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Posted at 2:41 PM ET, 11/15/2010

Waite Rawls: How should the country mark the sesquicentennial?

By Waite Rawls

President and chief executive of the Museum of the Confederacy

Let me start with how the country should not mark the Sesquicentennial.

First, it should not mark it by omission. As we say the Pledge of Allegiance to our flag, we should remember that the war created “one nation indivisible;” it established “freedom for all;” and it advanced the cause of “justice for all.” Two percent of the country’s population was killed, and thirteen percent of its population was freed. It made us who we are. Yet, many people would like to forget it or to say that the most important event in our nation’s history is not relevant.

Many want to avoid it because it is just a pinprick away from issues of racism. The Confederacy, the Confederate flag, the playing of “Dixie” -- all evoke shame by some and blame by some. At the same time, they evoke pride in heritage and patriotic duty to others. And the passion of each argument drowns out the complexity of the causes, the conduct, and the legacies of our national crucible. So many people simply duck the issue. Politicians know, or soon learn, to steer clear of it. And institutional funders, foundations, and corporations -- those people whose philanthropy proudly supports issues of far less consequence -- evade the issue.

Second, the country should not mark the Sesquicentennial the same way that it marked the Centennial. In the years after the war, the veterans of both sides found ways to put aside their previous differences and reunite the country. They celebrated the soldiers -- those in blue and those in gray. They spoke eloquently of their courage, speaking of the call of patriotic duty felt by those who risked or gave up their lives. This phenomenon continued right into the Centennial, as the legacy of the celebration of the soldiers’ valor carried on.

There was only one problem. To help them heal the wounds of the country, the veterans stopped talking about slavery and freedom.

African American issues and the contribution of African Americans to the conduct of the conflict were put aside as the nation entered the era of Jim Crow. This phenomenon also continued right into the Centennial. Landing squarely in the middle of the Civil Rights era, the Centennial appeared to be “for white people only” and brought cries of protest from the descendants of those people perhaps most affected by the war.

This time around, we cannot omit the issue of slavery, the conduct of African Americans during the war, or the legacy of their omission from previous commemorations. We cannot and should not avoid contentious issues, but must confront them as forthrightly and constructively as possible.

By Waite Rawls  | November 15, 2010; 2:41 PM ET
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Of course slavery should be a covered topic, but not at the expense of the men, battles of the war. It should also not be talked as the only reason for the war. The clear goals of Lincoln to start the war, and therefore for the vast majorty was to save the Union. The fact slavery existed in the North(in fact West Virginia, was created by Lincoln as a slave State) during the war I believe pretty much tells us that slavery was not the sole reason for the war.

Many on both sides realized there was more to the war than just slavery, and that's why it was not a huge topic after the war. Modern minds have made it that way, but we should really be careful not to let it "change" history and to become the focal point.

Posted by: irish031 | November 15, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Re-invade the South and finish General Sherman's work!

Posted by: kase | November 15, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

In remembrance, cut them loose, from just south of Norther VA to the tips of Texas and Fla. We don't need those slow witted rednecks in the Union anymore.

kase presents another splendid suggestion.

Posted by: johng1 | November 16, 2010 12:24 AM | Report abuse

yea, right irish031. Screw the South and their evil people.

Posted by: johng1 | November 16, 2010 12:26 AM | Report abuse

You Southerners just shut your mouths for another hundred and fifty years, and then we'll talk.

Posted by: johng1 | November 16, 2010 12:27 AM | Report abuse

With clowns, balloons, pony rides and dancing monkeys.

Posted by: jeadpt | November 16, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Oh, boy, it looks like the special school allowed their students access to the internet.

The South tried to leave, peacefully, but it appears that Ape lincoln and the rest of the scum yankees did not like that.

I believe that more yankees were killed during the war by those slow rednecks. What does that say about the yankees?

There is a reason why more people move South than move North. It's because the North SUCKS, has too much Government and has been taxed too much by bloated Governments. However, what does the average stupid yankee do? They keep voting into office the same people year after year that are responsible for turning the North into a socialized State. Talk about slow.

Posted by: irish031 | November 17, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

The Confederate Flag and the United States Flag are judged by different standards and criteria, and are not held to the same levels of accountability. In analytical science and weights and measures, comparisons are made against known standards. However, in politics comparisons are never made in a fair and impartial manner.
In order to understand the hypocrisy, ignorance, and bias that have been directed against the Confederate Flag, it is necessary to use the U.S. Flag (Stars and Stripes) as a standard of comparison. The purpose of this comparison is not to berate or disparage the U.S. Flag, but rather to prove that the Confederate Flag has received unfair and unequal treatment.
The genocide and racial cleansing of the American Indians took place under the U.S. Flag. The U.S. Flag flew over an unconstitutional and criminal war conducted against The Confederate States of America. Abraham Lincoln conducted this war for the benefit of wealthy Northern industrialists. Slaves were imported from Africa to America primarily by five Northern States: NY.,MA.CT.,NH.,and RI. The Confederate Flag was not involved. Finally, the U.S. Flag flies over a nation that has murdered an estimated 50 million babies by abortion.
Political Correctness has been used to attempt bans of The Confederate Flag from schools, parades, public and private property, and even historical monuments and sites.
The Confederate flag represents Constitutional Limited Federal Government, States Rights, Resistance to Government Tyranny, and Christian Values and Principles. To say that it represents racism and bigotry is a negative and shallow interpretation comparable to saying the U.S. flag represents the genocide of the American Indians and abortion.

Contact me at to request my article "The 10 Causes Of The Civil War".

Posted by: jkingantiquearms | November 18, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

The Confederate flag represents the same principles and values as the original U.S. Betsy Ross flag. Thus it represents the values and principles of Americas founding fathers who were primarily Southern gentlemen from Virginia. America was founded as a Constitutional Federal Republic composed of a Limited Federal Government and Sovereign States. Confederate soldiers fought to preserve that inheritance. The Confederate flag represents 1. Constitutional Limited Federal Government 2. States Rights 3. Resistance To Government Tyranny 4. Christian Values And Principles. The Confederate States of America constitutionally, legally, and honorably seceded from the Union with the United States of America to preserve those values and principles and was promptly invaded and fought a four year war for the Cause of achieving Southern Independence.
As America experiments with Globalism, Socialism, and Secular Humanism it is important for Patriotic Americans to fly the Confederate flag as a symbol of these values and principles. The U.S. flag "the Stars and Stripes" is not held to the same standards and level of accountability as the Confederate flag.
The U.S. flag flies over a nation that has murdered an estimated 50 million babies by abortion and millions of Native American Indians by genocide. It has far more baggage than the Confederate flag. Yes, the CSA had the institution of slavery but most were treated well and it was a dying institution prior to the war. White factory workers in the North were not treated as well as most Southern slaves. For proof of this view the movie "Gangs Of New York". Yes, various hate groups have misused and abused the Confederate flag but they have done the same to the U.S. flag but this fact gets ignored.
The Confederate flag is 180 degrees diametrically opposed to Globalism, Socialism and Secular humanism. That is the real reason globalists, socialists, and atheists want to ban it. The infamous Communist Vladimir Lenin coined the term "Useful Idiots". Black Americans and white liberals who are opposed to the Confederate flag have been indoctrinated to do the dirty work for those who would convert America to Total Socialism and Secular Humanism and the world to "One World Government". They have been told that the Confederate flag represents a painful reminder of slavery and racism and bigotry and that they should be offended by it.
In addition to representing the values and principles of America’s founding fathers the Confederate States of America and the Old South had colleges and universities, art and literature, world class architecture, politics with superior statesmen, and a fine military. It was a classical civilization just as ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome was. The Confederate States of America deserves to be remembered, honored and studied just as other classical civilizations are.
Free Article-"10 Causes of the Civil War". Contact:

Posted by: jkingantiquearms | November 18, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

The South and the Southern Confederacy have been harshly discriminated against and historical facts and figures have intentionally been suppressed. Dishonest Northern historians have unfairly caused Southern and Confederate history and its heroes, memorials, and flags to be regulated to a role of less importance than deserved and to be viewed in a negative perspective by the American public.
The words of Confederate General Patrick R. Cleburne who was killed at the battle of Franklin Tennessee on November 30, 1864 are becoming true. “Every man should endeavor to understand the meaning of subjugation before it is to late. It means the history of this heroic struggle will be written by the enemy; that our youth will be trained by Northern school teachers; will learn from Northern school books their version of the war; will be impressed by the influences of history and education to regard our gallant dead as traitors, and our maimed veterans as fit objects for derision…”
Political correctness and Socialist – Marxist Revisionism are attacking everything Southern and Confederate on national, state, and local levels all across America.
The Confederate flag represents honor, faith, courage, dignity, integrity, chivalry, Christian values, respect for womanhood, strong family ties, patriotism, self- reliance, limited federal government, states rights and belief in the free enterprise system. It symbolizes the noble spirit of the Southern people, the rich heritage, the traditions of the South and the dynamic and vigorous Southern culture. Thus the Confederate flag represents the same virtues and values as the original American Flag, U.S Constitution, and Bill of Rights which were developed and adopted by Americas Founding Fathers who were primarily Southerners from Virginia.
The Confederate flag is necessary to maintain Southern regional identity and to preserve the values, principles, and virtues esteemed by a majority of Southerners. No other symbol so proudly says “Dixie” as the St. Andrews Cross (Confederate flag) waving in the breeze.
Free Article "10 Causes of the Civil War"

Posted by: jkingantiquearms | November 18, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

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