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Southern Heritage <br>News and Views: August 2008

Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Yankee/Marxist Mindset

by Al Benson Jr.

On the dates of August 15-16 I attended a Southern Heritage conference in Laurel, Mississippi at which I gave 2 speeches.

The first of the two speeches, and the one I considered the most pertinent, was about what I call the Yankee/Marxist mindset, which I felt was rather appropriate, as the two mindsets, world views, or theologies if you will, seem to be identical. Most "historians" won't touch this subject with a ten-foot pole because they'd rather you didn't become too familiar or aware of just how similar the two world views really are.

A little understanding of the Marxist mindset will not hurt in this instance. Example: When a Communist tells you he wants "peace" what he really wants is the absence of any resistance to communism. To him, that is the only true peace there is. All else is a state of war to him. So, if you want "peace" with a Communist all you have to do quit opposing him and let him have his way with your kids (via govt. schools), or your property (via property taxes), or your wife (via the Feminist agenda) or whatever else he decides he wants that is yours. In his convoluted world what's his is his and what's yours is always negotiable (as long as he has the upper hand).

However, in communicating with their own people they are quite specific.. Check out the ten points for taking over a country listed in the Communist Manifesto and you will see. They are very specific about removing your right to private property, about "education for all children in public schools" and about taxing you with the exact same kind of "progressive graduated income tax" that was enacted during the Lincoln administration.

What most Southern folks fail to realize is that much of Marx's agenda was implemented during and after the War of Northern Aggression. During that war the Yankee attitude toward the private property of Southern folks was thoroughly Marxist in the way it was carried out--confiscate (steal) what you want and destroy the rest! If Southern women and children starve to death because of what you did, well, tough, buddy. That's the way it is! If you are able to get hold of John Dwyer's book The War Between the States--America's Uncivil War by all means do so. On page 609 he compares what the radical abolitionist reconstruction crowd wanted to do with what Marx and his followers advocated.. The similarity between the two lists should shock you. If it doesn't, then you have had your ability to display righteous indignation seriously tampered with by those brain laundries we charitably refer to as public schools. Check out Mr. Dwyer's book on and get a copy if you can. It is a book that should be in every Christian school in the land.

In his book War Along the Bayous which is a history of the infamous Red River Campaign here in Louisiana, author William Riley Brooksher notes the attitude of invading Yankees toward the Southerner's cotton--it was here to be confiscated (stolen) and sold, so everyone except the Union soldiers who had to fight the campaign could make a profit out of someone else's labor--and that includes U. S. Naval officers who were awarded prize money for stolen Southern cotton. You may think that sounds anti-Marxist, but it really isn't. The Marxists have no problem with profit as long as they are the only ones making it and as long as they can redefine it so it sounds like something other than it really is. Oh, they claim they abhor profit, but in practice it doesn't work out that way. Brooksher reports, on page 65, about Yankee plunder of Southern private property and how Yankee troops took what they wanted and just destroyed the rest. He noted one Union officer that even halted some bargaining over a man's private property by noting that the officer rudely stepped in and said that "they had come to take, not buy." An example of the classic Yankee/Marxist viewpoint!

And, on pages 145-146 of the book Sherman's March by Burke Davis, the real Yankee attitude toward Christianity is displayed as the narrative unfolds the story of how some Yankee troops destroyed a Southern church, bit by bit, tearing it to pieces, and then, when it finally collapsed, they shouted "There goes your damned old gospel shop." It makes you wonder how many of these soldiers spoke with foreign accents and came over here after 1848. Here again, when it comes to the truth of the Christian faith, the Yankee and Marxist mindsets are identical--so why shouldn't they be linked? They are one in the same.

It's time our folks in the South finally began to grasp the truth that the War of Northern Aggression was really a Marxist revolution--one the whole country has never recovered from--and as long as we continue to submit our kids to Marx's government school system for their "education" we never will!
Heaven is on the way, until then lets get the truth out !

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Good Life Synonymous With South

by Charley Reese

Thursday, August 21, 2008

How We Predicted Secession in Kosovo, Ossetia, and Abkhazia

by David S. Reif

The foreign policy think tank Stratfor Forecasting Inc published a recent bulletin entitled “The Real World Order”. In it they made a very interesting comment that is of interest to Southern partisans. Their opinion is sought after by many corporations and other entities that have an interest in global trade. Stratfor is often thought of by the major foreign press as an unofficial surrogate of the U. S. State Department and frequently echoes their policy line. Others consider them a private sector C.I.A. of sorts. They are a very cerebral high-end group of intelligence analysts that are influential to decision makers everywhere.

The Austin based Stratfor group has issued a series of papers on the recent conflict involving the secessionist states of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. These were mostly routine accounts about the progress of the military action where they have endeavored to explain the reasons for the acts of the major players involved. However, in one of their latest issues they tried to put the conflict in a context of the globalist order saying: “One of the interesting concepts of the New World Order was that all serious countries would want to participate in it and that the only threat would come from rogue states and non-state actors such as North Korea and al Qaeda. Serious analysts argued that conflict between nation-states would not be important in the 21st century. There will certainly be rogue states and non-state actors, but the 21st century will be no different than any other century. On Aug. 8, the Russians invited us all to the Real World Order.” This is written by none other than George Friedman the founder of the company.

There are a number of ideas in that paragraph that are important but the one most interesting to those of us who love liberty involves a tendency in this closely worded piece to review the projection for the future. In the post-WWII world the “thinkers” decided that centralism was the wave of the future: calling it globalism.

The dominant media, the State Department, and the university elitists are all still saying that globalism and global centralism was inevitable. Now Stratfor comes along and tells the world that, “There will certainly be rogue states and non-state actors, but the 21st century will be no different than any other century. On Aug. 8, the Russians invited us all to the Real World Order.” Meaning that nation-states are not dead and the tendency for the break up of nations and secessionist activities that began in the last decades of the twentieth century is alive and well in the twenty-first century.

Beginning in the mid-1990’s I wrote a number of essays about the rise of centralism in the U.S. A 2003 essay about state’s rights and centralism centering on Missouri Gov. Warren Hearnes is still on the Internet at: Other independent scholars like Michael Hill were at the time discussing centralism and its weakness while the former Soviet Union was breaking up into smaller sovereign nations. He and others at the League of the South were also discussing the advent of various sub-national groups that were aspiring to autonomy or at least cultural recognition.

At the same time nearly every leftist, the dominant media, establishment writers, and politicians were advocating nothing but increasing centralization of government. The same people were also busy trying to abolish the Confederate Battleflag and destroying every symbol of the South and its legacy.

They were talking about globalism and dissolving national borders while we were advocating just the opposite. Many of us wanted the return of Judeo-Christian values and the federalism implied in the First American Republic (1789-1868) believing the Tenth Amendment extended the right to reorganize the United States into a more manageable configuration. The establishment scoffed, laughed, and called us “racists” for our efforts while they trashed the Battleflag as much as they could.

Meanwhile, honest scholars like Thomas DiLorrenzo, Charles Adams, Edward Renehan, Donald Gilmore, and others braved the vicious criticisms of the neo-Marxist establishment who loved centralize planning and began documenting the rise of an untenable centralization that has plagued this country. These writers documented the real causes for the War Between the States and in turn the fateful passage of the Fourteenth Amendment (09July1868).

Messer Kennedy and Benson went a step farther and nailed down the influence of Marxist centralism and how it became significant during and after the War Between the States, how our ancestors shed their blood to oppose it, and how it is influencing the present. You can read a synopsis and review of their book, Red Republicans, at the Fireeater archives:

The point here is over the last several decades all the elite thinkers of the world were being paid big money (often from taxpayers) to outline more and more tyrannical ways of taking us and the rest of the world into global centralization. At the same time southern scholars were busy pointing in the direction of localism, small state decentralization, self sufficiency and true federalism. Now George Friedman founder of one of the most prestigious think tanks is saying that all that centralist boilerplate may not have been right.

Nearly a year ago on southern oriented websites the subject of secession in the Balkans was being played out. Not only at the Second Secession Conference but on the pages of the SHNV Hot Spot and Fireeater there was talk about Kosovo, South Ossetia, and Abkhazia. Some of these essays predicted the outcome that has come to pass over the last few months even as the dominant media was nearly silent while their leftist toadies and hate groups were busy calling us “racists” and worse.

On the SHNV Hot Spot,, 04Oct2008, we published an essay that described how Kosovo would secede and that the two secessionist states of South Ossetia and Abkhazia would be next. A month later on the Fireeater there appeared another piece that elaborated on the role of big power nations in secession. It also discussed how the secession of Kosovo would be (mis)handled by the Ivy League elites. The Yankee aristocrats and the left-wing media missed the mark completely.

Recently on Fireeater, the dissatisfaction with globalism and the consequences of centralized authority is explored. This globalist agenda is linked to those people who spend their time bashing the Battleflag because they are one in the same. These people are being lead by others who have a vested interest in global collective centralism and anyone who has ever opposed the centralist tendency is a target for their paid hate groups to terrorize. The dominant media is completely silent on the subject.

The South is an icon of freedom loving people everywhere. Remember the brave young man in a Minnesota high school that was victimized by a petty leftist bureaucracy because the young man admired the freedom implied in southern heritage displaying the Battleflag and suffering the consequences because of it. He lives many miles from Dixie but knows that there is something in our culture that is powerful.

Across the planet others resist the tyranny of centralized collectivism. The Bavarians whose true flag displaying the coat of arms from the Jacobite Kings is officially banned in favor of a bland international checker board. The Carlist of Spain struggle to save their heritage against the secular collectivism while the conservative Jews are fighting to take back their country from both pan-Arab Baathists and Marxist “Jews” in their midst. The Celts, the Ulster-Scots, and the American Indians refuse to be subjugated. The struggle for political and cultural identity in the South is like countless others; and the common enemy is global centralism which seeks to homogenize us.

Stratfor, one of the most prestigious think tanks has validated our position; however obliquely. But that’s the way it is done by the establishment. They will rarely give us credit for anything but it is there if we read the tealeaves carefully.

About the Author

David S. Reif and his wife are full-time artist/craftsmen living in the Missouri Ozarks. Currently working in silver and other precious materials, they have been professional artists since 1981. David is the Press Officer for the John T. Coffee Camp #1934, Sons of Confederate Veterans, and has been a guest speaker at many SCV events including the dedication address for the Missouri Brigade Monument, Missouri Secession Day Dinner, and the MOSB luncheon speech at the 1998 SCV Reunion in St. Louis, as well as other occasions. He has written about Missouri history and politics, modernism, and the impact of science on culture for publications in the United States, Europe, and on the Internet. He has served on numerous local and county government commissions and on the board of community-based artist and writers programs, chemical-dependency centers, and art-marketing groups. He was the director of the independent scholar society, The Institute for Perennial Studies, edited the journal, Perennis, and was the state Chairman for the Missouri Southern League, as well as an officer for the Mid-Missouri Peace Alliance, which opposed ballistic missile silos stationed in Southern states.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

No Whistlin’ Dixie: Court Upholds School Ban on Confederate Flags

Wall Street Journal Blogs

Saturday, August 16, 2008


KNOXVILLE, TN – Federal Judge Thomas Varlan today declared a mistrial and dismissed the jury in the case of Tommy Defoe, a former Anderson County High School student who sued his school board over its ban of Confederate clothing and symbols. Significantly, according to SLRC records, this was the first Confederate flag school free speech case actually to go to a jury this generation.

The eight-person Jury had deliberated for a total of 13 hours over three days after getting the case on Wednesday afternoon.

Defoe’s attorneys, former Southern Legal Resource Center board member Van Irion and SLRC Chief Trial Counsel Kirk Lyons, immediately stated they will seek a new trial. According to Lyons, Varlan will hold a status conference in 2-3 weeks.

“Short of actually winning in this first round, we are now absolutely where we want to be,” said Lyons. “This shows how strong a case we have, and now we get to do it again with another jury. Tommy Defoe says “Bring it on!”

Reports indicated the jury was hung at 7-1 in favor of Defoe. Witnesses who had observed the trial closely intuited that the seven pro-flag votes included four transplanted Yankee jury members, with the lone holdout being a local Tennessean. “That’s speculation, of course, but it’s educated speculation,” said SLRC Executive Director Roger McCredie.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Mistrial declared in Confederate Flag case

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


The first Confederate flag free speech case to go to trial in this generation began Monday in a Knoxville Federal Courthouse.

Tommy Defoe, a graduated Senior from Anderson County (Tennessee) High school, sued the Board of Education over its 26 - year ban on Confederate symbols in its schools.

A six-member jury and two alternates were selected and seated Monday, and after opening arguments heard four witnesses.

The trial is expected to last 4-5 days. Local compatriots who can do so are urged to come to court and show support for Tommy Defoe. The trial is taking place in Judge Thomas Varlan's court, on the third floor of the U.S. Courthouse on Main street in Knoxville.

Defoe is represented by Knoxville attorney Van R. Irion, seconded by Kirk D. Lyons, Chief Trial Counsel of the Southern Legal Resource Center.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

The Southern Legal Resource Center eU P D A T E

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Published electronically by the Southern Legal Resource Center
P.O. Box 1235, Black Mountain, NC 28711/(828)669-5189/



BLACK MOUNTAIN, NC – The Southern Legal Resource Center today began contacting members of the House of Representatives who co-sponsored the recently passed resolution apologizing for Slavery and Jim Crow, asking whether they would consider a similar apology -- and possible reparations -- for the descendants of Southerners who were victims of Union war crimes during the War Between the States.

First of the resolution’s 120 co-sponsors to be contacted by the SLRC was Heath Shuler, a freshman Democrat representing North Carolina’s Eleventh District. The SLRC hand delivered the following letter to Shuler’s Asheville, N.C., office:

Dear Congressman Shuler:

Last week the House of Representatives passed H.R. 194, a resolution of which you were among the co-sponsors. This resolution was an official Congressional apology for chattel slavery as practiced in the North American colonies and later in the United States, and also for the system of so-called Jim Crow laws which obtained thereafter until the middle of the Twentieth Century.

Since the passage of this resolution the Southern Legal Resource Center has received telephone calls, e-mails and letters from many Southerners, including constituents of yours, asking us to put the following questions to you and your fellow co-sponsors:

1. Are you willing at this time to introduce a similar resolution apologizing for war crimes and depredations that were endorsed by the United States government and carried out as a matter of policy by United States troops against the defenseless civilian population of the South during the years 1861-65?

2. As an extension of such an apology, are you willing to introduce, or would you be willing to endorse, a system of reparations to the descendants of Southerners who suffered loss of life and/or the wanton destruction of their homes, crops and means of livelihood, as well as theft and vandalism of their personal property and wholesale rape, assault and degradation?

These are not rhetorical questions. They are put to you in good faith and in the expectation of your prompt and forthright response. Thank you in advance for your attention.

Yours very truly,

Roger W. McCredie
Executive Director

The SLRC said it will be sending similar letters via surface mail and e-mail to each of the resolution’s other 119 co-sponsors, as well as to its main sponsor, Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN). A complete list of co-sponsors may be viewed at The SLRC urged individuals to contact their local or nearby representatives who may have been co-sponsors and put the same questions to them.


FLORENCE, SC – U.S. District Judge Terry Wooten has denied a motion by attorneys for Dillon County School District #3 to dismiss the case of SLRC client Candice Hardwick, which has been languishing before the court since April of 2006.

Ms. Hardwick brought her suit claiming her rights had been repeatedly violated and that she had suffered discriminatory treatment and unnecessary punishment in connection with Confederate-themed apparel she wore to school. The incidents began while she was still a middle school student and continued into high school. After the suit was filed, both parties filed a series of motions and replies, the latest of which was the defendants’ motion to dismiss, which was entered in October of 2007. As months went by, the court made no response to this motion and the case stood in limbo. Finally, in an effort to elicit some response from the court Chief Trial Counsel Kirk Lyons contacted the clerk of court and asked if the SLRC could file a motion for summary judgment in favor of Ms. Hardwick. “We did this in order to see if we couldn’t break the case loose,” Lyons said. “It had the desired effect; it got us the attention we needed. The court denied the other side’s motion and we are back on course!”

“Kirk can be very clever,” said SLRC Executive Director Roger McCredie. “His tactic worked, to our great relief. We were starting to call this case ‘Jarndyce v.Jarndyce.’” McCredie referred to the interminable lawsuit in Dickens’ “Bleak House.”

“Maybe now Candice will get her day in court before she reaches retirement age,” Lyons said.

Get your Southern patriotism on the record!
Sign the CSA National Origin affidavit!

Some years ago the SLRC asserted that the descendants of Southerners who were citizens of the Confederacy – regardless of race or ancestral national origin – make up a distinct ethnic group as fully valid as any other ethnic group in America, and just as fully entitled to protection under law. We refer to this group as Confederate-Southern Americans (CSA). For some time we have made a downloadable Confederate Southern American National Origin Affidavit available on our website and we had been receiving signed and completed statements at the rate of several each a month,

Now, however, we are actively campaigning to get as many Southerners as possible on the record as saying they consider themselves members of this distinct group. Our intent is to amass as many such affidavits as possible over the next several months and use them as the basis for requesting national and international recognition of CSA’s.

Think what it would mean to have our flags, symbols, music, traditions and customs, and our right to honor them, fully protected under law. Please go to our website and download a copy. If you are a member of a Southern heritage organization, make as many copies as you need and circulate them at your next meeting. Give or send copies to your relatives or friends. Do it now. “The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.”

If you have a stake in Southern heritage and culture, and are looking for a meaningful way to honor and protect them, please give generously to the Southern Legal Resource Center. With your help we can continue our aggressive efforts to secure the rights of all Southerners to express pride in their regional identity without fear of ridicule or reprisal, as should be the case for all Americans.

The Southern Legal Resource Center is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization, and contributions to it are fully tax deductible. Credit card and PayPal donations may be made at our website by clicking on “How You Can Help.” Checks payable to the Southern Legal Resource Center should be mailed to P.O. Box 1235, Black Mountain, NC 28711. “Thumbs Up for Dixie” stickers are available for SLRC and local heritage fundraising projects. Contact the SLRC for details at (828) 669-5189 or

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Rebel Flag: History –v- Hysteria

By Steve Quick

For the average non-Southerner the continued affection residents of Dixie display toward the controversial Battle Flag can be baffling. If African-Americans are so incensed by the banner, why not just fold it up and put it away? Greta Van Susteren of Fox News called for just that and defined the issue a “no-brainer”. Why indeed? The war has been over for 143 years. Certain unsavory groups of a racist stripe seem unduly attached to the symbol as well. No one in the print or electronic media seems willing to come forward and offer a counterpoint. Is there another point of view after all?

Newspapers however, have developed the habit of concluding all flag related stories the same way. The throwaway line for the other point of view is usually something like “flag defenders say the banner stands for heritage”. But what does that mean? If such an understanding can be developed is it still not overshadowed by prevailing negative opinions? Can a symbol so emotionally charged ever be mutually understood?

Therein lies the problem. The very same symbol means completely different things to different people. Perhaps the best place to start is there. Many hate groups have gravitated toward the historical flag. But it is also true these very same groups also use other symbols that are loved and cherished by millions of people. The pinnacle of the Ku Klux Klan was in the 1920s. They boasted over a million members with national leadership in Ohio and Illinois. Yet the most careful photographic scrutiny of the era will fail to reveal a single Confederate flag. One will however find the American flag and the Christian cross in profusion. These symbols are mainstays even today for hate groups. The difference is that patriotic Americans and Christians already have a context for these symbols. The icons cannot be co-opted because they already mean something else. This is also precisely why Southerners continue to love the Battle flag in the face of so much bad publicity. The flag already has meaning and context.

In fact, what the shamrock is to the Irish or the Star of David is to Jews, the Battle Flag is to most Southerners. There is enough historical baggage to encumber any of these symbols, but there is more to admire. The Confederate flag embodies religion, ethnic heritage, early-American revolutionary ideology and ultimately familial sacrifice on the battlefield. The circumstances that gave it birth are the touchstone of the regions identity, no different than the potato famine for the Irish or the holocaust for the Jew. To examine the flag, in historical and ethnic context should permit all but the most rabid flag-haters an opportunity to understand what is behind the vague explanation of “heritage”.

While the Battle flag did not make its appearance in its recognizable form until 1862, some of the design elements date to antiquity. The “X” is the cross of St. Andrew. It was the fisherman Andrew who introduced his brother Simon Peter to Jesus in Galilee 2000 years ago. When the disciple Andrew was himself martyred years later he asked not to be crucified on the same type of cross Christ died upon. His last request was honored and he was put to death on a cross on the shape of the “X”. Andrew later became the patron saint of Scotland and the Scottish flag today is the white St. Andrews cross on a blue field. When Scottish immigrants settled in Northern Ireland in the 1600s the cross was retained on their new flag, albeit a red St. Andrews cross on a white field. When the New World opened up landless Scots and Ulster-Scots lefts their homes and most of them settled in the South, preserving their old culture in the isolated rural and frontier environment

Grady McWhiney explains in his book Cracker Culture, that fully 75% of the early South was populated by these Celts. Most sold themselves into indentured servitude (the earliest form of American slavery) because they could not afford the cost of passage. This explains why only 6% of the African slaves brought to the New World ended up in the American colonies. The lowland English of Saxon descent by contrast settled the Northeastern colonies. This imbued those colonies with such an English character they are still known as New England. Urban, commercial and materialistic by nature these Yankee descendants could not have been more different than their Southern countrymen. Many historians believe the longstanding historical animosities between Saxon and Celt did not bode well for the new country. With this historical perspective the St. Andrews cross seems almost destined to be raised again as ancient rivals clashed on new battlefields.

From this Celtic stock, the ingredients that made the unique Southern stew were gradually introduced. The American Revolution unleashed Celtic hatred of the redcoat. Southerners penned the Declaration of Independence, chased the British through the Carolina’s and defeated them at Yorktown. But they were dismayed when New England immediately sought renewed trade with England and failed to support the French in their own revolution. Another Virginian later crafted the Constitution, a document as sacred to Southerners as their Bibles. Tyranny, they believed, had finally been checkmated by law. The red, white and blue 13-starred banner was their new cherished flag. These same features would later become a permanent part of the Battle flag.

But all was not well with the new republic. Mistrust between the regions manifested even before the revolution was over. The unwieldy Articles of Confederation preceded the constitution. Two of the former colonies (N.C and R.I.) had to be coerced into approving the latter document after wrangling that included northern insistence they be allowed to continue the slave trade another 20 years. Virginia and Kentucky passed resolutions in 1796 asserting their belief that political divorce was an explicit right. Massachusetts threatened on three separate occasions to secede, a right affirmed by all the New England states at the 1818 Hartford convention. The abolitionists were champions of secession and would burn copies of the constitution at their rallies. Their vicious attacks upon all things Southern occurring as it did in the midst of Northern political and economic ascendancy animated Southern secessionists years before the average Southerner could consider such a possibility.

Meanwhile Low Church Protestantism had taken root in the South in the early 1800’s and like kudzu has flourished until the present day. Sociological studies conducted by John Shelton Reed of the University of North Carolina scientifically prove that the South is still the nations most religious region. Southerners are more likely to belong, attend and contribute to their churches than Americans from any other section. Calvinism is the main strain of religious thought and this connection to Scotland and the St. Andrews cross is no coincidence. The religious revivals that swept the Confederate armies during the war further ingrained faith as a fixture of Southern character. During the same era north of the Mason-Dixon transcendentalism, as expounded by Thoreau and Emerson, the taproot of modern secular humanism, was displacing puritanical religion as the dominant philosophical belief. The nation was also fracturing along spiritual lines.

By 1860 the United States was in reality two countries living miserably under one flag. When war broke out, Dixie's' original banner so resembled the old American forebear that a new flag was needed to prevent confusion on the field of battle. The blue St. Andrews cross, trimmed in white on a red field appeared above the defending Confederate army. Thirteen stars appeared on those bars representing the eleven seceding states and revolutionary precedent. These fighting units were all recruited from the same communities, with lifelong friends and close relatives among the casualties of every battle. As they buried their dead friends and relatives the names of those battles were painted or stitched on their flags. At Appomattox a Union observer wrote, they were stoic as they stacked their arms but wept bitterly when they had to furl their flags.

Then, as now the flag symbolizes for Southerners not hate but love, love of heritage, love of faith, love of constitutional protections, love of family and community. If the 1860 census is to be believed 95% of the slaves were owned by just 5% of the population. The modern insistence that the conflict was to resolve the issue of slavery is at best overstated and at worst revisionist. But the current argument does deserve one more look.

The vitriolic, almost irrational antipathy toward the flag is a recent phenomenon. Credible research reveals its origins to be in the 1980's revived by a financially strained and scandal plagued NAACP. Past President, Kwaise Mfume turned the issue into a fundraising juggernaut. Egged on by a liberal media irritated at the lingering conservatism in the South, the flag fight has generated much heat but little light. South Carolina relocated the flag from its capital dome to a place of historical significance after they decided it flew in a position of false sovereignty. Former Governor Barnes of Georgia finessed a backroom flag deal that changed the flag but derailed his own reelection bid. Sonny Perdue became the first Republican since Reconstruction elected to the governor’s mansion by voter outrage over the flag change and the promise of a referendum, a promise that turned out to be a lie. But in Mississippi the thing was put to an old fashioned democratic vote. By a 2 to 1 margin and outspent 10 to 1 they voted to keep the state flag, which features the Battle flag. In fact, three times more African-Americans voted to keep the flag than voted for President Bush. Mississippians speak for all Southerners when they say "It's our symbol, its our heritage and therefore our choice".

In the end what people choose to believe about the flag is just that, a choice. One can accept the interpretation of entire states, Southern rock and country bands, NASCAR fans, Kappa Alpha fraternities, thousands of reenactors and a century of thoughtful historians. People can also embrace the interpretation of a few pathetic racists and the opportunistic civil rights lobby, well amplified by a sympathetic media. Like all choices its says less about the object than it does about the person Perhaps only the Irishman can define the shamrock, or a Jew explain the Star of David. Are not Southerners entitled to the same latitude?

Steve Quick
Arlington Heights, IL 60004

The Unfulfilled Promise of Reunion

By Steve Quick

No other place of origin evokes such strong reactions and prejudices as the word “Southern”. It is all the more amazing when one considers the manner in which the early Republic was shaped and dominated by Southerners. Jefferson was the intellectual and spiritual architect of the Declaration and as the third President acquired the vast Louisiana Territory staking an early claim as far as the Pacific. Washington’s feats after he defeated the British at Yorktown include the first two terms as President, declining a third and an offer to be “King”. James Madison and Patrick Henry crafted a Constitution which has proved the most enduring and practical political document in the world. In fact, five of our first seven Presidents were Southern and it was James Knox Polk in the 1840’s who assured the U.S. would be a permanent transcontinental nation.

It is not only ironic but forgotten that it was once New England that suffered from the inferiority complex when compared to the feats of these Southern giants. The hinge upon which this extraordinary about-face occurred was the epic known now by the misnomer the “Civil War” and the events which preceeded. That terrible conflict, much distorted by both traditional history and more recently the revisionist variety, holds the unfulfilled promise of our national destiny. We currently lack the will and the courage to learn its great truths, banish its dark lies, probe its obscured origins and confront its painful legacies. These myths and distortions must be replaced with historical facts if we desire the ultimate goal of national reconciliation. These include:

1) The slave trade prospered in West Africa 40 years before Columbus even discovered America. African tribes actually conducted raids on their neighbors for the express purpose of enslaving them. Tragically, slavery is practiced to this very day in places like the Sudan, Zaire and Nigeria.

2) Five European powers (Spain, Portugal, France, Holland and Britain) competing for New World influence all employed slavery, with Brazil (Portugal’s crown jewel) topping the list at 5.5 million slaves, half of the total brought to the New World. By 1860, their numbers had dwindled to a little over 2 million.

3) Only 6% of Africans reached our shores (about 600,000). By 1860 their numbers had increased (without new importations) to almost 4 million, the only slave population in recorded history to increase in captivity. Indigent Anglo-Celts filled the need for slaves (as indentured servants) in our early history by selling themselves into slavery because they could not afford the cost of passage. Most white Southerners are descendants of these early bondsmen.

4) Slavery was practiced in all thirteen colonies and NY was second only to Charleston in 1776 as the city with the highest percentage of slaves. Sojourner Truth was born Isabella Baumfree, a slave in New York.

5) The liberal guilt, which today besets the North, has at its roots the profits from its vast slave trading which did nothing less than finance the Industrial Revolution. At the Constitutional Convention a continuation of the slave trade was a concession wrung by the Northern delegations from the South which allowed the North to continue the international trade another 20 years, until 1808.

6) New England slave ships continued plying the waters in defiance of the ban thereafter providing millions of slaves to French and Spanish sugar plantations in the Caribbean and South America.

7) The 1860 census reveals 95% of America’s slaves were owned by just 5% of the population while 85% of Southerners owned the land and structures they lived upon. This clearly establishes a large, independent non slave-holding class of yeoman farmers who later became the rank and file as well as the heart and soul of the Confederate army. To state their motive for fighting was the preservation of slavery is pure nonsense. Ironically there were actually more “free persons of color” in the South than the North of which 30% were slave-owners themselves.

8) Secession as a doctrine was asserted by both North and South (Massachusetts threatened to secede on three separate occasions). The abolitionists had also advocated secession. It was only after 1830 when the control of national politics by the North became permanent that secession became associated exclusively with the South. As a nation conceived in secession and built upon the principle that government is contingent on the consent of the governed the South, or any other section of the country for that matter was completely within principle to assert the right.

9) Slavery was an inefficient, self-consuming labor system driven by cotton and already well-contained within its own soon to be encountered natural frontiers (the American desert). It required ever newer lands to replace that which it exhausted. The pattern was identical throughout the entire Western Hemisphere. It was doomed for extinction well before the end of the century if left alone.

10) Support for war among the general population North and South was weak prior to Sumter. The original seceding states contained only 30% of the Southern population. Four southern states subsequently voted down one ordinance of secession, four others would remain within the Union fold throughout the war. Northern war fever was equally tepid. The manipulation of Ft. Sumter by Seward and Lincoln which resulted in hostile fire polarized the vast middle and guaranteed a long and bloody conflict.

11) The war was unconstitutional and the closing of over 300 Northern newspapers and suspension of habeas corpus that jailed 13,000 Northern civilians (including elected officials) is without parallel in our entire history! The Lincoln Administration repeatedly violated amendments 1, 4,5,6,8, 9 and 10. By contrast Jefferson Davis closed not one paper nor jailed one citizen.

12) Warfare against citizens had ceased in Europe and a conduct of war eventually known as the “Geneva Conventions” codified in Europe during the 1860s forbade war against civilian centers. Contrary to this great humanitarian trend when it became apparent the Confederate armies could not be subdued in the field war was commenced against civilians. The depredations of Sherman in Georgia and the Carolinas as well as Hunter’s and Sheridan’s in Virginia mirror much witnessed in the recent Balkan war.

13) While the war is now represented as an altruistic crusade by the North to free the slaves the historical facts could not be more contradictory. The 1860 Republican Convention contained a platform plank promising protection for slavery everywhere it currently existed. Lincoln at his first inaugural address offered a constitutional amendment forever protecting slavery. A Congressional Resolution in 1862 reaffirmed the war’s aim was to “preserve the Union, not free the slave”.

14) The Emancipation Proclamation was met in the North by laws collectively known as “Black Codes”. These laws forbade entry, travel, work or residence by African-Americans in Northern states. The Proclamation was nothing but a clever ruse to stall imminent European recognition of the Confederacy. It freed no one. Slave states remaining in the Union (in the border states) not only retained their slaves, but also benefited from the strictest enforcement of the hated Fugitive Slave Law.

15) Blacks served willingly and honorably in the Confederate armies. Estimates of their numbers run as high as 100,000. Their motive was the same as their Federal counterpart; patriotism and the desire to disprove the misconceptions about their race. They fought no more to preserve slavery than to preserve Jim Crow during the Spanish-American War, or the doctrine of separate but equal in Korea.

16) The holocaust that resulted from the halt of the prisoner exchange is the sole responsibility of Stanton (Lincoln’s Secretary of War) and Grant. Its only design was to deprive the Confederacy of manpower with the full knowledge scores of thousands on both sides would perish. By the wars’ end, 30,000 on each side had died in captivity. The largest mass grave in the Western Hemisphere is located at Oakwood Cemetery in Chicago and contains the remains of 4200 Confederate known P.O.W.s. The bodies of the other 1800 were lost and remain unknown.

17) Had the South prevailed Robt. E. Lee would have undoubtedly been elected president (the Confederate Constitution limited the President to one six year term) and just as undoubtedly have taken immediate steps to free the slaves. This single act, proposed as it would have been by President Lee would have been accepted by the South and would have advanced race-relations light years.

18) As it was Reconstruction was the single most corrupt period of our entire history, pitting newly enfranchised Blacks against disenfranchised and occupied southern Whites. When in 1877 the last of the troops and carpetbaggers left only Blacks remained to face the rage and hatred of a humiliated South. The ugliness of the 1960s can be traced unbroken from the 1860s.

19) Recent interpretations, Ken Burns The Civil War foremost among them, while artfully crafted, serve only to perpetuate the victor’s propaganda that lies at the root of the unresolved conflict.

By the beginning of the 20th century the wounds of that war had finally begun to heal. Southerners embraced anew the Stars and Stripes while Robert E Lee became a national, not just a regional hero. Confederate Battle flags were returned to the restored states and Southern pride in the old Confederacy was not considered inconsistent with their fundamental American patriotism. Unfortunately South-bashing has replaced the mutual respect of a century ago. In an age of so-called tolerance there are no boundaries to the venom that is daily heaped upon all things and persons Southern; our faith, our heroes, our symbols and our history. It has reopened a rift that may ultimately and ironically fuel a desire for independence from a people who refuse to be homogenized or abused any further. This much is certain, until we understand and teach the Civil War truthfully the ink on the surrender documents signed in McLean’s parlor will never dry.

Reprint and reproduction permitted with credit given to Steve Quick, Arlington Heights, IL.
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