses the cause without exception.

            • I'd be fine with someone keeping it...

              …and to be clear, it’s not like I’m displaying by Confederate flags, but to tell history accurately you are going to have to include the vanquished sides. A re-enactment of the Battle of Gettysburg would look awfully silly if only the North showed up, don’t you think?

              • I'm not arguing that and you know it

                I’m talking about the people putting it on license plates and hanging it from their homes and at NASCAR rallies. I’m not talking about banning anything or museum displays-which a re-enactment would count as. And you knew this-somwuit cherry picking strawman and engage with my actual argument. You seem to be going out of your way throughout this discussion to give the benefit of the doubt to people that don’t acknowledge genocide.

                • free speech

                  They are pieces of cloth. They represent different things to different people. The display of flags gives people the opportunity to talk about the ideas those flags represent. If you calmly ask someone who has a rebel tattoo why he put it there, you might be able to tell him about other perspectives about what that flag means. If we’re allowed to burn the American flag (which is OK) people should be allowed to have any flag (Confederate, ISIS,etc).
                  It should not be part of any official government flag, seal etc though.

                  • It should not be part of any official government flag, seal etc though.

                    This is the kind of culture change I am talking about. And we should stop using federal funds to maintain Confederate monuments. After all-if the war was really about states rights than those states and the well endowed Confederate fraternal societies can foot the damn bill. And I wouldn’t lay any presidential wreaths there-these were American soldiers but they didn’t fight for America-they fought against it. Maybe Mississippi-one of the largest recipient of federal funds-should stop denying the Federals won the war and take their treasonous canton out of their state ensign. Maybe we should start using sticks cause carrots don’t work.

                  • Don't you see, that's WORSE.

                    They represent different things to different people. The display of flags gives people the opportunity to talk about the ideas those flags represent. If you calmly ask someone who has a rebel tattoo why he put it there, you might be able to tell him about other perspectives about what that flag means.

                    There are two possibilities, both even worse than outright racism:

                    First, Why in the world would you think that whatever secondary perspectives exist differing from the actual words and deeds of the actual confederates isn’t a personal form of ‘dog whistle’? I don’t believe there are other, legit, perspectives: they only have enough superficial legitimacy to act as coded speech.

                    Secondly, if it was possible to have these sort of legitimate secondary perspectives (and I believe it is not), they would still be, by a long measure, secondary: squishy indifference to the deliberate acts and oppression minimizes the suffering and the victims… Can you imagine the message that sends to the descendants of slaves today? Of the descendants of people who fought and died in the struggle… on both sides!

                    Good Ole Boy: “Uh, yeah… Ah’m awaya of the histree, suh, but fuh-git all dat. Don’t git all persnickety about all dat. My peh-sonal perspective… ah… Trumps all dat. I gits to say what it all means.

                    No, you don’t. You lost that fight, pretty definitively.

          • Your instincts as a teacher are correct

            The war was fought over slavery and nothing more. I just finished that test myself and expect to get my license soon. I would hope you can agree that the Lost Cause narrative belongs on the shelf next to creationism and holocaust denial as ‘things we don’t teach in school’. That’s all I am saying. The government has a responsibility not to be neutral on this issue and invalidate the idea that this cause had legitimacy. After all, had their side won I doubt we would be allowed to fly Union flags at their re-enactments. This was an authoritarian regime built on the idea that people were property.

            Harry Turtledove is an excellent alternative historian who shows exactly how that could’ve eventually led to extermination camps in a world where they won instead of the North.

          • ...

            … you first want to say that the right is absolute. Then you want to say there are elisions and corner cases that allow, or at least allow for different interpretations and wiggle room. Then you want to say that slavery isn’t the same as holocaust… sorta agreeing with the Germans in their efforts, but hoping not to let that application adhere too closely here.

            People can be proud of where they come from without endorsing every historical action.

            The question, Christopher, isn’t whether they can be proud, but whether that pride is either right, or righteous. Pride in a defining historical action overrides other concerns, because it is defining: The clear, forthright and overarching meaning of the Confederacy is antithesis: it existed solely and completely for opposition to the Union.

            The definition of the word ‘Nazi’ is ‘killer of Jews’. If, in Germany, you declare yourself a Nazi the state assumes you will, if given the chance, kill Jews. It doesn’t assume you’re celebrating some past historical artifact. It assumes you agree with what they did and will repeat the action.

            The definition of the word ‘Confederate” (in this context) is ‘slaver and rebel’. Neither of those things are allowed. You cannot support the Confederacy without which you support the defining characteristics of the the Confederacy which are distinctly, wholly and violently at odds with the defining characteristics of the Union. I do not, at all, think it either wrong or problematic in the slightest for the state simply to assume that you, in flying a rebel flag, are deliberate in your efforts to eventually incite insurrection and attempt to enslave another human.

            • I share petr's perspective

              I might not go as far as he would when it comes to censorship, but we absolutely have to create a culture that equates the Confederacy with Nazism. African Americans, and to their credit, Jewish Americans have already been doing this for decades. It’s time for the rest of America to catch up with them-and with a German society that has reconciled with it’s past. Imperfectly for sure, but far better than we have.

            • We're just going to have to disagree on that one I guess.

              The historian in me requires a bit more nuance, and as I believe I said elsewhere, taken to it’s logical extreme flying the US flag presumes support for some pretty ugly things too.

              • I'm a nuanced historian too

                The Confederate flag has always been designed to defend and promote white supremacy. The American flag has stood for white supremacy from time to time-it was also the flag black soldiers were draped in for two world wars, it was the flag MLK had behind him. Nuance means looking at all sides of an issue and accepting the good and the bad parts about history and historical figures. Washington owned slaves and was a cruel master, we should teach this. We should also teach his virtues alongside his flaws. I wouldn’t rename the capital.

                I see no virtues to teach or two sides to the Confederacy. Their constitution literally defended white supremacy and slavery in perpetuity. Ours has been abused to defend it from time to time-but was also deliberately written so that future generations could change it-which we have. Theirs defended it in writing for all time. Theirs defended white supremacy for all time.

                Our union could eventually elect a black president and enable black people to vote and hold office and write laws. Theirs never would. If the Confederacy was not defeated blacks would be in bondage in the South today just as much as no Jew would be left alive in Europe had we lost the Second World War. There are a few times when there is a good side and a bad side in history, and those two wars are clearly one of them.

                • That's fine.

                  I have never claimed that the CSA was virtuous (though I CAN think of a couple of non-racial/slavery clauses I prefer to ours in their Constitution). I just absolutely cannot go as far as equating it with the Third Reich. Nazi Germany was worse – full stop!

                  • Not if you were black

                    Full stop

                    • I'm not sorting people.

                      Sure, black people weren’t Nazi targets as much, though probably not enough of them to count in 1940s central Europe either. I’m just saying that ovens and gas chambers are a lot worse than slavery.

                    • And all I'm saying

                      Is neither one of us is qualified to make that judgment. I do know I would’ve been proud to have fought for my country in either of those wars against either of those evils. I am honored that my own grandparents grave at Mt Auburn is next to a Civil War memorial which proudly says ‘Against the foes of Treason and Insurrection these brave men gave their lives’. I think it dishonors those dead to parade the flag of their fallen foe around nearly a century and a half later with any semblance of pride.

                      It dishonors the millions held in bondage and the million more that have come after thanks to the right side winning that war. Those who fought on their wrong side continue to deny their side was wrong, and those alternative facts damage all Americans both white and black and keep us from building the color blind future you and I both want.

                    • Of course I know what side I'd be on in both cases.

                      Here’s what I also know, and I feel it to my very bone. I have an extremely difficult time handling so much as discussing the Holocaust in a way that is not true of slavery. Maybe I’m having trouble explaining it because it is too painfully obvious to put into words. I cannot read or discuss aloud the Holocaust without choking up in reaction to such unspeakable evil. This has led to a couple of instances in my teaching where it is obvious enough to students that I’m struggling to keep it together that I have been asked if I were crying. (I try to pass it off as allergies.) Even when the words I am reading do not describe the horrors directly, my knowing the background is enough to trigger a physical response. I once was reading a story to a second grade class (written at a second grade level so any of them could have read it themselves) about a family in a concentration camp trying to secretly celebrate Hanakkuh and this was one of those times my eyes welled up and the kids noticed. I decided at that point I’d rather try to explain to that age where babies come from than the enormity that was the Holocaust. This INVOLUNTARY physical and emotional response has never happened to me in the context of slavery. I literally cannot help it!

                    • BLACKS FOUGHT NAZISM IN WWII

                      only to suffer the evil racism and persecution of Jim Crow Fascism when they came home.

                      There’s gratitude for ya, huh ?

                      Fred Rich LaRiccia

        • And kindly...

          …especially when replying to me directly, dial back the language just a touch.

          • That's fair Christopher

            I do get carried away by my passion on this issue and it’s more sensitive to me now since my adopted niece and nephew endured racist attacks in the aptly named White Mountains last autumn. Not to mention the awareness that my own marriage was once illegal thanks to the same Senators and Governors who put this flag in their ensign or flew it over their capital. I even saw confederate flags in the snow patterns on my car and was worried our neighbors hit us back for having BLM and Obama stickers on our car (turns out the radiator under the hood is in a dual X configuration).

            So my disagreement isn’t personal-I think you’re a good person who sees better angels even in obvious devils. I’m no longer like that since I have a mixed family to protect.

  11. JOELTPATTERSON NAILED IT

    ‘ To wave the battle flag of the Confederates is to support treason in defense of slavery.”

    Fred Rich LaRiccia

  12. No.

    No. There’s something called the First Amendment. We don’t ban flags in this country. It makes my blood boil every time I see it out here in conservative Worcester County (because it is spitting on the graves of all of the Union forces buried just miles away), but ban a flag? No. Freedom of speech to wave the flag of your choice is what those Union soldiers died for my friends.

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