Calling for the removal of the Confederate Flag from South Carolina’s Capitol in the wake of a national tragedy, the assigned symbol of one man’s hate and paranoia, is ironically both defensible and predictably shortsighted. What rabid activists conveniently forget is that the Confederate Flag – which still wavers at the behest of state law – was never derived as a proud beacon of slavery; after all, even at the height of the Antebellum period less than 2% of all Americans owned slaves. Slavery was a means to an end, an economic mechanism utilized to compete with foreign competitors and northern industrialization. And let’s not forget that slavery, an abomination in any age or form, was a product of cultural relativism that stretched from the heart of Africa – the custom bartering practices of African tribes – to the known fact Thomas Jefferson procured them for his vast estate. Luckily the Constitution, the single greatest document ever conceived in our nation’s history, and not the flawed cultural norms of the times, provided the blueprint to overcome society’s most daunting challenges and glaring injustices.
The Confederate or Rebel Flag so widely commercialized today, that which replaced the original “Stars and Bars” of the Confederacy in 1863, was merely the battle flag of the Northern Virginia Army under General Lee. It later became the official embodiment of state sovereignty and a charter for self-rule in the face of excessive and intrusive federal power; a struggle that continues today in the form of growing statism and unapologetic unilateralism under Barack Obama. If the truth be known, the “Dixie Flag” was symbolic of a revered way of life, the fierce independent spirit of southern pride still loyal to our founding creed of limited government, rather than the sole product of those racist attitudes prevalent throughout the world in the 19th century. And how ironic is it no one is asking the Dutch, the English, Portugal or Spain, nations who streamlined slave trading to the New World, to surrender their recognized colors of civility? Regardless, because the Confederate flag is naturally synonymous with the sordid legacy of slavery and suffering, a sizable segment of America is opposed to its public display. Yes, that’s common sense and to be expected. However, if we’re going to be historically accurate in this politically correct centrifuge of adjudicating justice, shouldn’t America give equal credence and outrage to those symbols, leaders and organizations that bear equally, if not more horrific, legacies?
If I’m not mistaken, the Democratic Party forged the KKK as the terrorist arm of their party to keep blacks from voting and opposed nearly every civil rights reform from the Emancipation Proclamation to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. If Dylann Roof is guilty of being an unapologetic racist, the twisted disciple of the KKK, Democrats are undoubtedly his founding father. The black flag of ISIS, an internationally despised symbol of religious intolerance and hatred – guilty of denying women basic civil rights, killing gays for merely existing, and beheading nonbelievers at will – has been spotted in Muslim communities across America and its representatives have even been invited to college campuses; the supposed safe harbors of enlightenment for our youth. Does embracing such hatred not enable terrorism, degrade our societal ideals and incite more death? The faces of Che Guevara, Vladimir Lenin and Karl Marx, infamous Communists and/or known mass murderers, have become a fashion statement of leftist activism and the preferred décor of liberals and educators nationwide; yes, even splashed on the walls of the election headquarters of the reigning President of the United States. If I may so boldly ask, where is the outrage; the acute awareness and engrained sensitivity for mass injustice?
If people want to blame a flag that has flown for 150 years for the misguided actions of a deranged individual driven by hate and psychotropic drugs, so be it. There is both tangible guilt and cultured misconception. But know this; taking down a colored piece of nylon will not stop similar, future tragedies nor will it assuage this culture war of orchestrated division and disdain progressives are waging to achieve their political goals. It is but a convenient scapegoat camouflaging America’s true ills and moral decay. No, I’m not absolving the South for past misgivings, just putting them into perspective. There are millions of decent, compassionate, law-abiding Southerners who aren’t racist or murderers, who proudly bear the colors of the Confederate Flag to honor their ancestors, and who also unconditionally weep for those nine men and women viciously gunned down in a South Carolina church. If the enduring struggle of racism and mass violence can be pinpointed to the existence of an inanimate object and not the rogue acts of disturbed individuals, then we should rejoice in the naïve delusion that wiping the enduring images of Islamic fanaticism and Communist oppression off the face of the earth will eradicate their destructive creeds. Or is their survival simply a matter of historical context and personal choice? Well that depends on whether or not you’re the Presidential disciple of radical Marxists and Muslim sympathizers living in a land predicated upon liberty. To each his own beneath the offensive flag of truth.