As a southerner, what does the Confederate flag mean to you?
I know a lot of people from the north believe it to be a reminder of racism and segregation or the civil war, but isn't it just a symbol for southern pride?
- 1 decade agoFavorite Answer
I was born and raised in Virginia. The little city I live in right now has a seal that has the confederate flag on it, it is so sacred to the white people of the "old guard." Winchester, VA, where I live, changed hands during the war 71x. No lie.
To me, it is little more than a discarded standard, like the flags of Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany. But I don't take the same kind of umbrage to it when I see it the way our Black citizens probably do.
When it's hung in someone's window for the public to see, that's a bad sign. When it's tacked up on some teenagers bedroom wall, that's typical teenager decor (which is worse: the flag or a giant Pot apex?). When I'm passed by a pick-up truck doing 70 mph with a giant Confederate Flag flying in the back, I simply think: "well, I know where his/her head is at."
Far more offensive than the Flag of the Confederacy, is the insidious movement to "disinfect" the Civil War by such aberrations as Mort Künstler's highly idealized prints of Confederate soldiers praying on Xmas Eve (not that all soldiers don't pray), etc., which people go mad for and pay HUGE amounts of money for a print and re-enacts of the Civil War, where clearly the choicest side to be on is the Southern side. Reenactments take place all the time around here. When was the last time you saw somebody reenact The Battle of the Bulge.
But truthfully, I understand why this standard is beloved: the South is the most unique part of the United States. It's culture is immediately identifiable. It's accent(s) are immediately identifiable. I take an enormous amount of satisfaction that we gave Americans William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams and Willa Cather, among others, to read. Every time I go to Charlottesville, VA, I sense the spirit of Thomas Jefferson EVERYWHERE. I am proud to be a Virginian, America's oldest colonial culture.
So, I don't get nauseated when I see the Confederate Flag, but when I see jerks parading it around like it was the Holy Grail, I simply think: "mindless racist provocateurs.....when will it every end?" And do you know that is a dangerous generalization? Just because somebody is flying it, doesn't mean they're racist. It means they identify with a period in time when America first became outrageous to the world, serving notice that she had no intention of replicating European mores, but making her own.
I'm sorry this was a difficult period for Black Americans. But as I understand the "reconstruction" of the South, which lasted well into the middle of the 20th Century, I know for a fact that there were white people every bit as poor as their black counterparts, only they were despised as "white trash" because they had nothing, and the Blacks were despised as the symbol of the South's defeat. It took nearly a century and nearly another civil war to get where we are today, so thoroughly was the Confederacy destroyed.
- 1 decade ago
I'm not a southerner; I'm actually a yankee but when I was living there I was surprised that most of the people with confederate flags were not ignorant, drunk crackers. Many southerners see the civil war as the "war of northern aggression" and the confederate flag is a symbol of self-government. Keep in mind that during the civil war the north had slaves too, and they weren't liberated until after the southern slaves.
- 5 years ago
as a point of southern,ways not racism,like some people say,