June 24, 2015 by kittynh
Facebook and the internet are full of commentary and memes on the South Carolina use of one of the flags used by the Confederate Army during the Civil War. The flag was used by General Robert E. Lee’s troops, not the Confederacy as a whole. However, it is not flown to honor the memory of General Lee or his specific troops, instead it has been usurped to represent something else. It now represents the Southern Heritage or history, if you believe one side, and racism and hatred on the other. Is there a balance? ( Also one questions why the real Confederate flag is not flown, only the General Lee flag?)
Whenever I see someone with this version of a Confederate flag as a tattoo, the most I think is “We probably will not get along, I should avoid this person.” However, my experience as a white woman has to be different from that of anyone African American. I imagine they think “Is this person going to be a danger to me?
One Facebook post I felt was balanced and insightful was by my friend Andre Morell.
With his permission I am sharing it here. Thank you Andre for allowing me to share your insight. Andre is a friend that I enjoy because I always learn something from his posts. While we do not always agree, his posts are always insightful and articulate. He’s respectful when I post a reply, and is someone I highly respect in return.
Facebook Post by Andre Morell, shared with permission
People are still going to buy, sell and manufacture these Confederate items. Most Black people don’t give a damn about what you do or wear personally with it, this issue is about whether or not such a symbol in 2015 belongs being showcased on institutions that are to represent the PUBLIC. Walking into a place seeing the Confederate flag say in a courtroom, state capital, etc IS FAR different then walking into a backwater BBQ pit on a Saturday night. Mom & Pop business just got a boon financially with this banning by major corporations and it will still be available at smaller retailers in the South and online, so no one is fooling anyone.
Such a flag belongs in museum which serves history, it belongs at an actual battleground for authenticity, it belongs at memorials to the Civil War itself…..on a current state capital building while pieces of history themselves should reflect the current history to move America forward not backward and should not give the impression of being discriminatory against anyone.
Now whether or not this should apply to public roads? I think yes. High Schools? Up for debate. Colleges? No, as at many of these institutions it is part of the school’s actual history but that doesn’t mean you can’t properly curate that stuff into one location to show the college or university’s rich history while at the same time rendering it anew for the future which is evolving beyond that past. The past should never be forgotten, but how and where a past is displayed matters and is a form of speech too and we have to be aware.
So display your Confederate flag on your home, get those bumper stickers, wear that Confederate bikini….please just not those god awful speedo’s…..that’s your 1st amendment right, but we’re gonna drawn the line at public buildings and places that are to serve us all equally as they should not only be the part, but look it as well.