Is there a difference?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Salty, Jan 27, 2008.

  1. Salty

    Salty
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    Many complain about those who why fly the Confederate flag, beacuse it is racist.

    Is there any difference from someone flying the red,black and green Pan-Africian flag? ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan-African_flag ) Does anyone consider that be be racist?

    Salty
     
  2. StefanM

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    It could be used in a racist fashion, but that wouldn't be my first thought.

    The confederate flag is different. It represented a regime dedicated to the preservation of African slavery.
     
  3. shdavis99

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  4. KenH

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    It depends on why a person is flying a particular flag. It could be out of bad motives or not.
     
  5. Salty

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    The Confederate flag represents States rights. If it stood for African slavery (during the Civil War) then why did many blacks fight for the CSA. Also, there were black slave owners.

    If someone wants to fly the Pan-African Flag, let them - even if offends some citizens. Likewise, allow a person to fly the Confederate flag.
     
  6. billwald

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    >It could be out of bad motives or not.

    Only the Federal Thought Police are permitted to judge.
     
  7. StefanM

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    1) It was technically the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia, but it has been used to represent the Confederacy. If you asked anyone who saw it during the Civil War, I highly doubt "states' rights" would be what you would hear.

    2) The vast majority of blacks in the CSA did not fight for the CSA. And, I contend, wouldn't have done so if given the chance. A few did, but the average soldier had different motivations than the generals and politicians who made the war policies. As with most wars, it was a "rich man's war, but a poor man's fight." The rich slaveholders sent off the poor boys to fight the war to protect their interests. If you had 20 or more slaves, you didn't have to fight. How convenient.

    3) A few free blacks held slaves. That doesn't make the racial character of southern slavery any different. I assure you; you would not find many of these slaveholding blacks in antebellum Mississippi.

    The Civil War was about "states' rights"--the states' rights to maintain the institution of slavery.

    I don't oppose the right of any private citizen to fly the confederate flag. I think many people fly it out of ignorance, out of conformity to local culture, or out of simple rebellion. Nevertheless, many people (especially our African-American friends) are going to see it as a racist gesture. I think Christians should think long and hard before they endorse this offensive material.

    The Pan-African flag simply doesn't carry the same connotations as the confederate flag. Most people don't even know what it is.

    We have to come to terms with the fact that connotation is very important in cultural issues.
     
    #7 StefanM, Jan 27, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 27, 2008
  8. North Carolina Tentmaker

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    Of course free speech in the United States should allow anyone to fly either flag. But as Christians we have a higher responsibility not to offend. I think we need to realize that the 'rebel' flag offends and avoid it even if the facts and history behind that offense are in error.

    Steven:

    #1 Yes the flag usually called the 'rebel' flag today was the battle flag of the army of northern Virginia. The national confederate flag looked like this:
    [​IMG]

    The saint Andrews cross that is associated with the confederacy today was used in combat because the stars and bars shown above was more easily confused with the stars and stripes of the union. But states rights was what the entire confederacy was about. The CSA was not really a nation but a collection of sovereign states. Like the United States were for the first 80 years of their existence.

    As far as your comments on #2. Quite a few blacks did serve in the confederate army. Here is a link to a book about them:

    http://www.blackconfederates.com/

    From the link:

    Here is another link on the subject of black confederate soldiers:

    http://www.37thtexas.org/html/BlkHist.html

    From the link:

    As for your comment #3 about black slave owners, again I believe you are mis informed. Here is a link about that:

    http://americancivilwar.com/authors/black_slaveowners.htm
    According to the 1860 census there were 385,000 slave owners in the United States. This would be 1.4% of the population (4.8% if you limit it to southern states). The link above points out that on that same census, of the 10,000+ free blacks living in New Orleans, over 3000 of them owned slaves. Some of these of course may have owned family members but some owned many slaves. The link documents:
    The truth is that the very idea of slavery in the American colonies was an idea imported from Africa where slavery sadly continues to this very day.
     
  9. cowboymatt

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    My high school in Texas was Robert E. Lee High and we were the Rebels. Naturally, we had the rebel flag as one of our symbols. This was poo-pooed by an Afican-American professor at the community college in our city, which really ticked me off at the time. Now that I am a bit older and have more perspective on the issue, I agree that it should have been removed.

    Whatever the actual history of the flag is doesn't matter. Instead, what really matters is what the flag represents in the minds of those who see it now, namely anti-black sentiment. Thus, I won't have anything to do with the flag now because of how its percieved, how this perception will reflect on me, and how people percieve me reflects on my Lord.


    EDIT~~Post #100!
     
    #9 cowboymatt, Jan 28, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 28, 2008
  10. Magnetic Poles

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    The CSA is a part of American history, so the flags of that nation have a place in history books. As it was the banner of a nation dedicated to the enslavement of blacks, and it was used by the KKK to terrorize, it naturally evokes very negative reactions. Therefore, it should be relegated to historical purposes only.

    Do those who believe the CSA flags are only about "Southern Heritage" also believe the flag below is only about German heritage? Or does it evoke an emotional reaction? Symbols of evil regimes can be used as tools of emotional terrorism.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Magnetic Poles

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    Amen, Matt!
     
  12. Sopranette

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    Comparing the Confederate flag to a symbol of the Nazi regime is sick. At no time did the Confederacy want total world domination, while systematically "cleansing" entire populations off the face of the earth.

    Sopranette
     
  13. cowboymatt

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    What you are saying is true, but both flags DO represent (for many people today) racial hatred.
     
  14. carpro

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    I've always seen the Confederate battle flag as a symbol of proud rebellion. Is it any wonder it is routinely called the Rebel Flag?

    The perceptions of others are a product of their own fears and prejudices.
     
  15. Sopranette

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    The Confederate flag means different things to different people. It's what is in the minds of the people who display it that determines the difference. However, the reverse Swastika means one thing to almost everyone who sees it. The reverse Swastika itself is a pagan symbol meaning death and destruction.

    Sopranette
     
  16. cowboymatt

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    I can only speak for me, but when people that I know and respect find the rebel flag to be offensive, then I don't want to display it. I want to live at peace with everyone as far as I'm concerned.

    You can see things differently, that's your business.
     
  17. North Carolina Tentmaker

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    As much as it pains me, I have to agree with MP and cowboymatt here. I hate the lack of understanding of history that most people have today. I hate the fact that there are still individuals out there that see the confederacy as a nation dedicated to slavery. But that does not change the fact that some people see that flag as a symbol of racism and hatred. It has been used by the KKK and other racial organizations (as has the nazi flag) We as Christians should avoid these symbols.

    As far as the original question of the post regarding the Pan African flag. It probably represents more racist ideas than the original use of the rebel flag. But that does not matter. It does not generate the response that the rebel flag does.

    When the historical facts are added up I believe we (those who love the rebel flag) are in the right and they (those who take offense at the rebel flag) are wrong, but that does not matter. I think this is a case where Philipians 2 applies.
    I think this is a case where we have to esteem others better than ourselves, set aside our offenses however justified we think they are, and go to great lengths to avoid bringing offense to the name of Christ.

    Those of us who want to fly the rebel flag, (and yes I want to) I ask you why? There is only one answer, Pride.
     
  18. Sopranette

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    Which is why I don't display it, nor am I fighting to have it displayed. I know to some it IS a symbol of oppression, to some it IS a symbol of pride. Both groups are wrong. Comparing it to a universally hated symbol such as the Nazi flag is totally wrong.

    Sopranette
     
  19. StefanM

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    Blacks in the confederate army whether in an official or unofficial role did not serve for the same reasons. One cannot discount the strong likelihood of coercion, especially in the case of the slaves. Free blacks would have an entirely different motivation.

    "Free black southerners, particularly the free people of color in the port cities, initiall hesitated in making common cause with slaves. Protective of their special status and fearful they would be stripped of their property, deported, or enslaved, some pledged themselves to the Confederacy."
    -Ira Berlin, Generations of Captivity: A History of African-American Slaves (Cambridge: Belknap/Harvard UP, 2003), 247.

    The same source shows that the number of free blacks in Louisiana alone in 1860 was 18,647 of a total of 350,373 blacks in the state. That's only 5 percent of the black population, slave and free. I'm not saying that there weren't black slaveholders, but that the number was not that great. The vast majority of blacks in the United States in 1860 were slaves. (Total black population: 4,441,830, number of free blacks 488,070, or 11%). This includes free blacks in northern states.

    2,460,422- number of total blacks in SC, GA, FL, LA, AL, MS, AR, TX in 1860
    36,955-number of free blacks in those states (1.5%)

    Even if all of these free blacks owned slaves (they didn't), it still wouldn't be all that many. Also, the population of free blacks was on a proportional decline and an actual decline in some areas.

    "As the number of free white and enslaved people grew, the proportion of free people of color fell to just 1 percent of the Deep South's population in 1860. The number of free people of color in Louisiana and Mississippi actually declined in the two decades before the Civil War. They were subjected to intensifying pressures, ranging from public insult to the threat of deportation and reenslavement."
    -Adam Rothman, Slave Country (Cambridge: Harvard UP, 2005), 221-22.
     
  20. StefanM

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    If it wasn't dedicated to slavery, why did the politicians go to such pains to ensure that slavery would be protected in the CSA constitution?
     

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