Confederate Patriotism?

Posted by Kevin |

I had this confused feeling while I was down in the south vacationing - like I was missing something. I saw a lot of confederate flags and was confused by why people were wearing one on their shirt, or why one was hanging from a pole, or bumper-stickered to someone's car? My confusion wasn't around the fact that their rebellion failed and they lost the war, it was that they were wrong on race. The confederate flag should be a symbol of shame and encourage apologizes, not southern patriotism. What I learned from American history, about slavery, was that it was a grossly inhumane act of ignorant hatred - not exactly a shining spot in our short history. I've known a lot of southerners who say the Civil War was about State's rights, but that masks what it was really about - the State's right to have slaves and the inhumane treatment that followed.

I think we should put the confederate flag in a museum - not on shirts or cars, unless the word 'SORRY' is written across it. Another confusing moment of the trip was our visit to Stone Mountain. It is a beautiful park and has the world’s largest relief sculpture, but the sculpture is of Confederate 'heroes' from the Civil War (Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Thomas Jackson). What I was confused by is why Abraham Lincoln wasn't included? Or why we haven't updated it with Dr. King? Why does the south memorialize the confederate rebellion? Again - I feel like I'm missing some piece of the puzzle.


Anonymous said...

Thank you!!! Thank you for posting this! I feel exactly the same way, and I don't think I would have been able to word it this way...

I really feel that the ideals behind the confederate flag have been glorified too much, this whole 'Get R Done' business frustrates me to no end. I understand that people like to be proud of their culture, but shouldn't they pick something that doesn't represent the negativity that the confederate flag stands for?

thanks again! i love your blog!

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure you get the whole puzzle, they're the ones missing pieces - a few crayons short of a box, a few fries short of a happy meal.
Of course that is stereotypical - but we have stereotypes for a reason right?

Kevin Davis said...

Thanks for the comments guys. I just had a conversation with someone I work with - about this topic - and he said for a southerner, the confederate flag isn't about race, but about southern pride and independence. He said the real reason the Civil War started was for economic reasons - but the south’s economics rest on the sweaty, scarred backs of black slaves - so racism and inhumane treatment of slaves was the backdrop of our Civil War.

Mike McGarvey said...

Email me @ mmcgarv1529@earthlink.net.

p said...

interesting thoughts, thanks for sharing. :)

your doritos comment made me smile--i actually missed them when i was in czech as well. funny the little things that can make us happy when we're out of our element!