October 4, 2011
We all have the right to voice our opinions. We have the right to express ourselves. However, as soon as you talk and put your thoughts out there, be ready to defend them.
Case in point, I’d like to address all you folks out there flying the Confederate flag.
More specifically, I’d like to address the lady in South Carolina, Annie Chambers Caddell, who is now flying a Confederate flag in a predominantly black neighborhood.
First off, let me say the obvious. Caddell has a right to fly the flag, or any flag, as long as said flag is on her property. She has broken no laws. Although her neighbors have protested against the flag, she maintains that it is a symbol of her heritage and she is proud of where her family comes from. She will not back down and remove the symbol of her proud forefathers! Against all odds, she will stand firm in her resolve!
Wonderful, I say. Let her express herself…
Except for one thing.
That’s not the flag of the Confederate States of America.
THIS is the flag of the Confederate States of America
Not quite what most of us imagine, huh? That is the first national flag, the Stars and Bars. The design changed over the years and the number of stars changed, but this was the first flag of the Confederacy. The second national flag, the Stainless Banner, looks like this:
It was changed when someone realized that, when the wind blew just right, you could easily miss the red portion and it would look like a flag of surrender. It was replaced with another, similar flag that had a red stripe across the end so it could be easily distinguished.
The Battle Flag of the Confederacy is a square, an adaptation of another design where the cross was straight like a Christian cross. One original intent was to have two flags, one for peace and one for times of war. The square flags were more for practical purposes as a square flag would use less material.
Unknown to many, what we consider to be the “Confederate flag” is really a military standard used by the rebel army during the Civil War. It would be like someone today flying the flag of the Army, or Marines, and Navy, and claiming said flag stood for the greatness of the United States. True, the military is composed of men and women who serve our country and often get shafted by the same government that orders them to far-off lands to fight for political reasons, but they are heroes who are willing to put life and limb on the line for the rest of us. I admire their courage and sacrifice.
I do not, however, think that any branch of the military, or the military in general, are a symbol of our country and our heritage. They are a part of it, a distinguished part, but not the symbol of everything we hold dear.
Likewise, I doubt people who fly the “Confederate flag” know what they’re really flying. Likewise, Caddell is not celebrating her southern heritage. She’s celebrating the Confederate military. It’d be like waving SS military banners at a synagogue and claiming you were embracing your German roots.
Bottom line? If you want to celebrate the heritage of the South, a region of the country that has given us Cajun cooking and bourbon, at least know what the hell you’re putting on the flagpole.
And if you still insist on flying the battle flag, I have a few suggestions as to what you can do with said flagpole.
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