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Confederate flag again


Quill
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It's worth thinking about how much of our activism (or allyship) is conducted at the symbolic level, and how much is at the material level.

Giving our time and money is generally a stronger expression of solidarity than remaining at the level of the symbol.

If I was worried about a part of my community, I think I'd err on the side of volunteering and donating, and leave graves alone. 

 

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7 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

I'm reminded of the question I asked you a few weeks ago about why you are so rude to people on this forum. Really? I asked because I thought that maybe you knew. 

Sir, do you know how to get to ...? 

Do your own research. Respectfully. (because that makes it all right) 

 

I answered what I knew off the top of my head about Germans, nazi symbols, and graves.

im am so very very sorry that wasn’t good enough for you and that I don’t have the time or the research parameters to find what exactly you want.

 

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5 minutes ago, pinball said:

I answered what I knew off the top of my head about Germans, nazi symbols, and graves.

im am so very very sorry that wasn’t good enough for you and that I don’t have the time or the research parameters to find what exactly you want.

 

I don’t think anyone expected that of you. It seemed like you knew about this, so she asked you a follow up question. If you didn’t know, all you had to do was say you didn’t know. 

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15 minutes ago, KSera said:

I don’t think anyone expected that of you. It seemed like you knew about this, so she asked you a follow up question. If you didn’t know, all you had to do was say you didn’t know. 

 

my point...that the US removed gravestones with Nazi symbols from German graves HERE is much more relavent to the thread.

it shows that the US WILL AND WOULD  remove gravestones with symbols of its war time enemies.

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2 hours ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

I have plenty of Confederate ancestors and I think they were traitors. What's the big deal in saying this? My mother was looking at something recently about her great great something something grandfather who fought for the Confederacy. He was pardoned after spending time in a prisoner of war camp. 

Have Nazi symbols been removed from German WWII cemeteries? I remember back in the 1980s how Reagan spoke at a cemetery that had SS soldiers buried there. 

 

 

They were all pardoned.  And many of them were conscripted, just like those in the North. 

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9 hours ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

I have plenty of Confederate ancestors and I think they were traitors. What's the big deal in saying this? My mother was looking at something recently about her great great something something grandfather who fought for the Confederacy. He was pardoned after spending time in a prisoner of war camp. 

Have Nazi symbols been removed from German WWII cemeteries? I remember back in the 1980s how Reagan spoke at a cemetery that had SS soldiers buried there. 

Many Confederate soldiers were conscripted or were very poor and were paid by wealthier  southerners to serve their conscriptions.  In some regiments, desertion was apparently  quite common, for a mix of reasons (not wanting to fight, being unwilling to remain in intolerable conditions or being worried about family at home.)  I have an ancestor who was disabled in the confederate army and records show he deserted several times over. I researched how and why it might be that someone could desert so many times and even stay alive (I guess I assumed they would just shoot deserters) and learned that in some regiments, support for the confederacy was quite spotty and those from small farms frequently went missing from their posts to go home and help with the harvest and check to make sure their families were ok.  So many people walked off that they apparently couldn’t stop them. 

Were confederates traitors?  Sure.  Were all confederate soldiers true believers?  Apparently not.  And as is usually the case, people who do most of the bleeding in wartime tend to be people who are poor and don’t have much agency over if they are going to fight or not.  To assume that confederate soilders were all enthused about the war or why the war was being fought flattens a lot of history.  

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7 hours ago, LucyStoner said:

Many Confederate soldiers were conscripted or were very poor and were paid by wealthier  southerners to serve their conscriptions.  In some regiments, desertion was apparently  quite common, for a mix of reasons (not wanting to fight, being unwilling to remain in intolerable conditions or being worried about family at home.)  I have an ancestor who was disabled in the confederate army and records show he deserted several times over. I researched how and why it might be that someone could desert so many times and even stay alive (I guess I assumed they would just shoot deserters) and learned that in some regiments, support for the confederacy was quite spotty and those from small farms frequently went missing from their posts to go home and help with the harvest and check to make sure their families were ok.  So many people walked off that they apparently couldn’t stop them. 

Were confederates traitors?  Sure.  Were all confederate soldiers true believers?  Apparently not.  And as is usually the case, people who do most of the bleeding in wartime tend to be people who are poor and don’t have much agency over if they are going to fight or not.  To assume that confederate soilders were all enthused about the war or why the war was being fought flattens a lot of history.  

Confused here because I didn't write anything about all Confederate soldiers being enthused about the Confederacy. And I know (because they are my ancestors) that many were conscripted. I even know that many weren't slaveowners. 

All I wrote was that I believed they were traitors to the USA. Anyone who fights against the United States is a traitor. My point was that I don't think it's a horrible thing to say that they were traitors. Quoting me "What's the big deal in saying this?"

They were traitors. It's not a big deal. They were pardoned. The end. 

 

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8 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

Confused here because I didn't write anything about all Confederate soldiers being enthused about the Confederacy. And I know (because they are my ancestors) that many were conscripted. I even know that many weren't slaveowners. 

All I wrote was that I believed they were traitors to the USA. Anyone who fights against the United States is a traitor. My point was that I don't think it's a horrible thing to say that they were traitors. Quoting me "What's the big deal in saying this?"

They were traitors. It's not a big deal. They were pardoned. The end. 

 

Treason is actually a really big deal though.

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57 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

Confused here because I didn't write anything about all Confederate soldiers being enthused about the Confederacy. And I know (because they are my ancestors) that many were conscripted. I even know that many weren't slaveowners. 

All I wrote was that I believed they were traitors to the USA. Anyone who fights against the United States is a traitor. My point was that I don't think it's a horrible thing to say that they were traitors. Quoting me "What's the big deal in saying this?"

They were traitors. It's not a big deal. They were pardoned. The end. 

 

Do you refer to the founding fathers as traitors?  Why not?  Lingering sense of moral ickiness because they won & were therefore heroes?  

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10 minutes ago, Katy said:

Do you refer to the founding fathers as traitors?  Why not?  Lingering sense of moral ickiness because they won & were therefore heroes?  

Actually this floats around in some of my circles, which I find… interesting.  It’s only asserted among the iconoclasts.  Kind of specious if you ask me.

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2 minutes ago, Carol in Cal. said:

Actually this floats around in some of my circles, which I find… interesting.  It’s only asserted among the iconoclasts.  Kind of specious if you ask me.

Is it more specious than calling the fully pardoned guilty of the same thing?

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To the OP:  

I recall being sickened by flag burnings by protesters at funerals of Vietnam War soldiers. Even though the protesters (strangers to the deceased, inevitably) had the right to do this, I did not think that they should.  I feel the same way about your question, except that in pilfering something that does not belong to you, I am not sure you have that right, although it’s arguably up for grabs as being left in public.  I think that flag is obnoxious and tend to look down on those who display it (which I struggle with and try not to) but I would say, it’s a grave.  Leave it alone.

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10 minutes ago, Katy said:

Do you refer to the founding fathers as traitors?  Why not?  Lingering sense of moral ickiness because they won & were therefore heroes?  

That's an interesting question. 

I suppose one of the reasons why I believe both that we should use correct terminology (traitor) and don't care that much is that I'm not a rah rah America person.

Our Founding Fathers were traitors against their country but they won so and winners write history. 

I think we need to be clear Confederates were traitors against the USA so we can stop romanticizing them. 

But I don't see it as a huge moral failing. In fact, I'm not sure that I see treason as a moral failing anyway. 

 

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42 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

That's an interesting question. 

I suppose one of the reasons why I believe both that we should use correct terminology (traitor) and don't care that much is that I'm not a rah rah America person.

Our Founding Fathers were traitors against their country but they won so and winners write history. 

I think we need to be clear Confederates were traitors against the USA so we can stop romanticizing them. 

But I don't see it as a huge moral failing. In fact, I'm not sure that I see treason as a moral failing anyway. 

 

If treason isn’t a moral failing why use inflammatory language to describe it? Why not use positive language instead? 

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10 minutes ago, Katy said:

If treason isn’t a moral failing why use inflammatory language to describe it? Why not use positive language instead? 

What inflammatory language? Treason? I think I used the words traitor and treason. They're only inflammatory if you believe they are moral failings. 

What other word should we use to describe someone who fought in an insurrection against his/her country? 

Maybe "insurrectionist?" 

I guess I'm not afraid of using inflammatory language to discuss a conflict that happened 180 years ago. None of these people are still alive today. Confederate romanticism needs to end. 

If someone in Britain describes George Washington as a traitor to England, I wouldn't be offended. He's been dead for 200 years. 

I have ancestors who fought in the revolution. I don't object to someone in Britain calling them traitors to Britain. 

 

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1 hour ago, Carol in Cal. said:

I think so.  Victorious/righteous vs. defeated/pardoned.  Yup.

That depends on your perspective, I think.  Not victorious everywhere.  Revolutionary war rebel forces were defeated in what's now Canada.  The Loyalists were "victorious" here, and the rebel forces really were the traitors, despite being victorious in what's now south of the border.  

I can't agree with righteous either.  Particularly from a First Nations perspective.  As I understand it, FN mostly sided with the British, for reasons having to do with British law requiring negotiation of treaties by the Crown vs 13 Colonies appropriating land without negotiation or treaty.  (obviously, neither was good  for FN, but rather a forced choice between less bad and more bad)

 

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I do not think we should be honoring Confederate soldiers with political symbols. Period. If we want to be understanding of the fact that many of them were conscripted or simply that they're our ancestors (mine, too - I had many Confederate ancestors and enslaving ancestors), stick some flowers there. The flag of treason and racism has zero place flying openly in America. From a free speech perspective, people have the right to their symbols, of course. But I would object to the cemetery putting any sort of political honors on a Confederate grave.

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1 hour ago, happysmileylady said:

What are "political honors?"

 

Confederate graves are part of the exact same National Cemeteries as the graves of all US Veterans.  The graves are marked and treated exactly the same.  Obviously there are no more Confederate soldiers to be buried today, but if there were, I suspect they would be given the same sorts of military honors at their funeral that every veteran is give. 

To me, putting a flag on a grave is giving it honor politically. I don't think we should be giving any treasonous soldiers that honor. It's not appropriate to honor the cause they died for in any way. If you want to honor them as humans who were pawns in a sad conflict, then find a way that doesn't fly a flag that's a symbol of treason and racism.

I don't understand why so many people in this thread were like, oh, well, if the person was literally one of the people fighting for the right to enslave other humans, then of course it's okay to display a symbol of racism and hate on his grave. Hard disagree.

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On 7/9/2021 at 10:09 AM, pinball said:

But aren’t they (the person placing the flowers) using the flowers to support someone who presumedly was willing to kill to support what is considered a racist ideology?

The last flag thread used words like traitor, etc to describe Confederates

I'd venture to say almost everyone buried in a cemetery has supported something evil at some point in their lives, whether ignorantly or deliberately. Offhand, I can't think of any other case in which someone would put up a symbol that clearly *celebrates* that evil. 

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6 hours ago, Katy said:

Do you refer to the founding fathers as traitors?  

If asked, I would. 😉 

ETA: I don't really care for the word "traitor" though. There are all kinds of reasons why people might choose to put other loyalties above loyalty to a particular country, and not all of the reasons are negative.

I'd prefer to say that the founding fathers participated in an unbiblical rebellion (and an unrighteous takeover of other people's land).

Edited by MercyA
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10 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

ok so you are saying specifically the flag is a political honor.  But you are ok with the graves otherwise being treated the same as other graves…equal honors perhaps?   My kids have “planted flags” for Memorial Day in the past and of course all of those are US flags…would that sort of “political honor” be ok?
 

What if the flag was placed there by a family member?  Given that no other graves had flags according to the OP, I think it’s a safe guess that it wasn’t the cemetery that placed it there.  We don’t know exactly who did but simplest answers usually being the correct one, it was probably a family member of the soldier.  Should that family be allowed to honor their relatives as they see fit?  Should the cemetery remove the flag specifically because it’s a confederate flag? (Obviously all cemeteries do clean up graves as needed so I don’t mean flags removed as part of that process)

 

When I take the kids up to the cemetery next week I might check around to see about the civil war graves there.   

I don't think it's appropriate to put a US flag there either. That would also be an expression of political honor. I don't have a different opinion about it if a family member planted the flag. I don't think we should be planting Confederate flags. I don't go to Tennessee or Georgia to plant Confederate flags on my Confederate ancestors' graves. If I went there and saw one, I'd remove it and throw it away.

Cemeteries and individuals can obviously, legally set their own policies about this. That's not what I'm saying. I'm saying I object. I'm confused why everyone was so la di da about it for an entire page of the thread.

The Confederate flag that we see today was embraced primarily not as a symbol of the rebellion at the time, but by southerners with a racist agenda decades later. The people who go about putting Confederate flags on graves are mostly the same people who put up Confederate memorials and statues just over a century ago. All of this has been in an effort to redeem the image of the south and present the Civil War as a battle between two basically equal sides that one just happened to win and the soldiers as poor victims. Many of them were pawns and victims, but the comparison that Ordinary Shoes made to Nazi soldiers is apt. Many were pawns, but many were enslavers or overseers or happy beneficiaries of an economic system that used human slavery. And all of them were complicit in that system and don't deserve to have their graves honored for anything beyond being humans, being family, and being part of history. Their cause should not be honored in any way.

And when I saw they're mostly the same people planting these flags as who made this Confederate flag into a symbol of racism for the 20th century, I mean it. I'd bet that a chapter of the Daughters of the Confederacy or a similar organization planted that flag - probably at Memorial Day or for the 4th of July. This is something that most UDC chapters do every year. The UDC erected many of the Confederate monuments you see at the heart of so many controversies these days. And I don't see this issue very differently than I do that one.

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On 7/9/2021 at 3:32 PM, Holmesschooler said:

I feel as if you are talking down to small children in your phrasing, and missing what was actually said. She stopped herself from nicking a flag on impulse. What deep thought and restraint indeed. Clearly a celebratory accomplishment. You are of course free to laud her in a performative manner. Others are free to make comments as they will additionally.  

As to how I am feeling, since you asked, I am embarrassed honestly by what this group of women has turned into, and frankly ashamed I ever spent so much time here in past years. White women applauding each other over restraint from taking something from a cemetery however, is perhaps a new low. And yes, I will leave the thread and the group to its celebrations at this point. Good day. 

This seems like such a bizarre response.  Why wouldn't we always celebrate someone who has chosen to try and understand and perhaps even feel some compassion toward someone else, even if they vastly disagree with the other's choices?  And maybe even especially if they vastly disagree, because then it goes against their initial, natural, and easy response.  In the same way, I'd celebrate a thief who was planning to rob a bank and at the last minute thought better of it and didn't.   (And no, I'm NOT putting Quill and a bank robber in the same category! 😁 )  

These times are especially trying and sensitive, and many people have a far better understanding of how the black community has suffered and the history leading up to this.   So, seeing a confederate flag feels like a punch in the gut, in a way.   I actually feel sorry for the Confederate soldiers because probably most of them only did what they were told and really couldn't understand the broader picture --how could they?  Most of them were probably poor and uneducated and many lost their lives trying to do what they were told was the right and honorable thing to do.   I think it's appropriate that we remember that they were humans too, and honor their lives.

But we know better now, and the Confederate flag -- when exhibited today -- has come to represent something that feels reprehensible and hateful.  At least to me, it's become more about the message the person who places the flag is trying to send, rather than honoring the life of the person who died.

The fact that Quill could work her way backwards from that and is instead trying to focus on the human life lost, is certainly something to be celebrated.

 

Edited by J-rap
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40 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

So, it sounds like basically, you do not believe that Confederate soldiers should be honored at all?  Do you believe they should never have been pardoned?

In the context of the time, that pardon was part of Reconstruction. I would liken that to what was almost a Truth and Reconciliation Commission type action. It was in the context of passing the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments and attempting to ensure a south where Blacks could become full citizens and the economic and social structure of the south could be changed. It was necessary. And allowing families - who obviously had living memories of the dead - to grieve and mourn as well as practically to try and move on was important. (ETA: Adding that I'm talking about the majority of soldiers. I'm less sure that the leadership should have been so pardoned, but if you're talking about the rank and file - I think it had to be done practically speaking.)

But Reconstruction was violently abandoned through coups, murders, rewritten state constitutions, and Jim Crow laws. A huge effort was made to ensure that the south's cause was seen as a positive and just one. You can look up and read about the myth of the "Lost Cause." The Daughters of the Confederacy were a huge part of those efforts. They fundraised for memorials that would clearly mark this sad "Lost Cause" in practically every southern town. They influenced education materials and universities and ran essay contests and helped make sure every southern kid knew that it was "the war between the states" and that enslavement had been idyllic and good. And they planted this newly embraced version of the Confederate flag on graves and have continued doing so ever since. The UDC is still more influential than you might realize with more money than I think most people know. And they still have control over a lot of graves and monuments.

These soldiers are nearly all outside living memory. Almost no one is left to truly grieve them. The soldier who Quill saw died in the war itself - no one alive could remember him. The flag in question is not one he likely would have even been familiar with. This is not about honoring the dead. It's about making a current political statement. And the people who are making it are using the sort of "oh, we have to honor the dead" sympathies expressed in this thread to make this symbol of racism and hatred acceptable in public.

Edited by Farrar
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I understand the argument that it is today seen as a symbol of hate, but there are people who put flags on graves who are truly intending to honor the dead.  Are there better ways to do that?  Yes, I think so.  But I would not ascribe the motive of hate to everyone who puts a confederate flag on the grave of their grandfather's grandfather.

ETA:  I do not think that it is necessary or appropriate for every grave to be marked with a confederate flag.  But if an individual wants to mark the grave of their own ancestor, I can be ok with that.

Edited by Junie
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1 minute ago, Junie said:

I understand the argument that it is today seen as a symbol of hate, but there are people who put flags on graves who are truly intending to honor the dead.  Are there better ways to do that?  Yes, I think so.  But I would not ascribe the motive of hate to everyone who puts a confederate flag on the grave of their grandfather's grandfather.

The people who place these flags are mostly neo-Confederate groups. They're Confederacy and slavery apologists. This is the SPLC page about them. While there might be some family doing this in a few isolated cases, the overwhelming majority of these Confederate flags planted on graves are done by the United Daughters of the Confederacy:

https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/intelligence-report/2000/neo-confederates

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17 minutes ago, Junie said:

I understand the argument that it is today seen as a symbol of hate, but there are people who put flags on graves who are truly intending to honor the dead.  Are there better ways to do that?  Yes, I think so.  But I would not ascribe the motive of hate to everyone who puts a confederate flag on the grave of their grandfather's grandfather.

I agree, but I feel like by now, people should know what it communicates to others, YWIM? 

ETA: Sorry, should have read the other replies first. Definitely not trying to dog pile! 

I agree that we shouldn't presume to know anyone's inner motives, unless they make those motives clear themselves, which some groups have done (see Farrar's posts).

Edited by MercyA
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13 minutes ago, Farrar said:

The people who place these flags are mostly neo-Confederate groups. They're Confederacy and slavery apologists. This is the SPLC page about them. While there might be some family doing this in a few isolated cases, the overwhelming majority of these Confederate flags planted on graves are done by the United Daughters of the Confederacy:

https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/intelligence-report/2000/neo-confederates

I am not in favor of flags being placed by groups like this.  So I guess if the only way to stop them is to ban flags outright, then I guess maybe that's the best thing to do.

 

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2 minutes ago, Junie said:

I am not in favor of flags being placed by groups like this.  So I guess if the only way to stop them is to ban flags outright, then I guess maybe that's the best thing to do.

It comes back to the 1st Amendment, though. I'd like to see them banned everywhere they can legally be banned, but that would not include public spaces.

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6 minutes ago, MercyA said:

I agree, but I feel like by now, people should know what it communicates to others, YWIM? 

I agree with you that people *should* know; but I think some people think that there is still hope of re-claiming their flag.  I did not grow up in the South, but I live here now.  There are some people here who are very proud of their heritage and who are very sad that the flag has come to mean something different than what it has always meant to them.

I mean, I understand that a lot of the reason for the Civil War was slavery.  I get that.  But the impression that I get from some people here is that they see the flag as a way to remember their family's military service and some of them are sad that that has been taken away from them.

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3 minutes ago, MercyA said:

It comes back to the 1st Amendment, though. I'd like to see them banned everywhere they can legally be banned, but that would not include public spaces.

I guess that would have to be determined on a cemetery by cemetery basis, depending on who owns the cemetery.

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2 minutes ago, Junie said:

I agree with you that people *should* know; but I think some people think that there is still hope of re-claiming their flag. 

Thanks, Junie! I did edit my post a little.

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On 7/9/2021 at 8:18 AM, Quill said:

I did consider contacting someone from the church, though. I just don’t know how far I’m willing to go to have it removed “officially”. A case could be made that, if it is in the historical registry, that may actually be an appropriate place for the flag. 

It isn't your job to decide where any kind of flag is appropriate. Seriously.

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29 minutes ago, Junie said:

I agree with you that people *should* know; but I think some people think that there is still hope of re-claiming their flag.  I did not grow up in the South, but I live here now.  There are some people here who are very proud of their heritage and who are very sad that the flag has come to mean something different than what it has always meant to them.

I mean, I understand that a lot of the reason for the Civil War was slavery.  I get that.  But the impression that I get from some people here is that they see the flag as a way to remember their family's military service and some of them are sad that that has been taken away from them.

I'm trying to think how this might be for someone who feels that way. When is the time they think the confederate flag meant something wholesome? And since no one is alive who would have known their relatives who died in the civil war, I'm left wondering what exactly they are thinking when they honor them. Like, what is the honor specifically about? Putting myself in their shoes, I can't see not feeling differently (just as I would if I learned any of my ancestors were slave holders--we are too recent to this country for that to be so), so I'm trying to wrap my brain around what it means to those who think that way.

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3 minutes ago, KSera said:

I'm trying to think how this might be for someone who feels that way. When is the time they think the confederate flag meant something wholesome? And since no one is alive who would have known their relatives who died in the civil war, I'm left wondering what exactly they are thinking when they honor them. Like, what is the honor specifically about? Putting myself in their shoes, I can't see not feeling differently (just as I would if I learned any of my ancestors were slave holders--we are too recent to this country for that to be so), so I'm trying to wrap my brain around what it means to those who think that way.

I can't really speak for others as to their specific thoughts, but I have heard it said that many who served were protecting their families and property from an invading army.  Their service was seen as honorable because they were doing what they thought was right to protect their wives, children, and homes.

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57 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

Ok, so you are ok with the pardon as a political move to attempt to placate the families, but that in terms of history, you don't fully believe in the spirit of the pardon.  Is that an accurate summary?

That's not exactly what I'd say. I don't think it was to placate the families exactly. There are two elements here. From a practical standpoint, the US after the Civil War had to re-integrate the south into the nation. They could not realistically oversee and imprison the entire south. Trials to sort who was guilty and of what and figure out how to punish everyone would have been impractical and probably created an ongoing cycle of revenge. So placate is not the right word for that to me. It's so much bigger. But secondly, the pardons were supposed to be part of this bigger effort to change the south - wean the south from enslaved human labor, industrialize it, and change society. The pardons that Lincoln envisioned were supposed to be one small piece of that. Most of it never came to fruition. So the pardons were never allowed to be what they were supposed to be in the first place. Instead, especially under Johnson, they became a way to excuse the actions - not to heal the people and change the society. On the one hand, the lofty goals of a reconciliation was probably always too much to hope for. But on the other hand, I think we do ourselves wrong when we assume that the resumption of violent racism was absolutely inevitable.

I think it's more like... if you had a friend who did something horrible to you because they were abusing drugs. And then you decided you loved them and were going to help them get clean. And you agreed to forgive them because they had agreed to go to rehab and you started making plans for how you were both going to move on in your friendship together and take trips and do great things together. But then they left rehab and purposefully ran over your cat in revenge for having taken them there. Well then, your pardon didn't exactly do what it was supposed to do.

As for the US flag and the many egregious things our military has done well within living memory... it's so complex. I don't think there's a single right answer. But the US flag means a lot of things to a lot of people. The Confederate battle flag that is common today is not a complex symbol of an imperfect nation.

Edited by Farrar
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4 hours ago, happysmileylady said:

What are "political honors?"

 

Confederate graves are part of the exact same National Cemeteries as the graves of all US Veterans.  The graves are marked and treated exactly the same.  Obviously there are no more Confederate soldiers to be buried today, but if there were, I suspect they would be given the same sorts of military honors at their funeral that every veteran is give. 

I live near the site of the largest Union prison camp, where many Confederate soldiers died.  They were buried in what is now a national cemetery.  Every year before Memorial Day American flags are placed on all the graves, including the Confederate prisoners of war who died in truly horrific conditions.

History is nuanced.

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Just as a point of interest.

We have in our home a presidential pardon from my Dh's great great something grandfather. He actually voted against succession in the state legislature. He did end up fighting for the South in battles basically in his own backyard/neighborhood. His militia stayed pretty much local. 

And he was pardoned after the war. 

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2 minutes ago, marbel said:

Ah, so sorry, I must have missed it since was being questioned again... I'll delete my post so not to cause confusion.

Thanks for not taking offense to my exasperation 😉. I’ll delete mine as well 😊

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I'll add my cluttered thoughts...    I would hope no one here would ever steal a flag from a cemetery.   I can't even imagine doing that.   I hate the confederate flag, and thankfully I see it around here (deep south) less and less. 🙌🏼     I'm also not gung-ho on the American flag, lol.  🤷🏻‍♀️
I'm not a rah-rah American either, like (I think) ordinary shoes mentioned about herself.   I'd like to see something to mark veteran's graves, though, because while I don't really agree, I do think many of them had/have our best interests at heart and genuinely want/wanted to keep people safe.   I think we should also remember that wrt confederate soldiers (and union and revolutionary, etc), they didn't have immediate news like we do now.  The newspapers were few and far between and were written by not exactly the most knowledgeable or intelligent people.   So there are probably many soldiers who went to war when they weren't sure what they were even fighting for.  They were told they had to go, so they went.  🤷🏻‍♀️   It's really hard for me to consider them traitors.   The word traitors is loaded and I won't look at those mostly dirt poor & illiterate soldiers from the South that way.   Now the wealthy landowners, the soldiers' commanding officers... yep, yuck. 😡   All that rambling, I still don't want a conf flag at gravesites, but it's not my place to ever steal something.    I wonder if there's some type of way to honor them without flags?    Maybe some plastic red, white, & blue flowers?   Maybe a regular American flag?   Maybe even a red, white, & blue twirly spinner?    Idk.   
 

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I feel like the question of whether or not to take the flag is another matter apart from whether one believes there should be flags there. I mean, civil disobedience is a worthy thing to do sometimes. But also, part of civil disobedience is to take the consequences. 

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