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The Proud Confederate Ensign

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By:Tom Piatak | May 07, 2015

One of the more absurd, not to mention offensive, aspects of political correctness is the increasing tendency to treat the Confederacy as the equivalent of Nazi Germany. An ad currently running on TV shows the now middle-aged actors from The Dukes of Hazzard driving a car very similar to the one they drove on the show, only missing the Confederate battle flag that adorned the General Lee. And now the media is fulminating that a parent in Colorado took a picture of a group of high school students dressed for prom, with two of them holding guns and all of them posing by a large Confederate battle flag. The outrage is mostly focused on the flag, not the guns. Rachel Bertsche of Yahoo quotes one of the parents of the children seen in the photo as saying, “Why didn’t the parents stand up and say, ‘Guys, this is wrong? Do you know what that flag means? Do you know the history behind it?’ It would have been a teaching moment.”

Somehow, one doubts that the parent quoted by Ms. Bertsche knows enough history to give a meaningful lesson in the Civil War. Even some of those who fought against that flag took a different view than she does. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, chosen to accept the surrender of Confederate units at Appomattox, ordered his men to come to attention to honor those who were surrendering, because he saw them as fellow Americans who had fought with unbelievable courage. In his memoirs, he describes how the men surrendering lowered “the proud Confederate ensign” and stood before him as “the embodiment of manhood." Later in life, he said that, whenever he saw the Confederate battle flag, he was reminded of that courage. American fighting men in later wars also carried that flag into battle, famously raising it on Okinawa after the Japanese had been defeated in that bloody battle. It would be absurd to suggest that Chamberlain honored his Confederate opponents because he supported slavery, much less that Americans carried the battle flag in World War II because they were fighting for slavery. It would be equally absurd to suggest that anyone who displays the Confederate battle flag today does so to show support for slavery or even “racism." Indeed, such a display might simply represent a healthy defiance of an increasingly tyrannical political correctness.

Comments

 

 
Robert
Mudville
5/7/2015 08:42 PM
 

  The St Andrew's Cross .... The very name, Andrew, means bravery or valor. In his memoirs, he describes how the men surrendering lowered “the proud Confederate ensign” and stood before him as “the embodiment of manhood." Later in life, he said that, whenever he saw the Confederate battle flag, he was reminded of that courage. Change the symbols and change the thing? I guess if thinking makes it so and when ignorance triumphs.

 
 
Clyde Wilson
Columbia, SC
5/7/2015 08:53 PM
 

  Thank you.

 
 
Johann
5/7/2015 09:55 PM
 

  The current rainbow flag of the American Empire offends many more people than the Confederate flag. Yet public schools proudly fly the rainbow flag of American Imperialism every day.

 
 
Joe Johnson
Philadelphia, Pa
5/7/2015 11:19 PM
 

  It is columns like this that makes me believe there is still courage and sanity left in this otherwise intellectual and moral wasteland of a country.

 
 
Harry Colin
East Palestine, OH
5/7/2015 11:24 PM
 

  A good and necessary post! The visceral hatred displayed toward the South and its history and symbols is matched only by the colossal ignorance of any of the facts about the "Civil War" by the people who transmit this opprobrium. I recently had a discussion - ultimately as fruitless as previous ones - with someone who was wailing about the Confederate flag as a symbol of slavery; I responded that just for argument's sake, consider how many years the US flag flew over the institution of slavery. That ended the discussion, but not this person's insistence on maintaining his anti-Dixie stance. There are untold number of people who revile the Confederacy but couldn't identify the century the war was fought in, or have the slightest clue that that war slaughtered more soldiers than all of our other wars combined. If you really want to establish yourself as an unenlightened untouchable, just express any opinion that calls into question the canonization of Sainted Abe.

 
 
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