Unbound I would first like to point out that racist is spelled incorrectly in your post. Beyond that I would like to point out that the Confederate Flag may stand for a proud military heritage for some, however, it stands for disloyalty, betrayal, violence and separation to many others. Of course, the flags flying on the ships that bought slaves to America from Africa did not have the confederate flag flying on them. Those ships had the flags of the companies they were trading for and the countries those trading companies represented. However, that isn’t why people have an issue with the confederate flag. The issue is what happened to the slaves once they arrived here in the US and who was responsible for what happened to them once they arrived here.
Abraham Lincoln did say that he wouldn't have freed the slaves if he could have preserved the union without doing so, however, the reality is that he DID free the slaves! He may have said that because he really meant it or he may have said that because he felt he had to in order to pacify those who lost the civil war. But no matter what the reason, he DID free the slaves - no matter what his intent. The South was not only fighting to preserve slavery, however, that WAS a part of why they were fighting. They fought to preserve slavery AND their way of life. They didn't want to change to accept African Americans as anything more than property - to be used and abused as they saw fit - and they didn't want to have Northerners telling them what to do. It wasn't just one over the other. Both of those issues were at the forefront.
You are incorrect about the 13th amendment. 27 of the then 36 states ratified the amendment by mid December of 1865. The rest of the remaining states followed after (with the exception of Mississippi- a Southern state that loves its Confederate flag by the way - which didn't ratify the 13th Amendment until 1995!!!!!!!! Kentucky didn't ratify it until 1976!). The Amendment was not to free slaves in the north. In fact, it only served to free slaves in Kentucky and Delaware. States everywhere else freed slaves through the Emancipation Proclamation although, the Southern states decided to implement Jim Crow laws to control African Americans even after the end of slavery.
Now here is the interesting thing. Lincoln did say that if he could have saved the union without freeing slaves he would have, but when it came down to it he supported the 13th amendment as a way to guarantee that there would never be slavery again! He didn’t have to do that. The 13th Amendment was also symbolic because, up until that point, most of the bills passed where in support and defense of slavery.
The Confederate flag sends a message to people in the same way that displaying a Nazi symbol displays a message. You may think that symbols have no meaning, but how do you know a police officer is a police officer before he/she even says a word? Because of the way he or she is dressed! That uniform is symbolic and you know, generally, that if you need help a person with that symbol will help you. The Confederate flag is just as symbolic and just as clear when it is displayed. It's not a symbol of love and it's not symbol of togetherness. It's a symbol of separation. In fact, it was CREATED to separate the South slave states from the rest of the Union – that was the purpose of its creation. The South wanted its own flag and a way to identify its troops in battle.
This flag is a symbol of separation. It is also a symbol of a group of people willing to die rather than come together as one. This country is a union of different people, different thoughts and different ideas. I think that any proud American should look at that flag as a sad chapter of American history that pitted brother against brother, sister against sister and family against family. You can hold on to that flag if you like. My African American ancestors died for your right to believe what you want, and, if your ancestors were in this country during the time of the civil war, so did yours. Let’s focus on the things that bring us together, rather than things that rip us apart. Can't we all just get along UnboundDixie?