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What is your first response when you see a Confederate flag displayed?


MercyA
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Perception of Confederate flag symbol  

172 members have voted

  1. 1. What do you think when you see a Confederate flag displayed on someone's personal property (a t-shirt, a bumper sticker, a home flag pole)? Please choose the option that most closely fits your first reaction.

    • They are racist.
      50
    • They are proud of their southern heritage.
      14
    • They are dangerous and/or deliberately trying to intimidate minorities.
      9
    • They are white supremacists.
      20
    • They are ill-informed or uneducated.
      33
    • Obligatory other (please explain).
      16
    • All of the above.
      30


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6 minutes ago, Selkie said:

It’s a culture problem. Like @MercyA, I live in a rural county in the Midwest that is 97% white. But the culture here is completely different from where she lives. 

As I posted earlier, there are no Confederate flags to be seen here. No “proud redneck” culture, despite it being farm country. No KKK activity (that would be totally shocking here). Our county is politically mixed and not religiously conservative. People are fairly well educated. 

So I think it goes way beyond the fact that MercyA’s county is predominantly white - because if that was the problem, my county and all the counties around me would be like Mercy’s, and they’re not. There are other toxic elements at play. 

I agree. What do you think that toxic element is? I have my ideas.

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On 6/24/2021 at 1:14 PM, TravelingChris said:

I asked my dh this question but did not read out the poll questions.  He answered that he thinks redneck.  We do live in the South.  

Not all rednecks though. I’ve got redneck blood flowing through my veins, and I’ve spent so much time with these “redneck” aunts and uncles, cousins, etc, and I never once—not once saw a confederate flag or heard anything racist. Now that I think about it, I’m actually kind of surprised at that. But it’s true. Me here standing up for rednecks... they ain’t all bad. 🙂 I value these relationships and the time I’ve spent with them. Hardworking, humble, loving, loyal folks. 

You might be a redneck if “Sweet Home Alabama” was played at your wedding reception. 🙂 Not mine—just to be clear. 😂

Edited by popmom
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4 hours ago, popmom said:

Not all rednecks though. I’ve got redneck blood flowing through my veins, and I’ve spent so much time with these “redneck” aunts and uncles, cousins, etc, and I never once—not once saw a confederate flag or heard anything racist. Now that I think about it, I’m actually kind of surprised at that. But it’s true. Me here standing up for rednecks... they ain’t all bad. 🙂 I value these relationships and the time I’ve spent with them. Hardworking, humble, loving, loyal folks. 

You might be a redneck if “Sweet Home Alabama” was played at your wedding reception. 🙂 Not mine—just to be clear. 😂

Oh certainly not.  And he knows that too.  

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5 hours ago, Faith-manor said:

MercyA, I think my area is a parallel universe to yours!

Way long time ago, I was at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, GA on the months long training for Immigration Officers.  There were people in my class from many parts of the country- most of us were at airports (I was at LAX) but there were two guys from the Detroit Land Crossing.  I was shocked by their racist talk.  I am not really sure why I thought people from the North would be less racist but I think that is a common myth.  After all, the horrible busing demonstrations were in Boston in the 70s and I remember the hateful attitudes.  

My son, who lived in Indiana for a few months said he learned how the KKK is actually active there.  OTOH,  the universal condemnation around here for any KKK or white supremacy or anti-semitism is the reality.  In the ten years I have lived here, we had one instance of someone placing some supposedly KKK brochures around election time, supposedly because it was misspelled and possibly done by someone trying to just cause controversy since we don't have active KKK around here.  We also had someone who looked like a youth do Nazi and other offensive words and symbols on two local synagogues and also under overpasses.  No one was caught in either of these cases but both seemed to be the works of some lone perpetrator.

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8 hours ago, MercyA said:

My county is about 94% white, .5% black. We have a fairly large Hispanic population.

The county next door is 72% white and 13% black.

My parents have a friend who is a black pastor. When he still lived nearby, he was afraid to come to our town after dark. I used to think he was paranoid. 😞 

At least one person at my former church--someone I would have said was kind, loving, and good--used the "n" word in front of my husband and implied that black people are lazy. 

We are a rural county. There is a lack of education. Many of the people who are educated still don't trust science or the "mainstream media." We live in a politically conservative, proudly redneck bubble. And the KKK roots go way back. 

ETA: I'm sure not everyone sporting a Confederate flag is a member of the KKK. I've seen t-shirts that say, "Heritage, Not Hate." (I'd like to press them on what heritage they're so proud of, exactly.) But a KKK member would definitely have no fear of flying a big Confederate flag off the back of their truck, and, yes, I've seen it. 

This is very similar to the county where I live. I am at the edge of a county; if I go in one direction, I enter a MUCH more diverse area. Go the other direction (towards the town where I work) and it is something like 97% white. It’s rural, with agrarian roots, a lot of Civil War significance. Lots of blue collar/trades people. Politically “red”, though the adjacent county is politically “blue.” 

I encounter a lot of “not-racism.” People who “aren’t racist, but...” I don’t really know what the counter is for that, nor even whether this should be corrected; I usually will only have the conversation if it’s an on-going relationship and the person needs to know I don’t agree with that. 

PS., there is also a KKk presence here, though I do not think every Rah-Rah Republican Flag-Waver is in it. 

Edited by Quill
Blue “collar,” not blue “color”, lol
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My county isn't as diverse as I thought [White (Non-Hispanic) (70.5%), White (Hispanic) (11.2%), Asian (Non-Hispanic) (10.5%), Black or African American (Non-Hispanic) (3.35%), and Two+ (Non-Hispanic) (1.75%)]. 

But the county that I can be at in 5 minutes, where older dd goes to school, where dh and I both used to work, where the majority of my students come from is [Black or African American (Non-Hispanic) (38.4%), White (Non-Hispanic) (29.7%), White (Hispanic) (11.3%), Other (Hispanic) (9.7%), and Asian (Non-Hispanic) (5.53%)].

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re coded language

2 hours ago, Quill said:

...I encounter a lot of “not-racism.” People who “aren’t racist, but...” I don’t really know what the counter is for that, nor even whether this should be corrected; I usually will only have the conversation if it’s an on-going relationship and the person needs to know I don’t agree with that. ..

No Confederate flags around here, even hanging off the 4x4s waving Thin Blue Line and MAGA banners, but a lot of this.  My Representative was recently appointed chair of a new legislative study group to study cause of / make policy recommendations around inequality; and I *can't tell you* how many comments along the lines of: what do you expect when so many minority families are one-adult households and: "people" don't want to work when they can get paid not to work

 

And definitely amplifying/ concurring with this:

4 hours ago, TravelingChris said:

... I am not really sure why I thought people from the North would be less racist but I think that is a common myth.  After all, the horrible busing demonstrations were in Boston in the 70s and I remember the hateful attitudes. 

The form is different: for instance we have super-decentralized school funding -- virtually nothing at the state level-- so that adjacent towns have order of magnitude  discrepancies in per pupil expenditures.  Unsurprisingly, while our state *average* on various apples-to-apples education metrics are pretty good, those averages mask some of the worst gaps between schools.  And here as elsewhere, charter schools have enabled re-segregation in a different form.

And the language is different.  This legislative cycle there was a bill to amp up and give enforcement teeth to an (existing) affordable housing mandate that pressed into suburban towns like mine and rural towns.  A lot of earnest talk about "preserving the character of our towns," and concerns about "local control over local zoning," All very genteel and Land of Steady Habits, but it got the job done and the bill died in committee.

 

 

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I just realized why I have been avoiding this thread. Just reading the words gives me the same sick feeling in the pit of my stomach when I see a confederate flag. I am especially disgusted when I see it worn on clothing. I think because that's intentional not a "it's my heritage thing", but rather an "I'm a racist idiot and proud of it thing". I live in the south and I still don't get the "It's my heritage" thing either. If it were just one generation ago and grandpa fought blah, blah, blah...maybe but  it's more than a generation ago. If it's about southern heritage let's fly a flag of grits, liver mush and biscuits and gravy. Now I could get behind that😉.

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I would not notice a flag on clothes, because I have awful eyesight. So I never notice the details of someone’s clothing.

I try not to judge someone I don’t know, so I would choose none of the above on the poll.

I do have a confederate ancestor, who never owned slaves. He didn’t even live in the South, so I’m not sure why he was in the Confederate Army. He moved to New Jersey as a child from Ireland at end of potato famine. During the Civil War, he joined the confederate army. After the war, he returned to New Jersey, but he kept in touch with the men he served with. 
 

 

 

 

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On 6/24/2021 at 4:33 PM, Annie G said:

We’ve only lived here for 2 years but I’ve never seen a confederate flag in the county where the University of Georgia is located, or the more rural county adjacent to it which is the county we live in. Clarke county is very liberal and I can’t imagine they would tolerate the flag there. Not at all. In our county, which is much more conservative, I haven’t ever seen it. But that doesn’t mean anything since it might be in a part I’m not familiar with.  I have seen it in Dahlonega, which is about 90 minutes away, and in some more rural areas up in the N Ga mountains. 
 

However, there is surely racism and rednecks in all the places I mentioned.  I’m not convinced there’s anywhere in the US where there is zero racism. 

This is my hometown. There are racists there. I'm related to some of them.  

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9 minutes ago, BetsyT said:

This is my hometown. There are racists there. I'm related to some of them.  

I’m sure there are racists there. But I’m not sure the Confederate flag is an accurate tell, because not all racists brandish the flag and not all who display it are racists. Some are just stupid.   I also think that county is less racist than some of the rural surrounding counties.  Not that ‘less racist’ is anything to brag about. 

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Yesterday I was on a website of a homeschool mom led store.   One of the pop up adds was selling confederate stuff with the words NO apologies.   I emailed her and let her know and she was very quick to respond that she would make sure that ad never popped up on her page again.  I was thankful for her quick action as she had not seen it

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On 6/26/2021 at 1:36 AM, popmom said:

Me here standing up for rednecks... they ain’t all bad. 🙂 I value these relationships and the time I’ve spent with them. Hardworking, humble, loving, loyal folks. 

That's for sure! #NotAllRednecks

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On 6/22/2021 at 11:18 PM, theelfqueen said:

So I work in a WWII Museum ... the other day I got a call from someone wanting to make a donation. 

He proceeded to explain that they had a very large ceremonial nazi flag and to explain what great condition it is in and so forth... then the guy stopped himself and said "wait, I need to explain..." (like it sort of occurred to him  that "let me tell you about my great, enormous Nazi flag" didn't look great lol) "My wife and I were at an estate sale and we found the flag and my wife insisted we must buy it and get it into a museum before some skinhead finds it". 

My grandfather had a Confederate flag on a shelf in his basement. No idea of its provenance or purpose. It was never discussed just we kids played in the  basement and dug around a lot. It wasnt displayed it was in a pile of old stuff. Perhaps it belonged to his parents and he didnt know what to do with it. No idea.

I know LOTS of WW2 collectors. It's more likely the flag would have ended up with a collector or reenactor than a skinhead. Someone earlier said there's no innocent reason to have a Nazi flag, but collectors have them (but they don't display them on their pickup trucks!!) Did your museum take the donation?

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3 hours ago, mom2scouts said:

I know LOTS of WW2 collectors. It's more likely the flag would have ended up with a collector or reenactor than a skinhead. Someone earlier said there's no innocent reason to have a Nazi flag, but collectors have them (but they don't display them on their pickup trucks!!) Did your museum take the donation?

Of course we did!

It was just hilarious when the guy stopped himself and said "wait let me explain" ... we had a Zero visit once... man do I want that plane in our hangars (and a Messerschmitt)..

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On 6/23/2021 at 12:53 AM, MissLemon said:

I became the owner of a WWII German army mess hall gravy boat. It was in a box of random stuff I bought at an estate auction.  I had no clue it was in there until I started digging through the box.  Pulled it out, turned it over, and saw the swastika on the bottom. Whoa...what the heck do I do with this?!  I looked around for some place ethical/not sketchy to offload it, but I never found anywhere that didn't make me feel dirty.  I ended up destroying it with a hammer rather than chance it getting into the hands of some skinhead who thought it would be "fun" to serve gravy at Christmas in it.  😠 

I told some of the WW2 collectors I know about this and they said some *extremely* uncomplimentary things about someone who would destroy this kind of historical artifact. That gravy boat would probably have sold to a collector for at least $400 or $500 and if it was brought back by a WW2 vet, it would be even more valuable to a collector. Somehow I seriously doubt skinheads are out spending hundreds on gravy boats (or even original Nazi flags). As theelfqueen said, her WW2 museum was happy to accept a Nazi flag, so if you ever come across something like that again, PLEASE donate it instead of destroying it! 

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15 minutes ago, mom2scouts said:

I told some of the WW2 collectors I know about this and they said some *extremely* uncomplimentary things about someone who would destroy this kind of historical artifact. That gravy boat would probably have sold to a collector for at least $400 or $500 and if it was brought back by a WW2 vet, it would be even more valuable to a collector. Somehow I seriously doubt skinheads are out spending hundreds on gravy boats (or even original Nazi flags). As theelfqueen said, her WW2 museum was happy to accept a Nazi flag, so if you ever come across something like that again, PLEASE donate it instead of destroying it! 

It's funny how when I was actively trying to find somewhere to offload this thing, people had all sorts of opinions about someone who would seek to profit off of "historical artifacts", especially Nazi items. 

Lots of opinions on the sort of person that would collect that sort of thing, too, and why would I want to encourage something as creepy as that? 

I'll add your WWII pals opinions to the stack of opinions on the matter. 

Skinheads spend a heck of a lot of money on their "collection".  It's not unbelievable one of them would pony up  cash for it.  And no, it wasn't worth $400 or $500. I showed pics to museums and people in the know on these sorts of things, and it was worth about $75 and not considered a significant item.  No one above-board wanted it. 

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2 minutes ago, MissLemon said:

It's funny how when I was actively trying to find somewhere to offload this thing, people had all sorts of opinions about someone who would seek to profit off of "historical artifacts", especially Nazi items. 

Lots of opinions on the sort of person that would collect that sort of thing, too, and why would I want to encourage something as creepy as that? 

I'll add your WWII pals opinions to the stack of opinions on the matter. 

Skinheads spend a heck of a lot of money on their "collection".  It's not unbelievable one of them would pony up  cash for it.  And no, it wasn't worth $400 or $500. I showed pics to museums and people in the know on these sorts of things, and it was worth about $75 and not considered a significant item.  No one above-board wanted it. 

When was this? Was it a long time ago? That's what those kinds of things are going for right now at military shows. WW2 collectors, especially those who like to collect German items, are a niche group and often don't advertise their hobby too broadly because people think bad things about them and assume they aren't "above board". I know lots of "the sort of people who would collect that sort of thing" and there's nothing "creepy" about them. They're history lovers who like to educate themselves and others about all aspects of the war. 

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, mom2scouts said:

When was this? Was it a long time ago? That's what those kinds of things are going for right now at military shows. WW2 collectors, especially those who like to collect German items, are a niche group and often don't advertise their hobby too broadly because people think bad things about them and assume they aren't "above board". I know lots of "the sort of people who would collect that sort of thing" and there's nothing "creepy" about them. They're history lovers who like to educate themselves and others about all aspects of the war. 

Two years ago. 

I'm not really interested in arguing with you or your pals about the supposed value of an item that none of you have even seen a picture of.  How could you possibly know it's value or potential "historical value" without having seen it? You don't know the maker, the condition, the year it was made, or if it can even be attributed to a particular regiment of men.  (spoiler: it can't be attributed to anywhere and the condition was poor. That's why it has no value.   Museums aren't interested in every piece of old junk that someone brings in). 

What kind of history lesson can be planned around a chipped, plain white, WWII German enlisted army gravy boat that can't be taught in some other way?  

I've been a reseller of all sorts of things for over 10 years. I know how to do my homework.  Not everything old has monetary or historical value.  

Edited by MissLemon
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