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How Northerners Think Of The Civil War


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#51 okbud

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 02:25 PM

I don't think there are alternative facts.

I do think there are plenty of facts on both "sides" that the other "side" doesn't want to acknowledge as legitimate. That shuts productive discussion down right then and there.

I think I see more Confederate flags when we travel north (as in north of the Mason Dixon line) than I do here in NC. The most godawful rolling monument to the Confederacy (i.e., a decorated vehicle) I've ever seen was in Pennsylvania.


I saw way more Confederate flag in Ohio than in the south where I grew up, and my hometown is *incredibly* racist.

As a rule though, I do not feel the compulsion to give the benefit of the doubt to people flying Confederate flag jic they're super into family history. Things change meaning, and now that thing is incredibly hurtful to a huge swath of the population.

Plus people who joined the Confederate army just because there was a war on and they were southerners', which was no doubt a ton of people, wouldn't be super proud of what the Confederacy stood for which was, in part, absolutely the right to own human beings.
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#52 Slartibartfast

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 02:26 PM

See, even though I have heard of Sherman's brutality, that is a story that I have never heard before.
We have different sets of facts that we know of.


There is a detailed article here

http://werehistory.o...ly-and-freedom/
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#53 okbud

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 02:27 PM

what does that mean?


It's in support of the police. The thin blue line is a nickname for the police as in " the thin blue line that stands between us and chaos"
https://goo.gl/images/gHZNWU

#54 MistyMountain

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 02:34 PM

Most states had specifically mentioned seceding because they believed in slavery and the superiority of the white race as the main reason in their articles of sucession. The war very much was about slavery. Slavery would not have ended shortly after seceding if they were left alone. It was far from being phased out and was at its peak. The southern states did not go through the proper process for leaving the union. The War of Northern Agression is not a term that is true and it is adopted by people that are racist. War atrocities are not cool and should be condemned but they happen in all wars on all sides.

Edited by MistyMountain, 17 August 2017 - 02:44 PM.

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#55 Katy

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 02:35 PM

This is the most neutral long explanation of the Ebenezer Creek Massacre at the hands of Sherman that I can find with a short google:  http://www.historyne...nezer-creek.htm


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#56 okbud

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 02:35 PM

It was framed at the time as the war of northern aggression.

Aggression against a way of life and a social structure that was working out just fine, thankyouverymuch.

When cultures are collapsing, as antebellum south was, they get touchy, and are liable to take offense. That's just the way it goes.

So of course it was framed as the war of northern aggression. And then, as others have pointed out, the Yankees came marching down and it was hell on Earth for a while. So of course the idea that it was a war of northern aggression just kept carrying on.

It doesn't make it right, but it's understandable sociologically.

Edited by okbud, 17 August 2017 - 03:34 PM.

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#57 okbud

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 02:38 PM

Most states had specifically mentioned seceding because they believed in slavery and the superiority of the white race as the main reason in their articles of sucession. The war very much was about slavery. Slavery would not have ended shortly after seceding if they were left alone. They did not go through the proper process for leaving the union. The War of Northern Agression is not a term that is true and it is adopted by people that are racist. War atrocities are not cool and should be condemned but they happen in all wars on all sides.

It was adopted by people who believed their leaders and the leader's propagandists.

Everyone was racist at the time of the civil war. A person with modern sensibilities could be time-machined into William Penn s house a decade after his conversion and they'd be like dang! These cats are racists as all get out!

Edited by okbud, 17 August 2017 - 02:39 PM.

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#58 happysmileylady

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 02:38 PM

Thanks for explaining, This is truly shocking to hear (and explains a lot)*

The Indian wars are full of horrible things committed on buth sides. That was not taught either?

The history of western civilization is full of horribleness. I assume the 30 year war was not taught either? What about WWI? 

The atrocities of war permeate literature. So literature that depicted war was not studied either? All Quiet on the Western Front?

 

I understand that European countries may put more emphasis on their history (even though this is also the history of founders of this country, so they should teach it here, too), and having wars fought on one's own soil alters perspective. This said, the Indian Wars were fought on American soil, so they should have been thoroughly covered.

 

*My own history education was sorely lacking, due to having grown up under a communist regime that twisted history and used it as a propaganda instrument. But part of that propaganda was drilling into every fiber of us that we had been a country of aggressors twice, and war is horrible. Some of the literature we were forced to read in school would have American parents protesting that the content was too gruesome for their kids.

 

War brings out the worst in human nature. That should be a universal lesson students need to learn.

 

It is my opinion that in general, history is badly taught in the US.  It is largely left out in the early years many times, and even when it is taught, it's the thing that gets skipped when time runs short.  Then, when it is taught, many of the same things are taught over and over.  In US history in particular, it's often taught chronologically usually starting somewhere in the 1400s or 1600s, and in a 9 month school year, most classes that I experienced barely make it to the Civil War by the end of the year and that last month or two crams everything from Reconstruction to the assassination of Kennedy in like a month at the end.

 

And then the next time you do US History, it's the same thing.  And even when I had US history in college, same cycle. 

 

 

I also think though....there's a LOT of history to cover.  Ancient History.  US History.  Most states cover their own state history in 4th grade.  World History.  etc etc.  I think teachers are basically stuck just picking and choosing to teach what they want. 
 

 

ETA: also, in the US, we like to shield our kids from horrible things.  Maybe it's good, maybe it's not, but we don't really stop at preventing kids from seeing Saw 6.  We shield our kids from what's on the news and even from Nat Geo shows where animals eat each other.  Dinosaur Train talks about carrion and meat, but only once in one episode does it even touch on the idea that eating those things means eating other dinosaurs.  Our kids grow up and are shocked that chickens die in order for us to eat fried chicken.  I am not saying that it's good or bad, just that I think sometimes history can get whitewashed simply because we don't want our kids to know that people can do evil things.  We like a lot of sunshine and rainbows. 


Edited by happysmileylady, 17 August 2017 - 02:48 PM.

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#59 Dotwithaperiod

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 02:57 PM

I've never seen a confederate flag around here.


Western NY. Less than 2 hours south of Rochester. Tons of Confederate flags, from here to Corning and Elmira, down across into PA. They're on home-made poles attached to the sides of pick-up trucks, car decals and bumper stickers, flying in front of homes, and painted on sides of farmhouses and barns. I used to think it was mainly crappy, old places, but we saw plenty in pretty, quaint towns in Pa.

#60 MommyLiberty5013

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 02:58 PM

It was framed at the time as the war of northern aggression.

Aggression against a way of life and a social structure that was working out just fine, thankyouverymuch.

When cultures are collapsing, as antebellum south was, they get a little touch and liable to take offense. That's just the way it goes.

So of course it was framed as the war of northern aggression. And then, as others have pointed out, the Yankees came marching down and it was hell on Earth for a while. So of course the idea that it was a war of northern aggression just kept carrying on.

It doesn't make it right, but it's understandable sociologically.

I think the bolded is highly important. If we can "see HOW someone could think something," we are far more likely to understand and then we can work toward reconcile and compromise.

 

I think of the times DH and I argue..."Well, DH, I can see how you would think that based on 1. 2. and 3." If he knows I understand his thinking, even if I do not agree, we are more likely to reach a positive outcome.

 

Maybe we can all seek to understand each other sociologically these days....


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#61 regentrude

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 03:01 PM

ETA: also, in the US, we like to shield our kids from horrible things.  Maybe it's good, maybe it's not, but we don't really stop at preventing kids from seeing Saw 6.  We shield our kids from what's on the news and even from Nat Geo shows where animals eat each other.  Dinosaur Train talks about carrion and meat, but only once in one episode does it even touch on the idea that eating those things means eating other dinosaurs.  Our kids grow up and are shocked that chickens die in order for us to eat fried chicken.  I am not saying that it's good or bad, just that I think sometimes history can get whitewashed simply because we don't want our kids to know that people can do evil things.  We like a lot of sunshine and rainbows. 

 

yeah, somehow I don't think the mandatory visit to a concentration camp in 8th grade would fly with American parents.


Edited by regentrude, 17 August 2017 - 03:02 PM.

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#62 Quill

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 03:19 PM

I think things are different now, but when I was in school in the 80s and 90s, things were whitewashed. Columbus was still a huge hero back then.

I was not taught that atrocities were inflicted on the south. I was NOT taught that. I was taught that slavery was bad, that the north fought to end it, and the south wanted it, but the south lost. We probably talked about a few battles that turned the tide, and that was it.
I didn't know about atrocities until in my 30s. You can't blame a kid for not knowing what she doesn't know. My history lessons were very "America is awesome and so Americans never commit atrocities. What an un-American thought! Anyone who says otherwise is a commie!"

That all started to change after I got out of school. Probably colleges taught a much more realistic view, but I didn't go to college and my middle and high schools didn't touch on the hard stuff. When they talked about atrocities, it was always in WWII and not anywhere else. WWII was made out to be a huge anomaly of atrocities that the world had never seen before and hopefully would never see again.

Things started changing for me when some books were made popular about Columbus and how he wasn't a good man and committed atrocities. I remember honestly thinking that when people started saying Columbus was a bad man that they were trying to re-write history. I had never heard such awful things and honestly thought it was a chilling, manipulative rewrite of our glorious past. It was about that time, that I started finding out I hadn't been taught the whole story.

I know that you are better educated about things like that and it's strange to you to hear it, but that's what I experienced.

I've filled in the gaps since then, but if you're a kid and not specifically taught these things, you don't know them. You don't make leaps that "well atrocities always occur, so I'm sure the south had atrocities inflicted on them" if you aren't told the whole story. You believe what your teachers tell you for the most part.

Then again, the world is different. There was no internet back then and everything was made nicey-nice on purpose.


Yup, this is pretty much what I was taught, also in Maryland schools.

I remember just a few (maybe 5?) years ago, in a college class learning about the internment of Japenese citizens after Pearl Harbor. I posted about it here: I had NEVER heard of this! Perhaps I was absent that day, or busy writing "Danielle Loves Billy 4-ever" in multi-colored markers on my folder while that little chapter of American history was mentioned, but I had NO IDEA that this had happened. No clue at all. I do remember being horrified about Hiroshima and Nagasaki; information given in a "By the way" manner. I remember thinking, "All those many tens of thousands of people were burned up? So, we just obliterated whole regions of human life in an afternoon? And we're sitting here talking about it like 'la-dee-da! That's what happened!'"? It was (and is) so disturbing to me.

For my little 2 cents on the Confederate Battle Flag: I do see it flown here in MD. There is a house not ten minutes away that has a large one perpetually displayed in the window. I see them flying from pick-up trucks. I must say, I have never, ever, not once thought, "Probably a history buff." The meaning with which that flag is displayed here is quite clear and it doesn't mean, "my great-granddaddy fought for the South," although I have heard that justification offered.

Also, I do not see how anyone can fly the Confederate Battle Flag while saying it does not mean they are racist when they clearly see from incidents like Dylan Root and Charlottsville that that is the meaning for which it now stands, whatever it might have meant years ago. If a symbol I used to adhere to changed in meaning to something repugnant to me, then that symbol would HAVE to be abandoned by me, full stop.
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#63 Carrie12345

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 03:20 PM

I was born and raised/educated in the north and continue to live in the north.  I've always had strong feelings about the Civil War, and I see confederate flags all the time. Just saw a bunch a few weekends ago. Went to school (in North Jersey) with kids who had confederate flags on their cars.

 

The North is a very big, diverse place full of different experiences.


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#64 Where's Toto?

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 03:20 PM

I learned a lot about the Civil War, we went on a class trip to Gettysburg, learned about atrocities on both sides in detail.  But, I also took a Military History class as one of my history options in High School.  My college US History used Zinn as our main text, so I learned quite a bit that was different from the Rah-Rah US can do no wrong stuff.

 

I rarely see Confederate flags around here.  When I do see them it's usually a sticker or a small flag on the back of a pick-up truck (often with the chrome balls hanging from the trailer hitch), with MAGA/Trump stickers, maybe a couple about locking up Killary.    Much more common during and immediately after the election, but even then if I saw something once a week it was a lot.


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#65 Garga

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 03:21 PM

It is my opinion that in general, history is badly taught in the US.  It is largely left out in the early years many times, and even when it is taught, it's the thing that gets skipped when time runs short.  Then, when it is taught, many of the same things are taught over and over.  In US history in particular, it's often taught chronologically usually starting somewhere in the 1400s or 1600s, and in a 9 month school year, most classes that I experienced barely make it to the Civil War by the end of the year and that last month or two crams everything from Reconstruction to the assassination of Kennedy in like a month at the end.

 

And then the next time you do US History, it's the same thing.  And even when I had US history in college, same cycle. 

 

 

I also think though....there's a LOT of history to cover.  Ancient History.  US History.  Most states cover their own state history in 4th grade.  World History.  etc etc.  I think teachers are basically stuck just picking and choosing to teach what they want. 
 

 

ETA: also, in the US, we like to shield our kids from horrible things.  Maybe it's good, maybe it's not, but we don't really stop at preventing kids from seeing Saw 6.  We shield our kids from what's on the news and even from Nat Geo shows where animals eat each other.  Dinosaur Train talks about carrion and meat, but only once in one episode does it even touch on the idea that eating those things means eating other dinosaurs.  Our kids grow up and are shocked that chickens die in order for us to eat fried chicken.  I am not saying that it's good or bad, just that I think sometimes history can get whitewashed simply because we don't want our kids to know that people can do evil things.  We like a lot of sunshine and rainbows. 

 

I was coming back to say exactly this.  I learned about 1492 to the Revolutionary War about 3000 times in school.  Everything after that was only touched on once in a blue moon.  I think we got all the way to WWII one year.  I never learned anything in history after WWII.  No Korean War, no Vietnam War, no cold war.  

 

In my 12 years of schooling, we got 1 year of world history, so things like the 30 year war?  Not at all.  My entire studies of Asia was that we read a book by Pearl S. Buck, who wasn't even Asia, but wrote a book set in China.  That was it.  All of the history of Asia, in a Pearl S. Buck book.  And not everyone in the class read it.  We all could pick among 3 or 4 books, and I chose that one.  The other kids read about other areas of the world that I never learned about. 

 

yeah, somehow I don't think the mandatory visit to a concentration camp in 8th grade would fly with American parents.

 

Nope.  We protect the kids from the bad stuff.  

 

 

Now, I can only speak from when I was in school, so I'm not sure what happens now.  I just hear that history is often on the chopping block if time is pressing in schools.  And I am doing my best to get good, solid history books that teach about the entire world for my own kids.  I think I've done a good job.  It's light years ahead of what I learned.  I try to tell them about the bad things when they're ready, which is probably later than European kids learn it.  


Edited by Garga, 17 August 2017 - 04:02 PM.

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#66 Danae

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 03:29 PM



I remember just a few (maybe 5?) years ago, in a college class learning about the internment of Japenese citizens after Pearl Harbor. I posted about it here: I had NEVER heard of this! Perhaps I was absent that day, or busy writing "Danielle Loves Billy 4-ever" in multi-colored markers on my folder while that little chapter of American history was mentioned, but I had NO IDEA that this had happened. No clue at all.


I have the Karate Kid movie to thank for this bit of knowledge. The original one, not the remake, so I would have been 12 at the time.
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#67 ChocolateReign

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 03:50 PM

Sherman, his war crimes, and turning his back when he knew the soldiers under him were murdering people, stealing everything, and raping people.  And Sherman wasn't simply emancipating slaves the way people think.  He thought they were slowing his army down, so he left thousands of freed slaves on other side of a river and then destroyed the bridge, and watched as hundreds drowned trying to escape the confederates they were afraid of behind them.  It's the destruction, theft, starvation, rapes, and murders that people hate.  They hate Sherman, they hate the yankees that did it on his behest, and they hate Lincoln for ordering it all and sending letters to Sherman thanking him for it.

 

I believe you are referencing the Tragedy of Ebenezer Creek.  That actually occurred under Union commander General Jefferson Davis, not Sherman. Davis was a subordinate of Sherman, but Sherman was not present and to my knowledge Davis did not claim to be acting under Sherman's orders.  I also believe the number of freedmen involved was in the hundreds, not thousands.



#68 happysmileylady

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 03:50 PM

Yup, this is pretty much what I was taught, also in Maryland schools.

I remember just a few (maybe 5?) years ago, in a college class learning about the internment of Japenese citizens after Pearl Harbor. I posted about it here: I had NEVER heard of this! Perhaps I was absent that day, or busy writing "Danielle Loves Billy 4-ever" in multi-colored markers on my folder while that little chapter of American history was mentioned, but I had NO IDEA that this had happened. No clue at all. I do remember being horrified about Hiroshima and Nagasaki; information given in a "By the way" manner. I remember thinking, "All those many tens of thousands of people were burned up? So, we just obliterated whole regions of human life in an afternoon? And we're sitting here talking about it like 'la-dee-da! That's what happened!'"? It was (and is) so disturbing to me.

For my little 2 cents on the Confederate Battle Flag: I do see it flown here in MD. There is a house not ten minutes away that has a large one perpetually displayed in the window. I see them flying from pick-up trucks. I must say, I have never, ever, not once thought, "Probably a history buff." The meaning with which that flag is displayed here is quite clear and it doesn't mean, "my great-granddaddy fought for the South," although I have heard that justification offered.

Also, I do not see how anyone can fly the Confederate Battle Flag while saying it does not mean they are racist when they clearly see from incidents like Dylan Root and Charlottsville that that is the meaning for which it now stands, whatever it might have meant years ago. If a symbol I used to adhere to changed in meaning to something repugnant to me, then that symbol would HAVE to be abandoned by me, full stop.

 

Well, I think MD being close to VA might factor into the number of confederate flags you might see there.

 

But, what caught me about your post is that you called it "the Confederate Battle Flag."  I have never heard it called that.  I have heard it called the Confederate Flag and the Flag of the Confederacy.  But "battle flag"....I dunno.  It just seems to imply something different than calling it "Confederate Flag."
 


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#69 ChocolateReign

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 04:00 PM

I take issue with the belief that all Union soldiers were immigrant draftees and all Confederate soldiers were volunteers who simply wanted to defend their country.  When the war first started, both armies relied heavily on volunteers.  As the war lengthened, both sides turned to conscription.  The Confederacy actually began conscripting troops before the North.

http://www.etymonlin...w/conscript.htm

 

 

 


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#70 QueenCat

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 04:02 PM

Well, I think MD being close to VA might factor into the number of confederate flags you might see there.

 

But, what caught me about your post is that you called it "the Confederate Battle Flag."  I have never heard it called that.  I have heard it called the Confederate Flag and the Flag of the Confederacy.  But "battle flag"....I dunno.  It just seems to imply something different than calling it "Confederate Flag."
 

 

Didn't see them growing up but when I visit now, I do occasionally.



#71 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 04:08 PM

I definitely agree with upthread that the history that is taught in schools is seriously whitewashed and glossed over and chopped up into little pieces instead of it being seen as all intertwined.  It has been that way for a very long time.  Maybe things are changing but what I am seeing is History being cut more and more for other things (like standardized test prep).

 

But definitely there have been huge gaps in what is taught.  When my mom was in High School they were not taught about the Holocaust.  Hardly anything about WWII except that America is great.  Seriously, no details, just propaganda.  My grandfather fought in WWII.  My mom grew up in the aftermath of WWII.  She did not know about the Holocaust, among MANY other things, including why it started, what was happening in the rest of Europe, etc..  It wasn't covered and her parents didn't discuss  it.  She didn't find out about the Holocaust in particular until college when she started doing her own research.

 

I had no idea how tied to world happenings our Revolution was and I was not taught about all of the zillions of things that had happened before hand that led up to the Revolution or the ramifications not just here but overseas or how puny our little Revolution was in the grand scheme of things.   There was a LOT going on.  I was taught the British were pushy and we got tired and pushed back.  Things were sooooooo much more complex and intertwined than that.  

 

It has been an incredible journey in learning more about history as an adult who is homeschooling.  


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#72 ChocolateReign

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 04:08 PM

Well, I think MD being close to VA might factor into the number of confederate flags you might see there.

 

But, what caught me about your post is that you called it "the Confederate Battle Flag."  I have never heard it called that.  I have heard it called the Confederate Flag and the Flag of the Confederacy.  But "battle flag"....I dunno.  It just seems to imply something different than calling it "Confederate Flag."
 

 

What we know as the Confederate Flag is actually the Battle Flag of the Army of Northern Virginia.

 

https://en.wikipedia...#National_flags
https://en.wikipedia...rthern_Virginia

 

The debate around the flags is interesting if you want to see why the southerners felt the need to secede.

 

On April 23rd, 1863, the Savannah Morning News editor William Tappan Thompson, with assistance from William Ross Postell, a Confederate blockade runner, published an editorial championing a design featuring the battle flag on a white background he referred to later as "The White Man's Flag."[6] In explaining the white background, Thompson wrote, "As a people we are fighting to maintain the Heaven-ordained supremacy of the white man over the inferior or colored race; a white flag would thus be emblematical of our cause."

(From the first link above.)


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#73 Garga

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 04:08 PM

Yup, this is pretty much what I was taught, also in Maryland schools.

I remember just a few (maybe 5?) years ago, in a college class learning about the internment of Japenese citizens after Pearl Harbor. I posted about it here: I had NEVER heard of this! Perhaps I was absent that day, or busy writing "Danielle Loves Billy 4-ever" in multi-colored markers on my folder while that little chapter of American history was mentioned, but I had NO IDEA that this had happened. No clue at all. I do remember being horrified about Hiroshima and Nagasaki; information given in a "By the way" manner. I remember thinking, "All those many tens of thousands of people were burned up? So, we just obliterated whole regions of human life in an afternoon? And we're sitting here talking about it like 'la-dee-da! That's what happened!'"? It was (and is) so disturbing to me.

For my little 2 cents on the Confederate Battle Flag: I do see it flown here in MD. There is a house not ten minutes away that has a large one perpetually displayed in the window. I see them flying from pick-up trucks. I must say, I have never, ever, not once thought, "Probably a history buff." The meaning with which that flag is displayed here is quite clear and it doesn't mean, "my great-granddaddy fought for the South," although I have heard that justification offered.

Also, I do not see how anyone can fly the Confederate Battle Flag while saying it does not mean they are racist when they clearly see from incidents like Dylan Root and Charlottsville that that is the meaning for which it now stands, whatever it might have meant years ago. If a symbol I used to adhere to changed in meaning to something repugnant to me, then that symbol would HAVE to be abandoned by me, full stop.

 

Ooo!  The Japanese internments!  I learned about that when I read George Takei's autobiography--the actor that played Mr. Sulu in Star Trek. I was flabbergasted that this had happened and I never heard about it in any history context.  I heard about it because George lived in one as a child and talked about it in his book.  

 

Same thing here with the atomic bombs.  Our books never touched on the effects of it.  It was always said as a single sentence or so and nothing else.  

 

I used to haaaate "social studies" class. It was soooo boring.  And now history is my favorite subject now that I know there's more to it than the 300 years of American history I learned over and over in school.  


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#74 SKL

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 04:11 PM

Interesting thinking about how we teach history and everything else in the USA.

 

Nowadays, with the supposed switch of focus to more of the "3 Rs," I think they teach even less history than before.

 

My kids are going into 6th (b&m school) and they have done extremely little in history or geography.  They do have 7 more years of school, so hopefully it gets done at some point.  (I teach them some at home, but I can't speak for other parents.)

 

The question of what is appropriate to teach kids is interesting.  It's true that our culture doesn't seem to think much of our kids' ability to deal with negative facts, emotions, or experiences.  And for that matter, I wouldn't want their education to be one long study in real-life horror.  How to select what to teach is maybe not an easy question.

 

It's interesting that a person from IIRC East Germany was taught (some decades ago) about how horrible it was that her country was an aggressor and the doer of atrocities, and that war is horrible - and yet the Russia / USSR's own atrocities in the same time period certainly rival those of Germany.  Were those also taught in schools, I wonder?  Not that it matters to the current discussion, but I kind of doubt it.

 

I would love to see a sampling of history texts from different countries to see how they handle these things.  I know the US glosses over most things and also distorts the facts.  I just don't think we consider history an important thing for kids to learn in school.  I'd love to see how "doing it right" looks.


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#75 Garga

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 04:13 PM

I definitely agree with upthread that the history that is taught in schools is seriously whitewashed and glossed over and chopped up into little pieces instead of it being seen as all intertwined.  It has been that way for a very long time.  Maybe things are changing but what I am seeing is History being cut more and more for other things (like standardized test prep).

 

But definitely there have been huge gaps in what is taught.  When my mom was in High School they were not taught about the Holocaust.  Hardly anything about WWII except that America is great.  Seriously, no details, just propaganda.  My grandfather fought in WWII.  My mom grew up in the aftermath of WWII.  She did not know about the Holocaust, among MANY other things, including why it started, what was happening in the rest of Europe, etc..  It wasn't covered and her parents didn't discuss  it.  She didn't find out about the Holocaust in particular until college when she started doing her own research.

 

I had no idea how tied to world happenings our Revolution was and I was not taught about all of the zillions of things that had happened before hand that led up to the Revolution or the ramifications not just here but overseas or how puny our little Revolution was in the grand scheme of things.   There was a LOT going on.  I was taught the British were pushy and we got tired and pushed back.  Things were sooooooo much more complex and intertwined than that.  

 

It has been an incredible journey in learning more about history as an adult who is homeschooling.  

 

 

Yes!  The intertwining!  Back when my oldest was in 3rd grade and we finally got to the dreaded American Revolutionary War and I finally saw all the events that had led up to it in the previous century or two, and had learned about the Protestant reformation and how the founding fathers decided to have a country without a set religion, I burst into tears.  It was all so beautiful.  It all made SENSE.  It had never made SENSE before.  It finally meant something.  No democracy for almost 2000 years and these guys were going to try to make it work.  Wow.  Shivers down my spine.  What a revolutionary idea!  

 

And that's when I started getting really fed up with my horrible education in history.  


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#76 Danae

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 04:13 PM

Well, I think MD being close to VA might factor into the number of confederate flags you might see there.

But, what caught me about your post is that you called it "the Confederate Battle Flag." I have never heard it called that. I have heard it called the Confederate Flag and the Flag of the Confederacy. But "battle flag"....I dunno. It just seems to imply something different than calling it "Confederate Flag."


It isn't the Flag of the Confedeacy -- the actual flag of the confederacy looked too much like the US flag in battle, so the red banner with a blue cross and stars was adopted by army units as a battle flag. It was later incorporated into a new "national" flag, but only as a piece in the corner, never as the whole flag.
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#77 QueenCat

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 04:14 PM

I did learn about Japanese internment camps in high school, in MD. And the holocaust.


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#78 Danae

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 04:15 PM

It isn't the Flag of the Confedeacy -- the actual flag of the confederacy looked too much like the US flag in battle, so the red banner with a blue cross and stars was adopted by army units as a battle flag. It was later incorporated into a new "national" flag, but only as a piece in the corner, never as the whole flag.



Edit: too slow!

#79 Bluegoat

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 04:16 PM

It was framed at the time as the war of northern aggression.

Aggression against a way of life and a social structure that was working out just fine, thankyouverymuch.

When cultures are collapsing, as antebellum south was, they get touchy, and are liable to take offense. That's just the way it goes.

So of course it was framed as the war of northern aggression. And then, as others have pointed out, the Yankees came marching down and it was hell on Earth for a while. So of course the idea that it was a war of northern aggression just kept carrying on.

It doesn't make it right, but it's understandable sociologically.

 

Yeah, this is my feeling about it in general.

 

Whenever you see a group of people that have a kind of regional sense of themselves as a people, and they are the losers in an aggression, or economic losers, or under some kind of other stress, it tends to have a strong effect of further solidifying a sense of group identity and of being hard done by.

 

It's easy to se this happen in example after example, whatever the real justice or injustice of the situation.  And it seems to work on small scales at the family level up to the level of the nation.

 

We learned only a little about the Civil War in school, since it isn't really part of our history, but as an adult one of the things I've found really interesting to learn is the difference in its political tradition as compared to the Norther US.  I don't find it hard to believe that different way of viewing themselves and the nature of a community contribute to their sense of their historical development and reality - it would seem pretty odd if it didn't.


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#80 happysmileylady

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 04:19 PM

What we know as the Confederate Flag is actually the Battle Flag of the Army of Northern Virginia.

 

https://en.wikipedia...#National_flags
https://en.wikipedia...rthern_Virginia

 

The debate around the flags is interesting if you want to see why the southerners felt the need to secede.

 

On April 23rd, 1863, the Savannah Morning News editor William Tappan Thompson, with assistance from William Ross Postell, a Confederate blockade runner, published an editorial championing a design featuring the battle flag on a white background he referred to later as "The White Man's Flag."[6] In explaining the white background, Thompson wrote, "As a people we are fighting to maintain the Heaven-ordained supremacy of the white man over the inferior or colored race; a white flag would thus be emblematical of our cause."

(From the first link above.)

I will be coming back to read this...in the middle of cooking and dealing with kids.

 

Ooo!  The Japanese internments!  I learned about that when I read George Takei's autobiography--the actor that played Mr. Sulu in Star Trek. I was flabbergasted that this had happened and I never heard about it in any history context.  I heard about it because George lived in one as a child and talked about it in his book.  

 

Same thing here with the atomic bombs.  Our books never touched on the effects of it.  It was always said as a single sentence or so and nothing else.  

 

I used to haaaate "social studies" class. It was soooo boring.  And now history is my favorite subject now that I know there's more to it than the 300 years of American history I learned over and over in school.  

And this is an example of how there is such diversity in what is taught in the US.  I moved quite a bit until I was like 13, so I experienced different school situations, private and public.  I totally learned about the internment camps and the effects of the atomic bombs.  I mean it wasn't described in acute horrific detail or anything, but I was taught these things. 



#81 SKL

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 04:22 PM

For the record, I did learn about things like "the Trail of Tears" and the Japanese internment in school.  I don't remember which grade.

 

I was interested in history and actually read my textbooks (not sure if that was the norm), so that could be why.  I also read some historical fiction that provided additional insight.  There is much I did not learn as a kid, but it seems I learned more than many did; whether it was because of how I learned or how I was taught, I don't know.

 

The Holocaust wasn't widely referred to by that name prior to a movie that came out in 1978.  That may be why some older people didn't know much about it.  My friends from India never heard of the Holocaust either.  I think people in the US know about it because there were a lot of influential Jewish people in the US who wanted to make it known.  During the actual time of the Holocaust, the US had its own eugenic / anti-Jew movements and might not have been as sympathetic.  I personally knew about it because I had family who had been rescued and come to the US at the time the camps were liberated.


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#82 Bluegoat

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 04:27 PM

I was coming back to say exactly this.  I learned about 1492 to the Revolutionary War about 3000 times in school.  Everything after that was only touched on once in a blue moon.  I think we got all the way to WWII one year.  I never learned anything in history after WWII.  No Korean War, no Vietnam War, no cold war.  

 

In my 12 years of schooling, we got 1 year of world history, so things like the 30 year war?  Not at all.  My entire studies of Asia was that we read a book by Pearl S. Buck, who wasn't even Asia, but wrote a book set in China.  That was it.  All of the history of Asia, in a Pearl S. Buck book.  And not everyone in the class read it.  We all could pick among 3 or 4 books, and I chose that one.  The other kids read about other areas of the world that I never learned about. 

 

 

Nope.  We protect the kids from the bad stuff.  

 

 

Now, I can only speak from when I was in school, so I'm not sure what happens now.  I just hear that history is often on the chopping block if time is pressing in schools.  And I am doing my best to get good, solid history books that teach about the entire world for my own kids.  I think I've done a good job.  It's light years ahead of what I learned.  I try to tell them about the bad things when they're ready, which is probably later than European kids learn it.  

 

Buck wasn't just a writer who wrote about China - she moved to China when she was an infant, and grew up there, she was fluent in the language.  Not a bad choice if it's down to one book.


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#83 Penguin

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 04:40 PM

I lived in Maryland for the first 31 years of my life, and always thought of myself as a northerner in spite of the Mason Dixon Line.

 

I don't recall what I was taught about the Civil War in school. If you had asked me about the Confederate flag when I was in high school (late 1970s, early 1980s), the first thing that would have popped into my mind was probably Lynyrd Sykynrd. There either wasn't much emphasis on the topic, or I wasn't paying much attention. I didn't like American history much back then, so I am not sure I can blame the school. My father was a history buff but he was really into reading and talking about WWI and WWII so I knew more about those time periods than any others.

 

I do think that most of the Marylanders I know consider themselves northerners. And that many of us are foggy about Maryland's role/stance in the Civil War. Standard YMMV disclaimer applies.


Edited by Penguin, 17 August 2017 - 04:46 PM.


#84 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 04:44 PM

Yes!  The intertwining!  Back when my oldest was in 3rd grade and we finally got to the dreaded American Revolutionary War and I finally saw all the events that had led up to it in the previous century or two, and had learned about the Protestant reformation and how the founding fathers decided to have a country without a set religion, I burst into tears.  It was all so beautiful.  It all made SENSE.  It had never made SENSE before.  It finally meant something.  No democracy for almost 2000 years and these guys were going to try to make it work.  Wow.  Shivers down my spine.  What a revolutionary idea!  

 

And that's when I started getting really fed up with my horrible education in history.  

Yep.  Me too.  All of this.  LOL



#85 Yellow Rose

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 05:04 PM

 

 

Same thing here with the atomic bombs.  Our books never touched on the effects of it.  It was always said as a single sentence or so and nothing else.  

 

 

 

Yet where I lived, Hiroshima was required reading in 9th grade. That was 'way back in the late 70s.



#86 Laura Corin

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 05:05 PM

...and how the founding fathers decided to have a country without a set religion, I burst into tears. It was all so beautiful. It all made SENSE. It had never made SENSE before. It finally meant something. No democracy for almost 2000 years and these guys were going to try to make it work. Wow. Shivers down my spine


https://en.m.wikiped...glish_Civil_War

'Constitutionally, the wars established the precedent that an English monarch cannot govern without Parliament's consent, although the idea of Parliament as the ruling power of England was only legally established as part of the Glorious Revolution in 1688.[2]'

#87 Noreen Claire

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 05:06 PM

I was never interested in history, so I remember nothing of my history education. This is something that I'm trying to rectify right now, as I am trying to teach my DS8.

I live 30 minutes north of Boston, on the NH line. My dad's next-door neighbor's kid has a Confederate flag on his truck. We see a few here and there, moreso as you enter and go north into NH.
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#88 Heigh Ho

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 05:09 PM

I've never seen a confederate flag around here.

They are around here. Its a sign of teen rebellion, while driving daddy's pick up. The judges do a good job of directing the youth to educate themselves in the process of deciding how the first speeding ticket will be handled. The don't tread on me flag is also popular.

There are flags of other countries displayed here also. Whatever. Its an officially diverse area of the US. Most of my neighbors' families arrived after the Civil War.

Edited by Heigh Ho, 17 August 2017 - 05:51 PM.


#89 Heigh Ho

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 05:19 PM

yeah, somehow I don't think the mandatory visit to a concentration camp in 8th grade would fly with American parents.


The Holocaust Museum is part of 8th grade D.C. trip here. Speakers are invited in to the school, from time to time. 4th grade is when Holocaust is introduced in the curriculum via literature.

There is also a field trip that includes a prison, and ex-prisoners do speak with classroom sized groups.
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#90 regentrude

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 05:23 PM

It's interesting that a person from IIRC East Germany was taught (some decades ago) about how horrible it was that her country was an aggressor and the doer of atrocities, and that war is horrible - and yet the Russia / USSR's own atrocities in the same time period certainly rival those of Germany.  Were those also taught in schools, I wonder?  Not that it matters to the current discussion, but I kind of doubt it.

 

Of course not. There was censorship, books were banned, and, at least in the 50s and 60s, it was very dangerous to talk about certain things. That  was considered enemy propaganda. In the 80s, that was different, and people started talking.

 

I do, however, not consider this a sensible comparison. The USA considers itself a shining beacon of freedom and democracy, while the USSR was a communist dictatorship without civil liberties.


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#91 Where's Toto?

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 05:25 PM

I definitely learned about the Holocaust.  At the very least, we read the Diary of Anne Frank.

 

Oldest dd went to the Holocaust Museum for a class trip.


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#92 gardenmom5

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 05:27 PM

For the record, I did learn about things like "the Trail of Tears" and the Japanese internment in school.  I don't remember which grade.

 

 

me too.  however, learning about the bataan death march, and the hell ships and other atrocities -  I only learned about because my fil was a survivor.  it wasn't taught in school.  incidentally - fil harbored no ill feelings towards the japanese. (the last interpreter . . . well, he didn't shed any tears when he was executed.).  and I admit being totally disgusted with those who do - especially as those with the most hard feelings seem to have no connection to the war in the pacific.  (I've asked them their connected.  it was to the european theater.)

 

didn't learn anything about the armenian holocaust in school (75% of the armenian population were murdered.) - mil's father survived because he fled the country.  his parents did not.


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#93 happysmileylady

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 05:46 PM

The Holocaust Museum is part of 8th grade D.C. trip here. Speakers are invited in to the school, from time to time. 4th grade is when Holocaust is introduced in the curriculum via literature.

There is also a field trip that includes a prison, and ex-prisoners do speak with classroom sized groups.

 

This type of trip is not even accessible for so many students in the US.  My school offered a DC trip, but there were a limited number of spots and it cost quite a bit of money because it's a days drive away.  I graduated in a class of 166.  I think 20 of our class actually went on the DC trip.

 

BUT...more important to the point, that type of trip has always been optional.  Mandatory...never.  And I think that's a big difference. 

 

I think there's also a difference between "The Holocaust Museum" and "A Concentration Camp."    It's kind of like the difference between going to a WW2 memorial in DC...and standing over the USS Arizona in Hawaii. 
 



#94 Quill

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 05:51 PM

Well, I think MD being close to VA might factor into the number of confederate flags you might see there.

But, what caught me about your post is that you called it "the Confederate Battle Flag." I have never heard it called that. I have heard it called the Confederate Flag and the Flag of the Confederacy. But "battle flag"....I dunno. It just seems to imply something different than calling it "Confederate Flag."


There is a meme going around on FB (which incidentally, also went around back when the South Carolina flag issue happened) about how the flag everyone is calling the "Confederate Flag" is NOT the flag that was used to denote the Confederacy. This is true. But strangely, the meme-sharers I have experienced are using it to say, "...so get your story straight! This isn't even the flag of the Confederacy!"; they are defending using the flag as a heritage concept for descendants of CW veterans. But to me, it is only that much more disturbing that it was the BATTLE flag. Used in a modern context, it can only symbolize going to battle against the government and/or defending the subjugation of some people for the profit of whites. And clearly, that is the intention of flag-bearers such as those marching in Charlottesville.
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#95 Matryoshka

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 05:52 PM

The Confederate Flag currently has two main meanings, IMHO.

 

1. Rebelliousness.

2. Hatred.

 

I am fine with the former if it is a symbol that means struggling against someone or something. I would put it in the same category as the "Don't Tread on Me" flag flown in the Revolutionary War (the one with the snake). But it is now tainted by the latter second point - it is too pervasively a symbol of hatred and now is in the likes of the Nazi flag, which always means oppression and hatred.

 

The "Don't Tread on Me" flags are also being used by these groups.  We have had impromptu parades of pickup trucks flying huge confederate, US, don't tread on me and those black/blue striped 'support the police/anti-BLM' flags. In super-liberal MA!  Thank heavens I never saw a Nazi flag mixed in, but after last week I'm kind of just figuring they have those back at home.  :glare:


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#96 Heigh Ho

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 05:55 PM

This type of trip is not even accessible for so many students in the US. My school offered a DC trip, but there were a limited number of spots and it cost quite a bit of money because it's a days drive away. I graduated in a class of 166. I think 20 of our class actually went on the DC trip.

BUT...more important to the point, that type of trip has always been optional. Mandatory...never. And I think that's a big difference.

I think there's also a difference between "The Holocaust Museum" and "A Concentration Camp." It's kind of like the difference between going to a WW2 memorial in DC...and standing over the USS Arizona in Hawaii.


Would you prefer operational replica ovens? Most 8th graders don't need to visit the actual site to get the point. They are past being concrete thinkers.

#97 Laurie4b

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 06:04 PM

Well, I think MD being close to VA might factor into the number of confederate flags you might see there.

 

But, what caught me about your post is that you called it "the Confederate Battle Flag."  I have never heard it called that.  I have heard it called the Confederate Flag and the Flag of the Confederacy.  But "battle flag"....I dunno.  It just seems to imply something different than calling it "Confederate Flag."
 

 

Yes. Good point.

 

She's being accurate, though.

 

Why would those honoring the Confederacy not fly the official flag of the Confederacy, but instead the battle flag?

 

https://bartonline.i...federate-flags 


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#98 Pam in CT

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 06:04 PM

re American reflex to shield children from unpleasantries -- as a general matter, I agree with this idea; and would even take it a little bit further, that many American adults, particularly those in dominant/powerful groups, reflexively shield ourselves from unpleasantries as well.  To my mind, that disinclination to wrestle with/talk about the tough parts of our history -- that was then, this is now, put it behind us and Move On -- is part of what delivered us to where we are today.

 

That said...

yeah, somehow I don't think the mandatory visit to a concentration camp in 8th grade would fly with American parents.

 

... I actually think the Holocaust is -- comparatively speaking -- more frontally addressed and talked about than many other horrors.  Around here, the 8th Grade School Trip to Washington is a longstanding widespread tradition of both public and private schools; and the Holocaust museum, which is extremely graphic (there is literally a room of children's shoes, an exhibit of shorn hair, a lampshade made of Jewish skin; you walk through an actual cattle car to get to a wing of exhibits, visitors are given the ID card of an actual concentration camp resident upon arrival and can if they chose find out that person's outcome upon departure; most didn't survive) is an obligatory stop.  

 

Needless to say, schools often do "units" in preparation for this.

 

(And among Jewish families, of course, many actually literally DO visit concentration camps as part of internalizing the lesson of Never Again.)

 

 

I do not, however, see anything equivalently ubiquitous or intense to transmit the (abstract) history or the (close to the bone) lived personal reality of slavery.  So the context brought to the Confederate flag discussion depends very much on family (and perhaps faith community) transmission.


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#99 PinkyandtheBrains.

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 06:06 PM

The "Don't Tread on Me" flags are also being used by these groups. We have had impromptu parades of pickup trucks flying huge confederate, US, don't tread on me and those black/blue striped 'support the police/anti-BLM' flags. In super-liberal MA! Thank heavens I never saw a Nazi flag mixed in, but after last week I'm kind of just figuring they have those back at home. :glare:


I've noticed the thin blue line symbol (as well as the others) is being picked up by several white supremacist and racist groups in my area.
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#100 thessa516

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 06:12 PM

The "Don't Tread on Me" flags are also being used by these groups.  We have had impromptu parades of pickup trucks flying huge confederate, US, don't tread on me and those black/blue striped 'support the police/anti-BLM' flags. In super-liberal MA!  Thank heavens I never saw a Nazi flag mixed in, but after last week I'm kind of just figuring they have those back at home.  :glare:

 

 

I like the Gadsden flag. I HATE that it's becoming associated with racism due to the protestors. It's from the American Revolution, not the Civil War, and it has strong military ties. Makes me wonder if states are going to stop offering it as a speciality license plate. Montana's Gadsden license plate


  • Carol in Cal., transientChris, Scoutermom and 4 others like this