Confederate Flag Debate. Southern Pride or White Supremacy or Both?

So, I get that the Confederate Flag means Southern Pride to many folks. But what does Southern Pride mean? Is it different from White Supremacy? Is Southern Pride "code word" for "anti-black"?

I ask this because I never hear any folks who believe in Southern Pride denouncing the White Supremacy groups that use it as their symbol.

I ask this because there are Supremist groups that use the flag as their symbol and some of these groups are not even located in the South. They are in Idaho and Washington State and Pennsylvania.

I will accept that if you are below the Mason-Dixon line and you are waving the flag, then it's about Southern Pride. But if I see someone up North just outside of Philadelphia waving the flag, I'm going to bet it's not about the South -- it's about Supremacy.

Let me know your thoughts.

21 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    *Southern Pride is no different than any other form of pride. It's stating that you're proud from being from the South.

    *Southern Pride is very different from White Supremacy. You can be proud that you're Southern without being a White Supremacist. Furthermore, Black people can have Southern Pride.

    *Southern Pride is not the code name for Anti-Black.

    *I am very proud to be Southern, and I do denounce White Supremacy groups and I think they are mis-informed and uneducated by using the Confederate Battle Flag as their symbol.

    *Yes, I know what you're saying about the groups that use the flags that are no where close to the South. These groups use the flag that 's known as the "battle flag" - There are other flags representing the Confederacy itself. You actually have to research the KKK and learn about the original KKK, the reorganization of the KKK, and then the KKK following WWII. These idiots incorporated Hilter's ethnic cleansing beliefs into the KKK and made it a racial group when it orignially wasn't exactly that. Since the original KKK actually used the battle flag as a symbol, it has evolved into being used for White Supremacy because people didn't have enough sense to learn more about the situation. (But that's a long story- I'll save you from the explanation)

    *I do believe that you're correct. Taking the flag out of the South (or out of the former Confederate states) would indicate to me that the people are using it for a symbol of white supremacy and not southern pride.

    This is a touchy issue and many people take sides without knowing the true history of the flag, the KKK, and the evolution of the KKK and the incorporation of supremacy into the KKK. It's a mess, honestly.

    Source(s): I am Southern, and I have done research papers on race relations, the KKK, the flag discussion, and much more.
    • eugene5 years agoReport

      I think its more like the 14% telling the rest of us what we have to do to stop their ever present whining!

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  • 1 decade ago

    Prior to the 1970's it was quite clear the Confederate Flag was waved to represent the support for the discriminatory practices of the South and those who wanted to cling onto segregation. It became a symbol of white pride, which presumably also became the flag of those who believe white supremacy. Some may be delusional about it as a symbol of Southern Pride, but most know fully well what the flag represents and use the claim of Southern Pride to cover their true intent.

    But no matter why they wave the flag, allow them to wave the flag because it is their way of expressing whatever they want to believe, as long as they present no direct harm to others by doing so. Sounder minds will prevail if allowed enough time to reason. There is more to life than waving flags and shouting discontent. At some point, people who really care for family and friends do the things which are good for those they care about. Following a path of dissention and destruction will only dismantle those who are cared for.

    • eugene5 years agoReport

      if people don't like where they live,they should MOVE! to lovely place like detriot which the black admin ran into bankruptcy,of Newark nj 10 murders a night or maybe Baltimore where the cops just wont answer any calls anymore.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I grew up in CA, where the confederate flag is usually directly identified with the Civil War, which is directly identified with the emancipation of slaves in the United States. Perhaps the details, iconography, and particular nomenclature surrounding the Civil War and the South change depending on where you are in the country, but I don't think we can deny that the links between the flag, the war, and the institution of slavery are very real, though we may disagree on how strongly-tied they are.

    I can understand people reenacting the Civil War to an extent, but it seems like a glorification of the flag and war are tributes to the past, wherein some participants choose to ignore the socioracial conditions of the time, and others silently embrace it (until asked or provoked and then perhaps the silence washes away). It's very reminiscent of black face minstrelsy wherein the people of the early 1900s got together and reenacted Southern, plantation culture as both a celebration of a "simpler time" as well as a coping with the varying "new" issues of city life.

    It doesn't seem so implausible that the reenactment of the Civil War and the embracing of the flag are attempts to deal with the pressures of the flourishing urbanity of the country as a whole, and how that has affected the South.

    Ultimately, I think you have to look at the causality with respect to the emotions on each side of the fence. It just seems to me that those who do get the image of slavery and are discomforted by the symbolism of the flag, have a legitimate right to their emotions, just as the supporters do. But that it bothers some, I think should be the trump card insofar as people didn't get to choose whether or not to be a slave then, nor do they choose their race now, and yet the flag is negatively indicative of them; I didn't ask to be black, and I couldn't tell you how it would affect me if I were white, or born in the South, etc. and I think that distinction makes all the difference. It's almost a matter of white privilege even though some minorities also embrace the flag and Civil War reenactments (minorities fought for the South as well, of course).

    I think that I would be comfortable with the flag being used in a Civil War reenactment where people can choose to participate, watch, both, or neither. But I don't think it should be publicly displayed for offended eyes and opinions to be dismissed, nor should the excuse be used that it "begins a dialogue". I think that, while it does display the unique sense of solidarity that much of the South and Southerners hold among one another, it would be incredibly self-delusional to completely ignore the underlying social images the flag invokes, or at least it would be in the event of denying people equally-invocative/-powerful/-legitimate emotions.

    Lastly, I want to say this: Not to take it TOO far, but how do we make this issue separate from swastikas and KKK symbolism? It is different, to be sure, but where do you draw the line, and how ok is it to draw a line absolving this flag of offense if it means that we ignore certain aspects of the icon?

    I can see how people see it as a tribute to those who fought and died for a cause. Even if we don't agree with the cause, we can agree that choosing to fight for a cause with the prospect of dying is "honorable" (I cringe to say it, but in a vacuum, I can't see a reason to refute it). The problem is that we do not live in a vacuum, and while saying "this is my heritage" is reasonable, it's done with a particular ignoring that perhaps is not.

    Source(s): Sorry for the random insertions of Civil War reenactments, but it seems appropriate given it's relationship to the Confederate Flag.
    • eugene5 years agoReport

      funny it was mostly white soldiers who did the fighting and dieing for the blacks had they only know what was to come!!!

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  • 5 years ago

    first of all Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, announcing, "that all persons held as slaves" within the rebellious areas "are, and henceforward shall be free. the rebellious areas were considered the places in the south that did not want to join the union. but it also goes on to say that states in the union could keep there slaves. look it up so if you go by what lincoln said then the union flag would be the flag for hate and racism and slavery. ask any native american what there people went through under the union flag. morons like the kkk and some other idiots have used the Confederate battle flag to make people think that the flag was used for hate one of the reasons for this was the nickname for the flag and that was the rebel flag. southern pride is in no way any more racist than any other pride. and the southern flags are no more racist or hate full than any other flag

    • eugene5 years agoReport

      the idea behind Lincoln's speech was the hope of slave rebellion,that southern troops would have to be sent to protect the plantations it didn't work,so the civil war was NOT about slaves.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Its going to be different for each person. I my self live below the Mason Dixon line and for me the Confederate flag defiantly stands for southern pride. Southern pride to me is not being afraid to stand for something you believe in, like state rights. Its also to say that I'm not afraid to charge into a losing battle which the civil war was.

    I'm not racist. I denounce racist groups like the KKK and NeoNazis. The use the flag as a symbol of hate and not what it was meant to be. A couple of years ago the KKK held a rally at Antietam Battle Field in Sharpsburg Maryland. I heard a bunch of Southern reenactors were really pissed and going to protest along with everyone else. We don't want the thoughts of racism being linked to the confederate flag.

    If you look it up there are 4 main types of Confederate flags. I guess the one you are referring to is the Battle Flag (Stars and Bars). I tend to shy away from this because the stigma that is has with Racism and the KKK. The First National Flag is the one i use. It has a ring of stars in the corner just like the US flag but only three stripes. That is how i show my southern pride with out people thinking I'm a backwoods racist hick (I'm actually in fact a suburban college educated type of guy).

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  • 1 decade ago

    It would be a huge generalization (and whites hate to be generalized just as much as any other group) to say that the Northerners who fly a Confederate flag are anti-black. Some of them may come from the South. And a confederate flag does not mean the person has an anti-black mentality; there was a history to the South before the Civil War ever began, and there was more to it than just slavery; it cannot be defined by just this one thing. If you want to know if someone is anti-black, you should just ask him/her and not assume by the flag that he/she thinks that way.

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  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    Well if it's racist then so is every other flag in the world pretty much. For some reason people want to think the South was the only place in the world that had slaves but what about the North? They had slaves too and what about the Africans who sold their fellow Africans into slavery? It's complete ignorance to associate the Confederate flag exclusively with racism. One other point I would make is that the Civil War was not fought over slavery, it was about states' rights. I grew up and have lived in the South for almost 40 years now and there's a lot of wonderful places in this world but this is where I'll live the rest of my life. I'm proud of the South and our people here so for me, it's a representation of pride.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Becauase that person in Philly couldn't have grown up in Alabama? I see your point, but IMO, it's just an unfortunate fact that many White Supremacy groups chose the Confederate flag as their symbol. And it is just as "racist" (AlthoughI have a problem with that term. We are the all part of the HUMAN race.) to assume that the person flying said flag is a Supremacist as it is for a Supremacist to spout their propoganda. You have now "heard" someone who believes in Southern Pride denounce WS groups using the Confederate flag as their symbol.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I find the argument against the Confed. Flag based on supremacist groups patently ridiculous. The men who designed that flag, and who fought and died for it, did not do so under the Grand Wizard of the KKK. They did so in defense of their homes and in opposition to a government verging on Tyranny (yes, Lincoln trampled the Constitution just as much as Bush).

    And more to the point, the vast majority of pictures I've seen of KKK meetings? The Stars and Stripes was carried right next to the Southern Cross (That's the nickname of the Battle Flag; Stars and Bars was the nickname of the Confed. First National Flag) - so I've yet to hear a single person explain why the KKK's use of the one flag leaves a horrible stain, yet has no effect on the other. And as far as I can see, I'm not going to hear a decent explanation, because objectors are arguing from their feelings instead of from facts.

    I have no intention to hurt anyone's feelings, but your feelings do not trump anyone's right to freedom of expression, and I for one can see the KKK for the moronic blowhard arseholes that they are and recognize that their attempt to corrupt BOTH the American and Confederate flags has NOTHING to do with the flags themselves, and PROVES NOTHING about the meaning of those flags.

    Someone asked this question:

    "Lastly, I want to say this: Not to take it TOO far, but how do we make this issue separate from swastikas and KKK symbolism? It is different, to be sure, but where do you draw the line, and how ok is it to draw a line absolving this flag of offense if it means that we ignore certain aspects of the icon?"

    I already stated my opinion on the (ir)relevance of the KKK, but for swastika's, this is the difference:

    Hitler invaded and conquered several innocent countries, he reneged on solemn peace treaties, he twisted children's minds, he authorized horrific medical experiments, and, oh yeah, he tried to commit MASS GENOCIDE. Throughout he proclaimed the Swastika as the holy symbol of all this 'great change' and this 'perfect new world order' of Aryan supremacy.

    The Confederacy practiced slavery - yes. Along with a number of other countries at the time. It was wrong. It was downright disgusting. And it (slavery) was already doomed, anyway. So, yes, it carried a national sin, one which the USA carried as well, including DURING and AFTER the war.

    The Confederacy also stood up for it's people right not to have to pay horrendously ridiculous taxes for the benefit of wage slave barons in New York and Boston sailors who continued to practice the slave trade itself despite US and International law against slave ships.

    The Confederacy also tried hard for a peaceful secession. No shot was fired until Lincoln tried to move UNION MILITARY into Confederate Territory. And even then, NO ONE was hurt because the Confederates fired only Warning Shots.

    The Confederacy treated prisoners generally well, observed properly the rules of war, and maintained an extraordinary respect of Union civilians (which was not returned when Grant and Sherman ordered the destruction of the fields that kept innocent southerners fed and burned Atlanta to the ground).

    In short, anyone who seriously likens the Confederate States to the Third Reich is either maliciously lying or woefully ignorant of anything remotely approaching historical knowledge.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I live near what once was the capital of the confederacy. Alot of people around here still fly the battle flag, For most people who fly it, it's about celebrating their heritage. 99% of the time it's flown under or beside an American flag. I wouldn't be offended to see it flying up north, chances are there are more than a few born-southerners who moved.

    To: Don't Tase Me Bro: Doesn't Canada pride itself on it's tolerance? By your thinking, it would be ok for an American to take down the Canadian flag at a hockey game on American soil. And then proceed to burn it.

    Source(s): Proud southern gentleman
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