Thank you, Taniya Smith, for instigating this debate on the US Confederate Flag.
The Confederate States of America was an unrecognized nation existing briefly from the years 1861-1865. The Confederate States of America composed of 11 federal entities that had seceded from the union of the United States of America. This was their flag.
The flag, also known as "Stars and Bars," represents a variety of things. The red, white, and blue symbolize freedom and American heritage. The eleven stars seen in the blue canton represent the original eleven states that seceded from the United States of America.
Although the Confederate States of America was not recognized as sovereign by the international community, its population believed in their nation's right to rule. Surely enough they had seceded justly from the union using non-violence and democratic vote, and according to the US constitution, that ensures the right of the Confederacy to exist. For this reason, it came to no surprise that after the Union Army launched an unprovoked attack on Fort Sumpter, Charleston, South Carolina, the Confederate Army declared war.
Although the South lost the ensuing Civil War, the Confederate States of America still holds a special place in history for most Americans. Stars and Bars, along with the Confederate Battle Flag, remain powerful symbols for a number of heritage and political advocacy groups. Conservatives, neo-confederate secessionists, heritage groups, confederate army veterans agencies, and a variety of other institutions use the flag to represent their causes and ideologies.
The controversy around the flag has sparked much political discussion, which is healthy for the nation. To many, the flag is a great source of pride, as many Americans have parents or grandparents who died under the confederate flag for ideals such as state rights and refounding America the way it was supposed to be. Therefore I advocate that the Confederate Flag is a good flag, in that it serves its purpose as an icon effectively, and has sparked much discussion on the cultures and societies forming under the present Union.
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2015-08-08 04:05:07| Speak Round
I believe that somewhere in the image of the confederate soldiers, there is valor because they risked their lives, but on the same note, the confederates fought to preserve slavery but they also fought to preserve state's rights, for the wrong reason though.
They wanted state's rights so they could have a valid reason to succeed from the Union and so they could continue to carry out slavery. People are quick to say, "Heritage Not Hate," but their heritage is hate. In my eyes, the flag is a sign of hate and a sign to hold the memories of the fellow soldiers that died.
It would be moderately okay if slavery ceased to exist in the world, but modern day slavery is stronger than the latter day slavery. The flag holds memories of what African Americans went through, and I believe that slavery was worse than the holocaust, yes, the holocaust was horrible but the number of deaths in the event didn't even reach the number of deaths in slavery.
Thousands of Africans were stolen from their home and shipped to America. 33% of America's population was slaves, and 89% of slaves were African. When slavery ended, unlike the holocaust, they didn't have families to return to because they didn't know where their parents were probably, most families were separated in slavery. Pregnant women still had to work in the field and they didn't have maternity leave, they were still beaten, either with a child on their back or in their womb.
Slavery isn't something America should be proud of, the war shouldn't be something that we celebrate. It's in the past and we need to leave it there because most of the people that support the flag could care less about soldiers that died in other wars, they use it as a way to hide their racism. Now, I know not every pro-confederate is racist, but they refuse to look at the whole picture and only pick out the things in the war that made the confederates look like heroes.
(Thank you for accepting the debate, Stag.)
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2015-08-08 15:36:23| Speak Round
It seems as though the opposition has admitted first hand that the flag represents ideals besides slavery to certain people.
Tis' true that the Confederate States of America had preserved slavery, but you cannot blame them in the slightest. African-Americans cannot keep blaming their troubles on the white man! When we look back into history, and see all the atrocities committed during the age of mass-slavery, we will see that the real criminals were in fact Africans themselves!
Africans were beaten, netted, and thrown on boats by Confederate Americans. Oh no! That is a common misconception. It was in fact OTHER Africans who traded their brethren to the white men, in exchange for material currency and European imports. Africans condemned their brothers and sisters, and generations to come, to a life of hard labor and limited liberties. The slave trade was abolished before Europeans had any major land claims in Africa, therefore nearly every African living in the Americas today was betrayed and sold for the prosperity of the rest of their tribe. Let me reveal one of the flags of the true criminals...
Oh wait... it actually isn't! This is just a pixelated computer image with a cool symbol.
Let me explain...
. To some people, the flag of the Ethiopian Empire represents the 800,000 or so Africans traded to slavers by their own government. To others, the flag of the Ethiopian Empire represents monarchism, tradition, and Abysinnian culture. You choose! After all, it is just a piece of cloth.
If you want to see a piece of cloth in a positive light, go ahead. If you want to see a piece of cloth in a negative light, knock yourself out. At the end of the day, it is a piece of cloth, and it is much better to ignore it (or praise it), than to get all worked up over it.
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2015-08-08 16:15:45| Speak Round
If it's just a piece of cloth, then we should leave it as that, not a symbol of pride or slavery. Let it stay in a glass box in a museum and not outside in the world. There's a saying that goes, "Out with the old, in with the new."
I believe if we ever want to give the future generation a chance to abolish hatred, racism even reverse racism, we should get rid of the mistakes older generations made. Great, hang the flag somewhere in your house, but not outside to influence the newest generation to continue this hatred.
We, as in humans, need to work together to acquire equality, not against each other. A kingdom divided against one another won't ever succeed. If we really wanted to show appreciate for our heritage, I believe we would have flown both the Union's flag and the Confederacy flag.
Unless the evidence is clearly showing validness, that we are actually proud of our dabbling in slavery and objectification of other races, that we're proud we were once a nation divided against each other, and this extends farther into history. This is the USA, not the CSA, we have to leave the past in the past.
Our race needs to stop dividing one another by race and class, and we're reminding everybody that 155 years ago, a war began over that exact reason. One race isn't better than the other, and I mean that in a way that's not Black "V.S." White, but in a way like stereotyping people's cultures.
Not all Muslims are terrorists, not all African Americans are niggers, not all whites are racists and so on. It's clear that society just loves to judge everyone for everything. You have to be just right, which is where humans fall short. We aren't perfect and we shouldn't remind our race of our mistakes and trip-ups.
Also, I wasn't trying to imply that whites are black's problem. I've experience first hand that Caucasians really know how to make the wound of slavery worst, which can give them a bad name in the black community, but I know that I have to forgive and forget.
So, let's forgive and forget the Confederacy and the Union.
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2015-08-08 17:52:46| Speak Round
Thanks for the speedy response.
The opposition may of missed the point. Flags are pieces of cloth, just as badges and medals are just objects formed from heated metals. They have as much significance as one decides to attach to them.
The Michigan Flag represents all the things I love and am passionate about regarding my home state. If I showed the flag to someone from Serbia, they might ask, "What the hell is Michigan?" This is fine. I can be proud of my flag without requiring others to develop strong feelings about it. When I hang a flag I do it because it is representative of me as a person, and the things I care about. To others, the flags I hang are just pieces of cloth, and they are not wrong. It is all in how we choose to perceive a flag.
I have shed tears paying respect to this flag, as have many others in my homeland. 99% of the world population probably doesn't even know what the flag of Michigan looks like. Like the confederate flag though, there is a group of people who strongly dislike "Michigan," and want to bury our history by advocating that we should not fly the flag over our businesses and homes, but keep it confined to government buildings and "museums."
Flags are a form of identity and expression. The Authority and the society in which it drives seeks to judge and oppress those who express an identity. The American nation was founded on ideals of freedom, liberty, and expression. The confederate flag does represent southern heritage, states rights, resistance, and many more things to people who are not racist!
Maybe you see the flag differently? Maybe you find it offensive? My advice to you, is if you do not want to like a flag, then simply ignore it and accept that at the end of the day, it is a piece of cloth.
The opposition also argues that the flag is a symbol of racism, a reminder of war, and a negative influence on children. Let me clear all of these things up for her.
Saying that the flag is a symbol of racism is naive. A civil war started in which millions fought. Millions did not fight simply for the cause of slavery. Read the declarations of independence of the individual confederate states. Before 1861, the North was richer than the South, yet Southern citizens were required to pay more in taxes than the Northern citizens, because the ruling party in the senate and house was using its influence to "punish" Democrats. The oppressive partisan regime also purposefully raised ridiculously high tariffs, because politicians believed attacking the Southern economy would fracture the Democrats, even though this put many people in poverty, and was intentionally holding back the economy.
These are the real reasons many Southerners decided to split. It wasn't about slavery. There was a cultural divide occurring, and the majority government was repeatedly stamping on the minority, which caused many Southerners to resent the Union and what it had become. The continued institution of slavery was more of a form of resistance to the overwhelming cultural shift that was taking place in the rural South. By 1864, the Confederation abolished the Slave trade, and wrote into laws giving rights to slave. Was progress inevitable? I am under the impression that if the confederacy had survived for a while longer before its defeat, its national flag would of never been seen as a symbol of racism.
We must also come to terms with the fact that a war did happen. The nation must accept history rather than attempting to bury it. There are a lot of things to be proud of regarding the Civil War. It was a fascinating and unique time; nostalgia for many. Americans fought and died, but they did so with passion and good intentions for the future of our nation. That is something to commend and revere, so I would appreciate it if we stopped ragging on and pitying the loss of life in the war. The Americans involved in the struggle do not want our pity. They want acknowledgement that the war brought about a new rejuvenated America in which we can all be proud of.
This is a daring new age. Children are exposed to more things than ever before. The new generation is evolved and a lot more passionate about society and social revolution. The last thing we want to do is to promote a culture in which we keep children in the dark regarding ideological belief systems. A parent might not agree with Confederate nostalgia and southern pride, but a parent does not have the right to dictate their children's belief system for them. Society has dictated the norms for way to long. Exposure is the only way we can advance as a species.
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2015-08-08 19:17:11| Speak Round
This debate has been very interesting, thank you for engaging in this with me. This has been a lovely first experience in this environment.
The Michigan flag, unlike some states such as Texas—a state that was once its own sovereign nation called The Republic of Texas—doesn't have such a deep meaning as the Confederate flag. It is a piece of cloth, but it's what that piece of cloth stands for that matters, here is one example: In 1948, a group called the Dixiecrats banned together, which consisted of 35 Democratic delegates from Mississippi and Alabama that walked out of the 1948 Democratic National Convention. These men fought to cancel out Sen. Hubert Humphrey's proposal to end racial oppression and reverse Jim Crow laws.
Shockingly, they opposed the abolition of poll taxes, but on a more expected not, their slogan was, "Segregation Forever!" and they wanted "state's rights," note the sarcasm. They used the Confederate flag as their own, which dosed the flag with an even more bad name.
Another thing is that the flag is divisive (if you couldn't guess already!) and it's hard to see my country going neck and neck over a piece of cloth, as you put it. The cloth was also used by the KKK, the Ku Klux Klan, but to be fair, the American was also used by the organization. Though the KKK isn't as bad as it was in the Jim Crow period, it still exists today, which I find sad. They appear at most of the Pro-Confederacy rallies, about 128 rallies have commenced at the moment, and sometimes they get shunned or degraded by the fellow anti-racists, which some people see as anti-white.
Stupid, I know...
There is more important problems in the world than a flag, but I believe that if we take the small step of removing the flag, it will be a big step closer to racial equality. Seeing as California has completely banned the flag and 5 states have a law that stops discrimination against the flag, I see this as somewhat fair.
Mostly though, I believe African Americans take this to heart, some of them at least. It wouldn't be so bad if people who didn't have to deal with their ancestors experiencing racism kept on telling us to get over slavery, you can't just got over something like that, especially since it still affects many African American lives and they're discriminated against. It's all a matter of privilege.
Some people believe their life is so hard, but people will always have it harder than them, something that white supremacist seem to be blind to, but I guess when you have privilege you are blind to it. Yes, I'm not living in the best conditions but people are starving out there, they have to watch their parents fight a mental and external war every day just for their well-being, some of them don't even have parents.
You said that we shouldn't bury our history, so why are people so quick to bury the history of slavery and the reasons the civil war actually happened? I'm ashamed that my country had once been so... desperate, and I never want my children to have to go through that. We are supposed to learn from our mistakes right? So, now we should know that slavery and forcing somebody to fight a war, that includes Union and Confederacy soldiers also, is violating their basic human rights.
I'm well aware that most of the men that fought in the war were too poor to buy their own slaves, which is selfish on the slave owner's part, but owning a human is owning a human, there's no sugar coating it. Maybe the Confederate flag could fly if it didn't mean such a morbid message to such a large group of people, so many lives lost on both parts. Many confederate soldiers died, but not as many as black. One million, nearly two million, died as a whole in the Civil War, whole as in all American soldiers, but twelve million Africans were shipped to America, with a 10%-20% death rates, resulting in about 9.6 to 10.8 million Africans arriving there, the number is much larger if you include the West Indies slave trade, just imagine how many deaths there was.
It saddens me, it really does. Many African Americans don't need somebody waving a flag around, reminding them of what their ancestors went through. If you take into consideration the number of years racism went on period, it would be about 500 years. It still affects people now, such as the way racially hurting a group of people is the biggest blow to African Americans.
Plus, the Heritage Not Hate argument is invalid, but not in the way you think. They, as in pro-Confederates, always say that their opponent wasn't born in 1860 so they can't say what the Confederacy fought for, but neither were they so their argument is just as invalid. I believe Heritage and Hate fits better because it's both. If we continue to try and decipher it as one or the other, this fight will never end.
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2015-08-09 14:36:46| Speak Round