True Evil: The Defense of the Confederate Flag

South Carolina Capitol Building - Confederate Flag FlyingThis past week’s horrendous mass shooting at Charleston, South Carolina’s Emanuel AME Church provided a first-hand look at an obviously evil person, whose though processes and beliefs defy reason. But beyond that, we have seen an opening into a much more widespread belief, and we are able to see explicitly that there is very little difference between such people as South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, Texas governor and presidential candidate Rick Perry, former Arkansas governer and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, and the Charleston shooter, Dylann Roof.

But first a little history about the item central to these beliefs, the Confederate Flag.

The photo shown here has been seen all over Facebook, Twitter, the rest of social media, and even on some TV news reports. It depicts, hours after the church shooting, the South Carolina Capitol Building with the flags of the United States and the State of South Carolina at half-mast, and the Confederate flag flying high, at the very top of its mast.

There are many misconceptions about the so called “Confederate Flag” and in fact, the flag still commonly seen throughout the South, and that currently flies over the South Carolina Capitol Building,

was not the official flag of the Confederate States of America. That flag, more properly referred to as the “Confederate Battle Flag”, was used for other purposes during the existence of the Confederacy, which had at various times, three different official flags. Official flags of the Confederacy were the original “Stars and Bars”, which interestingly enough was designed by German artist Nicola Marschall and closely resembled the flag of the Austrian Empire, the “Stainless Banner”, which consisted of a dominant white field with in the upper left, a version of the “Confederate Battle Flag”, and finally, the “Blood-Stained Banner”, which was a revised version of the “Stainless Banner”, but with a wide, vertical stripe of red at the end, alleviating the fear that that the earlier white fielded flag could be mistaken for a white surrender flag.

The flag known today as the “Confederate Flag”, that began as the “Confederate Battle Flag” and is also referred to as the “Rebel Flag”, the “Dixie Flag” and the “Southern Cross”, and even confusingly as the “Stars and Bars” (which was a very different flag) first saw use in one form or another as the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia, under General Robert E. Lee, and a bit later as the battle flag of the Army of Tennessee. One state, Mississippi, retains the image of this flag as part of their official state flag.

The use of the design of the “Confederate Battle Flag” in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries has clearly been to symbolize racism and the desire of many to retain and later to return to segregation, if not actual slavery. In Georgia, in 1956, the state re-introduced a new flag that included in part the design of the “Confederate Battle Flag” in response to the earlier US Supreme Court ruling in Brown v Board of Education, as a protest against the requirement of school desegregation.

Ku Klux Klan and Confederate Flag
Ku Klux Klan and Confederate Flag
For generations of Ku Klux Klansmen, the “Confederate Battle Flag” has been a widely used symbol of their efforts to return the South to the customs of the past, i.e., segregation if not slavery. According to John Coski, Historian and Vice President of Research and Publications for the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, VA., the KKK’s use of the flag began in 1949. Cocki has stated, however, that the connection between the flag and racism was even more solidified by the flag’s use by southern “Dixiecrats” who affirmatively made the “Confederate Battle Flag” the symbol of both their party and of opposition to the Civil Rights movement.

To tens of millions of Americans, if not hundreds of millions, the Confederate Flag signifies racism and the acceptance of African American slavery just as does the swastika symbolize anti-Semitism, the holocaust and the attempt to systematically exterminate every last member of the Jewish religion. The display of the Confederate Flag should no more be so openly, flagrantly and proudly done as would the display of the swastika.

South Carolina governor Nikki Haley did a great public relations job following the tragic shooting. She went before the cameras and portrayed herself as a caring, sensitive, public-spirited statesperson,

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pulling more wool over the eyes of the unthinking, oblivious, easily manipulated constituency that elected her. What a crock from an evil person. Haley, a pawn of big business, the religious right, and inherent southern racist interests, and someone who wants to eliminate all business taxes, convert all public schools to private, for profit schools, open the state’s coastline to unlimited oil drilling, pass voter suppression laws, remove middle and working class citizen’s access to the courts for redress for physical and economic damages resulting from injuries caused by others and for medical malpractice, remove all restrictions on access to guns, repeal the Affordable Care Act, end union rights and end the right to choose, has consistently defended the flying of the flag at the statehouse, and very typically has said that she finds it just fine because of all of the CEOS she’s talked to over several years, none have said it should go. Well, Haley may think it’s acceptable to have “Government by CEO”, but most people might well find that ludicrous.

She has also been quoted as denying that racism exists in South Carolina, because the state elected an Indian-American as governor. Yea, right, just like there’s no racism anywhere in the USA since we elected an African-American president.

There are a whole lot of evil governors out there, but as bad as Haley is and despite her phony, crocodile-tears public persona of the week, the award for the most evil of all evil governors, June, 2015 edition, goes to Rick Perry, who chose to focus his post-shooting remarks in the format of criticizing the President, duh, referred to the heinous, premeditated murder of nine people chosen solely because of their race, as an “Accident”.

Nothing more need be said about that, except that it was not until the next day that Perry staff members figured out that he had said something really, really, bad, and that they began their latest damage control effort, telling everyone who would listen that Perry had mis-spoke, that he really, really, did not mean to call the incident an “accident”.

And then we have Mike Huckabee, from whom evil excretes like a foaming bubonic plague fistula, but about whom a detailed discussion of his beliefs will have to wait until another time, but who, in the wake of Charleston, has said that the issue of the flag, which is, of course, the issue of racism in the south, does not have “anything to do whatsoever with running for president”.

Seriously? Racism throughout a significant portion of America, the county that will be electing that next president, in the aftermath of yet another mass shooting of human beings done solely because of their race, is not an issue to be discussed by contenders for that office? Really? Nevertheless, Huckabee was more than willing to say that South Carolina should do whatever it wants about the flag, basically saying that the hatred, violence and tragedy it causes is nobody else’s business. I mean, it’s not like a fellow could go into a church in one state, kill a bunch of people because of their race, get in his car

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with his weapon, and drive to another state? What are the chances of THAT ever happening? Oh, wait, wasn’t Dylann Roof, the Charleston SOUTH CAROLINA shooter arrested in NORTH CAROLINA? Imagine that.

And speaking of Roof, the actual shooter and the possessor of an evil mind, an evil persona, and if you believe in such things, an evil soul, it is nothing more than rationalization on the part of those so entrenched in racist thought and the glory of the “Confederate Battle Flag” to discount the influence of 250 years of southern racist culture that believers in “the” flag espouse. Putting a flag on his car and wearing similarly racist flags on his clothes did not MAKE him a racist, but they were clear symbols signifying that he was, no less so than is the “Confederate Battle Flag” flying high above the South Carolina state capitol a symbol for millions of others.