To many southerners whose ancestors fought and died in the Civil war, that battle flag is a very important piece of their history. The Civil War wasn’t all about slavery. Men died and it wasn’t usually the wealthy plantation owners who were fighting. The ancestors of those people feel a connection to the flag that flew in the battles their family fought and died in. And rightly, they should be allowed to hold that flag dear to their hearts for that very reason. Anyone who blindly screams “racism” is being close minded because there are far more meanings behind that Rebel flag than what some ignorant hate group would have people believe.
Confederate Flag Meaning
The Confederate flag was used by some Confederate Army Units especially from the South. It was also known as the ‘Rebel’ or ‘Dixie’ flag which was more often than not confused and misinterpreted with the first National flag called as the ‘Stars and Bars’, though ironically the Stars and Bars has a completely different design as compared to the rectangular Confederate flag. The Confederate flag meaning has been a taboo for generations the USA, as many believe it represents ‘White Supremacy’, pro racism, slavery and hatred. Let us unravel the true meaning of the confederate flag and its mysteries.
Confederate Flag History
In order to know the actual Confederate flag meaning, it is necessary to understand why the Confederates needed to create a separate group. It all began with the presidential elections of 1860 when Abraham Lincoln and his Republican party campaigned for slavery to be curtailed and desist its expansion beyond the states in which slavery already existed. When the Republicans won the elections that year, 7 Southern states declared their rebellion against the anti slavery campaign. Colombia was the first state to declare it non-conformation against the anti slavery campaign, though this act was a combination of rebellion against the Northern stated from trying to enforce their overall political dominance upon the Southern states in general. They seceded before Abraham Lincoln took up the presidential office on March 4, 1861, this led to both the new president as well as the ex president James Buchanan to declare the act of the Southern states as violative of the US constitution and therefore illegal.
The concept of the confederate flag symbolism as depicted on the first Confederate flag (1862-1863) was to show the secession of the 11 Southern states from the Union and its declaration of unity to the Confederate. Later on 2 more states joined and the flag’s design had to be changed, it took up the new design of the blue cross or X with 13 white stars in (1863-1865). The Confederate flag meaning was clear from the thirteen stars, which in actuality represented the total number of seceded Southern states or colonies, while the blue X represented their unified act of secession from the Union and other Northern states. This final act of rebellion is what led to the American Civil War from 1861 to 1865 which has been engraved as a part of its history. The Civil war was between all the Free states in the Union vs the Confederate States of America which was led by Senator Jefferson Davis who remained the president of the Confederate till the end of his time.
Though the Confederates lost the Civil war, it regained some minor popularity during the World War II. The flag became a local emblem among southern military units, for example one of the 26 United States Navy Cleveland-class light cruisers the USS Columbia (CL-56) adorned the Confederate flag as a battle insignia during the entire South Pacific war. This was done to pay tribute to the state of Columbia. This incident and a few more made the government declare that such acts were inappropriate and should not be practiced. The reason being firstly that the Confederate could not be used in place of the American flag. Secondly that the entire country was unitedly fighting in the World War II and not individual states who were exploiting and twisting the Confederate flag meaning to portray patriotism.
Controversy of the Confederate Flag
In modern times many Southerners still use the flag as they believe it represents the distinct development and uniqueness of the Southern culture. They believe its a part of their right to free speech and expression. Though the collateral damage the Confederate flag being displayed is that some feel disrespected and targeted racially. Symbols of the Confederacy are still in use and have become an issue of dispute that crops up every now and then across the United States. In the 1990s many Southern state legislatures attempted to allow the use of the Confederate flag as a part of its political and civic heritage as they consider it a part of the American history and do not view the flag as a representation of racism or any form of superiority.
Confederate Flag Meaning in Abroad
You would be surprised to know that the Confederate flag is often used as a symbol for culture and to display love for one’s country. In Canada it is often used in Alberta. While in UK is represents the love for the American way of life, country music and line dancing. In Sweden the flag is the insignia of the ‘Raggare’ people who love to drive American auto mobiles and often follow their culture and lifestyle which is inspired from the 1940’s to 1960’s generation.
The Confederate flag meaning has been interpreted differently by different communities as well as different countries but the fact remains that it is still in use because it invokes strong emotional feelings. Whether positive or not may not be the defining issue. Many believe that the flag of Alabama, the recently changed flag of Georgia and the present flag of Mississippi are influenced by the Confederate flag. The flag of Mississippi represents the actual Confederate X on it, along with the blue, white and red stripes as the background. Though this flag was the choice of the citizens of Mississippi and the United States ratified their unified decision.
Charles Frederick Tolbert EdD
Candidate For U. S. Senate Florida 2016
P. O. Box. 740025
Orange City Fl 32774
Immigration belongs to the States.