Tag Archives | Confederate flag

It’s Time for Us to Have a Modern (post-Confederate) Constitution

constitutionSouth Carolina’s battle flag may soon come down from the capitol flagpole, but other symbols of the Confederacy’s ideology remain in place. For example, consider the U. S. Constitution, which is another kind of symbol as well as a law.

All copies of the Constitution promulgate detailed instructions for the recapture of slaves who have run away from their owners. They also specify that slaves are to be counted as three-fifths of a person in the Census, giving a boost to the slave-owning states in the House of Representatives and the Electoral College.

One might justify this presentation of our national charter by saying that it commemorates an earlier time or instructs students on the nation’s political history. That kind of thinking has prevailed for a long time in Charleston, only recently yielding in the face of an atrocity.

We would all be better off if all such language were consigned to the back of the document, and Americans were presented with a modern constitutional text that truly portrays our system of government as it exists in the 21st century—a constitution that deserves to be read aloud each year when the House of Representatives begins its session.… Read the rest

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How an Infamous Movie Revived the Confederacy

birth of a nation“100 years ago, Birth of a Nation reimagined the Civil War and created the modern and enduring cult of the noble Lost Cause,” writes Josh Zeitz at Politico:

In the immediate aftermath of last week’s appalling act of terror at Charleston’s Emanuel A.M.E. Church, Republican presidential candidates found themselves in a tight bind: how to acknowledge what everyone in the civilized world seems to understand—yes, the crime was racially motivated and, no, you can’t decry hate crimes and defend the Confederate flag—without giving offense to Tea Party voters in early primary states?

The subsequent discovery of the alleged shooter’s rambling, racist “manifesto,” along with photos of him brandishing a Confederate flag, either threw the GOP contenders a lifeline or further complicated the issue, depending on whom one asks.

As the United States revisits its enduring debate over the meaning of the Confederate flag, we also mark the centennial of its initial political resurgence.

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U.S. Supreme Court To Rule On Texas Confederate Flag License Plates

Non-Americans (and probably Un-Americans) must think the fuss over the display of the Confederate flag is peculiarly parochial, but here it’s still front-page news at AP via Yahoo News (as an aside, do you think that Nat Hentoff and P.J. O’Rourke really meant to say “odorous”?):

Texas commemorates the Confederacy in many ways, from an annual celebration of Confederate Heroes Day each January to monuments on the grounds of the state Capitol in Austin. Among the memorials is one that has stood for more than a century, bearing an image of the Confederate battle flag etched in marble.

Supreme Court License Plates

But you’re out of luck if you want to put that flag on your license plate. Texas says that would be offensive.

Now the Supreme Court will decide whether the state can refuse to issue a license plate featuring the battle flag without violating the free-speech rights of Texans who want one. The justices hear arguments Monday in a challenge brought by the Texas division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

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Lynyrd Skynyrd: Confederate Flag is Racist (But We’ll Still Use it)

Picture: G.8.S. (CC)

When even the last surviving member of Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd is calling the confederate flag racist, it may be that it’s long past time to redesign your state flag. I’m looking at you, Mississippi.

During an interview on CNN, surviving original member Gary Rossington said:

“Through the years, people like the KKK and skinheads kinda kidnapped the Dixie or Southern flag from its tradition and the heritage of the soldiers, that’s what it was about,” Rossington said. “We didn’t want that to go to our fans or show the image like we agreed with any of the race stuff or any of the bad things.”

Following a near-immediate fan backlash, Rossington backpedaled from his stance, stating that the band would still be flying the rebel flag at its shows.

Does the confederate flag have any place in popular music? More than a few bands have incorporated disturbing iconography into their image for both shock value and as a symbol of their rebellious personae, Motorhead’s Lemmy Kilmister’s obsession with Nazi symbolism being just one example.… Read the rest

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Would You Buy A License Plate With A Confederate Flag On It?

If you live in Texas, you might have that choice quite soon.  CBSDFW.com reports:
Would you buy a license plate with a Confederate flag on it? State officials are looking at possibly launching a new Texas state license plate honoring veterans of the War Between the States. Mr. Hilary Shelton, with the NAACP in Washington, D.C., said that the Civil War may not be something we want to celebrate. “When many look at that history, we think about it in terms of secession, that is we were seceding from the Union in the southern parts of the country,” explained Shelton. “Many would view that, quite frankly, as treason, because they meant to actually destroy the existing governmental structure. But when we dig deeper, the issue becomes even more offensive to many African Americans and those that sought freedom for those of darker skin in our country.”...
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Study: Confederate Flag Triggers Anti-Black Mindset

confederate_tshirtShocking discoveries: apparently, symbols from the past can retain a potent negative impact, and the Confederate flag is definitely racist. In two studies, after being exposed to a subliminal image of the Rebel flag, whites (of all political affiliations) displayed increased animosity towards black people. Miller-McCune reports:

The Confederate flag, which continues to fly on buildings throughout the American South 150 years after the Civil War, is a potent symbol. But of what? Cultural heritage, answer many Southern whites. Lingering racism, insist many blacks.

Newly published research provides evidence supporting the latter view. It suggests exposure to the flag evokes anti-black sentiments among whites, regardless of their stated beliefs on racial issues.

Specifically, white students at a large state-supported Southern university who were exposed to images of the still-ubiquitous battle flag judged a fictional black character more harshly. They expressed less willingness to vote for presidential candidate Barack Obama in 2008.

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