Monday, February 05, 2007

We Ain't Just Whistlin' Dixie

It’s happened here and in other Southern states before, and now it’s come back to my neck of the woods. The debate over whether the Confederate flag (aka the “Rebel flag”) is an appropriate symbol for official state use has returned to Florida.

A group called Sons of Confederate Veterans wants to put the Confederate flag on a state license plate, adding to the already growing field of Florida plates honoring hunters, manatees, sea turtles, panthers, pro-lifers, pro and college football teams, the arts, people with autism, breast cancer research, or one of the space shuttle disasters.

The group recently convinced the local county commission here to
declare 2007 the “Year of (Civil War General Robert E.) Lee,” much to the chagrin of most of the country’s residents. The impetus behind both the proclamation and the license plate is the 200th anniversary of Lee’s birth.

Many are opposed to any official use of the Confederate flag, due to its connection to the pre-Civil War slave-owning South. Proponents say they’re just trying to keep their Confederate heritage, of which they are proud, alive.

Personally, I think the War Between the States is one of the most shameful periods of our history, and can’t fathom the notion of keeping it alive through flags, reenactments and the like. Don’t bury it, but don’t celebrate it, either.

The war was not just about slavery, but about states’ rights to determine their own course – even when it involved owning other human beings. That is, states’ rights, even when those states were very wrong.


Driving to work each morning, I see bumper stickers decrying the “Northern War of Aggression” and claiming that the Civil War was the “other Holocaust” (for the South). This is the market for this Confederate plate, folks. Owners will proudly place their “3” (late racecar driver Dale Earnhardt) bumper stickers right next to it, I am sure.

There’s certainly still animosity about the North v. South thing alive in Dixie, even in 2007, and I’m not just basing this on a few bumper stickers. I’ve spent enough time in the South, and have heard the words of relatives and strangers alike. After all this time, it’s pathetic to be fondly clinging to a time of a racist, provincialist war. And I’m speaking as a man who was born in Georgia, though raised in New York and Florida.

Let your heroes be your heroes; no one can take that from you. You might think Adolf Hitler was “the shit,” where most of us just think he was shit. Let your revered symbols – which, in this case, symbolize shameful national and racial divisions of long ago – be your revered symbols, as well. Hang your Rebel flag in the back window of your pickup truck. Put one up on your porch. But don’t involve the rest of us through an official state recognition of it.

17 comments:

Karen said...

But don’t involve the rest of us through an official state recognition of it.

Wouldn't the world be a better place if everyone kept their beliefs to themselves instead of trying to impose them on others, especially true of religion.

It would go a long way in ending all the violence in the world.

Pete Bogs said...

karen - certainly... and in this instance, as a citizen of Florida, I don't want to be represented with such a symbol... I want no association with it whatsoever...

Anonymous said...

i say stick with the florida panther. that's the best looking one.... i mean a rare native animal offends nobody, right?

agreed. put your personal statement right next to the one where Calvin pees on *whatever* ford, chevy....

-the artist formerly known as K9

rusty shakelford said...

For once Bogs I think we agree. The Rebel flag to me is a symbol of treason against the nation I love. Since then the south has sent thousands and thousands of its sons to die for our nation, more than making up for the treason of its fathers. The rebel flag flies in the face of all the southerners who gave their life's for the Red White and Blue.

rusty shakelford said...

Karen nice thought. Makes you quite the elitist though, as you are the one who can determine what beliefs deserve to be shared.

Jack K. said...

Give me the days when men were men and women were chattel.

If you believe that then you are all cattle.


Sorry, bovines, I don't mean to demean you.

Pete Bogs said...

rusty - lightning strikes twice... hellpig and I agreed on something last week...

jack - thanks for your wisdom...

Bird said...

just swooped in to say "welcome home" to you bogs.

hope you are settling into your new digs and that if not finchy, some feathered friend finds you, and whistles sweetly (though perhaps not Dixie) on your porch.

Hellpig said...

Bbird where the hell you been?

Aunty Belle said...

Bawgs, baby doll, ya'll called me over fer all this heah fun?? Hoo whee! OK, sugar, we can git some fun goin'-

....looky--youse meanin' well, I knows that. But ya ain't sayin' somepin' right or even true.

First, near 'bout ever'body who wants to say something about the war of northern aggression has no idea what that war was about, they ain't got no real grip on history.

So jes' fer the fun of it, let's review some thangs:

1) The original colonies specifically structured the confederation as one that had the right of secession. So the idea that the Confederacy were treasonous is actually the opposite--in fact, the federal gubmint was who was the traitor.

The non-traitors knew a bit of history, ya see. Why
Robert E. Lee's daddy was a general in the American Revolution. His uncles done signed the Declaration of Independence, and one of 'em was writer of the convention that called fer the Constitution.

Now, doan fergit that Lee married up with George Washington's own to the great-grandbaby girl.

An' Lee warn't the only one of the COnfederate officers whose daddy's or grandaddy's were prominent at the Continental congreess and or the signing of the Constitution--these boys dang well KNEW that secession was LEGAL.

2) Lincoln was under-educated and ignorant about the founding of the United States. He was a vile man--he was in fact a war criminal--no kiddin', he violated the terms of the Geneva COnvention--we didn't have it then, but we did have the ideals then--it were ole' Abe, kiddies, who turned the soldiers on civilians and shocked other Western nations with his barbarism. If American soldeirs today did what Lincoln hhad yankee soldiers do--why ya'll libs would be wild with rage and too hoarse to yell any more.

Know what LIncoln said when he got the report of the firing on Ft. Sumter? "What will happen to my tarrif??" See, Lincoln was jes' a politican--them hated skanks of men. He didn't love nuthin' but his access to Southern shippin' receipts.

See, the REAL war was economic and at in the year 1860 the SOUTH was the source of 90% of the federal money--ah? Yeah, darlin' changes the picture a bit doan it? This was a war of money and power for Abe --not ideals. Ever read the documents? He didn't free any slaves in the NORTH.

( Side note, folks--the Dred Scott case? it was a SOUTHERN judge that set him free and sent him home--but a YANKEE judge that threw Scott back in prison)

and jes' fer fun, remember that Lincoln’s own state of Illinois wouln't let any free blacks into their state unless he put up bond of $1000 --more than 50 grand today--cause they didn't want blacks in their state. An' Indiana refused all free blacks to come in and nullified any contracts folks had made with black folks. So much for the north's care and compassion fer blacks.

Meanwhile the The Confederate Constitution prohibited the slave trade and allowed non-slave states
to join the Confederacy.

Looky--slavery was on its way out --Lee had freed his own afore the war broke out. The other thnag is that a young balck male was about 3000 dollars --what would that be worth today??? And so, the cost of slavery was too much--iand the machines were comin' in , slavery was dying a natural death from economics even without a push on morals.

3) No pets, the war was over money--see, the SOUTH was agrarian and sold a zillion tons of tobbaccy, rice, indigo and cotton to Europe. But the north was industrial--it didn't need expensive slaves , naw, naw, them yankees had dirt poor indentured servants from the bowels of Europe-- raggedy desperate folks who signed over their freedom for 7 years to work in yankee factories--and they chillen's too...

and if they git sick or broke a piece of pottery, why, years were added to their servitude--and they was captive--meaning that they had to "buy" their food from the factory store and triple the prices--but since they was locked up and could not shop elseswhar, they had no choice--they lived in rat infested disease ridden slums and died young. These was white slaves of the industrial north.

(And doan fergit--it was Yankees who started the slave trade --so ya'll guess it is OK to sell slaves, jes' not OKay to have slaves? Slavery was a blight all over the West at the time--and near ever' body had a hand in it. EVEN the black chiefs in Africa--ya'll really think white man could go into the wilds of Africa and round up men? Nope--they made deals with local black chieftians who delivered rival tribesmen to the white slavers.) EVERYbody was involved in this horrible slavery bidness. It is wrong and tragic. A blight on our history. BUT, it were not the real cause of the Civil war--but it were good window dressin'.

4) Now, the thang was, these factories wanted the South to buy all these factory made thangs --but the SOuth often traded their agri products to Europe for shoes and chairs , bypassin' the north's products--so the tarrifs slapped on the south's shippin was the source of an UNFAIR revenue to the Feds. as fer back as the campaign of Thomas Jefferson, Jefferson wrote, "we are completely under the saddle of Massachusetts and Connecticut, and that they ride us very hard" an' in fact, during the Jefferson administration some yankee states threatened to secede.

An way before that, when Virginy and New York originally signed the COnstitution, they specifically noted a right to withdraw from the union. (see The Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution, published by Wisconsin's history society)

If the South seceded, the Feds would be outa money---yep. The first secession talks was in 1850---scared the hell outa the Fed boys, all northern industrialists with monopoly on their minds.

5) near bout everthang ya'll think you think about the Northern war is wrong--ya'll been had by yankee revisionists. What was behind it? Why, the South was agrarian and the North utilitarian and they was driftin' apart on lots of issues.

See, I bet all of ya'll is in favor os divorce--iffin' two people cain't get along, you would let em divorce--well, that was what we had , kids, the SOuth had enough--wanted out.

Or, looky, ya'll is opposed to colonization right? Youse in favor of Palestinians havin' they own gubmint, right? In favor od a people havin'; they own sefl-determination, right?

Then admit that the South had the legal documented right to secede and the moral right to live under their own rule. The north is the aggressors, the traitors to the Constitution and articles of Confederation.

Now here is a real serious consideration fer ya', iffin' the South had been permitted to secede the Union would not be so enormous, and they would be no imperialism as we know it today.

SO now, fer today and the license tags--ya'll, jes' leave them dixie boys alone. I won't sport that tag meself, but ain't got no problem wif any who does.

Ya'll think them tags is usin' your name as floridians on a idea you doan agree wif? So?

What is new ? I mean, I shure doan agree wif homosexual lifestyle, but in my name the city can fly rainbow flags and let em' parade nekkid down main street 'cept fer purple wigs , pantominin' sodomy. This forced on innocent citizens.

All citizens have the city or state doin' or allowin' stuff they doan agree wif'--so quit poutin' and whinin' over a license plate fer Maud's sake.

Sorry, Bawgs, sugar pie, ter be so long winded. But this ain't even a tenth of what I wanted to right...er, that is, write.

Bird said...

pig - you mean me?

do you miss me?

hahaha!

it's after superbowl - time to talk BASEBALL now.

flap/flap/swoosh

Hellpig said...

yes Bird I actually did miss you..........I am a new pig,this year.......

Mariners signed pitcher Jeff Weaver for 8m a year,for one year.....MGT sucks

Pete Bogs said...

aunt b - I admit the reasons for the Civil War were complex... I just don't think the Confederacy deserves to be commemorated on a license plate - especially with the Rebel flag... fly it at your home, on your car, or even on your shirt... but don't sully all Floridians by putting it on one of our plates...

and the provincialism that still exists down here in the 21st century is pathetic... in some places, if you mention you are from the North, God help you... I have spent a lot of time in the North, btw, and there is no equivalent to this there... no "Northern By The Grace Of God" or "We Don't Care How You Do It Up North" messages around (unless they are trying to be funny), because they are OVER IT, you see... they've moved on... it'd be nice if people down here could... this license plate helps perpetuate it, I think... that is one of the reasons I am against it...

I hate those northern industrialist robber barrons as much as you do... funny you should mention them - the response to their excesses was the birth of liberalism in this country...

Hellpig said...

Bogs the birth of Liberalism was in the 60's

Pete Bogs said...

hell - it was actually during the industrial revolution... back when kids could work 20 hours a day and lose limbs and everything was nice and legal... liberalism was a reaction to those abuses... it had a new revival in the 60s because of the war, but it didn't start there...

Hellpig said...

They are 2 different Liberalisms

The 60's perverted it into what it is today,evil.

Blue Gal said...

A Pisces in the South who likes dark beer? Oh honey, what's not to love?

Blogrolled of course. Welcome to the party.