The Confederate Flag Is on Display at the Florida Capitol Because... History!

Categories: WTFlorida

3619113241_8e95ce82c7.jpg
kitticacher via flickr
We probably should have seen this coming. In the last year, thanks to open rules about what can and can not be displayed in the area, the rotunda at the Florida Capitol has become contested ground for a grab bag of worldviews and opinions. Besides your regular nativity scene, this year there was a Festivus pole gracing the space for the holidays. Once the atheists got theirs, the satanists weren't far behind. But after atheists and satanists, what slice of the American pie is just as pushy about getting out its own hotly contested free speech? Confederate apologists fanboys sympathizers history buffs.

On Friday, a whole display of Confederate flags went up in the rotunda. The occasion was Confederate Memorial Day, April 26, which is an actual thing, sorry to say, America. In keeping with the back-assed nature of all things Confederate, it's not officially recognized on a single day. Each former member of the Confederacy has chosen a different day for the holiday (STATES' RIGHTS!). Florida holds its antebellum throwback party when a Stars and Bars general finally handed his sword over to the Union in 1864.

Anyway, the flags were displayed by the Sons of Confederate Veterans, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. This is the first time the group has displayed the flags. It was clued in thanks to Festivusgate over the holiday season. As these groups always do, they trucked out the usual canned speech about how they're not trying to celebrate racism but honor the fallen dead sons of the South...

Which is crap.

We're getting to the point in this country's history where we should probably stuff all the nostalgia in the bottom drawer and acknowledge that not only is the Confederate flag a totem of a racist historical period but that it's hauled out now only to piss folks off, stick a finger in people's eye, a dying-fratboy chest bump of racial superiority. Argue all you want that it's a symbol of those who fell for a cause -- you can't clip it free from the content of that cause, right?

The Confederate flag is taking the air in Tallahassee at a bit of an awkward time. Today, in 2014, we're watching as one of the most powerful men in American, a sports owner who makes billions off the back of his minority workforce, has been confirmed (again) as a vicious racist. The white-over-black attitudes celebrated in the Confederate South are still alive and kicking, no matter how much you'd like to write them off as historical dinosaurs.

With the legislative session coming to a close, there was little time for right-minded representatives to waste time bashing the flags. On Twitter, however, people got upset.

Others, well, seemed positive (hashtag CSA?):

By far the best response to the flags came from none other than Jeff Clemens, the state senator from Lake Worth and a true showman of the Twitter reaction.



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31 comments
Cleburne123
Cleburne123

"Which is crap?" Says who, you? ummm, okay.

Rj Petrucci
Rj Petrucci

Kristian - this fallacy that Northerners do not realize the North was racist is just wrong. The North was racist - but the Southern traitors fought to break up the Union to maintain States Rights to maintain slavery. There were Northerners who wanted slavery and there were Southerners who fought the Confederate monstrosity. The Civil War showed Americans that States Rights are quite often a battle cry for a group trying to do harm to others.

Rj Petrucci
Rj Petrucci

Nothing worse than flying the flag of a group of traitors to the Union - willing to fight for "States Rights" over raising, trading and keeping other humans as inhuman slaves.

suzn68
suzn68

Photobombing an historical display, in the State Capitol and posting it on Twitter?  Stay classy, Jeff Clemens. 

gatorstick
gatorstick

Mr. Swenson,


You are ignorant of history and spouting hate for the sake of antagonizing those as ignorant as yourself.

While your view of racism appears to be only a Southern thing, I beg of you to explain:


*Why the Emancipation Proclamation did not free Northern (US) held slaves? Additionally, it stated should the succeeded states rejoin the Union, they could hold their slaves another 30 or so years? Wow! What Northern benevolence to the bondman!


*Why the first passing of the 13th Amendment in 1861, without a Southern vote in favor, protected slavery in perpetual should the Southern state re-join the Union?


* Why many Northern states had laws limiting to 30-60 days the time a Freedman could remain within their boarders before being subjected to arrest?


*Why the Union only paid their black soldiers 2/3 that of their white counterparts while black Confederates were paid on equal footing as the white soldiers?


*Why during the 1863 New York City draft riots over a hundred  free blacks; men , women & children were lynched over the course of a few nights?


*Why the Southern Poverty Law Center lists the vast majority of Klan activity today as being in the North?


I could go on however your article clearly demonstrates you know little except the selective  Politically Correct view of history and human nature.


 America is the most prosperous, peaceful place on the face of the earth because we have a diverse group of GOOD PEOPLE who stand for fairness and tolerance. We could not have peace if this was not so as if the majority were as hateful as you we would be similar to many other sections of the world such as Southeast Asia, the middle east or Africa where murder, warfare & political hate are a generational way of life.


 The cause of the Southern States and those who defended it were honorable, moral and legal.What occurred generations ago were commonly accepted in the entire country and the remainder of the world and it's not fair to judge our forefathers in todays selective standards as they can not judge us in theirs.


 The flag display was there to EDUCATE REASONABLE minds about a period of time in our great nation's history. Someone as yourself I doubt is open enough to learn true history rather than selective, agenda based history for propagation of self serving divisiness.


 BTW, Tallahassee was the only state capitol East of the Mississippi that the Yankees did not capture & sack, so it was 1865 before Tallahassee had an occupation force to disenfranchise the population. Additionally, the flag pictured is the Confederate Naval Jack or Army of Tennessee flag. You might consider learning a topic prior to your spouting about it.


last, for the posted of the picture of the President, he qualifies for fully voting membership in the Sons of Confederate Veterans upon the honorable service of his gr gr gr grandfather, a Confederate Cavalryman from Tennessee. Is history interesting or what?


Capt. Phil Walters



siegels1
siegels1

I find the ignorance surrounding the Confederate flags as a racist symbol is remarkable.  What state was admitted to the USA during the so called Civil War?  West Virginia with all her slaves! 


There were thousands of slaves in the USA all during the War all perfectly legal.


The Emancipation Proclamation was a carefully worded 'war measure' that freed no one.  In the United States, none were freed, and in the seceded states the so called freed slaves became 'contraband' according to the "Confiscation Acts".  Frederick Douglas called it a "stupendous fraud".


But don't take my word for it, just look it up, America.


Slavery cannot ever be excused, but it was accepted by the majority of the people in the USA and the CSA.


The Confederate soldier deserves to be honored because he was defending his home and family from a despotic government in Washington that wasn't happy when 80% of the Federal income was lost (Southern trade tariffs).  While you're googling check out the Morrill Tarrif.


Yesterday's veterans deserve the same honor that today's veterans do.  Dissing one is dissing all.  Like it or not...but it is HISTORY.





Andrew Creech
Andrew Creech

...and the Confederate flag...speaking of History's losers....why anyone would want to affiliate with those buffoons is beyond idiotic. They stood for states rights, yes I know...but they also stood for oppressing women, enslaving people, and keeping the wealth and benefits of the country's natural resources in the hands of the elite. Take that shit off my Capital.

Paul Sutherland
Paul Sutherland

I don't think secession is something to be proud of. Feel free to list the good reasons for secession that don't involve owning slaves.

Paul Sutherland
Paul Sutherland

I'll bite, go ahead and let me know what the history of the flag represents to you if not the southern states desire to keep slavery as a part of their economy? What part of owning a person is something to be proud of?

Andrew Creech
Andrew Creech

...or Seminole Indians raiding settlers farms, raping and killing their families...give it a rest. People want it to seem like the Indians were just peaceful people who did no harm to anyone, and it is factually untrue. "Well the Europeans invaded their lands!" And the Indians lost. So, should we give Gaul back since the Romans invaded it and took it over? Should we give Egypt back from Alexander's raid? Give it up, it's a tired, one-sided, half-blind opinionated hipster perspective.

Paul Sutherland
Paul Sutherland

What does the South have to be proud of about anything from that period? The Briitsh and Spain flags were a part of our history and we don't hoist them up at our gov't buildings. The Confederate Flag at the very least represents anti-gov't (federal) secession and to me is un-American. Let the re-enactors fly that stupid flag wherever they want, but keep it off of gov't buildings.

Rosemary Kerttula
Rosemary Kerttula

To the uneducated it's racist because they refuse to learn by reading the history of the flag

Dino MacabreEnt
Dino MacabreEnt

So germans can fly the Nazi flag? Or put the rising sun flag up and be proud of it. My family fought & died for the north, this flag dishonors all who fought and died for the north. BURN IT!

smdrpepper
smdrpepper

Why would anyone want to celebrate an act of treason?  It shows just how backwards the south really is, that they think it is okay to destroy the country as long as it fits their ideology..Oh wait, thats what the right wing extremists are doing RIGHT THIS SECOND!

KennyPowersII
KennyPowersII topcommenter

Oh please. Why do people give a shit? Just ignore it. Today these events and places are categorized as breakaway republics and acceptable. Civil wars are fought with international intervention and support. It happened, and as costly as it was, Confederate flags in the Rotunda don't mean squat except to those who have an agenda to popularize.

Ben Pogue
Ben Pogue

...History, why not have a statue of Tequesta and Guacata dying from disease introduced by Spanish invaders, or the female members being raped, sanctioned by the Pope, that's history, and just as obnoxious.....

Kristian Andrew Rodriguez
Kristian Andrew Rodriguez

You obviously do not know the history of the Confederate flag or the real reason for the Civil War and the secession The southern states. northerners were just a little bit more tolerant but still just as racist just like today!

smdrpepper
smdrpepper

@gatorstick Wow, you really have no clue to actual history.  I have no clue why people like you think the south was all noble, like Gone With The Wind, when they were traitors.  They wanted to subjugate an entire race of people so they could profit off them and started one of the bloodiest conflicts in this countries history.  The CSA were traitors against America.  Stop building them up to something they are not.

Cleburne123
Cleburne123

@smdrpepper LOL, that is some funny stuff right there, seeing as how not one person, from Jefferson Davis down to the lowliest private was ever tried, convicted or hung for treason.

gatorstick
gatorstick

@smdrpepper  

Do you have documentation of charges of treason against the South? Any? If you can't produce any charges of treason let alone convictions against the South via courts of law, then it's hard to factually justify the statement of treason.

Then again, when you wish to show ignorance of facts in public strictly to support a BELIEf, like Hillary said, "What does it matter?" Besides, It was Lincoln who called for an invasion of the Southern states, not the Southern states calling for an invasion of Washington DC.


gatorstick
gatorstick

@smdrpepper  


Return to my post & please answer my points. You have not because you can't find the historical facts to counter them.

You should consider  reading a little more history rather than preach a weak opinionated position lacking substance.


Once again, lets start with treason. Show me the chargers in courts of law for treason along with the CONVICTIONS. Unless your have also chosen to bury fundamental common law and Constitutional protects supposedly afforded all citizens, you don't have much, if any argument for your charge as to be convicted of a crime is vastly different from some politically driven pundit throwing out unfounded accusations.

smdrpepper
smdrpepper

@gatorstick @smdrpepper Yes, there is a ton of evidence of treason, the south broke the Union and fired upon the North.  There was a whole war about it..You may have heard of it, it was called the Civil War.

gatorstick
gatorstick

@Cleburne123 @smdrpepper @gatorstick

Hollow, ill studied,lacking fact or substance and highly opinionated with selective reference to political agenda,,,,,,,,,,,,,, 

Your average American's knowledge of our history and comprehension of the human experiance

Cleburne123
Cleburne123

@smdrpepper @gatorstick CONSTANTLY raided the north???? Really?? Please, shed some light.

gatorstick
gatorstick

@smdrpepper @gatorstick  One of the goals of the war for Republican  Northern industrial political interests was to destroy the South politically. They did so with many Yankee firebrands such  Gen. Sherman advocating for the annihilation (killing) of any secessionist or Confederate (there is a difference between the two. Do you know what it is? ). They wanted blood.

You naively cite no charges of treason as benevolent. Wishful thinking. The primary reason, as many Northern cooler legal heads understood was surmised by a letter written by Chief Justice of the Supreme court Salmon P. Chase to President Johnson, stated "What the South did (succession) was legal and Constitutional. If the firebrands wish to hang the Confederates they must first charge and try them, In doing so, in any resemblance of a fair trail, conviction of treason is highly unlikely. President Davis was imprisoned for TWO years DEMANDING a TRAIL for TREASON of which the North declined to do.


 You present no evidence for treason  other than opinion, then you charge the South with breaking the country apart for doing what was taught at West Point to the future military leaders and what many Northerners also believed that secession was Constitutional. (Many Northern leaders and publishers who supported this Constitutional view was jailed without Habeas Corpus by the Lincoln administration. Records point to 12,000-15,000 of these political prisoners of the Lincoln administration)

 Complacent, controllable subjects make fine serfs for tyrants. Maybe the Southerns should not have stood for Constitutional government as the Founding Fathers had and rolled over and accepted an unConstitutional, all powerful Federal government taxing the life out of them.

Maybe when you age and study human history you might be able to begin to understand the intricacies of politics, freedom, liberty, ambition and other human traits. Then again, maybe not.

 All is simple and assumptive............


because the actions of the south led to the death of THOUSANDS of Americans...........................

Maybe if Lincoln had not ordered Ft Sumter supplied & reinforced (the action was an act of war as it violated South Carolina's sovereignty ) and did not call for 75,000 troops to INVADE independent states, history might be different. Maybe you might PONDER the AGGRESSOR"S actions as Mr. Lincoln was clamoring for war. Takes two to tango.

smdrpepper
smdrpepper

@gatorstick @smdrpepperThere were never any court cases, simply because the north wanted the horror of the war to be over, not because the south was not guilty of treason.  The south split the country in half, and CONSTANTLY raided the north while starting a war against them.

How anyone can be so deluded in making the south into some noble and patriotic people is amazing.  Gone With The Wind was a work of FICTION, not reality.  They were worse then Benedict Arnold and the Rosenberg's, simply because the actions of the south led to the death of THOUSANDS of Americans.

Cleburne123
Cleburne123

@smdrpepper @gatorstick Ummm, he who fires the first shot may not necessarily be the one who startes the war. might want to look into Lincoln's Fox Expedition, purposefully done to incite war.....but I don't blame you if you never read about it when studying the War...not something the victors would want public knowledge.

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