Civil War Monument and Cemetery in Owingsville, KY. Attribution conditional Fair Use license by C. Bedford Crenshaw
You look out at the great sacrifices of the past, those who have come, fought and died for family, land and what they valued, for the old and the young, giving their lives when they had barely begun for a home they would never see again, entire generations massacred, their blood trampled in the wine press. Proud flags flying high over the hills, strong spirits screaming loud through the valleys, young men in their prime, following orders from generals who drive up death tolls because they don't understand that the protective formations they were taught so long ago are killing their men in greater numbers now. Deaths by the thousands, thousands of unique individuals destroyed from the earth, cast to the uncertainty of the cold grave with bullets in their chest, broken bones, agonizing infections and tears of terror and rivers of blood dripping down their face as they look up in to the eternal sky for their final moments on Earth.
It's no wonder that such a thing would leave an imprint on a people. And it's no surprise that those who lived took back both horror and pride at their ordeal and their survival. It is true that it has not been forgotten, though it is untrue that people are bitter - that's something Yankees like to think. But there is a proud rivalry, and like it or not, people down here think of themselves as American AND Southern at equal levels.
It is true that to some people find the Confederate Battle Flag offensive. It is also true that it stands for many things to many people.
To me, this symbol stands for the following: standing up for yourself, especially local vs. national, the cultures of the Southeastern United States, both refined and otherwise, rebellion from oppression, and standing up for the weak against the moneyed interest of Northern Industrialists, and a better, more honest America. There are two groups of people who object tot this symbol.
Addressing the first group: This symbol also stands for History, and who Southerners are as a people, and that's where I think some people, though they do not realize the source, object to it. Some people would erase the past. This is especially common among the white, educated wealthy Southerner who doesn't want to be associated with redneck land, slavery and past abuses. They would take all the pain, all the death, the agony, the abuses, and throw it out, but they don't realize it runs in their blood, and they don't realize that it's a complete package. You can't have a past and have no pain, you can't have a future and have no values, and values are rooted in the past as they have to be. You can't stand for something - and destroy yourself so someone doesn't get angry at you or feel hurt.
Some people would lie, and demand that others do so. The minute they here a criticism, an idea they don't like, they demand an apology, surrounding themselves with yes men. They demand conformity, comfort, and what isn't theirs. They don't care what's inside the dish, they never did and never will. To them, there's no value to anything that can't be seen and therefore doesn't touch their petty hearts. As we lie and lie and lie, our enemies become clouded in fog, our up becomes down, our down becomes up, our anger becomes passive aggression, divisions become permaneant as people are too afraid to express them, and they pass them on to their children and their friends to express themselves the only way they can. Lawfulness becomes a joke, and the individual becomes condemned to a spiral of delusion, deceit, and paranoid back watching.
But there's one other group, those who have memories of their own, and those who believe they are standing up for them. These memories are sad, and true, and I deeply regret what has happened to those people. But to allow these racial terrorists to steal symbols that stand for the South, good and bad, is to let them win. See, to let them steal our values, our past, our lives from us by the inevitable rubbing out that accompanies this silencing is to ennoble them, to promote them, to give them free space in our hearts and minds, in our memories and in our soul. You take the symbols, the analogies, the stories, the way of living, and you push it out of public sight, along with those who still cherish it lovingly delivered to Satan for his evil use. It is to give them, our Satan, Southern history, to give them Southern culture, to give them the South, along with many of the people who reside in it.
You can't destroy everything just because of a flaw, for if you did, the fires would burn the entire Earth to ashes, for there is nothing that is flawless on Earth. There is still a lot that is beautiful about the South: the millitary tradition, the sense of honor, the hospitality, the delicate style and refinement of Southern art, architecture and design, an extremely open society that includes people much more readily then it excludes them, the sense of history and the deeper side of life, and a quiet stubborn strength that will not submit to anyone, under any conditions, often to the aggravation of Dixieland itself!
Those whose character is destroyed have no values, no roots, no sense of history or depth, no idea of who they are. Maybe they can discover it, but that takes years, years wasted, years lost, years never seen again. Why waste the youth of our children over pettiness? Especially since they may well turn out exactly like we did anyways.
We can't just abandon our past. It is part of us, and we are a product of our past more then anything else. The Confederate Flag will continue to be the standard of this website, for now and the future to come, exactly because I hope to promote its use as a symbol of the South and Culture in general.