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Retiring Confederate Colors

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"The Confederacy is NOT a foreign entity, nor was it ever a foreign entity, and it did not become one upon secession. Lincoln went to war to preserve the Union, thus it was a CIVIL war not a foreign war. "


Did not the Confederacy adopt their own constitution in 1861 and elect Jefferson Davis president establishing a separate, new government and nation? At that point one would have a hard time thinking that the secessionists thought they were anything but an independent nation.


Now, I would agree that Lincoln and European nations didn't recognize the confederacy as a legitimate government and treated it as a civil war.


Either way, the colors of the confederacy should not have any significance in an American flag retirement ceremony.

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Yeah, I wouldn't have a troop participate in retiring a Confederate flag of any type. Let the Scouts take down the US flag and some re-enactors deal with the Condederate flag, whether it's the CSA flag or a battle flag, the day before.

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Although my ancestors fought for the South and I have strong feelings about the flag, I just want to mention that Lincoln did not go to war with the South. The miltary of South Carolina chose to fire on Fort Sumpter, which was U.S. property, even though they had been told by the commander that the fort would capitulate within a very short time due to lack of food.


Lincoln was forced to respond and the war he didn't want was on.

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Trust me, this is a political minefield. I live in Kansas City. There are folks in my Council whose ancestors were murdered by irregulars from both the Union and the Confederacy. The lore and recountings of the Red Leg Jayhawkers raids on Clinton and Osceola, MO, as well as Quantrill's Raiders attack on Lawrence, are very much alive and well in my neck of the woods.


It's still at the point where, when the Universities of Kansas and Missouri meet for their fall football game in the Big 12 Conference, their fans are physically separated at the stadium. Different entrances, exits, and a Do Not Cross line.


For Cardinal, the Troop you are a friend of needs to check in with its Chartered Partner. There can be fallout, both in the papers and on TV. The Chartered Partner needs to decide if it wants the publicity which might happen.


If the Chartered Partner gives its OK, then doing what Stosh suggested has merit.


BTW, for Gern... sometime you need to visit the Confederate prisoner of war cemetery at Rock Island Arsenal: The flag of the Confederacy flies over those fallen soldiers, and that's a US Army installation.


PS: Thanks. Edited to reflect better wording.(This message has been edited by John-in-KC)

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My thanks to Scouter760, I had not known that before. I also agree with Nike about this, especially considering what Scouter760 just revealed.

As for those who are in denial regarding 'the flag' in whatever manifestation it has, the KKK members I have known would disagree with you regarding symbolism. THEY made it quite clear what 'the flag' symbolized and embraced it as THEIR symbol. The few neo-Nazis I've met felt the same way, not to mention those acquaintances of mine who have merely been open racists (a couple of them still fly it in their front yard - ABOVE the American flag). They all agree that 'the flag' is a symbol of their beliefs and political views.

You might think it symbolizes something wonderful and pure. You are free to have your illusions. I don't share them.


Edited for John-in-KC: My friend, it is a good thing to understand history. But I remind you and others that there are NO MEMORIES of the Civil War. Those are long dead. The only thing remaining is whatever lore we choose to think about and adopt, for whatever reason.

Also, to respond to Kahuna, my family had members on both sides. My father's family was more prominent with highly placed officers for the Union...but I was raised in the South and my grandmother had portraits of Davis and Lee hanging in her house. It made for some interesting conversations. ;)

And I agree with you...the South fired the first shot and then suffered the consequences. Not exactly a monument to intelligence, was it?(This message has been edited by packsaddle)

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I agree that the war is long past,but I would suggest that we have much more than "lore" with which to assess it. In reality there are many personal records and autobiographies which shed much light on the mindset of the antagonists.


Just as there are usually many sides to a political question today, it was no different in the mid 19th century. Men of outstanding character came down on both sides. To question their intelligence or character is not fair. Certainly, the Southern military leaders (many West Point graduates) knew they were up against a formidable foe in the Federal government. But their loyalty to their cause was more important. Many saw a loyalty to a particular state as being superior to the Union. It is fair to question their political opinion, but their character is byond reproach.


If you wish to compare character, read biographies of U.S. Grant and Stonewall Jackson. Determine who might better represent the ideals of Scouting...


Certainly there are modern groups who have adopted the battle flag to represent their misguided cause. But just as the Klan uses the same cross which means so much to me, the meaning is not the same. Again, it is unfair to lump them together. To do so would show a lack of knowledge on our part.

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every now and then on Ebay they have in the scouting section a swastika emblazoned boy scout medal, ring, token, whatever from the pre-Hitler days. It seems the swastika has been around humans for some 3,000 years. Usually mening good luck or fortune. But in modern times, the swastika has a much differnt meaning than it has for 2,900 years or so.


If video of the troop makes it to Youtube, how many viewing it will have the erudition required to distinguish between the Stars and Bars meaning of the Civil War and how its used today?(This message has been edited by oldgreyeagle)

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Raisinemright; The Battle flag was the battle flag (the one with the X). The Stars and Bars was the First CSA flag (looks somewhat like the Texas flag). It has one vertical bar and two horizontal bars.They were two different flags. From World Book Encyclopedia.

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98% of what is discussed as Civil War is permeated with myth, legend and lore. Pure history takes a backseat. There are still strong emotions tied to the War and the two sides will never come to an agreement on any of it. The War was fought for different reasons on both sides. The north went to war to preserve the Union (i.e. not to free the slaves). The south seceeded to preserve slavery. Just be thankful that it was fought because if it hadn't, the issue of slavery would not have been settled until well into the 20th Century, the number of states needed to ratify the 14th Amendment would not have been sufficient until then. The math is simple 13 slave states could have held off until 37 states were established to counter the vote (3/4th of the states needed to ratify an Amendment). Do the math. 37+13 = 50 The 50th state came into existance in 1959. Remember up until 1868, 3 years after the war, did slavery become illegal in the United States.


The Founding Fathers knew this was going to be an issue when the declared independence and established the Constitution. Jefferson commented on it many times. They basically passed the buck and it was inevitable that it would take a war to settle it. Unfortunately, the war didn't resolve it all. Remember that when the issue of slavery was on the table in the 1860's it had NOTHING to do with racism. The issue of racism was addressed in the 1960's.


Here's a bit of trivia the PC public doesn't know nor wants to know. In the 1870's there was a slave rebellion of blacks against their Indian slave-owners in the US territories of the southwest (yes the Constitution only applies to established states). The rebellion was put down by US cavalry soldiers and the slaves were returned to their Indian owners. These soldiers are today known as the Buffalo soldiers because the 5th and 7th Cavlaries were not involved in the supression (the only two white regiment of cavalry after the war). Abolition and racism are two entirely different animals which required two "revolutions" in our country to resolve, one in the 1860's and the other in the 1960's.


Bone up on history, it's very surprising what is REALLY out there compared to what most people THINK is out there.


I'm 100% born and bred Yankee (damnyankee to my southern friends) and having studied in detail, I can see both sides and every year I personally go out and place Second National CSA flags on all the appropriate graves in my county on Memorial Day to honor the veterans under the flag they believed in.


The "Second American Civil War" in this nation will occur for exactly the same reasons as the first. Once people feel their rights are being systematically deprived of them, they will step forward and defend them. It's not an issue of what's right and wrong, it's what is Constitutionally guaranteed to them is being taken away. Like the ancient adage says, "Those who don't learn from history are destined to relive it." Will the modern man who stands up for his Constitutional rights of today be seen as un-American as the Confederate veteran?


By the way, for all those who think that the Confederates were not American, please put your glasses back on, your myopia is causing you problems. Canadians are Americans, so are Mexicans, Brazilians, Peruvians, and Chileans. The US is only a small part of the Americas, an arrogant part, but still just a small part.


BSA honors all people, not just the ones we happen to like at the present time. I'm thinking the part "...help other people at all times..." isn't limited to just a few of our friends.



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Like it or not the Civil War is part of U.S. history, which we can not hide from or shove under a carpet. Since this is an official Civil War battlefield the flags of both sides should be treated with respect as men on both sides died fighting for what they thought was right. A silent ceremony placing the flag in the fire, not folded like a US flag, would be appropriate. Now I disagree with and dislike the positions the South took during the war but after studying the Civil War in great detail I can understand why they did what they felt they had to do.


Better yet I like Gern's idea, there are many Civil War enthusiasts out there who would love to have a souvenir from such a site, so sell them to the tourists. When I was at the Alamo a while back they sell the Texas flags that fly over the Alamo each day with "The Alamo" imprinted in the margin in small letters along with a certificate of authenticity. I bought one being a history buff, so in this case it could be a fund raiser to pay for the upkeep of the battlefield, just a thought.

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John-in-KC: back in college, we loved watching "The Day After" because ground zero was Lawrence! I have in my office cubical a bumper sticker which reads: CAUTION I brake for all animals ... EXCEPT and then there is a picture of little Jayhawks. The Mizzou/Jayhawk collegiate rivalry (the best in the land) is the only one that existed before the Universities played each other in sporting events.


Regardless of what one personally feels about the confederate flag, it still brings out a gut level response (see below).


April 30, 2009 - Macomb Daily

An attack by a group of young men against four teenagers in Warren, Michigan, apparently over a Confederate flag, is not yet categorized by law enforcers as a hate crime.


The victims allege they were confronted as one carried the rolled-up flag and pole to a fundraiser at a VFW hall on the city's south side.


David Mobley, 18, said he and his 17-year-old girlfriend, plus a 17-year-old buddy and that teen's girlfriend all of whom are white changed their route while walking to the hall after spotting approximately five to seven blacks shortly before 7 p.m. Saturday.


At Memphis and Republic avenues, several other blacks confronted them about the flag, he said.


"I tried to explain to them we're not racist, the flag was for a fundraiser," Mobley said. Members of the group hurled racial slurs and profanity at them, and demanded he give up the flag.


"I was in the process of turning it over, and my friend was hit in the face," said Mobley, adding that a fracas involving approximately 14 attackers ensued. He suffered bumps and bruises, including an injury to his jaw.


Warren police confirmed one of the female victims suffered a broken nose and a concussion. She was held overnight at Henry Ford Hospital, Warren Campus, for observation. Detective Lt. Michael Torey said some of the attackers were part of a group of young men and young women who pulled up in a white car.


"There were a lot of people watching from porches and down the street," Mobley said. "All of them watched as (the attackers) bashed this 96-pound girl's face on the car."


One man wielding a metal pipe apparently scared the group away.


Police have no suspects as the investigation continues.


"We don't have anything that would support (proof) of a hate crime at this point in the investigation," Warren Police Commissioner William Dwyer said. "Right now, it's an assault between blacks and whites.


"We're not trying to avoid the issue. If it gets to the point of a federal crime, we'll go there."


Mobley's mother, Nancy, said the flag had been in her family for 30 years. She said it was intended to be used as a prop for the "hillbilly hoedown" fundraiser they were planning at the nearby VFW hall.


She said she's troubled by the incident. "I see it as a racist, hate crime," the Warren woman said.


"My son has African-American friends. They come to the house, go to the movies, go to the mall," she said.


Torey said police continue to interview the victims and witnesses.

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Wow, Acco, too bad those kids weren't all carrying guns - no one would have been hurt.


"I'm 100% born and bred Yankee (damnyankee to my southern friends)..."

jblake47, I must inform you that if you are in Wisconsin you are not considered a 'damnyankee'. For THAT you must come to the South and STAY. ;)

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Coming from Wisconsin makes me a damnyankee to my southern brethren. No question about it. One gal I knew said having grown up in South Carolina that she was in high school before learned that damnyankee was really two words. :)


An elderly gentleman that I knew a few years ago moved back to Wisconsin having lived most of his life in Alabama (he moved north only to be closer to his children). I did nursing home visits with him and he remarked one day that in the Alabama nursing home everyone was identified by some nickname of some sort. Joe the carpenter, Alice the church lady, Peter the shop owner. He was from day one one he was Dave the damnyankee because he was born in Milwaukee and moved away when he was 4 years old....!! :)


I'm sure that my life expectancy would drop quite a bit if I moved to the south and they found out that my great-great-grandfather fought with Co. C, 8th Wisconsin, the regiment famous for it's mascot Old Abe, the War Eagle. I'm sure I'd be shot on the spot.


Having hung around CW reenactors for many years, 99% of them are great guys and gals, but watch out for that 1%. :)


North 1

South 0





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"A yankee who moves South because of the warmer climate and friendly people, and decides to stay. (As opposed to regular yankees who return home because they like crappy food and weather cold enough to cause death)." from http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=damn%20yankee

Anyway, I think you'd be safe enough for a visit down here. If I've survived with MY mouth then some infamous ancestor isn't much of a liability to anyone. ;)

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Stosh, I'd watch out how you refer to the "War of Norhtern Agression." hehe. Regardless, I always wish historians would get it right.


The first shots of the war were NOT fired at Fort Sumpter. On January 8, 1861, Lieutenant Adam J. Slemmer's guards repelled a group of rebels trying to take the unoccupied Fort Pickens. He chose to abandon Fort Barrancas, across the bay (as Ft. Pickens was more defensible). There were additional skirmishes over the next few days, but the Union maintained control the fort. Troops from Alabama took over the other 2 area forts and continued demanding the surrender of Ft. Pickens despite a formal truce which was agreed to on January 8 (how can you have truce if you are not at war?). Pickens became the only fort in Southern territioy which was held by the union throughout the length of the war.


But I digress.

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