The Confederate Battle Flag, which is currently in the news, is essentially the British Union Jack with a red field rather than a blue one, blue crossbars rimmed in white with white stars instead of red and white crossbars, and with the foreground red cross deleted. This flag is said to represent the “Southern Heritage” of the United States of America’s southern states. In what does that heritage consist?
PRIVILEGE. The South was settled by the younger sons of the British aristocracy in large part. They were given land grants by the Crown and were certainly more privileged traditionally than the settlers of the North which was founded by religious sectarians and merchants, very largely.
INHUMANITY. The plantations of the South would have been unprofitable without cheap labor, so the planters paid for slaves who were kidnapped in Africa, largely by other Africans, transported to America by Northern shipping magnates and captains, and sold in the South to people who treated blacks as property.
SLAVERY. Human beings from Africa (from which ALL human beings derive) were treated like chattels: beaten, starved, traded (breaking up families), and they were considered to be sub-human.
SEGREGATION. Although some slaves worked in the homes of the privileged, most of them were segregated in the cheapest of dwellings set apart from the main dwelling. It was considered a crime to treat blacks or people of mixed blood like human beings or to mingle with them.
HYPOCRISY. Nevertheless, there were many slaves who were of mixed race, the offspring of owners who treated black women as concubines, like Thomas Jefferson, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, who created children with his mixed-blood mistress Sally Hemings.
DISLOYALTY. The commander of the Southern Army of North Virginia, Robert E. Lee, was educated in the North at West Point and swore allegiance to the United States of America when he took service with the U. S. Army, but renounced his country, his uniform, and his oath, in order to fight with the Rebels who also were, obviously, disloyal to the nation that the Southern States had helped to found.
BAD GRACE and ILL WILL. Lee surrendered the Southern Flag at Appomattox Courthouse on April 12, 1865. The Confederacy LOST THE WAR, but some southerners have held a grudge for 150 years and continue to fly the flag of a beaten army. This is called,
SEDITION. Wikipedia says, “Sedition is the crime of revolting or inciting revolt against government. However, because of the broad protection of free speech under the First Amendment, prosecutions for sedition are rare. Nevertheless, sedition remains a crime in the United States under 18 U.S.C.A. § 2384 (2000), a federal statute that punishes seditious conspiracy, and 18 U.S.C.A. § 2385 (2000), which outlaws advocating the overthrow of the federal government by force.”
This, then, is the “Southern Heritage” represented by the Confederate Battle Flag:
PRIVILEGE, INHUMANITY, SLAVERY, SEGREGATION, HYPOCRISY, DISLOYALTY, BAD GRACE, ILL WILL and SEDITION.
Europe has banned the SWASTIKA flag of Nazi Germany, yet the South feels free to fly its equivalent in this country, THE CONFEDERATE FLAG.