In the wake of the recent murders of nine black worshipers in a church in Charleston, South Carolina by a young professed racist, there has arisen a clarion call for removal of the Confederate flag flying on the grounds of the state capital in Columbia.

I deliberately used this image of the Confederate flag because even if you grant that it is flown as a symbol of the South’s heritage from the Confederate army, that heritage is something not to be honored, but to be deplored. Whether the ensign was an offical rperesentation of the Confederate States of America or not…it was the battle flag of Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia…what it stands for is anything but admirable.

Southerners, and there was a man interviewed on NBC News at a cemetery for Confederate soldiers, will state that it honors the brave soldiers who died. I will not dispute the bravery or deny recognition to the horrible tragedy of the men lost to a senseless war. But the man on the news seemed to be pissed off that the Ku Klux Klan had appropriated the banner, thus associating it with hate. He averred that these men died “defending their state”.

Nonsense. They died participating in a war that was the most blatant and broad act of treason ever perpetrated against the United States of America.

The United States Constitution, Article 3 Section 3 reads in part

 Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them,

If ever a clear case of treason could be made one need look only to the events of April 12, 1865 when the first shots were fired at Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor and subsequent events and battles until Sunday, April 9, 1865 when General Robert E. Lee surrendered his armies at Appomattox.

Those men took up arms against their nation and levied war on it for four years. It was not “The War of Northern Aggression” as some attempt to assert. It was not a war for states’ rights as is commonly pleaded. It was plainly a war against their own nation, treason be damned.

The Constitution provided many ways for any grieveances or concerns the people conducting this treasonous act could have addressed those issues, but they chose treason.

The American Civil War was indescribably destructive and demeaning no matter which side one fought on.And the South, the Confedarcy, clearly was defeated and the treason staunched.

As punitive and oppressive as the Reconstruction Acts and other steps taken to reincorporate the secessionist states into the nation as a whole…and they were harsh indeed…the victors did not summarily execute the traitors as they had every right to do under existing precedents.

But merely losing the war wasn’t enough for the rebels. They had to embark upon a path of self-destruction for the next one and one-half centuries though it most frequently assumed the form of treating the black Americans in their midst as less than human. Jim Crow laws, the Ku Klux Klan, denial of voting rights, and various other tools of the racist trade were implemented, overt and subtle, to carry out this War of Southern Aggression on A Race Deemed Inferior.

All too often, just as they had rallied under the Confederate flag in battles led by Robert E. Lee, they also rallied under that same flag in battles led by hate and discrimination and rapacious desire.

What may arguably have once been a banner of morale easily morphed into a banner of immoral behavior.But that banner would have no meaning whatsoever were it not birthed in treason.

(As an aside, what we think of as the Confederate flag was never formlly adopted by the Confederacy, though one design that was adopted had that stars and bars design in the upper left corner with the field of the flag being white. Its designer, William T. Thompson, described this as a “white man’s flag”, with the white field representing the superiority of the white race.)

Oddly the Confederate flag now on the capital grounds in Columbia, previously over the Capitol itself, did not appear there until 1962, coincidentally in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement. It’s argued in some quarters that this was done in direct defiance of the federal governemnt’s efforts to enforce existing law and court rulings that favored blacks and opposed discrimination. Treason Light, if you will.

It is clear that this flag is a symbol of racist hate. Those who fly or display it may be ignorant of its true meaning but the old saying is that “ignorance of the law is no excuse”. Neither is ignorance of racist meaning…most particularly when that racist meaning has been brought to your attention for years.

This symbol was born in treason and spawned the illegitimate offspring of racism and hate. After several generations its appallingly repugnant prodigious progeny must be eliminated.




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  • Little_Minx  On July 3, 2015 at 10:02 AM

    The Confederate battle flag is a treasonous to the United States as the Nazi swastika is to post-War Germany.

  • MiniMe  On July 10, 2015 at 5:47 AM

    A few nits before I get to the meat. Granting your argument of treason, the fact that the north did not destroy what was left of Southern manhood (literally meant) was not an act of mercy or largesse, but practicality.
    Second, having been to Gettysburg, I am often struck by the inglorious and vulgar way the Southern troops were buried and marked as compared to their Union counterparts. Indeed Lincoln, in his address, did not make a point of singling out one group as opposed to another. But post-war America did a dis-service to those who fought on the wrong side of the war. It seems since with charity for all and malice towards none, a more generous view of those Confederate soldiers dead and alive is in order.
    As far as the meat goes, The Civil war, uncivil treason or whatever way you wish to frame it was a war of balkanization – the North versus the South. And while you might balk at that characterization, it is a characterization that plays true to this very day. Look at the idiots in Texas, manifold they be, who have no conception of a union but only of their Republic and the god-given right to inflict Texas values on the rest of us (history books being a prime example). People identify with regions as opposed to being a part of the whole.
    As trite as it might sound, the South is still fighting the Civil War. Regardless the necessity of bringing the war to Southern soil, it is still viewed as a war of Northern aggression. The winners may write the history books, but in many Southern minds, the jury is still out as to who won or if the war is just in another phase. Call it denial or anything reasonably representing a valid psychological diagnosis and you’d be right. Except that in the minds of those who are SOutherners, you are not. And it is that view that they are Southerners, separate and distinct from the rest of the nation and that they fought to defend their land (two very powerful myths), getting the flagged dropped in a meaningful way (changing the attitude along with the flag) will never really be accomplished if done in a heavy-handed manner.

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