So, over the past three days I’ve had to rebut some pretty stretched logic, repeatedly, so screw it, here’s my take on the South Carolina (SC) bit:
First, history lessons, the colloquial “Confederate Flag” is not, nor has ever, represented the Confederate States of America (CSA), in fact it was proposed as a replacement for the Stars and Bars and rejected. The battle flag, that saw use from the Battle of Manassas onward as the CSA battle standard, was the Southern Cross, the colloquial modern day “Confederate flag”. There is a large difference between battle standards and national flags, battle standards allow you to find, follow or recover position with the rest of your group, which is the reason it replaced the Stars and Bars on the battle field, as the original CSA flag, the Stars and Bars, looked too much like Union colors, which caused confusion within the ranks during pitched battles.
Why did the Southern Cross become the colloquial “Confederate flag”? The answer is a combination of general ignorance, which is on rampant display currently in both social and corporate media, and it’s adoption by a number of less than savory groups in the South, from the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), directly after the war, to the Democratic Dixiecrats, who tried to make sure that the mistakes of the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) case, Plessy v Ferguson, remained the norm in the 1940s. Arguing that the Southern Cross doesn’t have negative connotations is as equally ignorant as arguing that the Southern Cross is indeed the national flag of the Confederacy, but we’ll get back to that.
While the Dixiecrats effectively lost their push to make sure that “separate, but equal” from Plessy v Ferguson remained in effect, effectively co-mingled property segregation, their remnants were successful in 1962 of getting the Southern Cross flag flown over the capitol dome of the SC Statehouse. It would remain there for just shy of forty years. In 2000 it was removed, under a compromise, and place next to the Confederate monument; the compromise itself required a two-thirds majority to remove it from grounds. Keep in mind, this is a battle standard, not a national flag, not put in place to honor the individuals concerned with the monument. The flag is not lowered while the United States national flag flies at half-staff, which is nothing short of atrocious.
Make no mistake, the Southern Cross has very negative post-war historical connotations. I’ve seen it repeatedly stated that this is about “heritage” the past few days, but if that were true, there’d be no issue with removing the battle standard and instead putting one of the actual three CSA national flags in it’s place: none of which have an iota on the Southern Cross for negative impact, even with fighting a war partly about slavery. Personally, I’d say the Blood-Stained Banner, the last of the three, is quite likely the most accurate as it was the flag under which the Confederacy lost and was one of the flags surrendered at Appomattox. While both the Stainless and Bloodied Banners bear the Southern cross, they are not the Southern Cross which was adopted by a multitude of blatantly racist groups for more than 150 years of American history. Though, I doubt the multitude of people on the other side arguing racism would see a difference, so the actual Stars and Bars might be a better choice to fly.
This is a State decision, regardless of how much anyone argues it: it’s statute, SC will do as it does. However, let’s not pretend there aren’t better options than the hyperbole of either side of either restoring it to the State capitol statehouse or the absolute removal of a historical remembrance, from State grounds or personal property. This particular flag that is being argued over, is not a part of the war memorial, but added to the lower State grounds to remove it from the dome.
Personally? Replace it with the Stars and Bars, solves most of the issues on both sides. The actual one, not the one that talking heads keep claiming is the CSA battle standard. Plessy vs Ferguson might be one of the worst decisions in the history of any non-tyranical, statutorily guided nation in the history of human kind. I hope the members of the Justice Brown SCOTUS are turning in their graves.