Ban the Confederate flag? Can it be reclaimed?

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TomatoLounge
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Protesters across the US are calling for the removal of the confederate flag in the wake of Dylan Roof's racist murders. He posed with the flag in lots of photos. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-33244710

Southern states like Texas and Virginia sometimes use the flag and there's pressure mounting for them to stop. Walmart and Amazon have already stopped selling it.

But perhaps it can be reclaimed like we did with the word queer?!?

Kanye Seems to think so:

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thehistorybore
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There's no reason to ban the flag. It is more often associated with the South (as a de facto symbol) than it is with racist crusading. Why take that symbol (which stood long before the concept of racism existed) away from the majority who use it properly?
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chazwomaq
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Such a weird idea.

Yeah, it's the flag that causes the problem. Normal, law abiding people are brainwashed by it's pattern and become violent racist psychopaths. That must be it.

People just feel powerless when tragedies like this happen, and turn to meaningless gestures because there's nothing else they can do.
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TomatoLounge
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(Original post by thehistorybore)
There's no reason to ban the flag. It is more often associated with the South (as a de facto symbol) than it is with racist crusading. Why take that symbol (which stood long before the concept of racism existed) away from the majority who use it properly?
But the south has a pretty strong history of racism, no?

If you owned a shop would you sell the flag?
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thehistorybore
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(Original post by TomatoLounge)
But the south has a pretty strong history of racism, no?

If you owned a shop would you sell the flag?
Undoubtedly, but I don't see how banning a flag would change that.

If there was a demand for it, I probably would.
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TomatoLounge
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(Original post by chazwomaq)
Such a weird idea.

Yeah, it's the flag that causes the problem. Normal, law abiding people are brainwashed by it's pattern and become violent racist psychopaths. That must be it.

People just feel powerless when tragedies like this happen, and turn to meaningless gestures because there's nothing else they can do.
If you like meaningless gesture then you'll love this:

#BlackLivesMatter spray-painted on Confederate statues in Austin, Charleston & Baltimore http://ind.pn/1Rr1uer

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Not sure this is adding much useful to the debate.
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Aj12
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I don't think it should be banned. If you want to fly it then surely that is your right under the first amendment (?). But it should not be flown by governments state or otherwise in any capacity. Given the flags history I think that is wrong.
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Arbolus
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(Original post by thehistorybore)
There's no reason to ban the flag. It is more often associated with the South (as a de facto symbol) than it is with racist crusading. Why take that symbol (which stood long before the concept of racism existed) away from the majority who use it properly?
How so? Racial hatred was the whole reason for the Confederacy's existence in the first place, and the Confederate flag was specifically designed to represent the Confederacy. It's not like the swastika, which had a long history of peaceful use before the Nazis came along.
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thehistorybore
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(Original post by Arbolus)
How so? Racial hatred was the whole reason for the Confederacy's existence in the first place, and the Confederate flag was specifically designed to represent the Confederacy. It's not like the swastika, which had a long history of peaceful use before the Nazis came along.
The Confederate States relied on slave labour, not racial hatred. You cannot build an economy on racial hatred.
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felamaslen
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I don't see how the confederate flag represents any kind of ideology, as the Soviet or Nazi, or indeed US, flags do. Maybe it did 150 years ago, when the US civil war had just ended, but today it just represents the South, and not necessarily what the South was fighting for back then.

Should we ban the Brazilian flag, as Brazil used to keep slaves?
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Arbolus
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(Original post by thehistorybore)
The Confederate States relied on slave labour, not racial hatred. You cannot build an economy on racial hatred.
Slavery based on race sounds pretty racist to me.
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thehistorybore
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(Original post by Arbolus)
Slavery based on race sounds pretty racist to me.
No, they were people from significantly less developed countries, and thus easier to enslave. If white people were easily enslaved, it would have been different. That's very different to racial prejudice, although granted racial prejudice did emerge from it.
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TeeEm
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this is an American issue ...are trying to say it should be law in Austria let's say, to ban this flag?
if the world is not going mad then it must be me.
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IamLiquid
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(Original post by Arbolus)
Slavery based on race sounds pretty racist to me.
There were also white slaves as well, we just don't acknowledge it.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/b...te-slaves.html

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-iri...e-slaves/31076
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Rakas21
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Heavily against banning the flag. Not least since there are more black on white murders than the other way around.
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Junger
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(Original post by Rakas21)
Heavily against banning the flag. Not least since there are more black on white murders than the other way around.
Also the American Civil War was not even about slavery to begin with. The main issue was with states rights.

'If I could save the union without freeing a single slave I would'.

Abraham Lincoln.
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Junger
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(Original post by Arbolus)
How so? Racial hatred was the whole reason for the Confederacy's existence in the first place, and the Confederate flag was specifically designed to represent the Confederacy. It's not like the swastika, which had a long history of peaceful use before the Nazis came along.
'If I could save the union without freeing a single slave I would'.

Abraham Lincoln.

The American Civil War was not even about slavery anyway. Only simplistic scum think it was. The issue was states rights. And regionalism.
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Teddy Boy Rocker
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I'm new to this forum but couldn't help joining to add to this discussion. I think it would be interesting to hear the viewpoint of an Englishman for whom the Confederate flag is an important part of his culture, or at least his hobby's history. I spent ages typing the following message up on another site yesterday, so I'm just going to stick it up as a quote.

(Original post by Teddy Boy)
I can't begin to say how angry this shooting has made me. It goes without saying that any race-related killing is appalling beyond words, but what sets this one apart is the response to it. All those hate-filled 'liberals' somehow trying to make it seem as though the Confederate flag is at fault simply because of what their personal feelings are towards it, and therefore holding the belief that it must be removed from everywhere because only their views are the correct ones; other opinions cannot be tolerated. The idea of removing the flag from the grounds of the State Capitol is nothing more than a knee-jerk response to satisfy the oppressive demands of an intolerant vocal minority rent-a-mob.

A quick history lesson should help, if they would bother to listen. Slavery never happened under what we call the Confederate flag today. That flag was nothing more than the Battle Flag of the Army of Northern Virginia, which was led by the famously anti-slavery General Robert E. Lee. The primary reason for the war, and for Lee's fighting, was states' rights, with slavery being a prominent sub-issue. On the other hand, slavery did take place under the Union Flag, but I don't see calls for that to be removed from government buildings. What would the reaction be if Roof had posed with that?

We can see that the flag does not have its origins in slavery and racial hatred, so later uses should not automatically be connected with such. Sadly, the flag has, at points, been adopted by b**tards like the Ku Klux Klan and Roof, but these were corrupt interpretations held by other vocal minorities. The most widely-held interpretation by the flag's fans is one of Southern pride, which was displayed by various U.S. Army regiments in the Second World War, not to mention fans of Southern music and orange 1969 Dodge Chargers. Of course, there's a lot more to the flag's history and many other viewpoints; if you have any questions, I'm sure H. K. Edgerton would be delighted to answer them.

Another question that springs to mind is, if the Confederate flag is racist (you know, because pieces of fabric are capable of holding strong opinions) because it was used by the Confederate forces in the Civil War, what of Confederate hats and the song Dixie? Should they be allowed in public? If they were banned, I'm sure Duane Eddy, Bob Dylan and Elvis fans would have a thing or two to say.

While I hate the oppression of freedom of expression in any of its forms, this is of particular personal interest to me. I have a nice denim jacket with a Confederate flag sewn on the back. I have this for a number of reasons:
- I love the music of the Southland. Not just rock 'n' roll, rockabilly and country but also black delta blues music. You'd have to be a fool to be a racist rock 'n' roll fan because the genre owes so much to the work of the black bluesmen.
- I'm a teddy boy. Yes, there are a few of us in existence. The flag was adopted by the movement during the '70s when all a ted wanted to do was listen to rock 'n' roll and have fun, which brings me on to my final point.
- I have a particular love for custom cars, and the 1970s is a favourite era. At this time a good number of customs featured Confederate flags emblazoned on the roof, or flying from the tail fins. Needless to say, there is no correlation between liking V8s and slot mags and disliking blacks. Back in the '70s, to have a Confederate flag (which is of considerable aesthetic benefit) flying from your car meant only that you were out to enjoy yourself and were sticking two fingers up to the men in suits who tried to stop you. Look at Smokey and the Bandit or The Dukes of Hazzard (where the black sheriff was the good guy) - it's just people having fun and pissing off comical antagonists.

No one cared back then because people were more interested in their own lives than interfering with other people. Political correctness wasn't an issue; if you didn't like something, you moved on. There wasn't half the problem of self-righteous w**kers trying to inflict their narrow-minded grievances on innocent people minding their own business.

I love my flag, and I advocate tolerance, freedom and having fun. The people who think my outerwear is offensive are no one's friends. We have seen the reaction of the victims of Roof. They showed nothing but admirable compassion and did not seek to infringe upon other people's rights to wear 150-year-old flags on their backs. No one can present any reasonable claim to be offended by the Confederate flag when its inoffensive origins predate everyone's birth. Those who do so are nothing but angry little hypocrites with little knowledge of what they're talking about and a hatred for the fundamental value of freedom of expression, unless your viewpoint is their viewpoint.

Nine people have lost their lives, many others lost their friends and family, but they are doing the best they can to rebuild their lives and their community. Contrast that with the people who weren't affected but are now trying to be purely destructive with absurd attempts to reduce freedom of expression. If they so much as influence British opinions, me and my fellow rockers and hot rodders will have been affected by something which should have no bearing on us at all, and it would be entirely the fault of the misnamed 'liberals'.Roof is the worst kind of scum and he can go to hell, but the mentalists who have emerged following the attack are without a doubt the worst kind of scum within the law.
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flibber
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I believe the flag should be removed, not directly because the Confederacy supported slavery (as slavery was common to most societies until the 19th century), but because too many blacks take offence from it. The flag divides communities and creates tension and distrust between blacks and whites.
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anarchism101
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(Original post by thehistorybore)
No, they were people from significantly less developed countries, and thus easier to enslave. If white people were easily enslaved, it would have been different. That's very different to racial prejudice, although granted racial prejudice did emerge from it.
True, but by the time of the US Civil War, American slavery had become very much a racialised phenomenon. The Dredd Scott case opinion would be a good example.
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