Southern pride does not equal racism

By Sean Gravel

Published: Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Editor’s Note: This article is in response to Freedom Whiting’s article, “Confederate Flag No More Honorable than a Swastika.”

A couple months ago, I was infuriated by an article someone wrote, “Confederate Flag No More Honorable than a Swastika.” The Confederate Flag is not a symbol of hate.

The person also made the biased statement that the Civil War was all about slavery and that slavery was the only state right really being fought for.

The Civil War was not fought over slavery. It was fought over whether a state could secede.

Lincoln himself admitted, “This is a war to save the Union, not a war to abolish slavery.”

His Emancipation Proclamation was a war measure that only applied to the Confederate States. The states of Maryland, Delaware, Kentucky and Missouri were all allowed to keep their slaves.

The Thirteenth Amendment was then passed because the Proclamation was of questionable constitutionality. Speaking of the Constitution, Lincoln often violated that little document but then had the nerve to call secession illegal.

Another interesting tidbit, secession is not banned anywhere in the Constitution.

The Tenth Amendment also says that the states get any power not delegated to the United States or denied to the states.

Guess what — that technically makes secession legal and Lincoln a war criminal (the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter was a response to Lincoln sending war supplies to the fort), who invaded a foreign nation. The only good thing that man did during his presidency was free the slaves.

I will admit, the main reason that the Southern states seceded was to protect slavery, but that does not mean that the war revolved around it. The North and South were culturally different, and the war had been building up since the Revolution.

Eventually, they decided to leave the Union. The United States was built on secession, so why can’t a state leave when it chooses?

In my opinion, the South jumped the gun because Lincoln promised not to touch slavery in states where it was legal.

The principle for the South fighting the Civil War was to rid itself of an ever-expanding federal government. If the federal government can trump one state right, why not all the others?

The Supreme Court takes states’ rights all the time. Southerners should take pride in the fact that their ancestors stood up against what they saw as tyranny. The Confederate Flag itself is a symbol to those of us who still believe that the Fed is expanding too much and needs to be cut down (legally, of course).

As Jefferson Davis said, “All we ask is to be left alone.”

Also, other nations have used the Confederate Flag as a symbol against tyranny. One is even seen flying at the fall of the Berlin Wall.

I hate how people are overly offended by it and how many want to take away our right to fly it. Many people fly it just to spite those who call it racist.

Flags mean what you want them to mean. Yes, many groups, such as the KKK, use the Confederate Flag for evil, but they also use the American Flag much more frequently than the Confederate Flag.

Others, however, simply use it to display their Southern pride, to show opposition to an overreaching Federal Government, and others just because they can.

Many people around here preach tolerance, so tolerate our use of the Southern Cross, and don’t automatically assume that people who fly it are racist.

© 2010 The Voyager

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