The Confederate flag ticks me off because it represents the losers. As an athlete, I love the quote, "no one ever remembers who comes in second." That saying always motivated me because it is true. How dare the supporters of the losers of the Civil War (the States that wanted to preserve slavery and the continued dehumanization of Blacks) suggest that they have a right to wave the flag on government grounds as a sense of pride. Of what are they proud?
Southern historian Gordon Rhea further wrote in 2011
It is no accident that Confederate symbols have been the mainstay of white supremacist organizations, from the Ku Klux Klan to the skinheads. They did not appropriate the Confederate battle flag simply because it was pretty. They picked it because it was the flag of a nation dedicated to their ideals: 'that the negro is not equal to the white man'. The Confederate flag, we are told, represents heritage, not hate. But why should we celebrate a heritage grounded in hate, a heritage whose self-avowed reason for existence was the exploitation and debasement of a sizable segment of its population?
The Confederate flag is a disgrace to our Nation's principles. The flag is akin to the Nazi swastika and should be treated as such. The flag is a painful reminder that American soil is stained with the blood of millions of people who were beaten, raped, mutilated and killed just because of the color of their skin. The flag is a reminder that for more years than Blacks have been free, they were enslaved and treated as less than humans. The flag is a painful reminder that many people in this country would like to celebrate the "Ol' South" and all that it stood for.
As Yoni Appelbaum wrote in The Atlantic, "The flag was created by an army raised to kill in defense of slavery, revived by a movement that killed in defense of segregation, and now flaunted by a man who killed nine innocents in defense of white supremacy." To understand what Appelbaum was referring, we must look at the history of the Confederate flag, also known as the Southern Cross.
First point of clarification: the flag for which the Country is up in arms about is NOT the Confederate flag that represented the Confederate States. The flag is accurately known as the Battle Flag of Northern Virginia and was carried into battle by several armies such as the Army Of Northern Virginia, the Army of Tennessee and was also used as a Naval Jack by the Confederate Navy. In fact, the Confederate battle flag was never adopted by the Confederate Congress, although they had three flags during their short existence; never flew over any State capitols during the Confederacy; and was never officially used by Confederate veterans' groups.
The flag of losers did not come out from under mothballs until 1948 in Mississippi. The newly-formed (racist) segregationist - the Dixiecrats - got pissed off at President Harry Truman for desegregating the armed forces and supporting anti-lynching bill. Consequently, they began waving the Confederate battle flag throughout Mississippi to demonstrate their opposition to the regime.
The Confederate battle flag became an important part of segregationist symbolism and proudly waved by the Klu Klux Klan. In 1956 to protest the Supreme Court's ruling against segregated schools, in Brown v. Board of Education, Georgia redesigned their flag with the Confederate symbol as the dominating element. Two years later, South Carolina made it a crime to desecrate the confederate battle flag (in 1989, the Supreme Court ruled that desecrating a flag is protected by the First Amendment and thus South Carolina's law is unenforceable). And then, in 1961, to commemorate 100 years since the losers opened fire on Fort Sumter, South Carolina hoisted the battle flag above its Capitol.
In 2000, after almost 40 years waving proudly atop the Capitol building, after much debate, the flag moved to a monument to Confederate soldiers, where it remains today. Only after 9 innocent people were killed by a loser, Dylann Roof, who idolized everything the Confederate flag represents (hatred, slavery, segregation, war and division) did the Governor of South Carolina, Nikki Haley, call for the State's governing bodies vote to remove the flag.
The flag must come down. In fact, the confederate flag is banned for sale or on display at government agencies in California. The bill was introduced by African-American State Senator, Isadore Hall, while he was an assemblyman. I surmise that many other states will follow California's lead. Additionally, in response to the Charleston Church massacre, many leading retailers have pledged to cease all sales of the flag.
I believe in the First Amendment protection of one's freedom of speech, even for losers. Therefore, I say, let them fly their loser-flag on the top of their homes.
Next stop, Mississippi!