The Ghosts of the Confederate Flag

It is a sad reflection upon a country, and it’s people, when a simple piece of cloth, the Confederate Battle Flag, continues to raise the specter of a bloody internal conflict that ended over 150 years ago. Not one of us were there nor participated in those events. Instead of putting our efforts into uniting as a brotherhood, and moving forward to a brighter future for the coming age , we mire ourselves down in the rhetoric echoing from the morality of a long-gone generation, where modern values and ethics would have been a distant and unattainable vision.

But every 10 years or so, a ridiculous event will occur that  reignites those passions and brings out the ghosts of the past, and the lunatic fringes of the present, who will stamp and stammer,  bluster and bellow, rant and rave, thunder and gnash teeth, to suppress the last Confederate Battle Flag from it’s position as a simple relic from history. This time it was a pathetic, deluded, murderous child who took a picture of himself with it as a symbol of his rebellion against events in his life.

There are those who interpret this flag as a symbol of racism. Or of the institution of slavery, which is an institution that no modern Christian civilized society views as acceptable. Or as a symbol of subjugation to proud and dignified peoples who were forcibly brought to this land in bondage, violating their rights as human beings. As a fellow human being I can respect, and continue honor that position. Imposed chattel slavery on the unwilling was an unnecessary evil in human history and there has never been a rational argument for it’s emergence or existence.

If you seriously study the history of slavery in the United States, you will find a complicated and expansive explanation of why it was allowed to flourish and persevere by our ancestors. Basically it all boils itself down to politics, commerce and profit. The true roots of all the world’s evil. I am not going to elaborate on it in this commentary as it would take volumes upon volumes to delve into all the graves of this phantom. But If you have a sincere interest, I implore you to enlighten yourself of the vast amount of information available for study. Partial, or total, ignorance on a position is unforgivable in any attitude or debate.

Then you have the position of Southern ancestors paying homage to their forbearers who actually fought the battles of the great American Civil War, but simply served on the losing side with the doomed Confederate States of America. It is well documented that the majority of Southern men who participated in the conflict fought for the right’s of their independent southern states, and to repel a perceived invasion of their lands by the armies of the northern states. They were not slave owners with vast estates to be maintained. They were not political hacks with hidden agendas and national ambitions. They were simple people who led to, and rallied around a symbol that they thought would preserve THEIR freedoms from the imposition of, and a realistically perceived enslavement from a foreign power. Once again, if you have a sincere interest, I implore you to enlighten yourself of the vast amount of information available for study. I continue to invoke the notion that partial, or total, ignorance on a position is unforgivable in any attitude or debate.

So in respect to all the ghosts of that era, the flag has become a symbol of slavery to some and a symbol of anti-slavery to others. And there’s the great confusing conundrum. Both sides of the argument are in the right and both sides are in the wrong, and there will never be a resolution until those spirits are finally laid to rest. People of color who were descendants of slaves have the right to express their thoughts and feelings on the symbolism of that simple piece of cloth, but don’t try to bury it. And do not seek to repress the opinions and feelings of others who have lost loved one’s, and have a  totally different interpretation of it’s meaning. If you do, then you are the same oppressors as the monsters who orchestrated the conflict in the first place. When you venerate, or denigrate,  any symbol, good or bad, you have lost your path and end up wandering around the graveyard alone and confused.

Black Pride and Southern Pride are twins born from the same womb. We are both proud peoples and we were both repressed at some point in our histories by the powers over us. And

neither will allow the trampling on their heritages. That is a hard, cold fact. But the faster we embrace each other and unite as a family, respect each other position and respect each others paternity, the faster racism will finally die and will be laid to rest with the other ghosts.

In retrospect, the Confederate Battle Flag has very little to do with it.

It’s simple dignity and respect.

Touché.

 

 

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