When i graduated high school, took my college entrance exam, one of the areas i scored in the top 97% of the country that year, was US history and government.
When i entered University, i was given US history 101 and 102 without taking the class.
I never stopped reading, learning. I discovered that about 98-99% of what was taught as history was propaganda and bull shit. The dates they usually got right, not much else.
John C Carleton
“A Sickness of the Public Mind”
The Battle Flag and the Attack on Western Culture
Too much misinformation has been generated recently about Confederate flags and monuments. A great amount of it floating about on the Internet is as palatable and useful as what my neighbor cleans up out of his horse paddock each week—although what my neighbor cleans out actually has a better and less pungent odor about it than most of the shoddy, culturally Marxist ideological agenda pieces I’ve read.
Back in mid-June, after the Charleston shootings, the frenzied hue and cry went up and any number of accusations and charges were made against historic Confederate symbols, in particular, the Confederate Battle Flag, which is not as some supposedly “informed” writers called it, “the Stars and Bars.” (The Stars and Bars is a completely different flag with a totally different design—this error is an indication of those writers’ supine ignorance).
The best way to examine these charges in a short column is point by point, briefly and succinctly.
First, the demand was made that the Battle Flag needs to come down, that images of that flag need to be banned and suppressed, because, whatever its past may have been, it has now become in the current context a “symbol of hate” and “carried by racists,” that it “symbolizes racism.”
The problem with this argument is both historical and etiological.
Historically, the Battle Flag, with its familiar Cross of St. Andrew, was and is a square ensign that was carried by Southern troops during the War Between the States. It was not the national flag of the Confederacy that flew over slavery, but, rather, was carried by soldiers, 90-plus per cent who did not own slaves (which was roughly comparable to percentages in various regiments of the Union army, which had slave holding soldiers from Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri in its ranks; indeed, General Grant’s wife, Julia Dent Grant, owned slaves).
By contrast, the American flag, the “Stars and Stripes,” not only flew over slavery for seventy-eight years, it flew over the importation, the selling and the purchase of slaves, and the breaking up of slave families. Additionally, the Stars and Stripes flew over the infamous “Trail of Tears,” at the Sand Creek massacre of innocent Native Americans, later at the Wounded Knee massacre, over the brutal internment of thousands of Nisei Japanese American citizens in concentration camps during World War II, and during the action at My Lai during the Vietnam War.
Although there are some zealots who now suggest doing away with the American flag because of these connections, I would suggest that most of the pundits on the Neoconservative Fox News and amongst the Republican governors presently clamoring for banning the Battle Flag would not join them in this demand. Yet, if we examine closely the history of both banners from the radically changing contexts that are used to attack the one, should we not focus as well on the history of other banner, as well? And, pray tell, if only a particular snap shot context is used to judge such symbols, is any symbol of America’s variegated history safe from the hands of those who may dislike or despise this or that symbol?
Second, a comparison has been made between the Battle Flag and the Nazi flag (red background, with a white circle and a black swastika centered). Again, this comparison is ridiculous and demonstrates an utter lack of historical acumen on the part of those making it: the Nazi flag was created precisely to represent the Nazi Party and its ideology. The Battle Flag was designed to represent the historic Celtic and Christian origin of many Southerners and served as a soldier’ flag.
Third, the charge has been made that we should ban Confederate symbols because they represent “treason against the Federal government.” That is, those Southerners who took up arms in 1861 to defend their states, their homes, and their families, were engaged in “rebellion” and were “traitors” under Federal law.
Again, such arguments fail miserably on all counts. Some writers have suggested that Robert E. Lee, in particular, was a “traitor,” that he violated his solemn military oath to uphold and defend the Constitution by his actions. But what those writers fail to note is that Lee had formally resigned from the US Army and his commission before undertaking his new assignment to defend his home state of Virginia, which by then had seceded and re-vindicated its original independence.
And that brings us to point four: the right of secession and whether the actions of the Southern states, December 1860-May 1861, could be justified under the US Constitution.