Confederate flag over Texas

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The state of Texas likes to use its 6 historic flags as a celebration of its heritage and also a tourism advertiser. You are probably familiar with the Six Flags Over Texas amusement parks. I have also seen a horse drill team from one of there colleges that carried the 6 flags. Very talented by the way. The 6 flags are those that have flown over Texas as it has progressed from one government to another. These are Spain, France, Mexico, Republic of Texas, Confederacy, and United States.

The flags used are the ones that flew at the time of there governing. The Spanish and French flags are not the modern ones used today but the old imperial flags. The US, Texas, and Mexican flags have not changed except for the number of stars on the US flag. The Confederate flag used is interesting. It is not the mostly red battle flag that is so controversial today but the official stars and bars of the Confederate States of America. It is similar to our own stars and stripes. Because of this similarity the red battle flag came into use during the Civil War to prevent confusion on the battle field.

One of the inflamatory elements of the battle flag is its use by racist groups. Because of this more respectable groups have chosen to use the stars and bars when representing the Confederacy as in the 6 flags of Texas.

My question is do you find the stars and bars as offensive as the battle flag. Would you recognize it if you saw it. If it is offensive what should respectable groups do. The Confederacy can not be ignored. 5 flags over Texas would be nonsense. I have no use for the battle flag myself. Its use by the racists has tarnished it. But I think a non-offensive way should be found for respectable groups to represent the Confederacy as history and it looks like the stars and bars is working. I hope the racists will not start using the stars and bars too.

In Christ, Nathan Paujo

-- Anonymous, May 03, 2001

Answers

Hotep (peace)

There is no respectable way to display the confederate battle flag, a symbol of civil defiance. It was used by racists/bigots during the war who fought for white supremacy. It represented a period of history that still stirs emotions and bitterness. You stated the confederacy can't be ignored...neither should slavery or the injustices done to Afrikan Americans. However, when (people like myself) bring up these issues, they are viewed as racist. I find many of the flag discussions ambiguous. Displaying the flag supposedly represents pride in the southern heritage, while at the same time reminding Afrikan Americans of slavery, Affirmative Action (better known as segregation) and second class citizenship. You canít have it both ways.

-- Anonymous, May 04, 2001


Dear Nathan,

In Richmond,Va. one of the old capitals of the confederacy we fight all the time about issues related to the 19th century. Every thursday, I drive home past the Dupont Chemical factory where a group of 15 to 20 people are holding up confederate flags in protest to the company's policy of not allowing them to wear them on the plant facility. The protesters say that they should be allowed to celebrate their heritage. L. Douglas Wilder, the first African-American governor of Virginia, asked the question in response to this statement. " What is their heritage?" Perhaps, you could explain the heritage of the supporters of the confederate flag.

JazzMan

-- Anonymous, May 04, 2001


Southern heritage like any heritage is mixed. I think the flag demonstrators ignore the very large and ugly part of that heritage slavery makes up. Another part they ignore is the massacres of black prisoners of war captured from the Union Army. At the same time I think the demonstrators opposition ignores some uncomfortable facts as well. This includes the friendly, even family like relationship between some slaves and there masters and the large numbers of black men that fought voluntarily for the south.

I am a history buff and have learned a few principles when studying it. 1. Look at the entire story good and bad. Dig out every detail and perspective. 2. Everyone is a product of there times and up bringing and it is risky to judge people of another time by todays standards. 3. People act based on the light they have and a good historian places himself in there shoes. 4. Hind sight is 20 20 and Monday morning quarter backing is a bad habit. 5. History is written by the winners. 6. There are at least two sides to every story. 7. There is something good and bad to be said for every individual. 8. In the end we are all sinners who need Jesus. 9. It is facinating to observe the hand of God through out history. By the way that hand is still moving at this moment.

Future generations will someday judge us and we too will have things to be proud and ashamed of. For an example look at the Vietnam war protesters. They felt they were right in there cause but later were embarassed about the way they treated returning soldiers. That is a shameful part of there heritage that must be taken as one piece of the whole story.

In Christ, Nathan Paujo

-- Anonymous, May 04, 2001


To those on both sides of this issue of the Confederacy who would re- fight the Civil War: Isaiah 43:18, 19 - "Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. Behold I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth, Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness, And rivers in the desert.

Blessings,

Pastor Paris

-- Anonymous, May 05, 2001


Dear Nathan,

Thank you for your response to my question. As L. Douglas Wilder said we should all be able to have dialogue even if we disagree with one another's point of view. I was quite amused by your statement that slavery was a part of the southern heritage. It seem to me that you like most Americans have accepted the historians account of American history by regarding slavery as a specific southern institution. The fact of the matter is that slavery was an American institution on which this democracy was built. Do you find it amazing that the South always gets blamed for the institution of slavery. Is America ashamed of its dirty heritage of slavery?

JazzMan

-- Anonymous, May 07, 2001



I do not think we disagree as much as it appears. Personally I believe God curses societies when there level of immorality reaches an intolerable point. God decides when that is based on His wisdom and the amount of Word a people have. I think that is why God let the pagan nations of the Bible go so much longer than Israel before judgment. But every nation eventually had its day of judgement. I wonder when ours will be.

I think the CSA was cursed by God because it was the part of the nation that preserved slavery after everyone else had given it up. Before the war they even tried to spread it to new states. During the civil war Gods patience ran out. Even the border states (slave states that stayed with the Union) suffered a great amount of fighting and division. Time after time in history I look at a crucial decision, a mistake, or event that changed everything and it is obvious it is Gods hand. The CSA had no more chance of winning than did Nazi Germany or Babylon. God would not allow it.

It is true slavery is part of the heritage of the entire USA but it is not well known. We forget or are un taught. It is also a part of the heritage of Mexico and I think Canada. Not sure there. Also remember the colonizing nations of England, Portugal, Spain, and France were the ones who brought black slavery to this hemisphere and that is part of there heritage too. All of these nations had a lot of help from the Africans themselves as they rounded up there neighbors for sale.

None of this is well known. The reason the states known as the CSA get the bad press is they fought hardest to keep slavery, and they paid a price similar to the Egyptians of Moses day. There land was ruined and there young men were dead. I think at Gods hand.

In Christ, Nathan Paujo

-- Anonymous, May 07, 2001


As a Texan I am proud of all parts of my state's history. The American Civil War is allowed to re-ignite racism in memory. If the Confederate flag is allowed to represent that, then what of the horrible pains caused to the Native Americans under the flag of the United States. They do not complain and ask for it's removal, but they are reminded daily of the losses the suffered at the hands of the U. S. Military, and the U. S. Government. Racism is a state of mind that as a people we need to overcome. If we can't realize that we did not live that part of history and can not change it, then we will allow hate to breed. I am a proud American, southerner, Texan, and Marine. I say let history live, but don't live by it, or we may die by it. The flag is fabric and can cause harm only if we allow it to. Let it wave!

-- Anonymous, March 27, 2002

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