Last weekend I came across several mentions of a story in which a group seeking to reclaim the true meaning of the swastika was taking their case to the skies in several places, including Long Island.
The group has its own website here.
There’s not a lot of difference between a group that wants to rehabilitate a symbol used by a hate group in the twentieth century and a group that wants to rehabilitate a flag used by a hate group in the twentieth century … just ask Matthew Heimbach.
Of course, some people would like to disassociate themselves from both the Confederate flag and the swastika because it gets in the way of promoting their version of white supremacy.
It would seem to me that there might be some common ground here for people who decry “political correctness” and “presentism” and “revisionism” in their advocacy of flying Confederate flags to join forces with the pro-Swastika crowd. Both groups argue that their cherished symbol has been twisted out of context to represent something it never was meant to represent.
After all, what is the difference between this:
You tell me … and, please … do not invoke Godwin’s Law, for in this case the issue is the use of symbols, not an argument that the Confederates were Nazis or vice-versa. That’s not an argument I would make.
UPDATE: Leave it to Connie Chastain to claim that the argument I stated I was not making was of course the argument I was making:
If you compare symbols, you compare what they stand for. Don’t say you don’t. If you compare a Nazi swastika to a Confederate battle flag, you are comparing Nazis and Confederates. You are comparing what Nazis did with what Confederates did, and likely to attempt to draw similarities between the two.
If I was making any comparison among historical entities, I was comparing the Nazis with the KKK in their taking a symbol to use for their own purposes. Confederate heritage groups are akin to this new movement in that they want to reinstate what they claim are original meanings.
More remarkable is this statement:
Obviously, it is ludicrous to imply that the Third Reich and the KKK both “hate groups” to further the implication being that there’s little to no difference between them
Setting aside Chastain’s flawed prose, if the Nazis and the KKK are not both “hate groups” (Nazis continue to use the swastika, Connie), then it behooves her to tell us which one is not a hate group. Or is Connie Chastain implying that neither the Nazis or the KKK are hate groups?
Connie then reminds us of how well white southerners treated their slaves by feeding them, caring for the aged, and helping out pregnant enslaved women. Really. Next she’ll tell us that selling off family members was a means of preserving domestic harmony and that coerced interracial relations were okay, so long as it was white males on enslaved black females (heck … she’ll say it wasn’t a violent crime at all … even Billy Bearden’s more honest about that). After all, those were just sweet southern boys, right, Connie?
Finally, Connie returns to her fantasies of violence (perhaps as a way to pump up interest for her forthcoming book):
The only reason anybody would portray the VaFlaggers, even by implication, as on a part with Nazi apologists is the hope that their smears would incite somebody to harm or injure the VaFlaggers.
Of course, the only person who compared the Virginia Flaggers to Nazi apologists was Connie Chastain … although that brings up once more the association of Matthew Heimbach with the Virginia Flaggers (and other Confederate heritage groups, including the SCV).
Thanks for the reminder, Connie.
So, there you have it, folks: the person who posts materials on the Virginia Flaggers’ blog claims that (a) either the KKK or the Nazis are not a hate group (2) that neither are a hate group (3) slavery had its benefits for the enslaved. She says so herself.
Again, folks, it’s a heritage of hate, and Connie Chastain is a fitting representative of that perspective.