A few days ago, my grandchildren were visiting. I had a pre-set alarm on my cell phone set for a particular time, and… as luck would have, it my 5-year-old grandson was standing beside me when the alarm sounded. I removed the phone from its belt holster and flipped it open to shut off the alarm. As I did so, my grandson saw the Confederate Battle Flag wallpaper on the small screen of the phone. He admired it. So, I asked him if he knew what kind of flag that was. He gushed: “An American flag”! I was rocked back on my heels! For a few moments, I was speechless. Believe it or not, being speechless is something I am not accustomed to.
Now five-year-olds do not do “nuance”! For instance the same 5-year-old once told a fat lady he chanced to meet… “Lady, you sure are BIG!”
Point is: He was correct. The Confederate Battle Flag IS an American flag. He knows his grandfather well enough to know that if I have a flag on any of my possessions it will, undoubtedly, be an American flag.
As soon as he is old enough to comprehend he will be told about that flag, and what it truly represents, and about the war the South fought for Independence. He will most certainly be told of slavery in the United States and he will be told that the war was not fought to free the slaves and that the Emancipation Proclamation freed not a single slave. He will be educated in the history of the South… all of it… the good, the bad, and the ugly. He will have a tough time in school because he will know the truth, going in, and with his genes, he will certainly challenge his teachers when the revisionist history is dragged out and his class is prepared for indoctrination.
You see… my grandson is a special breed. He is a descendant of Confederate Soldiers on both his mother’s and his father’s sides of his family. He comes from stern stock. He is not easily dissuaded, even now.
He nailed it when he declared the Confederate Battle Flag an American flag. I assured him he was absolutely correct. The CBF is an American flag. Many brave Americans fought, bled, and died beneath that flag. It is due respect and honor.
Today that flag is dishonored as the flag of slavery. Nothing could be farther from the truth. That flag never flew over a slave ship. That flag never flew over slavery. It was a battlefield ensign. It was never a national flag of the Confederacy.
I know, I know… an Americans’ will to fight is an antiquated idea this day and time. That is one, among many, reasons I admire the people of the 1860’s. The Southern states believed the Constitution meant what it said… and, since they were only the first, and second,generations from their grandfathers who fought the Revolutionary War for Independence from Great Britain, they REALLY knew what it said. They knew the Constitution did not support a strong central government. But that is exactly what the federal government was forcing upon the people of the South… not to mention the northern states as well.
Remember the “taxation without representation” their grandfathers went to war against Great Britain about? By 1861 the Southern states were paying 75% of all the taxes going into the federal coffers! 75%!
If you still insist the war was fought over slavery… let me say that slavery became a part of the dispute when Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. Look, at the begining of the war only 8 % of Southerners owned slaves. That’s eight (8) percent. 92 % did not own slaves! Less than 5% of the Confederate soldiers owned slaves. 95 % of the Confederate soldiers did not own slaves and didn’t even know anyone who did!
Most Americans don’t know that the Constitution of the Confederate States of American made it illegal to import slaves. It also made it illegal to transport slaves across state lines for sale. Slavery was on the way out in the South.
Now think about this: the stars and stripes flew over slavery, NORTH and SOUTH, in the United States, from the moment the country was founded until the 13th amendment to the US constitution was passed… AFTER the Civil War! So, the US Flag DID fly over slavery while the Confederate Battle Flag did not! Yet the Confederate Battle Flag is singled out for all the shame heaped upon an ensign of slavery!
Yes, the Confederate Battle Flag IS an American Flag. It does not deserve the disrespect foisted upon it by those ignorant of its history and its purpose. It was a Soldier’s flag. It is flown today as a sign of respect, and long over due honor, for the valiant men in gray who fought beneath it’s colorful St Andrew’s Cross.
And finally, many of us, who fly that flag today, fly it as a not so subtle reminder to the ever growing, ever more powerful, federal government… that we will go this far and no farther! Now, what could be more American than that!
See, my grandson had it right!