Spinoff: Confederate Flags

Being from where I am from, I see these a lot. Sometimes from racist rednecks who mean it in a very malicious way; Sometimes not at all.

I also see a lot of people with t-shirts or bumper stickers with "rebel flags" that say things like:

Heritage, not Hate
If you don't know what this means, then go back to history class
Southern Pride
Proud to be a Southern girl!


Thoughts? I've argued with my husband about this, and I had a friend write a paper on this very subject. I know that the Civil War wasn't JUST about slavery, and I really do think that some of the people who wear or own Confederate flags are not racist and do not mean anything harmful by it, but they truly see it as a pride thing, regarding where they are from and their southern heritage, KWIM?

HOWEVER, I think that when something has come to mean something harmful, even if it didnt' start out that way, the time to stop using it has come. Others argue that they shouldn't have to give up on their beliefs just because someone else wants to see it in a negative or distorted way.

The friend that did a paper had to fight to be able to do so because our 12th grade English teacher flipped out and all but called her racist. The girl had ancestors who had fought in the Civil War and she is/was far from being racist in the least; she felt that people were distorting the meaning of a rebel flag. When she did research for the paper, she talked to many Black kids who felt that it wasn't something to get upset about.

Thoughts? I don't want this to be some huge argument. I am truly interested in opinions. I really have faith that we can keep it sane and controlled here people
As someone from New York State, I find them offensive. Slavery was the main issue the Civil War was fought over (I mean, yeah "states' rights" but what was the so-called right those states wanted to exercise at the time? Slavery).

I also find it kind of weird the way Confederate war heroes are celebrated as these great patriots--when they were actively trying to dismantle the country they were born in. And the same people that are all about the Confederacy are often the same ones with the whole "support our president, God bless the USA, these colors don't run" attitude. A bit ironic, in my view.

My ancestors fought for the Confederacy too. But I recognize that their actions were harmful to my country and harmful to black Americans.

It is freedom of speech whether we like what someone has to say or not. I saw a car that had a license plate frame that said "Welcome to America, Now Go Home". I find it offensive, but I don't like the slippery slope we would be going down to start censoring opinions and views. I think when we protect freedom of speech we have to realize that doesn't mean only those views that agree with our own.
I can see both sides, though seeing them does make me uncomfortable especially when it is on a pick-up truck. Ann you do see them up north as well.
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Honestly, also being Southern, I see one and think the person in the car or flying it must be a complete tool, either too stupid to know better or too insensitive to care.

Fortunately, we do have free speech, and people are free to alert me in advance that they fit into either above category without me having to inquire further.
I live in Washington and see them up here(few and far between though), but displayed in a racist way(anti-black slogans next to the flag). We have a huge population of white supremacist groups here because overall the majority of the state is white, though in the area where I am I don't think there are. IIRC, they are mostly positioned in the more northern areas such as Redmond.

ETA(for clarities sake) that the white supremacist groups prefer it here due to the large white population, not the large population leading to white supremacy groups.
It is freedom of speech whether we like what someone has to say or not. I saw a car that had a license plate frame that said "Welcome to America, Now Go Home". I find it offensive, but I don't like the slippery slope we would be going down to start censoring opinions and views. I think when we protect freedom of speech we have to realize that doesn't mean only those views that agree with our own.
Originally Posted by internetchick
I totally agree.
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It is freedom of speech whether we like what someone has to say or not. I saw a car that had a license plate frame that said "Welcome to America, Now Go Home". I find it offensive, but I don't like the slippery slope we would be going down to start censoring opinions and views. I think when we protect freedom of speech we have to realize that doesn't mean only those views that agree with our own.
Originally Posted by internetchick
I totally agree.
Originally Posted by YolyC
I agree as well. I'm not saying they should be banned--just that I find them offensive.

It is freedom of speech whether we like what someone has to say or not. I saw a car that had a license plate frame that said "Welcome to America, Now Go Home". I find it offensive, but I don't like the slippery slope we would be going down to start censoring opinions and views. I think when we protect freedom of speech we have to realize that doesn't mean only those views that agree with our own.
Originally Posted by internetchick
I totally agree.
Originally Posted by YolyC
Both these women are wise!

I very rarely see them up here, if you do it's the back window of an old Honda Civic or smaller car since the people can't afford a truck.

I hate the way it makes all pick up truck drivers look like tools, even if your truck doesn't carry thing.

I will say I secretly want an air horn for my truck that does DIXIE. So deliciously redneck, I'm even a northern hick I don't get it.
I used to find them offensive, until I lived in the south for a few years. Most people who display them around here don't do so maliciously. If something is not meant to offend, why let it offend you?
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I live in the South, and also see quite a lot of Confederate symbols: flags, slogans, etc. While the people that display these flags may or may not mean to portray something negative, they end up giving off the vibe that they aren't... the sharpest knife in the drawer. This may just be the area I live in (mostly white, rural area), and it has a lot to do with the fact that the people who do this are usually making fools of themselves (screaming "Git 'R' Done!" while speeding out of a parking lot with 5+ people in the back of their pick up, wear t-shirts with scantaly clad women/men wearing a very small *ahem* Confederate flag, etc.).

I do know several people who belief in "heritage, not hate" and don't act in this way, and I personally believe that having some pride in where you came from is perfectlly fine. However, I also believe that there are better ways to show this than displaying a Confederate flag, simply because people may find it offensive.

Another reason that I see this flag quite often is that the old Georgia flag (my home state) was the GA state seal on a blue background... with a Confederate flag placed to the right of it. This flag was set in place back in the '50s to comment on the Civil Rights movement in a negative way. They finally got rid of it in... 2000? 2002? Sometime in that area.

Of course, free speech has to be considered as well. If I have a right to express my views about the Confederate flag, then so does the next person (who may have a completely different idea).
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Of course individuals have the right to fly the Confederate flag, although I'll certainly think you're either racist or a tool if you do. But I don't think that the flag belongs on state seals or flags, or near government buildings.

This probably isn't the best canon to reference, but South Park actually made a pretty good argument about this If you and the kkk happen to agree on something, then even if you have good intentions, you should probably change your opinion.
Usually when I see one I smile and flip the person off whose car or truck it's on. So far I've been lucky and haven't been shot at or run off the road but I find them despicable. They're free and so am I.
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Usually when I see one I smile and flip the person off whose car or truck it's on. So far I've been lucky and haven't been shot at or run off the road but I find them despicable. They're free and so am I.
Originally Posted by mandyv
ITA

I think that if someone in my area was wearing a Confederate flag or had one on their car, they'd have hell to pay. It's definitely considered a symbol of hatred and crackerdom here, and I can't imagine anyone flying it. Someone who lives near me flies a Canadian flag, though. Unpatriotic b@stard
Honestly, also being Southern, I see one and think the person in the car or flying it must be a complete tool, either too stupid to know better or too insensitive to care.

Fortunately, we do have free speech, and people are free to alert me in advance that they fit into either above category without me having to inquire further.
Originally Posted by Lucille

Excellent post!
BTW, the song Dixie is even more offensive, because the lyrics glorify slavery and imply that the Black singer of the song would prefer to be a slave than free.
And the Confederate flag has become a sign of white supremacy outside of the south, in places where no one can claim any historic or cultural justification for it whatsoever. I've seen them in windows and on trucks in Canada several times a well as in the northern US, and racist groups up here sometimes use them instead of or as well as swastikas - they have adopted a similar meaning.
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Honestly, also being Southern, I see one and think the person in the car or flying it must be a complete tool, either too stupid to know better or too insensitive to care.

Fortunately, we do have free speech, and people are free to alert me in advance that they fit into either above category without me having to inquire further.
Originally Posted by Lucille

Excellent post!
BTW, the song Dixie is even more offensive, because the lyrics glorify slavery and imply that the Black singer of the song would prefer to be a slave than free.
And the Confederate flag has become a sign of white supremacy outside of the south, in places where no one can claim any historic or cultural justification for it whatsoever. I've seen them in windows and on trucks in Canada several times a well as in the northern US, and racist groups up here sometimes use them instead of or as well as swastikas - they have adopted a similar meaning.
Originally Posted by Amneris
Funny story (well, I think so anyway!). When I first started dating my husband, he had a confederate flag in his back window, serving as a shade. When I noticed it I was shocked, and not a little freaked out. Then I realized- my husband is from Ireland, he probably doesn't even know what it stands for. I calmed down, and decided not to say anything that night- we hadn't known each other that long and I didn't want to embarrass him. Time goes by, and I forget the thing is even there. When he moves out of that apt, I tell him he really should throw it in the garbage (which he does).

It comes up in conversation some time later, and I tell him what I just told you guys. He says, no, he had no idea what it meant and yes, he would have been really embarrassed had he known! And he was really glad it had been in his back window. Apparently he picked up the flag while living in Germany. It had been in one of his old apts when he moved in. It really clicked for him when he said this, because there was a burgeoning Neo-Nazi movement in that area. Which is a roundabout way of saying that yes, it's considered a sign of racism and hatred many places far from the US.

My personal opinion is that people are free to wear/fly/display what they want, but I find the Confederate flag to be incredibly offensive.
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I also wanted to point out that the swastika was originally a positive symbol (the word is derived from Sanskrit, and roughly means "lucky charm"). At this stage it doesn't matter where it came from because its original meaning has been so horrifically besmirched. People can talk about "reclaiming" certain symbols all they want, but it's already far too late for some of them.
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While we're on the subject - can someone explain to me what the term "The South will rise again!" means? I just think this is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard! What do they think is going to happen if the South does "rise" again?
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While we're on the subject - can someone explain to me what the term "The South will rise again!" means? I just think this is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard! What do they think is going to happen if the South does "rise" again?
Originally Posted by three rivers curly
Cars and trucks and mobile homes will rise up off their cinder blocks and the trailer parks shall inherit the earth
While we're on the subject - can someone explain to me what the term "The South will rise again!" means? I just think this is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard! What do they think is going to happen if the South does "rise" again?
Originally Posted by three rivers curly
Cars and trucks and mobile homes will rise up off their cinder blocks and the trailer parks shall inherit the earth
Originally Posted by internetchick
*snort*

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