The Fake Controversy of the Confederate Flag–And Why It Matters
Reprinted from The Unz Review, JULY 3, 2015
The war between the North and South was not a civil war. A civil war is when contending parties fight for control of the state. The South was not fighting for control of the United States. The South was forced into war by an act of Northern aggression—an invasion of the South. The South was fighting a war of secession, a war of independence.
Corrupt court historians misrepresented the war as a civil war in order to cover up the North’s aggression and in order to present the war in moralistic tones as a war to free slaves. This, too, is a lie. As Abe Lincoln himself said over and over, he fought the war not to free slaves but to save the Union, that is, the American Empire.
The South voted to secede because the South realized that the North intended to use tariffs to exploit the South economically in behalf of Northern industry.
Jack Kerwich takes exception to the demonization of the Confederate flag and the demonization of the South. Making the Confederate flag a hate symbol serves the agenda of special interests. Lies become fact because they serve the agendas of special interests.
Following Kerwich’s article Ilana Mercer explains to the idiots demanding the banning of the Confederate flag that the flag that they have seized upon is not the national flag of the Confederacy but the battle flag of the Confederate army. It is a testimony to American intolerance begat by American ignorance that the media company that holds rights to the popular TV series (1979-1985 CBS), “The Dukes of Hazard, has banned re-runs of the hit program because the car, General Lee, a hallmark of the show, has the battle flag of the Confederacy painted on top.
Bubba Watson, who purchased General Lee at a Barrett-Jackson auction for $110,000 is so brainwashed that he is going to destroy the car’s value by painting over the Confederate flag that is the car’s hallmark with the American flag, thus replacing a “hate symbol” with a “unity symbol.” The pathetic brainwashed Bubba needs to read Kerwick’s article. The American flag presided over slavery for 88 years.
No recent event is more concerning for this lover of liberty than that concerning the Confederate flag.
Some food for thought:
First, the logic of those who demand that the Confederate flag be erased from public life inexorably leads them to demand the same of the American flag (as well as, for that matter, all traditional American symbols).
The Stars and Stripes flew over the institution of slavery for 88 years—84 years longer than did the Confederate flag. It was under the banner of the American flag that American Indian tribes were decimated and their lands confiscated; Japanese-Americans were interned ; and Africans were transported across the Atlantic. It is the American flag that symbolizes for many in America and around the world oppression of all sorts—centuries of slavery, “racism,” genocide, and unrelenting imperialism.
It is only the political vulnerability of the Confederate flag that explains why it is in the crosshairs while the American flag remains safe—for now.
Second, in demonizing the flag, the haters demonize a whole section of the country, a section—the Southeast—that is as American, as the saying goes, as Apple pie, millions of Americans from across the generations whose contributions to the formation of the country are second to none.
Even when the South decided to secede from the Union, the spirit that animated its sons and daughters to do so is the same exact spirit that animated their ancestors to secede from England. It is the same exact spirit that animated these “Confederates” to make the enormous sacrifices for the Union that they did before they convicted the latter of undermining “the Spirit of ’76.”
For Southerners, the war was as much of a “civil war” as was the war between the American colonies and the Mother country. There was a second American War of Independence.
In treating the Confederate flag like a Swastika, in reducing it to a one-dimensional symbol of “hate,” the flag’s enemies—both Democrats and Republicans—are guilty of nothing less than the dehumanization of generations—of millions—of patriotic, God-fearing, salt-of-the-Earth Southern Americans.
This is ominous because, as noted, the South is integral to American history. In dehumanizing Southerners, in rewriting their history, we dehumanize the best of ourselves and rewrite our history.
Third, it is simply a lie that the Confederates were fighting for slavery. They were no more fighting for slavery than were the colonists—who preserved slavery long after the Mother country had (peacefully) abolished it—fighting for it.
For example, Robert E. Lee, a man who has become almost as much of a symbol of the Confederacy as the Confederate flag itself and, by all accounts, among the greatest of human beings, to say nothing of Americans, that ever lived, freed his slaves well before war erupted. In a letter to none other than Lord Acton, Lee states that “the continuance of a free government” depended upon the preservation of what is known as “states’ rights.” It is for the sake of the latter that he fought, for once states’ sovereignty went by the wayside, the central government would become “aggressive abroad and despotic at home.”
Lee favored the immediate abolition of slavery.
Moreover, of the more than five million whites who lived in the South at the outset of the war, a mere 6 percent owned slaves. And half of these owned no more than five slaves.
Finally, another little inconvenient fact that puts the lie to the idea that the war was all about slavery is that there were black Confederates.
Syndicated columnist and economist Walter E. Williams is a black Northerner who holds that there is indeed a right to secession. He also believes that the Southern states, like all states, had a Constitutional right to secede. Williams at one point had the Confederate flag hanging in his office at George Mason University.
Williams refers to a Virginia newspaper article from 1861 that lauds 70 blacks who volunteered “‘to act in any capacity that may be assigned to them’” in order to defend the homeland of Virginia. Frederick Douglas as well commented on this phenomenon. “‘There are at the present moment,” Douglas remarked, “‘many colored men in the Confederate Army…ready to…destroy the Federal government.’”
Williams as well cites Charles H. Wesley, a “distinguished black historian,” who wrote of the “sixteen companies (1,600) of free men of color” that “marched through Augusta, Georgia on their way to fight in Virginia.” Wesley remarked that black and white Confederates were marching together long before integration of this sort would be tolerated in the North.
To this day, there remain black “confederates.” Bob Harrison is one example. Harrison is “a first sergeant of Company B, Thirty-Seventh Texas Cavalry, C.S.A (a historical reenactment unit), a Southern Party staff writer, a descendant of two Virginia slave families, a history scholar, and a modern black Confederate,” as he describes himself in his foreword to Walter Kennedy’s, Myths of American Slavery. Harrison refers to “the Civil War” as the “War of Northern Aggression.”
Much more can be said on this topic. But that’s the problem: The flag haters, on their quest to fundamentally transform the country, insist on purging those voices that imperil their plans.
Yankee Supremacists Trash South’s Heroes
ILANA MERCER From The Unz Review, JUNE 26, 2015
Fox News anchor Sean Hannity promised to provide a much-needed history of the much-maligned Confederate flag. For a moment, it seemed as though he and his guest, Mark Steyn, would deliver on the promise and lift the veil of ignorance. But no: The two showmen conducted a tactical tit-for-tat. They pinned the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia on the Southern Democrats (aka Dixiecrats). “I’m too sexy for my sheet,” sneered Steyn.
It fell to the woman who used to come across as the consummate Yankee supremacist to edify. The new Ann Coulter is indeed lovely:
Also on Fox, Ms. Coulter remarked that she was “appalled by” South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley’s call “for the removal of the Confederate battle flag from the state Capitol.” As “a student of American history,” Coulter offered that “the Confederate flag we’re [fussing] about never flew over an official Confederate building. It was a battle flag. It is to honor Robert E. Lee. And anyone who knows the first thing about military history knows that there is no greater army that ever took to the battle field than the Confederate Army.”
And anyone who knows the first thing about human valor knows that there was no man more valorous and courageous than Robert E. Lee, whose “two uncles signed the Declaration of Independence and [whose] father was a notable cavalry officer in the War for Independence.”
The battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia—known as “Lee’s Army”—is not to be conflated with the “Stars and Bars,” which “became the official national flag of the Confederacy.” According to Sons of the South, the “first official use of the ‘Stars and Bars’ was at the inauguration of Jefferson Davis on March 4, 1861.” But because it resembled the “Stars and Stripes” flown by the Union, the “Stars and Bars” proved a liability during the Battle of Bull Run.
The confusion caused by the similarity in the flags was of great concern to Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard. He suggested that the Confederate national flag be changed to something completely different, to avoid confusion in battle in the future. This idea was rejected by the Confederate government.
Beauregard then suggested that there should be two flags. One, the national flag, and the second one a battle flag, with the battle flag being completely different from the United States flag.
Originally, the flag whose history is being trampled today was a red square, not a rectangle. Atop it was the blue Southern Cross. In the cross were—still are—13 stars representing the 13 states in the Confederacy.
Wars are generally a rich man’s affair and a poor man’s fight. Yankees are fond of citing Confederacy officials in support of slavery and a war for slavery. Most Southerners, however, were not slaveholders. All Southerners were sovereigntists, fighting a “War for Southern Independence.” They rejected central coercion. Southerners believed a union that was entered voluntarily could be exited in the same way. As even establishment historian Paul Johnson concedes, “The South was protesting not only against the North’s interference in its ‘peculiar institution’ but against the growth of government generally.”
Lincoln grew government, markedly, in size and in predatory boldness.
“Slavery as an institution is a moral and political evil,” wrote the South’s greatest hero, Gen. Lee. He did not go to war for that repugnant institution. To this American hero, local was truly beautiful. “In 1861 he was offered command of all the armies of the United States, the height of a soldier’s ambition,” chronicles Clyde Wilson, distinguished professor emeritus of history at the University of South Carolina. “But the path of honor commanded him to choose to defend his own people from invasion rather than do the bidding of the politicians who controlled the federal machinery in Washington.”
To his sister, Lee wrote: “With all my devotion to the Union, and the feeling of loyalty and duty of an American citizen, I have not been able to make up my mind to raise my hand against my relatives, my children, my home.” Lee, you see, was first and foremost a Virginian, the state that gave America its greatest presidents and the Constitution itself.
Lord Acton, the British historian of liberty, wrote to Lee in praise. The general, surmised Lord Acton, was fighting to preserve “the only availing check upon the absolutism of the sovereign will”: states’ rights and secession.
Lee’s inspired reply to Lord Acton:
“… I believe that the maintenance of the rights and authority reserved to the states and to the people … are the safeguard to the continuance of a free government … whereas the consolidation of the states into one vast republic, sure to be aggressive abroad and despotic at home, will be the certain precursor of that ruin which has overwhelmed all those that have preceded it.”
Another extraordinary Southerner was James Johnston Pettigrew. He gave his life for Southern independence, not for slavery. Quoting Pettigrew, professor Wilson likens the forbearance of his own Confederate forebears to “the small Greek city-states who stood against the mighty Persian Empire in the 5th century B.C.”
Not quite Leonidas’ 300 Spartans at Thermopylae, but close.
“The U.S. government had quadruple the South’s resources.” Yet “it took 22 million Northerners four years of the bloodiest warfare in American history to conquer five million Southerners,” who “mobilized 90 percent of their men and lost nearly a fourth.”
When they hoist the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia, it is these soldiers Southerners honor.
Unable to defeat the South, the U.S. government resorted to terrorism—to an unprecedented war against Southern women and children.
With their battle flag, Southerners commemorate these innocents.