Well, The Great Debate says, "A place for men to impact each other by debate and exchange of ideas. This is a group where no ideas are off limits," so that is where I am going.
I lived in Mississippi for my first 10 years, and then in Louisiana for the next 17 years, so I think I can safely describe myself as a Southerner.
Although my trying-to-be-fair son called this the Southern Heritage flag, it still is literally the battle flag of the Confederate States of America as they sought to leave the United States (the Civil War).
The reason that I cannot consider it an innocent "Southern Heritage flag" is that it was used by segregationists including the Ku Klux Klan and became a symbol of racial bigotry. A symbol is only worthy of being used if the meaning of it is clear.
Another example: The swastika began as "a sacred and auspicious symbol in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism and dates back at least 11,000 years" (Wikipedia). But once it was used by the Nazis, then it no longer was an innocent religious symbol but became a symbol of religious and ethnic bigotry.
For that reason, I feel that since the Confederate flag has been connected to racial bigotry, it can no longer be a neutral "Southern Heritage flag."
(And by the way, do I still love the South? You better believe it!)
You beat me to it, but I'll still post a few.
And technically it is the flag of Lee's army, just in rectangular form in most modern iterations. It was also used where the stars are in America's flag, in the second and third flags of the CSA when it was starting to really fall apart. So it's not presumptuous to say that the pattern gained some amount of fame during the war itself. But, all that's beside the point.
Of course. I'm just saying that the pattern did exist. We just stretched it out.
actually thats the battle flag of the army of tennessee used by the aot from late 1863 til may of 1865
Well, I do agree that it can not be a "neutral" symbol. But then neither can the flag of the United States, the flag of another country, a state flag, the cross, the hammer & sickle, or the Chicago Bulls emblem. That's kind of the nature of a symbolic object.
The specific problem with what is popularly known as the Confederate flag is that it has such strong and different meanings to different people. It is silly for a Southern heritage supporter to wave the flag without realizing that there are those that see it as a symbol of racism and oppression. But it is also wrong for someone whose ancestors were enslaved to assume that anyone waving that flag is a KKK supporter.
It is unfair that a group (or individual) can "taint" a symbol that is used by others, unaffiliated with the first, by acting badly under that symbol. But unfair or not, it happens. Other than being truly tolerant and compassionate to others, I'm not sure what can realistically be done about the disconnect.
To me personally, the flag is question is so wrapped up in one of my favorite shows growing up (The Dukes of Hazzard) that I personally don't see it as "bad". But I'm not going to be waving it around on MLK day, because that would be rude and I'm not a jerk.
Context. Actual racists like American flags too, as you can see.
When are we going to bring up the fact that slavery was a wedge issue of sorts used by Lincoln to recruit black people in the Union army, and that he supported secession until he was elected?
Slave regiments were forming just as Richmond fell. Lee was pushing for their freedom.
meh. Stonewall had two regiments four years earlier.
It is context dependent, if I see a Swastika in an American or European setting I will probably think Nazis, if I was in a heavily Buddhist or Hindu area I would assume it was a religious thing. Buddhists still use the symbol, so do Hindus, it is less widespread but not abandoned. So if I saw a Confederate flag flying outside someone's home I would assume they were Southern and proud of being Southern, if I see next to a burning cross I would assume it had more to do with racism.