February 07, 2007

Ignorance abounds.

On my ride home from work I heard a local news story that kind of grabbed my attention, Forreston Students Protest Suspension over Confederate Clothing. I obviously cannot link to the radio show, so Iíll link to the article they where discussing. During the show they personalities and callers were going back and forth over the entire issue. Everything from freedom of speech (IE expression) to Hate Crimes (Displaying the Naval Jack/Rebel Flag the Confederacy is a ďhate crimeĒ).

I rolled my eyes so dramatically at one point I almost drove off the road. Not over the freedom of speech issue, mainly because I honestly believe that most Americans only believe in Freedom of Speech if the topic isnít controversial OR they happen to support the controversial topic. Yea, deny it. But Iíve seen enough hypocrisy over it in the last two years that you wonít change my mind. What made me roll my eyes was when one of the radio personalities made a comment along the lines of ďItís a flag of hate. Itís anti-American and it canít legally be flown on federal property. They flag symbolizes, hate, bigotry and racism.Ē

First, anyone that knows anything about history and the Confederate Flag knows that what people call the Confederate flag isnít the Confederate Flag. What every one is most familiar with is the Naval Jack AKA Rebel Flag, AKA The Southern Cross. This is a battle flag, well one of them. The actual battle flags were perfectly square.

Rebel Flag

Battle Flag

Yes, this is a matter of semantics, but itís important. There where three Confederate National Flags. The first being what was commonly called ďThe Stars and Bars.Ē Yes, again some people refer to the Naval Jack as that, but they would be incorrect. The original flag had nothing on it that even had the Confederate Union on it. Other then the colors, they really where completely different. It was changed because it looked too much like the American Flag. The Second National Flag, The Stainless Banner was a white field with the Battle Flag as the Union. This flag was replaced because when there was no wind it looked like a surrender flag. The Third National Flag, the bloodstained banner had a red vertical stripe on the end. This flag was adopted shortly before the end of the war and was the last national flag of the Confederacy.

The Stars and Bars

The Stainless Banner

The Bloodstained Banner

So about now you are all probably wondering why I am boring you with a history lesson? Because it pisses me off when people say historically it represents hate, bigotry and racism. WRONG! Itís a battle flag. Itís a flag that armies rallied to during a bloody war. Itís a flag that Americans fought and died under for something they believe. They rose up against a government they felt did not represent them, their interests and their rights. This flag wasnít even around at the beginning of the war. Itís not like this flag was around for years flown over houses telling anyone that passed by that this plantation had slaves. It didnít. Maybe if they said that about one of the Confederate National flags I could understand it more, but they don't.

Sure someone will say that thatís what people associate it with. You are correct, the ignorant, the un-educated and the stupid have over the years used the rebel flag as part of their idiocy. Okay, so since they use a flaming cross, crosses should be evil too. Oh, and since millions of people have been killed in the name of god, then god should be seen as evil. Yea, I know. Iím going to extremes, but it just annoys me.

There is a historical and legitimate reason for the rebel flag. Some say to remember history; some to show southern pride, others because they do think it stands for hate. I have no problem with the debate over this flag. I just hate seeing it pigeon holed as something itís not.

Oh and as for it not being allowed to be flown on Federal property. Iíve been to many Federal monuments and cemeteries, including Shiloh this past year. Iíve seen this flag at many of these Civil War sites and Iím willing to bet I will continue to, including memorials.

I really wish the media would fact check before spewing forth BS.

Posted by Contagion in Rants and Raves at February 7, 2007 06:58 PM | TrackBack

"I really wish the media would fact check before spewing forth BS."

Lord, that would be a nice change...

Posted by: Richmond at February 7, 2007 07:49 PM

The Naval Jack flag is flown at the Rock Island Arsenal, Rock Island Illinois, for Vetran's Day. There is a Confederate Cemetary and every single grave has the Naval Jack placed on it to honor these soldiers for their service.

And you are exactly right about Freedom of speech. Too many people want to tote "Freedom of Speech" but they only believe in "Freedom of MY Speech, not yours."

And for those who want to think the Naval Jack is the symbol of the Confederacy and don't respect its history, just remember what Wil says, "The last flag the Confederacy flew was White."

Posted by: Petey at February 7, 2007 08:25 PM

True about the Confederate Cemetery, and you better believe the Arsenal is serious about being respectful there. (Old Sarge and I will be just down the road a piece at the National Cemetery)

What really amazes me is that Forreston has what? Maybe 30 kids at the high school?

Posted by: Raging Mom at February 8, 2007 02:14 PM