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Posted at 10:02 AM ET, 10/ 1/2009

Stars and Stripes: Emblem of Slavery?

By washingtonpost.com editors

By Malcolm Wilson
Wheaton


In his Sept. 24 letter, “A Flag That Symbolized Much Less Than Valor,” Cortez Austin took exception to a portion of Kathleen Parker’s op-ed with reference to the Confederate flag. He blasted away with the usual rhetoric regarding the flag and its ties to slavery by asking, “How does one discount more than 200 years of the inhumane domination of blacks” and closing by accusing those who may opt to display the flag of “hiding behind revisionist history.”

My history class taught me that the Constitution, particularly Article 1, Section 2, commonly referred to as the “three-fifths compromise,” acknowledged the existence of and, perhaps, tepidly endorsed slavery in the United States. This document would predate the Civil War and the Confederacy by about 84 years.

The Constitution would have been written under the flag of the United States of America. Should we next consider replacing that flag as well?


By washingtonpost.com editors  | October 1, 2009; 10:02 AM ET
Categories:  Confederate flag  
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Comments

Certainly, crimes against humanity were committed under the Grand Ole Flag. However, the people of this nation, with no thanks to those, who cling to the Confederate Flag, got it together, in large measure, and sought to make some level recompense. The XIII, XIV and XV Amendments to the Constitution stand in testament to those efforts. Additionally, we have numerous civil rights acts, which have been put in place.

On the other hand, those, who continue to hug the Confederate Flag, show themselves to be unrepentant reprobates. Showing a continuing desire to be leeches and cannibalize the blood, sweat and tears of others, instead of doing their own work, they have fought against corrective measures every step of the way. They were willing to destroy the nation in order to maintain their cannibalism in gross violations of the Golden Rule and Greatest Commandments.

Their continuing to fly that flag over the homes of and in the faces of those, whom they would see continue in slavery, shows the depths at which their hatred-filled lost souls continue to dwell even today. Due to a lack of counseling, they continue to give sick justifications, daily, for the depths at which they live. The absolutely sickening and repulsive thing about this is that it seemingly never occurs to them that those, whom they abuse, are not the ones living in the sick pit of hatred and hell’s damnation. Any rational person would think that such would be the case. But, no, it isn’t; they, the abusers, using some psychiatrically unexplainable twisted logic, justify themselves daily for dwelling there, in that despicable diseased slop pit from which no rational sensible thought can escape.

Posted by: vmonroe_valnesio | October 1, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

I am a southerner, and the Confederate Flag is part of my heritage. Can I just toss my heritage aside and pretend it didn't exist? No. Do I agree with what our forefathers did hundreds of years ago? No. But, I at least have learned that a flag is no more of a symbol of hatred as is the persistent continuation of that hatred by those oppressed by it. I find it funny that some African Americans want to fly flags from Africa in their homes, yet they have absolutely no connection with, or even know their true ancestry. Just like slaves didn't have a choice coming to America, I didn't have a choice of where I was born. But, I can celebrate my history and heritage knowing that we as a nation have learned from the past, accepted our mistakes, and moved forward. I am not going to throw out my heritage or flag simply because you are too narrow minded to forgive, forget, learn and live.

Posted by: Aimhigh2000 | October 2, 2009 8:24 AM | Report abuse

Of course there are atrocities committed under the American Flag just as there atrocities committed under any other national flag, the Christian cross, the Jewish Star of David, the Muslim Crescent, etc.

The difference between the confederate flag and the symbols mentioned above is that the symbols above have an extremely wide umbrella under which actions, beliefs, individuals, values and historical epochs fall. Surely murder has been justified under the cross, as has mercy.

The Confederate flag, on the other hand, is more akin to the Nazi swastika - a representative symbol of a particular period and ideological camp that advocated for murderous, oppressive policies.

In other words, while you can say that the USA flag has been invoked in a wide range of situations, the Confederate flag was only invoked by a set of individuals bent on maintaining an oppressive, slave-holding economic system and cannot be divorced from that particular cultural and historical period.

Posted by: tmcsorley | October 2, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

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