Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Thoughts about the Confederate flag controversy

Contributor article by Dan Wilson.

There has been some controversy about South Carolina flying the Confederate flag over their State house. This is an interesting quandary in that for some it simply means Southern pride and yet at the same time it brings back memories of the Civil War and all the negative aspects of it.

To me I am kind of neutral on my feelings about the confederate flag. To some it is a symbol of racism and groups like the Klan and other hate groups that frequently fly the rebel flag during their meetings. Then there are those who view it as Southern Pride.

Speaking from a Historical aspect, the confederate flag marks the darkest period in the history of our nation. During the Civil war we lost over six hundred thousand Americans. When brother fought against brother. To this day it remains the bloodiest war in our History. President Abraham Lincoln originally entered into the war to preserve the Union. Since the signing of the Constitution we all knew the Slavery issue would have to be addressed.

During the summer of 1787 as we were writing the constitution, the thirteen colonies after a long hot summer created a document we all could agree on with one exception. The Southern colonies wanted slavery to be included, while the Northern States were against this. In order to break the deadlock the Northern States grudgingly agreed to allow slavery to be included. Though both sides knew one day this issue would have to be addressed.

With the Birth of the Republican Party in 1862, it was largely comprised of abolitionist.  As the election of 1860 arrived, the Southern States made it clear. If Abraham Lincoln was elected, the Southern States would succeed. As we know shortly after Lincoln won the nomination South Carolina was the first state to succeed from the union after one by one the rest of the Southern states Joined together marking the birth of the confederacy.

On April 12th 1861 the Confederate States attacked the Union Fort Sumter. Lincoln who was a friend of Lee asked Lee to lead the Union Army. Though Lee was against succession, was also loyal to his home state of Virginia. He told Lincoln that he unfortunately had to remain loyal to Virginia and resign his commission from the US Army. Lincoln was furious and after Lee left the White House it would be the last time the two would ever talk.

Though Lincoln had entered into the Civil war to preserve the Union, as the war Progressed, his feelings about Slavery changed helped along with discussions with people Like Frederick Douglas, a former Slave who had purchased his freedom. Pressure from the abolitionist who played a big role in Lincoln elect ion also played a role in his deciding to make slavery illegal. On January first 1863 Abraham Lincoln Signed the Emancipation Proclamation which marked the end of Slavery in the Union.

For the South this changed the entire nature of the entire war. What began as an attempt of preserving the Southern way of life turned into the preservation of slavery. During the beginning of the war the South had the upper hand and by 1863, Robert E. Lee out to win the war and put an end to this senseless killing. Though in July the two armies would meet at a small town called Gettysburg in Pennsylvania. The battle lasted three days and by the end fifty one thousand Americans lay dead. Though considered a Union victory both sides paid a large price where both sides lost nearly the same number of casualties.

Most consider this the turning point of the war due to this was the confederates last offensive campaign. On November 19 the dedication of the Soldiers National cemetery (later known as the Gettysburg National Cemetery). When Lincoln honored the dead, he delivered the Gettysburg address that redefine the reason for the war.

Though the war would last another two years by 1865 the South could no longer continue. Most considered the end of the civil war was when General Robert E. Lee Surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant on April 9th 1865.

By wars end President Abraham Lincoln spoke of the end of the Civil War to be a time of healing, rather than a period of retribution. The majority of both houses wanted to punish the South by choosing to leave the Union. Lincoln who was truly a great man did not agree with this. Instead he dreamed of the North helping the South in its recovery. So that our Union could heal and look forward to better times.

That dream ended on April 14th 1865 when the actions of a crazed lunatic with dreams grandeur would seal the fate of the Southern States by killing the greatest hope the South, President Abraham Lincoln. Both the Northern and Southern States loathed Booth for what he had done on that fateful day.

No Longer did the South have its only ally in the North dead. It opened up a period of hatred that would harbinger hate for generations to come. The South knew before the war that the Days of Slavery were coming to an end. Slavery was becoming less cost effective for the plantations due to more modern and efficient ways of harvesting their crops.

Yet the Southern States would still succeed from the union. They fought to preserve their way of life and they wanted to end slavery on their own terms, not what they North was forcing them to do.

In spite of the way the Union States treated the Southerners, their way of life endured. Though it changed with the creation of new harvesting equipment, much like we as a nation are continuing to evolve through newer technologies.

As for the Democratic Party the slow death would come with the election of Woodrow Wilson in November of 1912. President Wilson would plant the seed of the progressive movement that caused the great depression to last as long as it did. Yet the Death of the Democratic Party came on November 22nd 1963 with the assignation of President John F. Kennedy. Today the Democratic Party only exists in name only. For no longer do they stand for the people. The Social/progressive movement destroyed the party and now it threatens the future of this great Nation.

Today the preservation of our Country is largely in the hands of the Southern States. For here in the South are more conservative Republicans who are doing everything we can to save this great Nation of ours. The Grass Roots movement along with the Tea Party have their roots in the South.

When it comes to the future of our Country only God knows but if the South is successful at waking up more conservatives and getting them active in our Political system. Then I believe we stand a chance. Today we have a President who wishes to reignite racial division that we had almost eliminated. Through race baiters like President Obama, Al Sharpton, and Jessi Jackson, they have managed to open wounds that were almost healed.
As for the fate of the Confederate Flag, maybe the South should think of a new flag? On January 1st 1776 General George Washington would order the raising of a new flag that consisted of 13 stripes. Since we were still a British Colony at the time, in the field of blue was the British Union Jack. After we became a nation the jack was replace with the birth of a new Constellation consisting of thirteen Stars.

Maybe the Southern States can create a new flag to replace the confederate flag by using our American flag, and adding adjacent to our new constellation, another field of blue with the confederate flag being included next to the Stars. Underneath this addition on one of the white Stripes can be the words, “Southern Reconciliation”. Though it would not replace old Glory but flown underneath. This way the Heritage of the proud Southern States can continue on without the hatred associated with it.

Recently South Carolina suffered a horrible loss with the actions of another deranged murderer who would change history. For it was how through the deaths of these 9 God loving parishioners who were gathered to study the teachings of the Bible. Showed us how to forgive rather than hate and through their terrible loss. It was the People of South Carolina who taught us who both Blacks and Whites together could unite and to be the shining light which will guide our Country out of the darkness and into the light.

Some may view this as ironic that the State that lead the way to succession in 1861, would be the State that reminded us of who we are. Personally I believe through Gods divine providence He Chose South Carolina to be the state to remind us we are one union, indivisible with Liberty and Justice for all.

Today as the Nation mourns the loss of nine beautiful believers in God above. Through tragedy a new ray of light can be seen on the horizon. A new Nation will arise where God and the Constitution of the United States will become one resulting in a truly United States of America.
As for the future of the Confederate flag, maybe we can change it to something like I suggested above so that the hatred and reminder of a time in our history when both North and South contributed to one of the darkest moments in our History.

To those who wish to continue to fly the Confederate flag I can understand both sides of the argument. So I choose to leave that decision up to those who choose to continue to fly the confederate flag, or adopting a new one. Yet Old Glory regardless of what you choose will remain to be the Flag of this Great Nation. For the citizens of South Carolina I want to thank you for reminding us of who we are as a people. I see this as the turning point and the beginning of the end of the Progressive Movement. I hope one day the Democratic Party can also re-emerge to become the Party that President John Fitzgerald Kennedy stood for. GOD BLESS AMERICA.

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