Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Confederate Flag: Love it or Hate it!

When I was working and traveling around Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee & the rural areas of these states, I would encounter the confederate flag in many ways. On bumper stickers, hanging on some one's house, a confederate flag bikini, T shirts. I never asked anyone about why they wear/have this flag, but I'm wondering is there a way for it not to be seen as racist. I'm sure some people have the idea it's a way to show a sense of southern pride, is where one is from.

Growing up, I never really cared about what the confederate flag meant or what it stood for. I always used to look up at it & kept on going.

The Confederate Flag is by far the most divisive symbol that divides black, white, conservative, liberal, North, South, etc

To some African Americans, the flag is seen as a sign of racism, oppression and believes that anyone who flies it still supports racism. To whites the flag is seen as showing southern pride, tradition. Many had ancestors who fought in the Civil War, & so that's why many of them wave, fly & support the confederate flag.

Now let me tell you, there are a lot of African Americans who support the flag. These supporters in the eyes of other African Americans are called House N****r or a sell out to his or her race.

A little bit of history for you: As many as 90,000 blacks, slave and free, were employed in some capacity by the Confederate army. The majority of these men fall into two categories, as military laborers or body servants. The fact that some Southern blacks might have played an important role for the South is a very controversial issue. Many have avoided the difficult task of linking any blacks to the Southern war effort.

During the course of the Civil War, this flag represented Southern rebellion and defiance to the United States Constitution. According to the anti-defamation league, although some Southerners see the flag simply as a symbol of Southern pride, it is often used by racists to represent white domination of blacks and Jews. The flag remains a subject of controversy because some Southern states still fly the flag from public buildings or incorporate it into their state flag’s design. Racists also use the flag as an alternative to the American flag.

The confederate flag is still a very powerful symbol. In 2002, then Gov Roy Barnes led a successful effort to change Georgia's state flag, which then prominently featured the Confederate battle cross.

And for that, he paid a heavy price.

In their first chance to vent their anger, white voters in rural areas turned out in record numbers to vote out Mr. Barnes in one of the most stunning upsets that year. The governor had been considered one of the brightest lights in the Democratic Party, a gifted speaker, moderate, strong on education and a possible contender for vice president or even president. A lot of white voters felt Barnes was not on their side when he pushed to change it. Back in 1993, Zell Miller tried to do what Barnes successfully did & it almost cost him re-election for a second term as governor.

Over in Mississippi where they held a referendum to determine the flag's fate, the flag won overwhelmingly, with six majority Black counties, Blacks voted by the barest of margins to dump the old flag. But in three Mississippi Delta counties, with a heavy Black majority, the vote was to retain the flag.

I had someone emailed me (which is why I writing this post) saying the Confederate flag should be seen as a symbol of both the black and white heritage of the Southern States. The repression of the blacks is part of this heritage along with whites.

All I know is this: There are staunch supporters of the confederate flag, while they are those who are hell-bent on removing the controversial flag from the Fabric American forever. There are blacks who are supporters of the rebel flag, but they are very few. Whites, especially here in the south with any linkage to the Civil War will always continue to support & advocate that the flag is not really meant to be a symbol of racism, oppression & bigotry.

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