Save the Confederate Flag
The Confederate Flag issue seems to be making me a little crazy, as well as everyone else I’ve listened to or read in the last days, and I know that it is a delicate issue. I grew up in a world of soldiers - WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and my brother is now in Afghanistan. I am a Daughter of the American Revolution, and my ancestors fought in the Civil War.
To me the Confederate Flag is a symbol of rebellion, and despite how the history books have changed to fit the needs of the world, or at least guide the students to where their “thinking space” is in the acceptable place, I know that the flag was about rebellion.
I got in a lot of trouble in sixth grade social studies when “Roots” came out because I challenged the teacher on several points – you see I spent my weekends in archives with my father chasing down history. My history teacher didn’t even know what the archives were, but she knew Alex Haley would tell no lies. My father was, among many other things, a genealogist and a historian, and he long complained about the records being changed before his eyes, and if it wasn’t old ladies with hidden fountain pens trying to make their family upper crust, or at least erase some shame in the old census books, it was the new retelling of history on a national TV network.
I was not raised to be racist. I was born in 1965 during the Civil Rights movement in Georgia. My father insisted we treat all people equally, and as a man in power to hire others, he hired people of a skin color darker than our own and paid them well, if not better, than those of our own pink hue. My ancestors not only fought in both the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, they also funded the first black college in NC.
I will feel no weight under what is happening in the world now. The flag is rebellion, and trust me my ancestors were rebelling when they saw something other than skin. My ancestors also fought side by side with people of a darker hue in the Civil War.
The world is saying this flag caused the murder of nine people studying the Bible, but no one is addressing another murderer on too damned many pharmaceuticals (he was arrested a few months earlier for pharmaceuticals). And no one is addressing that it was a church and it was Christians who were killed.
And now the world says I need to be ashamed of my heritage. I wonder which part I should be ashamed of - the fact that my ancestors fought proudly to free us from European control, the fact that my ancestors worked diligently to lift the African Americans out of poverty, or that I have light eyes and hair?
I feel no shame. And although I never carried the stars and bars, I love my brothers and sisters who understand history and stand for it every day. Maybe I have been lackadaisical as I grew up under the historian and I didn’t always listen as well as I should have, but I’m listening and reviewing now.
I’m standing up for the Confederate Flag, call me any name you like, but it’s the South, it’s God, and it’s Rebellion, and I know where I came from, despite what colleges are teaching now. My father was adamant about history when he was alive, and he often stated the importance of never forgetting where we had been, lest we do it again.
We are on the cusp of doing it again, if we erase all memories of what happened before then we are steps away from doing it again. My father used to say it would only take three generations to change the thinking of a nation, and I am literally in shock seeing it happen in my face.
This post originated from evidently not understanding the color wars rage on. It hurt my feelings terribly that a friend of mine, his skin darker than mine, brought the race issue up yesterday. I was shocked, I was hurt, and I was terribly dismayed. I barely slept.
Seems my father’s prophecies are coming true. I won’t scoff because I also see things happening before they do. And now I am remembering all those trips to cemeteries, sitting on the porches beside swamps with elderly black folks and eating catfish, or sitting in fine homes of white folks in the middle of dying cities and drinking tea while my father jotted notes in his notebook, or running the microfiche in libraries and archives, or taking machetes through the back forty of someone’s property to find the old family cemetery to scribble down names and dates.
The flag is rebellion and that is why the war is raging. And hell, I might have to find my own flag. Please don’t give in to the one world order, claim your culture, and my culture is just as important. I love Southerners, I love New Englanders, I love Westerners, I love all folks who made their way here to make a life. We have a great country and our differences are what make us great. Once they take my flag, my culture, know that they are coming for yours as well.
As always, keep seeking.