The Confederate Flag

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A brief discussion and analysis of the Confederate flag, its symbolism and if its appropriate to display today as a symbol of American pride as so many do without any knowledge behind its creation and what it represented, then and ultimately now.

Submitted: October 01, 2015

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Submitted: October 01, 2015

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The Confederate Flag

by Michael Dale Sipes, Jr.

 

Anything that you wear on your lapel, the bumper sticker on your vehicle or a flag displayed just the same, is representative of your principles and ideals. The principles and ideals behind the Confederate States of America are as complex today as they were during the mid-1860s. Even though the South did not win the war there are still those who display the flag with absolutely no sense of its meaning and that is a perilous way to live your life. The problem with the Confederate Flag arises not directly from its philosophical and cultural complexity or that it is based upon the idea of a white master race, but rather the lack of knowledge surrounding the creation of the flag, the war, and what it stood for. It is not up to me to decide for any American what they display outside their home. Whether it be a Celtic Flag, American flag or even a Nazi flag, unfortunately though humans have a self-defeating trait of jumping on an idea, symbol or idealism based upon what seems to be a gleaming façade of American pride, truth and justice neatly packaged all into one package, the Confederate Flag. The reality of the Flag as with most realizations is not as appealing or comforting as they seemed at first. I prefer the cold hard truth to the warm, comforting fantasy any day and the truth is that the Confederate Flag was created out of pure human greed. The need for slavery to feed cheap labor to pick and package the cash crop of the South, cotton. Once Jefferson Finis Davis, an abolitionist was elected as President in February 22, 1862. One of the first acts of the Provisional Confederate Congress was to create the "Committee on the Flag and Seal”. The first flag created was not the flag that one would necessarily recognize as being associated with the South or even the Civil War. Due to the similarity of the American Flag with the Confederate States Flag, a battle flag was designed by William T. Thompson the flag's designer, referred to his design as "The White Man's Flag". Some could argue that Thompson was referring to was simply the abundance of white that encompassed the flag, and not a direct racial slur. Unfortunately, Thompson later stated, that its primary use of white, signified the “Supremacy of the White Man”. He went on to say that “As a people we are fighting to 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, Daily Morning News, April 23, 1863

This brings me back to the flags philosophy, which has now been separated from its literal meaning, and symbolism over the years, warped, misrepresented and packaged into something akin to The Pledge of Allegiance or the National Anthem, both common day symbols of American pride. Thompson went on to say, “The Flag was 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.”

—? William T. Thompson, Daily Morning News, May 4, 1863

With the use of propaganda akin to WWII Nazi Germany and its gross comparison with other symbols of National pride today, it is no wonder so many Americans are still bamboozled into believing the Confederate Flag is a symbol of American heritage and pride today.

It is the responsibility of every citizen in America to question authority, our government, and its written and oral history, scrutinizing anything, which has even a hint of uncertainty about it. All things true and just will stand up to the test of scrutiny every time. When it comes to the use of the Confederate Flag in the 21st century, only a full and complete scrutiny of the facts can determine the answer to this question. Nevertheless, to me the answer is clear, after close analysis and scrutiny, I personally feel that it should not be used or idolized in any form or fashion, but again that is for you to decide, once you know all the facts. One thing I do know for certain, I will continue to admire, respect, and fly the American Flag high while appreciating its complexity, beauty and all the men and women who died for its meaning, democracy, peace and equality for all.

 

 

Revised 2/13/2016

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