The True Face of the Southern Heritage Crowd

southern heritageThis story out of Hot Springs, South Dakota is truly bizarre and sad.  Recently a couple of African Americans veterans, who were being treated for PTSD at a VA Hospital, complained about a display that included Confederate flags.  Yeah, this is in South Dakota of all places.  At the time the flags were removed and then later placed back in the display.  Today the hospital decided to remove the flags once again.

To ensure the Hot Springs VA Medical Center is a place of healing for all Veterans, the Confederate flags will be removed from the Freedom Shrine display, located in the rotunda of the main building.  This action is consistent with continued accomplishment of the medical center’s core mission, which is to provide quality health care services to Veterans.  We thank everyone for their interest and concern for our Veterans and apologize to anyone offended by the display.

Again, why there are Confederate flags in a VA Hospital in South Dakota is anyone’s guess.  First, shame on the VA staff for returning the flags once these men complained.  As might be expected the Confederate heritage whackos are out in full force complaining about another heritage violation.  These people have absolutely no class, patriotism, and they lack sympathy.  These are men who served their country and are currently being treated for wounds sustained in the line of duty.  If removing those flags from a display helps to ease their pain, than so be it.  Is that really too much to ask given their service and sacrifice for this nation? 

What I want to see is these cowards – most of whom have probably never served a day in the U.S. military – address these veterans in person and explain why those flags should be returned.  Or you could just take the time and thank these men for their service to this country.  This is the true face of the Southern/Confederate Heritage crowd.  These people make me sick.

You can read the comments on these pages for yourself as well as on webpages of local news outlets that are covering this story.  Just know that your freedom to express such intolerance and hatred is made possible by the men and women treated at this VA Hospital.

Print Friendly
 

58 thoughts on “The True Face of the Southern Heritage Crowd

  1. Neil Hamilton

    Kevin,

    I feel the same way. The Confederate flags had no business being there in the first place, they contribute nothing towards the mission of the facility, and Confederate Heritage advocates should be flatly ignored in this incident.

    This is about the care and treatment of our veterans PERIOD.

    Neil

    Reply
  2. Forester

    In cases like these, I just wonder why they can’t use a more obscure banner to “honor” Confederate soldiers with. Pick the First National, Bonnie Blue or something else that doesn’t carry the baggage of the battle flag. Half the time, Flaggers protest with that cliche, idiotic miscolored Naval Jack that was never flown during the war. It irritates me. There are a dozen ways to honor the Confederacy, but no …. they just want to display THAT flag. And they’re probably aware of its anti-Civil Rights use in the 20th century.

    And I agree with you Kevin …. a VA hospital is no place for political bickering. As an EMT and hospital transport worker, I am disgusted by their priorities. Hospitals are (or at least should be) neutral grounds where politics don’t exist.

    Reply
    1. Billy Bearden

      Forester,

      Thanks for your input. My GGGrandfather was in the 41st Georgia Infantry (Pvt Thomas Drew) and yes, that unit as well as the entire Georgia Brigade (40th, 41st, 42nd, 43rd, and 52nd) utilized those ” idiotic miscolored Naval Jack that was never flown during the war”. Numerous other units also used 3×5 dimension AoT battleflags. Your vile hate is disgusting, but not unexpected here.

      Reply
      1. Kevin Levin Post author

        Like I said, take your case to the men who requested that the flags be removed or just thank them for their service to this country.

        Reply
      2. Forester

        Okay, I learned something now. My ancestors were in Virginia (ie, 111th Feild Artillery Norfolk Blues/Richmond Howitzers) and never saw or used the 3×5 CBF that I know of. If you can find that they did, then I will eat crow again. The word passed down through my family has always been that the modern CBF is a miscolored Navy jack. That’s what I get for not doing a Google search before I posted.

        HOWEVER, the 3×5 CBF wasn’t used enough to justify it’s current position as the universal symbol of all things Southern. It was never flown as a NATIONAL flag. You might as well add the Hardee flag to the monument, they’re about even in terms of relevance and historical impact. But no … there is something “special” about the 3×5 CBF, isn’t there? I can’t see any reason to display it OTHER than its 20th century baggage.

        Understand that I actually LIKE the flag, since I’m from the race and culture that grows up learning to love that CBF. But I have issues with it’s public display. What it means to ME isn’t what it means to other people. I wouldn’t display it for that reason.

        And so my “vile hatred” is pretty much only for Flaggers, not the flags. It’s a simple concept and I don’t know why some people can’t get it: what the flag means to you is not what it means to everyone else. Flaggers don’t respect that, hence, I don’t like them very much.

        Reply
    2. Jamie Bain

      If you’ll track back through the related stories on the rapidcityjournal.com website, there’s a picture of the flag display, and it does include a First National.

      Reply
  3. Bryan Cheeseboro

    I’m not surprised at all that someone would fly that flag in South Dakota, or anywhere else, for that matter. The following story is from a discussion I participated in on civilwartalk.com the other day. What bothers me most is that some people, like the guy in the story, think that they know more about the Confederate flag than historians do; or that it only means whatever THEY interpret it to mean and nothing more.

    Anyway, here is the story:

    I’ve got a friend of many years who grew up here in Western Washington, worked as an auto mechanic and outfitted cars for dirt-track racing, figure eights, and demolition derbys.

    One year he had a car where he painted a big version of the CFB on the roof, much like the “Dukes of Hazard” “General Lee” car. I asked him what it represented, to him.

    After about an hour of discussion it seemed to me that it didn’t mean anything about southern heritage, the Confederacy, honoring Confederate dead, or even racism, etc. In fact, he had never been to the southern part of the U.S. To him, it was little more than a symbol of rebellion against authority, and was popular as such by rednecks in the crowd.

    I decided that trying to educate him about the history behind the CFB was beyond my capabilities and time. (Note: in the race, his linkage seperated at the starting line and he limped off the track without even making a lap).

    Reply
  4. Billy Bearden

    Kevin,
    The “Freedom Shrine” was erected at the VA hospital in 1995. It includes numerous US flags (Betsy Ross, 48 Star pattern, etc…) and a 7 star 1st National, a 2nd National CSA and a AoT pattern Battleflag.

    It was to pay tribute to ALL American Veterans of ALL American wars. That would of course include Confederates.

    Interestingly, United States soldiers, around the WW2 era forward also began incorporating the AoT pattern Battleflag in various theatres of conflict. 2 of the most famous instances on record of WW2 era use of the CBF is over the fallen Shuri Castle in the Battle of Okinawa, where it was flown on the ramparts for 2 days, and the 31st Infantry “Dixie Division” had made the AoT CBF a staple of it’s colors and marching band.

    I have heard tales the Skipper of the USS Robert E Lee had one onboard, and the launch programme of the USS Stonewall Jackson incorporated a ANV CBF on the cover.

    I have dozens of pictures of US troops utilizing the Confederate Battleflag in Korea, Beirut, Viet Nam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. One includes a US Navy Admiral holding a cup of coffee with the AoT pattern CBF over the word “Tennessee”

    Amazing the Confederate Battleflag means so much in a positive way to so many of our brave fighting men, veterans of most conflicts since 1862.

    My parents are interred in Arlington National Cemetery, and my son is shipping out for advanced military training on May 3rd, 2013 to Fort Lee, Virginia.

    To have 2 complainers demand the flags in the display be pulled to assuage their feelings does a disservice to ALL American Veterans.

    Reply
    1. Kevin Levin Post author

      I’ve read John Coski’s book so I understand how the flag has been used in the past. It’s largely irrelevant because we are talking about how the flag is increasingly being perceived by Americans (black and white) today. I don’t care if it’s one wounded veteran complaining about the flag. They asked that it be taken down and the hospital complied. That you see this as on par with the display of Confederate flags at the MOC and the chapel in Richmond is quite telling.

      Why must our own perceptions of symbols be determined by how previous generations did or how some people from previous generations did? That flag means something very specific to many African Americans and for legitimate (historical) reasons. That cannot be changed by simply noting that white soldiers from previous wars chose to fly it. The service of these two men gives them the right to request that those flags be removed. Again, take your case to them.

      Reply
      1. Jimmy L. Shirley Jr.

        k.L. said, “Why must our own perceptions of symbols be determined by how previous generations did or how some people from previous generations did? That flag means something very specific to many African Americans and for legitimate (historical) reasons. That cannot be changed by simply noting that white soldiers from previous wars chose to fly it. The service of these two men gives them the right to request that those flags be removed.”

        OK, why should our perception of OUR favourite symbol, the Confederate Battle Flag, be determined by American Blacks, and a relatively few of them, at that. It is those few who are teaching HATE of the CBF to others and those “others” seemingly are not even bothering to consider another point of view. And that can not be changed by simply noting that Black men fought as soldiers in the several Confederate armies. And that there are a large minority of American Blacks to day who are either fans of the flag or are ambivalent about it.
        Does the service of those two men give them the right to dictate their HATE to the majority who are not about hate at all? What this really boil’s down to is power, not right. Because for some people, it seems they have decided to let the American Black dictate how they should think about certain issues, to be their guide. K.L.?

        Reply
        1. Kevin Levin Post author

          It is those few who are teaching HATE of the CBF to others and those “others” seemingly are not even bothering to consider another point of view.

          Are you seriously suggesting that this comment reflects careful consideration of other viewpoints.

          And that there are a large minority of American Blacks to day who are either fans of the flag or are ambivalent about it.

          And this claim is based on what evidence?

          The Confederate flag has multiple and often conflicting meanings to Americans.

          Finally, OK, why should our perception of OUR favourite symbol, the Confederate Battle Flag…

          It’s not YOUR symbol. No one individual or group owns it.

          Reply
    2. Jimmy Dick

      It may have multiple meanings. To me it’s a symbol of racism, white supremacy, ignorance, a lack of education, and a symbol of people who want to return to an era where elites controlled the government and at least 75% of the people were living below what was then the poverty line or slaves.
      Did you ever think that the men in WWII who waved that flag were all white men in units that were not segregated? It was also before the Civil Rights period when the flag was turned into the disgusting symbol of racism and white supremacy that it is now although it could easily be argued that it was already a symbol of that much earlier.

      Reply
      1. Jimmy L. Shirley Jr.

        “Did you ever think that the men in WWII who waved that flag were all white men in units that were not segregated? It was also before the Civil Rights period when the flag was turned into the disgusting symbol of racism and white supremacy that it is now although it could easily be argued that it was already a symbol of that much earlier.”
        So, lets say there is an integrated combat company of 100 men. 85 are White, 15 are Black. All the 85 White men want to take the CBF with them wherever they go so as to set it up for display.
        Of the 15 Blacks, three dont mind, while the remaining 12 are adamantly opposed. So are the 88 majority supposed to automatically yield to the 12 minority? Is this right? I think not.

        Given that there are some groups who abuse the CBF, just as they abuse the federal flag, dont we as proud Southerners have the right to redeem the CBF and restore it to its rightful place of honour it so deserves?

        On another topic, in y’alls own words, please explain to me how/why secession = treason?
        Thank you for the opportunity to address these concerns.

        Reply
        1. Kevin Levin Post author

          Thanks for the comment. You said: Given that there are some groups who abuse the CBF, just as they abuse the federal flag, dont we as proud Southerners have the right to redeem the CBF and restore it to its rightful place of honour it so deserves?

          It’s not that you don’t have the right to redeem it; rather, you don’t control how the CBF is interpreted. Symbols like the CBF have multiple meanings. The “abuse” which you cite was not the responsibility of a few bad apples. It was raised atop statehouse capitols as a symbol of resistance against civil rights in the 1950s and it was a constant presence in much of the South during this period for the same reason. That use reinforced the meaning that many Americans (both black and white) attach to it. Again, you don’t control how people interpret the CBF.

          The two individuals in question expressed concern about the display of the CBF at the VA Hospital and it was eventually removed. The reasons are clear.

          Reply
          1. Jimmy L. Shirley Jr.

            “The two individuals in question expressed concern about the display of the CBF at the VA Hospital and it was eventually removed. The reasons are clear.”

            The reasons ARE clear. I just disagree with them. I believe people of conscience are willing to hear opposing views with the mind of listening to them and to take what they say into consideration. Apparently, large numbers of Black folk lack this thought. Else, they would hear us out.

            The Black soldiers being treated for PTSD, can not be olde enough to have been around in the 50′s, let alone be adults. They had to have been taught by older Black adults to have a problem with the CBF.

            Children come into this world with all the attributes of the human charater, ranging from love to hate to indifference. They can be nourished with love, and nourished with hate.

            It seems obvious to me that these Black soldiers have been nourished with hate, regarding the CBF. Else, it would have zero affect on them.

            Reply
            1. Kevin Levin Post author

              You said: It seems obvious to me that these Black soldiers have been nourished with hate, regarding the CBF. Else, it would have zero affect on them.

              Yes, that is clearly the best explanation. Thanks for the good laugh.

              Reply
            2. Jimmy Dick

              The CBF is a symbol of racism. I’m white. I wasn’t alive in the 1950s. My question to you is who taught you the CBF was a flag of equality and that it stood for anything to do with honor? It was the flag of treason. It still is the flag of treason. Today it also has more garbage associated with it such as racism and ignorance.

              Reply
        2. Jimmy Dick

          Secession was not legal and still is not legal without the consent of the federal government specifically meaning Congress. Attempting secession is treason. Attacking the federal military is treason such as what happened at Ft. Sumter. Now we all know Davis and the rest were not tried for treason, but that was for political reasons in order to move past the war. Fine. The war ended and it was time to move on. However, there is no mistake in that armed rebellion was wrong.
          If you really want to rehab the CBF, then the first step will involve acknowledging why the Civil War began. The Lost Cause lie just keeps getting in the way of that rehab.

          Reply
          1. Jimmy L. Shirley Jr.

            “not legal without the consent of the federal government specifically meaning Congress”

            Ok, then please explain why secession needs the consent of Congress. Where is that written in the U.S. Constitution?

            Reply
              1. Jimmy L. Shirley Jr.

                With me, why not? Lots of people dont have the same access at the same tyme as others. I have the right to ask my own questions to get y’alls answers and to ask counter-questions.
                Dont I?

                Reply
                1. Kevin Levin Post author

                  You do and I have the right to cut it off given that it has nothing to do with the post and it’s my blog.

                  Reply
              2. Jimmy Dick

                I agree, Kevin. It’s the same old thing over and over again. There’s been a Supreme Court case that cleared it up. Yet, here we are well over a century later and some people still can’t get it through their heads. Not to mention there was a war over the issue as well. They just refuse to accept the truth because they do not like it.

                Reply
  5. Rob Baker

    I think this story is becoming an overly emotional one. The links report on the issue.

    http://www.argusleader.com/viewart/20130502/NEWS/305020035/Confederate-flags-removed-again-from-Hot-Springs-VA-hospital

    http://rapidcityjournal.com/news/confederate-flags-at-hot-spring-va-being-removed-again/article_062f4f34-9a13-5260-8fad-f004513275f8.html?comment_form=true

    It is evident that the rotunda is supposed to be a celebration of American soldiers, making use of numerous flags throughout American history. The Confederate Flags are a logical inclusion because the United States Government recognizes Confederate Soldiers as American War Veterans. Now the question is should it be in a VA hospital? I think that is open to the evolving times. Since the core mission of VA hospitals are places for healing, then the hospitals need to evolve in that process to provide the best treatment. In that sense, I agree with Kevin and other people here that if the flags prevent that form of comfort, then they should be removed.

    However, I also think there is more to this story. The complaining veteran is an older gentleman not a recently wounded veteran. There also is not any information about his wound, or even if he is receiving treatment because of a wound. He could simply be using Veterans benefits as healthcare. Though I must humbly admit I do not know the conditions, I just don’t want to jump the conclusion of a young man wounded in the hospital from the current military conflicts. There are also veterans against the removal of the flags, as cited in the articles I posted. As you said Kevin, “That flag means something very specific to many Americans and for legitimate (historical) reasons. That cannot be changed by simply noting that [black] soldiers from previous wars chose to [not] fly it. The service of these [other] men gives them the right to request that those flags [stay].

    Ultimately I think this is a VA issue and the Southern “Heritage” Community, along with other people, need to leave it to Veterans Affairs. If this took place in a VA Museum their would be a legitimate issue, but because this is a hospital with a mission of healing, the “interpretation” doesn’t matter at all because interpretation is not the goal or a criteria.

    Reply
    1. Kevin Levin Post author

      All good points.

      I am going on the link that I used in the post, but ultimately I don’t care whether the individuals in question are young/old or being treated for wounds from battle or not. They are veterans of our armed services and have earned the right to voice their concern about something they find offensive in a hospital built specifically for their care. End of story.

      Reply
    2. Billy Bearden

      Rob,

      In a more perfect world, the VA should be the lone arbiter. They saw fit to have the “Freedom Shrine” installed in 1995, however, 2013 is a world gone mad of political correctness. The hospital director was compassionate enough to remove the flags for the duration of the 2 complainer’s short stay.

      It was the media who discovered the flags were returned after the men left, tracked them down, informed them of the flags being returned, and has kept the story alive as long as it has been. One of the complainers threatened to go to another state legislators for the flag removal because he was offended.

      South Dakota’s 2 Senators weighed in against the flags – not because of any historical basis, but because of a perceived negative backlash against them due to a zero tolerance climate in today’s society. Not a second of historical consideration was made about any American Veteran past or present excepting, of course, that of the 2 complainers and their feelings.

      My personal belief is that the 2 flags (referenced in media, I assume the CBF and 2nd National, but not the 1st National) shall never return, and the “Freedom Shrine” has forever been radically altered from it’s original intent and honor, strictly because in today’s society, 1 or 2 complainer’s feelings are more important than any tribute or memorial to valor and sacrifice dedicated to the brave memory of American Veterans

      Reply
      1. Kevin Levin Post author

        All it means to say that something is politically correct is that you don’t agree with it. Why not just call it for what it is. You always seem to be able to find a way to rationalize away a decision or action that you disagree with. What you can’t seem to ignore, however, is that this started over two black veterans who voiced their concern about the display of the Confederate flag. They had every right to do so and in the end the VA Hospital made the right call.

        Yes, the “Freedom Shrine” has been “radically altered” and the sun will still shine tomorrow. Get a hold of yourself, Billy.

        Reply
      2. Rob Baker

        Billy,

        The VA Hospital, as I said before, is not a place for historical interpretation. It is a place for healing. If healing is hindered in any way, then the hindrance should be corrected unless it is completely impractical, such as hindrance removal causing healing hindrance on others.

        Reply
        1. Billy Bearden

          Wasn’t too long ago that 75 year old Veteran , Perry Thrasher, in the Memphis VA hospital has his little CBF stick flag forcibly removed from his table and told he could only keep it in his drawer, because a black nurse was offended…
          I’d venture the treatment of Mr Thrasher wasn’t in any way helping him heal.

          Reply
          1. Kevin Levin Post author

            I remember that case. If I had been in charge of that hospital I would have done everything possible to accommodate Mr. Thrasher given his condition. The difference here is that the flag was in his room and not in a visible place in the hospital lobby.

            Reply
  6. Mike Musick

    Years ago I did an article on Civil War records, in part of which I wanted to focus on the documentation available on the awarding of the Medal of Honor. As one illustration, I submitted a photograph of an identified Union soldier standing in front of the identified Confederate battle flag he had captured, and for which act he received the medal. As it eventually developed, the article was to appear in an issue of the journal primarily devoted to African American history, and the editor, or someone advising her, decided that the appearance of that flag in that issue, despite the context, would be sufficiently inflammatory as to exclude the picture. I was not inclined to protest that decision, but still wonder whether it was the right one. Certainly it raised my awareness of the kind of reaction the CBF, in almost any circumstances, can evoke.

    Reply
  7. Bummer

    Strange story coming from the Northern Plains. Could only be probable on a U.S Government Facility. The Dakotas, both North and South are super conservative, but have little patience with any racism or symbol. A CBF displayed in our rural town would stand out like a sore thumb and certainly would not be tolerated, if even noticed. All veterans should be thanked for their service and sacrifice, especially if receiving treatment at a tax payer funded Government Hospital. Having experienced the Vietnam snubbing and vitriolic media, student/academic condemnation, critique of arm-chair generals and citizens, this “old guy” believes most veterans are just thankful to be home, safe or sound. A simple thank you, from all that enjoy the freedoms that veterans have provided would go a long way.

    Bummer

    Reply
    1. Billy Bearden

      Noone appreciates American soldiers more than I. Myself being a product of a man who fought in WW2, Korea and Viet Nam and gave 48 & 1/2 years to the US Army.

      The CBF was displayed since 1995, for honoring ALL Veterans. It only took 2 complaints to destroy the memorial and discriminate against a sizable portion of American Veterans.

      Reply
      1. Kevin Levin Post author

        There is no indication that the majority of VA residents and patients are upset with this so to say the removal of the CBF “discriminates” is a bit presumptuous.

        Reply
  8. Brendan Bossard

    I wonder:

    1. Isn’t it ironic that a display that included a symbol of the fight for the right to hold slaves should be called the “Freedom Shrine?”
    2. Should people who fought in rebellion against the American flag really be recognized as American veterans?

    Reply
    1. Rob Baker

      1.) I don’t think so. I tend to limit the fight to hold slaves as a political matter. The soldiers did not fight to hold slaves per say, they had numerous reasons. Keeping slaves or maintaining a social order might be one of them. But in 1862 when the Confederate Government instituted a draft, the dynamic of why men fight shifts to, why men were forced to fight. In that again, there are various reasons.

      2.) Congress recognized them, and again, don’t dismiss the draft.

      Reply
    2. Billy Bearden

      “Isn’t it ironic that a display that included a symbol of the fight for the right to hold slaves should be called the “Freedom Shrine?”

      I’m not the one to lead the fight for them to pull down the Betsey Ross flag from the display, perhaps you may feel so moved.

      Reply
    3. Andy Hall

      Brendan, Confederate veterans were officially extended recognition as U.S. veterans by an act of Congress in (IIRC) 1958. It was largely a symbolic measure when it came to the veterans themselves, who were all gone by then; its primary practical effect was to enable their dependents to receive survivor benefits.

      Reply
    4. Brendan Bossard

      Just dropping a note to acknowledge and thank you all for your educational & thoughtful responses. I’m sorry that I was not able to participate in dialogue; I certainly feel that this is not a black & white issue.

      Cheers!

      Reply
  9. London John

    “It was to pay tribute to ALL American Veterans of ALL American wars. That would of course include Confederates.”

    Just as a matter of interest, how are the American loyalists who fought against the United States in the War of Indepence represented?

    Reply
    1. Billy Bearden

      There is that British flag in the canton of the state flag of Hawaii and there is a road near Williamsburg Virginia named “Tarleton Bivouac”

      Reply
      1. Kevin Levin Post author

        The difference is that no one seems to be offended by it. There are plenty of people who are troubled by the Confederate flag and for very legitimate reasons. That seems to be the sticking point for you and others.

        Reply
  10. Eric A. Jacobson

    I’m a little late to the game, but here goes.

    A photo I saw shows three Confederate flags (First and Second National and battleflag), but no POW flag, no SD state flag, and plenty of other flag omissions that might properly have been included. So, it seems to me the exhibit was terribly flawed from the onset. That said, folks have a right to be offended at whatever offends them and can voice their concerns. Most of the time that doesn’t mean they get their way, but in a civil society sometimes it does. Frankly, there are times when people air a grievance because they are having something shoved down their throat. The men who voiced their grievance in this case see the battle flag differently than Southern Heritage supporters do. That’s just a plain and simple fact and the Heritage folks not being able to accept or comprehend said fact is astounding. A litany of Civil War-based explanations will not change for a moment how the flag is viewed by many in the black community. Not to be trite, but not everyone’s understanding of a situation comes from the same line of memory. If it was your father or grandfather who had a segregationist yelling in your face while holding the battle flag simply because they wanted to go to a different school, you might have a better understanding of the issue’s emotional context. Ignoring that baseline issue is why the Heritage crowd is increasingly marginalized. Most people, white and black, can see both sides of the issue. And those rational thinking folks understand there is a place for the battle flag, and it probably isn’t at a VA hospital. Neither should it be on a belt buckle, or a bikini, or a beer coolie, or on every biker’s jacket who considers himself a Heritage supporter when he/she isn’t really supporting anything other than Southern heritage, not necessarily Confederate heritage. And I don’t give two hoots about how someone displayed the flag without issue in 1930, in WW II, or Vietnam, or Iraq, or in their backyard 20 years ago. Times, emotions, and ideas change. Period.

    Along the lines of full disclosure my wife is from SD and from a little place called Gettysburg. No kidding. :)

    Reply
    1. Andy Hall

      Well said, Eric, and you’re dead right. But it’s explicit in the “heritage” worldview that it’s only fringe groups like the Klan and skinheads that have used the CBF as a symbol of racial intolerance and intimidation, so those cases can be mentally put aside and ignored — the “few bad apples” rationalization. It’s not true, but it helps them sleep at night.

      Reply
  11. Michael C. Lucas

    Well here we are again, more bigotry at work against the Confederate American Flag. Its an American flag it has been carried through every war in American history by Southern Confederate American Veterans and Veteran descendants since the Civil War. Whether its a tattoo or in a flag form It represents those Veterans as much as it represents Confederate Veterans of the Civil War. You can rant, you can moan, you can keep telling lies and distorting history it will not go away. You can hate it and Southerners all you want it will not change it its original intent purpose or honor for the freedom for which it stands for. The only thing offensive about Confederate flags is the ignorance of those who are offended by them.

    Reply
    1. Kevin Levin Post author

      Michael,

      Thanks for sharing the meaning that you attach to this particular symbol. Unfortunately, your preferred interpretation is not held by everyone else.

      Reply
    2. Jimmy Dick

      Its original purposes were to serve as a symbol of rebellion and a symbol of slavery. That’s what the war was about. So every time that flag flies today it is perceived as it was meant to be, a symbol of people who advocated slavery in a land of liberty.

      Reply
      1. Kevin Levin Post author

        I think we can be a bit more precise here. The battle flag functioned in a military context for an army that was the extension of a government that was pledged to protect slavery. That is exactly why it was so easy to adopt it as a symbol of “Massive Resistance” to civil rights in the 1950s and 60s.

        Reply
  12. Michael C. Lucas

    Kevin,
    Thanks for revealing your bigotry and hate mongering. It has been documented and noted.
    Kind regards.
    Michael

    Reply
    1. Kevin Levin Post author

      As I’ve said before, I suggest you take that well reasoned argument you presented below to the two gentleman who served their country and requested the flags be removed. Good day.

      Reply
  13. Lisa Germaine

    Isn’t it interesting that these “southern heritage” “southeron” “flagger” groups are using this same confederate flag as a hate symbol to protest (ahhh educate) with as well?

    And the comments from these very same people on the article aren’t thanking these two brave soldiers for their service to our Country and the American Flag.

    Reply
  14. Bill Hicks

    The flags of the Southern Confederacy represent a second American Revolution, not very much unlike the First. Both were fought by armies to extricate a body politic from oppressive, tyrannical governments. Some who want the Confederate flags removed have no real understanding of liberty and are guilt tripped down via political correctness and will never be happy until freedom to fly historic flags is eradicated. Mine flies proudly, as well as the Betsy Ross—for each are one and the same.

    Reply
    1. Kevin Levin Post author

      Thanks for taking the time to share your personal take on the Confederate flag. No doubt there are plenty of people out there who agree with you.

      Reply

Join the Conversation