The assault on Confederate monuments, as well as anything related to the Confederacy, continues to rampage and rape the South. Ridiculous as it is, some folks still consider these century-old relics to now be racist. FYI, inanimate objects cannot be racist, but some folks consider them to represent racism, although this wasn’t an issue when the monuments were erected or while they existed for over 100 years. After too many years of destruction, finally, common sense is seeping back into our country’s consciousness.
TEXAS APPEALS COURT INTERVENES FOR MONUMENTS
In June, the city got clearance from a Dallas County district judge who denied a request for a temporary injunction. The monument was covered in black plastic.
Monday, the city of Dallas was ordered by the State appellat court not to remove the monument to the Confederacy downtown. The court also ordered the city not to sell the Robert E. Lee statue unless the sale had been completed. That statue was sold at auction for more than $1.4 million and is already in the hands of its new owner.
The lawsuit was filed by a Dallas man who insists removing the monuments is unconstitutional.
(Article courtesy of Dixie Heritage Newsletter, July 5, 2019 ed.)
I came across this article and have to admit that this gentleman certainly has a point. I was told several years ago that abuse is a matter of interpretation. If you feel you are being abused, then you ARE being abused. The same goes for discrimination, or in this case, a flag. If one flag is accepted and another is ridiculed for contrived impressions, there is a discrimination issue involved. In my opinion, we should accept all expressions of individually, patriotism, or personal identification. It is what our country and our Constitution are based upon. By accepting all, we invite tolerance and understanding, instead of promoting negativity and ill-conceived impressions. Here is the article:
Mark Velder, a city employee in Independence, Missouri spoke at this week’s city council meeting, to criticize the display of the rainbow pride flag by the Mayor, stating that he would be fired if he flew his Confederate Flag.
“We just did the Pledge of Allegiance, which says ‘I pledge allegiance to the flag.’ The flag. ‘The’ is a definitive article. That is my flag,” Velder said pointing to the American flag. “Not the LGBT flag,” Velder added while holding two Confederate flags. “I work at the city of Independence. If I put [the Confederate flag] up tomorrow, I’ll be fired.”
“Yet we’ve got a flag outside of the window, right up here that gives me a sense of discrimination. Something that’s not for equal rights, it’s a violation,” Velder continued. “That flag does not represent me, I keep hearing it’s for everybody. It does not. That represents people who have surgically removed part of their anatomy because they don’t know what kind of bathroom to go to … I’m normal. I’m normal.”
He added, “I’m asking can we get [the pride flag] down or just put mine [the Confederate flag] up. Just put this one up, I would love to see this one up tomorrow morning when I come to work.”
(Article courtesy of Dixie Heritage Newsletter, June 21, 2019 ed.)
Only ten years ago, Southern history, especially in regard to the Civil War, was honored and celebrated. Now that same history is under attack, and some will stop at nothing to change it, erase it, lie about it, and misinterpret history with every means possible. Here is another ludicrous example of how the Confederacy is being portrayed today, and how one letter to the editor proves the audacity of this comparison.
Confederacy Compared to Nazi Germany
To the Greenville, East Carolinian.
To the editor: article comparing the Confederacy to Nazi Germany and its battle flag to the swastika is highly offensive, especially to those of us who are Jewish, & shows he knows little about either the Confederacy or the Nazis. Some 3,500 to 5,000 Jews fought honorably and loyally for the Confederacy, including its Secretary of War & later State, Judah Benjamin (See Robert Rosen’s The Jewish Confederates and Mel Young’s Last Order of the Lost Cause). My great grandfather also served, as did his four brothers, their uncle, his three sons, and some two-dozen other members of my Mother’s extended family (The Moses’ of South Carolina and Georgia). Half a dozen of them fell in battle, largely teenagers, including the first and last Confederate Jews to die in battle. We know first hand, from their letters, diaries, and memoirs, that they were not fighting for slavery, but rather to defend themselves and their comrades, their families, homes, and country from an invading army that was trying to kill them, burn their homes and cities, and destroy everything they had. If you want to talk about Nazi-like behavior, consider the actions of the leading Union commander, General Ulysses S. Grant, whose war crimes included the following actions:
Ordering the expulsion on 24 hours notice of all Jews “as a class” from the territory under his control (General Order # 11, 17 December, 1862), and forbidding Jews to travel on trains (November, 1862); Ordering the destruction of an entire agricultural area to deny the enemy support (the Shenandoah Valley, 5 August, 1864). Leading the mass murder, a virtual genocide, of Native People, mainly helpless old men, women, and children in their villages, to make land available for the western railroads (the eradication of the Plains Indians, 1865–66). What we euphemistically call “the Indian Wars” was carried out by many of the same Union officers who led the war against the South – Sherman, Grant, Sheridan, Custer, and other leading commanders. Overseeing the complete destruction of defenseless Southern cities, and conducting such warfare against unarmed women and children (e.g., the razing of Meridian, and other cities in Mississippi, spring, 1863).
Contrast these well-documented atrocities (and many others too numerous to list) with the gentlemanly policies and behavior of the Confederate forces. My ancestor Major Raphael Moses, General James Longstreet’s chief commissary officer, was forbidden by General Robert E. Lee from even entering private homes in their raids into the North, such as the famous incursion into Pennsylvania. Moses was forced to obtain his supplies from businesses and farms, and he always paid for what he requisitioned, albeit in Confederate tender. Moses always endured in good humor the harsh verbal abuse he received from the local women, who, he noted, always insisted on receiving in the end the exact amount owed. Moses and his Confederate colleagues never engaged in the type of warfare waged by the Union forces, especially that of General William T. Sherman on his infamous “March to the Sea” through Georgia and the Carolinas, in which his troops routinely burned, looted, and destroyed libraries, courthouses, churches, homes, and cities full of defenseless civilians, including my hometown of Atlanta.
It was not the South but rather our enemies that engaged in genocide. While our ancestors may have lost the War, they never lost their honor, or engaged in anything that could justify their being compared to Nazi’s. It was the other side that did that.
(Courtesy of The Southern Comfort, Sons of Confederate Veterans Samuel A. Hughey Camp 1452, Hernando, MS., vol. 42, no. 10, October 2018 ed.)
Misconceptions about all things Confederate are still flaring up. Last week, protesters showed up on Monument Avenue in Richmond. What they didn’t realize is that the avenue has been placed on the National Historic Register, so if they get their way and have the monuments moved/removed, their taxes will increase dramatically. And, of course, the Mississippi state flag is still under attack. Here is an interesting take on it.
Calling for Change: Gulfport to fly multiple Mississippi flags at city hall
By Renee Johnson, Digital Content Director
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) –
Gulfport Mayor Billy Hewes says it’s inevitable that Mississippi will change its state flag to a less divisive symbol, and he has a suggestion: Mississippi’s first official flag, adopted in 1861 – the Magnolia Flag.
Mayor Hewes announced Sunday that the Magnolia Flag will now fly at Gulfport City Hall, just under the current state flag, “on the chance our citizens can rally around a symbol that has a connection to the past, but represents renewal and promise for the future.”
“This is not about erasing the past,” Mayor Hewes wrote. “It’s about being honest about the present, and working toward a productive future. The reality is that Mississippi’s flag will be changed. The question is when, and into what? What better time to make a statement, than during our Bicentennial observance, as we embark upon the third century of the Magnolia State’s existence?”
The mayor believes one of the main reasons the 2001 state referendum to change the Mississippi flag didn’t pass is that “the alternative symbol never managed to capture the imagination, because it provided no relevant connection for our citizens.”
He believes if the Magnolia Flag had been offered as a historical alternative, the referendum might have delivered a different outcome.
“People don’t typically embrace change for the sake of change. There has to be a compelling reason, desired result, or emotional connection to it. That is one of the main reasons the referendum for a new flag in 2001 did not pass,” Hewes wrote.
You can read the mayor’s full opinion piece below, and on the City of Gulfport-Mayor’s Office Facebook page where residents are already starting to share their
We are better together.
The holiday season is a time for reflection, as well as a period of preparation for a new year. As we count the many blessings we have, we cannot ignore the generational challenges our state faces, as well as the opportunities to take corrective measures, both great and small.
Just as words have weight, symbols have substance. In a reasonable society, one would expect to encounter a measure of respect and tolerance for differing views, statements and images. This approach does not require a changing of principles or minds, but an understanding that every difference of opinion is not a declaration of war.
The conflict over our state flag continues to stir emotions, and invites debate on the need for change – or not. Like it, or not, what the confederate battle flag might have meant generations ago, has evolved to a point in today’s world where it is largely viewed as a symbol of ignorance, hatred, and bigotry. It is used on both sides of the political spectrum to incite violence.
We are better together.
Opponents of the present flag cite offense at the confederate battle flag emblem (which did not originate in Mississippi), which has largely come to represent a hateful vestige of a distant past and a modern-day extremism. Proponents of keeping the flag provide historical nexus and reference a public referendum from 2001 where an overwhelming sentiment showed most Mississippians had no desire for change. While that should not be ignored, the context of the vote at that time must be considered.
People don’t typically embrace change for the sake of change. There has to be a compelling reason, desired result, or emotional connection to it. That is one of the main reasons the referendum for a new flag in 2001 did not pass. The alternative symbol never managed to capture the imagination, because it provided no relevant connection for our citizens. Had Mississippi’s first official flag, adopted in 1861 – the Magnolia Flag – been offered as a viable, historical alternative, the 2001 referendum might have delivered a different outcome.
Southerners of all races and creeds feel strongly about their heritage, but when an image is used to distort that history, perpetuate cultures of hatred, impede progress, and stigmatize our great State to the point that businesses, developers, and visitors take pause, it is time for us to find a resolution.
This debate is not to inhibit anybody’s right to free speech. However, it is important to recognize that our state flag has been unfairly used to chain us to a legacy we would be better off leaving behind. No revisionist history, but an acknowledgment that today’s Mississippi is much different from generations past. It is one of promise, knowing there will always be work to do, but in a State that places value in the individual, the dignity of work, and the importance of character.
We are better together.
We are past the point in our history where we should be allowing others to tell our story. Yet, with perception driving reality we find ourselves, time and again, like crabs in a boiling pot, where each pulls the others down to die collectively, rather than build upon our assets and educate the world as to the wonderful place and people known as Mississippi. Not that we’re perfect, but that the imagery from long ago need no longer serve to wrongly define the exceptional relationships that have been forged across racial lines over decades.
The hallmarks of decency, civility, and mutual respect hang in the balance in an America where too many are looking for reasons for outrage, rather than seeking common interests and solutions. It seems that, lately, the only thing that brings out the best in us is disaster or catastrophe. Mississippi should stand as an example on how to respond where there is need, and lead where there is opportunity.
A flag change will not totally unify us, but it will help to eliminate a hindrance to our progress as a State. There will always be those who would divide us because of our differences, but instead we should be celebrating our diversity and relishing the common ground that makes up our rich and unique cultural gumbo.
Whether the issue is settled by another public referendum, or by our elected representatives in Jackson, Gulfport will abide by that decision and fly the flag of our great State, as we do today. In the meantime, we will also fly the Magnolia Flag at City Hall on the chance our citizens can rally around a symbol that has a connection to the past, but represents renewal and promise for the future.
This is not about erasing the past. It’s about being honest about the present, and working toward a productive future. The reality is that Mississippi’s flag will be changed. The question is when, and into what? What better time to make a statement, than during our Bicentennial observance, as we embark upon the third century of the Magnolia State’s existence?
When it comes down to it, it’s not so much about what is
on the flag. It’s about what brings us together, or divides us – and how we move forward, together.
– Billy Hewes
(Courtesy the Jeff Davis Legion, Official Publication of the Mississippi Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, December 2017 edition)
Amazon Staff: Federal Government ordered us not to sell Confederate Flag
Amazon.com staff are telling irate customers that the company was ordered by the federal government not to sell items featuring the Confederate Flag. Amazon made the announcement, along with eBay, Sears and Walmart, that it would no longer sell products bearing the Confederate Flag, but according to a conversation posted on YouTube between a customer and an Amazon sales rep, the decision could have been made as a result of pressure from the Federal Government.
At first, the Amazon staffer claims that the items were banned because they were deemed to be offensive, but when pressed by the customer, the sales rep tells a different story.
“Is this a political statement by Amazon.com or is this a directive that you’re following, that the government said you know we want you guys not to sell these anymore?” asks the caller.
“The government is not allowing us to sell this Confederate flag,” responds the staffer.
“So the government is not allowing you….to sell it?” asks the caller.
The sales rep responds, “yes.”
“So Amazon is not making a political statement, this is something the government told you to do?” questions the caller.
“Exactly,” responds the staffer.
In addition, when customers queried Amazon’s decision to stop selling Confederate items via the company’s official website, they were told by another Amazon representative that the items were no longer available as a result of “federal law” and that Amazon was “instructed to remove all Confederate flags from sale.”
This of course makes the entire story far more sinister. As a private company, it is Amazon’s right to sell what it likes, no matter what people feel about the decision, but if the federal government has ordered the retailer not to sell Confederate Flags (while Nazi memorabilia is still freely available), this clearly represents an egregious act of censorship that has no basis in law. Karl Marx would be happy.
(Article courtesy of General William Barksdale Camp 1220 Sons of Confederate Veterans, Columbus, Mississippi, July 2015)