A Study in Irony

Virginia Flaggers

The founder of the Virginia Flaggers holds up the flag of a failed rebellion against the United States as she chats with a gentleman at a political event for prospective candidates in Wakefield, Virginia next to a poster accusing Lincoln of treason. It doesn’t get any better than this, folks.

24 thoughts on “A Study in Irony

  1. Scott A. MacKenzie

    Suppose for a moment that Lincoln faced these charges before a court. First, what kind: Congressional Impeachment? U.S. federal? Confederate federal? State courts – either Union, rebel, Reconstruction or post-Reconstruction southern? Military tribunal? It should go without saying that former rebels would prefer one under their control. Neo-Confederates must settle for the verdict of history, one in which they are losing.

    Second, Lincoln would undoubtedly secure the best legal help available for his defense. Former judges, other lawyers, and scholars of all stripes would assist him. Imagine William Herndon as lead defense attorney. Their presence could help ensure he receives a fair hearing. To be sure, the prosecution would bring out its best as well. This of course assumes that a fair judge and jury could be found.

    Third, what will they do if Lincoln is acquitted? Surely they’d appeal, but that’s no guarantee of success. Treason – the only offense mentioned in the Constitution – is notoriously hard to prove. It also begs the question “treason against what?” The Constitution gives the President the power to suspend habeas corpus in the event of a rebellion. He could easily say that he obeyed its provisions. Partisan-based accusations to the contrary may not stand up in court. Lastly, he never “suspended the Constitution.” It remained in effect throughout the conflict. I’d say that Lincoln stood a good chance of being found not guilty on all counts and walking free from the court.

    Reply
    1. Kevin Levin Post author

      Yes, there are all kinds of problems with claiming that Lincoln committed treason. I will leave it at that. :-)

      Reply
  2. Bummer

    When JFK visited Dallas in November of 1963 posters and billboards accused him of Treason also. The result was far from pleasant. These current posters remind the “old guy” of very stressful times and the folks that display them, really can’t comprehend the possible results.

    Bummer

    Reply
    1. Bryan Cheeseboro

      I’ve seen that Kennedy treason poster before (see link below). It’s 1) probably where these neo-Confederates got the idea for the Lincoln treason poster; and 2) I imagine there’s not much on the Kennedy poster that some of the hard-core Neo-Confederates disagree with, IMHO.

      http://images.search.yahoo.com/images/view;_ylt=A0PDoKknx3ZRmXQAB2.JzbkF;_ylu=X3oDMTBlMTQ4cGxyBHNlYwNzcgRzbGsDaW1n?back=http%3A%2F%2Fimages.search.yahoo.com%2Fsearch%2Fimages%3Fp%3Dkennedy%2Btreason%2Bposter%26fr%3Dyfp-t-901-s%26fr2%3Dpiv-web%26tab%3Dorganic%26ri%3D1&w=400&h=527&imgurl=i385.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Foo293%2Fificandream2%2Fkennedy-treason-poster.jpg&rurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dailykos.com%2Fstory%2F2010%2F06%2F18%2F877384%2F-JFK-s-treason-vs-Obama-s-treason-Notice-any-similarities&size=42.1KB&name=Daily+Kos%3A+JFK%26%2339%3Bs+%22%3Cb%3Etreason%3C%2Fb%3E%22+vs.+Obama%26%2339%3Bs+%22%3Cb%3Etreason%3C%2Fb%3E%22%3A+Notice+any+…&p=kennedy+treason+poster&oid=8ac1de91b4c23631b8e1aadaaf81784d&fr2=piv-web&fr=yfp-t-901-s&tt=Daily%2BKos%253A%2BJFK%2526%252339%253Bs%2B%2522%253Cb%253Etreason%253C%252Fb%253E%2522%2Bvs.%2BObama%2526%252339%253Bs%2B%2522%253Cb%253Etreason%253C%252Fb%253E%2522%253A%2BNotice%2Bany%2B…&b=0&ni=66&no=1&ts=&tab=organic&sigr=1393hsfi9&sigb=13hp0dief&sigi=129cc6r23&.crumb=0M5W8.16qBU&fr=yfp-t-901-s

      Reply
      1. Mike Hawthorne

        How would that lady feel about habeas corpus if her own corpus belonged to somebody else, as a piece of property, and any child she might bear too? That might wipe the grin off her face.

        Reply
                1. Kevin Levin Post author

                  It definitely doesn’t dovetail with Ron Paul’s recent interpretation of the Republican Party.

                  Reply
                  1. Mike Hawthorne

                    Here I am, sitting in London, surrounded by US military bases under a government that tags along behind every hare-brained US invasion, wondering why the swastika is banned in Germany and not here. I guess it’s no threat here. Perhaps the Confederate battle flag remains a threat on the other side of the pond because the racists have recently reclaimed it. Time was when Bob Dylan’s backing band and other liberal musicians could use it as a quaint backdrop, without a murmur of disapproval from their fans. Hippies in Confederate uniforms passed cocktails to Black Panthers at Jewish conductor’s radical chic parties. All that changed in 1972. I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now. Like hell.

                    Reply
  3. Neil Hamilton

    Lincoln’s still dead, right?

    What’s that definition of habeas corpus? Produce the LIVING body or some such?

    “Heritage,” not law.

    Sincerely,
    Neil

    Reply
  4. John Fulwider

    I think you miss the point. They flag against anytime a place where history is being threatened to be removed or changed. The poster of Lincoln is and was a part of the South’s History. While we can’t change it we can preserve it.

    Reply
  5. John Buchanan

    Its no wonder no Democratic candidates showed up to what has always been a bipartisan affair in the past.

    Afraid those days are gone.

    Reply
  6. Sam Vandedrburg

    Having read a few Confederate editorials, Lincoln was considered a traitor by the Seperatists. It amazes me how the battle flag is still the symbol most hated and it really is simply a historical object in our history. It’s use has, no doubt, been hijacked by modern political movements as well as those who want to think of their ancestors as heros. I tend to think that way, also – including the one that switched sides in the mess created in Arkansas and the one who walked away from his NC infantry unit twice at the risk of a death penalty. Yet, I have always understood that the essential cause of the Civil War was slavery and I could not agree with that dread institution. I often wonder what would have happened if the South had successfully sued for peace… How would Lincoln be remembered in history? What if the Civil War had never happened? How long would slavery have lasted? In contrast, would anything have been done with the tennant employees of the industrial revolution of the North in light of a successful Southern revolt?

    In another point, I see no need dispising or ridiculing others because of their point of view. I can understand humor, but poking fun of others?

    This could really open a can of worms…

    Reply
  7. Trueism

    Why do some people only want HALF truths to be told? So better include the other side of the story.

    Lincoln a tyrant. and so was Davis if you use Lincoln as your example.

    Davis violated habeas corpus three times for a total of 1 1/2 years.
    so did Lincoln

    Davis declared marshal law in various parts of the south for the entire war. So did Lincoln

    Davis instituted conscription/draft and later forced men to belong. Lincoln did also BUT did not FORCE men to remain

    Davis order out of the country anyone loyal to the union and failure to leave ion 40 days ment confiscation of your property and exile to the north. Lincoln did this twice. Davis thru pout the south.

    Davis ordered the Provost Guard to put down the unionist in east tenn and when done 5 civilians were hung and their families jailed without trial.

    Davis supported slavery as a fundamental state right but supported a constitution which did NOT mention states rights.
    As for a new confederacy it wont happen. If you use the previous one as an example, it became what it tried to leave. The states right issue died with confederate congressional and Davis promotion of,

    1. limited censorship of the press
    2. National FORCED conscription (draft)
    3. Inability to control stragglers and desertion
    4. National Marshall Law
    5. Violation by Davis of the writ of Habeas Corpus
    6. Allowing a Rich Poor class structure with political office only held by rich land and slave owners.
    7. Income Tax on the nation
    8. Failure to attempt any form of E.P.
    9. Demanded that all local militias belonging to the state are now national and federal.
    10 Exempt from Conscriptions based on how may slaves you owned. Rich mans war poor mans fight.
    11.Demanded and reveived property thru force if needed via Confiscations Acts.

    Dog gone shame when the facts get in the way of revision.

    Reply

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