49
   

Is the Confederate Flag a symbol of racism?

 
 
Linkat
 
Reply Tue 25 May, 2010 10:43 am
Locally, there is a high school that is called the Rebels. Prior to 1994, the Confederate flag was their school symbol. Confederate flags used to fill the bleachers at football games while fans sang “Dixie,’’ the Old South anthem. Yearbooks were emblazoned with the flag, and a celebrated coach went by the nickname General Lee.

Most of that ended in 1994, when school officials declared the flag an inappropriate symbol and eliminated it as an unofficial team emblem. But affection for the flag has lingered, and in the fall it appeared in the neighboring yard, resurrecting what some say is an uncomfortable era in the school’s history.

One black student said she is not bothered by the flag’s use at games because “I know people in the school are not using it against me.’’ But another said, “As a man of color, I find it offensive.’’

This use of using or not using the flag seems to be a conflict between pride for the school or racism and some feel very stronge one way or the other.

http://www.boston.com/news/education/k_12/articles/2010/05/25/in_walpole_rebels_pride_still_sparks_a_fight/?page=2

Personally I never realized that this was a symbol of racism " most likely because I’ve grown up in the north. The thing I found even odder was a New England school having a southern rebel symbol. Curious as to what others viewpoints are?

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Type: Discussion • Score: 49 • Views: 35,711 • Replies: 457

 
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 May, 2010 10:55 am
@Linkat,
There are a lot of Southerns who consider the battle flag as just a Southern symbol (see Dukes of Hazard tv show). Unfortunately, just about all the southern states added the battle flag to their state flags as an overt declaration against integration, so the flag took on a racist connotation. It is also used extensively by organizations that promote racism (KKK for example). I can see a black person interpreting the flag to stand for racism since it was used in that manner in the past.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Tue 25 May, 2010 11:27 am
The flag promotes racism big time.
Linkat
 
  0  
Reply Tue 25 May, 2010 11:46 am
@edgarblythe,
Why? I am not doubting - just I've not experienced myself. It is more the symbolism of the Civil War - or is it that it has been used that way since by bigoted people like the prior poster states.

The thing is - for this school it was more a symbol of being a rebel - not necessarily a southern civil war or racist idea. Not that I think the school should use it, if it does symbolize racism in any way. I can understand the school doing away with it.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  0  
Reply Tue 25 May, 2010 03:03 pm
@Linkat,
It can be, but it isn't always.

I never watched the Dukes of Hazzard, but the stars and bars were featured in the show we can be reasonably certain it wasn't intended as a racist symbol.

In general, the South as a region has been a target, for many years, of scorn and derision by Northerners...especially those who like to think of themselves as urbane and intellectually elite.

If a Southerner or a group of Southerners wishes to express pride in their region and at the same time tweak the snoots of condescending Northerners, the Condfederate flag is not only the obvious symbol to use, it's virtually the only one.

What else might they use?

1) A cotton blossom?
2) Fried chicken?
3) The Coral snake?

I'm sure there are people who do use the symbol to connote their racist beliefs, and I appreciate why African-Americans might find public usage inappropriate, but I also appreciate the sentiments of the young black woman who you quoted in your post. There are too many people looking for reasons to be offended, as a means of self-affirmation...but that's a topic for another thread.

At the same time, I think those who think of employing the flag as a symbol should think twice and consider how it may reflect upon themselves.
0 Replies
 
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 May, 2010 04:26 pm
I've often wondered if everyone . . . not just in this country . . . but on the planet . . . wouldn't have been better off if all the original European colonies remained European. That includes NJ which was once a colony of Sweden.

I am joking a bit but not entirely.

I have seen the stars and bars as racist at times.

I also know that due to the influence of the South, that the Baby Boomers were taught that the Civil War was fought over states' rights and not over slavery.

But states' rights is just pushing the issue one step foreward . . . what did the states disagree over? Slavery.
realjohnboy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 May, 2010 07:35 pm
@plainoldme,
plainoldme wrote:

what did the states disagree over? Slavery.

I would disagree with that statement.
I am a southern boy. We have Civil War battlefields all over my state of Virginia and we have the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond. Fascinating history.
But I do find it inappropriate for drunken frat boys to wave around Confederate flags at football games. Or our former Governor, George Allen, prominently displaying one next to his desk.
There was a comment above that came very close to something I posted earlier (which I cribbed from somewhere):
Fight like hell for freedom of speech, and then choose to keep your mouth shut.
A week or so ago, someone on the internet thought it was clever to start a movement called Draw Muhammad Day.
I frankly felt embarrassed about that.
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 May, 2010 07:44 pm
@plainoldme,
plainoldme wrote:

I also know that due to the influence of the South, that the Baby Boomers were taught that the Civil War was fought over states' rights and not over slavery.


What?

Where do you go to school?
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 May, 2010 07:59 pm
@realjohnboy,
realjohnboy wrote:

plainoldme wrote:

what did the states disagree over? Slavery.

I would disagree with that statement.
I am a southern boy. We have Civil War battlefields all over my state of Virginia and we have the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond. Fascinating history.
But I do find it inappropriate for drunken frat boys to wave around Confederate flags at football games. Or our former Governor, George Allen, prominently displaying one next to his desk.
There was a comment above that came very close to something I posted earlier (which I cribbed from somewhere):
Fight like hell for freedom of speech, and then choose to keep your mouth shut.
A week or so ago, someone on the internet thought it was clever to start a movement called Draw Muhammad Day.
I frankly felt embarrassed about that.

Agreed.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  8  
Reply Tue 25 May, 2010 08:27 pm
The flag was the symbol of a confederation of states which only existed for the purpose of protecting the institution of slavery. No matter what sort of dithering anyone does, yes, it has always been a racist symbol.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 May, 2010 10:26 pm
@Linkat,
Linkat wrote:
Is the Confederate Flag a symbol of racism?

Well, all the racists in Texas seem to display it. Nobody else does, though.
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 May, 2010 08:44 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
It was in the text books. By the time "we," meaning my generation, were grad school, we could talk about it with embarrassment expressed for those who wrote and published those books.

Both my daughter and I have worked in text book publishing, but in different capacities. In order for a book to be printed, it must meet the conditions set by the state boards of education of California and Texas.

0 Replies
 
plainoldme
 
  0  
Reply Wed 26 May, 2010 08:54 am
@realjohnboy,
Why would you disagree? A long series of compromises revolving around slavery were part of the fabric of this nation since its earliest days. Pushing at those compromises brought about the Secession although it can be said that the election of Lincoln triggered it.

There are everyone's lists of causes which include (here, using About.com) differences in the economies of each region, the growth of Abolitionism, the difference between slave and anti-slave proponents, states rights and the election of Lincoln.

The problem is that the differences among the first four are slight. They are hardly real differences but a difference of view point.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  0  
Reply Wed 26 May, 2010 11:30 am
@plainoldme,
I've heard that as well - at least what I've heard is the Civil War began as fighting over states rights and then slavery later became an additional factor.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  0  
Reply Wed 26 May, 2010 11:34 am
Thanks all - just wondering overall the perspective of others especially for those in the south. The school did the right thing and removed the flag as their symbol - wondering what they are using in place - not sure.

What brought this recently to light - was a neighbor right next to the school is displaying the flag on his personal property for all to see - his opinion is being an alum - this is a sense of pride for him.

The school (and it seems most people in the community) want him to take it down, but seeing it is on his personal property (that happens to be right next to the school), they can't see anything they can do about it, but ask him.
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 May, 2010 12:10 pm
@DrewDad,
DrewDad wrote:

Linkat wrote:
Is the Confederate Flag a symbol of racism?

Well, all the racists in Texas seem to display it. Nobody else does, though.



Not even the racists in Alabama, Mississippi, The Carolinas, Georgia, Louisiana, and Florida?

How about the ones in Tennessee, Kentucky and Arkansas?

Boston racists?
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 May, 2010 01:27 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
In your long history of lame replies, that has to be the all-time winner.

Slow day?
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 May, 2010 01:28 pm
@Linkat,
A throwback to what people did before we had Internet trolls!
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  2  
Reply Wed 26 May, 2010 04:18 pm
@DrewDad,
What's that saying about the pot commenting on the color of the kettle?

DrewDad wrote:
Well, all the racists in Texas seem to display it. Nobody else does, though.


Just brilliant in its insight and wit. Laughing
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 May, 2010 04:40 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
If you have a point, I'm not sure what it is.

Do you inspect every post on this site for language usage errors, or do you have some special interest in my posts?

FYI, I'm married and monogamous, so you might want to focus your attentions someplace where they might bear more fruit.
 

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