To the Guy Flying a Confederate Flag in Exeter, New Hampshire

I saw your truck parked in front of the Rite-Aid, right by the Dunkin Donuts. Two large Confederate flags were attached to the back of it, waving in the wind. The American flag was, incongruously (and in violation of the flag code), in the center. And, I have to confess, I don’t get it.

Part of me wanted to ask obvious questions: You know you are in New Hampshire, right? And, you know New Hampshire was not a part of the Confederacy?

11709431_400316456841007_5791455240479926301_nI ask this because I’m not so sure you do. Here we are in a northern town, a place that gave her sons up to the Union Army and lost them on the battlefields of the Civil War. A place where locals organized early against slavery and led the charge against it across the country. A place where 150 years ago that flag would have been seen as a symbol of treason.

I grew up in the South where I saw plenty of Confederate flags. My college campus had a small Confederate cemetery on it and every Confederate Memorial Day (do you know when that is, by the way?) they’d be decorated with those flags. And I lived in a state where that Confederate emblem was on the flag for far too long.

Some people say it’s heritage. I don’t buy it. I have Confederate soldiers for ancestors, and I’ve never felt the need to honor them by flying that flag.

I also know it wasn’t even the Confederate flag. It was the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia. (My ancestors’ unit, by the way.) And I know that even the Daughters of the Confederacy advocated not using that flag anymore back in the 1920’s. And I also know that it didn’t really make a comeback until the 1950’s when a Supreme Court decision let African-American children go to school with white children.

Do you think that flag has been flying in front of the South Carolina capitol since 1865? It hasn’t. It was put there for one reason only: racist defiance in the face of integration.

I think you believe that the flag brands you as a “rebel” or somehow honors your outlook on life. It doesn’t. It brands you as a racist. You may not think you are one, but flying that flag is a racist act.

I know that right now you are saying, “But I’m not a racist!” “Heritage, not hate!” But this isn’t your heritage. It’s mine. And it is hate. And it is racism. And every time you put that flag on the back of your car, we all go back in time a little. And the past wasn’t so great for many of our neighbors.

The present isn’t so great either, by the way. Because in a time when nine African-American churchgoers were massacred at their church by a man wearing that flag, and in a week when seven black churches have been burned with little media attention, those flags tell everyone that you couldn’t care less about what is happening. Others can suffer, so long as you get to wear your flag. It’s like showing up at a funeral and dancing on the grave.

Is that the kind of man you are? One who doesn’t care who is being hurt, so long as you get to show off your flags on your truck?

You aren’t being a rebel. And you aren’t being courageous. And you won’t be on the right side of history.

But here’s the good news: it doesn’t have to end like that. You can stop flying the Confederate flag. You can honor your ancestors here in the North by learning why they were willing to give their lives to fight against that flag. And you can honor my ancestors down in the South by saying you are willing to learn from their mistakes.

Please. Our town doesn’t need those flags. And, if you look inside and find your better self, you’ll find that neither do you.

A few words about comments:

1. For those asking why I didn’t personally speak to him, I’ve only seen him while he was driving and couldn’t figure out how to get him to stop. My wife was in the car alone when she took this picture. Given the racist, sexist, and homophobic slurs I’ve received in comments (deleted) from people claiming to be his friend, I’m glad she didn’t stop. But I’d welcome him to come talk to me.

2. Post away but use your full, real name (First and last) or else I will delete your comments without reading.

3. My mom’s side is from NH and has been for 13 generations. Dad’s is from the South. So don’t tell me I don’t belong in NH.

4. No one is forcibly taking your flag from you. I am saying consider the message you are sending. A part of me wishes every racist would carry that flag so they’d be easy to identify. But I also hope everyone who really, truly does not want to be racist will decide to stop flying it.

5. Because some of the comments I received used derogatory and bigoted terms, I’m moderating comments now (because disagreement is fine but I refuse to host those words on my page). I’m also away for the weekend with my wife so your comment may take a couple of days to appear.


576 thoughts on “To the Guy Flying a Confederate Flag in Exeter, New Hampshire

          • They also made you incredibly articulate. You really nailed the state capital issue. However I think that the focus on flying the flag in Exeter is perhaps a little misplaced. I don’t know why he was flying it but saying it brands him as a racist begs the question, ” In whose eyes”. Maybe it was a statement that an overbearing federal government is taking the states out of United States. Maybe that’s why he is feeling rebellious. Maybe he feels that all three of those flags represent freedom. “Live free or die”. Maybe he doesn’t think at all. In my eyes he is not branded. I am much more concerned about the Che Guevara posters and tee shirts seen in dorm rooms and college campuses particularly in the northeast and the west coast. They were everywhere even years ago when we were protesting the Vietnam war and their presence was testimony to the fact that the war protest was really a part of a larger agenda, namely the destruction of America. We just thought it was cool. All the cute girls did too.

            • Douglas Teague: You asked the question, “In whose eyes” was the flier of the Confederate Battle Flag considered a racist. The answer is – Everyone who has taken the time to study the Civil War and American History. William Thompson designed the Confederate Battle Flag and said the flag would “be hailed by the civilized world as THE WHITE MAN’S FLAG.” He couldn’t have been clearer.

            • I am aware that young people are very idealistic and jump to conclusions without proper information. The American flag is that all Americans need. We are supposed to be united regardless of where we live, how we pray , or the color of our skin. Any person that has ever worn a military uniform of any of the five armed services, now six with the Space Force, know how dear that flag is. No confederate flag is carried in their parades.

          • I am also from the south, Georgia to be more specific.
            and yes it was the Virginia battle flag but was to become the national flag for the United Southern States of America had the Civil War ended differently.
            when it was adopted to be the national flag for the southern states it became a symbol of pride for the south.
            and that’s why if you ask a southerner, a true Southerner who actually lives there they will tell you it is nothing but pride and heritage.
            even a black southern man who was born and raised in the South will tell you the same.
            if you want to get mad about a specific flag get mad about one called the Bonnie Blue.
            it is a solid blue flag with a white five point star in the middle.
            the Bonnie Blue stands for everything they accuse the stars and bars of.
            I am a white man and I will help you whip somebody’s ass for flying the Bonnie Blue.
            Southern Men who fight for the southern states rights fat and died under that flag.
            you can take it down from a courthouse horse or any federally owned building.
            but they will only multiply because when you take them down from there they’ll be one in every front yard.
            that man flying it on the back of his pickup truck might very well have been from the south as well you are not the only southerner in the Northeast or even in New Hampshire. To what degree you can still claim to be from the south.

            • That’s funny. I’ve talked to many Southern African-American men who would not tell me that. Maybe we should allow them to speak for themselves?

              And I only moved north seven years ago, after a lifetime of Southern education. So I think I can still claim it, thanks.

              • Thank you Emily, my husband is Black and from North Carolina. I am from NH and we live in Rhode Island. He hates that flag and what it stands for. Thank you for your thoughtful article, and thank you for giving voice to the Black community with love.

          • The American national flag is based on the confederate flag. Look up the stars and bars and you will see that the original confederate flag bears are more than striking resemblance.
            Give it a few years and people will be protesting your Stars and Stripes because of it similarity.

          • Your truth is not necessarily another’s truth. You are obviously an activist and cannot imagine you representing any church that follows the bible. I’d bet you didn’t fight for this country. You want your freedoms but didn’t fight for them, my family fought for freedom of speech and the man in Exeter certainly has at least as much right to it as you do.

            • I love the Bible. I read it daily. And I follow the Christ of that Bible who said to love all of our neighbors. For me that includes respecting them, and not deliberately offending them with racist symbols. If trying to be a good Christian makes me an activist, then I guess I am.

              Did you fight for your country? You say your family did, as did mine from the American Revolution to my father in Vietnam. I was not in the military but I did proudly wear the uniform of a firefighter.

              • I sincerely hope you aren’t wasting too much of your emotional energy on these people. I am with you – a descendant of 2 Confederate soldiers whom I don’t feel the need to honor by waving a flag that is usually seen flying outside a trailor. I demanded that our legislators take it down and thank goodness they listened. There are some people who will never listen to you as they have no ability to see any other perspective than their own. They were born with white skin and can’t even understand the safety that goes along with that, obviously even in the 20th Century.

            • 1. The truth is the truth, there is no such thing as multiple truths! 2. Activist or no activist, what does it matter God did not make ONLY YOU in his image and the Bible was not written for ONLY YOU! 3. Get on the internet, do some reserch, how many great Americans DID NOT fight for this country!? I am a Vet, but I do not judge other Americans based on if they served in the military…guess what people like to scream out loud about their Patriotism and they are usually the ones denying rights to others! 4. 1st Amendment, Freedom of Speech? Absolutely, I saw no where, and read no where that Pastor Heath wanted to deny this person of their rights, she made a passionate appeal to this individual and supported it with reason and understanding. So how about debating the pastor on the points she made instead of attacking her personally!

          • Emily, my observations have been whenever someone cannot debate you on a subject in which you have clearly presented in a thoughtful, enlighten, reasonable, and factual manner, they either name call or make disparaging personal comments about you. I think those individuals need to question their own level of education, but if it is not a matter of a lack of education, then they definitely have some explaining to do.

            • @Brian Belge
              Thanks! I’m glad to be of service. If I have another less busy day, I’ll try to make it to the bottom of this page. 🙂

        • Walking home from town on the 4rth of july i was treated to the shamful spectacle of multiple confederate flags flying less than 10 miles south of the Canadian border. In Vermont is has to be racism there is not even the flimsiest excuse for heritage to fly that treasonous flag in a state that lost so many in the civil war.

          • Same here, in north central Vermont. My great grandfather died in the Civil War and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. I am lucky enough to even have a portrait of him in uniform. On July 4th someone decided to ride in the parade with a huge US and Confederate flag flying behind their jeep. I was outraged. People need to understand that symbol is hurtful, racist and treasonous, especially in the “deep North” where Vermont was the first colony to outlaw slavery in it’s first constitution dated July 8, 1777 when it broke free from New York. The Underground Railroad was also very active in the Green Mountains to help people get to safety in the north and Canada. The Confederate flag has no place in Vermont.

        • Have you worked for the same or like education? Or are you a sidelined nay sayer of no or inferior education preventing you from exercising
          critical thinking? What are you?

      • a flag is a symbol. that is what a flag is. it was created by people to embody their ideals, to rally around in a time of war. displaying the confederate flag is an act of defiance. in my opinion, a cowardly act. be a man and love your neighbor.

        • Well then, by using the definition from your comment the U.S. Flag is just as bad. It embodies ideals to rally people to war.

        • Flags were created so that military personal could locate their unit on the field. They have evolved into something else but they didn’t start as you have described.

      • Enjoyed this thoughtful article. I’ve been wondering why the people who claim this particular flag as representing their heritage don’t select a different Confederate flag, maybe the “bonny blue flag that bore a single star” that so pleased Rhett Butler that he named his daughter after it. Why choose the one that has been consistently used to represent racism? I’m not from the south and have no southern ancestors, but I do have northern ancestors, New England merchants and ship builders, who most likely participated in the “triangle trade” that was a popular way to make money while shipping slaves – that isn’t something that makes me proud and it sure wouldn’t make me fly a flag. I also won’t fly a flag to represent my Scots-Irish ancestors who oppressed the Irish peasants – nor do I admire my Viking ancestors who burned and pillaged and…etc. We probably all have some heritage that should make us cringe, but why celebrate it? Why not instead create something here and now that will make our descendants be impressed by the amazing good we did?

    • Your logic says we should ban the American flag. Look what we did to the Native Americans…

      Everyone needs to worry about real issues instead of some guy with a truck’s right to express himself with giant pieces of cloth.

      • Actually go back and read the article. Nowhere did I say “ban”. It’s amazing what people read into a straightforward article. It makes me wonder what else they are misreading.

        • Dear Misses Heath I can see your points and respect your opinion.The Confederate battle flag is being used in ways that disrespect a lot of people. But shouldn’t we look at other flags as well. You mention treason in regards to that flag but what flag flew during the Revolutionary war. The British branded us as traitors. You talk of the flag represents racism but what about our American flag mam and certain state flags. Look what we did to the Native Americans and the flag we flew as well as slave ships etc. I served my country mam and I watched Americans stomp on our American flag and burn it so what does that make them. I live in a state that a part of its constitution article 13 from 1851 till Lincolns 1865 amendment wouldn’t allow blacks in the state and this state is indiana. I served with Americans of all races and they saw my flags and knew I wasn’t racist. The point is mam several of our flags have a dark history but I still fly all my flags with pride. The good Lord did not put me here to judge people only to do my best and serve the Lord. Thanks for your time. God bless

            • Since when do we stop expressing ourselves because of someone’s feelings? Jesus offended many people in his teachings and as such in modern day people get offended by the word of God. Should we tippy toe around our thoughts and feelings? Maybe you should go to this guy and get to the true meaning of why he flies the flag and try and understand it. Just because you seem to be a self-proclaimed expert on the confederate flag doesn’t mean that it is viewed the same way by others.

                • I don’t know if Jesus would wave the Confederate flag, but He is pro-secession. My understanding of the relationship between Jesus and God is They love each other and there is not a dime’s worth of difference in Their values. I think God is pro-secession from the twice told story of the secession of the 10 tribes after the death of King Solomon about 920 B.C. In 1st Kings 12:24 and 2nd Chronicles 11:4, God says the secession is from Him and instructs King Rehoboam not to fight against his brethren.

                  Jim Neale
                  Clermont, Florida

              • As a civil society we do/don’t do many things in order to maintain a state of peace and order. Roof expressed himself by walking into a church and murdering people who were there to study the Bible and follow Christ’s teachings. I guess Roof wasn’t about to “tippy toe around his thoughts and feelings” Is that what you are advocating!? Is that how you want people to express themselves!? What I find funny/sad is how Conservatives want to distance themselves from the past when dealing with minority issues like equal treatment and yet fly a symbol that is representative of the past!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hear Southern Whites crying, my ancestor had slaves, not me, I didn’t do anything to keep Blacks down, that was my forefathers…and then want to wave around the symbol of their forefathers….the term is called hypocrite!!!!!!

          • I frequently read this objection raised…specifically, an attempt to assert the false equivalence that the Confederate flag shouldn’t be considered a symbol of treason with the American flag because of the fact that we were considered traitors by the British. While the fact is that BOTH the colonies and the confederates were considered traitors by their home countries, the differences lay in that; 1) the colonies had no representation in the British government, whereas the southern states had full representation; 2) colonial citizens were conscripted into service in the British army and navy. Southern citizens were not compelled to serve in the Union army or navy; 3) our citizens were imprisoned without trial. No southerners were treated in such a manner. These are only three of the reasons listed in the Declaration of Independence, and few of the remaining grievances can be matched by the southern states, so to assert an equivalence is specious. The fact that the confederate constitution is almost a word for word transcription of the U. S. Constitution attests to the fact that their grievances were primarily limited to the pending abolition of slavery.

            Additionally, had the colonies lost the Revolution, it is highly doubtful that Old Glory would be flown today. We became a sovereign nation by virtue of our victory over the British army, which made our flag a symbol of an independent, victorious nation. The south lost. Their primary cause, slavery, went down in defeat. But even regardless all that, the fact is that while to you the confederate battle flag is nothing but a symbol you choose to identify with your heritage, that same flag has an entirely different meaning to an entire race of people, and to be so callous as to value your past above the emotions evoked by that flag shows you to be little more than an egocentric, insensitive, self absorbed individual. You make it virtually impossible to move the conversation to a point of healing and inclusion by your insistence on what is little more than a selfish indulgence.

          • No, we aren’t looking at other flags, because only the Confederate flag and the US flag flew from that truck. One is the flag of our country. The other did not exist until traitors turned against the US and attacked it. To fly the Confederate flag is to proclaim to the world that you have no loyalty to the United States of America, no desire to live under our government, and no interest in being a citizen of this country. If that’s your heritage, fine. Fly your flag all the way to the border, and on across it.

          • @Jeremy Fletcher
            Red herring -> Genetic fallacy -> Ad hominem -> Appeal to hypocrisy
            Weak analogy -> Unrepresentative sample -> Hasty generalization

        • he didn’t say “you said” he stated “your logic” obviously you misread quite well also. and yes there is far more racism behind the U.S./American flag than the confederate flag. where was your uproar 10-20-30- years ago? It didn’t exist until a deranged individual did a heinous act! what if he did it with the American flag behind him? You’re just another “bandwagoneer” looking for your 10 seconds of fame : (

          • Actually I have been outraged for over 20 years. The first time I realized the flag was wrong I was 8. I was standing next to an African-American classmate who saw one. Her pained reaction told me all I needed to know about that flag.

          • @Bill Jacoby
            Red herring -> Genetic fallacy -> Abusive ad hominem
            Red herring -> Genetic fallacy -> Ad hominem -> Appeal to hypocrisy
            BACK TO
            Red herring -> Genetic fallacy -> Abusive ad hominem
            Causal fallacy -> Not a cause for a cause -> Post hoc ergo propter hoc
            AND ANOTHER
            Red herring -> Genetic fallacy -> Abusive ad hominem

        • Let me restate on p’s behalf. Your logic says we should stop flying the American flag. Look what we did to the Native Americans…

          Everyone needs to worry about real issues instead of some guy with a truck’s right to express himself with giant pieces of cloth.

          Now will you address the comment without bandying semantics? I’m sure you understood what p meant.

          • The United States is a living, transforming entity. And, believe me, I think we need to repent of what we did to Native Americans. The difference is we still can. The Confederate states cannot right their wrongs.

            • The United States broke every treaty they ever entered with all the Native American nations.
              No one ever gets riled up about the heinous genocide that was committed against 18 MILLION Native Americans in North America after Europeans arrived to claim it as their own. 18 MILLION Native American men, women, and children brutally murdered.
              151 years after the deliberate attempt to wipe out the native American Indian by the United States government American Indians still are under the control of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
              239 years after the Declaration of Independence and United States Constitution “All men are created equal” Native Americans are still not equal.

              Our government has had more than enough time to get it right, repent, and do right by the Native American nations. The United States government has never acknowledged what they did to the Native American Indians and never will. We hear about the forced marches during WW II of captured American soldiers, but never hear about the Trail of Tears here in the United States. A United States government 2,300 mile forced march of captured Native Americans.

              To Katie Steele:

              The United States government is RIPE with HYPOCRISY it’s not a genetic fallacy, red herring or any other detractor term you want to use. The fact remains what our government still continues to do to Native Americans under the flag of the United States of America, is far worse than any other crime against humanity since our nation was founded.

          • @Jack Womack
            Red herring -> Straw man
            Red herring -> Genetic fallacy -> Ad hominem -> Appeal to hypocrisy
            Unwarranted assumption -> False dilemma
            THEN YOU ADDED
            Red herring -> Genetic fallacy -> Ad hominem (mild)

      • There is a difference. The amircan flag represents the ideals in the American Constitution, what c states all men are equal and should be treated as such. The symbol and concept are good the failure us man’s the CSA flags represent a constitution that supports racial haterd bigotry and slavery. The concept is embarrassing and disgusting. The former requires us to be better humans the flags standards , the latter requires we live at the lowest level of human development. The former can be we should strive to achieve the latter we should strive to avoid.

      • The American flag never started to fade, and then get brought back to extreme popularity as a show of defiance over any race related issues. The Confederate Flag had started to fall out of popularity. Few people were flying it to “honor their heritage” before desegregation. It was brought back as a way of showing the South was against desegregation. So, it had started to fade out of existence, only to be brought back to popularity based on race issues. The American flag however has been flown with pride, in slightly differing designs, since the country became independent of British rule. I am all for your right to fly it, but people who choose to do it, don’t need to tell me I don’t know it’s heritage, I do. And I know more about it’s heritage than just when it was created, or what it originally stood for. I know what it became a symbol of, by the very people living in the South who will defend it today. Whether it started as a racist symbol or not, whether you had people in your family who fought for the South or not, it is the people of the South who turned it into an unquestionably racist symbol in the 1960’s. And that racism is now part of the heritage of that flag.

        • I have read through numerous posts and I would like to ask a question, not to be confrontational or condescending, but to gain understanding to a question that I have pondered for a while.

          Many people have opined about the causes of the Civil War and the meaning of the Confederate flag. My question deals with neither of those per say. However, I will begin with these to frame my question.

          There are certainly numerous factors leading to the Civil War: political, economic, social and cultural. It was a war whose causes festered for years dating back to the inception of the Nation. One can look to the Declaration of Independence particularly the original version before the edit/revisions to see that slavery was certainly an issue. Furthermore, I recommend reading the Constitutional Convention notes copiously taken by Madison to gain insight into the issues that concerned the Framers. It is quite clear that limited government was on the mind of many. The federalist and anti- federalist debates lend more insight to the underlying motivations to the Civil war… Yes, slavery was a big issue, but so many people on this thread fail to make the observation that the South was very much concerned with majority tyranny. The fact that not a single southern state voted for Lincoln and he wins anyway lends to the fear at that time that the south had no voice. Okay I digress on this point for time sake. After the war, the South was devastated and divided into military districts to be ruled under martial law (refer to Reconstruction Acts) which did not help restore an amicable relationship between the North an emotionally and economically drained society in the South. Thus emerges the KKK, a byproduct of the Democratic Party, created with the goal of restoring Democratic control to the South. Fast forward to the compromise of 1877, which officially ended military control and brought about the Democratic control of Southern state governments, and one sees the beginning of the Jim Crow South…again, a creation of the Democrat party. Fast forward to Wilson’s administration and we see a more strict segregation of Blacks in military units. Let us not fail to mention Margaret Sanger and her development of Planned Parenthood which had the notorious beginnings to abort Black babies for the purpose of eugenics and social cleansing. (It should be noted that the Nazi party credits some of their ideas to this.) Additionally, it was Roosevelt (a Democrat) who ordered the internment of more than one hundred thousand Japanese-Americans. Fast forward further, and we arrive to the 1950s and 60s whereby we see yet again the Democratic Party which openly and viciously opposed Brown v Board. It was in fact the Democratic Party that maintained a stronghold on state politics in the South; the same Democratic Party that sponsored lynch mobs and the return of the KKK to counter civil rights legislation. It was in fact the Democratic Party that hoisted the confederate flag over the state capital buildings and the like in the 1960s. Many individuals over generalize and stereotype all Southerns for this action when a more precise analysis is warranted. The confederate flag historically belongs to the Democratic Party. Thus, my question emerges. And again, I ask this as a registered independent voter who often ponders the whys in the world NOT to illicit negative reaction or ridicule. I am genuinely curious why so many individuals today can consciously support a political party that has a heritage full of hate and bigotry. Are there any among you who can provide a logical explanation to this question?

          • Your knowledge of history is incomplete. If you read deeper, you know that the Republican Party of the mid-1800s is what is now the more social justice oriented Democratic Party of today. The party names have flip-flopped.

            • I see. If anyone could provide documentation as to when this “party flip-flop” actually happened, I would really appreciate it. And, I find it interesting that no one has been able to answer my original question. Why is that?

              “…Social Justice oriented Democratic Party of today…”

              Social Justice is just another code-word for communist/Marxist/socialist/progressive–fill in the word you like — ideology and dates back to the 1840s. I don’t claim to be a expert, but the Republican Party of the mid 1800s wasn’t advocating Marxist/progressive ideology. However, one will consistently find this “social justice” mantra dating back to the early American Democrat progressives: Wilson, Sanger, Croly, Dewey, Goodnow, etc to Roosevelt to Johnson to Clinton, Obama and Sanders today. The Democratic Party has changed. Through the years, it has changed into an even more radical and Marxist organization.

              Follow the history of the Progressive movement in the United States. You will discover that there was not a “flip flop” of political parties…just the Democratic Party adopting a Saul Alinsky “Rules for Radicals” tactic to mislead and misdirect.

              Disputed if you like, but the fact of the matter is sometimes truths are ugly. Sometimes we don’t want to hear them and wish the ugly truths would go just away.

              Take Planned Parenthood for example. The origins of this organization would be considered repulsive to any decent human being. One simply need read Margaret Sanger writings to see this. Black Lives Matter.

              To quote John Adams: “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”

      • @p frazier
        Red herring -> Straw man
        Red herring -> Genetic fallacy -> Ad hominem -> Appeal to hypocrisy
        Unwarranted assumption -> False dilemma

    • Ridiculous. I am a southerner too and trying to paint that picture as racism is not taking into account the full representation of the facts. Do you realize that on September 18th 1858 in Jonesboro, Abraham Lincoln made his position quite clear. He did not believe in the equality of the black man with the white man. You can look up his speeches for yourself. The point is that many did not believe in slavery BUT they didn’t believe in equality either. That holds true for both the North and South. I might remind you that a lot of New Yorkers benefitted from the slave trade making some very rich. Anybody who continually states such trash is in fact promoting incorrect facts. I too had family fight in the war for the south and it was first and foremost states rights at issue. So, when you or others quote Nathan Forrest who started the KKK don’t forget to add Lincoln’s comments and don’t forget the northern carpet baggers who literally destroyed the south. It is impossible today to understand those times fully and to simply tag that flag as racist. It is important to many people. The bible says in 1st Thessalonians 4:11 to mind your own business. You cannot erase the history. Everybody who wants to fly the flag should have that right, this is still America

    • The South lost the battle over slavery in 1865. The North preserved the Union, but lost the battle over state’s rights in 1877. The South has now replaced black people with modern farm machinery. The Union still persists. No one seriously argues that black people should be second class citizens, yet, they are. And the cry goes out, it’s that flag? No more than its their black skin.

      • The north didn’t lose the battle over state’s rights in 1877. The politicians decided to trade away the civil rights of southern black people for political favors. They still had, and finally in the 1960s began to exercise, the right to enforce the Constitution in the south.

        Black “people” were replaced with farm machinery? Farm workers everywhere have been displaced by technology. Black people are lawyers and teachers and carpenters and farm machinery has no effect on their livelihood.

      • Also, no one is saying the confederate flag makes African Americans second class citizens. Most are saying, have some empathy, whatever the flag may mean to you, as a symbol it rightly distresses a large swath of your fellow citizens. By choosing to fly it you are actively choosing to cause someone distress. The rest of us will see you as the type of person who wants to make someone feel bad. In my book that makes you not-a -nice-guy. Go ahead fly it freely so I may know you from afar.

      • The North did not fight to preserve the Union. The Confederates were no more trying to destroy the Union in 1861 than Ben Franklin and John Adams were trying to destroy the British crown when they seceded from it in 1776. There is a reason secessionists are called Founding Fathers instead of Destroying Fathers.
        The objectives of President Lincoln and King George 3 were the same when they chose war, the destruction of the newly established governments.

  1. Very moving. Just a quick edit for you though. The phrase is “couldn’t care less” and I say this for the article to be flawless.

      • Truth is …it does not matter one bit. It is just a flag. Symbolism. Our right as free people to worship and believe or not as we please. I wish people could get this fired up over GOD. Then we might get somewhere, and save this country!

          • Or take it even one step further: That we learn to recognise we’re all part of the human race, regardless of the exact shade of our skin.
            Sadly, this might take a while though …

            • That’s convenient, because I am one. Also, it’s spelled “dyke”.

              In addition, while you didn’t use your real name, you did use your real email address. Thank you for that. It linked right to your Facebook page and your real name. A quick google search told me a whole lot about you.

            • @confederate flag wins
              Red herring -> Genetic fallacy -> Ad hominem
              ALSO, PRESUMABLY
              Red herring -> Guilt by association

              ALSO, FYI
              Dike (n): a bank usually of earth constructed to control or confine water

        • I have to ask, are you a HYPOCRIT? You don’t mean what you say? Because you first say “Our right as free people to worship and believe OR NOT AS WE PLEASE.” But the very next thing you say is; “I wish people could get this fired up over GOD. Then we might get somewhere, and save this country!” If people aren’t following God, they’re doing as they please, to not worship. To you we can ONLY get somewhere with God. And, we (the country) need saving? Says who, you? God? Who? You only want people here who worship God, and it has to be YOUR God.

        • Yeah, and the Nazi party flag was just a symbol. The Nazis acted in a misguided manner, believing that their God deemed that only those with Aryan blood are worthy of existence.

          The point here is that the flag IS a symbol for what the people waving it stand for. In WWI Germany, it was a symbol for hate, evil, and genocide. In Civil War era US, it was a symbol for the South’s belief that they should be able to maintain their way of life – a way of life that kept people in bondage. Said bondage and ‘ownership’ mentality propagating heinous crimes in some of those plantations.

          Every time I see someone flying the confederate battle flag, I wonder…. just who are they at war with? Themselves? Their country? And then I bow my head and wish them enlightenment.

          Because it’s never JUST a symbol.

          • WAIT WHAT – your bringing up nazis . and the NAZI flag is not the nazi flag . they stole it . it doesnt stand for them in truth. and are you in idiot the civil war had NOTHING TO DO with slavery it was economic issue. then any person with half a brain would know that the confererate flag does not stand for ANy kin dof ignorant people are annoying

            • Wow, Darin. The Nazi flag is in fact, the NAZI FLAG! If you’re referring to the swastika that they used on the flag, that has a much longer history, but it was taken by the Nazis because of its meaning and is now almost universally associated with the Nazi party and its followers.

              If you had read the comments posted previously, you would understand that the primary economic issue of the Civil War was maintaining slavery. Your comment that it had “NOTHING TO DO with slavery” is patently ridiculous.

              Finally, a word on ignorance. *You’re. Capitalize the first word of each sentence. Don’t start sentences with conjunctions. Random capitalization is not common practice – it should be reserved for the beginning of sentences (see above) and for proper nouns. If you are going to capitalize for emphasis, you should capitalize the whole word, not just parts of it. And always end a sentence with a period or other appropriate punctuation mark.

              Yes, ignorant people are very annoying.

            • sorry buddy, but go read the statements made by southern senators at the time of secession. they all stated that protecting slavery was the reason they were seceding. the economic issues you mention were the result of an economy built on slave labor. pretty thin fig leaf buddy…

            • You are absolutely correct.However the majority of the populous are so ignorant as to the real cause of this WAR…They tend not to study the cause and effect of the war between the states….R.E. Lee after the war declared that he feared that Historians would miss represent the true cause of the conflict…Mr Glanville You are correct,,,ECONOMIC issue’s was the true cause of the war!!!

            • @Darin Glanville
              Begging the question -> Circular reasoning
              Fallacy of missing data -> Appeal to ignorance -> Argument from personal incredulity
              Red herring -> Genetic fallacy -> Abusive ad hominem

      • The Battle Flag should never, ever be flow along with the American Flag. Doing so diminishes the lives of all Americans who have fought and died for this Country. The coffins containing American soldiers brought back from foreign lands contain bodies of our dead soldiers, soldiers that the enemy did not discriminate, did not care whether they were black or white, just that they were Americans.

        • I’m just curious, as a descendant of confederate soldiers, how many people are aware that the civil war was more a financial war than an “abolition” movement. I’m definitely not a racist and can agree that this country has made little progress in the fight against discrimination. I believe history books and main stream media have portrayed the facts of the civil war in way that makes it “more interesting”. This only suits their better interest, which is to keep us divided and fighting against each other. If anything, I believe we are moving closer to reverse discrimination in an effort to show the world that we are not discriminatory.

          One final comment, I’m curious if England would have a problem with their American citizens flying colonial flags in front of their homes.

          • If you read the declaration of reasons to secede from Virginia, Texas, South Carolina – as examples – they state in plain words that the reason is the right to own slaves. Although there were financial issues, those were tied to the owning of slaves. There is no such thing as reverse discrimination. There is only discrimination. We are kept divided because a large minority of people have never given up their divided loyalty between the movement to secede and retain slaves and the United States of America. There were two sides, one lost, the time to return the loyalty to the nation which won this civil battle has come.

          • One of my favorite replies because, well, I’m definitely NOT racist. It’s funny how certain people try to turn the cause and reasons around… fact is, despite the secondary and tertiary reason the war was about SLAVERY. And regardless of your belief in the Confederate States this was an act of TREASON and only by the grace of reasonable men were southern leaders not prosecuted… and as for the final comment, it’s not relevant but if we look to the north we can still see the maple leaf still waving…

          • It was a financial war in that owning other people is very profitable, Nicole. Saying, or even implying, that slavery was not THE central issue of the Civil War requires either massive ignorance of history or intentional revisionism. The declarations of cause of just five of the rebelling states- Texas, Georgia, South Carolina, Mississippi and Virginia- use some form of the word “slave” no less than eighty-three times between them. THEY certainly thought that THE reason they were seceding was slavery.

            Don’t take my word for it- read the declarations for yourself:

          • You said a lot right there, with the term, “reverse discrimination”. For the Union, the war was about preserving the Union. For financial purposes? Possibly, maybe even likely. I’m sure there was likely some financial purpose for the preservation of the Union. But, from the perspective of the South? It was ALL about slavery. Read the Ordinances of Secession. Slavery is right at the top of their lists. What the idiotic leaders of the South never realized was that abolition would have required a Constitutional Amendment. The Southern states alone could have stopped it.

          • I think if you read the declarations of secession produced by the states you’ll see that slavery was certainly the primary cause indicated by those states for leaving the United States:


            Georgia 1st paragraph: “For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slave-holding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery. They have endeavored to weaken our security, to disturb our domestic peace and tranquility, and persistently refused to comply with their express constitutional obligations to us in reference to that property [slaves]…”

            Mississippi 2nd sentence: “Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery– the greatest material interest of the world.”

            South Carolina is a bit less direct – but mentions slavery almost 20 times.

            Texas: “She was received as a commonwealth holding, maintaining and protecting the institution known as negro slavery– the servitude of the African to the white race within her limits– a relation that had existed from the first settlement of her wilderness by the white race, and which her people intended should exist in all future time.”

            Virginia close of 1st paragraph: “…not only to the injury of the people of Virginia, but to the oppression of the Southern Slaveholding States.”

          • England would not have a problem with flying the American flag next to the Union flag. It does it all the time. The English fly the Flags of all the Countries it has been at war with including the Scottish flag which as you know is Half of the Union flag. However no flag flies in the Union that ever represented slavery. You are obviously not aware that the English abolished Slavery in 1801 and sent out its navy to intercept the slavers from enjoying free passsge…equally the English National anthem resounds with the words ..Rule Britannia never shall we be slaves. There is a difference between flying the national flag of an old enemy and the treasonous flag of an unrecognized State. The sad contradiction was the British government was at loggerheads over who to support in the war as the cotton blockade wrought havoc to the British industrial cloth trade. I would disagree with you thst the war based on finances, thst was obviously a consequence but the war was an inevitably the day that Jefferson wrote the declaration of independence and reinforced upon the Constitution guaranteeing that all men were created equal. America wrestled with its conscience for 80 years…be damned with money.

            • Read about the history of England. THEY started the slave trade, but the slaves were WHITE and IRISH. The slavery of the Irish was BEFORE the African slave trade. They broke up families sending the father’s as slaves to “the colonies”, Barbados, etc. The Irish had little value and viciously tortured. The Women and children left in Ireland were then rounded up and likewise sold into slavery. Towards the end of the Irish slave trade (and the start of the Africn) the Irish women were forcibly bred with African males, producing offspring the slave holders considered more valuable. This has been purposely kept out of our history books, while there is extensive coverage and lessons about the African slave trade. Slavery is wrong, and the textbooks need to be rewritten.

          • “I’m just curious, as a descendant of confederate soldiers, how many people are aware that the civil war was more a financial war than an “abolition” movement.”

            Yes, indeed the Civil War WAS a financial war and the financial issue at question was a Southerner’s right to have their investments in humans. As a descendant of confederate soldiers (on both sides if it is a pissing contest) I have seen the family _property_ records that listed what/who they owned, by name. The Civil War from the Southern side was about our ancestors keeping what they felt they had legally purchased under the laws of their States (thus the “State’s Rights” dodge). It was and remains a horrible part of or heritage.

            • A southerners right to own another human, How many Irish indentures servant were treated like chattels ? Not being rude, just asking.

              • I have often heard the treatment of Irish immigrants in the mid-1800s compared to the treatment of slaves. The Irish immigrants were free to sign up as Southern slaves if they thought it was a better deal, and I don’t believe any ever did. I trust their decision that they were better off than enslaved people.

          • @Nicole Johnson
            Fallacy of missing data -> Appeal to ignorance -> Argument from personal incredulity
            Red herring -> Guilt by association
            Red herring -> Emotional appeal -> Appeal to fear
            Weak analogy -> Unrepresentative sample -> Hasty generalization

      • Why do you require full names? Also, I read a post that you replied to. You told a person that you found their real name, you then looked at their profile and stated that “it told you a whole lot about them”. Seems awfully judgemental to say such a thing. Especially coming from a person of faith. When you post things/articles of this nature it steals your credibility.

  2. Imagine if you spent the time it took to write this post on something that actually mattered? Liberals just can’t mind their own business, typical lemming.

    • This is something that matters to us, Amanda Sheppard. This is our home and this person rancorously tracks mud into it. We prefer to present ourselves in a better light than this and how we present ourselves matters. This is not our heritage, so this person is either not from here and chose to disrespect the town he or she is visiting, or this person is from here and clearly chose one side of the “heritage vs hate” dichotomy.

      • It just seems to me that people are wanting something to bitch about. I don’t care about the flag or any piece of material for that matter. But what about all these symbols of oppression that we let slide? The Burkha, the hijab, the black Panthers, everything has its goods and bads. I agree there really isn’t a need for this flag anymore, but there are a lot of things that shouldn’t be used. You know what though, we are in a free country.

        • And again, we allow it, but see it to be in poor taste and disrespectful. Do you not find it to be that way? Can’t we have a discussion about how our town is represented to the world? It honestly has a negative effect on the rest of us. We aren’t going to stop him or her, but we’d like the person to consider ceasing to speak for our community so loudly by flying those two flags behind the truck (old glory is fine, but contradictory to the other two).

          I doubt the other groups you have mentioned have made such an ostentatious statement in Exeter. We have had the ku klux klan march through our town though. Should we have just shut our mouths about that then?

          Our town also has a history that most of us would like to put behind us. We didn’t even celebrate Martin Luther King day for a while and our high school was one of 3 in the nation that didn’t celebrate it in 2003 (that changed a year later).

          • Aaron, I have lived on the seacoast all my life and I never knew this. This info I find to be very interesting. Thanks for sharing the links.

        • Yeh, we’re in a free country and you don’t care about this stuff anyway but gee here you are. The burkha, hijab, black panthers, rebel flag what ever, are all different things, with different stories, here for different reasons. Now, pay attention MIke. We are here because the flag is flying over state capitals that represent (and paid for by) state TAXPAYERS. Many of which don’t agree that the flag should represent their state gov. and be paid for by them.

          • Slight clarification. The Battle Flag of Northern Virginia, commonly referred to as the Confederate flag, is not flying over any state capital. It is, however, flying on the capital grounds in SC over a Confederate monument. At 10 AM this morning, the state legislature is taking up a vote to remove the flag from capital grounds.

        • I wonder if you can tell me which states are currently run by someone wearing a hijab or burka? Where do the Black Panthers appear as giant portraits on a mountain, like Stone Mountain? As was made clear – the freedom to fly that flag on private property was not being suggested to be banned – but in a free country, people are really free to decide what is the more important issue at hand to discuss.

        • A woman wearing a burka or hijab in the country is doing so by choice. She has other options. There isn’t much parallel between talking about how we need to clean up oppression in our own country vs. talking about cleaning it up in some other country. Clearly we need to take care of our own shortcomings first.

          It is a free country. We are free to do lots of terrible things. We’re free to point at people and laugh at them. We’re free to say we think racism is no big deal. We have the responsibility to do better than that.

      • Okay okay… Let me ask this. Why is it considered “Free Speech” to stomp on, spit on and burn the American flag, therefore making it protected speech? People should worry more about protecting the U.S. flag a bit more. Stop concerning themselves with the petty things.

          • The Supreme Court also ruled in Plessy that “separate but equal” was constitutional. It ruled that Blacks weren’t citizens in the Dred Scott case. Just because the SCOTUS (mere men) rules a certain way doesn’t make it right.

        • You truly do not an answer to that question do you ? Let us just say that Government censorship of any act of verbal protest against must always be fought against . If there ever exists a line on censorship where prevailing taste is an arbitrary judgment of values defined by others then All Free speech is doomed.

      • Aaron please I went to school and lived in Exeter and several other New Hampshire communities. There was and more than likely still is plenty of “mud” regardless of the person that you and others are riled up about.

      • But ma’am, how do you know that the man you are attacking isn’t also a descendant from the South? You’ve made some very big assumptions that he’s just a northern thug.
        I’m not saying you’re wrong, but America is a big place with a lot of people and the vast majority move from one place to another over time.
        Do I think the flag should be taken down? YES! Do I think he’s racist for flying it? No. I think he’s an ass trying to cause trouble, but let me put it this way;
        I wanted to own a General Lee when I was younger. I still wouldn’t turn down the opportunity if it ever presented itself now, does that make him a racist?

        • Come-on, you’re comparing wanting to own a hot car to wanting to fly a rebel flag. Most of those flying these huge flags from their pickup trucks are indeed racists. If you don’t believe me just talk to a few of them.

    • And it only took a few posts for someone to make this political, why the liberal comment? This link was actually sent to me, and applauded, by a friend of mine who is very much and old-school GOP guy. Hilarious that you find such fault in someone wasting time for writing a piece of observational opinion, yet you took the time to respond to it?

    • What about the time you spent reading this, and then typing out a reply that obviously isn’t going to change anyone’s viewpoint? The author spent time crafting an article that may actually educate and enlighten people, whereas your efforts are about as useful as teenagers commenting “First!” on a youtube video.

    • I do live in NH, but 1/2 my family is southern. My father grew up in Memphis in the 40’s, is a “Son of the Confederacy”, and until he retired was the Affirmative Action Officer for his town in Massachusetts. To him, the flag is heritage. To call him a racist, folly.

      To claim that only those who live in the south can understand is faux-intellectualism, and this piece is largely superiority based on personal opinion and beliefs. That is also intolerance; as a recent shown on CNN indicated that >50% of American Adults see this flag not as racist but as southern culture.

      The outrage over this battle flag is similarly faux, media driven dribble. Since moving to NH 15 years ago, I have this flag on numerous vehicles and front lawns without the outrage. It became the most recent Politically correct movement that one shouldn’t dare to be against.

      People refuse to debate or belive others points of view; instead of the debating the issues, you call them racists, wrong minded, bigots, or the like. Differ with the current PC craze, and you are personally marginalized, defamed, all the while the issue remains.

      If this piece was written 6 weeks ago, powerful. Now, it’s nothing more the bandwagon hypocrisy used to indicate to all the intellectual superiority of the author. Sad part is, it shows neither just the herd mentality so often seen in the 24/7 media world.


        • Did you live in NH or more specifically Exeter in 1989-1990? The reason I ask is I did live in Exeter at that time with my family, I don’t recall reading or hearing any comments from you about a Rockingham County Sheriff/Newfield police officer who was a KKK leader.

            • Emily, it was quite an eye opener for me. There was public outrage but nowhere near what I felt there would or should have been. For the most part the county sheriff/ police officer involvement was downplayed as I recall. The KKK was active just over the border in Amesbury MA my grandfather told me stories of them erecting a large cross at Pow Wow Hill and burning it.

              • It’s pretty scary to think a law enforcement officer was leading the KKK rally. I’ve heard he moved out west. I think the KKK was/is more active in the North than we give them credit for, unfortunately.

      • Of course you can defend and raise the Confederate battle flag if you believe it’s your heritage, this is America after all. However, by doing so you celebrate heinous treason that resulted in 600,000 AMERICAN deaths and caused untold human and economic suffering for generations of AMERICANS. This very conversation demonstrates that that treason still reverberates through our nation 150 years later. If you are nonetheless wedded to that mindset and course of action, you relinquish any moral authority to question or condemn actions that others undertake that you might see as injurious or prejudicial to the United States of America. Please consider carefully.

        • You should also add the contradiction that those who seem to support the Confederacy and their flag are some of the most outspoken when it comes to flag burning of the Union flag. Yet they don’t understand thst by flying the Confederate rag is no different to urinating on the stars and stripes. The ignorance in people is quite astonishing.

      • Actually I don’t believe it can be defended based on one group’s heritage. It’s about the group that was oppressed and so hurt by what it represented to them and continues to represent. If you ask those people they would ask us to take it down, it hurts them. For this reason alone we need to do it to demonstrate we are not racist and that we respect their history. It’s time to get over it and move on.

        • The majority of people in the north, and particularly New Hampshire, do not share blood with southern confederate soldiers is my guess. I have seen this flag twice today in the north and wonder where the heritage part plays into this. While I feel a lot of heritage is good to remember, whether that is good or a dark part of your heritage, both need to be embraced. It is rare that some of this heritage should be lost to the times for the better, this I feel to be one. While that war ended in a great advance for a lot of people, some of its symbols still haunt us, this is one. We as a country have made so many great advances as of late in the equality sector. Why do we need to still fly a sign of inequality so blatant as this? Also sorry, I’m not the best with words and English so I’m sure the are mistakes.

      • Geeze, how long you been waiting to get that off your chest? Sorry you feel so threatened because someone (a female no-less) besides yourself has mastered a few big words and enough proper grammer to use them. Go mix yourself a cocktail and relax saboats.

      • @saboats
        Weak analogy -> Unrepresentative sample -> Hasty generalization
        Red herring -> Genetic fallacy -> Appeal to irrelevant authority
        Fallacy of missing data -> Appeal to ignorance (When broken down by race, 72% of African Americans viewed the flag as a symbol of racism compared to 25% of white respondents. In Southern America, the difference is greater at 75% to 18% respectively. Also, when further broken down by education, 51% of white respondents with a college degree view the flag as a symbol of Southern pride vs. 73% without a degree. These numbers taken from the same CNN poll results. )
        Weak analogy -> Unrepresentative sample -> Hasty generalization
        Red herring -> Argument from consequences
        Red herring -> Genetic fallacy -> Abusive ad hominem

    • This does matter, Amanda Sheppard. Very much. Your attempt to belittle this subject and insult liberals isn’t working.

    • Hahaha… and that’s the reason why conservatives believe in women’s choice and decisi… whoops, wait a minute… they DON’T believe in a woman’s right to choose and would rather stick their collective noses into an individual’s business…Well played, Amanda, well played!

    • And the right wing wants everyone to be straight and white and for their females to be subservient…. So both sides have failed to mind their business I guess…

    • @Amanda Sheppard
      Red herring -> Genetic fallacy -> Abusive ad hominem
      Red herring -> Guilt by association

  3. Unfortunately, no amount of logic will get through to people like this. They absolutely know what this flag means yet they choose to ignore it out of insecurity and narcissism. That’s the point, and that’s the problem with our society. Half of the population is incapable of thinking rationally and expressing empathy. It’s just absent from their character. No matter how you approach any topic of humanity and compassion that doesn’t serve their needs or motives, it will be useless. You’ll have better luck screaming at someone who is deaf. It’s sad but that is our world now. The compassionate versus the sociopathic. Judging by the constant, senseless decisions that are made across the globe, it seems that the sociopaths are winning.

    • That is not true, logic can sink in. Heath’s post changed my view. Up until now I felt we all went over board with the removal of that flag. Yes I knew who it stood for, but I was never on the wrong end of the hate it represented so I didn’t think about what it really meant. I also didn’t know some of the facts, such as that flag had not always flown, only brought back later, in hate. I’m a stubborn guy, one which doesn’t like all the liberal mamby pamby responses to the many issues, but as a result of Heath’s post, my view point has changed.

      • @Lloyd
        You stand nearly alone in this thread as proof that actually thinking about what someone else has said makes the world a better place for everyone. Thank you for your openness and honesty.

        • Katie no offense do you really believe that what Emily Heath wrote makes the world a better place for everyone? I’m not minimizing what Emily has stated, but the article and comments in agreement have little impact on the real world outside the Internet.

          • Bill, people have told me this piece helped them change their mind. I believe the presence of that flag does indeed foster an atmosphere where discrimination is allowed. So in a small way I believe that will help to change the world.

          • @Bill Christy
            If this piece helps even one flag come down, then yes. The world is just a little bit better.

    • “Nothing has meaning except the meaning you give it’. In this case, society has assigned the meaning and from these comments, the confederate flag sure is an ugly thing. However as the Supreme Court has yet to take away First Amendment rights, this guy can fly whatever flag he wants from his truck. And you can all spend your time, calling him names and insensitive, ‘and all such truck’ (ref Tom Sawyer), but he is under no obligation to agree with your opinion. It’s called diversity and more often than not, it shows up in controversy and may hurt your feelings. But it is your choice how to respond. Was the flag flown during an pretty awful time in our nation’s history? Yes. Did it represent the defectors? Yes. But wiping out the symbol is a disgrace to those Americans who fought and died for what they believed. To me that flag represents people so strongly rooted in their belief (whether I agree with the belief or not) that they were willing to fight and die for the cause. If you haven’t noticed people will do things you don’t like and if you just want them to agree to your position, then you are as closed-minded as they may be. Noodle that over your 4th of July BBQ.

      • @Lou Altman: since that flag was flown by a secessionist state, flying it now — and over the flag of the United States of America — seems treasonish.

        It stood for the states that seceded because the people there wanted to keep their practice of making human beings slaves. There was no other reason, at least at the time. Any other reason or justification is merely the basest revisionist history.

        If you think that’s free speech, you’re welcome to it — but that flag is not a flag of the United States of America. Therefore, American citizens have every right, and moral justification, for demanding that it not be displayed, especially at the capital of a state within the United States. Besides that, it’s not what the professed beliefs and best traditions the people of our nation have honored for so many years with tears and love, with blood and bravery, sacrifice and courage, steadfastedness and fidelity,

      • She didn’t demand that he remove it or try to force him to; she asked him to *consider* removing it. No first amendment rights violated, especially since no government was censoring anybody.

      • Lou,
        By your logic, we should not object to someone displaying an ISIS flag (even the extremists who flew the planes on 9/11 were willing to “….die for the cause”). Would you support their first amendment rights? I suspect not. Like most Americans, the feeling of revulsion would be visceral, because the symbolism is still very real. I think the passage of time is a major factor in peoples’ willingness to overlook the awful, racist symbolism of the Confederate flag.

        I don’t agree with your point equating the act of making a persuasive argument with close mindedness. In fact, that is one of the cornerstones of a civil society, IMO.

        • I absolutely support First Amendment rights to fly an ISIS flag. If that’s what someone wants to do. Is it in poor taste? Yes? Is it stupid (and that is my opinion)? Yes, but it remains a First Amendment right. As is flag burning, as is the Westboro Baptist Church’s hideous message, as is the KKK, as is any other hate group, as is gay pride parades as is occupy Wall St; they can all display their message. They all have the right. And you have the right to defend your position at the top of your lungs face-to-face with someone who opposes your position. And don’t ever, ever, ever tell anyone they do not have the right to freedom of speech. Some of it is tasteless and some of it may appeal to you. But today, right here and right now, First Amendment rights still exist.

      • This wasn’t even an issue a little over two, maybe three weeks ago. The American flag has been flying over racial inequality a lot longer than the confederate flag ever did. I have seen the KKK flying the American flag on the streets of DC when I was younger … so does that make the American flag a symbol of hate? It is hypocrisy to pick and choose what you deem offensive, and then let other issues slide. Religion the worst of all. We all have our opinions …we have that right … Lets try to get along …..

      • Lou Altman. I love your reply. By demanding that he/she is representing the town of Exeter’s belief is an asinine assumption. The person flying to flags chose to do so. We have no idea for his/her reasons why. But assuming the whole town agrees with the author is ridiculous. This is a free world and we can say and fly a flag of our choice. I’m not saying the flag is wrong I’m not saying it is right but as an American it is my choice to do what I want. Plz stop stating that the authors views are the views of the many in this NH town. Calling this person a racist is wrong. You don’t know this person or their beliefs. You are being the racist by condemning this person. Everyone has their beliefs and just because you don’t agree does NOT make their beliefs and less or wrong. If that young man had not kill 9 people this would not be the issue right now. That young mans view of the world was sad. But let’s not put blame where is does not belong. Was it a hate crime? Yes! Was it because he was wearing a confederate flag? NO! The young man had troubles we don’t know but it sure wasn’t because of a flag. As Americans we need to take responsibility for our actions. If more people did maybe we wouldn’t have all the troubles we have now as a nation!

        • He was wearing the flag because he was a racist. And, yes, I believe the vast majority of people in Exeter agree that flag is offensive and would be better off not in our town.

        • @Robyn Robbins
          Red herring -> Straw man
          Red herring -> Genetic fallacy -> Abusive ad hominem
          Causal fallacy -> Not a cause for a cause -> Post hoc ergo propter hoc
          Fallacy of missing data -> Appeal to ignorance -> Argument from personal incredulity

      • @Lou Altman
        Unwarranted assumption -> False dilemma
        Red herring -> Genetic fallacy -> Ad hominem -> Appeal to hypocrisy

    • It goes beyond that. Most people have no logic in their thought patterns or belief. I often argue with people and ask them how can you say you will defend the Constitution yet when the Supreme Court rules the Constitution means X…you disagree with it.. yet you just said you will defend the Constitution. Ask a pro lifer if a woman has equal rights to an a man. She will say or he will say yes of course.. Then ask if she has equal rights when pregnant ? Well now that’s a different issue. SO a woman’s right is not quite the same as a man’s as according to the 14th amendment. Or certainly should not be. The problem is that too many people use a moral judgement to define what is or should be lawful. Logic comes nowhere.

  4. One of the best posts I’ve seen recently regarding the discord over the Confederate flags. Thank you for pointing out, yet again, that the flags fly blatantly due to the racism surrounding the Civil Rights Act and school integration, and have absolutely nothing to to with “heritage”. #Takethemdown

  5. Just because someone is posting from NH, or flying the flag in NH, does not mean that they don’t necessarily know what the flag means or that they’re “pretending to understand” what it means. You don’t know other people’s stories and their reasoning behind things so to make generalizations based on location and location alone is faulty logic at best.

  6. Maybe talking to the owner of the truck would be more appropriate than inferring all kinds of nefarious attitudes and motivations on his/her part, and writing a public screed that the owner may never see. The odds may be long, but that truck could be owned by a black woman….

    Matthew 18:15-18 — “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

    “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

    And yes, I know I am butting in from Ohio, but I am New Hampshire born and bred, and I have family and friends who work and live there to this day … a couple of them in Exeter. So, I have reason to interlope. 🙂

    Best wishes. Oh, and “Live Free or Die”.

    • I’m not sure about relying on a quote that is maligning pagans is a good way to convince people of your argument, Jake. Also, I know some tax collectors and they are good people too.

      Welcome to the 21st century!

      And you are correct, there is a chance that the person flying a Battle Flag of Northern Virginia with a Skull and crossbones on it *may* be a nice, gentle person. I don’t think you believe that though.

      “When a person cannot deceive himself the chances are against his being able to deceive other people.”
      Mark Twain

    • Except that Jesus hung out with the prostitutes, pagans and tax collectors…….. I’m missing something here….

      • Maybe he did, but I seem to remember the religion named after him being unkind to pagans and tax collectors. His quote may have been nice in theory (although exclusionary), but in practice it doesn’t make me feel warm inside.

        I guess I take issue with people quoting biblical passages in a public argument. If the other person is not a christian, then it’s just dead air.

  7. To the person that wrote this article: I’m curious what you had to say to all those people that were filmed burning and stomping on the American flag. Did you publish an article reminding them that that was illegal? Freaking liberal hipocrite. I don’t care about the confederate flag. I care about the American one. Stop crying about somebody LEGALLY flying their confederate along with the American one and start being concerned with the ones desecrating it on our own soil.

    • Burning the US flag (or any flag for that matter) is not only legal, it is a protected exercise of free speech under the First Amendment, confirmed by the US Supreme Court in Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397 (1989).

    • You need a lesson in basic law if you think flag burning is illegal. It’s just as legal as flying a flag that represents a backwards, defeated culture that lost the slavery argument over a century ago. Both are protected by the Constitution. Another person making this about politics and trying to bait people into a semantic argument about right vs. left. The person with that truck legally can fly those flags, burn them, etc. Just don’t be surprised when someone judges you for doing so. That’s a right too, nobody’s taken that away either.

        • Actually you are wrong you can fly the flag off of a vehical so long as it is firmly affixed to it. But you can’t draw it off of the front sides or back. So you may want to educate yourself before trying to state facts.
          This is a copy from the flag code and the only mention of displaying of the flag on a vehical.
          In a parade, the flag should not be draped over the hood, top, sides, or back of a vehicle, railroad train, or boat. When the flag is displayed on a motorcar, the staff shall be fixed firmly to the chassis or clamped to the right fender.[10]

          Now apparently he is not in a parade and it is note “draped” on the vehical. So therefore he has every right to fly it off of his vehical.

          • Actually I also checked the flag code (it’s sitting right next to me). The flag was hanging off the back, not attached to the right fender. Further, a flag should not be put in any position where wear and tear may occur.

            Please use your full name next time.

    • I come from a family of veterans and love this country. I also know flying an American flag off the back of a truck is a violation of the flag code. Did you notice that in the picture?

  8. You people are a bunch of fools. The confederate flag has nothing to do with race. Before the media started with all this flag BS you all never said a word but now that everyone is turning against the confederate flag you all feel the need to jump on the band wagon. Foolish sheep

    • That flag has everything to do with race! It might not have been about race in the very beginning of its creation but today and for many, many years now it has been about race. 30 years ago, before the media BS I learned as a child that the Confederate flag was a sign that as a black person, you need to get the hell out of here because you are not welcome. The KKK marches with that flag!

    • The modern Confederate Battle flag has everything to do with racism. It IS the symbol of a struggle fought over the right to keep slavery in place as a tool of the economy of the southern states. This flag symbolises a war fought to defend the degradation of people into property.

      • Even more, it was the symbol chosen by the Dixiecrats and pulled from obscurity to represent their determination that segregation remain the policy of their states, if not the entire United States.

  9. Are you 100% sure it was a man? You asked what kind of man this person is… Could be a woman by all accounts, rendering you blindly (and fairly innocently), sexist.

    I agree with her (not with what your presume to be her beliefs), but with her right to believe whatever she wants.

    • @johnnhernandez
      Fallacy of missing data -> Appeal to ignorance (Rev. Heath has actually seen the driver of the truck. Please read prior comments before commenting.)
      Red herring -> Genetic fallacy -> Abusive ad hominem
      Red herring -> Straw man

  10. Liberals love freedom of speech till they disagree with you lol just wait Tylenol in the bottle will be considered racist soon because you gotta pic the cotton out of the top of the bottle …. You’re just a race baiter Emily , trying to make a stink outa nothing …
    Were you born and raised in exeter Emily ???

  11. I see the truck all the time in somersworth. Just to let you know this is not a guy in fact it is a young girl who drives this car. Every time I see her I want to scream and yell and tell her that she’s a stupid racist as my husband is a hard working immigrant and I have seen that racism is real. But one thing is for sure.. You can end hate with hate. Perhaps this girl does not truly understand what this flag means to people and the hurt it has caused. To the person that wrote this letter I commend you. How elegantly put.

  12. Thank you for writing this article. I have also seen this truck (or one very similar to it) driving through my town in Berwick, Maine and would also like to know why the driver flies it.

  13. Dont matter how much you say it is Racist … Its Not … The Civil war didnt start out to be a war to free the slaves … it had nothing to do with em … Lincoln didnt start out to free the slaves but it was brought to his attention after the war had started …. as far as your picture … the American flag can be flown with other flags and in the Center … The Problem is Never … under Any Circumstances can it fly Below or at the Same level as another flag But only above the other flags … look at you Capital … it has the American Flag and your State flag and normally a few others, and where is the American Flag Normally and Properly it should be the center flag or to one side or the Other and Always Higher than the others! …. Always!

    • “Lincoln didnt start out to free the slaves but it was brought to his attention after the war had started.” That may be the most stunningly ill-informed statement in this entire thread. Brought to his attention! Lincoln knew all about slavery. He had hated it since he was a young man. He belonged to a party that came into existence specifically to stop the spread of slavery into new territories, and, as he eloquently put it, “to set it on the path of ultimate extinction.” He knew that it was the ONLY threat to the union, the ONLY reason the southern states had seceded and rebelled. This is not hard to see if you read his speeches and his letters from the 1850s and 1860s. True, he did not at first think the war would bring about the end of slavery as quickly as it did. But he was politically astute enough to see the opportunity for that desirable outcome, and the necessity of it.

    • Don’t believe the lie that it wasn’t about slaves. Read a real history book, not the one given to you in school. As a matter of fact, read one from African American authors, that’s … whoo … a real eye opener.

      It was ALL about slavery. The only reason why the South, and I’m a Southerner, by the way, decided to secede is because Lincoln, who was known for disliking slavery, was elected.

  14. There is a truck in Epping which flies both the confederate and US flags. I happen to know the owner of that truck (unless there are two) and he equates the confederate flag as “country pride.” He fancies himself a real country boy, and yes, he flies it due to this ignorance. The moral is that there is more ignorance out there than you may realize. I guarantee that the owner of “my” pickup doesn’t hear or read anything about current events. It is very sad.

  15. Every time I see the “rebel” flag I have a sinking feeling in my gut, I shake my head and sigh. I know that most of the the time the one flying that flag is looking for a time to run down, demean and be derogatory to my brothers and sisters of African American heritage. The only heritage that the flag brings to mind is that of a society built upon people who saw black people as being sub-human. That is not one I want to celebrate. So go ahead and wave that flag. Even if you do not see it that way, for many of us we have pre judged you because of that flag of hate.

    Thanks for the article!

  16. Who cares what we people fly some people are offended by a confederate flag, some a rainbow flag, and others an ISIS flag. Interpretation is only through the eyes looking and many or most might not share your opinion. Saying a confederate flags are a symbol or racism and only that must mean all rainbow flags are a symbol of gay pedophiles or the ISIS flags stands for violence. Ignorance is seeing only what you want to see! Let everyone fly whatever they want and if you don’t like it close yours eyes or take away their rights to fly it .

    • Racist behavior and beliefs like yours are every real Americans business. That is the war flag of the side that lost. Give it up

    • I don’t think it should be banned, but it does show a certain lack of respect that I wish the person would consider. People don’t *have* to respect each other, but maybe the divisiveness in our nation would die down if people like this showed a modicum of respect. In the United States, we are still free to say racist things, but exercising that right is still considered repellent.

      Your argument has another side to it: others will see it as a symbol of racism, whether you claim it is or isn’t. You may say “hey, let others think what they want to think”. That’s all fine and good, but building an inclusive community requires we all put in the effort to be civil. I don’t believe flying this flag in a town that fought against it is civil, nor is flying the flag in the face of others that saw it as a rallying symbol to keep them enchained. By all means, let your freak flag fly, but as a good neighbor, at least listen when we say that we don’t want that symbol to represent us or our residents.

    • “Gay pedophiles”? Do you really believe that the rainbow-colored flag has anything to do with pedophilia? That’s just a shame that you are that ignorant.

      If people choose to fly a symbol of racism and intolerance, then they certainly have that right. But they should do so understanding the relevance of the symbols they choose.

    • @Dan
      Weak analogy/Begging the question -> Question-begging analogy (I have gotten bored with the more broad and well known fallacies, and am now researching more accurate and specific ones. Thanks for the motivation, folks!)

  17. Unfortunately we live in a country with Freedom of speech so who is anyone to tell anyone what flag or clothing or anything they can or cannot fly wear or do. You want people to conform to what you think is right or wrong then run for dictatorship of America oh wait that doesn’t exist! Living in this country means you have to put up with people’s freedom to scream at the top of their lungs about something you do not agree with, if you don’t like it I suggest North Korea perhaps.

  18. My first question is, do you know they aren’t from the south as half your rant is about you being more southern than them?

    Second question is, is the reason you believe that America had a civil war was so that people could have slaves?

    This whole flag thing is completely absurd. To say that every person that has that flag is a racist makes you as much of an idiot as those who are racist.

    The south has a different culture than the rest of the country and has a pride that is unprecedented anywhere. It’s unfortunate that the flag gets associated with racism because like I said before, the civil war didn’t come about so that people could have salves.

    Brush up on your history before you make the same stupid comments that everyone else who doesn’t even know about history does. The flag is similar to people of the south to that of others who are loyal to a sports team. It represents who they are. Talk to a true Bostonian and you will understand why non racist people have the flag.

    • Oh please. Define pride. In many instances that’s just the code way of saying clinging to our right to be racist

    • You’re the one that needs to brush up on your history. I suggest you start with each of the southern states Declarations of the Causes of Secession and then as Other Tim suggests read Lincoln’s speeches and letters. Much of the “other reasons” that others state for the Civil War is revisionist history. It really was about slavery.

    • @Jackson Dillard
      Red herring -> Genetic fallacy -> Ad hominem
      Fallacy of missing data -> Appeal to ignorance -> Argument from personal incredulity
      Red herring -> Genetic fallacy -> Abusive ad hominem

  19. I think the author cherry picks certain aspects and is very one-sided. She puts words in the truck driver’s mouth. She suggests he is racist and does not know the history surrounding the flag. She fails to acknowledge that burdensome tariffs and succession were at the root of Civil War and not the typical revisionist “Racism” history. She fails to acknowledge the importance of the 1st Amendment and a person’s right to exercise it. She suggests that somehow SHE has more claim to it’s history and therefore a license to marginalize it by saying “Some people say it’s heritage. I don’t buy it. I have Confederate soldiers for ancestors, and I’ve never felt the need to honor them by flying that flag” – So because she doesn’t feel the need we all forfeit our 1st Amendment right?!! -typical liberal “It offends me therefore you can’t have it”She attempts to claim a majority ownership of the subject again by saying “I also know it wasn’t even the Confederate flag. It was the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia. (My ancestors’ unit, by the way.) And I know that even the Daughters of the Confederacy advocated not using that flag anymore back in the 1920’s. And I also know that it didn’t really make a comeback until the 1950’s when a Supreme Court decision let African-American children go to school with white children.” She ignore the fact that General Lee led the Northern VA army and then the whole Confederacy- therefore the flag was identified by much more than just the Northern VA army. (and the Confederate Navy BTW- she conveniently left that one out too).And my favorite hit piece in the article: “I know that right now you are saying, “But I’m not a racist!” “Heritage, not hate!” But this isn’t your heritage. It’s mine. And it is hate. And it is racism. And every time you put that flag on the back of your car, we all go back in time a little. And the past wasn’t so great for many of our neighbors.”- This psy-op technique is called “Gas-lighting” were you subtly suggest something is not what it is. How can she say this flag is not part of this man’s heritage? It’s part of OUR American history- not yours alone, you arrogant moron! How is it racism when the CIvil War was about SOOOOO much more than slavery??? And lastly to this woman: Uhm NO, we go back in time a little each time we refuse to acknowledge history because as the saying goes, “Thos who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it”Bottom line: 1)Although I don’t fly a Confederate flag It’s a First Amendment right. 2) There has been FAR more slavery and oppression under the US flag (you know, Japanese internment camps and such…) than the Confederate Flag. 3) This whole flag debate BS is just another manufactured distraction from what’s really going on right now, namely the TPP and the financial collapse in Europe. Now, why is it that someone of average intelligence like myself can see all of this and many refuse to??- that’s the real tragedy. LIVE FREE OR DIE.

    • I believe others have already shot down the idea of “anything but slavery” as a cause of the Civil War. The Articles of Secession from each state specifically posited slavery as the reason for seceding.

      Regardless of what you think the war was fought over, the fact remains that *this* flag was brought out of obscurity to represent the racist ideals of the Dixiecrats. Whatever it may have stood for, that is what it stood for most recently. If you want to fly a flag of the CSA, there are several to choose from, but this isn’t one of them.

    • @Joe Pilot
      As I go through comments on this thread and highlight the logical fallacies in people’s arguments, I have to stop to note your valiant effort to point out some fallacies in Rev. Heath’s article.
      Your concern about the “I have Confederate soldiers for ancestors, and I’ve never felt the need to honor them by flying that flag” quote is more formally known as the Subjectivist or Relativist Fallacy, in which person A claims that X may be true for others, but is not true for them. So person A is justified in rejecting X. However, since Rev. Heath is rejecting a personal feeling of desire, rather than an objective truth, your objection is irrelevant.
      Also, your use of the term “gas-lighting” is misguided. The actual definition: “Gaslighting or gas-lighting is a form of mental abuse in which information is twisted or spun, selectively omitted to favor the abuser, or false information is presented with the intent of making victims doubt their own memory, perception, and sanity.” Perhaps you meant to use the word “lying,” and probably you missed the hyperbole of the statement.
      Back to business,
      Red herring -> Genetic fallacy -> Ad hominem
      Fallacy of missing data -> Appeal to ignorance -> Argument from personal incredulity (This is most of your post.)
      Red herring -> Straw man
      Red herring -> Genetic fallacy -> Abusive ad hominem (Several more of these later)
      1) Red herring -> Straw man
      2) Red herring -> Appeal to hypocrisy
      3) Red herring -> Genetic fallacy -> Circumstantial ad hominem

  20. Excellent post. Interesting responses…some VERY interesting. It’s gotten me thinking about things I’ve largely avoided recently. I believe that flying the Confederate flag at this time is a statement, either of hatred or of ignorance. If someone makes that statement, I’ll say “idiot” in the back of my mind. Maybe I’ll be courageous enough to call them on their “statement”. I’ll pray for those people suffering at the hands of racism. And I hope that I’ll think to pray for the person flying that flag. I’ll pray for them to have understanding. What causes someone to willingly display something offensive to others? Either they are ignorant of the meaning and impact of their statement, or they are willingly sharing their “wealth” of hatred. I don’t know. Either way, I pity them.

  21. The north did not fight the civil war to end slavery but the south ABSOLUTELY seceeded over it. Absolutely. Its in the articles of secession. Read them, all of you confederate apologists. Dont just pick and choose the history you enjoy. Not only that, the south STARTED the war by attacking Ft Sumter. Its the battle flag of a defeated, treasonous people. Who went tonear because they thought, erroneously, I might add, that the federal government was going to stop them from OWNING HUMAN BEINGS.

    So all of this idiocy about telling “liberals” to “read up on history”, I would urge you ignoramuses to do the same. Because clearly you have not. Not only that, the damn flag didnt start being flown above stategouses until the civil rigjts era in the 60’s.

    • Thank you David!! The confederate “rag” is the flag of a “defeated and TREASONOUS people. It has NO PLACE in the USA… Get over it! The South LOST!!!!!!! I live in the south (unfortunately) and see daily the ridiculous display of fictional Southern heritage and pride. It’s nauseating. Rebel Cavalier society my ass… Dixie represents all that is wrong about America.

  22. Amen! From another Southern, I am ASHAMED of what that damnable flag represents. It is NOT my culture, or my heritage (we came from poor sharecroppers) but it DOES represent a small, extremely hateful minority of Southerners who being allowed to speak for the sane Southerners.

  23. I would have just a few simple questions for Emily.
    How did this flag flying individual offend you?
    Did he prevent you from going anywhere or doing anything?
    Did he stand in the way of your daily routine?
    Did his act obstruct in any way your right to life liberty or property?
    Or did it just not coincide with your way of thinking?
    The only one I heard “racist” from was YOU. I heard loud and clear that YOU “don’t buy it”. Sorry, but it’s not the world according to Emily.
    Now you must note, that I did not say one way or another weather I find it good or poor taste to display what this individual has, but I will defend to my death his right to do so. You just need to carry on and enjoy your day.

    • It’s racist. Period. And I never said he didn’t have the right to fly it. I said he’s showing the world what he believes. And, like him, I have that right too. PS – I highly doubt is your website.

      • You doubt that Facebook is my website? Wrong on that issue as well. You are just full of assumptions. Again, The World Accordng to Emily.

      • You are very adamant about saying the Confederate flag is racist. What facts have you given to support this? Are you aware that about 20 percent of the Confederate army was black? Are you aware of the black slave owners that existed with some owning up to 152 slaves? In fact, prior to the civil war, in New Orleans, Louisiana about 28 percent of freed black men owned slaves. There is no factual evidence to say that the Confederate flag is a racist symbol. Slavery was a culture, not a race war. Please stop tightening present racial tensions with unfactual opinions and judgements

        • I wish people who start using a little common sense. I’m sure that slaves knew exactly what they were fighting for. And those that did, I’m sure that they were incredibly comfortable just opting out of the option to fight.

          I mean, really?

          And did it ever occur to you, that perhaps, buying their own people was a way of protecting them? Maybe? Perhaps? Please don’t pretend that blacks owning blacks and whites owning blacks were the same things.

        • Are you aware that the Confederate Army used Blacks not as soldiers, but as servants? They were not given guns to fight the North, they were given shovels and burdens to carry.

          If you look at the actual history of *that* flag, you will understand that it faded from common use until it was resurrected by the Dixiecrats as a symbol of *their* racism.

        • “Are you aware that about 20 percent of the Confederate army was black?”


          The reason I wasn’t aware of this is that it is simply untrue. Hogwash. Applesauce, to quote an ornery judge who had much less of a leg to stand on.

          White Confederates resisted any attempt to arm blacks, free or enslaved, until the last weeks of the war. Then, when the Confederate government tried to arm black soldiers — and they got no more than a few dozen — many southern whites were so angry about it that they threw down their arms.

          On the other hand, several hundred thousand black soldiers — many of them self-emancipated following the invitation of the Emancipation Proclamation — fought for the Union. Thousands more enslaved people helped to smuggle information about Confederate positions and troop movements to the Union lines.

          A few modern apologists for the Confederacy have tried to make the argument you make. Historians who base their writing on actual research of actual historical records and documents have had no difficulty knocking down their assertions.

  24. The thing that annoys me the most about this whole drama is how anyone caught using the flag is a racist, and anyone mentioning freedom of speech must be an ignorant racist as well. I’m not an ignorant racist. I was one of 2 white kids in my school in a small Georgia town. When we moved to Arizona, many of my classmates had parents who didn’t speak any English. Now I’m a mother in Midwest Suburbia and my children have classmates of every color. Blacks, whites, browns, reds, yellows, a lot of mixed races, a wide variety of socioeconomics, and I don’t even know how many different languages. It doesn’t matter what color you are, what languages you speak, or where you hail from. Bad apples come in all colors, shapes, sizes, and flavors. That’s a fact. Americans have the right to believe what they want to believe, and say what they want to say. That’s a fact our country was founded on. To get your panties in a twist about another person’s beliefs, especially with a herd mentality, tells me that you aren’t as forward thinking as you preach. Writing off anyone who disagrees with you as being a racist is one of the most ignorant things I’ve heard all week. While I do not agree with Truck Guy’s flags, I can respect the fact that he has a right to make his truck look as stupid as he wants, and he’s not violating anyone else’s rights or breaking any laws in doing so. If you can’t respect the fact that other people have different opinions and beliefs, then you’re the ignorant one. Until Truck Guy starts covering your vehicle in flags, or somehow violating your rights, it really doesn’t matter what kind of flags he likes. Believing in free speech doesn’t make me a racist.

  25. Your notion that people should only fly flags that are fair to everyone is ridiculous. First and foremost, no one here today is to blame for the good and bad our father’s before us participated in. Second, if the flag has no history, why did you bother stating your “historical facts” about its meaning. You don’t have to agree with what that flag stands for, but if you are going to preach peace and reconciliation, you should probably not be making judgements based upon your biased and highly opinionated view. There are people who’s previous generations graciously gave their life defending what they believed in, they should be able to honor them in whatever way they see fit. In true American spirit, let them be free to decide for the elves and move on with your own life.

  26. I can somewhat agree with this. The flag stands for many things to many people. Racism is just one. A big middle finger to the govt is another. While i dont understand why people want to fly that flag, its not my business to know.
    The bottom line is this, flying that flag or any other in any fashion is their 1st amendment right as an american citizen and who are you or the govt to tell him that he cant or shouldnt?
    The real problem these days isnt that people fly this flag or wear a swastika or are for gay marriage, its that everyone is offended by something and immediately feels as though the rest of the world should conform to how they feel. Thats not how it works. Youre offended by his flag, well maybe hes offended that you come from the heritage of that flag and you dont fly it.
    this country is built on people from different cultures, religion, beleifs and even hate. Its what makes america what it is.
    Now that we have the internet everyone feels they can shame people with no repercussions. The reality is, you assumed he was some idiot trying to be “a rebel” but you dont know for sure, but now we all know for sure that youre actually the intolerant one.
    With todays govt…we could really use that flag and what it actually stood for, telling the govt to mind their own business and stop telling us what we can and cant do…kinda like you are.

  27. Tragically,

    This meme of the “Confederate” flag being a symbol of racism and hate, is as far removed from historic accuracy and truth as can be.

    How tragic that most have NO CLUE of the real historic and symbolic significance of the Cross of St. Andrews (the proper name). What all of this political-correctness-inspired rewrite of the history of the USA amounts to, “is to forget those parts of history we supposedly do not like”. Never once, a wise word towards the adage, “He who forgets history, is doomed to repeat it!” So, we are deliberately being coerced into “forgetting” a very important time in the history of the USA, to great effort, and at great cost to our future generations (if there shall be).

    The greatest amount of hatred, emanates from the “system” that seeks, tirelessly, to subjugate and forever remove the rights of all of us.

    Terrible shame!

      • Anything can be used for ill. That still does not justify banning expression of them, for the sake of stopping the few.

        – That is how the politics of “thought-control” work their ways.

          • Their actions speak louder than their words. Just look at the out-right self-imposed bans on E-Bay, Amazon (for which I am no longer doing business with), and the chorus-calls to ban it by legislation (nationally).

            So, there ARE plenty of demonstrable actions going in that very direction. Take a look at Germany: I think it would be hard for someone to enjoy working with the Runes publicly, because several of the characters have been outlawed as “symbols of hate” by their equivalent of our Anti-Defamation League (which itself, seems to be one of the greatest sources of vitriolic hatred towards anything American Culture).

            * * Please sign in using your full name as requested. * *

            – Huh? – I am commenting through my account, because I also run a blog or two there. So this second statement has me a bit confused.

                • It’s interesting that I’m using my full name and opening myself up to that and you are hiding under an anonymous name. Sort of speaks to the courage of your convictions and overall character, wouldn’t you say?

                  • Why don’t you make the same issue with people who are not using their real names that agree with your views? As an example I am using my real name in this blog because it is not a Delaware blog site. My wife is an educator in a local high school in our state. I do not use my real name when I post in blogs in Delaware to protect her. It has NOTHING to do with the courage of my convictions ! I’m pretty sure it doesn’t with others you are choosing to be condescending to either. The fact you don’t make the same request of those who agree with your views speaks about you as well.

                    • I have deleted many comments agreeing with me for lack of name. But I pastor in New Hampshire and am still using my real name. It seems anyone else should have to do the same. Especially those saying blatantly racist things.

            • The actions of Amazon and eBay, not to mention Walmart, Sears, etc., are being undertaken by private companies. They have the freedom to not stop selling merchandise that they find offensive.

              The move to “ban” the flag is based on removing it from state and public property. The 1st Amendment right still allows individuals to fly that flag. The states looking to remove it are doing so legally, by passing laws or taking appropriate action, the same way those flags went up in the first place.

    • Please review the book on the confederate flag by John Coski, from the Museuam of the Confederacy in Richmond, which states that it does not represent the Cross of St. Andrews, but is rather, a heraldic device.

    • The swastika was/is a sacred symbol to the Hindi and Buddhist religions. Because of its adoption by the Nazi party thousands of years after its original creation, it is not used publicly anymore. The reason for this is obvious, as is the reason why the confederate flag needs to be retired. If people insist on keeping the confederate flag, they need to be honest about what it means to people now and realize they are telling the world they don’t care.

  28. I would like to say. I am born bred and proud to be from New Hampshire
    My work has taken me to South Carolina for 15+ years. But will be here for several more years before I can move back home! I think that the Confederate flag being flown in NH means they are ” Good ole boys, don’t mean no harm ”
    They are not racist ..
    I never use the ” N ” word ..but have come close since I have lived in the south …do you know the war is still not over here…on a daily basis I get called a DAM YANKEE .
    Funny thing is …..I WANT TO GO HOME!!
    The south is full of Hypocrites Who make fun of me for being a catholic YANKEE ,
    Until you have lived in the south for a few years you will see who the true racist are.I have fought in 2 wars one with the New Hampshire national guard ….And one with South Carolina national gaurd… I only fly
    An AMERICAN FLAG but that is my right…

  29. Thank you for the thought-provoking, well-reasoned article. I have posted it to my FB page.

    I’m astounded by some of the responses. I reread the article and I don’t see any reference by you to outlawing the Confederate flag or banning free speech.

    I have read the Constitution of the Confederate States of America. It contains numerous references to keeping African-Americans slaves in perpetuity but scant mention of “states rights”, the apologists’ rationale for the Civil War.

    I am first generation Amerocan-born so I freely admit that I don’t fully “get ” the whole heritage thing. What I do get is that people who fly the Confederate flag are ignoring its history or ignorant of its history and don’t care who they hurt by their actions. Callous, shallow, or both.

  30. Thank you so much for writing this!

    The most offensive and insensitive posts I’ve seen defending the Confederate battle flag have come from people I know in New England, not from my Southern friends. It’s not their heritage, it’s mine (my grandmother is a member of the Daughters of the Confederacy) and you have captured the feelings I haven’t been able to adequately express about this issue. Particularly about born and bred Northerners spreading misinformation about my heritage and misappropriating that flag for their own political aims (state’s rights issues).

  31. First off, excellent piece. I wholeheartedly applaud and support your stance on this matter. A little bit of education to a receptive mind can go a very long way, I really hope the owner of that vehicle gets a chance to read this. Not as a scold or finger wagging but as a lesson in history.

    Secondly, I know reading this made me think of the 4th of July and how appropriate it was that I saw it today. On this Celebration of the birthday of this great nation take a moment to think about who built it. Every background came here and helped to make this, the land of the free-what it is today. To fly a rebel flag is to not give credit where credit is due, a slap in the face to patriots who traded their lives for their values.

    “United we stand” we know what divided will get us…

  32. Ma’Me You keep saying history, but i am majoring in history, i have taken numerous classes about the southern history, only a small part of the south flew the battle flag of north Virginia in the name of slavery,most just like todays fine men and women follow orders. The intent of this flag was not racism but unity and a hope that these people could live freely away from people who wanted to take away their (horrible) beliefs just like we all want to do today with our beliefs , so historically speaking the battle flag of northern Virginia was once and will continue to firstly be a flag of unity and a flag of racism to only the select few who choose to view it that way, that is the true history of the south. Thanks for your time,
    A future Historian

    • So you’ve taken a couple of college classes I history and you have this all worked out now? How about listening to the majority of African-Americans in this country and ask their take on the history?

      • Their history is the same as our history, there is 1 history though there are many ways people can look at that history, many different perspectives but it is still just 1 history, and no i don’t have it all worked out but my job as someone who loves history is not to be biased and to look at history from as many angles and perspectives as i can

          • you are very correct, and i have talked with people of all races and asked them, if you take away the racism that is believed is tied to the flag what it stands for a lot of them did not know, others did say that it was a rally flag and a symbol of unity between the southern states and mostly of northern Virginia, i am no way supporting the slavery that occurred during or before the civil war but that war was fought for more then just slavery but people are forgetting that fact and thats what i don’t understand, is so i guess as a historian im asking you, what was the civil war of America fought over? did the south have a right to become their own country? is it right to place blame and hate on an flag that was not meant for that back then? and this might be a different topic but the neo-Nazis are aloud to fly their flag of hate but why now is this one flag coming under fire so heavily? these i would truly like to know im not trying to be fresh or sarcastic i just want to know your view on these facts. also im truly curious if you take away the rasist aspect what do you think the flag of the confederacy stands for?
            Thank you i really do appreciate it

                • I think there are some symbols that have come to mean something so painful that they just can’t be redeemed or separated. This flag was used for racist purposes. You just can’t ignore that.

                  • the flag cant represent racism, the actions of the people who flew the flag might have but the flag is a symble of war and unity, it wasnt until people gave it more meaning that it became such a painful sight. i have done as you suggested and this is what some one told me, “the people who look at this flag and see racism want to see racism if they didnt there would be no problem right?” i dont know about you but this kinda makes sense to me an object or word or action only means what it means because we the creators of those words and objects give them meaning so dosnt that mean we created racism?

        • “Their history is the same as our history”. The events of “their history” may have happened at the same time as “our history” but they are two very different stories. If you want to see things from another perspective try harder Future Historian because empathy isn’t something you learn from a book. Flying a confederate flag (or the battle flag of north Virginia) is a right and you can throw historical facts at it all day long to prove it to yourself, but if you can convince yourself that flag holds no other meaning then you’ve succeeded in telling yourself a very convincing lie.

    • Ryan, Continue reading history and exploring and investigating You will find more on the battle flag. Its invention was a need for a flag to differ from the stars and bars on the Battlefield. I was incorporated into the CSA flag as the war progress and was changed 3 times.

    • @Ryan B
      Fallacy of missing data -> Appeal to ignorance -> Argument from personal incredulity
      Informal fallacy -> One-sidedness (If you ask folks to ignore the racist connotations of the flag, how is that a measure of whether or not the flag has racist connotations?)

  33. It was also the adopted and accepted Battle Flag of the Confederacy because the national Confederate flag was too similar to the US federal flag which caused complications in battle. I live in NH now as well as half of my family. The other half are still spread through out the south. I also had ancestors fight on the confederate side. That being said we both have had ancestors die fighting under that flag. Just because you don’t feel it important to honor your ancestors by flying the flag doesn’t mean the rest of us should think that way as well. That’s called intolerance. I am very proud that some of my ancestors were willing to die for something that they truly believed in, it shows courage. And if I want to show that pride by flying the flag that they fought so bravely under dammit that’s what I’m going to do, despite the judgment I will receive. I know who I am and what I stand for and that sits just fine with me. And unlike most people these days, i dont let intolerance hurt my feeling or bring me down. I just wish more people thought like that instead of being so quick to be offended. -Carter

  34. Beautifully written! I just wish this is all it takes to rid our country of hate. I am a Massachusetts Yankee living in the south and there are plenty of misinformed folks all around. Pastor Emily is correct, in a way seeing this flag on a home, a car, a jacket is a terrific beacon to the rest of us, “Hate lives here!” But I agree with another graphic I’ve seen recently. This flag, confederate of Virginian or whatever means to our African-American citizens and neighbors exactly what the red and black Nazi flag means to me and my family. Hate, death, oppression. We don’t (as a community ) allow Nazi flags in public, so why would we tolerate any other symbol of hate?

  35. A well written article…. to a point. I can mainly refer to #3 in your comments guide.
    You refer to the message you presume the fellow is sending. You fail to consider that perhaps the “message” you’re perceiving ISN’T the message he’s trying to send. If he was of the Madison Ave. persuasion and attempting to project a message of say, independence from federal interference in a state’s rights (which is my particular angle on this flag and has NOTHING to do with discrimination and/or slavery), which was a large motivator of the secession folks, then he would’ve failed in his “mission” of letting folks know his reasoning behind his display of the flag. I say “if” because, just as the vast majority of posters here, I’ve never spoken with the pickup driver so I have absolutely NO way of knowing his position on the issues that you seem to have with his display. I, as everyone else here, am making assumptions based on absolutely NO evidence one way or the other as to his feelings on ANY issue, flag related or not.
    As to your wish that every racist would carry that flag so they can be identified (for what purpose that?), it’s obvious that the fact that they don’t should be proof that calling for the banning of ANYTHING related to racial prejudice is no way to ensure that such prejudice would be eliminated or eradicated by banning anything you perceive to be an indicator of any sort of attitude or acts that folks might find offensive.
    I’m a rehabilitated Yankee of 50 years, now living in GA. Even when I lived “up yonder” I regarded the stars & bars differently then it seems many up there do. Since moving to GA 16 years ago and becoming more exposed to some of the atrocities committed under the flag of the Union troops I can be a bit more reasonable in understanding how there remains, in some, feelings despising what was done here as the Union troops completed their destructive march to the sea. Total destruction of resources that the Confederate troops could possibly use being the main objective, which is understandable from a military point of view but from a “hearts & minds” view becomes totally understandable as being a still-festering sore in the minds of some of those that are also still suffering from the effects of the war’s actions. Those that think slavery is the sole reason for a person’s flying of the rebel battle flag perhaps should look into the why of it, not just their presumed PC view of it. You might be surprised.

      • @ Emily: George Washington once aptly put…”if the freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent may we be led like sheep to the slaughter.”

        I was born and raised in NH and moved out of state when I got married. I certainly find your ignorance to be offensive and your intolerance of opposing viewpoints does not represent the Live Free or Die state well. However, I respect your right to opine.

    • @F. D. Becker
      Fallacy of missing data -> Appeal to ignorance -> Argument from incredulity
      Syllogistic fallacy -> Four term fallacy -> Ambiguous middle
      Red herring -> Appeal to the bandwagon

  36. It’s just a flag
    It’s PDA
    And Just like a kissing couple in the middle of the side walk while you’re strolling thru the park, just ignore it.

  37. Without taking sides.

    I served in the USAF for over 35 years. We defended this country, and our Constitution. That document gives the right to Free Speech by all Americans. This person is exorsising that Freedom.

    That’s all I’m saying here.

  38. My favorite part in this article is “A part of me wishes every racist would carry that flag so they’d be easy to identify.” I don’t think we can effectively make people take down the flag, it churns my stomach to see it, but the people who think its acceptable to wave it around have to also accept the consequences of what they are branding themselves as; Racist’s. They may not think they are, but the rest of the world see’s the flag and makes the association. That’s a fact, whether you want it to be about heritage or not. Can’t take away free speech, even it is offensive unfortunately. You can only hope that with more education people make the change themselves and realize how uncomfortable they are making people. For now, let them fly it so I know who not to associate myself with.

  39. My name is Richard Jackson my ancestors were slaves, my great grandfather fought in the civil war and my grandfather was a civil act activist I understand the pain of that flag very well and it pains me to know that a mockery like this is still allowed in a country I love very much.

  40. I’ve had to point out the following to several who insisted the flag wasn’t about racism but heritage.

    That flag is a symbol of a brutally oppressive past. One of slavery, lynching and segregation driven by white supremacy.

    The Confederate flag is directly tied to the Confederate cause, and the Confederate cause was white supremacy. It does not require reading between the lines. It is the plain meaning of the words of those who bore the Confederate flag across history.

    South Carolina, for example:

    South Carolina was the first state to secede, two months after the election of Abraham Lincoln. It was in South Carolina that the Civil War began, when the Confederacy fired on Fort Sumter. The state’s casus belli was neither vague nor hard to comprehend:

    “…A geographical line has been drawn across the Union, and all the States north of that line have united in the election of a man to the high office of President of the United States, whose opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery. He is to be entrusted with the administration of the common Government, because he has declared that that “Government cannot endure permanently half slave, half free,” and that the public mind must rest in the belief that slavery is in the course of ultimate extinction. This sectional combination for the submersion of the Constitution, has been aided in some of the States by elevating to citizenship, persons who, by the supreme law of the land, are incapable of becoming citizens; and their votes have been used to inaugurate a new policy, hostile to the South, and destructive of its beliefs and safety.”

    The Ku Klux Klan has its own official flag, but its members have commonly flown the Confederate battle flag for years. So have white supremacist groups in parts of Europe, where the Nazi swastika was made illegal.

  41. Several observations on the article. (Full disclosure I was born in the north and my first ancestors came to America 50 years after the Civil War ended and have no connection to the battle flag.) It is also important to point out the following facts: At the time of secession from the union all the Southern states had Democrat governors. All the southern states had legislatures which were controlled by the Democrats. The president and vice president of the Confederacy were both Democrats. The first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan was a Democrat. The Jim Crow laws were written by the Democrats. During the struggle for civil rights for all in the modern era Democrat Governors stood in doorways and opposed civil rights– Orval Faubus of Ark, Ross Barnett of Miss., George Wallace Ala., Lester Maddox, Ga. You correctly point out that the battle flag was first raised over the South Carolina capitol in the sixties. You omitted that Democrat Governor Ernest Hollings was the one who did it. It was first raised over the Alabama capitol in the 60s by Democrat Governor George Wallace. At Selma, Alabama in ’64 The Governor was George Wallace, Democrat, Public Safety Commissioner was Bull Connor, Democrat. Chief of Poilice Jim Clark, Democrat, Mayor of Selma Smitherman, Democrat. Yet the Democrat party has never apologized for its long history of racism. As the Confederate flag is now being banned in places and stores it is long past due for the party of those who created it should do so.

    • I’m afraid you’re missing a key part of history in your commentary. The Democrats of the Civil War were the conservatives of their time, much as the Republicans are today. The Democrats of segregation actually separated themselves from the rest of the Democratic Party due to their desire to maintain the separation of races. They came to be called the Dixiecrats because they were no longer Democrats.

      This country does indeed have a long history of racism, but to lay all the blame at the feet of today’s Democrats is to misrepresent a significant part of that history. Have the Republicans ever apologized for the racism they continue to embrace? I don’t hear Trump, a 2016 Republican candidate for president, backing down, let alone apologizing, for his incredibly racist remarks.

      • @ nmjester: Of the 21 Senate Democrats who voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964, only ONE, Strom Thurmond became a Republican. ALL 20 others remained Democrats throughout their lengthy tenures in office and until the days they died. (btw, the Dixiecrats were in 1948 and they re-joined the Democrats) The Democrats owned the South before during and after the Civil War until very recently when southerners have been voting Republican. . The Democrats created that flag. Former Grand Kleagle of the KKK Robert Byrd was Democrat majority leader in the Senate until 1989 and President Pro Tem of the Senate until 2010. It should also be noted that all of the governmental actors in Ferguson, Missouri and Baltimore, Maryland where purported racist police and riots occurred recently were again Democrats. You should watch this about the your Democrat/Dixiecrat error.

        • My Percy, you seem to be very strongly rebutting the “It’s not the Republican Party that’s full of racists, it’s the Democratic Party” argument. The problem is, I don’t see that political argument being made here. What did Shakespeare say?–“The Lady doth protest too much.”

          • The Confederate flag was created by only Democrats. It was revived in the sixties by the Democrat segregationists only.(Cf. also the Southern Manifesto of 1956 signed by 19 Senators and 82 Representatives, all Democrats.) To denounce that flag without denouncing those who created it and revived it and who have never apologized for it is hypocrisy. “Away, and mock the time with fairest show;
            False face must hide what the false heart doth know.”
            William Shakespeare, Macbeth (1605), Act I, scene 7, line 81..

            • So, I don’t think either side has a clean record here, but I’m curious why everyone voting against removing it in SC appeared to be GOP. Why would they fight so hard to keep a symbol of Democrats?

    • @percy blakeney
      Ambiguity -> Equivocation
      Ambiguity -> Equivocation -> Redefinition -> No true Scotsman
      Red herring -> Guilt by association

  42. To the author;
    You’re right on many issues in regards to the symbolic meaning of Robert W Lee’s battalion flag.
    First off General Lee advocated for NOT having the flag flown in the school in which he taught after the war, for the sake of providing for the healing of the nation.
    It was adopted by racists organizations in the 1940’s/ 50’s, KKK, Dixiecrats, after General Eisenhower mandated intregretion of the military.
    Then it was further integrated as a symbolic protest against the civil rights fight and legislation of the 1960’s.
    It was and has always been a symbol for racism.
    Having been born and raised a good portion of my life in east Texas and then transplanted by the military to New England, I have some expierance with racists, and racism.
    I am adamantly opposed to this flag being flown on any government property!!!!
    But am also equally opposed to denying anyone their right to display this or any other symbol of their personal beliefs.
    I don’t believe it is respectful to burn the American flag, but if you choose to do so in order to protest against your government, I will respect your right to exercise your free speech.
    I might not agree, but I will respect your rights.
    If you want to show the whole of your community what a flaming ignorant and or racist bigot you are, I will allow and respect your right to do so.
    But I will NOT condone you to exercise any behavior or actions that physically injure another human being or their rights.
    As they say your right to swing your fist ends right in front of my or anyone’s nose.

  43. I am a southerner and currently live in Alabama. I have traveled extensively with the military was outside the South for many years. I know a lot of people who use this flag on clothing and fly it at their homes, and whatnot. I would say the majority of them aren’t racists, they are just ignorant of how it affects other people. Some people who flag this flag are racists, though, and there are plenty of racists in the South. I think if told what it makes other people think and feel, some of the people I know might quit using the flag, but most wouldn’t, because they would be offended that someone wanted to take their Southern heritage symbol.

    It is a complex situation, and knee-jerk reactions are probably not good. But I understand when someone has the reaction of, “That person is a racist or is ignorant or uneducated,” when they see them with the flag. I have the same reaction and I live here. I wish we could get beyond this issue, and I wish racism could be eradicated. I definitely don’t think the flag belongs over a capitol building. But a confederate memorial seems acceptable. I also don’t agree with the Christian flag flying over the city hall in the town where I went to high school, and it was recently taken down, to a huge reaction by local residents.

    It would be nice if people were more sensitive and cared about what the flag represents to others who where enslaved. But most of these folks are not going to ever be swayed by logical argument. I have to bite my tongue a lot where I live, both with racists, and with religious fanatics. I was raised Christian and had a racist father. It’s a weird mix in the South. I am now agnostic and an anthropologist, and have a deep respect for other people and their situations. I credit this to higher education. I think that is what is lacking in the South more than anything.

    • Sorry, I meant, “fly this flag.” And also, I didn’t mean to imply that I was ever racist because my father was. It is a weird mix in the South of Christianity and racism, is what I meant to get across. Sorry for lack of editing.

  44. I wonder what folks would say if one were flying a flag festooned with the swastika symbol. Not the same? But the ancient swastika was once a benign symbol, in India. It’s heritage, not approving of Nazis. Far fetched? Consider: both are symbols of one group’s subjugation and oppression of another group, in a systemic and socially entrenched manner. And the oppressed other is in each case oppressed for generations. Born into slavery, you are enslaved. Born a Jew in Nazi Germany, you are doomed.

  45. So let me say to the author some thoughts: “1. Post away but use your full, real name or else I will delete them.” SO after your blog post you mention we must use our “real names” or comments will be deleted? Isn’t that going against the “Freedom of Free Speech”. Isn’t that racist? IF you can’t handle the freedom of speech from others then why even allow comments at all on this blog. Also to note. The Confederate Flag is part of the American History. It is in text books all across America and part of the teachings of our past. A reflection of times of difficulty, of our nations growing pains and how we have overcome obstacles. Also the person whom you question in this blog is showing his “Freedom of Expression”. The right to express one’s own self. Your blog again declares he has no rights to freedom because you say it is so. No man, woman, government has the power over others. We are a country who’s freedoms and equal rights extends to ALL Americans regardless if we feel that their expressions do not represent our own. Does someone wearing a bathing suit that represents the American Flag offend you? Does someone wearing outfits or clothing that represent the American Flag offend you? Again Freedom of Speech and Expression trumps your reasons that this person should do as you say… Just my thoughts on the matter. Delete my comment if you wish however if you do, then you are infringing upon my rights to speak freely and without judgement.

    • No, it’s not racist. Your suggestion is a non sequitur.

      Nor does the first amendment grant you the right to post on someone else’s blog.

      Nor did you apparently read or comprehend the article, as it never suggested “he has no rights to freedom.”

      Try re-reading it carefully. You may learn something!

  46. Let’s take it from the top.Some people view the flag as a statement of regional pride recogñizing the sacrifices of their forebears. Some people view the flag as a symbol of Oppression. Some people don’t know what it means. Some don’t care.
    The first amendment trumps all objections. No matter what side you’re on , you’re right. If you object to the flag, don’t associate or do business with the individual.
    So who am I? A black person who has lived here since 1957.
    It is better to know your enemy than it is to have them sneak up behind you. I know…

  47. Honestly, I hate that flag, I hate it so much and I do think whoever flags it is racist. You can’t tell me anything different. I don’t care how great a person you are, I’m staying far away from you.

    You know what I think every single time I see it?

    If the people who flew that flag had won … I might still be in chains. I might not know my Mama, I might not know my Daddy, my brother might have been killed and my sisters sold off. I might have been used as a brood mare. I definitely wouldn’t be a college graduate, looking to get an MBA soon. I’d be someone’s property.

    All I can think … Is GOD. If the people who flew that flag had won …

    Where would I be? What would my life be life?

    The thought makes chills go down my spine.

  48. Is anyone else aware the Nazi swastika was originally a symbol of LOVE? The flag’s symbol was kiped (and altered) by Hitler because he understood the power and influence a flag could imbue over a vulnerable culture.

    A flag contains a symbol or symbols ‘assigned’ by its creator, and the efficacy of the image is determined by the strength, truth, and reach of the authority. The very fact that Hitler could usurp an image of love so completely and perversely is a harsh, scary, and sadly, a lasting testimony.

    So Truck Guy can assign any meaning to the flags he/she flies, but that doesn’t mean there are any teeth in the bite, or frankly any brains in the head of that dog….

  49. Those who claim this flag represents “heritage” obviously do not understand the history of said flag. As others have pointed out, it was never an official flag of the CSA. It was abandoned as a symbol for many years. The fact that *this* flag was resurrected as a symbol of the fight against segregation negates any potential heritage claims. This was not a symbol of “states rights” or the fight against the Federal Government, it was a symbol of the fight to keep Blacks/African-Americans in *their place* which was definitely below the place of whites.

    You know, you never see folks flying any of the actual flags of the Confederate States of America. Interesting, huh?

    Finally, a word about me. I’m not American by birth, but British. I am American by choice, having been naturalized as a US citizen. My choice to be American is not the result of accidental geography but of intentional choice because of what this country offered to me and my family.

  50. Just a question about Exeter, NH in general. I attended the Phillips Exeter Academy from 1980-3, and I never, but *ever*, saw a black person anywhere in its environs that wasn’t a student. I bicycled all over the place and never found a black neighborhood. One couldn’t even call the place segregated; blacks simply didn’t exist, period. Unless I just didn’t look hard enough. *Was* there a black neighborhood at that time, Emily? If so, wheresabouts? And are things different there now, WRT “townie” race diversity?

    I certainly wouldn’t have been surprised to see a Battle Flag flying on a pick-up truck back then, sending a “stay the fuck out of our white town” message.

  51. That well written article above reminded me of two things. One an event and the other the understanding of the nature of ignorance.

    The event as it was took place around 1980. I was about fifteen years old, living in a Central Massachusetts town and was walking to school. I noticed that two houses up the street from me the teens who lived there hung the “Stars and Bars” from their front door.

    I was offended. This was, you know, Massachusetts. People who lived in my town sacrificed their lives to ensure that flag never flew. I realized even then that my neighbors in their ignorance had no real concept of what they were doing. Likely they hung the flag as a rebellious act, not knowing or understanding history.

    My fifteen year old response was to purchase a blue Union Civil War army cap and wear it around those guys.

    Not surprisingly they didn’t get it.

    This led me to an understanding of the nature if ignorance. Ignorance isn’t always the lack of knowledge. No. It’s often a head full of misinformation where that head believes he or she has the incontrovertible truth.

  52. What’s on my mind? The Battle Flag of the Army of Northern Virginia.
    After the war it represented the defeated but pardoned rebels. I believe we tolerated it as scar, a symbol of a healed wound, and a symbolic prize much like President Lincoln’s regard for “Dixie” as a war prize. We tolerated it because of the cultural ascendancy of the Confederate view of Reconstruction romanticized in “Gone With The Wind.” After WWII it clearly became a Battle Flag for Segregationists and White Supremacists, and an unfortunate label for the entire South.
    It also promoted the North/South myth about racism, that the South was/is more racist. Folks, racism is everywhere; it pays no attention to the compass. Nevertheless, the South owns the brand, and, in no small part, that is caused by the Battle Flag.
    The controversy is a political battle. I believe that both parties should repudiate official display of the flag, except in historical context, Make no mistake, both parties are deeply involved with this symbol. Historically, the Democrats designed it and fought beneath it into the Dixiecrat era. Then the Republicans co-opted it. Sundry other extremist groups adopted it, too.
    We should all recognize that, willingly, this banner has acquired a racist reputation. It is an offensive assault. If you wish to fly it as a symbol of your affiliation with Dixie, be aware that it is like spitting on someone, no matter what your intent. You cannot separate it from its reputation.
    The Civil War is over. The rebels were pardoned. Some are revered. Let them sleep under their banner. Do not use it as a bludgeon.

  53. I have long felt the same way about the Confederate flag. The problem that I have to face is why I said nothing about it earlier. Why did we wait until that horrible tragedy to the pull together against that symbol of racism and oppression?

  54. Hmn. I don’t see my post showing up here, and I don’t have the patience to type it all out again. Just a question about Exeter in general: when I attended the Phillips Exeter Academy from 1980-3, the downtown environs were utterly bereft of black “townies”, and there seemed to be no black neighborhood to speak of, as I bicycled all over the place. *Was* there a black neighborhood back then. and if so, where? And are things different there now, diversity-wise?

  55. If I can take this argument out of the USA so you can see how it looks from an international perspective. This was two sets of armies, one fighting for freedom and one fighting for the freedom to be better than another race. This is what we fought the Germans against. Germans regularly honour their war dead but you do not see them flying a Nazi flag or a SS flag because their grand father or great grand father was in that army. I personally see little difference with the exception of scale between the two situations.

  56. I bet those of you who see it as heritage, would have a fit if someone drove around with a swastika on a flag. People nowadays have no consideration for the feelings of others. Regardless of the meaning it’s just bad taste.

  57. All I get from all this banter is people are to thin skined! Why can’t people just except the fact that NO ONE ARE THE SAME! Quit trying to change the world.
    Every one has the right to believe in what they want, BUT do not have the right to push the belief on anyone else.
    Respectful thoughtful people will go further in life than selfish disrespectful self-centered people.
    I don’t care about one’s likes or dislikes. I will let you have the floor but don’t expect anything from me beyond a smile whether I agree or not.
    But you break the law because of your beliefs, shame on you!!!

      • Changing the world is not the answer. Except it for what it is. Different strokes for folks. What we have to realize god put us here and made it what it us, only God will make the changes. Nothing we can do but except it and try to live among each other peacefully

  58. Here is the kicker to all this “heritage” pap over this flag; it isn’t even the flag of the Confederacy nor was it ever a flag representing the Confederate States of America.
    This was a “battle flag” of West Virginia’s battalion in the civil war and it was designed by the same people who would later (a short whole later) go on to form the Klu Klux Klan and would recycle this flag at their gatherings and attacks on blacks, including lynchings. And later, South Carolina would raise it above their capital not as a symbol of their heritage but ad a protest against the Civil Rights movement and desegregation. It was also incorporated into Mississippi’s state flag AFTER the civil war, in 1908, in what some call a grand “F-you” to the north over unsettled anger from the civil war.
    But, in all its history, this flag was never the “Flag of the Confederacy” so the “heritage argument” is misinformation at best and an outright lie most likely to justify flaunting racist tendencies.
    Bury the damn thing already and move on.

  59. Great statement Emily!
    The only appropriate place to display that flag is in a museum.

    BTW, the video advertisement on this page automatically scrolls the page to that ad, making it nearly impossible to read your entry and reply to you.

  60. Here are the basic flaws of this article.
    1. You have no idea where this person is from or family roots, you make ASSUMPTION

    2. All this person is doing is exercising freedom of speech.

    Now on to the flag itself and racism..why is it ok to hate people because of their hair style, weight, clothes etc, but not skin color, sexual preferences? Humans like and dislike all types of things for all types of reasons. I feel as wrong as it may sounds people should be able to live free l, love free or hate free. I’m just for fair is fair. So the term racist needs to be banned and just replaced with asshole. Like if I hate you because of your skin color I’m a racist where’s if I hate you because you look stupid, I’m just an asshole.

    If we single out a certain type of hate, people will gravitate to it for the exposure we give it. This article is a perfect example.

    • You are free to dislike anyone you choose for any reason. Others are free to name that for what it is. Not liking someone for their skin color is racism. Discriminating against someone for their sexual orientation is homophobia. The list goes on. By all means. You do you. But don’t be surprised when you get called on your behavior for what it is.

    • ***it seems to have randomly placed my comment– just to be clear, thank you to Emily, the writer of this post- not to the ignorant comments I may have fallen under.

  61. Because people are tired of being told how to think and act by CNN. He is rebelling against liberal America and is tired of manufactured controversy. The rebel flag now means I hate what America has become and where it is going. People are merely flying the flag because they are being told they can’t. I guess the 1st amendment is as pesky as the 2nd amendment.

  62. How very intolerant. Maybe you think the flag is racist (truly an impossiblility) but many equate it to Southern Living, and Southern Life. Saying the flag represents racism really shines the light of ignorance on the many that believe it.

    I would guess if you believe the flag is racist thay EVERY southerner owned slaves and no northerners did, yet just the opposite is true. Most southerners were dirt poor and didn’t own slaves and wither were indentured themselves, we’re farmlease renters or worked in the fields besides the slaves for little or no wages… all the while the northern well to do also had their slaves and indentured servants.

    The flag stands for racism because of the hate and ignorance in your heart and mind.

    Just remember 1 million AMERICANS died in rh civil war, more than half of our fellow Americans) fought under flags similar to this one. Not giving it it’s due respect is disrespectful to those Americans (many of which were black).

  63. And to add, I guess he has the right to fly the flag if he wants to, of does he only have the right to do things and say things you agree with?

  64. we need to raise are kids the right way and stop looking excuses.. U are making it a racist thing so just say a white kid walks in to a black church wearing a shirt with an American flag on it does that ,the American flag become racist flag he knew right from wrong so my opinion is you are just trying to get attention u need to go back to history class the confederate flag was never on a slave ship u can’t tell people what they can and can’t do…… Know your history before you run your mouth.My family is German I know the history and that was a racist thing trying to make everything thing racist

  65. 1. The person is exercising his or her rights to fly that flag.
    2. You are also exercising your rights to free speech by writing about your beliefs about that flag.

    It’s a great day in America. But I did find it regretful that some of your responses reflected some amount of intolerance for the thoughts and opinions posted by others.

  66. You need to go back to school the civil war was not fought over slavery it was fought over states rights. When Lincoln freed the slaves he only freed the sslaves in the states of rebellion.President Johnson freed the slaves in the union in December of 1865 after Lincoln died so you need to stop rewriting history.

      • Five important FACTS about Lincoln, slavery, emancipation and the war.
        1. Lincoln wasn’t an abolitionist.
        Lincoln did believe that slavery was morally wrong, but there was one big problem: It was sanctioned by the highest law in the land, the Constitution. The nation’s founding fathers, who also struggled with how to address slavery, did not explicitly write the word “slavery” in the Constitution, but they did include key clauses protecting the institution, including a fugitive slave clause and the three-fifths clause, which allowed Southern states to count slaves for the purposes of representation in the federal government. In a three-hour speech in Peoria, Illinois, in the fall of 1854, Lincoln presented more clearly than ever his moral, legal and economic opposition to slavery—and then admitted he didn’t know exactly what should be done about it within the current political system.

        Abolitionists, by contrast, knew exactly what should be done about it: Slavery should be immediately abolished, and freed slaves should be incorporated as equal members of society. They didn’t care about working within the existing political system, or under the Constitution, which they saw as unjustly protecting slavery and slave owners. Leading abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison called the Constitution “a covenant with death and an agreement with Hell,” and went so far as to burn a copy at a Massachusetts rally in 1854. Though Lincoln saw himself as working alongside the abolitionists on behalf of a common anti-slavery cause, he did not count himself among them. Only with emancipation, and with his support of the eventual 13th Amendment, would Lincoln finally win over the most committed abolitionists.

        2. Lincoln didn’t believe blacks should have the same rights as whites.
        Though Lincoln argued that the founding fathers’ phrase “All men are created equal” applied to blacks and whites alike, this did not mean he thought they should have the same social and political rights. His views became clear during an 1858 series of debates with his opponent in the Illinois race for U.S. Senate, Stephen Douglas, who had accused him of supporting “negro equality.” In their fourth debate, at Charleston, Illinois, on September 18, 1858, Lincoln made his position clear. “I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races,” he began, going on to say that he opposed blacks having the right to vote, to serve on juries, to hold office and to intermarry with whites. What he did believe was that, like all men, blacks had the right to improve their condition in society and to enjoy the fruits of their labor. In this way they were equal to white men, and for this reason slavery was inherently unjust.

        Like his views on emancipation, Lincoln’s position on social and political equality for African-Americans would evolve over the course of his presidency. In the last speech of his life, delivered on April 11, 1865, he argued for limited black suffrage, saying that any black man who had served the Union during the Civil War should have the right to vote.

        3. Lincoln thought colonization could resolve the issue of slavery.
        For much of his career, Lincoln believed that colonization—or the idea that a majority of the African-American population should leave the United States and settle in Africa or Central America—was the best way to confront the problem of slavery. His two great political heroes, Henry Clay and Thomas Jefferson, had both favored colonization; both were slave owners who took issue with aspects of slavery but saw no way that blacks and whites could live together peaceably. Lincoln first publicly advocated for colonization in 1852, and in 1854 said that his first instinct would be “to free all the slaves, and send them to Liberia” (the African state founded by the American Colonization Society in 1821).

        Nearly a decade later, even as he edited the draft of the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation in August of 1862, Lincoln hosted a delegation of freed slaves at the White House in the hopes of getting their support on a plan for colonization in Central America. Given the “differences” between the two races and the hostile attitudes of whites towards blacks, Lincoln argued, it would be “better for us both, therefore, to be separated.” Lincoln’s support of colonization provoked great anger among black leaders and abolitionists, who argued that African-Americans were as much natives of the country as whites, and thus deserved the same rights. After he issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln never again publicly mentioned colonization, and a mention of it in an earlier draft was deleted by the time the final proclamation was issued in January 1863.

        4. Emancipation was a military policy.
        As much as he hated the institution of slavery, Lincoln didn’t see the Civil War as a struggle to free the nation’s 4 million slaves from bondage. Emancipation, when it came, would have to be gradual, and the important thing to do was to prevent the Southern rebellion from severing the Union permanently in two. But as the Civil War entered its second summer in 1862, thousands of slaves had fled Southern plantations to Union lines, and the federal government didn’t have a clear policy on how to deal with them. Emancipation, Lincoln saw, would further undermine the Confederacy while providing the Union with a new source of manpower to crush the rebellion.

        In July 1862 the president presented his draft of the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation to his cabinet. Secretary of State William Seward urged him to wait until things were going better for the Union on the field of battle, or emancipation might look like the last gasp of a nation on the brink of defeat. Lincoln agreed and returned to edit the draft over the summer. On September 17 the bloody Battle of Antietam gave Lincoln the opportunity he needed. He issued the preliminary proclamation to his cabinet on September 22, and it was published the following day. As a cheering crowd gathered at the White House, Lincoln addressed them from a balcony: “I can only trust in God I have made no mistake … It is now for the country and the world to pass judgment on it.”

        5. The Emancipation Proclamation didn’t actually free all of the slaves.
        Since Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation as a military measure, it didn’t apply to border slave states like Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky and Missouri, all of which had remained loyal to the Union. Lincoln also exempted selected areas of the Confederacy that had already come under Union control in hopes of gaining the loyalty of whites in those states. In practice, then, the Emancipation Proclamation didn’t immediately free a single slave, as the only places it applied were places where the federal government had no control—the Southern states currently fighting against the Union.

        Despite its limitations, Lincoln’s proclamation marked a crucial turning point in the evolution of Lincoln’s views of slavery, as well as a turning point in the Civil War itself. By war’s end, some 200,000 black men would serve in the Union Army and Navy, striking a mortal blow against the institution of slavery and paving the way for its eventual abolition by the 13th Amendment.

        • Good post, but I would suggest that the Emancipation Proclamation was specifically written to not free any slaves under union control. Not only did slavery remain in the slave states that stated in the Union, Lincoln waited until the last minute to fill in those places where he actually did “free” slaves. He excluded everywhere he knew the Union Army had control, so if you read the EP, it will say Virginia except A, B, and C; Louisiana except A, B and C; etc..

          Lincoln knew that the Supreme Court was still controlled by justices who voted in favor of the Dred Scott decision and actually freeing slaves was not in his realm of power and to do so would bring the Supremes down on him. The EP was to frame the war around slavery to prevent Europe from aiding the south – remember the North was pretty much getting their butts kicked at the time and Europe wanted to break up this fledging world power.

          We do like to reinvent our history to say what we like it to say today.

        • Would you please use your full name, first and last? Otherwise I’ll just start editing comments and adding the email I have from each. This is not an anonymous comment zone.

    • By 1861, it was only the Southern States that had slaves, The Northern States were already “Free States.” The issue of States’ Rights centered on the right to maintain slavery and therefore, that was the primary reason for the Civil War. Everything revolved around slavery.

      • nmjester yes and no concerning slavery in the north. Some states like NH never completely abolished slavery until the 13 Amendment went into effect.
        New Hampshire:
        A commonly accepted date for the end of slavery in New Hampshire is 1857, when an act was passed stating that “No person, because of decent, should be disqualified from becoming a citizen of the state.” The act is interpreted as prohibiting slavery. By a strict interpretation, however, slavery was outlawed only on Dec. 6, 1865, when the 13th amendment went into effect. (Ratified by New Hampshire July 1, 1865.)

        During the Civil War, Delaware was one of five border states—in addition to Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, and later West Virginia—slave states that remained in the Union but bordered states that joined the Confederacy.
        Slavery remained a contentious issue for Delaware until the passage of the 13th Amendment prohibiting servitude in 1865. The Lincoln administration proposed a plan in 1861 to end slavery in the Union using federal funds: Abraham Lincoln approached Delaware Congressman George P. Fisher with a measure that would compensate the state’s slave owners if they would free their remaining slaves. Lincoln believed that if compensated emancipation were successful in Delaware, as it held the lowest number of slaves, such a plan could be extended to the other Union slave states; however, even though slavery was not essential to the Delaware economy, the plan was rejected on the grounds that it represented Federal interference in what was regarded as an internal matter and an issue of states’ rights.
        The District of Columbia also allowed slave ownership during the Civil war.

        At the start of the Civil war there were 19 “free states” , 15 “slave states” , and 2 “slave territories” So in reality the nation was pretty well evenly divided between the states concerning slavery. Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation played a key role, any slave who signed up to serve in the Union Army would be set free at the end of the war (should he survive).

    • That state’s rights argument is so old, and so inaccurate. It’s also racist. It’s what white folks tell ourselves when we don’t want to face our own racism. The flag itself is certainly not a state’s rights symbol. It’s a racist one largely used by white supremacists.

      • The 10th Amendment protects and enumerates power to the individual states, to this day. The state’s rights argument is neither old or inaccurate.

  67. One would think racism is.the biggest issue we face today but it’s not. We have a black president elected by whites. Blacks are only 30 to 35% of the population so whites supported BO in large numbers. We have a.welfare system that enslaved people. We have affirmative.action. Blacks.are.successful across.the spectrum of.society. Yet black on black crime is at an all time high. We don’t.need to worry about symbols. We need to.change our hearts and minds about what being a US citizen means. It starts individually not.worrying about others.

    • “There’s a BLACK MAN in the White House” does not mean racism is over. Look at incarceration rates, look at unemployment, look at loan acceptance rates, look at housing opportunities… Racism is alive and well in this country, though we have made advances (it would have been impossible for Obama to have even run for office just 60 years ago). Racism is ingrained and institutionalized in many ways. It’s why we have/had programs like Affirmative Action.

      Speaking of black on black crime… “According to the US Department of Justice statistics, 84 percent of white people killed every year are killed by other whites. In 2011, there were more cases of whites killing whites than there were of blacks killing blacks. Between 1980 to 2008, a majority (53.3 percent) of gang-related murders were committed by white people, with a majority of the homicide victims being white as well.”

      Why don’t we ever talk about “white on white” crime? The focus on “black on black” crime is just another incidence of racism.

  68. I will apologize in advance for the lengthy diatribe but here goes: First, do you demand that the Crucifixion and the word God be banned because the Westboro Baptist Church says horrendous things under the guise of a “church” and sanctioned by God? Their Slogans “God hates Gays” “God Hates Soldiers” etc. They have hijacked the bible, God, and Christianity for their own horrible purpose. They are not Christian. How does this relate? Many people here do not know the History of the War between the States. 1. Yes Slavery was a part of it but it wasn’t the reason for the war. The Emancipation Proclamation ONLY applied to the states who seceded. It did not apply to slave states that stayed within the Union: Maryland, Kentucky and others. If Slavery was THE issue then why didn’t Abraham Lincoln free all slaves? 2. The issues was the right of the states to decide for themselves how to govern. It was more than just slavery. The issue was how to successfully transition from free/slave to paid/labor as has been done in other countries. Of course America wasn’t the only country that had slaves, other countries did and successfully made the transition. The South was looking for a way forward. The Voluntary Union which they were a part was not governing according the Constitution and they seceded as they had a right. Lincoln refused to accept and demanded they stay within the Union and by force if necessary. The reason he issued the Emancipation Proclamation and it only covered those slave persons in the Southern seceded states was in hopes that they would rise up against their Masters and fight for the North. Again it did NOT include the Union Slave states. 3. Lincoln proposed a 15th amendment to send the “Africans back home”, repatriation. Less than 5% of Southern people had ANY slaves. Slaves were owned by Blacks and Whites. Louisiana had a successful 3 tier system which included Whites, freed Blacks, and slaves owned by both. They had white and black slaves. The Freed Blacks were not happy they were losing their slaves. And while the South had been begging for a way of integration over time so the economies would not be bankrupt the North refused. However- The Northern States also passed laws PROHIBITING Blacks from other states to take residence because they didn’t want the influx of poor Blacks needing work and unable to accommodate them. So when you look at the Battle flag, its a SYMBOL of States Rights and Independence to Southerners. No matter what meaning you or others CHOOSE to give it, because its YOU who decide, it means something else. It has been hijacked by racist groups but that certainly doesn’t make it racist anymore than the WBC hijacking the Bible and God for their filthy purposes makes the Bible or God Wrong. Knowledge of History …..

    • Did I say the flag should be banned? No. I said that someone using it should consider what it means. I only am advocating that it be removed from public property. And my guess is the number of racists who claim that flag far outweigh the percentage of Christians who agree with Westboro. I don’t see any Confederate flag waivers coming out and saying “let’s fight racism” but I see many Christians coming out against Westboro.

      • I believe your exact quoted text was” I think you believe that the flag brands you as a “rebel” or somehow honors your outlook on life. It doesn’t. It brands you as a racist. You may not think you are one, but flying that flag is a racist act.” End quote… that looks like the words of someone passing judgement more than someone who wants it removed from public property… this man made a choice and you and judging that choice and it in no way has anything to do with public property

        • I would like it removed from government property, but he can fly it. It just means I’ll know what to think of him. And given the number of his self-proclaimed friends who have sent me messages filled with slurs today, it looks like my judgements of him were correct.

          • Emily first I want to say I commend your courage for the stance you are taking. With that being said I am truly saddened that you judge people on a flag they choose to fly, or anything else that goes against your personal beliefs.

            You’ve been very open are in a same sex relationship, i would think you of all people would be a bit more understanding about judging people. No offense your claim this person is a racist because he/she is flying a Confederate flag is just as ludicrous as those who believe gay men are child molesters.
            This is the Internet anyone can claim anything, I’m sure there are people who are claiming to be this persons friends, a) It doesn’t mean they are, and b) it doesn’t mean your judgement of him are correct.
            As an ordained Chaplain, Matthew 7:1-5 comes to mind.

            • Hi Bill, I did an IP lookup on their addresses and they are local. As far as judging, my post tells him what that flag means and the way that it impacts others who face racism. I think all of us can commit racist acts, whether or not we realize we are doing so. We are all recovering racists. And that flag is now a symbol of racism. To fly it, whether or not you intend it to be so, is a racist act. What body ordained you as a chaplain, by the way?

      • And one more thing you have been very critical thus far about people reading what you wrote but you should probably read what m.c Welch said a little more closely slavery was in the union as well so therefore your argument is moot because by your logic the American flag would need to be taken down as well

          • I will agree the union made slavery illegal, but don’t forget the individual states had to ratify that amendment also. If you think racist policy is illegal take a look at Affirmative Action, black are automatically given “free points” on civil service jobs on entrance exams, our education system has lowered the grading system in public schools to accommodate minorities. Feel good government policies, which when the layers are stripped away amount to racist beliefs.

        • And beyond all that I just realized that you deleted my earlier comment obviously you are so adamant to be right that the points I made didn’t matter to you… so at this point my faith in Christianity is now shaken… all you had to do was respond and defend your choice to pass judgement on people that you don’t know and obviously feel you are higher than that’s the problem with Christianity do not judge lest you be judged

          • Jon, I really don’t think I deleted your comment. I’m getting a lot of them and trying to moderate them to the best of my ability. Some include racist/sexist/homophobic slurs so I am not approving those. But I’m not trying to silence you. I am imperfect, though.

          • I believe your exact quoted text was” I think you believe that the flag brands you as a “rebel” or somehow honors your outlook on life. It doesn’t. It brands you as a racist. You may not think you are one, but flying that flag is a racist act.” End quote… that looks like the words of someone passing judgement more than someone who wants it removed from public property… this man made a choice and you and judging that choice and it in no way has anything to do with public property and it took until there was no more confederacy for slavery to end and then how much longer for racism to be outlawed… the way I see it symbols have been taken and perverted throughout history the swastika used to be a beautiful and peaceful symbol until Hitler twisted it to his own uses… just so you know ignorance knows no color… hate extends beyond and race it is human nature… buy no one should be labeled just because of a flag… that is just plain wrong…

              • My point is simple saying that all those who who fly that flag are racist is a blanket statement just like saying anyone who is gay has aids… I know 100% that is not true but when you pigeonhole yourself you become as bad as those whom you oppose I am certainly not racist but I’m not on for making judgements based on appearances… I am a biker but that doesn’t mean I’m not a huge cuddly teddy bear I grew up in the faith and time and time again saw judgement being passed by mere humans let he who is without sin cast the first stone that is the point I have been trying to convey

                  • I fly that flag and I have friends of all colors creeds and orientations and I have managed to not hate anyone on this board so there’s one and that is why I took offense to your original comment

                    • Jon, have you ever sat down with your African-American friends and really asked them what they think? Have you asked them if they are somehow uncomfortable with that flag? My guess is they may well be, and they just haven’t told you so.

                    • Ok Emily this is my last post, you have side stepped almost every issue I have brought forth this far… none of my friends have a problem with me flying that flag because unlike you they realize there us more to me than just a flag… you claimed in an earlier comment that he can fly the flag all he wants but you are advocating pulling it off government property… well this whole post has done nothing but point at one individual excersising his rights and alienating anyone who does so with a blanket statement calling them all racists and bigots… well just so you know bigotry is defined by intolerance of anyone who has views and opinions that vary from your own so in that you are the biggest bigot on this board I have been articulate and clear while using the English language properly to deliver a different view and all I have received from you is side stepping key points and intolerance for my and others points of view I suppose that requires compassion to see from other perspectives. Just think back a few years ago your whole lifestyle was said to be wrong among other things and suddenly people showed you compassion and changed the way it was viewed. So here’s some food for thought maybe you should look within and learn tolerance to those that have different views

                    • Sorry I know I said I was done but I had an afterthought… I am not condoning the actions or words you have received since posting this but another thing to think about how angry do you become when people don’t just question your beliefs but straight up attack your beliefs… if you had kept your focus on the whole supporting the removal of the flag from government soil instead of singling out and attacking one person you probably wouldn’t be getting any negative comments but instead you had to be militant about it and insult all who fly that flag. You are almost as gad as the hate mongers you oppose

                    • I have never used slurs when I have been angry. I have never wished for someone’s house of worship to be burned. I think this man was doing something unkind and hurtful, so I did speak out about it. And I’d do it again.

                    • Try actually sitting down with your African-American friends and saying “how do you honestly feel about this flag”. I think you will be surprised.

                      And I don’t have a “lifestyle”. I have a life. But thanks for showing your cards with that one.

                  • You ask me to give you an example so I cited myself also letting you know that I have friends from all races creeds and orientations and It doesn’t appear to be there I’m not one for hate but I do advocate excersising your freedoms and equality for all

                  • You ask me to give you an example so I cited myself also letting you know that I have friends from all races creeds and orientations. I’m not one for hate but I do advocate excersising your freedoms and equality for all

                • Let’s change the analogy, Jon–You see a guy with a tank top and a swastika tattoo on his shoulder; what’s your impression? Mine is “Look at that, a racist moron.” Now, change the tattoo to a confederate battle flag flying in his front yard. “Look at that, a racist moron.” Maybe not both, but either a racist or a moron (yeah, probably both).

  69. I grew up in the town in Alabama, (Anniston), where the KKK attacked and burned the Freedom Rider buses. The mob that did so was waving the Confederate Flag from their cars and pickup trucks; some were even wearing hoods.

  70. I think u should keep ur comments to urself. If the person who owns their truck wants to fly a flag then it is his business. If he wanted a history lesson then I’m sure he would go get one. By the way at least he flew the American flag their are illegals blowing them selves up everyday trying to harm Americans. Find something else to keep you busy.

    • I’m tempted just to correct every abuse of the English language in this comment, but then there are just so many logical fallacies that it doesn’t even seem worth it. Also, please post your full name next time.

  71. I think this whole issue is a joke- just because said people find it offensive, it hat is their problem. It doesn’t mean that they are indeed flying it as a symbol of racism. I have long believed that there was a lot more to the civil war than shuts that of slavery. I have long believed as one who grew up in nh and was a big lynard skynard fan that the flag resembled more that of a rebel than that of a racist. I flew the flag early on 35 years ago as a symbol more to thumb my nose at the man so to speak and that of authority, always thinking they know more than us and that the Feds can dictate to all of us and have a total disregard for states’ rights. When I see a rebel flag, I have never associated it with racism as much as I associate with one that is a rebel. I don’t think rebel means racism- but Webster may be wrong- thanks

    • But what if the people actually enslaved under that flag see it as racism? There’s nothing rebellious about claiming someone else’s flag as your own. It’s just following a bad example.

      • Emily if those people were still alive your argument would have more weight. We don’t have any people who were actual slaves still alive. There are people who grew up as sharecropper workers, (in my personal opinion very little difference from a slave) but they were not slaves.They were sharecroppers under the flag of the United States of America. Personally I believe that blacks are more offended by the attire of the KKK which represents true hatred of a minority of southerners than the confederate flag.

        • I don’t know about that. I find it interesting that every African-American friend of mine who has seen this piece vehemently agrees. Obviously they don’t represent everyone, but it’s pretty uniform.

  72. I am also from the South- Tennessee, to be exact. I had ancestors on both sides of the conflict- all of them from that same region where I now live. This also often gets lost- the South did not = the Confederacy, a large portion of white Southerners opposed that flag as well and fought and died for Old Glory (not to mention the many black Southerners, who always seem to be forgotten in these discussions -who did the same.) There was a strong element of Union support throughout the South, but especially in the mountainous region of Southern Appalachia (where you couldn’t grow cotton and people were therefore not as invested in protecting slavery.) While there was some Confederate sympathy in the North, no non-slaveholding Northern state fielded any Confederate military units. Every Confederate state except SC raised at least one Union regiment, many of them much more (30,000 white Tennesseans fought for the Union, and so did a lot of black Tennesseans. Lincoln’s second VP Andrew Johnson was from TN, as was David Farragut, commander of the U.S. Navy. As was Texas Senator Sam Houston, who joined Senator Andrew Johnson in refusing to support the Confederacy when their states seceded. The list goes on and on.) The good old Stars and Stripes -one nation, indivisible -is a darn good emblem of Southern pride and heritage.

      • U.S Grant owned slaves and is considered by many to also be anti-Semitic for his General Order 11 (which Lincoln quickly rescinded). Andrew Jackson was not only racist, but he was responsible for the Trail of Tears (genocide of Native Americans). Former President John Tyler was elected to the CSA Congress. FDR illegally imprisoned over 100,000 Japanese-Americans. The country also forced Maryland to remain in the union by the point of a gun. The Emancipation Proclamation was specifically written to NOT free any slaves the Union had control over because Lincoln knew the Supreme Court would take issue with such a proclamation (it was still controlled by those who ruled in favor of the Dred Scott decision).

        I think everybody on both sides needs to come to grips with the fact that our history is not so clearly black and white but a lot of shades of gray. I don’t believe that it is for me to impose my view of flags on others any more than I wish for some right wing bible thumper to impose their religious views on me.

        • I’m not sure what “impose my view of flags” means. No one is interfering with the right to fly any flag. We view that flag as a racist symbol. We’re not imposing anything.

          One difference is that most of the things you mention are true. But nobody goes around flying a pro-Trail-of-Tears or pro-Japanese-incarceration flag and then saying the Indians or the Japanese shouldn’t mind. That’s what the Confederate flag people are doing, unless they really are trying to say, “Yup I’m racist and proud.”

  73. Emily- no offense taken at all if you don’t post this one. I’m a history professor and have written several blogs on this and related subjects that you might find personally interesting, I can send links if you’re interested.

  74. To the guy flying the confederate flag amen because we are becoming a minority in our own country and need to put a stop to it.

  75. This a thoughtful and heartfelt article. We need to be a united group of states. We have already fought a bloody awful war over it. Are there Americans now who truly don’t believe in civil rights and equality for all citizens?
    If so, I cannot understand them flying any U.S. flag, because that is what this country is all about.

    • Sarah our own government doesn’t truly believe in equality for all our citizens. We have a government that allows and condones generational welfare, creating a whole group of citizens who don’t know any other way of life.
      Rather than requiring our youth to strive to be the best they can be through knowledge we have dumbed down our education system. We now have a generation of youth whowill one day be the decision makers of our nation who actually believe being pretty good is good enough. Equality for all means teaching our citizens the skills necessary to be productive members of our nation rather than accepting free handouts. Until that happens there will never be equality in our country.

  76. The flag is nothing more than a symbol. To some a symbol of slavery, to others a symbol of their southern heritage. It in itself is harmless. That flag did not make that kid in SC kill those poor people. He came up with that idea himself. Let the guy there in NH fly his flag if that is what floats his boat. If we start saying that every symbol/flag someone or some group does not like not be shown or flown; then we may as well say Old Glory should not be flown. What was done by our own country under our flag and still being done to some extent to the Native American tribes is far, far worse than anything the confederate flag ever represented.

  77. to automatically think that someone with a rebel flag is racist, is racist itself. i know several people who are racist that i have run across living in georgia and they are all obama voters. stop putting everyone in one group and thinking that you know the minds of someone just because they are making a statement.

  78. Wish you had talked to this person in person maybe you would have reached them better instead of publicly shaming them in this ego based article. ( For the record I thought that flag should have gone away many many years ago. ) , if you really want to reach someone and change their mind you have to talk to them.

    • 4. For those asking why I didn’t personally speak to him, I’ve only see him while he was driving and couldn’t figure out how to get him to stop. My wife was in the car alone when she took this picture. Given the racist, sexist, and homophobic slurs I’ve received in comments (deleted) from people claiming to be his friend, I’m glad she didn’t stop. But I’d welcome him to come talk to me.

    • Laurie, I am Emily’s wife. I was alone in the car when I took the photo featured with this article. And frankly, didn’t feel safe confronting a likely racist and likely gun carrying individual on my own. There’s a place for dialogue, but random confrontation isn’t it. From what I’ve heard from others, this isn’t a particularly nice guy, and that gut instinct was spot on.

      • Heidi no offense intended but “a likely racist and likely gun carrying individual” I’m sorry this peaks volumes about your prejudices about other people. I am 63 years old I have carried a gun since I was legally old enough to do so. I am NOT a racist, nor do I prejudge others based on their Constitutional rights.
        I’m always amazed at people who want others to respect their rights while they make issue over other peoples rights.

        • Bill, she was not making an anti-gun comment but one about fearing for her safety. The messages we have received from this man’s friends have given us reason to wonder if they might use violence.

        • Bill, while I do indeed have strong feelings about gun control, you absolutely have a right to carry. But in this case it was about the individual in question. The amount of hateful crap this person’s friends have spewed at my spouse over the last 2 days leads me to believe that this is not someone I feel at ALL safe around, especially if they have a weapon. That’s not an indictment of all gun owners, especially responsible ones.

          • Heidi thank you for clarifying, I don’t want to take away from the focus of the article. I understand concerning the gun issue. The ONLY point I will make about gun control is look at Chicago, they have the strictest gun control laws in the United States also has the highest rate of murders and shootings.

            One question how do you know these people spewing all the hatred are actually this persons friends. This is the Internet after all, I don’t know the person but I could have easily come in here pretending I did and spewed the same vile comments. I think one thing we can all agree on is the world is a very disturbed place, and some people will say anything to get a reaction. If either you or Emily truly fear for your safety or have been threatened report it to the police. Emily has made it known she has IP addresses, the police can easily track down the responsible parties.

            • That’s sound advice, and we’re indeed already on it. We’ve filed a report with the local police on some folks, and will move beyond just the Exeter police if necessary. I’m not kidding around here. Threats will be taken seriously, and all identifying information we have given over. I am not going to live in fear, but we are going to take threats seriously.

  79. Alright. I’ll bite since no one else is willing to even consider the other side. I live in the Upper South, but I come from a family of western pioneers – mostly from the far west and southwest. No one in my family has ever owned slaves -or fought in the civil war; frankly, no one was ever wealthy enough even if they supported it. My family has veterans buried at Arlington, San Jancinto, and elsewhere. My family has fought in WWI and WWII with honor. Currently I live about 2 miles from a Confederate cemetery and about 3 miles from the “best small town in America” that has an obelisk monument to dead Confederate soldiers at the center of the town square. Should we take down the monument and desecrate those boys’ graves?

    Here are some facts I would like for you to consider about current confederate battle flag debacle; and no, I do not own one, have never owned one, and don’t particularly want one.
    There are several things you are forgetting when Southerners talk about Southern pride, succession, the flag, etc:

    1) The South quite literally died at the end of the Civil War. Its pride, culture, lands, music, literature, and in fact its entire way of life was banned under penalty of imprisonment. While the war may have been about slavery and the states’ rights to make that decision (analogous to whether the death penalty should be decided state-by-state or at a federal level), the aftermath completely dismantled the entire culture. For example, after the battle of Culloden (for all you Outlander fans) when England totally destroyed the Jacobite uprising in Scotland, England banned even the mention of clans, kilts, Scottish writing and poetry, bagpipes, or anything even remotely considered Scottish as treason against the Crown. So, too, the U.S. federal government banned anything even remotely reminiscent of the old South. They didn’t just win the war – they were poor winners and annihilated anything that would generate even a sniff of an economy or culture for the Southern states. Lincoln was against these punitive laws, but he did not survive to see the end. Ironically Boothe killed the one guy in power who could actually help the South after its defeat. Lincoln was all about reconciliation, not punishment.

    2) Losing slaves for an agrarian economy based solely on slave labor gutted the South’s ability to continue its agrarian base. No slaves and too many men lost to the war spelled absolute economic ruin for the South from which it would take decades to recover, is ever. Coupled with the punitive post Civil-war laws, the South was doomed to economic failure and misery for decades. Think Mississippi is backwards? You can trace its economic stagnation directly to its Civil war losses. I realize that this seems trivial when compared to the actual ownership of a human being, especially viewed through 21st century eyes; but tell me truthfully how you would feel if living up to your (18th century) “morals” would cost you your home, your income source, all your assets, your position in society, your children’s inheritance, and basically your entire way of life? What would you do?

    3) The Confederate flag represents lost pride and status to most Southerners, despite the fact that idiots like the KKK and Dixiecrates (Southern Democrats who stood for segregation) usurped the flag for racist purposes. The Old South was cultured, literate, economically stable and prosperous. Unfortunately it was almost entirely based on an immoral way of life. When that base was destroyed, the Old South died. Most Southerners – even some black Southerners – see the flag as a symbol of lost regional pride and status. It is hard to believe if you don’t live here, but it is true. Most Southerners do not see it as a symbol of racism – they see it as a “rebel” flag – those who rebel against the government establishment, not those who support racism.

    4) When Great Britain abolished slavery throughout the empire after 20+ years of advocation by William Wilberforce and his compatriots, the British treasury PAID the plantation owners for their losses so that they would not be economically destitute. It certainly wasn’t a full compensation, but it was at least a recognition of the economic hardship the owners would endure due to the change in law. It was a gesture of goodwill. The U.S. South was denied this basic gesture.

    5) “I think you believe that the flag brands you as a “rebel” or somehow honors your outlook on life. It doesn’t. It brands you as a racist. You may not think you are one, but flying that flag is a racist act.”

    Nope. You are dead wrong on this one. A rebel is anyone who rebels against the government, the establishment, the status quo. The confederate “rebel” flag has gradually come to represent this today – a rebellion against the status quo, against excessive political correctness, against excessive government intrusion, against excessively burdensome laws, and against the excessive trivialization of real problems and issues into cute sound bites and slogans. The battle flag then meant people were willing to die for their way of life even if the federal government stood in their way. It means something similar today. Frequently, I see it flown with the colonial “Don’t Tread On Me” snake flag.

    Having said that, I repeat that I would never own or fly a rebel flag. It is, for too many people, not just an offensive symbol, but an intimidating one (like the Nazi cross). I may have very right to offend anyone I please, but I draw the line at deliberately intimidating anyone. Still, I would like for you to consider that the rebel flag represents Southern regional pride and rebellion against the establishment, not racism, to those who actually fly it. Again, not my cup of tea, but to each his own expression of faith, opinion, or political view.

  80. My very good high school friend and I grew up in Louisville, Ky. I moved up here (NH) in 1992. After her husband was moved around by the army, they settled in North Carolina about 12 years ago. She’s a history teacher and she and her husband and sons do Civil War re-enactments. I keep getting stuff on the flag from her. I agree that I believe it represents a hateful time in our history, but like anything else, I don’t want to discuss it with her because it’s a hot button issue. I’ve never ever known her to be racist. I will never fly it and my hope is now that it’s coming down in very public places, that it will finally go away! Any future we hope to have as a country is to put the hate that came from enslaving people firmly in the camp of wrong. I’ve seen a truck around here, on the Maine border, flying the flags. My 17 year old daughter thinks it’s disgusting and she is exercising her right to say so. Hate does not have a place in our society!

  81. I’m a 75 yr old white guy, born and raised in Mississippi, have lived in South Carolina for the past 34 yrs. Trust me when I say this is always a racist symbol, if for no other reason than it offends a large majority of our citizens.
    Someone once said “even if what you do is legal, if it offends your neighbor , don’t do it”, I think this is part of the message Rev Heath is delivering.
    For the person with the pick up and flags “you just can’t fix stupid”!

  82. I love this piece that you wrote! I only have one small inaccuracy to point out (which was only recently pointed out to me.). The flag on the truck was not that of the Army of Northern Virginia but rather of Tennessee. The NV flag was in actuality a square with a white border. Tennessee was the only flag that used the “Southern Cross” as the full field on a rectangular flag.
    As I said, a small inaccuracy and in no way does it diminish the power and import of this piece.

  83. When my dad was in college, he got a confederate flag to hang under is American one. His black and white friends were then upset at him because he didn’t get them any. Seriously. It was a cool thing because of the Dukes of Hazard. His friends if all different races and genders saw it, not as a sign of oppression or racism, but as a country/southern boy. Today it sadly holds a different standard for some. I grew up seeing it as a reminder to how far we have come as a country. We can’t please everyone tho, and no matter how we act or what we say in today’s world, someone will be offended. I honestly don’t know where I stand on the confederate flag, because I see both view points. I do however hope this gets people to focus on something other than stopping on the Stars and Stripes, because that is one flag that does stand for freedom!

  84. 1st Amendment right of free speech. Let them fly so long as they’re not on any government property or sanctioned by any government entity. Like you said – it’s good to know who these people are so we know how to address them.

  85. I think u and your “Friends” need to study biology. I’m sure u are happy that u can adobt kids and screw them up, have envitro, or have some kind of twisted serogut to have kids, but its not a religouse issue. People were not designed to live like U. Period!! No judgement just a FACT.
    Good luck in your twisted ways. Especially since you are supposedly some kind of Pastor. I guess online classes must apply to seminary now! I don’t really care about the issue as much its self, but what we are teaching our children. It’s not RIGHT!!
    U are intotled to live your life how u like. My problem is that now days I can’t stand up for what I believe without being called a bigot. Where is the freedom in that????,

      • Goodness, that was hard to read. Not because of the content but because of the incredibly poor English and grammar! I honestly admire your ability to maintain civility in the face of such hatred. 🙂

  86. ms Emily you are correct that whoever that was flying that flag in your state was merely agitating people living there. to some people it is not a flag of hatred. now I can safely assume by your title etc that you are gay. that is offensive to some people also. I think I that the peple who are offended by that are narrow minded bigots also. I admire your courage for being exactly who you are and not letting people scare you into silence .you must understand that there are people who truly don’t believe in racism but the flag does represent their heritage. I don’t want to argue the right or wrong of their belief either but I think people who claim to be open minded and willing to fight any form of racism should also not defend only the politically popular opinions. there fore I hope you are a offfended as I am about the rap music that denigrates all white people; merely because of skin color without ever meeting or having dealings with the people they offend. why don’t we all join in fighting racism bigotry against sexual orientation or religion , or racist opinions thank you mr joe

  87. If you saw the truck parked then why didn’t you go and talk to this person first instead of writing an article? Luckily, there is no penalty for being in violation of the flag code. And, I have to confess, I don’t get why you are so concerned about this person’s opinion since you have your own.

    Your point of view seems that if it wasn’t made in or from New Hampshire then no one should be using or wearing items from other states or countries. I don’t get that.

    How do you know that this person is honoring his ancestors that were Confederate soldiers? You don’t because you didn’t talk to the person you decided to write about this person instead. Do you think that is fair? Is it possible that this person is an ancestor of Robert E. Lee? It could be but you don’t know.

    How do you know what someone is thinking or saying without talking to the person? You’re talking about a person having hatred and racists but you don’t even know this person and it seems like you are the one that is full of hatred and a racist. You do know that racist does not have to do anything with slaves? I don’t think you do.

    I can remember back when 9/11 happen and we as Americans came together to rally against terrorists and not to let the terrorists to change our lives but when a person takes a photo of their selves holding a flag ( what if it was the American Flag? ) we change our lives because of a killer, a kid, you are letting him win by changing. What happens when the next killer comes along and takes a photo wearing a Nike shirt? Will you boycott the company Nike? And if not, why not that is what you are doing now with a flag.

    Is this the kind of person you are? Giving your opinion about a person without talking to this person? And you’re a pastor? A pastor of what? Ignorance?

    Here’s the good news for you: don’t worry about others worry about yourself. You don’t like it, well, I’m sure there are a lot of people that don’t like what you stand for either but you don’t see that person in that truck going around voicing their opinion about you.

    How many people where you live like your way of living? How many people wrote articles about your way of life because they just didn’t get it? Why do you think you have the power to pass judgment over others without talking to them? The same reason others have passed judgment on you? I am sure you had to overcome obstacles during your life but does that give you the right to pass judgment on others? I think not. I don’t know what religion you pastor but in eyes of others could be offending them but it seems you don’t care about that so why care about a flag that has nothing to do with you.

    I know you are saying now that you have Confederate ancestors and you have the right and maybe that person has the right to decide also. Have you tried to rectified what your ancestors done and if not, why? You seem to have a problem what they did so why not to rectify some of their mistakes? And don’t say by trying to ban this flag because that won’t fly with me.

    Why weren’t you talking and writing about this months, years ago? Why now? Is it because that is what America is talking about and you feel that you need to put your two cents in?

    • Dennis, please read the explanation at the end of the article. I have seen him driving but have not been able to figure out how to get him to stop. My wife took the photo and she was in the car alone. She did not confront him, and I’m glad she did not as I have received multiple messages from self-proclaimed friends of his containing homophobic and bigoted slurs. And I am not trying to ban the flag, as I’ve said multiple times. But I am trying to get people to think about what it really means.

  88. I posted my points to her and she disnt like the argument. So she deleted the thread . Personal opinion is between you and God . If you were to take everything everyone does not like you would have a museum with the rainbow flag , the black panther flag , the Israeli flag ,the cross ( because the klan used it for hate) miss black America (for offence) Every book offensive like Huckleberry Finn ,movies like last temptation of Christ etc… This is America not North Korea or Russia where they tell you how to think and live.

  89. I grew up in Virginia, in the very town that both RE Lee and TJ “Stonewall” Jackson are buried. The one thing that I feel compelled to point out is that the battle flag of the Northern VA (ie, Lee’s) army was square. The “confederate” flag causing all the stink is rectangular. The rectangular version of the crossed blue bars on a red background was used during the war by the Army of Tennessee And as the 2nd Confederate Navy Jack.

  90. If you believe other like minded individuals as the officer who moved are still not in NH or the seacoast area you are very naive. If you believe racists only fly the Confederate flag you are even more naive. I know born and raised New Hampshire residents that define what a true racist is. They don’t fly the Confederate flag, nor do they belong to the KKK.

  91. Yes, I recall your equally moving similar essays about flag-burning and Che T-shirts.
    I have always disliked the Confederate flag, but the recent self-righteous opportunistic piling on is much closer to what Jesus repeatedly condemned. I hope you will find a way to back away from that instead of embracing it and capitalizing on it.

    David Wyman

    • I think Jesus was pretty good at piling on injustice.

      And I’m neither a fan of flag burning or Che t-shirts, as a child and grandchild of vets. But, like this flag, I believe they fall under free speech.

  92. The Shooter In That Church Said He Was Trying To Start A Civil War Again And He Has Succeeded But Not White Against Black But Confederate Flag Supporters Against Non Supporters. A Shame. You Are A Woman That Sleeps With A Woman In Your Words I DON”T GET IT

  93. Honestly who really cares? If someone wants to fly the confederate flag then let them, if someone wants to fly an American Flag let them, if someone wants to fly a gay pride flag, or any other flag then let them.

  94. What a person has in their heart dictates whether they are a racist, not a flag. A flag is just that, a flag. Like a gun is gun, the person who used that gun was the racist with hate in his heart not the flag. You have been properly diverted from the real issues involving this tragedy. As has most of America. While people go crazy over a flag the next mentally deranged person is planning their assault on humanity, and getting their hands on a gun. The way I see it Charleston,, Sandy Hook, and Aurora Colorado have something in common and its not a flag.

  95. Someone summarized this for me:

    David —–: There’s a significant difference between acknowledging ones history and revelling in it. Americans honor the flag, not because it represents the genocide or slavery of people, but the ideals that inspired the nation’s birth. One could argue that the baggage associated with the symbol is too heavy to wear in public without others questioning your reasons for associating your personal identity with it, and I’m sure in some parts of the world this is true. The Nazis did some good things while they were in power, and one could even make the argument for German national pride, but the baggage associated with the symbol is too heavy to wear in public without people wondering whether you support the extermination of millions of people. The same goes for the Confederacy, who essentially used their constitutional right to secede from the country over an economic imperative to remain competitive by exploiting slave labor. Nobody’s going to remember them for all that infrastructure and rich historical tapestry in the light of all that.

    Me: Thank you. I’ve been troubled by how some jeniuses adopted a worthy symbol to promote their unworthy cause(s). Your summary helped me to realize why letting those symbols fall away is the right choice.

    I am not Jewish. I am Caucasian. A resoundingly wonderful African American Man raised me since I was 4 when a sorrowful Caucasian left to rot (essentially). My wife is also African American as are almost all my siblings – who I absolutely love – her and them.

    PS: I served in the 101st Airborne and fought in Desert Storm. Patriotism calls for more than just waving some jeniuses symbol around all willy nilly.

  96. Are we to believe that all Southerners who fought and died under that flag were racists? The population of the Confederacy was 9.1 million including 3.9 million slaves according to the 1860 census. About 6-7% of the 5 million white southerners owned slaves at the outbreak of the Civil War. Of the southern states’ entire population, 591,000 served in the Confederate military. Asserting that the 591,000 Confederate soldiers and 260,000 Confederate soldiers who died under that flag were fighting primarily to continue slavery strains credulity when 93% of them owned NO slaves. To believe that this flag “is hate” also denies any other possible motivations, be they economic, political, territorial, or local loyalty. Are we to conclude that they risked their lives only to protect the slave-holding interest of the relatively few large cotton growers who owned hundreds of slaves on their plantations? What about the other 4 and 1/2 million southerners? I’ll concede that the use of the flag in sixties was for segregation which was a pet issue of the Democrats and probably still is. (After all, even though the Republicans win elections in the South, the Democrats still get high vote totals.) However, the assertions in the article, while perhaps sincere and deeply held, are entirely bereft of supporting evidence or data, and therefore gratuitous. According to the rules of logic a gratuitous assertion may be refuted gratuitously, which I now do. I don’t read minds. But if you can, prove it.

    • My guess is many Confederate soldiers were drafted or pressured into service. But even if they didn’t own slaves, perhaps they believed their neighbors should be able to do so. My ancestors who were Confederate soldiers were not wealthy, but my guess is they were people of their time and place, and did see races as unequal.

      • Only 12% of Confederate soldiers were conscripts. (union 6%) Most were volunteers. Pressure? Probably peer pressure to do what friends and neighbors did and support secession, like Robert E. Lee–defend the home and the homeland from the Yankees. As for viewing the races as unequal, I concur.But as motivation to risk your life? For somebody else’s slaves or right to own slaves? I don’t think so. People aren’t that crazy, then or now. The southerners’ views probably didn’t differ much from the Northerners’ views on that issue. I don’t think they would have risked their lives for that either. The Northern view on racial equality was enunciated by Abraham Lincoln, who opposed slavery, but who said in the 4th Lincoln-Douglas debate, “I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races,” he began, going on to say that he opposed blacks having the right to vote, to serve on juries, to hold office and to intermarry with whites. What he did believe was that, like all men, blacks had the right to improve their condition in society and to enjoy the fruits of their labor. In this way they were equal to white men, and for this reason slavery was inherently unjust.

  97. I find it interesting that you prefer to live in a cozy white state with only a few thousand black people rather than whatever state you came from that has a substantial black population.

  98. So, I have to beg to differ with this article and the premise behind it. As a young child, I had this flag hanging in my bedroom. Why? For no other reason that I thought it looked cool. I still do at the ripe old age of 45. I liked the fact that it was painted on the top of a car. It was a good, wholesome tv show. I was never taught to think I was better than anyone. My mother spent time in South Carolina in her youth and saw what those racist rednecks were doing to black people. Those stories would turn your stomach.

    I think we as a people have gotten just a little bit too PC when it comes to these types of things. A flag doesn’t promote racism, the parents that teach their children are. We need to stop that to stop racism.

    Before I get off of my little soapbox this morning, I want to share a little history…after the Civil War, as a part of Reconstruction, former slaves were given jobs of importance by the government that paid decent money. It was sort of like Affirmative Action but with a purpose to integrate black people into society as equals. It sounds stupid now, but it worked until Woodrow Wilson became President and fired all of them. Why? Because he was the biggest racist of them all. I have wondered where we would be today if he had never been in office. I think we would be living in a much different world.

    Nobody is gonna tell me what I think because of what I like or dislike. I like the Stars and Bars. I’m not a racist. I can say that confidently. Ok. Getting off of the soapbox. 😜

  99. Reverend Heath, you are a model for leadership in the modern age. Your practice of setting and maintaining boundaries (real names, no hate-speech, etc.), and then meeting EVERY comment within those boundaries HEAD ON is nothing short of remarkable. This is the kind of openness to discussion that allows all points of view to be heard, no matter how divergent, and has the potential to bring us closer together and heal our wounds. It is clear in reading the robust discussion following your article that you opened yourself up to this process and worked hard to respond with truth and grace. Thank you.

  100. I find it funny how Emily will not answer any questions nor will she defend her article. She blocked me from every account she has because I am asking the hard questions and not once did I say anything hurtful towards her or hate slurs. I am questioning her article of the Confederate Flag and she has no answers for me other than blocking me. Why is she afraid of questions?

    • You have used a multitude of accounts, and admitted you have been using your girlfriend’s as well, to contact me after I’ve asked you to stop. I am asking you one last time. It’s not your questions that bother me. It’s the harassment. If you continue this I will take all of your attempts to contact me to the police. Between two Facebook accounts, email, blog comments, and more you are ignoring very simple boundaries.

    • Dennis, for the last time, it’s not your questions. It’s your repeated attempts to contact me via the blog, my email, your Facebook account, and your girlfriend’s Facebook account, and other means. Stop means stop. If you don’t, it is harassment. I’ve already spoken to the police once about harassing complaints. If you do not respect this last request I will go to them with your multiple contacts. I’m documenting everything.

  101. Embracing heritage while moving forward together to a better future does not require any of us to surrender or forget.

    Symbolism is strictly a matter of context. Think about one of the groups that is cited often in these posts- the KKK. As much as they used this controversial flag as a symbol, there was another symbol they used far more prevalently: the Christian cross. That cross is a very meaningful symbol to multitudes of people worldwide, and generally represents the pursuit of peace and brotherly love. But if that same cross is jammed into a front lawn, soaked with gasoline and and set ablaze in the dark of night, the symbolism changes greatly. This discussion of symbolism loses all meaning when either side seeks to remove context

    For those who state that this flag represents heritage, I have a sincere question: can you clearly and concretely define the heritage that you seek to memorialize? I am a Northerner, and I love Southern culture, the people of the South, and the South’s rich history. What else could serve as a symbol of that great heritage without attachment to the worst parts of human nature that are expressed in every culture?

    I value the heroism and loyalty displayed by confederate soldiers and generals, statesmen and clergy, even though I know that slavery is always wrong and cannot be permitted to exist anywhere. So I recognize the importance of remembering that bravery, loyalty, and sacrifice. Is it possible to accomplish that while admitting that the evils of slavery needed to perish?

    And as a Northerner, I ask Southerners to understand my pride in my ancestors, newly arrived immigrants to this country, who fought for the Union, and my awe and respect for Abraham Lincoln. I firmly believe that his primary motivation was the preservation of the Union in conjunction with the abolition of slavery. He sacrificed his life in the name of the Union, the United States, and history has shown that his sacrifice was worthwhile, just, and the precursor for anything good that this nation, all of us together, have accomplished in the 150+ years since.

    My ancestors, like the wide majority of soldiers on both sides, had nothing to gain and everything to lose by engaging in that great conflict. We can acknowledge economic causes and benefits for both sides surrounding this war. But the fact is that the economic benefactors and losers were the very few, while the millions of families whose bloodlines flooded the battlefields were still poor, hungry, and hardworking long after the final shot was fired.

    Let’s find a way to move forward together, with Southern pride in the best parts of its heritage. After all, we are first Americans, and share one story, one past, in the eyes of the rest of the world. There must be a better symbol that can capture all of this with no loss of pride and without the attachment to our worst inhumanity.

  102. in response to some of these comments: when I start hearing black folks, and descendants of slaves, saying the flag represents their southern pride and heritage I will agree that it is not a racist hateful symbol.

  103. I think you voiced your opinion quite well. I agree that flying the flag is a matter of respecting how it may make people feel. I have spent my whole life in Franklin, TN. In my teens I would drive by a Nathan Bedford Forrest statue and salute it. I would regularly use racially derogatory comments. I did these things purely out of EXTREME ignorance. As I have gotten older I have learned to appreciate all people and to love and respect them. In doing so I have also learned to try and understand where they are coming from and keep an open mind to understand their culture so that I don’t take offense or do that I don’t offend when using cultural gestures. In some cultures winking is a sign of trust and in others it is a sign of sneakiness or of deceit. Where do we draw the line to allow those who are flying this flag because of heritage and to stop those who are simply racist? Both have a right to do so. A right to say “I’m southern and proud!” And “I’m a racist dumba$$!! And pRoud?!?”
    I fear that it isn’t as cut and dry as we’d like it to be. The flag does have its place, besides in a trash can. It should be displayed at Civil War museums/landmarks and Confederate graveyards. People flying it now after this recent debate, I think, are doing more so to say “I have the freedom to fly this flag”. They’re afraid that someone is going to take that away from them. It’s a ridiculous fear but it is theirs to have.
    Instead of assuming all who fly the flag are racist hillbillies and feeling the need to go tell them to take down their racist flag because it offends you. Why not simply go ask them, with an open mind and heart, “Why is it you feel the need to fly the Confederate Battle Flag?” Then listen to what they have say about it. Have a conversation with them. Who knows maybe you’ll make a new friend.
    I am an everyday struggling Christain man who has friends from every walk of life. Gay, black, white, Hispanic, Christian, Jew, Muslim, atheists, bisexual, my newest is a guy I grew up with is now transgender. They all have two things in common. They’re God’s children and they’re my friends. Don’t just see someone flying that flag and assume the worst or judge them. See the opportunity to have a conversation with them. Don’t tell them how it makes you feel until they ask you. If they don’t ask you, don’t tell them. Just my thoughts.
    Scott Willett

  104. Fantastic! That is one of the best things I’ve seen written (I’ve seen a lot on Facebook) that breaks it down…plain and simple. If I’m allowed to share and you approve it….I will definitely share it!

  105. Wow, Ms. Heath. I do applaud you for voicing your opinion respectfully while respecting this individuals decision to fly this great flag. Reading through this blog entry leads me to believe that you whole heartily believe in the nonsense the victors of the war want you to believe. I do feel you should really go back and research the facts over what the war was really being fought over, and also when exactly slavery was abolished in the north. Especially considering that you proclaim yourself as a “daughter of the confederacy”.

    • I don’t consider myself a “daughter of the confederacy”. I am a descendant of Confederate soldiers, though. And the war was about slavery. It was only about economics and states’ rights as they related to slavery. Period.

      And believe me, I’m not letting the North off the hook. But at least they aren’t celebrating being on the losing side of a war over slavery.

      Next time, please sign your full name, as asked, or your comments will be deleted.

  106. I admit your blog post is very well written, not sure how I even ended up on it, but….. a couple hours later and some sore eyes from reading 85% of it all and I clearly understand that you wish to “educate” this person on the back round of this particular flag. Now being a pastor and a mature adult we can agree that we never stop learning. At the same time you are educating the truck owner and others reading this, I found myself instantly coming to this persons defense in my head. I myself live in NH born and raised, have served in the military, am in NO way a racist yet noticed something that I don’t recall reading in any comments. I’m a mechanic, have been my entire life. In regards to this flag and how you and many others perceive it is most certainly not the way that everyone sees it. Instead of educating the owner of the truck have you given thought to possibly educating yourself? I’m not trying to be ignorant, or an ass in any way. But I can tell you from personal experience as a mechanic who builds off road trucks that flag isn’t looked at anywhere near the way you perceive it. To people like him, me, and millions of off road fanatics see it, it is more of a way of branding yourself as an independent and not forcing yourself to be be a sheep and part of a tight flock. For me personally I truly wholeheartedly don’t see it as the racist emblem that it’s being portrayed as, yes the past is the past, but I happen to love the design and look of it. Am I a racist for liking the artist/designers artwork, NO I am not. I feel as if you are branding us as awful scum etc for displaying our freedom to be different. Some uneducated younger “kids” haven’t the slightest idea what this flag has been through or at one point represented. But I’m sure you can agree that in time things change. If you wish to educate anyone, educate yourself or simply remind yourself that the ONLY reason that the racism and hate it once stood for only gets brought up by those that can’t let go of the past and move on. How can anything change if you yourself are unwilling change. Imagine if everyone could learn to just let go, let go of the hate, negativity, and swallowed a little pride (on both sides of the discussion) we could see that all of us are on the same field, but it’s going to be a long game if your waiting for Babe Ruth to get to bat while we understand he’s dead and have moved on and are watching Miguel Cabrera. I guess the point I’m trying to get across is that while your blog post and many of the comments are VERY educating, if everyone could take some education while giving it, they will most definitely realize that the “rebel”, “confederate “, “battle flag” doesn’t stand for what it once did, yet stands for a generation or group per say that have adopted the flag because of its cool design and not it’s heritage / history. I’m not saying all of the current flag bearers are free from ignorant thoughts, but without ability to see something from a different point of view yourself, how do you expect someone else to do it.

    • I know how people view that flag. I have met a lot of folks who think it stands for their country/off-road/etc. lifestyle. But what I am saying is that it does not. It stands for the Confederacy, a cause created to defend the institution of enslaving people. Period. That does not change anymore than the meaning of a swastika can ever be changed back from what the Nazis did to it. Find another “cool design”, and not one that people were killed over.

  107. I am first and foremost a Christian. I’m also a Southerner, but live in Canada. I hate racism and love the Confederate flag. Why? Because the War Between the States was first and foremost about States’ Rights, not slavery. My hometown’s local chapter of Sons of the Confederacy has black members, too. I will never defend slavery. But I’ll tell anyone that Lincoln took “…and to the REPUBLIC for which it stands”… and turned it into a democracy, which was never the Founding Fathers’ intention. He also freed only the slaves in the South, to punish them, not in other states, not his OWN slaves. If I was a black person whose ancestors had been slaves in the US, I would be so grateful. The alternative for them was to be taken or killed by warring tribes (it was actually warring tribes that sold the slaves to the whites in Africa to begin with) and at least after surviving transport to the US, their decendents are able to live here, free citizens in the “first world”. Unfortunately, thanks to the outcome of the war under discussion, they also now have a federal democracy, a welfare state, skewed history books and encroachments on said freedoms. Nonetheless, it’s better than living in western Africa. At least we all have the OPPORTUNITY to become better informed.

  108. I feel a need to interject one point. “Common usage” is a term applied to validate the meanings of words whose definitions change over time to mean something different from its original form. “Gay” is a readily accessible example. Gay used to mean bright, happy, and cheerful, but through common usage it has come to mean someone who is a homosexual.

    The Confederate flag is a symbol. Symbols change over time with common usage just as words do. The swastika used by the Nazi party is a choice example of the change of symbols via common usage. Anyone seen with a swastika now is seen as a racist, anti-semitic, violent dirtbag, because the swastika was used in conjunction with a group of people who tortured, experimented on, and murdered millions. However, the swastika is a VERY ancient symbol that has appeared since Neolithic times, and was commonly associated with prosperity and auspiciousness in many Indian religions. Through common usage, the swastika has transmuted from a peaceful religious symbol into a symbol of hatred.

    Enter the Confederate flag. Disassociate the flag from the context you have given it, and look at it as a word, if you will. This symbol has gone through a common usage transmutation, and no matter how hard a southerner argues “It was not about slavery, it was about states’ rights,” among other common arguments, it will not stop meaning “racism, treason, hatred, etc.,” to everyone but the minority of southerners who believe otherwise. It is therefore reasonable to me to ask those people if they are comfortable saying something which has such an ugly context for everyone else. It doesn’t MATTER what the south thinks it means, it MEANS, through common usage by the majority, racism and hatred.

    While I try to respect the arguments that it’s flown for pride, not racism, people REALLY need to ask themselves if they are comfortable saying “PRIDE!” when it doesn’t mean that at all for anyone else. No argument, no reasons, nothing, will get the common majority to disassociate the symbol with hatred. If one were to fly a swastika and argue it meant something peaceful, no one would see it that way. I’m sorry, southern states, that a symbol you seem to like has undergone such a change, but this is what it means to everyone else.

    Are you REALLY comfortable with that? Would you really like to announce to people you are a racist piece of white trash, even if you’re NOT?

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