15 July 2016

The Confederate Battle Flag - In Their Own Words

Arlington National Cemetery
"I am finished with innocently approaching people who fly Confederate battle flags to inquire into their motivation. From now on I am going to assume the worst or at least that its display has nothing to do with remembering a Confederate ancestor or the soldiers more generally." ~ Kevin Levin

"It is a toxic symbol that no decent person – even for someone who wishes to recognize his/her Confederate ancestors – would wish to be identified with." ~ Kevin Levin

"Even a cursory understanding of how it has been used over the past 150 years would convince you otherwise. You could start with John Coski’s excellent book, The Confederate Battle Flag: America’s Most Embattled Symbol." ~ Kevin Levin 

"It is a fundamental mistake to believe - as Carol Moseley-Braun suggested in her 1993 speech in the U.S. Senate - that one's own perception of a flag's meaning is the flag's only legitimate meaning. . . . People must not impose their interpretation of the flag on others or project their interpretation of the flag's meaning onto others' motives for displaying it. Just because someone views the flag as a symbol of racism does not give him the ethical right to assume that someone who displays it is a racist. To make such a judgment is an exercise in prejudice." [Emphasis mine.] ~ John Coski writing in his book, The Confederate Battle Flag: America’s Most Embattled Symbol. 

"The capacity of the battle flag to express both American patriotism and often strident opposition to mainstream American ideals is further confirmation of its status as the second American flag. It shares the ambidextrous quality with the Stars and Stripes, which has stood in symbolic opposition to and unity with the battle flag. The Ku Klux Klan has used the Stars and Stripes far longer and far more often than they have the St. Andrew's cross. . . . In other words, the Stars and Stripes has proven perfectly capable of expressing the thoughts and values that critics of the Confederate flag fear and loathe." ~ John Coski, The Confederate Battle Flag: America’s Most Embattled Symbol.


Phil Leigh said...

Hear! Hear!

Eddie said...

Randolph Harrison McKim, June 14, 1904

We still love our old battle flag with the Southern cross upon its fiery folds! We have wrapt it round our hearts! We have enshrined it in the sacred ark of our love; and we will honor it and cherish it evermore,—not now as a political symbol. but as the consecrated emblem of an heroic epoch; as the sacred memento of a day that is dead; as the embodiment of memories that will be tender and holy as long as life shall last.

Michael Bradley said...

Bigot---a person who is rigidly devoted to his own group religion, race or politics and is intolerant of those who differ. The American Heritage Dictionary

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post. Mr. Levin represents the worst of the modern day historical movement. I have stopped viewing his blog and find my time is better spend educating myself by reading historians who do not have a social ax to grind. The Abbeville Institute is a great resource to find more even-handed writings on the South. www.abbevilleinstitute.org