Friday, April 6, 2012

America has one flag, not two

Rightardia has noticed pickup trucks with two flags attached to the sidewall of the truck's bed. Initially, many of these red necks flew only the Confederate Battle flag.

Now most of the young men who drive these trucks fly both the American and the Confederate flag.

Of course, there is only one official flag of the the US: the Stars and Stripes.

In fact, the Confederate Battle Flag was not even the political flag of the Confederacy. The Star and Bars was used until 1863.

This was the last flag that was used by the Confederacy before the South surrendered

The Ante Bellum South was hardly a utopia. Uneducated slaves tended to the plantation under brutal conditions and black families were often separated during public slave auctions.

This is what Alexis de Tocqueville said about the South in the 1830s:

The men sent to Virginia were seekers of gold, adventurers without resources and without character, whose turbulent and restless spirit endangered the infant colony...Artisans and agriculturalists arrived afterwards...hardly in any respect above the level of the inferior classes in England. . .

The colony was scarcely established when slavery was introduced; this was the capital fact which was to exercise an immense influence on the character, the laws and the whole future of the South. Slavery...dishonors labor; it introduces idleness into society, and with idleness, ignorance and pride, luxury and distress. . . On this same English foundation there developed in the North very different characteristics.

In 1855, dTocqueville  wrote the following in The Liberty Bell: Testimony against Slavery:

I do not think it is for me, a foreigner, to indicate to the United States the time, the measures, or the men by whom Slavery shall be abolished.

Still, as the persevering enemy of despotism everywhere, and under all its forms, I am pained and astonished by the fact that the freest people in the world is, at the present time, almost the only one among civilized and Christian nations which yet maintains personal servitude; and this while serfdom itself is about disappearing, where it has not already disappeared, from the most degraded nations of Europe.

An old and sincere friend of America, I am uneasy at seeing Slavery retard her progress, tarnish her glory, furnish arms to her detractors, compromise the future career of the Union which is the guaranty of her safety and greatness, and point out beforehand to her, to all her enemies, the spot where they are to strike

Thus, concepts like Southern Heritage are abstract and perhaps nearly meaningless. To many black Americans the Ante Bellum Southern heritage is about one thing: slavery. 

 Many southerners needs to walk away from this past that was, quite frankly, disgraceful. 

American flag during the Civil War

What if Northerners had a Civil  War Victory Day to celebrate the defeat of the South and the surrender at Appomattox! This, of course, would be divisive for this country.   

But flying a defeated flag on a truck is also divisive for many Americans. Confederate flags are symbols of racism and man's inhumanity to man. 

This southern heritage needs to be forgotten. The sooner, the better. 

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