"Stars and Bars"
settummanque, or blackeagle (blkeagle@DYNASTY.NET)
Fri, 3 Apr 1998 01:58:19 -0600
"Stars And Bars"
(taken from "The Commandments, Their Laws and My Rules",
(c)1993 Mike Walton.)
159. Everyone has a right to interpreting their own history, and to tell their
story the way that he or she says that it happened. This goes for friends
and enemies, for nations and countries, and for scholars and "backseat
coaches and drivers". But just because they interpreted their history their
own way, does not make it correct. Be warned.
Over the past two or three years, our Southern-most states have been
attacked by well-meaning leaders. They want those states to remove all
references to the "Stars and Bars", the flag of the Confederate States of
America, a part of our combined American history, from state and federal
"This flag is offensive", they stated in newspaper articles, on TV and
especially over the radio. "This flag represents racism. It represents
slavery. It represents "states' rights" which was little more than
segregated societies. It is a evil flag. It represents the Klan, the hate
groups among us, those people who want to kill and maim Blacks and other
non-whites because "this is a White country". We need to remove this flag
and with it the evil and harm it has done to our state, and to this nation."
A very convincing argument. But why are we stopping with that particular
flag? Let's also get rid of the Besty Ross flag, the one featuring thirteen
stars in a circular "constellation" on a blue field. Why? Because it is
Satanic, don't you know?? The proposed flag of the European Community, a
flag to symbolize unity among all members of the central and southern
European continent, is a blue flag with thirteen stars in a circle....and of
course, the Bible, if we are to believe those "interpretations" from TV
evangelists, says that "thirteen is a unholy number, and that constellation
is a sign that the world is coming to an end".
So I guess, when Ms. Ross (and there are scholars whom believe that perhaps
she did NOT sit there and sew that first flag together!) created this flag,
she was placing the United States of America into a tailspin, causing the
eventual return of Jesus and the placement of New Jerusalm onto this earth.
Why do we want to take away what has happened in our lives just so we won't
have to face it with our children and their children?? Why is it so
important that we forget about our collective pasts and hide the fact that
we at one time in our history, was divided and brother was fighting brother,
sister against sister, blacks against blacks and whites against whites? Why
are we trying to make it sound to our children that we have "never had any
problems with racial matters" in our nation?
After the Civil War (The "War Between the States" is prefered by Southerners
because "there was nothing Civil about it!"), many Southern states
incorporated the Flag of the Confederacy into their state flags. This was
not a symbol of definance, as many would have us to believe but rather an
acknowledgement of the fact that such a situation occured whereby at one
time, states like Mississippi and Georgia were part of a different country.
A state's history is combined into the symbolism of its
flag, whether it is the 50 states which make up the United States as
symbolized by our white stars on the blue field; the sickle and hammer of
Communism found on several Eastern Bloc flags; or the stars pointing their
way northward in the case of Alaska's state flag.
Since then, we have had sport teams to take on names of Native American
tribes, schools to call themselves "Rebels" and "Yankees", and of course
those bumper stickers, decals and my favorite, the faux license plate with
the phrase "The South's gonna rise again!" What's wrong with remembering at
that one time, Native American tribes outnumbered all
of us until we moved them by death or relocation to dinky patches of land
that we can visit like at a national zoo? What's wrong with remembering
that we used to actually fight anyone who called us a "Reb" or a "Yank" (or
swell up in pride whenever someone referred to us as one)? What's wrong
with telling people that you are proud to be a Southerner?
I attended a Scout Court of Honor in Statesboro, Georgia four years ago.
During the opening ceremony, the flags of the United States, the
Confederacy, and the state of Georgia, along with the Troop's flag, were
introduced and carried forward by a group of both black and white Scouts.
Everyone stood at attention while the National anthem and the song "Dixie"
was played. Even me. I viewed it in the same vein as if I was standing
during the opening minutes of a NAACP meeting, in which the National anthem
was played followed by the "Negro National Anthem", or "Lift Every Voice and
It was a sign of respect, and if I wasn't adult enough to respect a song to
symbolize the heritage of the people in that room, I should not expect other
adults to respect my own song of racial heritage and stand when it was
(See Scout Law point of Reverence, Rule 23.)
I have a friend of mine named David. Dave and I were involved in something
called the Military Personnel Scouts of America, or MPSA. It was one of
three National Scouts Associations created and funded by the Hearst family
before the BSA shut them all down in the early 70s, for infringing on the
word "Scout". The MPSA was like a youth club, which talked a good talk but
didn't do a whole lot otherwise. I earned their
highest award, called the "Dobble Knot". So did Dave. We earned it at the
Dave has what I call "selective memory". He wants to forget about the time
that we were all out at Wilkerson Lake and he set the brush there on fire
with his demostration of how to build a fire; or the time in which we were
lost in the woods and he started to cry because he felt "nobody will ever
find us out here". I found the way out, and he was embarrassed to find out
that we were just on the backside of one of the largest housing areas on the
post, hidden by the deep trees and underbrush until we got closer. Dave
wasn't the best at being an outdoorsman, but we did have a good time
together during the year or so we were both MPSAing together.
But ask Dave about those two misadventures, and he'll say "I don't remember
that. You're making that up, Mike..." He always does, but the facts remain
that it took two fire trucks to put out the fire at Wilkerson Lake and
that's why you cannot camp there anymore; and our Advisor conforted Dave
when he was babbling about "being lost in the woods and Big Foot'll find us
and eat us all alive!"
(Big Foot was really a big deal during that time; there had been several
sightings including in the South. Never could figure out how he escaped
being seen in suburban neighborhoods and swimming across several rivers to
find his way into Kentucky of all places!!)
I think we all have periods in our lives whereby we want to somehow forget
the mistakes and errors in our lives. I do. I want to forget about, among
other things, the time in which I had everyone to stand for the Pledge of
Allegence in high school before a game and my Drum and Bugle Corps started
in on the National Anthem. I still get email from one of those former Drum
and Bugle Corps members reminding me of that fact. It was embarrassing, but
it passed onward. It was stupid, but we soon saw it as what it was: a
mistake, a part of youthful indecision that somehow made its way as history.
Let's not even try to have "selective memory" in teaching our future about
our past. We need to be upfront with them, telling them everything that
happened in our lives. In that way, nobody can come up and attempt to
"blackmail you" or force you to do things you do not want to do because "we
know something about your past" and "we'll tell everyone about it if you
don't do things our way".
Leave our flags alone. If someone wants to hang a Confederate flag, a Black
Power flag, a Gay rights flag, or a Troop flag, let them. It is their
right. If a state wants to be inclusive, let them display ALL of the flags
which have flown over their state, to include the Confederate one. We
belong to the United States of America, and that flag should be the highest,
the top, the one which we as citizens give our "propers" to. But that
doesn't mean that it is the ONLY flag which should be exposed to our
Our history, as a nation, as a people, as individuals, is full of events and
things we wished had never happened...or never happened the way it happened.
As I have found out in my youth, the more people try to cover things up, the
more other people try to find out what really happened and why.
We cannot cover up the War. It was and is a part of our heritage, what
makes us who we are, why we are the way we are. We can, however, come to
grips about why it still bothers us to this day and why it is important that
"The South's gonna rise again!"
So, tell them. Mine already know. I told them already.
(c) 1997 Mike Walton ("no such thing as strong coffee,...") (502) 827-9201
(settummanque, the blackeagle) http://dynasty.net/users/blkeagle
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