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Confederate flag is not racist one

Published: Thursday, May 9th, 2013

Last week, the VA Center in Hot Springs removed two  Confederate flags hanging in a historical display after two African-American patients there complained about them being racist. The two were at the VA for post-traumatic stress disorder treatment and were reportedly released about two weeks early from the programs with full credit.
Shortly after the two men were on their way home, the flags were put up again in the rotunda display at the VA. Steven DiStasio, director of the VA Black Hills Health System, said the flags were returned because of their historical significance and their role in showing respect for all veterans. He said the flags were temporarily removed out of respect for the complaints made by the two veterans.
We agree that the Confederate flag is part of our history, just as much as the Civil War is an important part of this country’s history. The Civil War was mainly fought by the Southern states because they were opposed to a centralized federal government proposed by President Lincoln, not because they wanted to continue with slave ownership on their plantations. In fact, Southern slave owners were already granting freedom for slaves before the war started.
The Civil War was about states’ rights as opposed to a centralized federal government in Washington, D.C. Southern states wanted their independence from the heavy hand of a federal government and they were willing to go to war to keep their independence. The more populated North was also more heavily industrialized and able to produce more guns and ammunition to conquer the South. The Civil War today is still referred to by some Southerners as “The War of Northern Aggression.”
DiStasio correctly points out that the VA Center in Hot Springs was originally constructed to house veterans of the Civil War. These were not just Union veterans, but veterans from the Confederate states as well. Both sides fought under their own flags for a cause they believed was right and just. Above all, men and women from both sides who fought in this terrible and bloody war were all Americans.
Unfortunately, over the years the Confederate flag has been used by the white-supremist, Southern-based Ku Klux Klan in their ceremonies. We can certainly understand why Blacks would want to connect this flag with racism. The flag itself is not racist. It has been taken up in the past by a racist group that is condemned for its historical hate of Black Americans. The Klan also wraps itself in the folds of the American flag, which is also disgusting.
The flag of the Confederacy is an important part of our history. It was carried through all the bloody battles of the Civil War by Americans living in Southern states. It, along with the American flag, doesn’t deserve to be linked with slavery or racism in any way. It should continue hanging as an important part of our nation’s history.

Last week, the VA Center in Hot Springs removed two  Confederate flags hanging in a historical display after two African-American patients there complained about them being racist. The two were at the VA for post-traumatic stress disorder treatment and were reportedly released about two weeks early from the programs with full credit.

Shortly after the two men were on their way home, the flags were put up again in the rotunda display at the VA. Steven DiStasio, director of the VA Black Hills Health System, said the flags were returned because of their historical significance and their role in showing respect for all veterans. He said the flags were temporarily removed out of respect for the complaints made by the two veterans.

We agree that the Confederate flag is part of our history, just as much as the Civil War is an important part of this country’s history. The Civil War was mainly fought by the Southern states because they were opposed to a centralized federal government proposed by President Lincoln, not because they wanted to continue with slave ownership on their plantations. In fact, Southern slave owners were already granting freedom for slaves before the war started.

The Civil War was about states’ rights as opposed to a centralized federal government in Washington, D.C. Southern states wanted their independence from the heavy hand of a federal government and they were willing to go to war to keep their independence. The more populated North was also more heavily industrialized and able to produce more guns and ammunition to conquer the South. The Civil War today is still referred to by some Southerners as “The War of Northern Aggression.”

DiStasio correctly points out that the VA Center in Hot Springs was originally constructed to house veterans of the Civil War. These were not just Union veterans, but veterans from the Confederate states as well. Both sides fought under their own flags for a cause they believed was right and just. Above all, men and women from both sides who fought in this terrible and bloody war were all Americans.

Unfortunately, over the years the Confederate flag has been used by the white-supremist, Southern-based Ku Klux Klan in their ceremonies. We can certainly understand why Blacks would want to connect this flag with racism. The flag itself is not racist. It has been taken up in the past by a racist group that is condemned for its historical hate of Black Americans. The Klan also wraps itself in the folds of the American flag, which is also disgusting.

The flag of the Confederacy is an important part of our history. It was carried through all the bloody battles of the Civil War by Americans living in Southern states. It, along with the American flag, doesn’t deserve to be linked with slavery or racism in any way. It should continue hanging as an important part of our nation’s history.



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2 comments so far (post your own)
harryo
May 9th, 2013 at 08:14am

I'm always amazed with the argument that slavery and racial oppression of Blacks had nothing to do with the Civil War, and that

There was nothing stopping the South from creating an industrial base in what is now Atlanta, Houston, Birmingham, New Orleans, Memphis and other Southern cities. The South chose to remain agricultural because of the free labor of slavery, but when importation of new slaves were banned in 1807, maintaining the slave system became more expensive because older slaves were dying off or could no longer work the fields and new young free labor could no longer be brought into the country. New states adjacent to confederate states were being admitted into the Union as free states where escaped slaves were granted freedom and could not be returned back to their slavemasters.

To many the Civil War and the Confederate flag represented a violent attempt of the overthrow of a duly elected government of the United States in order to maintain an US apartheid society that despite the victory of the Union Army, with the exception of a very brief period when Blacks in the south were given full right, in the spirit of national unification, the racist philosophies that was the key motivation of the Civil War was engrained and codified into US law until the 1960s Civil Rights movement which was violently opposed by the direct descendents of Confederate forces under the banner of the Confederate flag.

Fredward
May 10th, 2013 at 05:49am

Dear Harryo,

Do you just make up your own version of history? Slave labor was anything but free. Slaves cost up to $10,000 per slave - a tidy sum in the 1800's when the average wage was $25 a month. That is why only 6% of the US population owned slaves - only the extremely wealthy could afford slaves. Then you had to care for the slaves for life. With a $10,000 cost, you are not going to let anything happen to that investment.

Runaway slaves that went to a "free" state had to be returned to their owner under United States Law. Any runaway slave seeking freedom went to Canada, where the Dred Scott Act did not apply.

Also the Confederate States did not make a violent attempt to overthrow the US Government. The Southern States were merely seeking independence from the United States just the same as the colonies seeked independence from Great Britain.

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