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Is This a Racist Flag?

 
 
cjhsa
 
Reply Thu 15 Feb, 2007 07:41 am
http://wwwstd.enmu.edu/scottco/confederate_flag.jpg

Why, or why not?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 36,956 • Replies: 360
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fresco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Feb, 2007 08:02 am
In a sense all national and sub national flags are devisive in the sense that they imply in-groups and out-groups. Where devisiveness turns into "racism" is when a flag is used to promote that form of divisiveness. I am not American but my understanding is that this particular emblem has been associated with an entrenched apartheid mentality and its deliberate use as such would constitute "racism".
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Bella Dea
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Feb, 2007 08:07 am
It's a symbol. It incites certain emotions and ideas when looked at. When you see someone with this flag, you think "redneck"...and by redneck I mean someone who still favors the ideas and values of the Old South; which included slavery and the idea that blacks are somehow less than human.

The KKK flag is very closely related to the Confederate Flag. Coincidence?

So yeah, I'd call it racist.

I think it should remain as a historical symbol of where we used to be as a country. But it should not be flown at federal or state locations.
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Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Feb, 2007 10:25 am
Today it has become a racist symbol, it offends many people in our society.

Does anyone know the literary short story about a southern black guy who goes to buy a used truck and when he gets there he notices the back window has a very large confederate flag decal? The white guy seller of the truck sort of mumbles he can scrape it off, but the black guy decides he wants to keep it. He buys the truck and starts driving it around with the decal. Much of the story is about the reactions he gets from blacks (appalled) and whites (hostile) because he is a black guy with big ol' confederate flag on his truck. Great little story about how our society views a symbol. It was broadcast on NPR Selected Shorts last summer.
Chai
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Feb, 2007 10:43 am
I personally find it racist because the people I have personally known who display this flag are racist.

For me, again personally, the only time I've seen this flag used in a non-racist context was during Civil War reenactments, as part of a Confederate Civil war costume, or some other legitimate use like that.



Same as for the swastika, we all know today it's origins were not racist, but it's pretty impossible to disregard its modern day meaning.

I feel there are a lot more appropriate symbols one could use to show pride in one's Southern heritage.



While we're on the subject, a few weeks ago I noticed a house a few blocks from mine had this appear on its front lawn...

http://www.dowahdiddy.com/patio/lawnjockey.jpg

I just about choked.

Even the white ones are tacky...the one above it offensive as well. I'm still floored every day when I drive by it.
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DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Feb, 2007 10:47 am
I definitely see it as a racist symbol, largely for the same reasons that Chai mentioned.
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Feb, 2007 10:52 am
So chai went out and stole the lawn jockey. Thats a felony , cause these things are worth from 1 to 2000$ if made by the old Budd Company or Chatanooga STove Castings. Yours is obviously been repainted so that diminishes its value in the racist collectibles market.
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cjhsa
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Feb, 2007 12:38 pm
Consider this. The confederate flag I posted, the most common, is actually the flag of the confederate navy. The confederacy's first flag was similar to the "stars and stripes" (which coincidentally flew over the south for decades before the war), and was known as the "stars and bars".

The "rebel flag" was a symbol of the armed forces of the south more than anything else. The subsequent meanings really only came about in th last 50 years.

But continue, please.
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dyslexia
 
  2  
Reply Thu 15 Feb, 2007 12:47 pm
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shewolfnm
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Feb, 2007 01:09 pm
A flag can not be racist.

It is the people behind it that are.
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DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Feb, 2007 01:41 pm
cjhsa wrote:
Consider this. The confederate flag I posted, the most common, is actually the flag of the confederate navy. The confederacy's first flag was similar to the "stars and stripes" (which coincidentally flew over the south for decades before the war), and was known as the "stars and bars".

The "rebel flag" was a symbol of the armed forces of the south more than anything else. The subsequent meanings really only came about in th last 50 years.

But continue, please.

And "gay" used to mean "happy." So what?
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Chai
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Feb, 2007 01:59 pm
shewolfnm wrote:
A flag can not be racist.

It is the people behind it that are.


But a flag, or any other symbol represents ideas groups of people hold.

If you walked around wearing a big sign that said "I HATE _____'s!!!", if really wouldn't be very effective to say, "oh, I don't hate those people, these are just black lines and curves on a piece of cardboard."

Yes, the ink used to make those squiggles is not evil, or racist, but these are the instrument being used to express that hate.

For an important, well known icon I think it is too fine a line to draw between the threads used to make it, and the belief system of some people who display it.

If someone was to paint a pornographic picture of children and animals, it would be a poor argument to make that the paint used to make the picture is innocent.

Some people, like me, simple find the configuration of the colors and lines of that symbol to be racist.
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Feb, 2007 04:41 pm
Looks like a Union Jack to me.
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Bella Dea
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Feb, 2007 07:45 am
Maybe the question should read "Does this flag belong to a racist?"
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Feb, 2007 08:10 am
When I see that flag, I hear "Free Bird" and "Sweet Home Alabama". To me, it shall always be Skynyrd
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Feb, 2007 12:25 pm
cjhsa wrote:
Consider this. The confederate flag I posted, the most common, is actually the flag of the confederate navy. The confederacy's first flag was similar to the "stars and stripes" (which coincidentally flew over the south for decades before the war), and was known as the "stars and bars".


That flag was flown only on Confederate ships from 1863 to 1865.

So if anyone writes e.g. about the history of naval flags, about the history of flags used by the Confedration or similar, I think it to be quite okay posting/publishing that.

But since outside this context most consider it ... controversial and think it to be reacist, I wouldn't publish/post it besides in scientific works.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Feb, 2007 12:28 pm
roger wrote:
Looks like a Union Jack to me.


What did your ophthalmologist tell you when you've been there the last time? "Get glasses, Roger", he said :wink:
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coluber2001
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Feb, 2007 01:14 pm
I liked Fresco's answer. The battle flag has taken on a racist connotation. That's too bad because it's such a pretty flag, and, I believe, was named the Southern Cross, not to be confused with the Northern Cross, which is a constellation. You don't see people clamoring to fly the Stars and Bars, the Confederate National flag; it's not nearly as attractive.


http://www.crwflags.com/art/hist/confed1.gif
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cjhsa
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Feb, 2007 01:19 pm
The results of the poll show what I expected, but interestingly, doesn't mirror what has been posted by those willing to discuss it.

BTW, I didn't vote in the poll.

Thanks to those who responded in thoughtful ways.
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2PacksAday
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Feb, 2007 06:05 pm
Cj, search for H. K. Edgerton, he has an interesting outlook on the flag and southern culture. I'd like to meet him.

----

The flag in question can be an icon for many things, some bad, yes...{a return to slavery?..never heard anyone say that..ever} but from the point of view of your average every day southerner, the flag can be a positive symbol.

For me personally, the flag says...F*** the Fed.
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