harding confederate flag

Any sensible, reasonable person is deeply saddened by the atrocious and tragic murder of nine innocent, people while they attended a Bible study in Charleston, SC. Such tragedy is unthinkable, and I am joined by the overwhelming majority of people across the South in extending my most heartfelt condolences to the families of these folks, and to their community at large. Our prayers continue for their comfort in this time of loss.

The effects of this horrid event have been felt in other ways as well, as the debate has been now renewed, or vastly intensified, over the prudence of having Confederate symbols in public view, and especially on State property. There is nobody more so than yours truly who laments the fact that this situation has been politicized, but that is the world we live in.

As I write this, it has just been made public that the Parks Board in Birmingham, Alabama has voted to remove a 100 year old Confederate Monument in Linn Park of that city, the NAACP is demanding the removal of a Confederate Monument from the Caddo Parrish Courthouse in Shreveport, La., a group calling itself “The United Front for Justice” is likewise calling for the removal of a Confederate Monument in Norfolk, Va., and there are simply too many similar instances across the South to be compiled here.

Many in the South have no issue with the fact that the Confederate Flag no longer flies from the top of the various State Capitols. Of course, unforeseen by most at the time that these flags were removed was that this would become a mere stepping stone to further assaults on Southern history by those on the left.

A monument is defined as “Anything by which the memory of a person or an event is preserved or perpetuated.” The United States government has ordained as “national monuments” a list that includes everything from the Admiralty Islands in Alaska, to a monument to dinosaurs in Colorado, and even White Sand Dunes in New Mexico. Closest to everyone’s heart are generally monuments to those who have sacrificed their lives in the various wars that we’ve undertaken as Americans over the centuries. In this realm are included monuments and memorials to all of the branches of military service, the Beirut Memorial, the Faces of War Memorial, the D-Day Memorial, and the “Grand Army of the Republic” Memorial, the latter of which is located in Peoria, Illinois. Presently, nobody would even remotely suggest removing the flags from these memorials.

Yet, as is often the case, memorials to the Confederate soldier seem to be fair game for such discriminatory practices. Because, for one reason or another, some find the Confederate Flag “offensive”, these monuments have of late become sacrificial lambs in the war being waged by the forces of political correctness against common sense and decency. It is not enough that the Confederate soldier fought to defend his home and family, fought bravely and nobly, generally did not own any slaves, or was a devout Christian man. It is likewise not enough that his Cause was in keeping with the very philosophical foundation of what became “America”- the right to choose his own form of government –as was established in 1776 by his own forefathers. No, because a small percentage of misguided people generations later would misuse his Flag in a manner that he neither foresaw nor intended, the Confederate soldier now stands alone among the Veterans of this country in that he is deemed no longer worthy of having his banner adorn the memorials that have been erected in his honor. Perhaps even more disheartening (and frankly, disgusting) is that in many cases, it is his own posterity, his own descendants, who in their official governing capacities and offices are accepting, abiding by and enforcing such determinations- generally for some form or another of political gain. Is this what we’ve come to?

On December 7, 1960, President Dwight Eisenhower issued a proclamation recognizing the Centennial of the War Between the States. He attested that “that war was America’s most tragic experience. But like most truly great tragedies, it carries with it an enduring lesson and a profound inspiration. It was a demonstration of heroism and sacrifice by men and women of both sides who valued principle above life itself and whose devotion to duty is a part of our Nation’s noblest tradition.”

Heroism, sacrifice, principle and devotion to duty- in the Pre-PC era, these were the attributes associated with all of the soldiers of that war, both North and South. Such an outlook allowed that we were a “now magnificently reunited country”, according to President Eisenhower, as he celebrated that both sides “sent into their armies men who became soldiers as good as any who ever fought under any flag.”

He asserted that “military history records nothing finer than the courage and spirit displayed at such battles as Chickamauga, Antietam, Kennesaw Mountain, and Gettysburg” and marveled that “America could produce men so valiant and so enduring” recognizing that such a truth “is a matter for deep and abiding pride.”

That both sides would be honored was sort of the unspoken agreement between the two sides in the post-war decades. A half-century after President Eisenhower issued this proclamation, such accolades are afforded to every veteran of every war except the Confederate veteran, who is now categorized by the left, and far too many on the right, only by, as one writer put it, “slavery, Jim Crow and institutionalized racism.” Due to this, the people of South Carolina, Alabama and other Southern States have been awakened to the chilling realization that when we look at the monuments to our family members, we are expected to feel, not “profound inspiration”, but shame.

The truth is, those of the politically correct persuasion, and the victims of their revisionist doctrine, have thought this way about us all along, and are profoundly upset that we dare to view our forefathers with anything other than the same disdain that they hold for the South. They’ve been for years awaiting the next tragedy to exploit in order to more vocally and publically project their antipathy against us and our people to a larger and more attentive audience. One deranged, murderous individual who happened to own a Confederate flag was all it took.

It matters not a whit to these people that secession is an “American” philosophy, that the Confederate soldier was not fighting to merely defend slavery, and that it was the Union forces who actually acted outside the constitution and the ideas of freedom. There are mountains of evidence to convince any reasonable person that the causes and after-effects of the War for Southern Independence are not as simple as many like to make them, and that the North was every bit as racist and segregated in that era, and the years that followed, as was the South. I could offer here a staunch defense of my ancestors and their Cause, but the PC crowd simply doesn’t care about such facts. They care only about their own agenda.

As with other politically motivated undertakings by those who have no interest in contextual history, or the “enduring lesson” that it can teach us, the efforts to erase Southern history are not carried out in an effort, as Ike said, to instill a “sense of unity and larger common purpose”- they are aimed to divide, and to exploit the division for further personal and institutional gain. Moreover, such efforts will not end with the Confederate Battle flag. Their ultimate aim is any and every aspect of American history, especially “Southern history”, that stands in the way of their perpetually divisive agenda, their desire to inflict a “progressive utopia”, and their version of what passes for “truth”. Whatever they have to destroy in order to maintain relevance for themselves in the pursuit of that end will be considered a fair target. Nothing is sacred to these people. Nothing.

Carl Jones

Carl Jones is a native of Alabama, a former active duty US Marine and a small business owner. He is a member of the Alabama Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and The Society of Independent Southern Historians. He is proudly descended from two 5th Great Grandfathers, John Swords and Major William Skinner, who served the State of South Carolina in America’s War for Independence.

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