Where are Confederate flag's defenders?

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All of us who live in the Central Savannah River Area are so familiar with the periodic fights over the display of the Confederate Battle Flag on the grounds of the State House in Columbia that we can quote the arguments on both sides without a script.

The defenders of displaying of the battle flag argue energetically that the display is not racist or a symbol of hate, but merely a tribute to Southern heritage and to our ancestors who fought for the South. I understand this idea, because I know the regiments in which my great-grandfather and my great-great-uncle served.

But the protest at Augusta State University on Oct. 23 reveals that this argument is a sham. If the battle flag is just a symbol of our Southern heritage and not a symbol of racism and hate, where were its defenders Oct. 23 when the spokesmen of hate and ignorance from the Ku Klux Klan, dressed after the manner of Nazi thugs, surrounded themselves with battle flags while giving the Nazi salute? Where were the representatives of the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Sons of Confederate Veterans? Were they there, demanding that the Klan quit using the battle flag as a symbol of racism and hatred?

For a century and a half, we Southerners have sat quietly by and let the Confederate Flag be used as a symbol of racism and hatred. We have forfeited the right to complain when the rest of the world recognizes it as such.

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gaspringwater
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gaspringwater 11/03/10 - 12:33 am
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America is known for free

America is known for free speech and flag waving. Both Saints and Sinners do it and it's their constitutional right. They can wave or burn any flag they please. So why are you demanding a couple of patriotic organizations step forward and castigate obnoxious people who're exercising their constitutional rights?

Do something yourself instead of demand somebody else do something. Get yourself a protest sign and go picket them! Wave any flag you like!

SCEgikatid
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SCEgikatid 11/03/10 - 06:17 am
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Good post gaspring!

Good post gaspring!

john
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john 11/03/10 - 07:16 am
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agreed. good post gas. one

agreed. good post gas. one more "somebody needs to do something" letter. why dont you do something?

Soap Crates
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Soap Crates 11/03/10 - 07:55 am
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Al, this is one of those

Al, this is one of those questions you don't ask because, um, well, your own argument kind of answers the question, but not in the way you'd like.

curly123053
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curly123053 11/03/10 - 08:04 am
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Why would anyone want to

Why would anyone want to defend the symbol of an outlaw rogue nation? The CSA was nothing more than a bunch of outlaws operating outside the laws of the US. As a white conservative and native of SC who at one time made it a hobby to learn all I could on the Civil War I came to this conclusion looking over the laws of that time as well as the battles. If the same thing were to happen today it would have the same results as back then. It would be the US Government vs the states acting outside of US law. While is was an interesting time in the history of the US we must realize the CSA was an outlaw nation operating outside the laws of the land. Thank God the US prevailed !

Techfan
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Techfan 11/03/10 - 08:17 am
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Good respose curly. I always

Good respose curly. I always wondered why those so interested in their "heritage" only choose 4 years during the 1860's to celebrate.

dani
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dani 11/03/10 - 08:24 am
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Mr. Smith..I appreciate your

Mr. Smith..I appreciate your letter but there is no need to protect the flag. You know it's true meaning and so do a lot of others. Enjoy it and don't worry about what others say. (There are many who don't respect the stars and stripes).

My Great-great grandfather has a Confederate tombstone and I honor him, but he suffered greatly for the "cause" and died too young.

confederatelady319
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confederatelady319 11/03/10 - 08:36 am
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curley -your so called study

curley -your so called study of history is lacking,secession was legal until late 1865,Lee and Jackson where not traitors they had a right by miltary law to resign from there commission just like our miltary officers today.The South got tired of paying all the high taxes and tariffs to the North we wanted to leave the Union in peace,they invaded the South to force us back into the Union at gun point.And don't even say the war was all about slavery,there where thousands of black men that fought for the South.

ripjones
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ripjones 11/03/10 - 08:53 am
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@confederatelady319 - Yours

@confederatelady319 - Yours is the best post thus far. @curly - you'd better go learn some more. You didn't learn correctly the first time.

NoCatchyName
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NoCatchyName 11/03/10 - 08:58 am
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Beats me how in 1776 the

Beats me how in 1776 the Americans who sought to throw off an oppressive government are described as patriots and heroes but in 1861 the the Americans who sought to do precisely the same thing are described as rogues, rebels, and outlaws.

Dixieman
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Dixieman 11/03/10 - 09:43 am
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Well, we DID reject Roy

Well, we DID reject Roy Barnes again.

omnomnom
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omnomnom 11/03/10 - 09:47 am
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most of them are in the

most of them are in the ground Mr. Allen Smith. the rest can be seen at Roses or Coyote's throughout the week.

Fiat_Lux
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Fiat_Lux 11/03/10 - 12:16 pm
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The Great Unpleasantness of

The Great Unpleasantness of the 1860s was begun over economics, as are most wars. And slavery was, of course, a big component of the economics of that time. The North, completely in keeping with a character its heir to power has retained to this day, decided to use the power and authority of government to undercut and economically pillage another region of our nation, ie, the South.

The South, having citizens with some spine and enough intelligence to know they were about to be raped by a supposed member of the national family, tried to withdraw and protect itself from such economic aggression. We all know how the North responded to that.

And we all how that pattern was continued even into the second half of the 20th Century, until the North had fouled its own nest so badly that its citizenry began leaving--mainly for the South, God help us.

The greedy, opportunistic and soulless sociopaths that caused a civil war are with us even today, in the flesh as well as in spirit. They run companies like Enron, they raid and strip a company and rob pension plans to enrich greedy corporate thugs, and they are the people who relentlessly lobby for legislation that will undermine Americans at every turn in. And they sit on their butts doing nothing but reproducing while taking, and taking, and taking, often now with gun in hand, what other people work all their lives to earn.

And their continuous presence in our government shows just how widely that disgusting, ultimately debilitating avarice and godlessness has infected our nation's people.

So just go away, Allen, until you understand something about why people were willing give up everything, even to die, under that flag. You may not be worthy of the sacrifice those courageous people made to protest to what our nation's government was trying to perpetrate against its own citizens. It was a time not so different from our own, but alas, we may not be as civilized, honorable or courageous as those once-American Confederates were.

Ushouldnthave
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Ushouldnthave 11/03/10 - 12:18 pm
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Curly, isn't the same

Curly, isn't the same argument true for the outlaw colonies who thumbed their noses at their British rulers? A rebellion always involves breaking the laws of the oppressor government. The stars and bars, while being a symbol of hate to some is simply a symbol of rebellion to others.

onlysane1left
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onlysane1left 11/03/10 - 01:36 pm
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Slavery was ALWAYS the big

Slavery was ALWAYS the big factor of the Civil War. Do not downplay it, do not deny it, accept it as fact. To say that slavery was not a factor in the civil war is to say the bombing of Pearl Harbor was not the main reason we entered the Second World War. Yes, there were tariffs, and South Carolina abruptly left the union in 1860, but it was 4 months after they left before the US troops came to Fort Sumter, marking the start of the war. Matter of fact, tariffs were the lowest in years, 4 years before the start of the civil war; they lowered between the 1820 and 1850. The election of Lincoln was the true catalyst of the war because Lincoln was backed by abolitionists from the North. Seeing a huge financial loss if they had to pay their previous slaves, plantation owners (who were mostly the ones in power) quickly rejected idea of their "free" labor being given freedoms equal to them and planned to secede in order to keep their slaves. They had just voted congressmen in to insure the tariffs would stay low. To say the tariff issue was the main reason is absurd. It was a factor, but not as big as the loss of the labor base they had.

As far as the flag being an issue, it is associated with hat of black people. PERIOD. That fact can not be deny either. It has been a symbol to demonize them. Just because you can see it from your point of view, doesn't mean someone who does see it as your point of view. Swastikas were very popular symbols up until the late 1930's, now it is not used for anything. Symbols are power, even if your purpose has no correlation to it's negative meaning.

ruudvonbaron
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ruudvonbaron 11/03/10 - 01:36 pm
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By this same logic I guess if

By this same logic I guess if someone who propagates hate wears an American flag, or if anybody in general wears an American flag upside down or wears an American flag with the stars replace by a hammer and sickle then the FBI, Homeland Secuirty and the Secret Service should stop them?

The Constitution protects ALL Americans whether you agree with their message or not.

onlysane1left
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onlysane1left 11/03/10 - 01:47 pm
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I am merely stating that the

I am merely stating that the Battle Flag is a symbol of hate. If you wish to wear a swastika, hammer and sickle, or crescent and stars, that is your right under the laws of the land. My complaint is don't say that the Battle Flag isn't a symbol of hate but of hertiage, when hertiage was hate.......

Rolling Eyes
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Rolling Eyes 11/03/10 - 02:24 pm
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The Sons and Daughters of the

The Sons and Daughters of the Confederacy realized that their message defending the flag against the abuse of the KKK would have gotten smothered in the square off between the gays and the Klan. As we all saw, the Klan was unable to make their statement, what possible good would it have done for the Sons of the Confederacy to show up and add to the confusion? They have better ways of getting their message out.....

confederatelady319
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confederatelady319 11/03/10 - 02:33 pm
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Onlysane1left-You of many

Onlysane1left-You of many names,the Indians would tell you that you speak with a forkied tongue.I'm sure when my ancestors charged across those battlefields under heavy gun and cannon fire,they where thinking about protecting slavery,yea right.How about your boy Lincoln which had slaves in the white house,General Grant had slaves until way after the war,oh yea how about the thousands of black men that fought for the south.I'm sick and tired of the South taking all the blame for slavery.Jesus talks about slaves and bondsmen all through the bible,told slaves how to work for there master and told there masters how to treat there slaves.Every race has been a slave at one time are another.

dani
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dani 11/03/10 - 03:44 pm
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Come on Confederate

Come on Confederate lady..don't you know that only those in the South , the field hands like cotton pickers were slaves. Those owned by rich Northerners were called servants/houseboys.

MajorPaul
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MajorPaul 11/03/10 - 04:08 pm
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If slavery was a major factor

If slavery was a major factor in the War Between the States why did Marse Lincoln and Congress say it was not an issue? If it was important, why didnt Marse Lincoln free any slaves?
One would think if a country attacked another country over slavery, they might actually free their own slaves first.

As far as why confederate flag supporters were not at the Klan rally: anyone who knows what the flag means knows folks like that do not have the brain cells to listen to an argument anyway. We take our fights to places that actually might mean something.
I do think it should have been an issue in the mayoral race in Augusta. August shows how backward and ignorant it is by continuing to keep the Stainless Banner off of the River Walk.

LaTwon
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LaTwon 11/03/10 - 07:36 pm
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Virginia's Black

Virginia's Black Confederates

Kevin Sieff, staff writer for The Washington Post, penned an article "Virginia 4th-grade textbook criticized over claims on black Confederate soldiers," (Oct. 20, 2010). The textbook says that blacks fought on the side of the Confederacy. Sieff claims that "Scholars are nearly unanimous in calling these accounts of black Confederate soldiers a misrepresentation of history." William & Mary historian Carol Sheriff said, "It is disconcerting that the next generation is being taught history based on an unfounded claim instead of accepted scholarship." Let's examine that accepted scholarship.

In April 1861, a Petersburg, Va., newspaper proposed "three cheers for the patriotic free Negroes of Lynchburg" after 70 blacks offered "to act in whatever capacity may be assigned to them" in defense of Virginia. Ex-slave Frederick Douglass observed, "There are at the present moment, many colored men in the Confederate Army doing duty not only as cooks, servants and laborers, but as real soldiers, having muskets on their shoulders and bullets in their pockets, ready to shoot down ... and do all that soldiers may do to destroy the Federal government."

Charles H. Wesley, a distinguished black historian who lived from 1891 to 1987, wrote "The Employment of Negroes as Soldiers in the Confederate Army," in the Journal of Negro History (1919). He says, "Seventy free blacks enlisted in the Confederate Army in Lynchburg, Virginia. Sixteen companies (1,600) of free men of color marched through Augusta, Georgia on their way to fight in Virginia."

Wesley cites Horace Greeley's American Conflict (1866) saying, "For more than two years, Negroes had been extensively employed in belligerent operations by the Confederacy. They had been embodied and drilled as rebel soldiers and had paraded with white troops at a time when this would not have been tolerated in the armies of the Union."

Wesley goes on to say, "An observer in Charleston at the outbreak of the war noted the preparation for war, and called particular attention to the thousand Negroes who, so far from inclining to insurrections, were grinning from ear to ear at the prospect of shooting the Yankees."

One would have to be stupid to think that blacks were fighting in order to preserve slavery. What's untaught in most history classes is that it is relatively recent that we Americans think of ourselves as citizens of United States. For most of our history, we thought of ourselves as citizens of Virginia, citizens of New York and citizens of whatever state in which we resided. Wesley says, "To the majority of the Negroes, as to all the South, the invading armies of the Union seemed to be ruthlessly attacking independent States, invading the beloved homeland and trampling upon all that these men held dear." Blacks have fought in all of our wars both before and after slavery, in hopes of better treatment afterwards.

Denying the role, and thereby cheapening the memory, of the Confederacy's slaves and freemen who fought in a failed war of independence is part of the agenda to cover up Abraham Lincoln's unconstitutional acts to prevent Southern secession. Did states have a right to secede? At the 1787 Constitutional Convention, James Madison rejected a proposal that would allow the federal government to suppress a seceding state. He said, "A Union of the States containing such an ingredient seemed to provide for its own destruction. The use of force against a State would look more like a declaration of war than an infliction of punishment and would probably be considered by the party attacked as a dissolution of all previous compacts by which it might be bound."

BuckeyeInGA
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BuckeyeInGA 11/03/10 - 09:12 pm
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.

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Dixie Cross Defender
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Dixie Cross Defender 11/03/10 - 09:38 pm
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At this point in time, anyone

At this point in time, anyone who attacks the Confederate flag and condemns it as racist is no better than those white-sheet wearing SOBs who misuse it.

JamesWking
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JamesWking 11/03/10 - 10:10 pm
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The Confederate States of

The Confederate States of America and the Old South was a classical civilization with colleges and universities, art and literature, world class architecture, politics with superior statesmen, and a fine military. It was driven by slave labor just as the classical civilizations of Egypt, Greece, and Rome were. Regardless, slavery was a dying institution and virtually all educated Southerners knew this. It had ended peacefully in the rest of the Western Hemisphere but in America the Northern radicals, fanatics, zealots, and industrialists used it as a scapegoat to attack and subjugate the Southern states for the cause of empire and to exploit the South's resources. The famous English writer Charles Dickens stated " The Northern onslaught upon Southern slavery is a specious piece of humbug designed to mask their desire for the economic control of the Southern States". The Confederacy deserves to be honored, remembered and respected.

The Confederate Flag and the United States Flag are judged by different standards and criteria, and are not held to the same levels of accountability. In analytical science and weights and measures, comparisons are made against known standards. However, in politics comparisons are never made in a fair and impartial manner.
Political Correctness has been used to attempt bans of The Confederate Flag from schools, parades, public and private property, and even historical monuments and sites.
The Confederate flag represents Constitutional Limited Federal Government, States Rights, Resistance to Government Tyranny, and Christian Values and Principles. To say that it represents racism and bigotry is a negative and shallow interpretation comparable to saying the U.S. flag represents the genocide of the American Indians and abortion.

Hypocrisy, ignorance, and bias have been directed against the Confederate Flag. Compare the U.S. Flag (Stars and Stripes). The genocide and racial cleansing of the American Indians took place under the U.S. Flag. Their land was taken without fair and just compensation. Indians died by the thousands as they were forced on to reservations and subjected to starvation and deadly diseases. In the American West, cavalry troopers murdered entire villages including babies in their mother's arms.
Slaves were imported from Africa to America primarily by five Northern States: New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. New York City had the second highest slave population in America. The Confederate Flag was not involved in the importation of slaves. Finally, the U.S. Flag flies over a nation that has murdered an estimated 50 million babies by abortion.

Yes, the CSA had the institution of slavery but most were treated well and it was a dying institution prior to the war. White factory workers in the North were not treated as well as most Southern slaves. For proof of this view the movie "Gangs Of New York". Yes, various hate groups have misused and abused the Confederate flag but they have done the same to the U.S. flag. The Confederate flag is 180 degrees diametrically opposed to Globalism, Socialism and Secular humanism. That is the real reason globalists, socialists, and atheists want to ban it. The infamous Communist Vladmir Lenin coined the term "Useful Idiots". The Socialist Karl Marx stated "People separated from their heritage are easily persuaded". Many Black Americans and White Liberals who are opposed to the Confederate flag have been indoctrinated by those who would convert America to Total Socialism and Secular Humanism. They have been told that the Confederate flag represents a painful reminder of slavery and racism and bigotry and that they should be offended by it. They are being played like a puppet on a string and used as "useful idiots" as defined by Lenin. Northern liberal socialists have been trying to drive a wedge between white and black Southerners for political reasons since about 1830 and the South continues to be under full attack today in 2010.

JamesWking
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JamesWking 11/03/10 - 10:18 pm
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June 3, 2010 marked the 202nd

June 3, 2010 marked the 202nd birthday of Jefferson Davis, president of the nation Confederate States of America which existed only from 1861-1865. The new nation formed from 13 Southern states was complete with a Constitution, Postal Service, president, senate, congress and cabinet members. After the fall of the new nation the states that were members of the confederation were required to undergo formal procedures for readmission to the nation United States of America. If these Southern states had only been in rebellion and not out of the union a formal readmission would not have been required.
The principle for which the Confederate States contended was "States Rights" and the "Cause" was Southern Independence. In the spring of 1865 Confederate forces were forced to yield to overwhelming numbers and resources and States Rights was given a crushing blow and stigmatized by association with slavery. Former Confederate president Davis stated "The principle for which we contended is bound to reassert it's self, though it may be at another time and in another form". I think it is fair to say "The issue of States Rights has been thrust to the forefront of American politics". The election of a Socialist president and the appointment of a Socialist cabinet and Supreme Court member has brought forth the Tea Party Movement and various states have declared and reaffirmed State Sovereignty and are bringing law suits against the Federal Government. The modern States Right movement actually began during the Clinton administration.
The 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states "The powers not delegated to the United States (Federal Government) by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or the people". Our founding fathers (primarily Southern gentlemen from Virginia) designed the American system of government in the form of a Constitutional Federal Republic composed of a Limited Federal Government and Sovereign States. It was intended that the Federal Government have minimum control or interference in our personal daily lives and business affairs. The founders did not have in mind a gigantic Federal bureaucracy but rather a Federal Government that would abide by the 10th amendment. The Federal Government was to be small, have limited powers, take care of national events, defend America's borders, maintain the national army, and manage foreign relations. The rest of the rights and responsibilities belonged to the States and the People.
President James Madison stated" If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare, take religion into their hands, appoint teachers in every state and pay them out of the public treasury, take education of children into their hands and establish schools throughout the Union, assume provision of the poor, undertake the regulation of all roads other than post-roads, in short everything from the highest object of state legislation down to the most minute object of police would be thrown under the power of Congress. It would subvert the very foundations of Limited Government established by the States and the People".
The greatest Statesman that the American Union has yet produced was John C. Calhoun (The man that Dougherty county's neighbor on the West side Calhoun county was named for) of South Carolina. He understood thoroughly the correct and proper operation of the Federal American Republic better than any American before and after including the Founding Fathers as he had the advantage of hindsight. In the 1840's he wrote "A Disquisition On Government" and "A Discourse On The Constitution And Government Of The United States". Yet he is the Cassandra of American Politics and his masterpieces are seldom read or taught in America's schools. You may recall that in Greek mythology that the Trojan princess Cassandra was given the power of prophecy by Apollo but with the condition that no one would believe her. Calhoun stated "The Constitution has admitted the jurisdiction of the United States within the limits of the several states only so far as the delegated powers authorize; beyond that they are intruders, and may rightfully be expelled". He is also quoted as saying "To maintain the ascendancy of the Constitution over the lawmaking majority is the great and essential point on which the success of the American system must depend; unless that ascendancy can be preserved, the necessary consequence must be that the laws will supersede the Constitution; and, finally the will of the executive, by influence of it's patronage, will supersede the laws". Calhoun further stated "The error is in the assumption that the General (Federal) Government is a party to the constitutional compact. The States formed the compact, acting as sovereign communities". Americans have been indoctrinated to believe that the U.S. Supreme court is the final authority of the "Law Of The Land". Not so. It is the States that were intended to hold the power to make the final determination as to whether a law is in the best interest of it's citizens.
The ratification of the Federal Constitution of 1787 by the various states established a system of government whose operations and interactions were not and could not be wholly understood by the framers. Concerning the division of power between the General (Federal) government and the States, two groups formed: those who feared that the Federal government would absorb the powers reserved to the States (Anti-Federalists) and those who feared that the Reserved powers would absorb the Delegated powers (Federalists). The conflict that actually did emerge was different from that envisioned by the framers. A majority of states (Northern) captured the power of the Federal government and this combined power squared off against a minority of states (South). It was intended by the Founding Fathers (Framers of the Constitution) that the Federal Limited Constitutional government by virtue of it's structure and independent of the vices of it's office holders, was to be a government of all members of the union without sectional prejudice.
If there is a single over-arching lesson to be learned from the American Civil War (War of Northern Aggression), it is that by 1860 the knowledge and skill in self-government was not to be found except in the Southern states. The failure of the bid of the Southern states for "States Rights" and "Independence" sealed the political fate of Americans for decades and perhaps permanently unless the "Current States Rights Movement" can reverse the usurpation of power by the Federal government. Abraham Lincoln is the father of the current Socialist American government. The defeat of the Southern armies involved the defeat of the existing impetus for liberty. Unequal to the moral and intellectual demands of a more complex constitutional order the American states were reduced to "glorified administrative districts submissive and answerable to a central imperial power in Washington DC." By a lethal combination of military and legislative warfare the people of the States were reduced from being citizens of a Constitutional Federal Republic to subjects of an empire.
Government cannot establish and guarantee liberty. Liberty can only be established and maintained by the skillful ongoing self-assertion of a people guided by insight and political knowledge.

JamesWking
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JamesWking 11/03/10 - 10:22 pm
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The South and the Southern

The South and the Southern Confederacy have been harshly discriminated against and historical facts and figures have intentionally been suppressed. Dishonest Northern historians have unfairly caused Southern and Confederate history and its heroes, memorials, and flags to be regulated to a role of less importance than deserved and to be viewed in a negative perspective by the American public.
The words of Confederate General Patrick R. Cleburne who was killed at the battle of Franklin Tennessee on November 30, 1864 are becoming true. “Every man should endeavor to understand the meaning of subjugation before it is to late. It means the history of this heroic struggle will be written by the enemy; that our youth will be trained by Northern school teachers; will learn from Northern school books their version of the war; will be impressed by the influences of history and education to regard our gallant dead as traitors, and our maimed veterans as fit objects for derision…” Political correctness and Socialist – Marxist Revisionism are attacking everything Southern and Confederate on national, state, and local levels all across America.
In 1956 the Georgia Legislature adopted the Confederate Battle Flag in conjunction with the Georgia seal as the official Georgia Flag. The flag represents honor, faith, courage, dignity, integrity, chivalry, Christian values, respect for womanhood, strong family ties, patriotism, self- reliance, limited federal government, states rights and belief in the free enterprise system. It symbolizes the noble spirit of the Southern people, the rich heritage, the traditions of the South and the dynamic and vigorous southern culture. Thus the Confederate flag represents the same virtues and values as the original American Flag, U.S Constitution, and Bill of Rights which were developed and adopted by Americas Founding Fathers who were primarily Southerners from Virginia.
The 1956 Georgia Flag composed of the Georgia Seal and the Confederate battle flag is necessary to maintain Southern regional identity and to preserve the values, principles, and virtues esteemed by a majority of Georgians. No other symbol so proudly says “Dixie” as the St. Andrews Cross waving in the breeze.
To say that the Confederate flag represents slavery is comparable to saying the American flag represents the genocide of the American Indians. Both flags should be respected for positive reasons.

JamesWking
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JamesWking 11/03/10 - 10:30 pm
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The 10 Causes of the War

The 10 Causes of the War Between the States
or The One Cause of the Civil War-Northern Aggression

By James W. King

Historians have long debated the causes of the Civil War and the Southern perspective differs greatly from the Northern perspective. Based upon the study of original documents of the War Between The States (Civil War) era and facts and information published by Confederate Veterans, Confederate Chaplains, Southern writers and Southern Historians before, during, and after the war, I present the facts, opinions, and conclusions stated in the following article.

Technically the 10 causes listed are reasons for Southern secession. The only cause of the war was that the South was invaded and responded to Northern aggression.

I respectfully disagree with those who claim that the War Between the States was fought over slavery or that the abolition of slavery in the Revolutionary Era or early Federal period would have prevented war. It is my opinion that war was inevitable between the North and South due to complex political and cultural differences. The famous Englishman Winston Churchill stated that the war between the North and South was one of the most unpreventable wars in history. The Cause that the Confederate States of America fought for (1861-1865) was Southern Independence from the United States of America. Many parallels exist between the War for American Independence (1775-1783) and the War for Southern Independence (1861-1865).

There were 10 political causes of the war (causes of Southern Secession) ---one of which was slavery--- which was a scapegoat for all the differences that existed between the North and South. The Northern industrialists had wanted a war since about 1830 to get the South's resources (land-cotton-coal-timber-minerals) for pennies on the dollar. All wars are economic and are always between centralists and decentralists. The North would have found an excuse to invade the South even if slavery had never existed.

A war almost occurred during 1828-1832 over the tariff when South Carolina passed nullification laws. The U.S. congress had increased the tariff rate on imported products to 40% (known as the tariff of abominations in Southern States). This crisis had nothing to do with slavery. If slavery had never existed --period--or had been eliminated at the time the Declaration of Independence was written in 1776 or anytime prior to 1860 it is my opinion that there would still have been a war sooner or later.

On a human level there were 5 causes of the war--New England Greed-New England Radicals--New England Fanatics--New England Zealots--and New England Hypocrites. During "So Called Reconstruction" ( 1865-1877 ) the New England Industrialists got what they had really wanted for 40 years--THE SOUTH'S RESOURCES FOR PENNIES ON THE DOLLAR.
It was a political coalition between the New England economic interests and the New England fanatics and zealots that caused Southern secession to be necessary for economic survival and safety of the population.

1. TARIFF

Prior to the war about 75% of the money to operate the Federal Government was derived from the Southern States via an unfair sectional tariff on imported goods and 50% of the total 75% was from just 4 Southern states--Virginia-North Carolina--South Carolina and Georgia. Only 10%--20% of this tax money was being returned to the South. The Southern states were being treated as an agricultural colony of the North and bled dry. John Randolph of Virginia's remarks in opposition to the tariff of 1820 demonstrates that fact. The North claimed that they fought the war to preserve the Union but the New England Industrialists who were in control of the North were actually supporting preservation of the Union to maintain and increase revenue from the tariff. The industrialists wanted the South to pay for the industrialization of America at no expense to them. Revenue bills introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives prior to the War Between the States were biased, unfair and inflammatory to the South. Abraham Lincoln had promised the Northern industrialists that he would increase the tariff rate if he was elected president of the United States. Lincoln increased the rate to a level that exceeded even the "Tariff of Abominations" 40% rate that had so infuriated the South during the 1828-1832 eras (between 50 and 51% on iron goods). The election of a president that was Anti-Southern on all issues and politically associated with the New England industrialists, fanatics, and zealots brought about the Southern secession movement.

2. CENTRALIZATION VERSUS STATES RIGHTS

The United States of America was founded as a Constitutional Federal Republic in 1789 composed of a Limited Federal Government and Sovereign States. The North wanted to and did alter the form of Government this nation was founded upon. The Confederate States of America fought to preserve Constitutional Limited Federal Government as established by America's founding fathers who were primarily Southern Gentlemen from Virginia. Thus Confederate soldiers were fighting for rights that had been paid for in blood by their forefathers upon the battlefields of the American Revolution. Abraham Lincoln had a blatant disregard for The Constitution of the United States of America. His War of aggression Against the South changed America from a Constitutional Federal Republic to a Democracy ( with Socialist leanings ) and broke the original Constitution. The infamous Socialist Karl Marx sent Lincoln a letter of congratulations after his reelection in 1864. A considerable number of European Socialists came to America and fought for the Union (North).

3. CHRISTIANITY VERSUS SECULAR HUMANISM

The South believed in basic Christianity as presented in the Holy Bible. The North had many Secular Humanists (atheists, transcendentalists and non-Christians). Southerners were afraid of what kind of country America might become if the North had its way. Secular Humanism is the belief that there is no God and that man, science and government can solve all problems. This philosophy advocates human rather than religious values. Reference: Frank Conner's book "The South under Siege 1830-2000."

4. CULTURAL DIFFERENCES

Southerners and Northerners were of different Genetic Lineage's. Southerners were primarily of Western English (original Britons), Scottish, and Irish lineage (Celtic) whereas Northerners tended to be of Anglo-Saxon and Danish (Viking) extraction. The two cultures had been at war and at odds for over 1000 years before they arrived in America. Our ancient ancestors in Western England under King Arthur humbled the Saxon princes at the battle of Baden Hill (circa 497 AD --516 AD). The cultural differences that contributed to the War Between the States (1861-1865) had existed for 1500 years or more.

5. CONTROL OF WESTERN TERRITORIES

The North wanted to control Western States and Territories such as Kansas and Nebraska. New England formed Immigrant Aid Societies and sent settlers to these areas that were politically attached to the North. They passed laws against slavery that Southerners considered punitive. These political actions told Southerners they were not welcome in the new states and territories. It was all about control--slavery was a scapegoat.

6. NORTHERN INDUSTRIALISTS WANTED THE SOUTH'S RESOURCES

The Northern Industrialists wanted a war to use as an excuse to get the South's resources for pennies on the dollar. They began a campaign about 1830 that would influence the common people of the North and create enmity that would allow them to go to war against the South. These Northern Industrialists brought up a morality claim against the South alleging the evils of slavery. The Northern Hypocrites conveniently neglected to publicize the fact that 5 New England States (Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and New York ) were primarily responsible for the importation of most of the slaves from Africa to America. These states had both private and state owned fleets of ships.

7. SLANDER OF THE SOUTH BY NORTHERN NEWSPAPERS

This political cause ties in to the above listed efforts by New England Industrialists. Beginning about 1830 the Northern Newspapers began to slander the South. The Industrialists used this tool to indoctrinate the common people of the North. They used slavery as a scapegoat and brought the morality claim up to a feverish pitch. Southerners became tired of reading in the Northern Newspapers about what bad and evil people they were just because their neighbor down the road had a few slaves. This propaganda campaign created hostility between the ordinary citizens of the two regions and created the animosity necessary for war. The Northern Industrialists worked poor whites in the factories of the North under terrible conditions for 18 hours a day (including children). When the workers became old and infirm they were fired. It is a historical fact that during this era there were thousands of old people living homeless on the streets in the cities of the North. In the South a slave was cared for from birth to death. Also the diet and living conditions of Southern slaves was superior to that of most white Northern factory workers. Southerners deeply resented this New England hypocrisy and slander.

8. NEW ENGLANDERS ATTEMPTED TO INSTIGATE MASSIVE SLAVE REBELLIONS IN THE SOUTH

Abolitionists were a small but vocal and militant group in New England who demanded instant abolition of slavery in the South. These fanatics and zealots were calling for massive slave uprisings that would result in the murder of Southern men, women and children. Southerners were aware that such an uprising had occurred in Santa Domingo in the 1790 era and that the French (white) population had been massacred. The abolitionists published a terrorist manifesto and tried to smuggle 100,000 copies into the South showing slaves how to murder their masters at night. Then when John Brown raided Harpers Ferry, Virginia in 1859 the political situation became inflammatory. Prior to this event there had been more abolition societies in the South than in the North. Lincoln and most of the Republican Party (68 of 117 members of congress) had adopted a political platform in support of terrorist acts against the South. Some (allegedly including Lincoln) had contributed monetarily as supporters of John Brown's terrorist activities. Again slavery was used as a scapegoat for all differences that existed between the North and South.

9. SLAVERY

Indirectly slavery was a cause of the war. Most Southerners did not own slaves and would not have fought for the protection of slavery. However they believed that the North had no Constitutional right to free slaves held by citizens of Sovereign Southern States. Prior to the war there were five times as many abolition societies in the South as in the North. Virtually all educated Southerners were in favor of gradual emancipation of slaves. Gradual emancipation would have allowed the economy and labor system of the South to gradually adjust to a free paid labor system without economic collapse. Furthermore, since the New England States were responsible for the development of slavery in America, Southerners saw the morality claims by the North as blatant hypocrisy. The first state to legalize slavery had been Massachusetts in 1641 and this law was directed primarily at Indians. In colonial times the economic infrastructure of the port cities of the North was dependent upon the slave trade. The first slave ship in America, "THE DESIRE", was fitted out in Marblehead, Massachusetts. Further proof that Southerners were not fighting to preserve slavery is found in the diary of an officer in the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. He stated that "he had never met a man in the Army of Northern Virginia that claimed he was fighting to preserve slavery". If the war had been over slavery, the composition of the politicians, officers, enlisted men, and even African Americans would have been different. Confederate General Robert E. Lee had freed his slaves (Custis Washington estate) prior to 1863 whereas Union General Grant's wife Julia did not free her slaves until after the war when forced to do so by the 13th amendment to the constitution. Grant even stated that if the abolitionists claimed he was fighting to free slaves that he would offer his services to the South. Mildred Lewis Rutherford (1852-1928) was for many years the historian for the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC). In her book Truths of History she stated that there were more slaveholders in the Union Army (315,000) than the Confederate Army (200,000). Statistics and estimates also show that about 300,000 blacks supported the Confederacy versus about 200,000 for the Union. Clearly the war would have been fought along different lines if it had been fought over slavery.
The famous English author Charles Dickens stated "the Northern onslaught upon Southern slavery is a specious piece of humbug designed to mask their desire for the economic control of the Southern states."

10. NORTHERN AGGRESSION AGAINST SOUTHERN STATES

Proof that Abraham Lincoln wanted war may be found in the manner he handled the Fort Sumter incident. Original correspondence between Lincoln and Naval Captain G.V.Fox shows proof that Lincoln acted with deceit and willfully provoked South Carolina into firing on the fort (A TARIFF COLLECTION FACILITY). It was politically important that the South be provoked into firing the first shot so that Lincoln could claim the Confederacy started the war. Additional proof that Lincoln wanted war is the fact that Lincoln refused to meet with a Confederate peace delegation. They remained in Washington for 30 days and returned to Richmond only after it became apparent that Lincoln wanted war and refused to meet and discuss a peace agreement. After setting up the Fort Sumter incident for the purpose of starting a war, Lincoln called for 75,000 troops to put down what he called a rebellion. He intended to march Union troops across Virginia and North Carolina to attack South Carolina. Virginia and North Carolina were not going to allow such an unconstitutional and criminal act of aggression against a sovereign sister Southern State. Lincoln's act of aggression caused the secession of the upper Southern States.

On April 17th 1861, Governor Letcher of Virginia sent this message to Washington DC: "I have only to say that the militia of Virginia will not be furnished to the powers of Washington for any such use or purpose as they have in view. Your object is to subjugate the Southern states and the requisition made upon me for such a object-an object in my judgement not within the purview of the constitution or the act of 1795, will not be complied with. You have chosen to inaugurate civil war; having done so we will meet you in a spirit as determined as the administration has exhibited toward the South."

The WAR BETWEEN THE STATES 1861-1865 occurred due to many complex causes and factors as enumerated above. Those who make claims that "the war was over slavery" or that if slavery had been abolished in 1776 when the Declaration of Independence was signed or in 1789 when The Constitution of the United States of America was signed, that war would not have occurred between North and South are being very simplistic in their views and opinions.

The following conversation between English ship Captain Hillyar and Capt. Raphael Semmes-Confederate Ship CSS Sumter (and after 1862 CSS Alabama) occurred during the war on August 5th, 1861. It is a summary from a well-educated Southerner who is stating his reasons for fighting. Captain Hillyar expressed surprised at Captain Semme's contention that the people of the South were "defending ourselves against robbers with knives at our throats", and asked for further clarification as to how this was so, the exchange below occurred. I especially was impressed with Semmes' assessment of Yankee motives - the creation of "Empire"!

Semmes: "Simply that the machinery of the Federal Government, under which we have lived, and which was designed for the common benefit, has been made the means of despoiling the South, to enrich the North", and I explained to him the workings of the iniquitous tariffs, under the operation of which the South had, in effect, been reduced to a dependent colonial condition, almost as abject as that of the Roman provinces, under their proconsuls; the only difference being, that smooth-faced hypocrisy had been added to robbery, inasmuch as we had been plundered under the forms of law"

Captain Hillyar: "All this is new to me", replied the captain. "I thought that your war had arisen out of the slavery question".

Semmes: "That is the common mistake of foreigners. The enemy has taken pains to impress foreign nations with this false view of the case. With the exception of a few honest zealots, the canting hypocritical Yankee cares as little for our slaves as he does for our draught animals. The war which he has been making upon slavery for the last 40 years is only an interlude, or by-play, to help on the main action of the drama, which is Empire; and it is a curious coincidence that it was commenced about the time the North began to rob the South by means of its tariffs. When a burglar designs to enter a dwelling for the purpose of robbery, he provides himself with the necessary implements. The slavery question was one of the implements employed to help on the robbery of the South. It strengthened the Northern party, and enabled them to get their tariffs through Congress; and when at length, the South, driven to the wall, turned, as even the crushed worm will turn, it was cunningly perceived by the Northern men that 'No slavery' would be a popular war-cry, and hence, they used it”.
“It is true that we are defending our slave property, but we are defending it no more than any other species of our property - it is all endangered, under a general system of robbery. We are in fact, fighting for independence”.

The Union victory in 1865 destroyed the right of secession in America, which had been so cherished by America's founding fathers as the principle of their revolution. British historian and political philosopher Lord Acton, one of the most intellectual figures in Victorian England, understood the deeper meaning of Southern defeat. In a letter to former Confederate General Robert E. Lee dated November 4, 1866, Lord Acton wrote "I saw in States Rights the only available check upon the absolutism of the sovereign will, and secession filled me with hope, not as the destruction but as the redemption of Democracy. I deemed you were fighting the battles of our liberty, our progress, and our civilization and I mourn for that which was lost at Richmond more deeply than I rejoice over that which was saved at Waterloo (defeat of Napoleon).

As Illinois Governor Richard Yates stated in a message to his state assembly on January 2, 1865, the war had "tended, more than any other event in the history of the country, to militate against the Jeffersonian Ideal ( Thomas Jefferson ) that the best government is that which governs least.

Years after the war former Confederate president Jefferson Davis stated "I Am saddened to Hear Southerners Apologize For Fighting To Preserve Our Inheritance". Some years later former U.S. president Theodore Roosevelt stated "Those Who Will Not Fight For The Graves Of Their Ancestors Are Beyond Redemption".

James W. King
Commander Camp 141
Lt. Col. Thomas M. Nelson
Sons of Confederate Veterans
Albany, Georgia 31708
jkingantiquearms@bellsouth.net

onlysane1left
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onlysane1left 11/04/10 - 10:43 am
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For those who distract the

For those who distract the issue with talk about blacks fighting for the Confederacy, one question: Did they fight to keep their way of life, which was slavery? Or were they rebels and were fighting for hopeful freedom, which was never going to happen but I am not going to debate on what would have happen if the confederacy had won.

JamesWking wrote: {The principle for which the Confederate States contended was "States Rights" and the "Cause" was Southern Independence.} My question to you is, the states wanted the right to do what? It was the right to keep slavery as an option. Period. You even wrote it. Stop living in denial......

onlysane1left
216
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onlysane1left 11/04/10 - 10:47 am
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BTW, I have no problem with

BTW, I have no problem with anyone who diplays the Confederate States of America flag, any of the 3 versions. Any of these flags are true symbol of the times you speak of James and should be honored. My ire is with those who wrongly claim the battle flag, a.k.a the Rebel Flag, is not a symbol of hatred, when truly it was due to its use after the war.

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