Kevin Levin recently used an intentionally provocative image of a Confederate battle flag for some red meat impact. I believe he got the reaction and attention he wanted. Fair enough. That use of the CBF is despicable. But when another reader points out that the U.S. flag has also been used for less than honorable purposes, Levin excuses it stating:
The difference is the stars and strips (sic) is my flag and everyone else (sic) in this country. . . . There is a reason why the individual in this photograph is holding a Confederate flag and like it or not that reason goes back to the founding of the Confederate States of America. That history is etched in stone.Yeah, well the same could be said about the U.S. flag in regards to its symbolism at certain events and political rallies, e.g., There is a reason why the individual in this photograph is holding a (U.S. flag). So, at the very least, his logic is flawed. And, one could certainly argue that the U.S. flag's history is also "etched in stone." But with all the revisionist history going on these days, that' not really a problem. And what does Levin mean when stating "the stars and strips is my flag"? Is that "difference" supposed to mean absolution for any perceived symbolic sins associated with "the stars and strips"(sic)?
And Levin might want to rethink the "everyone else" (sic) assertion about the U.S. flag, particularly in many corners of academia:
The American flag is an unwelcome sight on many campuses. On September 11, a Lehigh University administrator became so infuriated at an American flag displayed on a campus bus that he ordered Old Glory to be taken down around campus. Similar scenes played out at Arizona State, Marquette, and Holy Cross. A year later at Berkeley, organizers of a 9/11 "Day of Remembrance" initially forbade patriotic songs, replaced planned red, white, and blue lapel pins with white ones, and excluded the American flag — until the school's administration overruled them in an attempt to curb bad publicity. "The flag has become a symbol of U.S. aggression toward other countries," graduate student organizer Jessica Quindel contended. (Source.)
So, many see the U.S. flag as a "symbol of U.S. aggression" while others like Levin (and myself) view it as a symbol of freedom. Similarly, there are those of us with Confederate ancestors who see honor for the original symbolism of the Confederate soldiers' flag, which is why the CBF still flies over many Confederate veterans' graves throughout the South. This sentiment was expressed nicely by former Senator James Webb:
. . . we are also the caretakers of the memory, and the reputation, of those who performed their duty—as they understood it—under circumstances too difficult for us ever to fully comprehend. No one but a fool—or a bigot in their own right—would call on the descendants of those Confederate veterans to forget the sacrifices of those who went before them or argue that they should not be remembered with honor.
And that would include the flag they fought under.
|Arlington National Cemetery|