Forgive them, they know not what they defend

I actually never thought I would pen the following piece but I find that I cannot avoid doing so because of the recent hoopla concerning the subject matter.

I must begin by asking if we are, indeed, living in the year 2015 or if we have gone back in time to a not-so-kinder-and-gentler-era? The reason for my query is that I simply never imagined that a certain segment of society would be clinging so desperately to a symbol that represents such division.

In case you have not been alerted to the situation, as I type this from the comfort of my front porch, there is a major controversy surrounding the so called Confederate flag. (I will expound on the words so and called coming up soon.) Yes, I'm going to leap into that particular quagmire of insanity beginning right about here.

I am totally flabbergasted over the fact that there are some, right here in the reading area, who are actually in favor of this being flown proudly on various STATE grounds throughout the southern portion of these fine United States. Honestly, I could say that I'm at a loss for words but you know me better than that.

Before I continue to blather on, I am going to impart just a bit of information pertaining to this “beloved” piece of history. (As you all know, the words a and bit really mean that I will bloviate to the max until you seize an alcoholic beverage.)

First of all, the item that we now recognize as the CSA banner, (Confederate States of America), was NEVER an official flag of the Confederacy. It was, however, the battle flag of the Northern Virginia Army.

There were three flags utilized by the Confederacy during the war. They were all official, for a period of time, until some problem arose with each.

For example, the first, which was called the Stars and Bars, looked a bit too much like the American flag. Due to the similarities, there were issues with friendly fire, for instance, and the design was altered.

The next had a huge field of white with a “postage stamp” in the corner depicting the flag in question today. There was way too much white on said flag and when the wind did not blow, it was oft' mistaken as a sign of surrender. By the by, the name of this one was the “Stainless Banner.”

The final version was issued in 1865 and was only in action for about two months because, clearly, the war ended in that year. That one was almost the same as the Stainless Banner, other than the fact that a thick red stripe had been added.

This information is readily available for all to enjoy. I encourage everyone to seek out the facts and not just rely on your humble columnist for spoon feeding purposes. I'm digressing right now. I think I shall stay on the digression train for a minute, so bear with. It is very difficult to spice up the language in this piece because there are only so many synonyms for the words flag and war. I will do my best. End of digression.

Moving along, General Robert E. Lee, (you might remember him), wanted absolutely nothing to do with any of this jazz. This is a quote from the general himself from a biography by Jonathan Horn, “I think it wiser moreover not to keep open the sores of war, but to follow the examples of those nations who endeavored to obliterate the marks of civil strife and to commit to oblivion the feelings it engendered.”

At his funeral there were no articles of this nature displayed, as far as anyone knows, not one person wore a Confederate uniform and he was not buried in said uniform.

The artifact at the center of the recent upheaval wasn't even prominent for close to a hundred years after the end of the “War Between the States.” Evidently, it was used from time to time to commemorate fallen soldiers. However, it made a big resurgence right around 1948 when Strom Thurmond ran for the presidency as a member of the party known as Dixiecrats. This political party was strongly against any kind of equal rights for blacks and their primary purpose was segregation.

The infamous emblem became more and more mainstream during the Civil Rights Movement. During that time frame, it was used as sign of opposition to said rights. Hmm, do you see a pattern emerging?

The reincarnation of the flag in question is absolutely associated with hatred. Sorry to shock you to full attention with that statement but, it's true. If you question me then simply take on some exceptionally light research, like I did.

I think I'm done with the history lesson at this time. I will now segue, casually, into the next section.

As many of you know by now, I am for absolute and total personal freedoms in ways that might cause even the most liberal among us to blush and dash for cover. I don't care if a person wraps himself in the “Confederate flag” whilst leaping and frolicking in his front yard as he belts out, “Deep in the Heart of Dixie.”

I am, however, against any sort of shenanigans involving state sponsored injustice or signs thereof. Crazy of me, huh? It is simply wrong on all levels of humanity, for this doohickey, (still trying new words for flag), to be displayed on any property that receives tax payer funds—period, end of story.

What I find to be absolutely ironic is that many people who are crazily smitten with America, in other words, super patriotic folks, seem to be among those who are coming to the defense of that object that bellows in the breeze in some skies.

Clearly, I'm not saying that all patriotic people are in favor of such. I think I'm fairly enamored with the US of A and I'm certainly not defending that *&$#@ red thingamabob with the blue X. (Am I improving at all with the attempt? I didn't think so.)

It would be hilarious if it were not so ludicrous. I mean, what could be more anti-American and downright treasonous than literally breaking away from the United States? After all, didn't the formation of the CSA have a little something to do with out-and-out rebellion AGAINST the United States? And yet, we have fervent defenders of a flag that represents just that. It is outrageous, to say the least.

According to some, that doodad is totally innocent. It simply represents honor, bravery, southern heritage, southern pride, a way of life, blah, blah and blah.

The brutal fact is that all “Confederate flags” waved during and AFTER “The War of Northern Aggression,” as it is oft' called by our southern friends, have always been about blatant racism.

I mean, what exactly did the CSA desire? They wanted to maintain the status quo. In this case that would be the right to OWN other human beings. (Their economy depended on it, after all.) There is nothing pure and/or righteous about it.

I'm certain that many sincere citizens simply have not taken the time to really think about the whole issue. That is why I say, forgive them for they know not what they defend. As for others who are willfully ignorant, well, there isn't anything I can say or do about that—much to your sheer delight, I'm sure.