J.D.R. Hawkins

One bullet can make a man a hero… or a casualty.

Archive for the tag “Stars and Stripes”

The Case for the Confederate Battle Flag

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Controversy surrounding the Confederate battle flag continues to escalate. Some feel that stashing away the flag is a solution, but I believe the flag should be reinvented as an historic symbol, rather than automatically being associated with racism. The flag has been used by certain hate groups in the past, but these groups have also used the American flag. The Stars and Stripes flew over slave ships, not the Confederate battle flag. If one element of our society is deemed offensive to particular groups, then it will inevitably lead to other banned elements. Removing the Confederate battle flag from government property and national parks is only the beginning. Certain groups are already calling for the removal of all things Confederate, including flags, school names, monuments, movies, books, and television shows. They even want to relocate Civil War soldiers’ bodies. To me, this is offensive, and it is also censorship. Although I understand how the flag might upset some people, to others, it is a sign of Southern pride and heritage. Either way, censoring items doesn’t do away with deeper issues.

Passing laws to remove the Confederate battle flag might seem like a perfect remedy, but in reality, it doesn’t accomplish anything. Racists will still find a symbol to use. People will still lay blame on inanimate objects, instead of blaming the true source of hate. Guns, flags, and photographs don’t commit atrocities. People do. That is why we need to change our attitudes toward these objects, or it will lead to far worse consequences down the road. I’m sure there are people who are offended by the Nazi flag, the Japanese flag, the rainbow flag, or whatever. If one flag is done away with, then all the others should be, too, including the American flag. It flew while thousands of Native American Indians were being slaughtered, after all. And while we’re at it, let’s get rid of Stone Mountain, Mount Rushmore, every statue in Washington D.C., and any reminder of Confederate soldiers or slave owners, including our founding fathers. Let’s rename all the streets, including Martin Luther King Jr.’s namesakes, because it’s only fair.

By taking away our symbols, this country is denying our freedom of speech and expression. In a recent Newsmax poll, 88% wanted to keep Confederate flags on government property. And in the small town of Gettysburg, South Dakota, the police chief has fallen under scrutiny for deciding not to change the officers’ uniform patches, which depict the American and Confederate flags crossing over a cannon.

Of course, someone will be offended by something sometime. I’m offended by numerous things, like those mud flaps with nude females on them and sexist lyrics in songs. But to deny their use is going against our Constitutional rights. As U.S. citizens, we need to take a stand against allowing this issue to elevate further, or we will end up having complete government rule, and that is exactly what Southerners fought against during the Civil War.

My upcoming novel, A Rebel Among Us, a novel of the Civil War, discusses this topic in-depth. It delves into the lives of two people – one from the North, and one from the South. Their opinions and differences repeatedly collide, making their relationship all the more compelling and complicated.

As it was in the past, we are facing these same conflicts today. We are one country with many different attitudes and backgrounds, which makes us diverse and unique. To take away just one element of expression opens us up to complete censorship and governmental control in the future.

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The Insanity Keeps Spreading

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Controversy surrounding the Confederate battle flag keeps flaring, and now, of course, the topic has spread to other areas. Last weekend during a 4th of July parade in Minnesota, a firefighter was suspended for driving his own vehicle in the parade. Why, you may ask? It’s because he had a Confederate flag bumper sticker on his truck. Now the fire department is calling for this guy’s resignation. Insane. There is also a small town in Minnesota that is debating about changing its name, because it is named after a Confederate. Also insane.

At Yale University, a conversation has begun concerning the renaming of Calhoun College, which was named after John C. Calhoun in the 1930’s. Calhoun served as U.S. Senator of South Carolina and as Vice President. But aside from his political career, he was also a staunch believer in the slave plantation system. Calhoun graduated from Yale in 1804. Again insane.

Yesterday, the South Carolina Senate voted 37-3 to have the Confederate battle flag removed from the Capitol grounds. I won’t be surprised if the flag will be removed. I’m sure Governor Nikki Haley put enough pressure on the naysayers to convince them to vote for the flag’s removal. The problem is that the flag was flying over a Confederate memorial. So what’s to become of that monument? If the governor has her way, I’m sure it will be the next thing to go.

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I’m certain this country was a lot different in the 1800’s, and slavery was part of our culture. However, slavery has been illegal since 1865. Doing away with any and all reminders of our slave-including past won’t fix what’s wrong with this country today. It only dilutes historical fact. Most people associate the Confederate battle flag with slavery, but they are sorely mistaken. The Confederate battle flag, on the contrary, represents the rights of the people, rather than having a unified government. The Stars and Stripes flew over slave ships, not the Confederate battle flag. In fact, the Confederate battle flag wasn’t even used until after the First Battle of Manassas. Before people go flying off the handle about this, which they obviously already have, they need to have a history lesson.

Instead of concentrating so much effort on removing historic symbols, this country should focus on today’s issue of slavery. Thousands are crossing our borders and being swooped up by predators to become sex slaves. Why isn’t this the media’s focus? Our country has a far more serious situation to deal with than wiping the Confederate battle flag from our collective conscience. Slavery and racism won’t end with abolishing the Confederate battle flag.

“The clamor being raised against all things that were the Confederate States of America is but a glaring fulfillment of the establishment of the American MSM’s version of Orwell’s “1984” Ministry of Truth.  Just as Orwell said, ‘By controlling the present, the Party is able to manipulate the past. And in controlling the past, the Party can justify all of its actions in the present.’”

(Courtesy of Southern Heritage News and Views, 7-6-15)

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