68 thoughts on “More Triumphs For Confederate Heritage in Virginia

  1. OhioGuy August 9, 2014 / 1:33 pm

    Interesting article. Like the author, I’m an “unreconstructed Yankee.” I do have one small bone to pick with the article. The context in which he mentions the 3/5th count of slaves in the census seems to indicate that he doesn’t understand the purpose for that provision. The slaves states, of course, wanted to count them as whole persons to increase their representation in Congress. Many northerners didn’t want to count them at all. The 3/5 thing was a compromise that gave in to a large extent to South’s desire for increased representation. Otherwise, I think he did a good job of historical analysis.

    I have a modest proposal. Kind of a compromise idea. Why don’t these Flaggers and neo-Confederates come together and make a command decision to promote a different flag to represent their Confederate Heritage? How about the “Bonnie Blue Flag,” or the First National Flag (the Stars and Bars)? While these flags have all sorts of connections with Confederate Heritage they don’t carry the excess baggage of racial hatred that the CBF does. As much as they might like to wish it away the use of the CBF during Reconstruction and on into the 20th Century by the KKK and other white supremacist groups has forever tarnished that flag as a symbol of any positive aspects of Confederate Heritage.

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      • OhioGuy August 9, 2014 / 1:44 pm

        Well, some of them monitor this blog, so they will hear it. I think you mean they won’t adopt it. You are probably right, and that certainly says something about underlying motivation if true.

        • Neon Confederate August 10, 2014 / 5:15 pm

          The question of replacing the battle flag of northern Virginia with the first national has been discussed by the Sons of Confederate veterans also the flag used by the UDC is the first a national so called stars and bars. …The general consensus is changing the flag will have no effect on the hostility towards descendents of Confederate veterans unless they acquiesce to a program that excorsizes their ancestors from history as while repugnant human beings who were totally responsible for slavery in the United States. That of course is the program there is never any mention of the fact that there was never any kind of economic protest in the North from the people in the textile mills and their fabulously wealthy owners about the source of their cheap cotton. There was no handwringing until the 20th century for the billions made off free black labor by this laborers in New Hampshire and Massachusetts in the boat building industry in New York. Not to mention the financing of slavery primarily out of New York as well.

          You simply can’t say anything positive about anything to do with the Confederacy without being labeled a neo-Confederate or a lost causer, a point Gary Gallagher has made. That the Fed loans were willing to allow slavery in perpetuity as indicated by the core one amendment points to a less-than-perfect morality on the part of the Federalist. Sojourner Truth used to refer to the stars and stripes as the Stars & Stripes because of the brutal history of slavery in New England and New York, 25,000 slaves lie under the streets of Manhattan.

          Two of the highest-ranking generals killed in World War II were Nathan Bedford Forrest the third and Simon Bolivar Buckner the second. They were not alone in that sacrifice as the sons and daughters of Dixie have shed their blood were this country and every campaign and disproportionate number, from the Spanish Civil War on. My folks were Virginians my brother father chosen reservoir yet little Dixie flag in his pocket to remind them to keep on fighting. There were no black people there to offend. My dad had one when he was in the LST’s landing them at Omaha Beach. I can tell you that a large proportion of the Sons of Confederate veterans are also sons of Union veterans of the Civil War, also many Sons of the American Revolution, the war of 1812, and even sons of the Republic of Texas. The vast majority of them have served military service many of them are decorated and had been wounded.. vIRGINIA as a Confederate swastikaTHE EQUATION OF THE cONFEDERACY with the third Reich and the term Confederate swastika for the battle flag is a dishonor to every one of those sons of the South who died for the American flag.
          I note this started with Julian Bond a man who once said that no African-American should serve in the US Armed Forces because of the treatments of African-American in the past. But if it not been for the sacrifice of these descendents of Dixie the same ones were descendents of the original rebels, Washington, Jefferson, Paine there would likely not be a black race in America.

          That flag is not a racist flag for them it’s a sign of the bravery of our ancestors and their loyalty to their spirit not a political flag ,or a racist one. If the same judgment were to be passed on the Union Jack where in the world could FLY. I am antiwar so the respect I have the flag is only because the sufferings of my ancestors. In the flag of the United States is being constantly tarnished by brutal wars of corporate empire.
          The ancient Kings some of my ancestors the Plantagenet’s and the house of Stuart actually led their men into battle they did not send someone else’s children we should study the Civil War for what was a total failure of civilian authorities to resolve important issues and to be willing to test their sons and daughters and children into the meat grinder of war.
          When Sherman said war is hell he wasn’t making an observation he was making a observation but a statement exonerating himself from any responsibility as long as resistance was present his actions whether they be against Southern civilian or Lakota women and children were indemnified.

          • David Tolleris August 11, 2014 / 7:29 pm

            Neon..Ok new rule for you… No more posting when you are drunk .


          • SF Walker August 12, 2014 / 10:58 am

            “You can’t say anything positive about the Confederacy without being labeled a neo-Confederate…”

            Actually you can. The CSA had a competently managed navy department and postal service.

          • Sandi Saunders August 12, 2014 / 3:15 pm

            It is patently false to claim there is “hostility towards descendents of Confederate veterans”, nor is there any “program that excorsizes their ancestors from history as while repugnant human beings who were totally responsible for slavery in the United States”.

            There are battle fields still preserved 149 years later, there are books, movies, ongoing research and history of the war taught every day. There are museums and walking tours for Civil War remembrance. There are those who clean and maintain cemeteries, those who seek to re-live the era at festivals and events, and as Ben Jones has admitted, the Confederate battle flag is flown on private property and merchandise “from sea to shining sea”. It is just absurd to claim that there is “hostility” to any but the most egregious and insulting uses of the Confederate Flag and angry “honor” of heritage. Even the outrage over the W&L decision made a ridiculous spectacle of the hard-headed as the flags were not banned, removed from campus or even locked away. They were simply moved.

            Even as they demand we view Robert E. Lee and the Confederacy “in the context of the time” they refuse to do so. Still denying the impetus of slavery as the motivating factor for secession and war, the anger at 30 years of arguing slavery, the waning Southern power, the emotions at losing that power, the fraud of claiming to “represent” the slave population, and the absolute culture of white supremacy so prevalent that the Jim Crow South was inevitable. Nothing about the racism, bigotry and racial issues of the North or West lessens the truth of the core of the Confederacy that they still deny.

            The world will not accept their revisionist history; their denials of racism as racists openly parade at their events, their denial of bigotry as bigots screech insults about those who dare to oppose them, their denial of the writings, speeches, and actions of the leaders and officers of the Confederacy and their obstinate insistence that it is us who need to change. Not going to happen.

          • Brooks D. Simpson August 12, 2014 / 3:31 pm

            The context of one’s time … William Lloyd Garrison and Frederick Douglass were part of that same time. So what do we really mean by that statement?

          • Neon Confederate August 19, 2014 / 11:04 am

            “patently false to claim there is “hostility towards descendants of Confederate veterans”, nor is there any “program that excorsizes their ancestors from history as while repugnant human beings who were totally responsible for slavery in the United States”.

            The Battle flag of Northern Virginia is called by the NAACP the” Confederate Swastika.” Slavery in the south is equated with the holocaust. Black politicians have said verbatim “they want to remove the flag from history” the world does not care about history my dear,as Napoleon said History i s a pack of Lies,. Civil war history is pack of lies agreed upon. It was all about power and economics just like the unjust rebellion against the crown.

            There was no just cause on either side. How many of your immediate ancestor fell at Omaha beach ,I had one Uncle. He loved the battle flag reminded him or his fighting ancestors… Now Nazi I guess aim too I took part in an unjust war. That the war was totally about slavery is rather Laughable given the passage of the Corwin amendment an Lincolns signing it,among a hundred other things.

            It is quite a obvious that the deep South seceded over slavery. It is also quite obvious that the war was caused by the fact Lincoln did not believe the session was legal that it was indeed a rebellion. The border states seceded primarily because of Lincoln’s choice to use force to preserve the union. I am not arguing the morality of the of any of those actions. United States of America had slave states in it, and Lincoln’s administration protected their rights to those slaves.

            The Confederacy which I hold to be an idiotic idea by the way,( in spite of my pen name.)Because the session is like eating only one potato chip once you start it’s hard to stop. calling the Confederacyequal 12 Nazi Germany is absurdly hyperbolic, and disrespectful to the real victims of the Holocaust,there was no genocide the black people in the South.. In fact the population of Africans in the United States increased over time. One can certainly say that slavery was barbaric which it was as was the extermination of the Plains Indians, but America has always been barbaric it’s what we do best. If you’ve ever seen napalm and its effects on a small village as I have you know that only too well. However since I am the descendant of Confederate soldiers(and Union soldiers too) I am therefore tarred with the brush of the Holocaust and Nazi-ism indirectly.

            Julian Bond and the NAACP started this campaign to remove Confederate flags from public buildings. I really don’t have a problem with that but the vitriolic that came flowing out of their mouth sent the whole thing into overdrive. Just as the Black student Union president said at Washington and Lee of the so-called committee they put out a fire with gasoline that could have easily been put out with water.

            It is rather ingenuous to say simply because the Confederate flaggers put a flag near a trailer park and therefore that someone bears no culpability in bringing it up a symbol with an obvious connection to the southern stereotype of trailer trash. It is about as ingenuous as me stating that the NAACP just set up its headquarters next door to a watermelon stand, and then pretending I was just reporting facts. Defenders of Lincoln’s war always excuses many white supremacist remarks as being in the context of the time.

            I certainly agree with that but the same has to be held America In this was a white supremacist nation almost everyone in it was a white supremacist that was white at least. I suggest some of you look up the lecture given on the anniversary of the death of Robert E Lee by Prof. Gary Gallagher a few years ago.

          • Brooks D. Simpson August 19, 2014 / 11:13 am

            “It is rather ingenuous to say simply because the Confederate flaggers put a flag near a trailer park and therefore that someone bears no culpability in bringing it up a symbol with an obvious connection to the southern stereotype of trailer trash. It is about as ingenuous as me stating that the NAACP just set up its headquarters next door to a watermelon stand, and then pretending I was just reporting facts.”

            But in one case, it is a fact. In the other case, it’s a racist slur by implication having no basis in fact. See the difference?

          • Neon Confederate August 19, 2014 / 12:16 pm

            You did not get what I was saying. My bad as they say. If there was a watermelon stand next to an NAACP building the stand is irrelevant to the NAACP its members or its mission. and to bring it up puts in the context of something that is relevant the NAACP..
            It automatically becomes an insult when you place it in a context it does not belong.What kind of property a flag rests on irrelevant What does the placement of the flag have to do with the cause ti supports. Nothing.
            See the difference now? I could just as easily made it a potatoe stand next to an Irish Pub

          • Brooks D. Simpson August 19, 2014 / 12:56 pm

            Trust me … I get exactly what you are saying. You are manufacturing hypothetical because you don’t like the facts. You’re also saying that the Virginia Flaggers aren’t accountable for their own actions, including their tactless thoughtlessness in reaffirming a negative stereotype about white southerners by their decision to place the flag where they did. Your beef is with them. Otherwise, y’all sound like crybabies trying to score so-called “political correctness” points … which is ironic.

          • Neon Confederate August 19, 2014 / 2:04 pm

            I don’t want to belabor a point but the reference to where a flag is is irrelevant IMHO it has nothing to do with anything. I don’t know how more lucid I could get in my explanation of that.. A single person is never referred to by the way as y’all. Maybe I entered the conversation a little late and someone had already mentioned before you did that it was next to a trailer park. In which case you were just repeating a fact, but I justifiably or not, got the definite impression that you are making a special point about it.
            All I see is a continued round of inflammatory rhetoric going between Confederate heritage people and individuals who would equate Confederate soldiers with Nazis.
            On another note I had never heard a person who grew up poor and had any self-respect referred to other people as white trash etc. It invariably comes from the lips of people from relatively affluent families. I have seen real grinding poverty in America the Middle East and Asia and there’s nothing funny about poverty. It’s not funny in the barrio it’s not funny in the ghetto it’s not funny in a trailer park, it’s just not funny.

            I know the conditions my ancestors lived in after the Civil War it was brutal. I also know that my ancestors would move from Tennessee to Indiana and fought for the Union in live much better. We were far more concerned after the war in helping each other than grinding on a P nobility of our causes. I grew up in a house with multiple family members with enough to eat a roof over my head and a couple sets a clothes. My parents when their bargain Farm burned down lived in a converted boxcar floor while. I had to go in the military to have any chance of getting an education later.
            So maybe I’m a little oversensitive to the trailer park stuff. I don’t like prejudice of any kind I’ve been subject to it myself. When I was in academia my drawl brought a lot of abuse. I took accent reduction classes. I think they heritage people would be better served working on is using Southern poverty that worried about a flag that will always be there. That flags not going away may not be a public property but is not getting banned.
            I don’t want to eat out anymore your bandwidth Professor of said my fair piece as grandpa would say. I tend to look at the Civil War through the eyes of a an ethicist which is what my Neon Confederate blog is about. For yourself and your regulars may you all have butter on your grits and not in your beard. That’s a Hillbilly blessing.

          • Sandi Saunders August 19, 2014 / 11:46 am

            I never said that plenty of hyperbole did not abound. But the facts remain that millions of people read books and study the Civil War on their own time, they tour battlefields, attend reenactments, attend lectures, visit museums, websites, blogs like this one and discuss it among themselves. There is no massive hateful “hostility towards descendents of Confederate veterans”, though there certainly is for the racist, secesh flaggers who hide behind them. And your nod to the power of the NAACP et al aside, there is no “program that excorsizes their ancestors from history as while repugnant human beings who were totally responsible for slavery in the United States”. There is an effort to have the truth told and responsibility accepted but that is not the same as any notion of exorcizing ancestors or calling one set of white supremacists “repugnant human beings” and another innocent angels.

          • Neon Confederate August 19, 2014 / 1:13 pm

            Though there certainly is for the racist, secesh flaggers who hide behind them.

            Well gave yourself away there.
            Referring to southern civilians as the same as German civilians under the Nazi(an Implication they share a moral culpability equivalent ot Nazis) May not eliminate people from history just excoriate their humanity from history.

            yes ma’am I’m sure they’re all raceists, not to mention trailer trash, crackers in southern scum. With the exception of the southern league which is secessionist not to mention intent on building a theocracy, most Confederate heritage people are not racists. For absolute oversensitive and historically narrow minded but that’s about it.
            Since I belong to a number of heritage organizations such as Sons of the American Revolution, SCD, sons of Republic of Texas, society for the war 1812, I know a lot of these people..

          • The other Susan August 19, 2014 / 1:27 pm

            Wow, first people put up a flag in a neighborhood without seeking the permission of the folks that live there. Now you are calling them “trailer trash.” Way to show some respect. How about putting the flag in your own backyard.

          • Neon Confederate August 19, 2014 / 1:00 pm

            ny historian who argues that the Confederate people demonstrated robust devotion to their slave-based republic, possessed feelings of national community, and sacrificed more than any other segment of white society in United States history runs the risk of being labeled a neo-Confederate
            Gary Gallagher

          • Brooks D. Simpson August 19, 2014 / 2:19 pm

            Have you considered what else Professor Gallagher has had to say about the Confederacy?

          • Neon Confederate August 19, 2014 / 6:56 pm

            Yes my only real sympathy’s are with Human beings not with causes that’s is why I find both Confederate and Federal Apologetics lacking.

  2. OhioGuy August 9, 2014 / 1:35 pm

    hmm . . . I tried to embed the First National and the Bonnie Blue flags in my previous post, but it looks like the embed code doesn’t work in this blog. Sorry.

  3. Sandi Saunders August 9, 2014 / 4:38 pm

    They can never (or almost never) admit that the Confederacy did anything wrong. They deny that their secession led to Civil War, they deny that the Union had any right not accept their secession, they deny the very words of both Jefferson, Stephens and many Confederate leaders over slavery. The fallacy of them ever “representing” slaves in Congress should NEVER have been allowed, much less “compromised” on. On and On the Union coddled the abomination of slavery and likely would have for far longer, but secession? No, secession was a bridge too far and they went there anyway. They cannot get over the loss and for the flaggers, flying one of the Confederate Battle Flags used in the fight against Civil Rights is specifically the point. It is not about honoring their ancestors it is about feeding their continued support for the anti-government secessionists. They deny that too.

  4. Sandi Saunders August 9, 2014 / 4:53 pm

    And another thing that has always puzzled me is why so many Southerners who did not own slaves supported such a fight? Did they not own slaves because they could not afford them or because they did not believe in slavery? The notion that the Union would attack their homes and that they were defending their homes from the “invaders” has always struck me as an unproven premise. Clearly Jefferson, Stephens and many southern leaders were demanding their right to keep slavery but how then did they convince so many to leave their homes unguarded and go fight against supposed “invaders”? “Invaders” who were going to do what? What was so abhorrent about the union for the non slaveholder farm boys and men who joined the fight? To this day the anti-government people have me stumped. What kind of nation is it they believe they lived in, then or now? What state right was honestly being withheld from them? Even after all these years, I do not feel I have a real understanding of why my ancestors took up arms against their nation.

    Not fully understanding is why it could happen again. Not in a Confederacy but certainly in broken militia groups, so called “Sovereign Citizens”, the Oath Keepers et al and those fringe flaggers, white supremacists and other anti-government types who would join them. Kind of like the Bundy Ranch episode, against their government, who was clearly in the right.

    • hankc9174 August 9, 2014 / 7:23 pm

      the leaders lead and the followers followed…

    • The other Susan August 10, 2014 / 9:04 am

      “You abolitionists are right when you say that there are thousands and tens of thousands of men in Georgia, and all over the South, who do not own property in slaves. A very large portion of the people of Georgia own none of them. In the mountains there are comparatively few slaves; but no part of our people are more loyal to their race and country than our bold and brave mountain population; and every flash of the electric wires brings me cheering news from our mountain tops and our valleys that these sons of Georgia are excelled by none of their countrymen in loyalty to the rights, the honor, and the glory of the Commonwealth. They say, and well say, this is our question; we want no negro equality, no negro citizenship; we want no mongrel race to degrade our own; and as one man they would meet you upon the border, with the sword in one hand and the torch in the other. We will tell you when we choose to abolish this thing; it must be done under our direction and according to our will; our own, our native land, shall determine this question, and not the abolitionists of the North. That is the spirit of our freeman.”

      • OhioGuy August 10, 2014 / 6:20 pm

        Of course, what they say here about the mountain people is not exactly true in terms of percentages. Look at enlistment records in northern Georgia, northern Alabama, western North Carolina, much of western Virginia (most of what’s now West Virginia), and eastern Tennessee and you’ll see that a lot of boys donned Union blue. This has been documented in a number of books over the years. One of the most colorfully written, if not the most scholarly, of these books has the descriptive title of “War Within a War” (by Carelton Beals). Winston County, Alabama, even has a statue in its courthouse square of a solider who is half Union and half CSA. And, as a former employee of the state of West Virginia I leave you with this thought: “Mountaineers are Always Free!” 😉

    • Goad Gatsby August 10, 2014 / 11:18 am

      It has always been my understanding that non-slave owners supported slavery because of the fear of blacks gaining equality and threaten the white supremacy.

      • SF Walker August 10, 2014 / 8:37 pm

        That’s true enough, but their reasons for supporting slavery were mainly economic. More often than not, non-slaveowners sold goods and services to wealthy people who had slaves; abolition would likewise hurt them. Also, many non-slaveowners aspired to be successful planters themselves someday.

    • Neon Confederate August 19, 2014 / 11:22 am

      for the same reason the occupy Wall Street was so effective, and so was the anti-Iraq war protests. You just don’t seem to get it 19th century America was white supremacists Northerners hated Negros perhaps even more than southerners, look at the draft riots.
      Are you protesting the sweatshop conditions and slavery in Bangladesh that produces much of our clothing? How open are the American people today to having illegal aliens swamp their cities.
      The abolitionists made up of very small proportion of northern society. However let’s blame the Southerners were everything perfectly those rascals George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and so on.is it it through

      Well my ancestors were defending the Old Dominion against an army that would burn their homes and crops. They would blockade medicine and food. In their rebellion they saw is no different from the grandfathers against the crown. Their government wasn’t clearly in the right airplanes that he was a tyrant who destroyed the press, ignored the most fundamental doctrine in democracy the writ of habeas corpus. Lincolnv boot said quite frankly that the war was not about slavery. So even if you were a Southern abolitionist why would you not defend your home against people like Hunter and Sheridan.
      would you turn your cities over to the tender mercies of the federal troops that looted Fredericksburg?

      neither side was in the right there is almost never a just war. As far as I can tell the only just war United States was ever in was World War II. An argument can be made the American Revolution was treason. The Civil War was wrong on both sides. Mexican American war was gross aggression. The Philippine war was genocidal, as was the war against the Plains Indians. The Spanish-American war was a context for conquest. World War I was idiotic. The Vietnam War I can’t say enough bad things about that, not about the soldiers brought the labor leaders and generals. the Iraq war and Afghanistan wars are absolute and total failures costing hundreds of thousands of lives and trillions of dollars.

      • Sandi Saunders August 19, 2014 / 11:55 am

        The North may well have been as racist as the South because that was the times and they were only beginning to dare to change, but the North did not support slavery and they certainly did not support allowing secession over it. So two points to them.

      • Bob Huddleston August 19, 2014 / 1:18 pm

        John Viscount Morley was a British politician and pacifist who resigned from the Cabinet in late 1914 because England had gone to war with Germany.

        In 1917, he published his _Recollections_ (New York: The Macmillan Company):

        “Humanity fought one of its most glorious battles across the Atlantic. An end had been brought to the only war in modern times as to which we can be sure, first, that no skill or patience of diplomacy could have averted it, and second, that preservation of the American Union and abolition of negro slavery were two triumphs of good by which even the inferno of war was justified.” (p.20)

  5. Ben Jones August 10, 2014 / 2:46 pm

    “At least this time it wasn’t a trailer park.”

    You know, one might sense an aroma of social bigotry in
    that remark. Pointed at folks of a certain lower income, perhaps?

    • Brooks D. Simpson August 10, 2014 / 2:59 pm

      One might also sense something else … are you blaming me for suggesting that the Flaggers confirm negative social stereotypes, Ben? They chose where to put their flag … not me. Would you prefer that I lie about it? I see the new placement as an improvement. You should be so encouraging.

      • Ben Jones August 10, 2014 / 5:28 pm

        Your comment makes no sense. You said “at least this time it wasn’t in a trailer park.” What should one take from that but a put down of folks who live in trailer parks? “Lie about” what? And by the way, this isn’t a “story”. It is an opinion by someone with a stated subjective point of view.

        Oh, and his McPherson quote is also an opinion.
        Here’s another quote, from another esteemed American historian, James I.
        Robertson: “Just as most Northerners did not fight to end slavery, most Southerners did not fight to preserve it.”

        • Brooks D. Simpson August 10, 2014 / 8:28 pm

          Your complaint is with the Virginia Flaggers. Ask them where they chose to locate their first interstate flag.

          Apparently you would like me to lie about the flagpole’s location by not mentioning it.

          I think you need to learn a little more about the background of things before you offer what you think are authoritative statements.

          In a way, Robertson is right. Four southern states stayed in the Union. Others had significant pockets of white unionists (western Virginia, East Tennessee, western North Carolina, northern Alabama for starters). And, of course, some four and a half enslaved human beings, with less than two dozen living outside the South, did not fight to preserve slavery. Historian William Freehling suggests that a majority of the people living in the fifteen slave states did not support the Confederacy.

          • Ben Jones August 11, 2014 / 7:09 am

            My complaint is not with the Virginia Flaggers. Why does it matter where they put their flags? You may not like the display of the flag, but it is their right to do so.
            What is your point about the “Trailer Park”?

            Robertson was right without your counting those who did not fight. He was talking about the Confederate Army.

            I think you need to learn a little more about the background of things before you offer what you think are authoritative statements.

          • Brooks D. Simpson August 11, 2014 / 7:37 am

            There you go again, Ben. No one said they didn’t have the right to fly the flag. No one forced them to do so by a trailer park, either.

            I am perfectly willing to compare our list of scholarly publications. You go first.

          • Ben Jones August 11, 2014 / 9:41 am

            I will ask you again. What is the point of mentioning the trailer park?
            “At least this time it wasn’t in a trailer park?” Why the dodge?

            I thank God I don’t live in a world of “scholarly publications.” In that racket, one must “public or perish.”

            I have, however, published opinion columns in USA Today, the Washington Post, the Boston Herald, the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Weekly Standard, the Huffington Post, and The Richmond Times Dispatch, among many others. I have been a long-time columnist for the award-winning Rappahannock News, a weekly paper in my hometown. My memoir, “Redneck Boy in The Promised Land”, was published by Random House. I have also published fiction and poetry.

            I have also appeared as a guest on Politically Incorrect, Hardball, O’Reilly, Crossfire, the Today Show, the Daily Show, and Rachel Maddow, and many more
            national and regional radio and television outlets.

            I am a life member of the Southern Historical Association, the NAACP, and the Sons of Confederate Veterans. My library contains over 1200 volumes pertaining
            to Southern Studies, including many volumes on the early South, the Civil War, the Reconstruction Period, and the Civil Rights Movement.

            I don’t consider myself to be a “scholar”, but those who do often call me for my take on things…..

            “Some people,” Twain said, “are educated beyond their intelligence.”

            Your turn, Professor.

          • Brooks D. Simpson August 11, 2014 / 10:23 am

            Asked and answered.

            My turn? 🙂

            Glad to see you now demean scholarship even as you quote a scholar in support of your position.

          • Jimmy Dick August 11, 2014 / 10:35 am

            Ben, you merely listed venues in which you stated your opinions. Your opinions are not scholarly in nature. If you have 1200 volumes in your library then by now you should be addressing the issue of the CBF used as a symbol of racism. You should be rejecting the SCV position on the cause of the Civil War. You do not seem to be doing that at all. Instead, you seem to be making the same assumptions that non-scholars make about the CBF and Civil War.

          • Brooks D. Simpson August 11, 2014 / 3:01 pm

            Some people mistake owning volumes with having read them, understanding what’s in them, or writing them. After all, the question is not how many books you have, but which books you have and what you learned from them. Then again, if it’s the number of books one owns … Mr. Jones should concede defeat right now.

          • OhioGuy August 12, 2014 / 1:56 pm

            One question Ben: Does your library include any one of the following three books: 1. “Apostles of Disunion: Southern Secession Commissioners and the Causes of the Civil War,” by Charles Dew; 2. “The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery,” by Eric Foner; or 3. “The Invisible Empire,” by Albion Tourgée? If you own and have read any of these books, I’ll take my hat off to you. Further, I’ll give you extra credit if you’ve read any of Tourgée’s novels about Reconstruction that are closely based on his personal experience in North Carolina. Among those books are “Bricks without Straw,” “A Fool’s Errand,” and “Toinette: A Tale of the South.” Frankly, I’ll be pleasantly surprised to find out that you’ve read any of these books. My suspicion is that you’ve mainly read books that support the Lost Cause mythology, of which there are many. And, from around 1915 until about 1980 they were actually in the majority, so successful was the South’s rewriting of history after the war. As many have said this may have been the only war where the losers for years got to write the history. Thankfully, that shameful era is now over, and the neo-Confederate movement is that last stronghold of what Piston called “Jubal Early and the Lee Cult.”

          • Ben Jones August 13, 2014 / 8:25 am

            Mr. Ohio,

            I have read the Dew and Foner, but haven’t read Tourgee. Your suspicion about the “Lost Cause Mythology” is way wrong. If you include D.S. Freeman and Shelby Foote as “Lost Causers” you could count me in, and my reading does range far enough to include folks like Clyde Wilson, who is surely a persona non grata on this site. I went to school with Dr. Wilson, back at Chapel Hill in the 60’s, and I admire his independent stance.

            But mostly I don’t go to history looking for scholars to reinforce their current trend or political agenda. And I find it amusing that my quote from Dr. Robertson set off Simpson and Al the Hokie in an attack on something I had not only not said, but hadn’t even suggested, i.e., that Robertson supported the Confederate

            Then Simpson, who is apparently quite sensitive about his own reputation, implies that since I am not a “scholar”, my opinions lack the gravity of his own. Both he and Al Hokie lambast me for simply being a successful person out in the world and not even reading or understanding my studies. This over-reaction subsumes real argument and earnest debate, of course.

            Surely an old cracker like me couldn’t possibly be as knowledgable or as circumspect as these academic “intellectuals”, right? I fear that this is exactly the attitude that gives academia its bad rap as a place for pretentious, condescending folks who are “an inch wide and a mile deep.”

            Ben Jones

          • Brooks D. Simpson August 13, 2014 / 8:35 am

            Sigh. Another typical Ben Jones reply, evading questions, offering insults, misrepresenting positions, and calling people names, all while calling for open and fair discussion. As I suggested some time ago, it’s simply more of the same from the SCV.

          • Al Mackey August 13, 2014 / 1:05 pm

            “And I find it amusing that my quote from Dr. Robertson set off Simpson and Al the Hokie in an attack on something I had not only not said, but hadn’t even suggested, i.e., that Robertson supported the Confederate

            Wow, what a completely disingenuous statement, Mr. Jones. Let’s recap. In the original posting, Brooks linked to an article that quoted James McPherson (inaccurately, in my opinion) as saying the Upper South was fighting for “the right to own slaves; the liberty to take this property into the territories.” In reaction to that quote, you wrote, “Oh, and his McPherson quote is also an opinion.
            Here’s another quote, from another esteemed American historian, James I.
            Robertson: ‘Just as most Northerners did not fight to end slavery, most Southerners did not fight to preserve it.’ ” Very clearly, you are claiming, whether you meant to or whether it was inadvertent, that Professor Robertson believed the confederacy was not fighting for slavery. Notice I said the confederacy. I responded that Professor Robertson was talking about individual soldier motivations when he wrote that, but that he would agree the overwhelming reason confederacy existed was to preserve slavery and that’s why it had soldiers in the field. You responded, ” I would not put words in Dr. Robertson’s mouth if I were you. His thoughts on the motivations of the individual soldier (and remember we are discussing the Soldier’s flag, not the CSA government’s flag) are surely more nuanced than your generalizations, and his understanding of the massive economic involvement of the Northern states in the Slavery trade and the cotton profits are surely better understood also.” In response to that I showed that Professor Robertson said it was the argument over slavery that led to the Civil War. I also showed the so-called “soldier’s flag” was designed by a politician and suggested by that politician to Gen. Beauregard, and that he had designed it to be a “white man’s flag.” I did leave your red herring about Northern participation in the slave trade and cotton profits alone, so I’ll briefly address them now. Yes, Northerners participated in the slave trade before its abolition, and yes, there were Northerners who profited from the cotton industry. However, none of that changes the fact that the confederate states tried to break up this nation and fought a bloody civil war in order to protect the institution of slavery from what they perceived to be a threat to its existence, and one of the things they were worried about losing in addition to slavery was white supremacy.

            “Both he and Al Hokie lambast me for simply being a successful person out in the world and not even reading or understanding my studies.” This is another disingenuous claim, Mr. Jones. Nobody has “lambasted” you for being a successful person. I certainly applaud your success. I told you before that the character you portrayed in “The Dukes of Hazzard” was one of my favorites, and I genuinely am happy at any success you’ve had. I do take issue with false claims about my country’s history, and I especially take issue with giving a false impression of an even more beloved scholar and teacher and twisting what he said by taking it out of context.

            Finally, Mr. Jones, it’s true I’m a Hokie and proud to be one. But since my name is clearly shown above my posts, I’ll thank you to give me the same respect I’ve given you by referring to me by my correct name. I’ve not called you names, nor have I insulted you the way you seem to feel privileged to do to me. Sir, I was educated in a fine Southern institute of higher learning, and I was taught better manners than that.

          • Michael Rodgers August 11, 2014 / 8:10 am

            Ben, Move on. Tend your flock and fly your flags. Have fun. Best, Mike

          • Brooks D. Simpson August 11, 2014 / 9:16 am

            I don’t think Ben can be held accountable for this non-SCV event.

          • Al Mackey August 11, 2014 / 9:17 am

            Actually, Mr. Jones, it’s you who needs to learn more about the background of things. Professor Robertson was talking about individual motivations of soldiers, and I suspect if we were able to take a poll of individual soldiers to ask them the #1 reason why they signed up, protecting slavery would not be the majority reason; however, it was the overwhelming reason why there was a confederacy to start with and why that confederacy needed soldiers, and Professor Robertson would agree with that statement. How do I know this? He’s the one who taught me my Civil War history.

            Oh, and the soldiers were smart enough to know that slavery was why the confederacy was formed. That it may not have been their individual #1 reason for fighting doesn’t change that fact. They all recognized it and accepted it. And Professor Robertson would agree with that statement as well.

          • Brooks D. Simpson August 11, 2014 / 9:22 am

            The quote Mr. Jones cited appears on many Confederate heritage websites. He might very well benefit from his advice, but I’m sure he’ll tell us he’s no historian.

          • Al Mackey August 11, 2014 / 9:26 am

            I guess looking at heritage websites is a substitute for actually researching the historical background.

          • Brooks D. Simpson August 11, 2014 / 9:34 am

            Well, Mr. Jones cited a McPherson quote, but as the threat in question has no quote cited by me, I don’t understand his point.

            I can always ask Bud what he meant thirty years ago. Bud’s evident fondness for the Confederate soldier, especially those who served in the Army of Northern Virginia, should never be mistaken for a fondness for the Confederate cause.

          • Al Mackey August 11, 2014 / 9:57 am

            McPherson was cited in the article you linked, and Mr. Jones referred to it as “opinion,” then he proceeded to unintentionally (I assume) mischaracterize Professor Robertson’s statement. Interesting, too, because I believe McPherson was misquoted in the article. I think the quote was talking about the confederacy as a whole (p. 241) and I don’t believe he repeated it for the Upper South (Chapter 9)

          • Ben Jones August 11, 2014 / 10:00 am

            Well, now I’ve got Tweedle-Dum and Tweedle-Dee to deal with. And you gentlemen seem to live in the world of conventional wisdom. I would not put words in Dr. Robertson’s mouth if I were you. His thoughts on the motivations of the individual soldier (and remember we are discussing the Soldier’s flag, not the CSA government’s flag) are surely more nuanced than your generalizations, and his understanding of the massive economic involvement of the Northern states in the Slavery trade and the cotton profits are surely better understood also.

            I don’t know about “Confederate Heritage” sites, but you guys seem to have
            the franchise on the “Anti-Confederate Heritage” sites.

            For history professors, you guys sure have a lot of time to play on the internet.
            I enjoy it too, but I actually have work for a living, so I’ll check back with you in a day or two.

            Carpe Diem,

          • Brooks D. Simpson August 11, 2014 / 10:18 am

            Just wondering, Ben. Have you ever met Bud Robertson? Have you ever asked him a question about this?

            You cited Dr. Robertson as an authority. So now you ask us to choose between someone who’s read a website and someone who has taken classes from him (and someone who’s a professional colleague). Who’s more likely to know what Dr. Robertson thinks?

            More personal attacks and name-calling as a way to evade the issue at hand, Ben? Is this what the SCV has to offer?

          • Jimmy Dick August 11, 2014 / 10:55 am

            Ben, you have not done anything on this site to sway opinions. If anything you’ve shown us why your opinion is wrong. Right now you are falling back on anti-intellectualism in order to hold your ground which is a failure on your part. In fact, you’re beginning to sound more and more like a neo-confederate who has lost their argument.

          • Al Mackey August 11, 2014 / 11:41 am

            I don’t need to “put words” in Professor Robertson’s mouth, Mr. Jones. I heard them come out of his mouth firsthand. Can you say the same thing? It was the argument over slavery that led to the Civil War and why those soldiers were in the field in the first place. Do you doubt Professor Robertson would say that?

            If you had actually read what he wrote or listened to what he said, in other words actually researched his words instead of relying on an out-of-context snippet on a website, you might have an understanding of what he was talking about. On pages 24-26 of Tenting Tonight: The Soldier’s Life in the Time-Life Civil War series [the source of your quote], Professor Robertson is indeed talking about the motivations of individual soldiers. He repeats the sentiment, though not in the same words, on pages 8-11 of this book, Soldiers Blue & Gray. Individual soldier motivations.

            But unlike some confederate heritage advocates I’ve met elsewhere on the web [this is not meant to refer to you, Mr. Jones, but to some other folks], Professor Robertson keeps up with scholarship, and he agrees with Professor James McPherson that while the individual soldier wouldn’t identify protection of slavery as his primary motivation, he accepted that protection of slavery was the goal of the confederacy for which he fought.

            As to the flag in question, it wasn’t designed by the soldiers or implemented by the soldiers. It was designed by William Porcher Miles of South Carolina, who wanted it to be the national flag, but when it was rejected proposed it to P.G.T. Beauregard. http://history.furman.edu/benson/civwar/show/MilesFlagLetter.htm

            According to Miles, it was “a white man’s flag.”

            As the flag was then incorporated into both the Second and Third National Flags, to say it was only the “soldiers’ flag” is a bit disingenuous. It became the symbol of the confederacy itself, not just the soldiers of the confederacy. As such a symbol, it takes on the goals of the political organization it represented, which was independence in order to protect and preserve the institution of slavery.

  6. Sandi Saunders August 11, 2014 / 9:45 am

    Excellent points made here. Professor Robertson and many others who study, teach and write about the Civil War can easily separate the soldiers and their honorable service from the cause of the Confederacy. Just as we can honor them, the soldiers who dropped the bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima, the soldiers who fought in Vietnam and the soldiers who fought in Iraq. Arguing against the wars, the war policy, and the war mongers is not dishonoring the service of the soldiers themselves. It never has and it never will. That is a ploy the supporters of the failed Confederacy, the failed Vietnam effort, and the failed Iraq effort use to pretend that is the purpose.

    Professor Robertson, among others, has honored the Confederate soldiers for decades without sugar coating the Confederacy or their objectives. He proves it can be done and done well. The neo-confederates, anti-government, secesh flaggers honor the Confederacy and hide behind the honor of the soldiers IMO and those like the SCV and others allow them to do so. That is and will remain the crux of the refusals they encounter.

    • Neon Confederate August 19, 2014 / 11:29 am

      you start calling the Confederate flag is swastika and the Confederacy the same as Nazi Germany in you get that kind of reaction.

      • Sandi Saunders August 19, 2014 / 11:52 am

        Are you posting from a phone or do you just type that badly! Wow.

        Unless you are going to condemn the racist secesh flaggers who also say incredibly vile things, I am not interested in the brush you want to paint others with. Racists in 1860 were indeed ignorant and self-serving products of their time; racists today are vile, disgusting, dangerous and yes on the same level as the Nazis if they could get away with it.

  7. Ben Jones August 11, 2014 / 10:04 am

    A postscript:
    Brooks, you posted an editorial about the large flag at Fredericksburg, Virginia.
    The writer quoted McPherson. Don’t you read the stuff you post?
    I was responding to that piece. Wasn’t that clear?


    • Brooks D. Simpson August 11, 2014 / 10:15 am

      No, it wasn’t.

      “Don’t you read the stuff you post?” Gee, Ben, don’t you see the white nationalists at your rallies?

  8. Sandi Saunders August 11, 2014 / 1:06 pm

    I find it telling that so much has been made of the ending “At least this time it wasn’t a trailer park.” The derision behind saying it has the “aroma of social bigotry” is just a blatant insult whether the original comment was or not. He could have meant that the people in the trailer park were less likely to own the property the flag is on, such that the owner of the property does not have to take the heat for the display and it is there whether they support it or not, he could have meant many trailer parks do not have a homeowner’s association that forbids large flags, he could have meant that folks living in larger more spaced out homes would be more likely to complain about such a huge display, he could have meant any number of things that had no “aroma of social bigotry” attached at all, but you sure zeroed in on it fast. I must add that is is funny how he sees the “aroma of social bigotry” attached to complaining about the flag but cannot see the “aroma of social bigotry” permanently attached to the flag at all.

    • Brooks D. Simpson August 11, 2014 / 2:52 pm

      Ben has no problem offering his own version of social bigotry when it comes to scholars and academics. So I don’t take him seriously. He just want to have fun … he doesn’t mean any harm.

      After all, he doesn’t care about the feelings of the black law students at WLU. He says that is “political correctness.” Yet when it comes to someone whose feelings might be hurt when one points out that the Virginia Flaggers located one of their flagpoles by a trailer park, well, now he’s socially sensitive.

      Why do some people’s feelings count while other people’s feelings do not? Ask Ben Jones.

  9. Sandi Saunders August 11, 2014 / 3:25 pm

    Bud Robertson has repeatedly opened his talks with this or a version of it: “30 years of uninterrupted debate over the issue of slavery came to a boil…”

    Maybe we could learn something from his warning about no “room” or “range” for compromise and the danger of emotions leading the charge.

    • SF Walker August 11, 2014 / 6:36 pm

      What an excellent video–thanks, Sandi!

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