You see it all the time: Confederate heritage advocates recycling the same old assertions and charges, many of which are carefully worded so as to lead to the answer they want (regardless of the relation of that answer to historical understanding). Here’s one from a George Purvis, who heads something called SHAPE, which is not Eisenhower’s command in World War II, but “Southern Heritage Advancement Preservation and Education,” although it does nothing of the sort. Anyway, here’s George’s declaration, found in the comments section of yet another Confederate heritage blog:
In my honest opinion other students can and should protest the US flag being flown — if it is. After all, under the United States flag, slavery did start in this country.
Anyone want to challenge that statement here in an open debate? Brooks, Baker, Mackey, Hall????? Any of you willing to step to the plate????
Well, as it’s now MLB’s All Star Week, here I come.
Slavery did not start in what we now call the United States under the flag of the United Sates. Rather, African slavery began in British North America in the seventeenth century, and was present in each of the thirteen colonies at the time of the composition of the Declaration of Independence.
See ya, George.
Slavery also ended in this country under the United States flag. We are coming upon the 149th anniversary of the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment, abolishing slavery. The Confederacy, during its entire existence, endorsed the enslavement of human beings, and its vice president called slavery the cornerstone of the Confederate experiment.
We also hear, for example, that there was no international slave trade permitted by the Confederacy. This is not true: the Confederate Constitution specifically sanctioned buying slaves from the United States. However, it is also true that the original seven Confederate states did not want to discourage Virginia from joining the Confederacy, and, as Virginia had opposed the efforts of several Deep South politicians to reopen the transAtlantic slave trade in the 1850s in order to preserve its own position as a seller of slaves (George seems to have overlooked this), the original seven thought that they would do what they could to secure Virginia’s membership by promising the prospect of continuing that trade with Virginia and not subjecting it to competition from across the ocean.
This sets me to thinking: what other traditional Confederate heritage assertions that defy historical fact can you recall? It may be time to assemble a primer for easy reference.
The comments section is open.