logo 
spacer
  

Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register )

If you have an opinion, you should share it! Register Now!

America's Debate hosts the best in news, government, and political debate. Register now to take part in the most civil and constructive debate on the Internet. Join the community, and get ready to be challenged!

Click here to start

> Sponsored Links

Register to remove these ads!

> Welcome to the America's Debate Archive!

Topics that have had no new replies in the last 180 days are moved to the archive.

New replies are not accepted once a topic is moved to the archive, and new topics cannot be started in the archive.

> Symbols, History, Hate, Heritage or Hysteria?
Dontreadonme
post Jun 6 2005, 02:14 PM
Post #1


Group Icon

**********
I think, therefore I am an enemy of the State....and Fox News

Sponsor
October 2003

Group: Moderators
Posts: 6,452
Member No.: 359
Joined: December-25-02

From: Nestled in the Shenandoah
Gender: Male
Politics: Independent
Party affiliation: Libertarian



Confederate Memorial Day is a day set aside in the South to pay tribute to those who served with the Confederate forces during the American Civil War.
The Confederate Memorial Day is observed on April 26 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; on May 10 in North Carolina and South Carolina; on May 30 in Virginia; and on June 3 in Kentucky, Louisiana, and Tennessee.

QUOTE
The Confederate flag is rising again in Missouri, and an NAACP leader is vowing a "drastic" response. 
 
Republican Gov. Matt Blunt has ordered the Confederate flag to fly Sunday at the Confederate Memorial State Historic Site in Higginsville, where an afternoon graveside service is planned to mark Confederate Memorial Day. 
 
The flag will fly for only one day, but a Blunt spokesman said Friday the governor also supports a scholarly review of whether it would be appropriate to again fly the Confederate flag regularly at the historic site.

Link

I would like to focus not so much on the specific events commemorating Confederate Memorial Day, but rather, the symbol that is associated with it, and other symbols that throughout history have meant something to one group and something else entirely to another.

Questions for debate:

Keeping in mind that the swastika is verboten to display in Germany, is the Confederate Battle flag analogous to the Nazi swastika, historically or culturally?

Is the issue of displaying divisive symbols black and white? (no pun intended) Or can both sides compromise in the arena of rhetoric?

Should symbols like the swastika and confederate flag be banned from even private displays, or does it reflect on our fundamental freedom to express ourselves?


Are there other symbols or display that you find offensive, or that you don't believe should be in the public square?


This post has been edited by Dontreadonme: Jun 6 2005, 02:20 PM
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
2 Pages V   1 2 >  
Start new topic
Replies (1 - 19)
bucket
post Jun 6 2005, 02:58 PM
Post #2


********
Millennium Mark

Group: Members
Posts: 1,259
Member No.: 1,459
Joined: October-14-03

Gender: Female
Politics: Liberal
Party affiliation: None



Good debate smile.gif

Questions for debate:

Keeping in mind that the swastika is verboten to display in Germany, is the Confederate Battle flag analogous to the Nazi swastika, historically or culturally? No I personally don't believe so..but I am not a black American nor am I Jewish so it is difficult for me to even imagine or postulate what those two cultures feel about or how they interpret these symbols. The only thing I base my argument on in regards to the confederate flag is my belief that the civil war and the confederacy were a cause of many things not just slavery in this nation. I feel that if we are to ask a flag to take responsibility or symbolize that horrible period of time in our history it would unfortunately have to be the American flag itself..which we proudly fly everywhere.

Is the issue of displaying divisive symbols black and white? (no pun intended) Or can both sides compromise in the arena of rhetoric?
No it is not black and white. I feel that often laws or regulations within society must reflect the needs or desired effects of that society. So if we feel racism is an important issue to address in this nation and that freely allowing these symbols displayed will damage our desired need or outcome in regards to racial issues in this nation then I believe we must consider the ramifications of our actions. Yet I also wish for this to always be balanced and quantitated with freedom of speech and political rights and assembly.


Should symbols like the swastika and confederate flag be banned from even private displays, or does it reflect on our fundamental freedom to express ourselves?
No I don't think they should be banned yet I do believe we must consider the outcomes of actions. So perhaps celebrating them..or inviting them into a position of power or recognition would not be a good idea.

Are there other symbols or display that you find offensive, or that you don't believe should be in the public square?
Hmm. The Klan uniform? But then again society itself has rid itself of the power of this symbol..and it looks far more ridiculous than it does anything else. So I would have to say I believe it is the interpretation of these symbols and how they are viewed in society...not just the viewing itself.. that is most important.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
ChargedDust
post Jun 6 2005, 03:03 PM
Post #3


****
Contributor

Group: Members
Posts: 92
Member No.: 3,360
Joined: August-2-04

From: L.I., N.Y.
Gender: Male
Politics: Moderate
Party affiliation: None



QUOTE

 
Keeping in mind that the swastika is verboten to display in Germany, is the Confederate Battle flag analogous to the Nazi swastika, historically or culturally?


I wouldn't say it's the same in terms of what it specifically represents, but would call it analogous in that it represents a faction of our society that stood for the antitheseis of what our country stands for.

QUOTE
Is the issue of displaying divisive symbols black and white? (no pun intended) Or can both sides compromise in the arena of rhetoric?


I'd call it pretty black and white, under the first amendment. Any private citizen should be able to display anything they wish on their own private property.

QUOTE
Should symbols like the swastika and confederate flag be banned from even private displays, or does it reflect on our fundamental freedom to express ourselves?


No, private displays are just that, private. I would also say that any display on private property, in public view should also be protected.

QUOTE

Are there other symbols or display that you find offensive, or that you don't believe should be in the public square?


I think there are plenty that I could think of, but that doesn't matter to me. Whatever I find offensive I take with a grain of salt, because I fully expect to be able to express myself and offend others should I feel the need to. I will not take away what I see as another's rights just because it offends me, because that opens the door for my rights to be taken away.

The only public displays I find truely offensive are the ones that are sanctioned by government. When I see the government sanctioning, and providing special priveledge for, religion, marriage, ect - that I find offensive.

*


This post has been edited by ChargedDust: Jun 6 2005, 03:10 PM
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Dontreadonme
post Jun 6 2005, 03:12 PM
Post #4


Group Icon

**********
I think, therefore I am an enemy of the State....and Fox News

Sponsor
October 2003

Group: Moderators
Posts: 6,452
Member No.: 359
Joined: December-25-02

From: Nestled in the Shenandoah
Gender: Male
Politics: Independent
Party affiliation: Libertarian



QUOTE(bucket @ Jun 6 2005, 09:58 AM)
I feel that if we are to ask a flag to take responsibility or symbolize that horrible period of time in our history it would unfortunately have to be the American flag itself..which we proudly fly everywhere.

You bring up a good point bucket; slavery, Jim Crow and atrocities against Native Americans took place for far longer (and some completely) under the auspices of the United States flag, than the confederate flag. If groups or individuals rail against the flying of the southern battle flag, not only over public buildings, but private as well, does this mean they turn a blind eye to our current flag?
Or have we as a nation reached some sort of internal peace with our flag for the sake of convenience or ignorance?
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
kmsouthern
post Jun 6 2005, 03:18 PM
Post #5


******
Nerd Goddess Extraordinaire

Sponsor
July 2005

Group: Sponsors
Posts: 321
Member No.: 885
Joined: July-15-03

From: somewhere in the Sonoran desert...
Gender: Female
Politics: Very Liberal
Party affiliation: Democrat



Keeping in mind that the swastika is verboten to display in Germany, is the Confederate Battle flag analogous to the Nazi swastika, historically or culturally?

In some ways it is analogous to the Nazi swastika. We all know that the swastika was not always a symbol of hatred. The Nazis adopted the Hindu religious symbol and ever since, it has been taboo. The same can be said of the Confederate Flag. The fact that it was adopted by the KKK and other white supremacist organizations sort of negates any claim to general southern history that it may have once had. The flag has come to symbolize drastically different things to two groups as a result of its use as a symbol of hatred by some. Non-nazi swastikas were no longer used once the swastika took hold in Nazi Germany. I think the confederate flag is similar, albeit not to that extreme. I'm always curous to hear arguments for the confederate flag's use (well, the Southern Cross anyway...it's not really the true confederate flag). The Southern Cross was a battle flag and not the actual flag of the confederacy, so why is it the Southern Cross that people are so easger to fly? This has always been my biggest source of confusion/question in this matter.


Is the issue of displaying divisive symbols black and white? (no pun intended) Or can both sides compromise in the arena of rhetoric?

I can see a compromise in some situations. For example, I would think that flying the actual confederate flag would be far less troublesome for those offended by the Southern Cross (I know it's less offensive to me because it doesn't have those same ties to hate organizations). There's pretty much NO compromise when it comes to swastikas - and the fact that swastikas had such a drastically different meaning before their use in Nazi Germany would seem to make more of an argument for compromise (theoretically, at least) than a flag that has always been tied to southern history and the civil war battles.

I admit that I do get nervous when I see a Southern Cross on a car. That's my instinctive reaction because of it's use in hate groups...visually, there's no way to distinguish whether it's merely being used as a symbol of state/regional pride or as something more sinister.

Should symbols like the swastika and confederate flag be banned from even private displays, or does it reflect on our fundamental freedom to express ourselves?

I think it's absolutely ridiculous to ban them from private displays. My only issue is in flying them in pubic on government buildings (same as the 10 Commandment issue). But I am also not the most knowledgeable person when it comes to southern history/culture, so I'm sure my view is tainted by the symbolism that has come to be rather than what may or may not have been before.

Are there other symbols or display that you find offensive, or that you don't believe should be in the public square?

Probably, but I can't think of any off the top of my head.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
moif
post Jun 6 2005, 03:18 PM
Post #6


*********
suspending disbelief

Sponsor
February 2004

Group: Sponsors
Posts: 4,685
Member No.: 424
Joined: February-3-03

From: Aarhus, Denmark
Gender: Male
Politics: Undisclosed
Party affiliation: None



QUOTE
Keeping in mind that the swastika is verboten to display in Germany, is the Confederate Battle flag analogous to the Nazi swastika, historically or culturally?
Not in any way. The Conferderate flag is a national flag and as such it belongs in the same catagory as any other national flag and whilst it may be a hated symbol to some, it still represents the people of that long dead nation.

The Swastika is a political symbol and while it may have been used as a national symbol it still carries the stigma of its politcal meaning.

One day I don't doubt it will have no more significance than the SPQR of the Roman empire and will be just one more foot note in history.


QUOTE
Is the issue of displaying divisive symbols black and white? (no pun intended) Or can both sides compromise in the arena of rhetoric?
Compromise is always possible.


QUOTE
Should symbols like the swastika and confederate flag be banned from even private displays, or does it reflect on our fundamental freedom to express ourselves?
No. People should have the right to interpret symbols as they themselves see fit.

As a wargamer I have myself pondered on this particular point. I am loath to have a swastika in my home and since I have ww2 German elements amongst my collection of miniatures I had the option of giving them swastika's. I chose not to because I am too aware of what that symbols stands for and I cannot bring myself to glorify it even in this small way. Indeed, I have never used my German elements as nazi's in any game either for just this reason choosing instead to use them as a semi religious cult in a game based on pulp literature.

At the same time however, I also have a Knight of the Teutonic order painted in white with the black crusader cross and that was just as potent and hated a symbol for hundreds of years... hmmm.gif

That another person might not share my view makes no difference to me though and I would ever deny them the right to decide for themselves as to the significnace of the symbols.


QUOTE
Are there other symbols or display that you find offensive, or that you don't believe should be in the public square?
Recently I observed a girl wearing a pull over with a big red hammer and sickle across her breasts and this very question struck me. History tells me that the Nazi's killed 6 million Jews, but that the Communists killed 30 million people.

I wondered at how that girl might feel were she to encounter another person wearing a similar garment and emblazed with a swastika? Its odd how we perceive symbols.

I wouldn't deny any body the right to wear a symbol, not even a swastika, but I wish people would have a care about how easily they accept casual 'fashion statements' without regard to the true meaning of what they are wearing.

editted for spelling

This post has been edited by moif: Jun 6 2005, 03:22 PM
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Christopher
post Jun 6 2005, 03:26 PM
Post #7


********
Millennium Mark

Group: Members
Posts: 1,352
Member No.: 1,696
Joined: November-9-03

From: Phoenix AZ
Gender: Male
Politics: Independent
Party affiliation: Private



I have never believed in restricting images, icons or symbols because of what was done under their banner in the past. To me it just seems to reinforce the myth that is propagated by those who claim to still follow their thinking. It allows them to add a mystery to the icon and give it a half life is does not deserve. Making boogeymen out of its pretenders.
These things are best defanged by dragging them into the open and allowing them to be openly examined and their followers to be clearly seen for who they are. Even better is if the victims were to claim the symbol themselves and redefine its meaning--I think little would infuriate certain types more.
To try and suppress the images just adds a sort of credence to the weak minded who try and recruit others of limited intellect. Allows them to claim falsely that "they are feared because they are "special"

In the case of the most well known of the Confederate battle flags the true reasons for the Civil War went beyond slavery and there are many arguments for and against the cause of the southern states. Yet for all of the just causes in regards to northern agression and its attempts to bring southern states under their heel and the Tariff arguments always stands the simple fact that while the majority of southeners may have not owned slaves neither did they condemn it and put a stop to it. To somehow justify that fact with what was done by the north is a failed argument from the start.



Keeping in mind that the swastika is verboten to display in Germany, is the Confederate Battle flag analogous to the Nazi swastika, historically or culturally?
Yes it is relatable historically. However I doubt very much it would ever be possible to restrict or even ban the battle flag successfully--Indeed to try would merely give fuel to a fire that should have died a long time ago. Much like the word marriage it would be an empty victory where the attempts to ban not be withdrawn. Those who have a legitimate claim to their heritage will likely not be running around waving the flags in peoples faces anyhow and it removes some ammunition from the arsenal of those who try to use the Bflag to cause turmoil and hate.

One should never try to ban private displays. If they are used to try and hurt others they will merely serve to label the designer as the guttertrash they are. Fight them on it and you merely feed their inflated sense of importance.

This post has been edited by christopher: Jun 6 2005, 03:28 PM
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Dontreadonme
post Jun 6 2005, 03:38 PM
Post #8


Group Icon

**********
I think, therefore I am an enemy of the State....and Fox News

Sponsor
October 2003

Group: Moderators
Posts: 6,452
Member No.: 359
Joined: December-25-02

From: Nestled in the Shenandoah
Gender: Male
Politics: Independent
Party affiliation: Libertarian



I think you hit a home run Moif!

An important point that many people don't take into consideration is the fact that the swastika is/was a purely political symbol, representing the Nazi party, then inserted as the de facto national symbol, but only by the tyranny and propaganda of that party.
The confederate battle flag symbolized the Army of Northern Virginia, representing the nation of the Confederate States of America. (It's legality as a sovereign nation would be debate fodder for another thread)

As a history buff, ironically I am drawn towards the US civil war, and WWII-European Theater. Many visitors to my home will see my civil war prints on the wall of my stairwell, and the numerous books I have on the civil war, north and south.......and various books I have on WWII, including histories of the SS and it's units.. Though nobody has said anything to me, I often wonder what they might think when they see this. My close friends know of my interest in history, but as we have our house on the market, we are getting plenty of strangers waltzing through my rooms...... ermm.gif

Regarding your reference to Nazi's v. communists....I also find it strange that symbols of communism and it's various leaders and prophets are not placed on the same level as Hitler and the Nazi's, but rather find their way in current fashion. But then again, Bobby Lee and Nathan Bedford Forrest are somewhat of demi-god's here in the south.......

This post has been edited by Dontreadonme: Jun 6 2005, 03:56 PM
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Christopher
post Jun 6 2005, 03:49 PM
Post #9


********
Millennium Mark

Group: Members
Posts: 1,352
Member No.: 1,696
Joined: November-9-03

From: Phoenix AZ
Gender: Male
Politics: Independent
Party affiliation: Private



QUOTE
Though nobody has said anything to me, I often wonder what they might think when they see this.
People see what they want to see DTOM. To understand ones history in the hopes of not repeating past mistakes requires in depth understanding of what happened and why. Not just events but the people and why they were as there were.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Erasmussimo
post Jun 6 2005, 04:23 PM
Post #10


*******
Five Hundred Club

Group: Validating
Posts: 886
Member No.: 4,853
Joined: April-12-05

Gender: Undisclosed
Politics: Undisclosed
Party affiliation: Undisclosed



Keeping in mind that the swastika is verboten to display in Germany, is the Confederate Battle flag analogous to the Nazi swastika, historically or culturally?
Yes, I see a fair comparison. I don't think it's as odious as the swastika, but it does represent a worldview that is now reprehensible.

Is the issue of displaying divisive symbols black and white? (no pun intended) Or can both sides compromise in the arena of rhetoric?
I believe that the solution is to privatise the debate over symbols; I'll expand on this momentarily.
Should symbols like the swastika and confederate flag be banned from even private displays, or does it reflect on our fundamental freedom to express ourselves?
No, and yes.
Are there other symbols or display that you find offensive, or that you don't believe should be in the public square?
I don't believe that any symbols belong in the public square. I propose a variation on the First Amendment addressing symbols:

"Congress shall make no law respecting a symbol, or prohibiting the free expression thereof."

I am suggesting here that government get out of the symbol business. Symbols are dangerous to the body politic because they represent different things to different people. One man sees the Confederate flag as a symbol of patriotic valor; another man sees it as a symbol of slavery. Who's right? Both are. And because they are both right, they can fight endlessly and futily over its display. A pox on both their houses! We don't need this kind of pointless divisive element in our body politic.

While my anti-symbol amendment has its appeals, there are some serious flaws in it as well. How about the American flag? It's a symbol, too. I personally believe that American treatment of its flag has become idolatrous. I view American's attitude toward its flag with the same distaste that a Muslim must feel for the Orthodox Church's attitude towards its icons. However, (to mix my religious metaphors), I realize that it would be too Calvinist of me to deny Americans the simple joys of their flag, so I would except the flag from my anti-symbol amendment, so long as Americans are even-handed in their acceptance of it as a symbol and respect flag-burning and other desecration (interesting that we use "desecration" with respect to the flag, isn't it?) as a legitimate political statement.

The other flaw with my anti-symbol amendment is its application to more distant symbols. I don't mind dumping that silly pyramid with the eye from our money, but what about the neo-classical architecture of our government buildings? Is it not in some way symbolic of the Enlightenment and its values? Is a national anthem not a musical symbol? Is a Minuteman not a symbol of our Revolution? I'm not sure it's possible to draw a clean line between symbol and illustration.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
loreng59
post Jun 6 2005, 05:27 PM
Post #11


*******
Five Hundred Club

Group: Members
Posts: 835
Member No.: 2,830
Joined: March-31-04

From: Monterey, California
Gender: Male
Politics: Liberal
Party affiliation: Republican



Keeping in mind that the swastika is verboten to display in Germany, is the Confederate Battle flag analogous to the Nazi swastika, historically or culturally?
Okay let's get one thing clear the flag in question is not over the Confederate Battle Flag. That is a square flag with the Southern Cross on it and the flag the D.W. Griffith made famous, used by the KKK, and the one being flow is rectangular in shape and was the Confederate Naval Ensign, not the Battle Flag. D.W. Griffith used the Naval Ensign in Birth of A Nation because none of the Confederate Flags showed up clearly in black and white films. So those that do fly a Naval Ensign from a building are displaying their ignorance, not history. So no the Battle Flag should not be considered analogous to the Nazi swastika.

Is the issue of displaying divisive symbols black and white? (no pun intended) Or can both sides compromise in the arena of rhetoric?
Yes, get back to history. kmsouthern has the right idea, let them use one of correct Confederate National flags.

Should symbols like the swastika and confederate flag be banned from even private displays, or does it reflect on our fundamental freedom to express ourselves?
No way, America was founded upon freedom of expression. I may be offended by I will still defend your right to be offensive.

Are there other symbols or display that you find offensive, or that you don't believe should be in the public square?
Sure if we go that route, then let's ban the Christian crosses, an offensive symbol if there ever was one of religious intolerance, and hatred. The list can be endless of symbols that people find offensive. Let's just remember that these are just fabric and paper.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
tinecailine
post Jun 9 2005, 02:46 AM
Post #12


*
New Member

Group: New Members
Posts: 1
Member No.: 5,113
Joined: June-9-05

From: PA
Gender: Female
Politics: Private
Party affiliation: None



Keeping in mind that the swastika is verboten to display in Germany, is the Confederate Battle flag analogous to the Nazi swastika, historically or culturally?

To keep this simple and refrain from too much reiteration...
The Confederate flag was not intended to represent the hate that the Klan has made it notorious for, many non slave holding people fought beneath that battle flag - some of African descent.
The US flag has many more atrocities in its folds than one can mention. There were slave holding states that stayed in the Union during the Civil War; the Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves of those states in rebellion - slavery continued in the North until the 13the amendment.

If the issue is that some feel the flag represents slavery there are many other symbols that better represent that horrible institution. We must also remember that slavery existed in Africa and some African tribes were known to have sold their fellow Africans of other tribes to the slave traders. Also, other countries were involved in the slave trade, not just the US.

Is the issue of displaying divisive symbols black and white? (no pun intended) Or can both sides compromise in the arena of rhetoric?

Symbols are subject to interpretation and can be whatever color the human interpreting the symbol wants it to be. What I write here and what others have written in response to this topic (or any issue for that matter) will most likely be interpreted differently than it was intended. There is always an avenue for compromise... the key is keeping an open mind and respecting one's right to their interpretations, feelings, etc.

Should symbols like the swastika and confederate flag be banned from even private displays, or does it reflect on our fundamental freedom to express
ourselves?

Private displays are that... private. As a history buff and Civil War re-enactor we represent history in the public sector but it would be hard to accurately portray battles and even civilian history without the symbols.
Live and let live; tolerate and accept.

Are there other symbols or display that you find offensive, or that you don't believe should be in the public square?

We all have things that offend us. We do not have the right to tell others not to be offended or put one groups feelings ahead of other groups. Growing and changing in views (as an individual or as a nation) should not mean the destruction of the history that came before us. For example: flags, monuments, historical sites. To get to where you're going means remembering where you have been.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
CruisingRam
post Jun 9 2005, 04:30 AM
Post #13


**********
Elite Senior Contributor

Group: Members
Posts: 7,934
Member No.: 927
Joined: July-25-03

From: Hawaii
Gender: Male
Politics: Liberal
Party affiliation: Other



Keeping in mind that the swastika is verboten to display in Germany, is the Confederate Battle flag analogous to the Nazi swastika, historically or culturally?

Considering as Loreng pointed out- the flag they are using as the confederate flag these days are not a very historical rendition of the confederacy, but rather, a symbol resurected by the KKK to instill fear in blacks, while commiting atrocities against the innocent, yes, the current "confederate battle flag" (once again making the point loreng already made about historical accuracy) is analogous to the current meaning of the swastika

Is the issue of displaying divisive symbols black and white? (no pun intended) Or can both sides compromise in the arena of rhetoric?

Well, not really- symbols, are well, symbols that poeple recognize from thier most recent meaning, for the most part. Now, as loreng pointed out- if the ignorant folks that fly the KKK symbol switched over to a more historical symbol, I don't know if there would BE much aversion to the symbol.

Here is the deal with that flag for me- when black poeple start flying that same flag as a symbol of THIER southern pride, well, the symbol has been rehabilitated, hasn't it? hmmm.gif

Should symbols like the swastika and confederate flag be banned from even private displays, or does it reflect on our fundamental freedom to express ourselves?

Well, private is private, do what you wish, as long as you don't harm others directly or defaud them. thumbsup.gif -

On a personal level, my grandfather gave me a saddle, decorated completely with swastikas all over it, of various sizes and usually of opposite rotation of the nazi symbol, but not always. It was a popular Navahoe symbol as well back in the 20s - I donated it to a Wyoming small cowboy/miner museaum with the stipulation that if the center closes, I get it back. So it is publically displayed, with text describing it in historical context.

Are there other symbols or display that you find offensive, or that you don't believe should be in the public square?

Well, I guess I feel religious symbolism outside the artistic realm (many buildings have Victorian or colonial or old this or that architecture that incorporates religious themes for its beauty, not to proselytize or evangilize) is inappropriate on goverment or public property recieving public funds.

Now- I do also make exception to artistic or political display as the public area is rented nad not recieving public aid to do so- say a religiously inspired art show renting a city owned convention center for thier art or evangelical oriented activity using religious symbols.

But, though I don't find the ten commandments personally offensive, in the instance of Roy Moore when he was a judge- this was very offensive to me, because he was using his position to promote Christianity and Christian symbols.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Wertz
post Jun 9 2005, 08:14 PM
Post #14


Group Icon

*********
Advanced Senior

Sponsor
January 2003

Group: Committee Members
Posts: 3,235
Member No.: 181
Joined: October-23-02

From: Franklinville PA
Gender: Male
Politics: Liberal
Party affiliation: None



Keeping in mind that the swastika is verboten to display in Germany, is the Confederate Battle flag analogous to the Nazi swastika, historically or culturally?

Absolutely. That the swastika was a political symbol before it was a national flag and that the Southern Cross was a battle flag that was eventually incorporated into later versions of the Confederate flag are irrelevant*. What is important is how these symbols are perceived - and why they are flown. The fact is (as kmsouthern pointed out), the Southern Cross as we know it today - in its 4:3 aspect ratio as opposed to the original square - was invented by the Ku Klux Klan. It has only ever been a symbol of racial hatred. Anyone who tells you they fly the Southern Cross as a matter of pride or heritage or nationalism or some other codswallop is lying to you. They are flying it for exactly the same reason that people fly swastikas - because they are racist (or because they are so ignorant and confused as to be just as dangerous).

Is the issue of displaying divisive symbols black and white? (no pun intended) Or can both sides compromise in the arena of rhetoric?

Hmmn... compromise? I'm not sure what sort of compromise could be reached here. Government buildings and state-funded public areas should only be allowed to fly a swastika if they also fly a Star of David and a Pink Triangle? Government buildings and state-funded public areas should only be allowed to fly a Southern Cross if they also fly a banner saying

THE SOUTH
L O S T
BECAUSE GOD
HATES RACISTS

or something similar? Maybe. Or maybe people should just start accepting that racism is evil - that neither slavery nor segregation will ever be reinstated here - that the South did, indeed, lose the Civil War. Maybe they should just get over it - or move.

Should symbols like the swastika and confederate flag be banned from even private displays, or does it reflect on our fundamental freedom to express ourselves?

Of course not. Private citizens should have every right to fly Southern Crosses or swastikas or rainbow flags or hammers and sickles or pictures of My Little Pony. That's what the First Amendment means. But no government institution, in my opinion, be it local, state, or national, should endorse racial hatred. And that is the only thing that flying the Klan flag does. If a state really wants to "honor their southern heritage" or some other nincompoopery, let them fly the official flag of the Confederate States of America - so long as it adheres to US Flag Laws and Regulations:
QUOTE
No person shall display the flag of the United Nations or any other national or international flag equal, above, or in a position of superior prominence or honor to, or in place of, the flag of the United States at any place within the United States or any Territory or possession thereof.

Are there other symbols or display that you find offensive, or that you don't believe should be in the public square?

In my opinion, no symbol apart from the US flag, state or municipal flags, the flag of the UN or the flags of other extant nations should be flown in the public square by a government agency (so that would exclude the flags of extinct nations like the USSR, the Third Reich, and the CSA). If a private citizen wants to stand in the middle of the public square waving a swastika, that's his or her business.



*This, by the way, was the actual national flag of the Confederacy. This was the final version, incorporating the Southern Cross. It was introduced a month before the end of the Civil War. There was an intermediate version, "The Stainless Banner" (i.e., unstained by non-white blood) which featured the Southern Cross set in the upper right quadrant of a white field. As it looked too much like a flag of surrender, the red bar was added for the final version - and the South promptly surrendered. laugh.gif


This post has been edited by Wertz: Jun 9 2005, 08:31 PM
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
aevans176
post Jun 9 2005, 08:54 PM
Post #15


********
Millennium Mark

Group: Members
Posts: 1,931
Member No.: 3,607
Joined: September-13-04

From: Plano, TX. Sweater vest and Volvo hell.
Gender: Male
Politics: Conservative
Party affiliation: None



QUOTE(Wertz @ Jun 9 2005, 03:14 PM)
Absolutely. That the swastika was a political symbol before it was a national flag and that the Southern Cross was a battle flag that was eventually incorporated into later versions of the Confederate flag are irrelevant*. What is important is how these symbols are perceived - and why they are flown. The fact is (as kmsouthern pointed out), the Southern Cross as we know it today - in its 4:3 aspect ratio as opposed to the original square - was invented by the Ku Klux Klan. It has only ever been a symbol of racial hatred. Anyone who tells you they fly the Southern Cross as a matter of pride or heritage or nationalism or some other codswallop is lying to you. They are flying it for exactly the same reason that people fly swastikas - because they are racist (or because they are so ignorant and confused as to be just as dangerous).

Hmmn... compromise? I'm not sure what sort of compromise could be reached here. Government buildings and state-funded public areas should only be allowed to fly a swastika if they also fly a Star of David and a Pink Triangle? Government buildings and state-funded public areas should only be allowed to fly a Southern Cross if they also fly a banner saying

THE SOUTH
L O S T
BECAUSE GOD
HATES RACISTS



Well, actually what you're missing is that the Civil war had little to do with Race relations or civil rights. Lest we not forget that even Robert E Lee freed his slaves prior to the end of the war, and Abraham Lincoln had slaves himself. The people in the North weren't hanging out in their local hot spots with the colored folk back then... let's not confuse racism with the economic nature of the civil war. The whole country was blatently racist, and the most influential politician in American history was a Southerner (LBJ)... argue that. He passed more civil rights legislation than any other Washington inhabitant in our history.

I agree that most black people in the US believe the Confederate Flag to be racist, as that's how our society has portrayed it to be. It was adopted by racist groups (such as the Klan or other seperatist factions), and that's how it was remembered by history. The confederacy and the Civil War is rarely discussed as a race related war by true historians, and the economic impact of freeing the slaves caused sincere damage to the way of life many Americans had become accustomed to. It would be similar to the abolition of Unions in the US. Unions have rarely been proven to be good for companies, but are always good for the employees. I doubt that you'll find a UAW worker in favor of earning what his other manufacturing counterparts do outside of the Auto industry.... and if you tried to change it, he'd probably be FIGHTIN' MAD! hmmm.gif

The fact is that historically, the flag itself is no more racially centered than that of the Union flag, or that of any other state that employed slave labor. The American economic landscape was such that most southern states were agrarian in nature and employed these people as capital investments, and freeing them would be expensive. It was a state's rights issue. Trust me, there weren't too many people in the "North" having Sunday dinner with the black family down the street!!!

Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
CruisingRam
post Jun 9 2005, 09:04 PM
Post #16


**********
Elite Senior Contributor

Group: Members
Posts: 7,934
Member No.: 927
Joined: July-25-03

From: Hawaii
Gender: Male
Politics: Liberal
Party affiliation: Other






I agree that most black people in the US believe the Confederate Flag to be racist, as that's how our society has portrayed it to be.

It was adopted by racist groups (such as the Klan or other seperatist factions), and that's how it was remembered by history.

How does the flag you talked about above, jive with your comments below?

The confederacy and the Civil War is rarely discussed as a race related war by true historians, and the economic impact of freeing the slaves caused sincere damage to the way of life many Americans had become accustomed to. It would be similar to the abolition of Unions in the US. Unions have rarely been proven to be good for companies, but are always good for the employees.
The fact is that historically, the flag itself is no more racially centered than that of the Union flag, or that of any other state that employed slave labor.


You see, your first comment agrees that it is now a symbol racists use, as the Swastika was used by Nazis, despite the history lesson in the comments below. The KKK didn't decide to use the California state flag as thier symbol, nor did the Nazi's adopt the Bavarian flag. Those groups were the more contemporary to the way the symbols used in thier prior history. And furthermore, those groups still adhere to those symbols! hmmm.gif
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
aevans176
post Jun 9 2005, 09:31 PM
Post #17


********
Millennium Mark

Group: Members
Posts: 1,931
Member No.: 3,607
Joined: September-13-04

From: Plano, TX. Sweater vest and Volvo hell.
Gender: Male
Politics: Conservative
Party affiliation: None



QUOTE(CruisingRam @ Jun 9 2005, 04:04 PM)
You see, your first comment agrees that it is now a symbol racists use, as the Swastika was used by Nazis, despite the history lesson in the comments below. The KKK didn't decide to use the California state flag as thier symbol, nor did the Nazi's adopt the Bavarian flag. Those groups were the more contemporary to the way the symbols used in thier prior history. And furthermore, those groups still adhere to those symbols!  hmmm.gif
*



The point I'm attempting to impart is that there are people in the South whom are neither racists nor Klan members that believe that the Confederate Flag is a part of their history. The swastika differs in that a whole nation, and a whole party, adopted this symbol as it's moniker for the annihilation of Jews and the hostile take over of the world. Other than a small portion of the American population (the Klan isn't nearly confined to south of the Mason-Dixon line), I don't believe that the flag is inherently racist.

It would be like not allowing your children to put "rainbow" stickers on their books or walls because it would symbolize homosexuality, of which some parents wouldn't want their children associated with. Doesn't that sound absurd???
Would you be in favor of parents not allowing children to decorate their belongings with rainbows??? It's a similar philosophy.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Erasmussimo
post Jun 9 2005, 10:05 PM
Post #18


*******
Five Hundred Club

Group: Validating
Posts: 886
Member No.: 4,853
Joined: April-12-05

Gender: Undisclosed
Politics: Undisclosed
Party affiliation: Undisclosed



QUOTE(aevans176 @ Jun 9 2005, 02:31 PM)
I don't believe that the flag is inherently racist.


Right here we reach the nub of the problem. Agreed, that flag is not inherently racist. No symbol has any inherent content -- that's what makes it a symbol instead of an illustration or a representation. People read into a symbol whatever they choose to read into it, and there's no way to establish whose reading is the correct one. Blacks look at that flag and see slavery. Some Southerners look at that flag and see part of their heritage. We have no means to determine whether the blacks or the Southerners are correct in their interpretation. So it's best to avoid entanglement in such issues. Leave the symbology out of government. Sure, if some political party wants to adopt some symbol, let them. But let's keep the symbols out of our government.

The exception I'll make is for neologistic symbols: existing signs that have been re-interpreted by some splinter group as a symbol. For example, let us suppose that some group declares that columns in buildings (such as is common in the neo-classical architecture so favored by American government) are phallically symbolic of male virility and hence male superiority. A feminist group then enters the tussle, making its own claims. My advice: ignore it all. They were columns before the political affray and columns they shall remain.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Dontreadonme
post Jun 9 2005, 10:18 PM
Post #19


Group Icon

**********
I think, therefore I am an enemy of the State....and Fox News

Sponsor
October 2003

Group: Moderators
Posts: 6,452
Member No.: 359
Joined: December-25-02

From: Nestled in the Shenandoah
Gender: Male
Politics: Independent
Party affiliation: Libertarian



QUOTE(Erasmussimo @ Jun 9 2005, 05:05 PM)
 
No symbol has any inherent content -- that's what makes it a symbol instead of an illustration or a representation. People read into a symbol whatever they choose to read into it, and there's no way to establish whose reading is the correct one. 

Crikey.......now I'm agreeing with Erasmussimo, oh well, stranger things can and will happen. But he makes the most salient point of the whole thread to date. We as humans, always assign our inherent or learned prejudices and stereotypes to both people and symbols. Blanket generalizations have abounded in the last few posts, and while there are always exceptions, we seem to think that we KNOW the rule, when in fact, we don't know if somebody who has a confederate battle flag is a racist. We WANT him or her to be a racist, because that fits into our pre-conceived notions. We don't want to have to re-evaluate our prejudices, because of intellectual laziness.
People believe symbols to mean what it means to them, not necessarily what it means to others. Now to be fair, I find myself in a quandary when trying to reconcile this sentiment versus someone who reveres the Nazi swastika, but I'm not perfect either.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
CruisingRam
post Jun 9 2005, 10:19 PM
Post #20


**********
Elite Senior Contributor

Group: Members
Posts: 7,934
Member No.: 927
Joined: July-25-03

From: Hawaii
Gender: Male
Politics: Liberal
Party affiliation: Other



QUOTE(aevans176 @ Jun 9 2005, 12:31 PM)

The point I'm attempting to impart is that there are people in the South whom are neither racists nor Klan members that believe that the Confederate Flag is a part of their history. The swastika differs in that a whole nation, and a whole party, adopted this symbol as it's moniker for the annihilation of Jews and the hostile take over of the world. Other than a small portion of the American population (the Klan isn't nearly confined to south of the Mason-Dixon line), I don't believe that the flag is inherently racist.

It would be like not allowing your children to put "rainbow" stickers on their books or walls because it would symbolize homosexuality, of which some parents wouldn't want their children associated with. Doesn't that sound absurd???
Would you be in favor of parents not allowing children to decorate their belongings with rainbows??? It's a similar philosophy.
*



A very good point A- thumbsup.gif - and good point about the south and the KKK- membership in the KKK far outnumbred membership in the KKK in the sough! but look at how poeple that were adversely affected by this symbol feel instead- like I said, if, say Ludacris and Kanye West and Outkast start flying the KKK version of the flag, to signify THIER pride in the south, then I say the symbol has been rehabilitated and it should be flown proudly-

one very important point in this entire argument about that particular symbol is that it was never really A SYMBOL OF SOUTHERN HISTORY- that PARTICULAR flag is historically wrong for the meaning of simple southern heritage and pride that some poeple attach to the modern KKK flag.

Do you disagree with this?

Don't you think, if, in the end, the flag that is flown as "confederate" today, the poeple that want to show TRUE southern heritage- should fly the right one? The one that is historically correct for that meaning? hmmm.gif

That particular symbol was brought back from obscurity simply, as stated above, a racist movie would have better quality- it was not brought back from obscurity by Southern gentlemen wanting to show simple pride in the bravery of the soldiers that fell in the Civil war- woud you say that part is correct? smile.gif

To put this issue to rest-I would like to see one of the flags of the confederacy, one that was used much more as a positive symbol during the civil war, flown to commerate history- wouldn't you? thumbsup.gif

This post has been edited by Dontreadonme: Jun 9 2005, 10:22 PM
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post

2 Pages V   1 2 >
Reply to this topicStart new topic
1 User(s) are reading this topic (1 Guests and 0 Anonymous Users)
0 Members:

 

  
Go to the top of the page - Simple Version Time is now: April 8th, 2020 - 09:03 AM
©2002-2010 America's Debate, Inc.  All rights reserved.