With all of the discussion of the Confederate flag that I see on the internet, I would like to point out a few things:
- I think that the most cogent comment about the Confederate Flag issue that I have heard was, surprisingly, made by a politician! It was when Jeb Bush said that in Florida the Confederate Flag had been taken out of government buildings quite a few years ago, and put in “a museum where it belonged.”
- While I agree that dealing with the Confederate flag appropriately may hurt the feelings of certain people who have their own private legitimate interpretations of that flag that are not racist or desirous of the disintegration of the United States of America or the like, and I want to be considerate of those people and to be tolerant of their right to such interpretations, one must be cognizant that the historical entity (the Confederacy) represented by the symbol of the Confederate flag is NOT in accordance with such interpretations, and pretending otherwise is just another form of Political Correctness!
- Not being a fan of Political Correctness, and not identifying politically as either left-wing or right-wing (I like to think of myself, humorously, as sort of “middle of the bird”, as comedian Pat Paulsen used to put it), I want to encourage people to abandon this particular form of Political Correctness (which is more identified with the right-wing) as well as other forms of Political Correctness (more often than not, identified with the left-wing).
- Let us be frank with ourselves, the Confederate flag is, objectively, and historically, a symbol of at least acquiescence in the disintegration of that great union of territory and people called “The United States of America”, as well as a symbol of the legitimization of slavery.
The information to prove this is available to anyone who wants it.
If the Confederacy had remained, it is quite likely that Texas (and possibly other states) would have broken off to form its own independent country (see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Civil_War_alternate_histories, and http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/842940.If_the_South_Had_Won_the_Civil_War, among others), and that the threats to world freedom which the United States helped fight would have been much more difficult to defeat.
As far as slavery goes, from the mention of “an increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery” in the South Carolina Declaration of Secession (the very first such declaration – see: http://www.civil-war.net/pages/southcarolina_declaration.asp) as a major part of the justification for leaving the Union, to the secession declarations of other states such as Mississippi (see: http://www.civil-war.net/pages/mississippi_declaration.asp), and Georgia (see: http://www.civil-war.net/pages/georgia_declaration.asp), among others, which relate to their attitude toward slavery (that it must be preserved) as a major reason for secession, one can see that upholding slavery was a major aim of the Confederacy.
- The above, it seems quite clear to me, demonstrates quite definitively that the Confederate flag does NOT belong in any USA federal, state, or municipal government edifice. The symbolism of that flag intended by the founders of the Confederacy makes it an object which does NOT honor any government edifice in which it might be placed.
Of course, private people are free to do as they please (including inventing new interpretations of the Confederate flag that do not support racism, etc.), but I see no room for governments in the USA to display this symbol, and every reason for them to reject its display.
In summary, I think that Jeb Bush put it quite well, and that the Confederate flag should be put in museums where it belongs.
An Interesting Point:
Abraham Lincoln’s statement to the effect that, despite his personal opposition to slavery, preserving the Union was the more important goal to aim for, in his position as President, may be much more significant than he could have known.
If the Union had not been preserved, not only might black people have ended up enslaved for much longer, but also the United States of America might not have been able to defend liberty in the 20th century as well as it did, for it would have been a much less powerful entity.