Monday, October 28, 2013

Confederate Battle Flag: The Flag of Traitors

From an editorial Special to CNN, "Confederate flag was the flag of traitors," by Dean Obeidallah,  on 25 October 2013  --  (CNN) -- You can debate whether the Confederate flag is a symbol of racism. But the one thing you can't dispute: The Confederate flag was flown by traitors to the United States of America who slaughtered more than 110,000 U.S. soldiers.

I know some will take issue with my calling the Confederacy a band of traitors, but let's be blunt -- that's what they were. They broke from the United States and created their own nation, calling it the Confederate States of America. They issued their own currency, elected their own president and Congress, raised an army and went to war with the United States of America, firing the first shot at Fort Sumter, South Carolina.

What's even more troubling about the so-called Confederate flag we see so often is that it was not the official flag of the Confederacy. It's worse than that. The flag commonly referred to as the Confederate flag was actually the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia.

Why is that worse? Because this was the flag carried on battlefields by Confederate troops during the Civil War as they killed U.S. soldiers.

And yet people still proudly display the Confederate flag.

We saw it fly at a recent tea party rally in Washington. Last week, two high school students displayed the Confederate flag after another student brought a gay pride flag to school. Even rapper Kanye West is selling souvenirs with Confederate flags emblazoned on them during his new tour (although many say that he doesn't mean to honor the Confederacy).

Why would anyone display a flag that was flown by a nation that viewed the United States as its enemy? And yes, I know that some like to claim euphemistically the Civil War was simply a war between brothers, but it was not. It was far more lethal.

Just read some of the speeches made by the president of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis, and it's clear the Confederate states viewed the United States as a sworn enemy. Davis made it clear that Confederate forces would kill any U.S. military personnel that dared step foot in the Confederate nation.

He even threatened and taunted U.S. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant with the warning: "Our cavalry and our people will harass and destroy his army as did the Cossacks that of Napoleon, and the Yankee General, like him will escape with only a bodyguard." (As a reminder, in 1812 the Russian Cossacks slaughtered thousands of Napoleon's troops and drove Napoleon's forces from Russia.)

Davis, in his address to the Congress of the Confederate States in 1861, boasted of "a succession of glorious victories" over the U.S. military, noting that the Confederate troops had, "checked the wicked invasion which greed of gain and the unhallowed lust of power brought upon our soil."

He also bragged about success over "the enemy," the United States: "When the war commenced, the enemy were possessed of certain strategic points and strong places within the Confederate states. ... After more than seven months of war, the enemy have not only failed to extend their occupancy of our soil, but new states and territories have been added to our Confederacy."


Simply put: This was a war between the "wicked" United States forces and a people who had sworn their allegiance to another nation, raised a military and successfully killed U.S. soldiers.

This history alone should dissuade anyone from ever displaying the Confederate battle flag on U.S. soil again. But for those still on the fence, these words from the vice president of the Confederacy, Alexander Stephens, explaining the genesis of the Confederacy should end any doubts -- as well as make your blood boil.

In 1861, Stephens explained to a cheering audience that the Confederacy was founded to expressly reject the proposition that men of all races were equal. Instead, Stephens stated, "The foundations of our new government are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and moral condition."

So if you are about to display the Confederate flag, please first think about that statement by the vice president of the Confederacy. Or kindly give some thought to the U.S. soldiers killed by people carrying that flag. Hopefully, that will move you to refrain from it.

Despite my deep opposition to the Confederate flag, however, there's one place that I hope it will be displayed forever: American history museums.

There, it can serve as tribute to the brave U.S. troops who sacrificed their lives to preserve our nation and remain as a constant reminder of how close we came to no longer being the United States of America.   (source:  Dean Obeidallah, CNN


  1. I wanted to tell you about my project, but the email link doesn't work. Black Guides of Mammoth Cave: A Documentary.

    1. Edward Forrest Frank:

      Thanks for the heads-up on your documentary. I visited your facebook page and your information seems very well researched. This subject of the enslaved cave explorers is fascinating. A couple of years ago we posted an entry on this topic:

      Thanks for the reminder. I'll repost something within the next week or two regarding cave exploring slaves. It's been a couple of years, I'm sure this blog's readers will appreciate this story.

      Hey, keep me informed on your documentary's progress. I'll gladly share your information on this site. My email is

      Also, have your written any books, essays or articles about this topic? Do you have any lectures, interviews or talks available on youtube?

      Good luck!

      --Ron Edwards, US Slave Blog

  2. The idiocy inherent in this "article" makes it seem that you are simply trolling. Can it be that you truly believe that individual states would have ever joined a union that they could never have left? I have searched in vain for any prohibition of secession in the US Constitution.

    How is it possible for one to be a traitor to a country from which they have legally seceded? Puzzling points, all.

  3. Your comments are biased and you conveniently omit historical facts to promote your views.1) The klan using the confederate flag at their rallies doesnt make it a racist symbol.The klan was just as numerous in the north especially in the 1920s as it was in the south.The klan used the american flag at their rallies too.Does this make the american flag a racist symbol also? 2) Most southerners did not fight for slavery because only a small percentage of southerners even owned a slave.They primarily fought because they felt they were being attacked by those they considered vandals.It is a historical fact that the northern soldiers acted in dishonour on numerous occasions to southern civiliians whereas the southern soldiers did not usually wage war on northern civilians.It is unfortunate that many soldiers died on both sides but the blame shoudnt be placed solely on confederate soldiers who mostly were fighting for their homes and rights under the constitution.3)Lincoln. I know you consider him the " great emancipator " but he was actually a racist who advocated sending the blacks back to africa.His emancipation proclamation freed slaves in areas (southern states ) where he had no authority, and didnt free slaves in areas ( a few northern states ) that he did have authority over.This shows that he did this as a political ploy to keep england and france from supporting the south and to keep nuetral states from joining the south.This proves he was more interested in winning the war than freeing the slaves.4) Demonizing a whole society for the actions of a minority is prejudism.All societies in the worlds history have had injustices done in them.I am not at all advocating slavery or justifying it at all but what was done to the native americans BY NORTHERN GENERALS UNDER THE AMERICAN FLAG WITH THE AUTHORITY OF THE PRESIDENT was just as bad ( if not worse ) than slavery. I am saying if you condemn all confederate soldiers for slavery then you should condemn all union soldiers for their treatment of the Indians.The confederate soldiers fought and died with honor as they acted on their beliefs as they saw it at the time.

    1. Yes, I am bias. Guilty as charged. The Confederate Battle Flag is different from the Confederate Flag. We both know that. The Confederacy adopted the Confederate Battle flag in the middle of the war, because the Confederate flag is almost indistinguishable to the American flag in the fog of war.

      Don't give me that crap about so few white southerners owing slaves. That's just a red herring. Only RICH people owned slaves. Most of the white southerners were poor. The planter caste ran the government from stem to stern. The planter caste printed their own money, raised their own armies (plantation patrols, red shirts, etc.), wrote the laws, and owned a lion's share of land, labor and resources. Slave grown cotton generated 80% of the GDP of the USA. The US Civil War was a rich man's war and a poor man's fight. Those rich bastards would rather grow cotton, than food crops -- even when the south was starving. If you endorse that crap, then fly your flag proudly.

      Again, I am NOT unbiased, with respect to the ownership of human beings. Under NO circumstance do I endorse the enslavement of human beings. No man, woman or child has the "birthright" to own other humans. I'll stand by that until the day I die. I am not neutral on the moving train of bigotry. Every living human being has the right to exist, no matter the race, creed, or culture. God created ALL life and living things.

      The South signed their agreement in 1787 when the country moved from a Confederacy, under the Articles of Confederation, to the Constitution. The so called old southern states, like Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, and Texas, were all really the NEW SOUTH. They didn't even exist until AFTER Mr. $20 Bill, Andrew Jackson did his brand of ethnic cleansing of the so called Civilized Indian Tribes with the Trail of Tears and the subsequent cleansing during the Seminole Wars and the genocide of the rest of the southern Indian Tribes that weren't Cherokee, Chickasaw, Creek, Seminole, or Choctaw. Remember Indians were slaves, too. Just read any of the slave codes, the codes address all slaves: Negro, Mulatto, Mestizo (mixture of black and Native American), and Indian. The USA was rife with ethnic cleansing of Native Americans from coast to coast. You could make a case for genocide vs. slavery, but how does that explain the subsequent enslavement of Indians and how does that get written out of our historic memory.

      This is just one post among more than 3,000. This blog has addressed Indian genocide, enslavement and Indians who owned slaves.

      Yes, I condemn the Confederate Flag. You added the whole soldier thing to the mix. If the only people flying, waving and carrying the Confederate flag were Confederate veterans who fought in the Civil War, then I don't think I'd have a problem with it. But, that's not the case in 2014 is it.

      --Ron Edwards, US Slave Blog

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