France. From where several of the Southern States were formed.
|Here’s something important – if the USA wants to remove the Confederate Flag, then it has to remove the Stars and Stripes, too. Why? Because true history, not the contorted version that is currently being pushed to an ignorant population, says so. Images from http://www.usflag.org/|
I never cease to be amazed at the re-writing of history for current political purposes, and the ire that descends on those who dare to deny the revisionism that is now commonplace.
For example, if a revisionist denies the murder of Jews, or even questions the genuinely arbitrary number of 6 million in Europe during the Second World War, in some countries he faces prosecution as a “holocaust denier.” The fact that a small group (Jews are, statistically, almost insignificant as a proportion of the population in almost all countries in the world) has been able to take a word such as “holocaust” and turn it into a rallying call with quasi legal recognition, and to take a number and present it as absolute fact rather than informed opinion is not, itself, regarded as revisionist – but it should be.
In the USA, this week, we have seen another example of revisionism at its most effective – and the fact that in order to be effective, it has to rely on a combination of ignorance and an ability to engender a sense of guilt, even where no guilt should lie.
This week, South Carolina decided that the Confederate Flag would no longer be flown on Government buildings. A music festival asked fans to leave their flags at home.
It’s politically correct bollocks and its historically incorrect. The Battle Flag of the Confederate States was a symbol of defiance against autocratic and domineering rule from the North. One aspect of the feared interference was, indeed, slavery. But it was not a symbol, as some are claiming, a symbol of white supremacy. How could it be: it was raised in 1861 as the symbol of the nascent Confederate States. The original “Stars and Bars” design is a separatist form of the USA’s “Stars and Stripes.” Later, it was converted to a saltire (a corner to corner cross, such as is seen in the flag of Scotland) .
As the North tried to impose its will on southern states, more and more joined the Confederacy, more stars were added. The stripes were lost, then one red stripe, down the right edge, was introduced. The “Confederate Flag” as it is known today was the flag of the Confederate Navy and it includes stars representing the 13 states that had joined the rebellion before it was crushed.
For those that are missing a chunk of American History, the American Civil War was fought from 1861 – 1865 when Southern States decided to leave what had become the USA.
The initial impetus of the rebellion was a decision by “slave holding states” which denied the rights of the Union to require them to free slaves. It is true that there were those leading the secession who argued either, or both, that slavery was good for the Negros and / or that the Negro would always be inferior to the white man. However, as the rebellion grew, the issue of slavery became less of the core reasons for the increasing number of states which left the Union and joined the Confederacy.
“This is actual history. This is the war between the states. If you bury your history, you don’t learn from it. You cannot grow” – Steve Slykhuis, Chairman, Historical Committee, John C Fremont Days, Nebraska.
The reality is that this was a good old north v south fight, the industrial, political and pushy North demanding that the agricultural, cultured and gentile south change far more of its way of life than simply abandoning slavery. The Confederate Flag therefore came to represent, and in the minds of many does still represent, a refusal to bow to unreasonable authority.
It’s often been a symbol of fun – can you imagine Dukes of Hazzard giving a toss about slavery? No, the flag on their car represents freedom from tyranny, of every kind and is as applicable to the USA’s blacks as it is to the USA’s whites.
Across the world, the Confederate Flag has been adopted as a symbol of freedom from radical politics. Perhaps that is why the revisionists, who are often radicals, want to define it as a symbol only of things bad.
While the original Confederate Flag was a pastiche of the Stars and Stripes that had been created about 90 years earlier, the final flag was – and remained – a brazen defiance against arbitrary and remote government. It has long since ceased, in the minds of most right thinking people, to be related to racism in any form – by the time the final version was in use, racism did not feature big in the South’s objectives. After all, Red Indian (I say that just to get up the noses of the so called liberals that demand ever more restrictions on the rest of us) tribes joined the Confederate Army and fought against the Union. We have to remember that it was the Union that over-ran and annexed Tribal areas as it moved west and south-west and, in the process, massacred both the Indians and their food. It was not only the South that has reason to be ashamed.
Bad people use both flags as a symbol to seek to justify their own bad behaviour.
So, if the Confederate Flag is a symbol of bad behaviour, now or in the past, so is the Stars and Stripes.
But if the Confederate Flag is a symbol of independence from tyrannical government, be it local, national or even trans-national, then fly it proud.
© 2015 Jefferson Galt