Sons Of Confederate Veterans: ‘American Flag 25 Times More A Slave Flag’ Than Confederate Flag

A memorial for Confederate soldiers killed in the Civil War is currently being built in the small, eastern Texas city of Orange, and local organization the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) wants Dixie flags flying around the memorial despite a small controversy brewing in the community over the matter. What’s most interesting, perhaps though, is the reasoning the organization uses to base its defiance over the matter, and its insistence on installing the Confederate flags regardless.

When some come forward to point out the racist ties and overtones the Confederate flag raises for so many (as some always do), SCV spokesperson Marshall Davis responds:

“The American flag flew over a slave nation for over 100 years. The Confederate flag flew over a slave nation for four years. By comparison, the American flag is 25 times more a slave flag.”

The SCV believes the scandal the Confederate memorial has caused in Orange is a bunch of cow pies, though friction has come the organization’s way since the $50,000 project was begun in 2013. Criticism of the memorial has increased recently, too, now that it has been made clear the SCV intends to install eight custom flagpoles which will fly the contestable symbol. Davis claims, however, the extra bling will help draw folks in.

But if eight flags is an upsetting prospect to a few locals, 24 additional flags, such as those the SCV intends to install once the appropriate funding is raised, will really get them wrenching their hands. Each flag is meant to represent a different regiment that fought in the War. Each will also be accompanied by a plaque relating the history associated with that flag’s regiment.

According to The Washington Post, Davis said:

“All we want to do is honor our war dead. We want to honor our heroes. We don’t want to impede anyone from honoring their heroes, their veterans and their war dead. We would like the same tolerance and courtesy.”

But the memorial is a “slap in the face,” as far as president of the Beaumont chapter of the NAACP Paul Jones is concerned.

Beaumont Enterprise reports Jones said:

“Why would you want to glorify that part of history? That’s a big question mark in my mind.”

There’s a whole back and forth between the “fors” and the “againsts,” which you can read, here.

But it’s interesting, that reasoning Davis gave regarding the years each flag flew over a slave nation, as if the length of time had a thing to do with anything. Either your nation is racist or it’s not. Either your flag represents a racist nation or it doesn’t. (Is there a single nation in the world free from it?) There is no middle ground and there is no gradation system from less to more racist or vice versa.

It’s the concepts behind those flags that mattered. That’s what the scandal is about. No one is going to buy that the Confederate flag is less racist than the American flag for the reason Davis gives because it is largely recognized that most know and understand a modicum of history. Most know and understand what the South was fighting for, even if they have a highly simplified, mythologized version of what the North was fighting for. Even the schlubs who still don’t recognize the North was no saint in race matters during the Civil War know enough and believe the South fought for its own self-interests, which were largely built and dependent upon the slave trade.

But like Orange City Attorney John Cash “Jack Smith” said, no fan of the memorial himself:

“I don’t like it. I think it’s a bad idea. But they own the property, and the First Amendment warrants them that right.”

Fine, but if you’re going to bother to respond to criticism from the public over the decisions you make with your property, at least attempt to have your responses form some semblance of reasonableness and understanding. Let them be an actual response, even if it’s simply, “Stuff it!” Better than a bunch of circular talk that stands up about as well as Doozer construction in a Fraggle cave when given even the briefest turn over in one’s mind.

Please help us believe the American people have stronger critical thinking skills than that.

 

H/T: washingtonpost.com | Featured image: via Flickr