I fail to see any of the logic involved in either the current debate or as to why the rebel flag has ever been flown over public buildings. Its an open sign of resistance to the government. A battle flag of the losing side of the resistance. What other country does that?
I live and grew up in the South but the rebel flag has always represented racism and death to me, to say otherwise is to deny history and the man who made the flags own words.
As a people we are fighting maintain the Heaven-ordained supremacy of the white man over the inferior or colored race; a white flag would thus be emblematical of our cause. ~William T. Thompson
But that didn't happen and of his eventual design he said...
As a national emblem, it is significant of our higher cause, the cause of a superior race, and a higher civilization contending against ignorance, infidelity, and barbarism. Another merit in the new flag is, that it bears no resemblance to the now infamous banner of the Yankee vandals. ~William T. Thompson
Pretty clear cut, but still you have people saying that isn't what it means to me. Look, symbols mean things, and this one already has a meaning. It was the war flag of an illegal separatist army that tried to secede from the Union leading to massive loss of life, property and the near destruction of America. They were traitors, they are no better in reflection now than they were then. They should not be honored in any way officially.
There is also a trend to try to minimize slavery as a cause of the war. The Document in which Texas announced secession mentioned slavery 29 times. It was THE issue. People who say the South wanted the right to self government fail to mention that the reason they wanted this was to continue slavery.
But an increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery, has led to a disregard of their obligations
For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slave-holding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery.
Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery-- the greatest material interest of the world.
She was received as a commonwealth holding, maintaining and protecting the institution known as negro slavery-- the servitude of the African to the white race within her limits-- a relation that had existed from the first settlement of her wilderness by the white race, and which her people intended should exist in all future time. Her institutions and geographical position established the strongest ties between her and other slave-holding States of the confederacy. Those ties have been strengthened by association. But what has been the course of the government of the United States, and of the people and authorities of the non-slave-holding States, since our connection with them?
So how was the war not about slavery again?
I might add Texas was particularly long holding to the beliefs as they simply didnt tell their slave they were free when the war ended and kept them another couple of years. Which is why there is a Juneteenth day.
Southerners have never seem to come to grips with the civil war loss or the racism that gripped it for some. For instance they still say "the South will rise again". When I was a child I honestly thought this meant there was an intent to restore the Confederacy. I fully believe that some do believe this. Thats why they don't want to get rid of their battle flag. They honestly think they will soon need it.
Some will say it celebrates southern culture. Well it does, an old one, one that we are trying to finish placing where it belongs. History books and Museums. That culture was one of lynchings, slavery, bigotry, assassinations, church burnings, discrimination and its a funny thing. That flag keeps showing up on the wrong side of these things.
The South has a lot to be proud of and I am, but this flag and the racist past it represents isn't one of them.