Symbolism

It has come to many an outright, disturbed concern, in rural and suburban parts outside of the southern United States, how many folks seemed to have adapted a certain symbol to represent rather present-day, secessionist ideas, as well as the plain honor of fighting for an idea. Any a flag can symbolize many different things to many different people; polar opposite things, even — dependent, of course, and entirely as always, upon context.

An American flag can freely wave outside a front-door anywhere in the country. It can represent freedom of opportunity and freedom from oppression to those who live within or outside its borders. It can also powerfully serve as a testament to soldiers who fought and died in its past or current wars. On the opposite hand, say, for those who humanely support U.S. troops but not the reason(s) given by an elected majority to enter a war, and/or among those who oppose the imperialism they feel is being inflicted in some economically abject and violent way, foreign or domestically, it can be seen burned in an immediate show of protest.

These opposite ideas are understood and justified in a plurality.

We obviously don’t talk about race nearly as much as we should, or any significant prejudice we all have nearly as much as we should. We don’t talk about a lot of things we should talk more about in an adult and civilized manner, on or off comment-threads.

The simple truth, in all the talk of this 20th century adaptation of the Confederate flag representing ‘heritage’ — listening to Skynard or watching the “Dukes” as two major popular-culture southern icons I can think of off the top of my head, who both casually adapted it — the origins of this particular symbol was a means to fight for what continues to be a dark, ugly, deeply bloody, misunderstood, and unjustifiable idea: the violent oppression and (for the most part) free exploitation of an entire race of people, by want to immorally expand its states’ economic growth to the newly, militarily obtained west.

Slavery.

For it is in its very name: the “Confederate” flag, adapted from an original, few Confederate flags which represented the Confederacy of 11 states that seceded from the United States over wanting to maintain and expand slavery. The definition of a slave is “a person who is the property of and wholly subject to another; a bond servant”. And the very people the Confederacy wished to continue to enslave: Africans.

The Klu Klux Klan adapted this modern-day adaptation of the flag, as well as skinheads in other white supremacist organizations headquartered in the southern states (not to exclude of course everywhere else in the country), as had southerners in segregationist rallies and against peaceful integrationist demonstrations during the Civil Rights movement, all in dedication to the ideals it originally signified and vehemently defended: that African-Americans need never be perceived as equal to white-America. …This unconstitutional idea exists today even without the help of a Civil War symbol! A twenty-one year-old recently used it according to said original heritage to mass-murder nine African-Americans in a universally, morally understood place of peaceful prayer and community worship a whole one-hundred-and-fifty years after the original copies ought to have been outright designated as relics!

Indisputable facts are just that. One cannot rewrite history, nor selectively and terribly unthoroughly copy and paste historical chronology in order to accommodate some manifested, personal pain to the hateful origins of this flag. With all due respect, these actions are weak-minded, lazy, and painfully, bitterly insecure. So, it ought to be rendered impossible for this flag to have such detached, denied, and harmless meaning.

“The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history,” wrote George Orwell. Whose history is more important?