Monday, May 10, 2010

The confederate flag

So I think most of the media hoopla has died down over this.  Its kinda weird when something practically in your backyard garners national attention.

Anyways, I wasn't terribly interested in this particular story as hugely problematic issue.  I think it is just a bunch of teenagers getting upset and offended over really nothing.  "ZOMG! He's wearing a flag! He must be disrespecting >ME<" as if the world revolved around themselves.

But what >I< did find rather offensive was one particular student.  One of the "American" flags that one student was wearing was an image of multiple flags, including the American flag, on the back, and the confederate flag on the front. 

Why is the confederate flag a symbol of patriotism?  Its a symbol of a failed cessationist movement that threatened to DESTROY America in Civil War.  A cessationist movement sparked over and largely motivated by the desire to enslave people.  If you're going to pick a symbol that would represent your patriotism, then I'd humbly suggest that you pick a different symbol.

Worst yet, it doesn't even seem to give with the social rhetoric that people often tout.  Love America or leave it.  The south apparently didn't LOVE America so they tried to leave it.  So waving the confederate flag suggests that one doesn't love America.

Now, I'm sure some would say that there is a certain patriotic overtone to the the confederate flag.  The American ethos of forging ahead, doing thing differently, independent spirit.  But we don't celebrate our failures.  We don't hoist up for all to see DDT and exclaim, Forging ahead!  Independent Spirit!

Perhaps its a symbol of Southern culture?  I'm not opposed to symbolizing particular sects of the our nation by a flag.  Heck, each part of our nation has particular symbols that represent them.  The Hollywood sign, The Golden Gate Bridge, The Empire State Building all represent subcultures of our nation.  Put it on a flag, and wave it, and you've got yourself a symbol.  But to pretend that the confederate flag doesn't represent a pro-slavery movement is like pretending rainbow flags show your support for rain.

Wear a peach.  Wear a cotton ball.  Wear a plantation house.  Wear a mint julep.  Wear Boss Hogg and Roscoe P. Coltrane.  But don't wear the General Lee.

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