View Poll Results: Is the Confederate flag a symbol of treason?

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Thread: Is the Confederate flag a symbol of treason?

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    Re: Is the Confederate flag a symbol of treason?

    Like most symbols I think the confederate flag can represent different things to different people. Personally, I kind of assume anyone displaying it is an inbred southern hick, which is an unfair assumption, but that's the vibe it puts off to me.
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    Re: Is the Confederate flag a symbol of treason?

    Quote Originally Posted by Josie View Post
    No, it's simply a historical flag.
    The same could be said about the 3rd Reich's flag... but what does the flag stand for?

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    Re: Is the Confederate flag a symbol of treason?

    I was told to refer to your posts by a poster who said he was "too lazy" to come up with his own arguments (yet still found that we should listen to his opinions in this thread). Funny, eh? Come to a debate board, offer no evidence, and still wants to run his mouth. Whatever. Here are my rebuttals.


    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    The United States was a colony of Great Britain. We rebelled against British rule. By Brit law, this was treason... therefore by Brit law the Founders were traitors and the US Flag was a flag of treason. How many of those who signed the Declaration were hung or shot for treason? Several, IIRC. The US had no legal basis for trying to throw off Brit rule and become its own country.
    I totally agree. And if America had lost the war, it would still be looked today as a treasonous event. However, it is quite a different story for a few different reasons.

    1) Americans were fighting for representation. "Taxation without representation." Remember that phrase? That was a big cause for the battle for freedom in America - why should a country thousands of miles away control what happens in this new world? Why should the colonists be taxed when they have no say in policy? In fact, here are a list of causes of the Revolutionary War. Notice none of them involve the right to own people as property.
    2) Now, here are the causes listed of the Civil War. Every single one of those causes can be tied to slavery.
    a) Difference in economies: The North being more industrialized and built around cities. The South being more rural and focused around farming (which of course slavery played a huge role in).
    b) States Rights: What was one state right that was being infringed upon? The right for states to hold slaves.
    c) The fight between Slave and Non-Slave State Proponents: Yes, compromises that often banned slavery in new territories by certain dates and overall put the lower slave states into a corner.
    d) Growth of the Abolition movement: No need to expound.
    e) Election of Abraham Lincoln: Who wanted to abolish slavery.

    It is quite funny that you would compare the Revolutionary War to the Civil War. The similarities end at secession.

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    The Confederate States did much the same. They felt their interests were not being represented properly in Congress and with the Fedgov. Various political maneuvers were tried, including Nullification. Congress passed many laws that benefited the big industrial concerns and big shipping magnates of the Northeast, to the detriment of the agricultural South that needed to export and import freely to maintain its economy. The leaders of the South found themselves in what they felt was an untenable situation, dominated by a central government that was strangling their trade, and they rebelled.
    Yes, but they were represented. You do realize that you are comparing secession because of no representation to secession because one group wasn't getting their way (and on an issue that you admit they should not have gotten their way on to begin with). That's how democracy works, and it seems conservatives today still seem to forget that fact. So, while the leaders of the South may have "found themselves in an untenable situation", that situation was owning slaves and it's good that they found themselves there.

    They lost.

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    Now, don't get me wrong. I'm a Southerner, but I'm a patriot. I'm glad that America remains one nation. I'm glad slavery was ended (slavery was not the primary cause of the war, however; just one factor). The average Southern footsoldier did not own any slaves and most considered the war about State's Rights. However I think we swapped one set of evils for another: an overweeningly powerful Fedgov, whose power over the States has grown FAR beyond anything the Founders intended.
    How do you know what they were fighting for? What exactly do you propose? I do not understand how you can pretend to know what each soldier was fighting for. As I said earlier, do you think that the average Nazi really felt a deep hatred for Jews or really fit into that agenda that they were fighting for? No, I do not believe so. Most of them had been duped into thinking they were fighting for Germany, a country that had been looked down upon after its defeat in WWI. So, in a way, they were fighting for national pride as well, but who gives a ****? That's not what people think of when they see the flag.

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    I consider the Confederate Battle Flag to be a reminder of all these things, as well as a source of pride that the South fought (for State sovereignty) for four years against an enemy that had them drastically outnumbered and outgunned.
    I personally don't fly it, because I am aware that many black folks see it as a symbol of racism and I do not wish to be misunderstood, as I am not at all racist. However, the Confederate flag flies over the Confederate War Memorial on the Capitol grounds not far from the Statehouse in my state (SC).... and I consider that a perfectly appropriate place for it, as a reminder of that war, and what was won, and lost, in it.
    Well there I agree with you, and that's fine if that's what the flag reminds you of, since, as I have been saying, symbols are relative to the person. But if that symbol reminds even one small group of oppression, murder, rape, war, et al, is it really worth it to fly that flag? And moreover, why the obsession with the flag that so many southerners seem to have for a war they were never in and for a secession that they were not part of (and that failed miserably and ended as one of the bloodiest wars in this nation's history)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but you seem to think that Civil War was entirely about slavery, or that the average Southern soldier was fighting FOR slavery.
    Again with this. It may be true that the average soldier had no interest in slavery, but to act as if it was not a huge driving force is to lie to yourself.

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    Nothing could be further from the truth. Slavery was ONE issue, and yes ONE causal factor, but it was far from being the only one. It is highly arguable if it was even a primary cause, except in the sense that it affected the economy of the South and drove some of the resistance to Federal taxes/tariffs/trade restrictions that were actually key causes of the war.
    Yes, one issue that touched into every one of the other issues. States rights, representation, Lincoln, the economy, taxation, census data, etc, all of those issues were in some way related to slavery. I really doubt that it is "highly arguable" that it was a primary cause. Maybe in a southern revisionist's eyes? Maybe. You'd have to try really hard to overlook slavery, an issue which I will continue to show was a driving force behind every one of the South's "concerns".


    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    The average Southern soldier was far too poor to own any slaves. Slaves were expensive. If anything, poor Southerners should have resented the institution as it gave the rich a labor pool they didn't have to pay (just feed and house), which probably undercut wages for free labor. Historically, the average Southern soldier was fighting for his State, and for State's Rights vs the central government. To Billy Bob Infantryman, slavery was a side issue, if an issue at all.
    What State rights? The right to own slaves. That's the right! I agree, they had been told that the Union was infringing upon their rights as states, but the biggest issue, even on that subject, was slavery, again!

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    The Southern army was outnumbered 4 to 1, had not one single cannon factory compared to the North which had many, possessed no Navy to speak of, and was generally very much the underdog. Yet they won most early campaigns thanks to the strategic and tactical skills of their Generals, and to the shooting skills and ability to endure hardship that Southern soldiers possessed in abundance. These are things that Southerners take pride in... while at the same time acknowleging that our ancestors were wrong to practice slavery, and that the societal and economic weakness that a slave-economy creates was one of the primary reasons the South lost the war.
    Yes, it is a well known fact that the Union was very unprepared for the resolve of the Confederacy. It was impressive, but to celebrate it seems a bit odd. Should we not celebrate that they lost? That the country remained whole? That slavery was banished? That the country could once again work towards being a symbol of freedom? Those are something to celebrate - not the ability to shoot someone in the head because you are pissed about the state right to own slaves.

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    I think you'll find that looking at the big picture, instead of just one single issue, changes the perspective considerably.
    You are not looking at the big picture. You zoomed out, looked at the big picture, and the zoomed back in on the small issues that don't directly say "SLAVERY, SLAVERY, SLAVERY", and even then, each of the issues you brought up were still directly connected to the institution of slavery.

    By the way, I am a Southerner born and raised, and I am not proud of the Confederacy, the Civil War, or the fact that a few hundred thousand people lost their lives over an issue that common sense should prevail on. I am also not proud of my birthing region for continuing to hang onto a symbol that offends so many, and behind the veil of "historical meaning" and "southern pride".
    Last edited by whysoserious; 11-12-11 at 04:03 PM.

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    Re: Is the Confederate flag a symbol of treason?

    Quote Originally Posted by SheWolf View Post
    The same could be said about the 3rd Reich's flag... but what does the flag stand for?
    The same thing...

    It is a historical flag as well?

    Granted the people who ran the Third Reich were way above on the evil scale then Jefferson Davis and Robert E Lee, I mean come on.

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    Last edited by Black Dog; 11-12-11 at 04:48 PM.
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    Re: Is the Confederate flag a symbol of treason?

    Okay, so after answering PlayDrive's other thread re which group (North or South) intended to adhere most closely to the US Constitution, it's apparent to me that the South wins that contest.

    The US Constitution, sans amendments, talks about two classes of people: free; not free.

    Here's a tax on slaves: "The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person."

    Here's protection for slave owners: "No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due."

    And here's a bit about the actual signers: "Eleven owned or managed slave-operated plantations or large farms: Bassett, Blair, Blount, Butler, Carroll, Jenifer, the two Pinckneys, Rutledge, Spaight, and Washington. Madison also owned slaves. Broom and Few were small farmers."

    National Park Service - Signers of the Constitution (Biographical Sketches)

    I'm really glad for this thread -- and the other one. This is one of those times where I've really learned something and now have greater reason to understand Southern pride and patriotism. 'Twas a hard time for our country...and a terribly sad one.

    National Park Service - Signers of the Constitution (Biographical Sketches)

    Edit: This is showing up funny...some of my quotes missing, but they're actuall there when I go to "edit." I'm going to leave it alone and figure it'll straighten out when the internet burps.
    Last edited by MaggieD; 11-12-11 at 05:12 PM.
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    Re: Is the Confederate flag a symbol of treason?

    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieD View Post
    Okay, so after answering PlayDrive's other thread re which group (North or South) intended to adhere most closely to the US Constitution, it's apparent to me that the South wins that contest.

    The US Constitution, sans amendments, talks about two classes of people: free; not free.

    Here's a tax on slaves: "The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person."

    Here's protection for slave owners: "No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due."

    And here's a bit about the actual signers: "Eleven owned or managed slave-operated plantations or large farms: Bassett, Blair, Blount, Butler, Carroll, Jenifer, the two Pinckneys, Rutledge, Spaight, and Washington. Madison also owned slaves. Broom and Few were small farmers."

    National Park Service - Signers of the Constitution (Biographical Sketches)

    I'm really glad for this thread -- and the other one. This is one of those times where I've really learned something and now have greater reason to understand Southern pride and patriotism. 'Twas a hard time for our country...and a terribly sad one.

    National Park Service - Signers of the Constitution (Biographical Sketches)

    Edit: This is showing up funny...some of my quotes missing, but they're actuall there when I go to "edit." I'm going to leave it alone and figure it'll straighten out when the internet burps.
    I am not seeing your point. Sorry. Oh, ok. I see, sort of. But notice you had to say "sans the amendments" which are, of course, an integral part (if not the most important part) of the Constitution.
    Last edited by whysoserious; 11-12-11 at 05:27 PM.

  7. #167
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    Re: Is the Confederate flag a symbol of treason?

    Quote Originally Posted by theplaydrive View Post
    There are several threads on the Confederate flag that dance around this question.

    Many people, usually, if not always, conservatives, argue in favor of the Confederate flag and the desire to fly it or place it within the public domain. Oftentimes, they refer to it as if it is merely an innocent symbol of United States history, a symbol of state's rights, a symbol of fighting against far reaching federal government and sometimes even a symbol of patriotism.

    However, these arguments, to me, seem like revisionist nonsense. The Confederate flag represents treason. It was the flag of people whose actions were not based in love of their country, but in a decision to give up on their country and abandon it in order to form a new one. It was a flag flown by those who decided that they no longer wished to be a part of the United States and that they no longer wished to solve their problems while remaining Americans.

    Consequently, it seems obvious to me that the Confederate flag is not one that would be flown proudly by Americans, but one that would be flown proudly by those who no longer wish to be Americans. For this reason, it seems ridiculous to allow such a flag to be present on anything belonging to or issued by the state as it represents those who want to disassociate themselves from the state. It also seems ridiculous for anyone who considers themselves a patriot to fly the flag of people who abandoned their patriotism. Am I right about all of this? If not, why not?
    Depends on who's legal definition of treason that we're using.
    Under some definitions no, under others yes.

    Your reasoning seems to be somewhat of a cop out too.
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  8. #168
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    Re: Is the Confederate flag a symbol of treason?

    Quote Originally Posted by theplaydrive View Post
    There are several threads on the Confederate flag that dance around this question.

    Many people, usually, if not always, conservatives, argue in favor of the Confederate flag and the desire to fly it or place it within the public domain. Oftentimes, they refer to it as if it is merely an innocent symbol of United States history, a symbol of state's rights, a symbol of fighting against far reaching federal government and sometimes even a symbol of patriotism.

    However, these arguments, to me, seem like revisionist nonsense. The Confederate flag represents treason. It was the flag of people whose actions were not based in love of their country, but in a decision to give up on their country and abandon it in order to form a new one. It was a flag flown by those who decided that they no longer wished to be a part of the United States and that they no longer wished to solve their problems while remaining Americans.

    Consequently, it seems obvious to me that the Confederate flag is not one that would be flown proudly by Americans, but one that would be flown proudly by those who no longer wish to be Americans. For this reason, it seems ridiculous to allow such a flag to be present on anything belonging to or issued by the state as it represents those who want to disassociate themselves from the state. It also seems ridiculous for anyone who considers themselves a patriot to fly the flag of people who abandoned their patriotism. Am I right about all of this? If not, why not?
    Treason is not the right word, IMO. Treason implies that a person wants to overthrow/kill/betray the current authority. The southerners for the most part just wanted to govern themselves. It's a fine line, I know, but I think rebellion, revolution or, obviously, secession would be a better word. When a see a confederate flag, what I image the bearer to be symbolically saying is "I don't accept the authority of progressives to tell me what to do."

    I would agree, though, that it is also a symbol of racism and division. In modern times it also symbolizes to me personally ignorance.
    Last edited by Cameron; 11-12-11 at 06:16 PM.
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    Re: Is the Confederate flag a symbol of treason?

    I just posted in another confederate flag thread about how much I dislike that flag and the people who proudly wave it. But is it a symbol of treason?

    The United States is based on turning against England, which was at the time a pretty clear instance of treason.
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    Re: Is the Confederate flag a symbol of treason?

    Quote Originally Posted by theplaydrive View Post
    There are several threads on the Confederate flag that dance around this question.

    Many people, usually, if not always, conservatives, argue in favor of the Confederate flag and the desire to fly it or place it within the public domain.
    Don't underestimate the conservative impulse to maintain the Union and Federalism.
    Last edited by Fiddytree; 11-12-11 at 06:07 PM.
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