Noting today’s post on Kevin’s blog about the recently raised Confederate flag (yes, another huge one) in Tennessee and a few comments made by H.K. Edgerton. I thought I’d bring up a point that appears to have been totally and completely ignored in Edgerton’s comment. He said… “This is a southern flag. You can’t attack this flag and call yourself a southerner. You can call yourself a traitor.”
Really?! That’s such a brash statement… and reflective of ignorance of the history of the people of the American South, even those Southerners who were alive during the American Civil War. Southerners, black and white, took issue with that flag, even during the American Civil War, and… here’s a news flash… they were still culturally Southerners, before, during, and after the war. Not only that, but many Southerners were well aware of the fact that the flag represented the continuance of slavery (and yes, this fact was even frowned upon by many Southerners at the time), even though the Union did not initially go to war to free slaves. Three years before he was murdered by Confederate irregulars, and before the war opened, Elder John Kline, a Southerner, wrote:
TUESDAY, January 1, 1861. The year opens with dark and lowering clouds in our national horizon. I feel a deep interest in the peace and prosperity of our country; but in my view both are sorely threatened now. Secession is the cry further south; and I greatly fear its poisonous breath is being wafted northward towards Virginia on the wings of fanatical discontent. A move is clearly on hand for holding a convention at Richmond, Virginia; and while its advocates publicly deny the charge, I, for one, feel sure that it signals the separation of our beloved old State from the family in which she has long lived and been happy. The perishable things of earth distress me not, only in so far as they affect the imperishable. Secession means war; and war means tears and ashes and blood. It means bonds and imprisonments, and perhaps even death to many in our beloved Brotherhood, who, I have the confidence to believe, will die, rather than disobey God by taking up arms.
The Lord, by the mouth of Moses, says: “Be sure your sin will find you out.” It may be that the sin of holding three millions of human beings under the galling yoke of involuntary servitude has, like the bondage of Israel in Egypt, sent a cry to heaven for vengeance; a cry that has now reached the ear of God. I bow my head in prayer. All is dark save when I turn my eyes to him. He assures me in his Word that “all things work together for good to them that love him.” This is my ground of hope for my beloved brethren and their wives and their children. He alone can provide for their safety and support. I believe he will do it.
Being knowledgeable of one’s own heritage, and especially the larger heritage of a people (e.g., Southerners), is bigger than picking and choosing only the parts of history that work to sustain a rather narrow-minded argument.