So why even fly a Confederate flag anymore?
It’s an often debated pennant and it has long been divisive. It’s been argued by descendants of Confederate soldiers that it’s all about heritage and where one’s roots may be planted. However, to be honest with ourselves here, the modern day facts speak for themselves; the confederate flag is a device of racial loathing that has blended into certain circles with relative ease.
The Confederate flag is not your legacy. The Confederacy only lasted for four years, from 1861-1865. You should either be able to say that your heritage is related to the American flag or that your heritage is tied to the European flag of your true ancestors. The small amount of time that the Confederate flag existed did exist does not define who you are as this “movement” died out almost as quickly as foot-shaped shoes have in recent years.
You aren’t connected to this flag and your mother isn’t connected to it and your grandmother isn’t either. If for some reason you had a relative that lost their life in the war, then I wonder how deeply you understand the concept of a man being forced to fight for the confederacy at the time. There was no way around avoiding joining the service by draft. How heavily was it on your ancestor’s heart? Did he really and truly want to fight for all of the beliefs of the Confederate States of America? Are there journals and diaries and sketches of your ancestor’s undying will and desire to stand tall for the Confederacy? Are you aware? Or is this certain guesswork?
Alexander Stephens, who was Vice President of the Confederacy, stated that he would fight to keep “the negro in his place” on the day that the Civil War formally commenced. In life, there are firm words that speak louder than others and these are certainly a few of them. Just because you live in the modern-day south does not mean that you are a “Confederate American” and should fly your Confederate Flag. Of course, you have the right to do so but consider this: you are living in the United States of America in 2017 and our flag is red, white and blue with stars and stripes. This country’s fight against true tyrants contrary to our American way of life has been authored by people of all backgrounds, be it Black, White, Hispanic, Asian and beyond. We are so much more than that nowadays yet we tune into all the hate crimes that take place in South Carolina, for example, and take it in subliminally. Those that fly the confederate flag freely haven’t understood the true meaning of love and immeasurable resilience yet and if anything, they need another point of view for the first time.
I’ll look at the other side and say that people are a product of their environment. If you’ve lived around compassion for the Confederacy your entire life than you probably haven’t seen both sides of the story. There needs to be a huge push for an emphasis in schools, from the elementary level and beyond for African-American history. This text is simply missing or briefly tapped into within the schoolbooks of our youths and this is a huge disservice to the developing mind. Only the basic understandings are covered in the educational model as we don’t delve into the studies that could help our children to become much more well versed. Therefore, we allow diluted tradition to speak loudly.
The Confederate flag has no value to society anymore and it needs to be remembered only as an artifact in our museums. This flag, in and of itself, is a huge reason why the United States can’t seem to understand a cultural dynamic like a true “melting pot” country should. It’s laughable how we pride ourselves on such a thing yet, on the flip side, we can’t handle such a title properly. We consistently pin race on race nowadays, but we haven’t done anything to really clean up the mess we have made. We should be paying to see the remnants of the flag encased at the Smithsonian for history's purpose.
When one is all talk and no action than it’s the same as being a dreamer without a plan for change. This is a skin that needs to be shed.