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Southern Heritage <br>News and Views: MISUSE OF CONFEDERATE SYMBOLS IN EUROPE

Thursday, January 15, 2009


SCV Chief of Heritage Defense
Frank Earnest
CC/ Brag Bowling, Commander ANV

SCV Europe Camp #1612



I am writing directly to you because Europe Camp belongs to the Army of Northern Virginia but we have no Brigade or Division Heritage Chairman.

This is to report that things we never thought possible started to happen sporadically throughout Europe a few years ago and are quickly growing worse. The misuse of the Battle flag by certain racist groups during sport events has led to harsh reactions by the sport authorities of several European countries. In March 2006 the Polish Ice-Hockey Federation banned the Confederate battle flag in the Stadiums because of its “continuous use by racist groups”. The same year, the Austrian Soccer Federation drew a comparison line between Nazi flags and Confederate symbols, being used more and more often “as a substitute of the forbidden Nazi flag”. In November 2008 the Commissioner of Sport Events of Croatia (HNS), Josip Brezni, outlawed nationwide the use of Confederate symbols during soccer games due to their “association to Neo-Nazi groups”. In Spain we have recently detected a radical Soccer fan club which uses (misuses) the Confederate Navy Jack during the games and afterwards in violent actions in the streets. As a result, Spanish police now openly associates the Battle flag to violent gangs.

It seems there is an imminent ban of Confederate symbols in sport events at European Union level. This is supported by the World Soccer Association FIFA. The legal ban on the public display of Confederate flags in sport environments seems to be a good thing at first because it will put down the misuse in public. But there is the other side of the coin: newspapers and sport magazines usually write about these groups and publish photographs about incidents, often showing Nazi flags together with the battle flag. The result is a mental association in the reader’s minds putting together Neo-Nazi and Confederate symbols as being the same. This is especially dramatic due to the fact that Europeans have usually no idea of what Secession, the CSA and the WBTS were about. Our colors and our History will be polluted and final victory will be for the Heritage killers if we do not counteract. The misuse of our sacred banners by foreign people who don’t have the right even to touch them is deplored by Camp Europe and we think it’s definitely time to act.

May I suggest the possibility that you write in your official capacity a press release with a short explanation about the historical background of our flags and how much we deplore and condemn their misuse by hate groups in Europe? We would then forward this communication throughout Europe to as many Sport Federations and Magazines as possible.

If you agree, we could forward it also to Sport Teams which have violent gangs among their followers. They should know that real Confederates have nothing in common with them and that their misuse of our banners is repugnant to us.

In addition, every SCV member, associate and friend in Europe writing an open letter in the press in the future, could refer to this official Heritage Defense communication to prove the misuse and abuse of Confederate symbols has nothing in common with true Confederates. Also, it could be used to counter certain journalists attacking the flag as a hate symbol.

Finally, there are many fine reenactor groups in Europe who seriously and devotedly use the Confederate battle flag in a most honorable way, like the ones who did the salute firing during the Heros von Borcke grave marking in Poland last year. These groups do not belong to the SCV of course, but are Confederate-friendly and they do a lot of telling the true story of the Confederate soldier at the very best. They are not being criticized yet, but things may worsen and such a press release could be a good argumentation weapon to defend their flags in reenactments.

We will try to see these sad things nipped in the bud. Perhaps there will be no real effect, but we must stand as witness of the truth and fight the evil were it appears.

Looking forward to your dispositions,

I remain your most obedient servant in the Cause

Achim Bänsch
Commander, SCV Europe Camp #1612


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