What Would You Do? Danville’s Confederate Flag Discussion

Below is a poll asking you to choose from one of four options for the display of the Third National Confederate flag outside “The Last Capital of the Confederacy” at Danville, Virginia. The first option keeps things they way they were at the beginning of this week, with flying the Third National flag. The second adds a second flagpole on which the US national colors will fly, in the superior position, but it will keep the Third National flag flying. The third suggests that the Third National be flown outside upon special occasions when the museum is featuring Confederate history, but that otherwise it will not be flown. The fourth simply removes the Third National flag from flying outside, period.

As for my willingness to see the Third National flag fly at this location, let me be clear: it is a specific flag that would be flown in a specific historical context in an appropriate manner. Often we hear that the Confederate battle flag and especially the CSA navy jack/Army of Tennessee flag are inappropriate because of their use by white supremacist groups starting in the twentieth century. For example, I think the Virginia Flaggers err when they fly the CSA navy jack/Army of Tennessee flag as a salute to the soldiers of the Army of Northern Virginia. Not only do they fly a flag with no context, but the flag they fly also violates any sort of historical context.

Yes, I know what they’ll say. Do you know what I say?

That’s what you call being historically appropriate (well, the movie has so many other problems, including historical accuracy, but you know what I mean). After all, it’s not history, but heritage, with these folks, and we know that it’s a heritage of hate, judging from the bitterness spewed by their spokespeople and supporters.

The Third National flag does not carry with it the same modern-day white supremacist connotations as do the CSA navy jack and the Army of Tennessee flag, followed by the Army of Northern Virginia flag (the Flaggers have managed to devalue that flag’s meaning by using it interchangeably with its more problematic brethren). That doesn’t mean that it didn’t stand for a republic explicitly founded upon the cornerstone of human inequality and enslavement … although one could also argue that if African Americans were going to fight openly for the Confederacy as actual soldiers, they would have fought under the Third National flag. That suggests that fans of the notion of black Confederate soldiers and a rainbow Confederacy ought to use that flag to display a meaningful commitment to what they say they believe.

Don’t hold your breath, however.

181 thoughts on “What Would You Do? Danville’s Confederate Flag Discussion

  1. OhioGuy October 10, 2014 / 8:57 pm

    Couldn’t agree more, Brooks! No other Confederate symbol has the excess baggage of the CBF.

  2. Michael Rodgers October 11, 2014 / 6:14 am

    I’m for the special, context-rich, historical occasions and against any similarity to governmentality, including subordination. It’s a flag of historical secession not a flag of governmental succession.

  3. Lyle Smith October 11, 2014 / 12:08 pm

    As I’ve always said, I think whichever Confederate national flag a locality chooses is fine, if flown with the other historical flags of the place. We should remember our history, however wrong it was. I think I selected the first choice in the poll, but that’s because they seem to be flying the flag as is for historical purposes.

    Historical is a better reason than heritage, particularly when the heritage is one of segregation in recent memory.

    • robert m. peters October 13, 2014 / 7:24 pm

      What is any more wrong with Southern history than is wrong with any other history? The flag which we call the United States flag flew over slavery, assuming that that is the issue, much longer than did any Confederate flag. The flag of choice for nativists and the KKK of the inter-war period, the period of the most powerful KKK was the United States Flag. I claim my heritage like I claim my life: warts and all!

      • Lyle Smith October 14, 2014 / 2:59 pm

        I’m with you man. I’m okay with the government and institutions flying the Confederate battle flag for historical purposes, and citizens can carry it or fly it all they want to.

        I’m also aware slavery used to be legal in the United States, but what does that have to do with white segregationists waving the Confederate battle flag in peoples’ faces in the 50’s and 60’s?

        • Pappy Yokum October 14, 2014 / 9:04 pm

          If you recall, the 1950’s saw National guard troops being sent to enforce federal government ordered desegregation. The 1960’s was the centennial of Lincoln’s War. The war and Reconstruction was high in everyone’s consciousness as a time of federal invasion, occupation, and Carpetbag rule. Add to this a new push of federal coercion and the historic symbol of active resistance to a federal invasion popped right up. Some seem to forget the symbolism was directed at the federal government in the context of its interference in what were considered local issues.
          And the North took it as a parallel to the crusade to save the African from oppression 100 years before: grapes of wrath; terrible swift sword; stuff like that. The fact that the results were less than helpful for many of the “liberated” that time as it was the time before matters little if the intentions were pure.

          • Lyle Smith October 15, 2014 / 5:21 am

            Yes, and I recall white segregationists keeping blacks segregated and waving the Confederate battle flag in their faces to keep it that way.

          • Pappy Yokum October 15, 2014 / 6:38 pm

            And I recall Yankee whites in the North rioting to keep blacks out of labor unions and to stop public school integration through busing. So what? That is not the battle flag’s fault. What is so magical about the Battle Flag that the waving it in someone’s face preserves racial segregation? It didn’t work. Did it?
            Look what flag white segregationists were waving in black faces in Boston.

          • Lyle Smith October 16, 2014 / 7:00 am

            No one denies that white people of the North can be racist. They clearly can. Boston wasn’t fully racially integrated until like 1980 and de facto racial segregation is suspiciously ubiquitous in some northern cities today.

            That said, that has nothing to do with the Confederate battle flag being the chosen symbol of white segregationists in the 1950s and 1960s. They turned the battle flag into a symbol of racial hate. And of course the flag is ultimately the flag of Confederate soldiers who fought against United States soldiers, black and white, to maintain slavery.

            The United States flag can represent many ugly things to different people. There are Americans and others who choose to burn the flag today. You can disrespect the flag all you want to, if you so choose. So what though? The United States flag was the flag carried by the people that ended slavery and segregation in the United States. These are truths the Confederate battle flag can never stand for.

          • p.m.l. October 21, 2014 / 1:25 pm

            you are all under the mistaken impression that the war was started over slavery. slavery became the banner the north fought under to transform it into a “just war”.
            in 1861 us congress issued a proclamation declaring it a war not about slavery but to preserve the union. it was important to emphasize this aspect after because of the shear number of men who died as a result of its prosecution. slavery had to end, many prominent southerners believed this, but could not agree on how it could be done to the benefit of the freed. no excuse… i know. the south fought to defend its right of self determination. the north threatened succession five times prior to 1860 the last was in 1859. it was a point of negotiation. the south merely acted on its right. and responded to invasion. the truth is much more complicated than political correctness will allow.please chose truth. one man may attempt to kill another for twenty dollars, the defender would never conceive that is his reason. each fights for a different reason, and the story is left to the victor.

          • Brooks D. Simpson October 21, 2014 / 3:36 pm

            I think your statement speaks for itself.

            However, I do want to note Lyle’s rather balanced and thoughtful series of replies. They should give pause to folks who tend to stereotype white southerners. I’ve always appreciated his willingness to speak his mind, even when we don’t agree.

          • Lyle Smith October 21, 2014 / 6:26 pm

            Thanks! I appreciate the kind words.

  4. authorbengarrido October 11, 2014 / 8:40 pm

    It’s odd that one of the stereotypically “most patriotic” regions in the US also is the most likely to fly the flags of the US’ most dangerous historical traitors.

    • OhioGuy October 12, 2014 / 8:01 pm

      It certainly is an irony, isn’t it?

    • robert m. peters October 13, 2014 / 7:20 pm

      North Carolina seceded from the Union because Lincoln acted unconstitutionally and committed treason himself.

      • authorbengarrido October 14, 2014 / 3:35 am

        What treasonous constitution defiling do you refer to?

        • Greg October 15, 2014 / 6:08 am

          The second half of the Guarantee Clause of the constitution which Mr. Lincoln was very careful to never quote even though he often used the first half of it.

          • Christopher Shelley October 15, 2014 / 9:32 am

            I don’t often see the “Guarantee Clause” argument. But it is a bogus argument, like all the other arguments supporting secession. If you peruse the comments of this blog these several months, you will see we’ve hacked all of those arguments to death. It seems superfluous to bring them all up again. But here’s the most important point:

            When, in 1788, the special conventions ratified the Constitution, as per Article VII, the United States became vested with sovereign power from We the People of the United States. That ratification simultaneously reduced the sovereignty of the states, and subordinated them to the United States (hence the Supremacy clause). The states still retained sovereignty, but it was tempered.

            That was the intent of the Founders: Madison, Washington, Wilson, Hamilton, et al. That was how most Americans understood the Constitution throughout the first half of the nineteenth century. That was why Daniel Webster’s famous speeches in 1830 were memorized by school children everywhere.

            It was only when Southern slaveholders perceived a threat to slavery that they began to propagate the bogus “compact theory” by Calhoun, denying the sovereignty of the United States.

            The reason the Southern states (and any other state) could not (and cannot) leave the Union is because a sovereign entity cannot be divided up against its will! It is the same reason that a state today cannot be separated into smaller parts without its permission (like some are trying to do with California).

          • Jimmy Dick October 15, 2014 / 12:44 pm

            What do you expect from people that are too scared to use their real names?

          • bobby October 16, 2014 / 7:17 pm

            Why does the United States support other Countries spliting off from their home lands yet the South is always wrong for wanting to leave the Union.

          • Christopher Shelley October 16, 2014 / 7:34 pm

            Examples, please. Unsubstantiated assertions bote me.

          • T. K. Cupp October 17, 2014 / 6:17 am

            AMEN…….We need to take care of our own….North and SOUTH.

          • Bill Starnes October 15, 2014 / 7:59 pm

            Amazing. The near total lack of actual historical knowledge posted here is a disgrace to all Americans. So many ill educated, miseducated, uneducated opinions. If there was a 13th amendment to the Constitution passed by both Houses of Congress in February and March of 1861 that forbade Congress from ever interfering with slavery, and it was supported by the out going Buchannan administration and the incoming lincoln administration, and there was, how was the damned war about slavery? With the South being offered slavery forever on a silver platter, why would they choose to go to war to preserve slavery? Take a minute, look up the Corwin amendment, aka the slavery forever amendment. Read it, check out the time line of its passage. Read lincolns first inaugural address, paying attention to the part where he stated he had no intention of interfering with slavery in the States where it then existed. Read the words of lincoln when he said he felt he had no Constitutional authority to do so and had no inclination to do so, also in that first inaugural address. Read the portion where he said of the Corwin amendment that he had “…no objection to its becoming permanent and irrevocable.” With 22 northern States and 11 Southern States, the northern controlled Congress could pass any bill they wanted to, including the end of slavery. They chose to pass a Constitutional amendment that would have, in theory, protected slavery to this day. They also passed the morrill tariff that would have meant economic ruin for the South while enriching the north. DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH FOR A CHANGE AND STOP ACCEPTING THE lincoln MYTH!!! Yes, the South fired on Ft. Sumter for the 4th violation of the Armistice we had with the Buchanan administration. lincon knew northern men would not risk death to help the federal government collect a tax, or, if it was ever applicable, to free the black man. He forced the South into firing on Sumter so he would have a rallying cry to invade the South and collect his precious damned tariff. DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH FOR A CHANGE!!! And the emancipation proclamation purported to free only the slaves “… in those states now in rebellion” and excepted ALL areas of those States under union control and DID NOT FREE ONE SLAVE IN THE north. Do some research and find out why Rhode Island was known as the Slave Capitol of America until New York took the title.

          • E.A. Mayer October 16, 2014 / 12:41 am

            Here’s the problem with that. First of all; all you did was show it was you that has done no actual legitimate research. Virtually every one of your contentions has long been shot down by professional research, (and in the pages here) and even doing rudimentary honest work on one’s own easily confirms those conclusions. But being intellectually honest isn’t part of ‘heritage’ is it?

            Like the creationist or climate change denier confronted by science you only have blind denial; like the holocaust denier you can only cry conspiracy. And if you don’t think that is blunt enough, then I’ll say it even clearer. Neo confederate claims are akin to holocaust denial in that the tactics used to deny academic reality are the same and in the process they both make subtle excuses for racism; they are intellectually equivalent in their dishonesty. And it’s no surprise that they are two overlapping groups, both are completely dishonest and use the same sort of lies and tactics.

            And I even really hate to have to address the specifics of your Gish Gallop because we all know you don’t really care, but let’s not let it go without some reality to check it.

            Corwin didn’t really change a thing. Slavery was a purview of the states. Congress already had no power to end it in the states where it existed short of an amendment, and there was little possibility of that because, for it to pass, a good number of slave states would have had to vote for it. So as far as Lincoln was concerned Corwin only restated what was already the case, and it didn’t stop the states from ending slavery themselves or the Republicans from banning slavery in the territories. And when coming into office, that was Lincoln’s plan. Ban slavery in the territories and slavery would start the whither, remove federal patronage of it, appoint free labor officials, and maybe end the censorship of abolitionist materials in the mail by Southern states, and there would eventually be gradual compensated emancipation with the consent of the states. And Corwin didn’t change that. And the South knew that the election of Lincoln would put their peculiar institution on the road of ultimate extinction they said so over and over again.

            “What will be the result to the institution of slavery, which will follow submission to the inauguration and administration of Mr. Lincoln as the President of one section of the Union? My candid opinion is, that it will be the total abolition of slavery, and the utter ruin of the South, in less than twenty-five years.”
            — Georgia Governor Joe Brown, to the People of Georgia, December 7, 1860

            “The area of slavery must be extended correlative with its antagonism, or it will be put speedily in the ‘course of ultimate extinction.’….The extension of slavery is the vital point of the whole controversy between the North and the South…” Henry M. Rector, Governor of Arkansas, March 2, 1861, Arkansas Secession Convention”

            Lincoln did not have the power to free all the slaves in the US. And the slaves you are talking about are not “Northern” but slaves from Southern states that are not in rebellion and Southern areas where the rebellion has been put down and legal authority restored. He is a president of a democracy, not a king. The EP had to be issued as a war measure and be effective only in places in rebellion for there to be any legal basis for it.

            Lincoln explained the legal reasoning in turning down Chase’s plea of asking that some other areas now be included in the EP.

            “Knowing your great anxiety that the emancipation proclamation shall now be applied to certain parts of Virginia and Louisiana which were exempted from it last January, I state briefly what appear to me to be difficulties in the way of such a step. The original proclamation has no constitutional or legal justification, except as a military measure. The exemptions were made because the military necessity did not apply to the exempted localities. Nor does that necessity apply to them now any more than it did then. If I take the step must I not do so, without the argument of military necessity, and so, without any argument, except the one that I think the measure politically expedient, and morally right? Would I not thus give up all footing upon constitution or law? Would I not thus be in the boundless field of absolutism? Could this pass unnoticed, or unresisted? Could it fail to be perceived that without any further stretch, I might do the same in Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Missouri; and even change any law in any state? Would not many of our own friends shrink away appalled? Would it not lose us the elections, and with them, the very cause we seek to advance?” – Lincoln to Salmon P. Chase on September 2, 1863

            Lincoln was always concerned with the legality of the EP and knew that it might have to stand a court challenge and so was careful to set it on as solid legal ground he could. He could not legally by his view just free all the slaves. Neo-confederates; the only thing that’s really consistent about them is their intellectual dishonesty. One minute Lincoln is a tyrant, the next they complain that he wouldn’t act unconstitutionally and free the slaves like a dictator.

            And the rest of your shotgun blast of BS I think was already cleaned up here. Particularly the ridiculous tariff contention. It’s just really sad, not only that you espouse such a level of intellectual dishonesty, but particularly that you do it here. I don’t think your remarks are ignorant; they’re worse, you are either consciously lying and know the reality, or you are lying to yourself to support your preconceived social notions. Both are just as bad. It is however, certainly ignorant to post that garbage here on this forum and expect it to pass scrutiny. You only made yourself look silly and further discredit Neo-confederates in general. Good work.

          • Bill Starnes October 17, 2014 / 5:36 am

            No. EA has a severe case of denial of historically correct information. The slavery forever amendment is not a product of my imagination. It WAS passed by a northern controlled Congress AFTER 7 Southern States left the union. Lincoln DID say he had no intention of interfering with slavery where it already existed, in his first inaugural address. Prove he did not. You can not for the words are there. Have you even read that speech? I would wager you have not or you would not be saying such foolish things. I am not a history revisionist. I am speaking the truth of what happened and what was said. Go look at the sources I gave, if you have the courage.

          • Christopher Shelley October 17, 2014 / 10:59 am

            No, EA was totally correct. You’ve missed his most crucial passage in regard to why slavery was the cause of the war:

            “Ban slavery in the territories and slavery would start [to] whither, remove federal patronage of it, appoint free labor officials, and maybe end the censorship of abolitionist materials in the mail by Southern states, and there would eventually be gradual compensated emancipation with the consent of the states.”

            Without expanding into the territories, slavery would die. The Corwin Amendment did not address this. The most thorough explanation of this I’ve seen is William Freehling’s “Disunion,” Vol. 2. He shows that the demographics of slavery within and between slave states weighed heavily on slaveholders.

            For example, in the Border States, slavery was vulnerable because fugitive slaves merely had to flee over the Ohio River to gain a fugitive’s freedom. Many had escaped, and more were expected to escape, assisted by Northerners. So Border State slaveholders began to sell off their slaves rather than lose their investment. Most of these slaves were sold into the Deep South. In turn, these Deep Southern States began to fret over the excess of slaves growing in their region, for two reasons: first, surplus slaves depressed the value of that species of property as supply outstripped demand. Second, the region was over 40% black before this mini-exodus; as that number went up in the 1850s, it gave some states black majorities. In short, Southern slaveholders feared being outnumbered and thought they faced potential slave insurrections. Therefore, they HAD to have slavery expand as an outlet for excess blacks. It was a matter of life and death (in their unimaginative minds).

            And so, the Corwin Amendment, which simply proposed to ordain the status quo of slavery as a state institution that was untouchable by the federal government where it existed, was far less than slaveholders demanded. They demanded federal protection of their property, EVERYWHERE. The Republicans refused; and since the Republicans won, they got to push their agenda: freedom national, slavery local.

            The other important aspect that EA points out (that you’ve totally ignored) is the issue of patronage. A president Lincoln would appoint Republicans to civil service posts throughout the nation–including the South. What if those Republicans who ran the post offices began to let abolitionist mail come into the South (where, under Democratic administrations, the federal gov’t had suppressed in clear violation of the First Amendment)? What if they, as federal agents, began to encourage free speech–speech about slavery? This point is too often ignored, and we know it was important because people like the fire-eater William Lowndes Yancey were marching up and down the nation (North and South), giving speeches about the dreadful power of patronage that Republicans would use to degrade slavery in the South.

            So, Bill, raise your eyes and see The Big Picture that EA and others have outlined. If you do, then you will find that Southern secessionists were very clear in stating their reasons for disunion–reasons that the Corwin Amendment would not have stopped.

          • E.A. Mayer October 17, 2014 / 11:56 am

            Did I not just explain that it was not a “slavery forever” document and that it actually changed nothing? And the very fact that it was addressing slavery shows what the concern was over. All you did was show that you didn’t even bother to read my post.

          • Bill Starnes October 17, 2014 / 2:29 pm

            Yes, I did read your post. In its entirety. The point you seem to miss is the fact that the NORTHERN controlled Congress PASSED an amendment to the constitution that would have made slavery perpetual in America. They could have just as easily passed an amendment to end slavery. Yes, slavery was an issue. I do not deny that. However, the second point you seem intent on denying is in his own words Lincoln said he had NO intention of interfering with slavery where it then existed. which, by the way, was in the South AND the north. Those ARE his words in his first inaugural address. So, for all intents and purposes, if slavery was the only issue, the South needed only remain in the union, get 3/4 of the States to ratify the slavery forever amendment, and live happily ever after. Considering there were, I believe, 33 Sates in the union before 7 Southern States left, leaving 26 States, and the slavery forever amendment passed both chambers of Congress by the required 2/3 majority, and lincoln said he had no objection to its becoming “permanent and irrevocable”. I feel sure it would have a very good chance of being ratified by the required 3/4 of the States. You do not seem to be a person who is lacking in intelligence. Apply reason. If all that happened was over an attempt by the north to end slavery, where were the bills in congress to do that? There were none, that I can find. If the slavery forever amendment was rejected by the South, there are two possible conclusions to a reasonable and intelligent person capable of applying logic. 1) there were other, more serious issues such as the morrill tariff. 2) the South just wanted to engage in war to keep slaves rather than accept the generous opportunity to keep slavery in peace. Which seems most reasonable to you? As Mr. Dick pointed out in his post, the morrill tariff was bottled up in the Senate until the 7 Southern States left the union. After that, clear sailing. Lincoln made it clear he would invade the South to collect his tax money.

          • Jimmy Dick October 16, 2014 / 11:11 am

            Nice job! I would like to say that there was never an armistice between the confederacy and the US because the US did not recognize the illegal government of traitors and rebels as having any legitimacy.

          • Bill Starnes October 17, 2014 / 5:31 am

            Then have the courage of your convictions and do the research. You might feel a little embarrassed. Traitors? That would be the Lincoln administration. The people who waged a total war on civilians to prevent self government. A government that was based on the consent of the governed as outlined by our founders. Traitors? Show me your Constitutional proof that secession was not legal. I would like to say you are ignorant of history as well as being ignorant of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Was Washington also a traitor and a rebel? States that voluntarily joined a union were to be considered traitors for wanting to voluntarily leave that union? Show your work. Tell your sources for your foolish reply. You will not because you can not.

          • Christopher Shelley October 17, 2014 / 11:14 am

            Actually, YOU are the one making extraordinary claims, and so YOU should be the one to provide evidence the secession was constitutional. But, if you want clear, convincing evidence that secession was (and is) indeed unconstitutional, look here: http://www.reasonpapers.com/pdf/28/rp_28_6.pdf. The great advantage of this paper is that it will also dispense with your specious assertion that the right to revolution is somehow the same as the alleged right to secede.

          • Bill Starnes October 17, 2014 / 3:56 pm

            Christopher, thanks for a reasonable and respectful reply. I do not object to your referring to my opinions a “specious.” However, I disagree with your position. I did read the article you included. Very thought provoking and well written. It is, in the final analysis, an opinion of the author. It is a well researched and thoughtful opinion but self admits there are many who do not agree with his position. In reading the article, I found a number of points on which I do not agree. The author compares secession and revolution. I believe that is mere semantics. Nonetheless, I will address that. Secession by the Southern States was not the first time secession was brought up in America, after our Constitution was ratified. You may want to de some research on that issue. The New England States threatened secession, if I remember correctly, 3 times. Once when Texas wanted to become a State, also when the Louisiana Purchase was an issue and during the War of 1812. They were even in negotiations with England for a peace treaty absent the US government. So, before any Southern State left the union, northern States had threatened the same on more than one occasion. That leads me to believe there were many in this great Nation during those years that believed a State had a right to cancel their membership. As to the difference between revolution and secession, lincoln seemed to be of the same line of thought as the author of the article you included. When he issued the emancipation proclamation, he did not reference either secession or revolution. He referred to “those States now in rebellion.” The author differs secession from revolution by saying revolution would only apply if the South had been defending herself, rather than attacking a federal installation. Lets give him that. The Confederacy DID have an armistice with the Buchannan administration. It forbade the Confederates from attacking those installations and forbade the north from re-enforcing them. lincoln violated that armistice when he put troops into Ft Pickens, Florida, under the cover of darkness. There was a Captain on the ship that refused to land the union troops as he considered it an act of war as it violated that armistice. I apologize that his name slips my mind, but if you want to do a little research, you will find I am telling you the truth. lincoln sent a man to relieve that Captain, the troops were landed. lincoln sent word to Governor Pickens of SC to inform him that Ft. Sumter would be provisioned and reinforced, by force if necessary. As the war ships approached Charleston harbor, and Major Fox refused to vacate the fort, due to being informed of the plan by a union spy, the Confederates opened fire on the fort. No deaths on either side. The Confederates saluted the union forces as they left the fort. War was not called for. lincoln insisted it was. However, if I tell you I mean to harm you, and approach you with a weapon and you pull your pistol and shoot me, IN SELF DEFESNSE, who was the aggressor? With no deaths at Ft. Sumter, there was no immediate crisis. The Confederacy did not attack any additional forts. Congress was in recess. That was in April, lincoln did not call Congress back into session to decide how to best proceed. He declared war. Congress got back to town in July. Now, aside from all that, what was lincolns position on secession? Let him speak for himself. According to the Congressional Record, as reported for the date of January 12, 1847, he had this to say:
            “Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable, a most sacred right, a right, which we hope and believe, is to liberate the world.”
            Yep, he said that. So he supported secession. Look it up. You seem to be an intelligent person, capable of doing your own research and reaching your own conclusions. I only suggest you do more research with a more open mind. Do not look for proof you are right. Seek proof you may be wrong. Thanks again for your comments and for providing the article.

          • E.A. Mayer October 17, 2014 / 11:55 am

            It was the South that rejected government by consent by trying to leave after loosing an election.

            “When the States ratified the Constitution of 1787, they pledged that they would accept the results of elections conducted according to its rules. In violation of this pledge, the Southern States seceded because they did not like the outcome of the election of 1860. Thus secession is the interruption of the constitutional operation of republican government, substituting the rule of the minority for that of the majority.” The Claremont Institute

            And yes Washington was a traitor and a rebel, the colonists knew what they were doing was rebellion and treasonous and Franklin even stated that if they didn’t all hang together (as a group) then they would certainly hang separately.

          • Bill Starnes October 17, 2014 / 4:34 pm

            According to the Congressional Record, as reported for the date of January 12, 1847, lincoln had this to say:
            “Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable, a most sacred right, a right, which we hope and believe, is to liberate the world.”

          • Brooks D. Simpson October 17, 2014 / 4:55 pm

            Unfortunately, the Confederacy forgot the part about “having the power.”

          • Bill Starnes October 17, 2014 / 7:41 pm

            True. Unfortunately. However, I will say it took 4 long, hard years for an established government to overthrow a new government with very little infrastructure. The Confederate government made the mistake of believing their former country men possessed honor. The Lincoln administration made the mistake of believing their over powering army and infrastructure would result in a quick resolution by winning a few battles decisively. He underestimated the South’s willingness to fight and die for what they believed in, the right to self government. I believe the federal governments current and growing abuse of power is a direct result of the South losing the war. I also believe if the South had been permitted to go in peace that the north and South would have still been trading partners and allies. I believe slavery was doomed in the South and north with a little more time. Slavery was wrong, it always was and always will be. When the north was engaged in the slave trade and making good money selling slaves, it was ok. After 1808, I think it was, when slaves were no longer allowed to be brought into the country and sold, the game changed. I sort of compare the war to a bad marriage. If the wife wants leave and the husband drags her back at the point of a gun, did he save the marriage? That was a horrible period in our history. We had brave, dedicated folks on both sides. Opinions on the causes will never be reconciled. As I have said before, I enjoy a good debate and try to learn from them. Arguments are pointless and will most likely never end in an understanding agreeable to both sides. To that end, I am finished with this discussion and will spend no more time on it. It has become too repetitive on both sides. I believe I have made a few good points. Others have as well. I am satisfied that I have learned about as much as I am going to in this discussion. Thanks to all who took time to make their case for what they believed. I have mostly enjoyed the debate, but time to move on. Enjoy and may God bless all.

          • Brooks D. Simpson October 17, 2014 / 10:32 pm

            You say: “When the north was engaged in the slave trade and making good money selling slaves, it was ok.” Why would you say that? Because you believe it was okay? I don’t.

            “I am satisfied that I have learned about as much as I am going to in this discussion.” I agree with you there. Once you were outed as a SCV member, you decided it was time to embrace your state motto … so you were first in flight.

          • Jimmy Dick October 17, 2014 / 6:43 pm

            Oh here we go again with the stupid “It isn’t in the Constitution so a state can secede” garbage. Guess what? If you would take the time to learn what context was and research the ratification of the Constitution you would see where the idea was brought up and completely, utterly, and totally rejected by both the Federalists and Anti-Federalists. So much for secession in the Constitution. They didn’t put it in there because no state was allowed to secede.

            If that is too hard to mentally understand, please do not get into the conversation.

          • Bill Starnes October 17, 2014 / 5:23 am

            So, you deny the existence of the Corwin amendment? You deny lincolns own words in his first inaugural address? You deny there were 33 states in the Union with 22 being northern or northern sympathetic with 11 Southern or Southern sympathetic? You deny the northern controlled Congress could pass any bill they chose to pass? You deny the slavery forever amendment was passed after 7 Southern States left the union? You are the intellectually inferior person here. You argue I have made false claims, while it is you who deny ACTUAL historical FACTS. If you think espousing lies and inaccuracies wins an argument, go back to the sand box with the other little children. The north was fighting to end slavery, that was their entire reason for engaging in a war. Hogwash! Why did grant not free his slaves until December 1865 while Robert E. Lee freed the slaves his wife inherited from the Washington estate as soon as they were able to support themselves?

          • Michael Rodgers October 17, 2014 / 11:06 am

            No. No. No. Yes. No. No. No. No. Pro-Union & Anti-Slavery went hand in hand: the first was Constitutionally required, the second was fiercely desired. No! Ask them.

          • Brooks D. Simpson October 17, 2014 / 12:05 pm

            Bill, that you call people fools while displaying your own ignorance of the issue of the Grants, their slaves, and how those slaves came to be free suggests that you are simply reciting Lost Cause claptrap. So I wouldn’t go around calling anyone intellectually inferior. “If you think espousing lies and inaccuracies wins an argument, go back to the sand box with the other little children.” Heed your own advice.

          • Bill Starnes October 17, 2014 / 4:16 pm

            Mr. Simpson, I have called no one a fool. I have disparaged certain lines of thought as hog wash and historically inaccurate. You may want to go back and do some re-reading. I have given a couple of somewhat harsh replies to others who have resorted to name calling and insults. Perhaps you are not capable of following this conversation. I respond harshly only to those who lack the social skills and grace to debate respectfully. I assume those folks to be liberals and not capable of honest debate and must resort to the lower levels of the human mind in their anger at being questioned for their “logic.”

          • Brooks D. Simpson October 17, 2014 / 5:00 pm

            Sorry, but an examination of your posts suggests that personal abuse is one of the ways in which you argue. You need to resort to insults and namecalling because you can’t come close to prevailing any other way. I guess this is what we should expect from someone in the SCV, right?

            The point remains that you were wrong on the facts, and that’s that. You simply read from a long-discredited script.

          • Bill Starnes October 17, 2014 / 6:06 pm

            Really? What facts did I get wrong? Go ahead and list them. What makes you think I am a member of the SCV? What makes you think that everyone in the SCV is challenged on historical debates? Are you a bigot, prejudiced? All people in a group are the same? So, since obama has told so many lies, all democrats are liars? Is that your position? Who did I call a fool?

          • Brooks D. Simpson October 17, 2014 / 10:29 pm

            Now, now, Bill … https://www.facebook.com/NCSCV/posts/747083818675665. Don’t try to mislead people. You’re a member of the SCV. Are you not proud of the organization?

            Pray tell me where you get the information that Ulysses S. Grant freed his slaves in December 1865. Come on, you said it’s a fact … now prove it. And then when I show you are absolutely wrong, you’ll have to tell us why you disregard historical facts.

            You are the person ranting about liberals and liars. Is that the best a person who wants to conceal his membership in the SCV can do?

          • E.A. Mayer October 17, 2014 / 12:20 pm

            “Why did grant not free his slaves until December 1865 while Robert E. Lee freed the slaves his wife inherited from the Washington estate as soon as they were able to support themselves?” Wow what trash!

            “The [Lee’s father-in-law’s] will stated that the slaves were to be freed within five years, and at the same time large legacies—raised from selling property—should be given to the Lee children. But as the executor of the will, Lee decided that instead of freeing the slaves right away—as they expected—he could continue to own and work them for five years in an effort to make the estates profitable and not have to sell the property.

            Lee was considered a hard taskmaster. He also started hiring slaves to other families, sending them away, and breaking up families that had been together on the estate for generations. The slaves resented him, were terrified they would never be freed, and they lost all respect for him.

            There were many runaways, and at one point several slaves jumped him, claiming they were as free as he. Lee ordered these men to be severely whipped. He also petitioned the court to extend their servitude, but the court ruled against him and Lee did grant them their freedom on Jan. 1, 1863—ironically, the same day that Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation went into effect.” Elizabeth Brown Pryor author of “Reading the Man: A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters

            So not only did Lee not free his slaves he fought in court to keep some from being freed he had to be forced to free them and he had no problem having them whiped if they tried to leave; like he did Mary Norris. And Grant personally owned one slave that was probably given to him by his father in law, for about a year and then freed him all well before the war and even though Grant could have desperately used the money at the time.

            And what does that mean anyway, that some individual might or might not have owned a slave in the past does nothing to address that the divisive sectional issue was slavery and its future place in the nation.

            And even your counting of states is ridiculous. There were how many slave states in 1860? The pro-Southern Northern Democrats doughfaces were not giving support to the South?

            You are on the wrong forum to try your anti-historical revisionism.

          • Bill Starnes October 17, 2014 / 6:43 pm

            While you certainly disagree with my opinions, that is fine with me. I do not agree with yours. As to the number of slave states in 1860, I would have to look that up. Do you know the correct answer to your question including the slave States in the north and South? However, you have missed the point I was making. There were more northern states than southern States. The House of Representatives has members based on population, the Senate has two members from each State, regardless of population. Of course there were northern democrats who supported the South. But still, the northern States had a definite Congressional advantage over the Southern States. While we have very differing opinions, I would like for you to specifically address every historical fact I have gotten wrong. I enjoy debates, I do not care for arguments. I believe that every opinion I have disputed was backed up with historical references. If I got them wrong, please be good enough to tell me where I have incorrectly stated a historical fact. I do not do revisionist history as I am well aware it can not be supported in an honest debate. Others on this site, including you, have disputed opinions but often fail to accurately dispel the dispute with facts based on history.

          • Bill Starnes October 17, 2014 / 6:46 pm

            And, by the way, I would like to add that I consider your portrayal of R. E. Lee as fiction that you read in a book written by some one as miseducated on the truth as some others in this forum.

          • OhioGuy October 17, 2014 / 11:06 am

            Agree with everything you say, except, there is no parallel between neo-Confedrate reality deniers and those of us who have real doubts based on hard scientific facts about global warming. Also, by way of amplification the EP did free slaves in the Union-controlled area between Hilton Head and Beaufort. This must have been a very conscious decision by AL, because this area should have been excluded but wasn’t.

          • E.A. Mayer October 17, 2014 / 12:33 pm

            This is not the place for the discussion, but the science is overwhelmingly on the side of anthropomorphic climate change.
            And I think the situation on the sea islands was a unique situation, if the area was no longer in rebellion it was only because the entire white population fled leaving a vacuum where military authority and the freeing of the slaves could said to be a necessity.

          • OhioGuy October 17, 2014 / 2:45 pm

            Agree that this is not the place to discuss, but your side will need to explain the current 15 year plateau in global temperatures, among other discrepancies. Yes, the Beaufort-Hilton Head corridor is unique, and AL was actually just recognizing legally what had already happened in terms of practicality, once the white southerners had all fled (or as they put it, “skedaddled”) the blacks that remained were for the most part treated as free and efforts were made to give them a basic level of education. I only bring this up because it puts the often-heard assertion that the EP didn’t free any slaves in a slightly different perspective. Now, let’s get back to our points of agreement: The late insurrection was over slavery and “neo-Confederate research” is an oxymoron. 😉

          • E.A. Mayer October 17, 2014 / 4:20 pm

            You again still obviously didn’t read my post. (Or Christopher’s) And you are just delusional. There were 15 Southern slave states and all those unwilling to vote to give it up so there would have had to have been 45 free states for an amendment to end slavery to be ratified.

            If you wanted to discredit yourself, you could have stopped long ago, you’ve succeeded. Which is as close to seceded as you’ll get.

          • E.A. Mayer October 17, 2014 / 5:29 pm

            No New England states threatened to secede. There are no secession documents from New England states. Typically you also leave out the line of Lincoln’s before your quote mine that states: “The extent of our territory in that region depended, not on any treaty-fixed boundary (for no treaty had attempted it) but on REVOLUTION.” And later where he says: It is a quality of revolutions not to go by old lines, or old laws; but to break up both, and make new ones.”
            Neo-confederates just don’t know the difference between revolution and secession. Clearly Lincoln is not even talking about any sort of secession but revolution, and revolution by its very nature is extra-constitutional, as it gets rid of the ‘old laws’ of the US constitution and replaces them. What destroys the Constitution can in no way be considered Constitutional, that would be a ridiculous proposition.

          • Bill Starnes October 17, 2014 / 6:17 pm

            Sure they did. There may not be any secession documents but it was repeatedly threatened. I agree with your comments on the Constitution. However, the Confederacy was not trying to destroy the Constitution nor the federal government. The desire was to leave a government intact and form a new government more to their liking. I have done a good bit of reading on the times prior to and during secession. I have found nothing indicating the Confederates wanted to harm the union. Light Horse Harry Lee was a cavalry officer under Washington. He was the father of Robert E. Lee. The sons, nephews and grand sons of the Patriots did not want to destroy what their ancestors helped create. The South had come to the conclusion that it would be their financial ruin to remain in the union. According to the Congressional Record, as reported for the date of January 12, 1847, lincoln had this to say:
            “Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable, a most sacred right, a right, which we hope and believe, is to liberate the world.” His words, not mine. That is a historically accurate fact. He said it. I agree with him on that issue. He was a lawyer when he said that. Surely he had some idea of what was and was not Constitutional.

          • OhioGuy October 17, 2014 / 8:30 pm

            Bill is right on this point. It seems these northern movements were usually called disunion efforts rather than secession movements. One that I’ve read about was fueled by Quakers wanting to disassociate with a union that had slavery. There were a number of others based on other issues.

          • E.A. Mayer October 17, 2014 / 8:42 pm

            Show us these threats by the states… waiting….
            And seceding unilaterally itself IS harming the Union, it splits it againt the will of the Majority. And you still don’t get that he was talking about the revolutionary principle, NOT secession. So you want to admit that what the South was doing was a revolution? Revolts and rebellion are not constitutional.

          • E.A. Mayer October 17, 2014 / 8:30 pm

            Pryor’s book won both the Jeff Davis prize and the LIncoln prize for historical writting, your ojection to it bears no merit, as do all your posts here.

          • authorbengarrido October 15, 2014 / 3:18 pm

            The idea that the government must protect rebels from violence during their rebellion is extremely novel.

          • Pappy Yokum October 15, 2014 / 6:45 pm

            There was no rebellion. The people of the states voted to leave the Union in the same way they voted to join it. Scission is not rebellion.

          • John Foskett October 17, 2014 / 12:37 pm

            I wonder if Pappy’s ever read Marse Robert’s letter to his son dated January 23, 1861:

            “The framers of our Constitution never exhausted so much labor, wisdom, and forbearance in its formation, and surrounded it with so many guards and securities, if it were intended to be broken by every member of the Confederacy at will. It is intended for perpetual union, so expressed in the preamble, and for the establishment of a government (not a compact) which can only be dissolved by revolution, or by the consent of all the people in convention assembled.”

            It’s awful when actual facts and evidence are inconsistent with neo-Confed binkies. But it happens just about every day..

          • Bill Starnes October 17, 2014 / 4:21 pm

            So you have no issue with killing women and children, burning homes, farms, barns, killing off the live stock, taking all food and provisions? And I suppose it never occurred to you that many, many blacks in the South suffered just as much as the whites. And, by the way, the union army raped black women and girls at about the same rate as they did the white women and girls.

          • Brooks D. Simpson October 17, 2014 / 4:57 pm

            Oh goodness. But slavery was a wonderful institution … the cornerstone of the Confederacy, right?

            This sort of thing doesn’t get anyone anywhere.

          • Bill Starnes October 18, 2014 / 5:24 am

            Brooks, you are an absolute idiot. Tell me one time I have said slavery was a good thing. You are a fool of the first order. You do even make the attempt at refuting my position, you simply ignore it and make an absolute and totally ignorant remark suggesting I support slavery when there has been not one comment from me that would support such an outrageous accusation that is, in fact, an out right damned lie. You, then, are a damned liar. I had already decided I was through with posting on this feed as it has become so repetitious to render it boring and no longer informative. But your absolute and total idiocy have inspired me to add this final post. You are a poor excuse for a human being. It is liars and fools of your ilk that render rational discussions an impossibility. Do the world a favor, stop wasting oxygen.

          • Brooks D. Simpson October 18, 2014 / 2:40 pm

            I can tell you are getting frustrated. I guess you find it beyond your ability to construct an actual argument. It didn’t take long for you to reveal your true nature.

          • authorbengarrido October 17, 2014 / 6:01 pm

            I don’t remember expressing such sentiments, but regardless, a less charitable soul might feel you’ve abandoned you argument about the constitution and moved onto a sort of protagonist-centered morality argument. I’m sure you will clarify soon.

          • OhioGuy October 17, 2014 / 6:22 pm

            Could you tell the approximate percentage of women raped by the Union Army? Also, I’d like to see your documentation on your rape statistics. Professor Lee Kennett at the University of Georgia (now emeritus professor) says the number of rapes on the March to the Sea was actually very low. Do you have research that would contradict Professor Kennett’s? He spent many years researching the March to the Sea, and wrote what may be the definitive book on the subject. If interested, you could see the transcript of the court marshal of one of the actual cases of rape on the March to Sea on my website: http://78ohio.org/scandal/

    • Bobby G. Herring October 13, 2014 / 10:00 pm

      How can you call the patriots of the Confederate States of America, an independent sovereign nation, “historical traitors”? That would be like calling the people of Poland traitors for fighting the invasion of Hitler and the Nazi’s.

      The real irony is that Lincoln, who admittedly betrayed the Constitution, has a temple built to honor his tyranny and betrayal, while the true history of the South is being sacrificed to political correctness.

      • authorbengarrido October 14, 2014 / 3:34 am

        I had thought trying to destroy the nation of which you are a citizen would qualify. You clearly disagree. Why?

        • Bobby G. Herring October 14, 2014 / 5:03 pm

          First, I thought I clearly laid it out above. Men who were “citizens” of the Confederate States of America and defending their Nation from the Yankee invaders, CAN NOT be considered traitors. They were patriots of the their nation..

          Secondly, I strong disagree with your premise that these men trying to destroy the United States. They simply seceded and eventually formed a new nation. At no time did they ever threaten to invade or destroy the United States. All they ever wanted was to be left alone.

          There were 35 states prior to the Confederate States being formed. Seven states left the Union leaving the United States with 28 states. Was that gong to destroy the United States? Most people forget that Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, Missouri, and Kentucky all voted not to secede. It was only after Lincoln demanded they raise troops to invade the Confederacy, that each of these states decided to leave the Union rather than submit to tyranny.


          • Bobby G. Herring October 14, 2014 / 9:13 pm

            What a brilliant response.

            I suppose if Lincoln had only said what you just said, we could have saved 600,000 soldiers and another 100,000 civilians. Instead he burned and shelled Southern cities into rubble and forced us back into the Union. Now it is 150 years later and if we dare mention it we are called traitors or racist or bigots.

          • Brooks D. Simpson October 14, 2014 / 10:30 pm

            Lincoln would have no problem with individual Confederates leaving the country. He just had a problem with secession. There’s a difference.

            When you run the numbers, more of the people who lived in the South supported the Union than the Confederacy. Between southern white unionists and enslaved blacks, there was a unionist plurality and probably a majority.

          • Greg October 15, 2014 / 6:18 am

            Each of the states held special conventions with the sole subject of secession as their purpose. In every case, the representatives, elected by the People of the state, voted to leave the Union. This is how democracy is supposed to work.

            What you espouse is that it is implied within the constitution that secession is unconstitutional because it is not ‘explicitly’ stated. This argument may be countered easily by the ‘implied logic’ that it is, indeed, constitutional as supported by the 2nd, 9th and 10th amendments of the constitution. Add to those amendments, and their ratification documents provided by states like New York and Massachusetts, it is abundantly clear that every State of the Union, at that time, was considered sovereign or a ‘republic’ if you prefer bound together, voluntarily, by the constitution.

            At no time, having just won our freedom from England, did the States ever consider themselves ‘subordinate’ to the federal government with all powers held by a select few in the capitol city. It took the Whigs, predecessors of the Republican of which Mr. Lincoln was a devout devotee, to push the South to secede since the Whig/Republican platform openly embrace the ‘American System’ of government.

            The American System plan will require a new discussion forum for debating but suffice to say that with the defeat of the South, we are now living under the plans of the ‘American System’ of Mr. Lincoln.

          • Jimmy Dick October 15, 2014 / 12:42 pm

            And another completely erroneous interpretation of the US Constitution. Too many of you missed your class on this subject. The 10th Amendment does not give any state the right to secede.

            I love the secession conventions. When delegates were selected, they were generally from slave belts in each states because the laws were rigged to give more political power to the slave owners. That gets overlooked a lot.

          • Jimmy Dick October 14, 2014 / 9:53 pm

            Enjoy some other country! Don’t let that doorknob hit your butt as you flee!

          • authorbengarrido October 15, 2014 / 5:50 am

            Interesting points. If states, or presumably any group, can secede from the union whenever they wish, I can’t help but imagine the Nation of Islam’s glee. Finally, freedom from evil white men. They can carve out a chunk of Alabama and, since secession isn’t destructive to polities, simply make it their own nation without treason, or indeed, any reason to worry except, of course, an illegal invasion from the tyrants in Alabama who want to preserve their territory.

          • John Foskett October 17, 2014 / 12:43 pm

            “Most people forget that Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, Missouri, and Kentucky all voted not to secede. It was only after Lincoln demanded they raise troops to invade the Confederacy, that each of these states decided to leave the Union rather than submit to tyranny.”

            I must have missed the Secession Ordinances adopted by Kentucky and Missouri. Do you people read anything based on fact?

          • Jimmy Dick October 18, 2014 / 8:56 am

            They keep claiming Missouri seceded in a rump meeting of the state legislature in Neosho, Missouri. However, they did not have a quorum as was pointed out by an eyewitness. When the long missing journals of the legislature were discovered a few years ago, the lack of a roll call and other details corroborated that eyewitness’s testimony.

            Isaac Shambaugh of DeKalb County was present, voted no on both bills, and stated that at best only 39 representatives and 10 senators were present and that a roll call was deliberately excluded from the journals because no quorum existed. The state convention which has been called to discuss the issue of secession voted against it. That convention was reconvened in order to establish a legitimate Missouri government. The legality of that is questionable, but the reality was Missouri had no functioning government as the governor was on the run and the state was a battlefield. Since those who wanted to secede were violating their Constitutional oaths of office they were removed from office and replaced.

            The bottom line: Missouri did not secede. The people of the state were divided, but on a 5-1 line in support of the Union.

    • August G. Schwartz October 14, 2014 / 5:40 am

      To which historical traitors do you refer? If the Region to which you refer is Washington DC and If you are referring to those historical traitors within Lincoln’s administration who in his absence acted against his wishes, I agree with your assertion.

    • Tom Davis October 14, 2014 / 10:23 am

      The states had a constitutional right to secede. They were sovereign states. Why do you think Congress passed a law later to make it illegal? You have a distorted knowledge of that period in history.

      • authorbengarrido October 14, 2014 / 4:33 pm

        Robert E. Lee thought secession theory was bull. He believed he was leading a rebellion. Why?

        • chevelle1 October 14, 2014 / 6:51 pm

          That’s not true at all. Please stop creating fake quotes.

          • authorbengarrido October 15, 2014 / 5:45 am

            I’m afraid General Lee is on the record.

            As an American citizen, I take great pride in my country, her prosperity and her institutions, and would defend any State if her rights were invaded. But I can anticipate no greater calamity for the country than the dissolution of the Union. It would be an accumulation of all the evils we complain of, and I am willing to sacrifice everything but honor for its preservation. I hope, therefore, that all constitutional means will be exhausted before there is a resort to force. Secession is nothing but revolution.

            Robert E. Lee, 1860.

      • Christopher Shelley October 15, 2014 / 9:36 am

        No. As I’ve written above, the states, while sovereign, were part of a larger sovereign entity called the United States. And you can’t divide a sovereign against its will.

  5. David Williams October 13, 2014 / 6:53 pm

    Delaware, Vermont and New Jersey fought for the Union and all had slaves. Maryland was a Union state and also had slaves and historically fought for the Union and against secession. Let’s say we ban the American flag since it flew over slavery as well.

    The strong, centralized Federal narrative must win, if it does not, then it would mean the Southron states were right. We are a Union today out of the force of the bayonet and bullet not out of agreement. The Confederate flag is a reminder this Union is not one of choice, but rather an Union based on subjugation; this is why people want it gone.

    • Robert M. Peters October 18, 2014 / 10:56 am

      Yes, one forgets that the last slave state to join the Union was the unconstitutionally created state of West Virginia so that it could vote Republican in the Election of 1864.

  6. Hal Gomez October 13, 2014 / 7:13 pm

    The Third National Flag was around for only the last few months of the war. Original flags of this style are quite rare. The fact that Danville was one of the few cities where that flag was flown makes it a unique part of Danville’s history.

    The battle flag debate is what it is — there is no relevant reason to discuss that regarding this situation. My observation is that I have never seen a photo from the 1960’s with segregationists waving the Third National Flag at Civil Rights protesters. I’ve never seen or heard of a case where the Third National Flag was flown at a KKK rally or cross-burning. I am relatively certain one could drive a pick-up truck through an African-American community with a Third National Flag displayed in the back window and no head would turn.

    History is history and the Third National Flag is very much a part of Danville’s role as the “Last Capitol of the Confederacy”. Sanitizing that for the sake of political correctness is absurd.

    The British Flag flew over the US Colonies for over 100 years when slavery was legal. Still, if you go to a British fort site the British flag is often flown. No one has ever called for the removal of the British flag.

    Slavery was legal in Spanish Florida until it became a US Territory in 1821. Go to St. Augustine and the Spanish colonial flag is flown all over town. No one has ever called for the removal of the Spanish flag.

    In Great Britain, Americans and the Continental Congress were considered traitors to the crown during the Revolutionary War. Yet, the British do not ban or discourage displaying the American flag.

    There is no reason not to fly the Third National Flag. To what level it is “offensive” (and I would argue that is few people) it is far out-weighed by its importance to Danville’s Civil War history.

  7. Steve October 13, 2014 / 8:41 pm

    The lack of historical connection between the KKK and the Confederate flag is thin at best. Why is the Confederate battle flag the only flag associated of the KKK and not the Stars and Stripes? With a minimum amount of research on the Internet, one will find pictures of hundreds if not thousands of KKK members rallying in Washington D.C. flying the Stars and Stripes, and not one Symbol of the South to be seen! Folks today only associate Battle Flag with the Klan? Nathan Bedford Forrest freed 45 of his slaves under the battle flag. Abraham Lincoln created a slave state under the Stars and Stripes. Nathan Bedford Forrest ended the KKK in 1867/1868 time frame. If you read his testimony in front of congress you will find he was never a member of the Klan, but an inactive member of the White Camelia.

    • OhioGuy October 14, 2014 / 1:59 pm

      Are you referring to West Virginia? If so, you have your facts a little out of context. The counties of the Old Dominion that came into the new state had to approve four referendums. The last was for gradual emancipation. All slaves would be freed in 20 years and all children born to slave couples would be free upon birth. The thirteenth amendment, of course, shortened the timetable. (A few of the most eastern counties had fragmentary or unreported returns, but were included in the new state anyway.)

  8. Vince Silvestro October 14, 2014 / 4:46 am

    Everyone in Quantrill’s Raiders in Ohio says ,let it fly.It stands for Freedom more then the U.S. Flag. Our ancestors loved those flag it’s our Duty to fly our symbols. Camp 2087 Quantrill Raiders.
    Raise the Black Flag Boys !

  9. Tom Cook October 14, 2014 / 4:55 am

    There is not one thing wrong with the Confederate Battle Flag; the problem is in the minds of the oppressors who continue to seek subjugation of the better people of the nation, few of whom are left: Southerners. The trash–Yankees who almost totally are liberals who have a genetic twist of thinking which makes them espouse the wrong, the perverted, the sick, the un-American hate everything including themselves. Following them is the failed population who cannot get it together In Africa, and cannot get it together in the United States so they must have something or someone to blame for their failure–like our Battle Flag. This group is well represented by the foreigner in our White House who absolutely cannot accept any personal responsibility for his one hundred percent failed and fraudulent life.

  10. August G. Schwartz October 14, 2014 / 5:35 am

    One has to subordinate any Confederate Flag to the US Flag; or betray the oath of allegiance that each man swore at the end of the war.

  11. T. K. Cupp October 14, 2014 / 6:04 am

    Leave our Confederate Flag (s) alone……..We have OUR right to have OUR history and be
    damn proud of it…..

    • Jimmy Dick October 14, 2014 / 10:16 am

      You mean you have the right to believe in stupidity, be proud of traitors, and fly the symbol of racism.

      • Old Right Wing October 14, 2014 / 9:06 pm

        If the states are sovereign and a man identified himself as a citizen of his state and not of a confederated republic, then most men would have considered it traitorous if they had fought against their state. We hold dear the concept of government with consent of the governed. When free men withdraw their consent, the government is no longer legitimate.

        • Jimmy Dick October 15, 2014 / 5:39 am

          Amazing how you stick to the idea of free men while ignoring the entire issue behind the Civil War which was that of free men holding other men and women in bondage. If you believe in free men, then explain why the majority of people opposed secession, but their views were ignored by the minority.

          • Old Right Wing October 17, 2014 / 7:17 am

            Secession for the deep south states was over slavery. The four border states that seceded after Lincoln’s call for troops were a little more complex. As a North Carolinian I will only speak for NC. North Carolina had a secession vote before Sumter and she voted to remain in the union. The second vote after Sumter she voted for secession believing that the federal government could not coerce a a state. I don’t believe there had to be a war. The war was fought for the purpose of keeping all states in the union, to make sure the south would not compete economically outside of the union, and not for the purpose of the destruction of slavery. Lincoln should have let the south go regardless of the issue.

            NC didn’t want to leave the union, but she believed she had the right to do so, electing delegates to a convention and rescinding the ratification of the constitution in exactly the same fashion as it had been ratified. How then was the majority ignored? If I recall correctly during our revolution less than twenty percent wished to sever ties with England, but that did not stop a successful revolution.

            The constitution was formed and ratified by the states. The federal government did not create the states, and it was never a party to the constitution. It was formed as an agent of the states, not as a ruler of the states. Now, seeing as how the federal government does not hold the title deed to North Carolina, and North Carolina had a part in forming the original union, how could an agency formed by her prevent her from withdrawing from that contract when it did not have the ability to admit or deny her originally without her own consent? You may have an argument on the states that came later, but the original thirteen along with Texas, Vermont, Florida, and Hawaii are certainly sovereign having been fully independent before ratifying the constitution.

          • Michael Rodgers October 17, 2014 / 10:56 am

            Exactly! That’s why there are two classes of states, the female ones who can declare secession and the male ones who can’t. That’s also why gay marriage between states has always been legal in the USA.

          • Michael Rodgers October 19, 2014 / 6:21 am

            Actually states, regardless of gender, can’t marry each other without consent of Congress: “No state shall, without the consent of Congress, … enter into any agreement or compact with another state” And of course states don’t have gender and can’t marry anyway because they’re not people. And of course there aren’t two classes of states because all states are on an equal footing. Finally a state can’t deprive people of other states their Constitutional rights in that state so unilateral state secession isn’t allowed under the Constitution — even the secession declarers went outside the Constitution to appeal to the law of compact but of course the Constitution isn’t a compact between the states but a document in which the people as a whole ordained and established a national government in the federal style with federal and state levels with both levels having republican democracy for their legislatures and with three branches of government at the federal level. Coda: explaining things is boring.

          • Brooks D. Simpson October 18, 2014 / 9:32 pm

            The question concerns the status of Florida … including West Florida … at the time it became part of the United States. Hint … it did not all come at once.

          • E.A. Mayer October 17, 2014 / 12:44 pm

            NC seceded over slavery also. The cry about ‘coercion’ was just a preemptive use of the states rights argument and states’ rights were all about slavery. The South also had no problem when BEFORE Lincoln, Davis had called up 100,000 troops to coerce the North, steal federal property and intimidate Southern Unionists.

            “The claim that his call for troops was the cause of the upper South’s decision to secede is misleading. As the telegraph chattered repots of the attack on Sumter April 12 and its surrender the next day, huge crowds poured into the streets of Richmond, Raleigh, Nashville, and other upper South cities to celebrate this victory over the Yankees. These crowds waved the Confederate flags and cheered the glorious cause of southern independence. They demanded that their own states join the cause. Scores of such demonstrations took place from April 12 to 14 BEFORE Lincoln issued his call for troops. Many conditional unionists were swept along by this tide of Southern Nationalism; others cowed into silence.” McPherson, “The Battle Cry of Freedom” p278

            And your constitutionalism is just as off for as the supreme court ruled:
            “In discussing this question, the counsel for the state of Maryland have deemed it of some importance, in the construction of the constitution, to consider that instrument, not as emanating from the people, but as the act of sovereign and independent states.

            The powers of the general government, it has been said, are delegated by the states, who alone are truly sovereign; and must be exercised in subordination to the states, who alone possess supreme dominion. **IT WOULD BE DIFFICULT TO SUSTAIN THIS PROPOSITION.** The convention which framed the constitution was indeed elected by the state legislatures. But the instrument, when it came from their hands, was a mere proposal, without obligations, or pretenses to it.

            It was reported to the then existing congress of the United States, with a request that it might ‘be submitted to a convention of delegates, chosen in each state by the people thereof, under the recommendation of its legislature, for their assent and ratification.’ this mode of proceeding was adopted; and by the convention, by congress, and by the state legislatures, the instrument was submitted to the people.

            They acted upon it in the only manner in which they can act savely, effectively and wisely, on such a subject, by assembling in convention. It is true, they assembled in their several states–and where else should they have assembled? No political dreamer was ever wild enough to think of breaking down the lines which separate the states, and of compounding the American people into one common mass., when they act, they act in their states. But the measures they adopt do not, on that account, cease to be the measures of the people themselves, or become the measures of the state governments.

            From these conventions, the constitution derives its whole authority. The government proceeds directly from the people. . . . The constitution, when thus adopted, was of complete obligation, and bound the state sovereignties.” [17 U.S. 316, 402-404] McCullough v. Maryland (1819)

          • Old Right Wing October 18, 2014 / 7:10 pm

            When have you ever seen the federal government rule against itself?

          • Old Right Wing October 18, 2014 / 7:31 pm

            I do not disagree that many in NC wished to secede before Sumter and that many would have done so to protect slavery. The fact remains that she had voted down secession in February of 1861, but held a second vote after Sumter that was decidedly for it. Essentially forced to pick a side, I believe NC was tipped over by Lincoln’s call for troops.

            By the same token, there were many folks in the north that would have been resigned or even happy to let the south go without a war.

          • Christopher Shelley October 17, 2014 / 1:06 pm

            “The constitution was formed and ratified by the states.”

            Wrong. Period. With this single statement, you have discredited your entire argument. Please peruse the pages of this fine blog, and find where a nearly endless stream of knowledgeable commenters have demolished that notion–by using facts.

          • Michael Rodgers October 17, 2014 / 2:53 pm

            But what about all the (dicta-filled and completely worthless) state sovereignty resolutions that swept through the nation in 2009-2010, for example South Carolina’s? The first draft said, “Whereas, the limited scope of authority defined by the Tenth Amendment means that the federal government was created by the states specifically to be an agent of the states.” The draft that passed is of a similar vein, and these are the learned men of the day, learned I say.

          • Christopher Shelley October 17, 2014 / 4:16 pm

            Mike, I’m still in awe over your gendered state secession marriage…thing. However, you have more evidence for that hypothesis than Bill Starnes et al have for theirs.

          • Bill Starnes October 17, 2014 / 6:23 pm

            Christopher, then tell me what facts I have misstated. I enjoy learning.

          • Michael Rodgers October 17, 2014 / 7:49 pm

            Employing absurd satire seemed more appropriate than explaining the equal footing doctrine.

          • Old Right Wing October 18, 2014 / 7:16 pm

            Each state sent delegates to a convention to amend the articles of confederation. They ended up writing an entirely new document which had to be ratified by each state. NC and each other state continued to operate under the articles of confederation until they ratified the constitution. I do not understand what is being misunderstood. There were even those that spoke of coercing the reluctant states into ratification from what I have read.

          • Christopher Shelley October 18, 2014 / 11:35 pm

            Yes, they were sent, and yes they did totally exceed their instructions! Isn’t that amazing? That George Washington et al completely threw away their instructions and wrote a totally unexpected document?? I think that’s one of the most revolutionary things that happened in American history!

            However, if you don’t understand all of this, I recommend you read Pauline Maier’s excellent book Ratification ( http://www.powells.com/biblio/9781400119653 ). That will show that there was no talk of “coercing” reluctant states. Fact is, Rhode Island and North Carolina did NOT ratify the Constitution at first; and that made them little independent nation-states; and no-one threatened them or forced them to reconsider. Eventually, they both did ratify. So I’m not surprised that North Carolina “continued to operate under the Articles,” because they were not yet members of the United States as composed under the Constitution. But there was no coercion. And, once a state was in, it was in permanently.

          • Jimmy Dick October 19, 2014 / 4:55 pm

            North Carolina and Rhode Island were not coerced into ratifying the Constitution. They just were not going to be able to enjoy the protections of it while not being bound by it. North Carolina’s people wanted to ratify the document, but many of its leaders did not. That was kind of resolved in the next state election when the Federalists captured the state senate, but not the house. Another ratifying convention was called for in November of 1789 after many had seen Madison’s proposed amendments. That settled it and the convention ratified the Constitution by 194 for an 77 against. (Of course I’m using Maiers’ Ratification!)

            Rhode Island on the other hand practically had a secession crisis of its own. The commercial towns threatened to leave the state if the leaders did not ratify and join the union. The alleged coercion by the US was nothing more than the US applying the rules of international trade to Rhode Island. The US Senate passed a bill (not the house) to prohibit trade with Rhode Island by land or sea. Even then ratification only passed by a 34-32 vote with four members absent (Pauline’s Ratification yet again!).

            It was pretty clear Rhode Island wanted the protection and benefits of being in the Union while not being bound by the Constitution in any way. The US leaders wisely decided to prevent that. Rhode Island had a choice to make. They would be part of the US or a foreign country and treated as such. The commercial towns said they wanted to be part of the US and acted accordingly. So we see a break in unity in Rhode Island, but then there wasn’t a lot of unity in that process. It was a yes or no decision. The benefits of being in the union outweighed the benefits of not being in the union.

          • Michael Rodgers October 19, 2014 / 2:48 am

            “Each state sent” Imagonna stop you right there. Start again with “The people decided to have each state send.” Do you see the difference? No? You’re arguing that the Constitution is a compact or treaty between states (and you’re also suggesting that there are two classes of states). Wrong (and also wrong).

            The Constitution starts, “We the people of the United States” not “We the states” and not “We the people in each state of what we are now going to call the United States because that’s a good name for the agent that our states are creating as a subservient entity under this document and people should properly call it a compact or treaty and totally ignore that we called it a constitution.”

            (And regarding your two classes of states, the Constitution says “New states may be admitted by the Congress into this union” which means all states are on an equal footing regardless of whether they were independent nations before Congress or the Constitution made them states.)

            Finally, I explained all this with my joke (there aren’t two classes of states, and states aren’t people, people are people). And Chris and Jimmy and so many people have explained all this so many times — here on this page even! Hopefully now you understand.

      • Robert M. Peters October 18, 2014 / 10:58 am

        Nothing but abject ad hominem and nothing more.

        • Jimmy Dick October 18, 2014 / 8:35 pm

          Can you give some example of that? Or are you just crying the blues because the lost cause arguments got shredded for their lack of facts?

  12. Charlie Davis October 14, 2014 / 7:01 am

    Lincoln said: “The power confided to me will be used to hold, occupy, and possess the property belonging to the government, and to COLLECT the duties; but beyond what may be necessary for THESE objects, there will be NO INVASION.”
    Lincoln said: “I have NO purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have NO lawful right to do so, and I have NO inclination to do so.” (Lincoln’s First Inaugural Speech March 4, 1861)

  13. Charlie Davis October 14, 2014 / 7:02 am

    Lincoln’s Presidential Proclamations April 15 and 19, 1861: “Whereas, the laws of the United States for the collection of the REVENUE (a 40% Federal Sales Tax under the Morrill Tariff Act) cannot be effectually executed,” Lincoln ordered 75,000 troops to invade the Confederate States and their ports blockaded.

  14. Charlie Davis October 14, 2014 / 7:05 am

    Abraham Lincoln said: “My policy sought ONLY to hold the property (4 tax collection forts like Sumter), not already wrested from the Government, and to COLLECT THE REVENUE”. (Lincoln’s Message to Congress on July 4, 1861

    • E.A. Mayer October 14, 2014 / 12:46 pm

      Well these are real Utube quality comments here. (“Sales tax” – lol) Charlie, you have to realize that you’re just making yourself look foolish and ignorant in this venue with posts like those.

      Oh and Lincoln also promised to deliver the mail and carry out as many functions of gov’t as he could without execrating the situation. So I suppose that the war was now about mail delivery? Lincoln isn’t concerned over the revenue itself, (or the mail) it was an assertion and issue of legal sovereignty.

      • E.A. Mayer October 14, 2014 / 12:53 pm

        Sorry wrong auto correct.S/B – “(exacerbating) the situation”

      • T. K. Cupp October 15, 2014 / 5:58 am

        Yes, and ole abe (lower case used intentionally) also said,
        “we are all equal”
        NO, we are not..

        • Brooks D. Simpson October 19, 2014 / 12:36 pm

          Well, your answer suggests your own sense of inferiority, so I understand why you feel we are not all equal.

  15. Bill Starnes October 14, 2014 / 12:28 pm

    And, let us not forget the true history. In the 1850’s and early 1860’s, there was not one bill in Congress to end slavery. However, the Corwin amendment, proposed as the 13th amendment to the US Constitution, was also known as the slavery forever amendment. The proposed amendment passed the northern controlled House on 2/28/1861 and the northern controlled Senate on 03/02/1861, after 7 Southern States had left the union. President James Buchannan signed it on 03/03/1861, his last day in office, as a show of support. On 03/04/1861, in his first inaugural address, lieng lincoln said “…. the amendment now being implied Constitutional law, I have no objection to its being made permanent and irrevocable.” Very strong words of support. The wording of the amendment was “Congress will never have the authority to interfere with the institutions within the States, including those institutions holding persons to labor or service.” Permanent slavery was offered to the South to prevent them from seceding. The FACT that the offer was refused speaks volumes to the truth of history. It was not slavery, it was the damned morrill tariff. The northern controlled Congress could pass any bill they wished to pass, even a bill to end slavery. Instead, they passed a Constitutional amendment to make slavery permanent and a bill to more than double the tariff rates on the South. The very idea that the Southern States refused slavery forever on a silver platter and instead chose to fight a war to keep slavery is as stupid a proposition as one will ever hear.

    • Jimmy Dick October 14, 2014 / 3:35 pm

      The Morrill Tariff? The tariff that was bottled up in a Senate committee until the Lower South states seceded? The tariff that could not pass the Senate until the Lower South seceded? The tariff that is not mentioned in the secession declarations while slavery was?

      I suppose you think the people back in 1860/61 are stupid because they said it was about slavery.

  16. southronhomesteader October 14, 2014 / 12:45 pm

    “The question of treason is distinct from that of slavery, and it is the same that it would have been if free states, instead of slave states, had seceded.

    On the part of the North, the war was carried on not to liberate the slaves, but by a government that had always perverted and violated the Constitution to keep the slaves in bondage, and was still willing to do so if the slaveholders could be thereby induced to stay in the Union.

    The principle on which the war was waged by the North was simply this: that men may rightfully be compelled to submit to and support a government that they do not want, and that resistance on their part makes them traitors and criminals.”

    -Lysander Spooner


    • Jimmy Dick October 14, 2014 / 3:36 pm

      Look, someone uses the idiot site for their proof! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

      • chevelle1 October 14, 2014 / 7:40 pm

        It does not matter where the Spooner quote is written, it is still the truth.

        • Jimmy Dick October 14, 2014 / 9:55 pm

          Only if you believe in mythology.

        • southronhomesteader October 14, 2014 / 10:03 pm

          Mr. Dick surely is ignorant of both Mises.org and Lysander Spooner. I do have another quote from James Russell Lowell’s magazine The Atlantic Monthly:
          “Slavery is no longer the matter in debate, and we must beware of
          being led off upon that side-issue. The matter now in hand is the
          reestablishment of order, the reaffirmation of national unity, and the
          settling once for all whether there can be such a thing as a government
          without the right to use its power in self-defence.”


          If you scroll down to the article titled E PLURIBUS UNUM, from whence the quote came, and then farther down to the article titled _The Laws of Race, as connected with Slavery, you will find an accurate glimpse into the mindset of Northern politics and prejudices of the time.

          • Jimmy Dick October 15, 2014 / 5:40 am

            No, I’m not ignorant at all. Anyone who goes to mises is ignorant. There you can find people who ignore facts in favor of their ideology.

        • Nancy Winkler October 16, 2014 / 7:55 am

          Sure, Spooner said that. And a lot of other things. What you don’t understand is the context. Spooner was an anarchist. He didn’t have faith in ANY government. He was against this government and that government, etc. He did not tell the truth because he could not understand truth. He saw everything in a skewed way. Do a little homework on Spooner, not just a small quote taken out of context. You’ll see what kind of a nut job he was.

          • E.A. Mayer October 16, 2014 / 11:29 am

            Well, I don’t think I’ve meet a Neo-confederate who wasn’t a right-wing libertarian of some stripe or another and many of those think mistakenly that they are anarchists themselves. Of course they totally skew what anarchism means into absolute meaninglessness and ignore that anarchism is actually anti-capitalist like Spooner himself. Point out that they are quoting a socialist and their heads explode and they go into full denial mode. They also ignore what his solution was. What was his plan to end slavery? He thought that judges and the courts could just arbitrarily declare slavery illegal as if that was going to happen or pass judicial review and constitutionality tests. And at the same time he said that the South should have been left go, he promoted infiltration of the South to start slave insurrections and even devised a plan to kidnap Virginia’s governor to exchange for John Brown. He also ignorantly thought that there were loads of non-slave holders in the South that would side with the blacks there and rise up and that more John Brown’s should be sent South to fan the flames. So what did Spooner except? Violent uprisings from the totally subjugated and oppressed slaves and then the North interceding in that, which would just have led to the Civil War he claimed to oppose. Spooner was a fringe utopian socialist anarchist, fringe even for a socialist, who wanted the US to somehow go back in time to before the industrial revolution technologically, as only that would be how his unreal utopian society could work. And he also proposed that the age of consent for sex with a child should be ten. Spooner was living in a fantasy world that no longer existed and we could not go back to.

  17. Brady Fitts October 14, 2014 / 1:18 pm

    Why do we continue to fight this battle? These flags are part of our History and that cannot be changed. It doesn’t matter if you are from the North, South, East or West. What has hurt many in this Country today is being Politically Correct by not flying the flags of the Confederate States. It should not matter for it is both politically and historically correct to fly both. By flying both flags together, it shows that we are like our ancestors proud of our Country and its History, no matter what and we honor those who fought in the War. This War was not a proud time for this Country but it is our history. Our Great Grandfathers and Great, Great Grandfathers had reunions at Gettysburg where they marched side by side, flying the colors of both sides. Both Union and Confederate Veterans didn’t have a problem with flying these flags. They greeted each other with handshakes and hugs and talked for hours about where they were at Gettysburg and other fights. They didn’t have a problem seeing the memorials for Southern Soldiers flying the battle flag or any other flag associated with the Confederate States. They were all Americans under one flag and they all honored Union and Confederate flags.

  18. Noma October 14, 2014 / 1:45 pm

    Well, there are 2 additional perspectives. First, as David Blight (Race and Reunion) and so many others point out, there was a very significant portion of soldiers that was pushed off stage to make room for white ex-Confederates and white Union soldiers who “shook hands over the bloody chasm.” That segment of soldiers consisted of the men of the U.S. Colored troops.

    Naturally, anyone is very hesitant to make the comparison, but how can it be denied that this is like it would be if there were a World War II reunion, with U.S. troops flying American flags, and German troops flying Nazi flags — and the Holocaust survivors being pushed off the stage to make room for everyone else’s good feelings. But the difference is, it’s as if the Holocaust survivors had also fought in the great conflagration — at humungous cost — but their contribution was not admitted at all. Certainly the contribution of the USCT was pushed off stage in these reunions.

    Second, let’s remember that not everybody was happy with this love fest, including Sherman.

    Grenville Dodge recounts a conversation in 1884, with Grant’s son and Sherman soon after Grant was diagnosed with cancer. (Unfortunately, some segments have some editing problems, but the general idea comes through loud and clear.)


    Colonel Fred [Grant] said to General Sherman:

    “I think my father’s history tells more of what you did than your own Memoirs.”

    Sherman said:

    “Well, when Grant writes anything, we can all depend on getting the facts. When he writes and says himself what was done and what he saw, no soldiers need fear; but when others write what he does and says, it is not always so.”

    Colonel Fred said his father had been having considerable trouble with the publishers or editors of the magazine [Century Magazine] who were to publish the war articles — Shiloh, Vicksburg, Wilderness and Appomattox — that they had made his father very angry — they wanted him to changed the word “Rebel” in his article to “Confederate” and the world “Union” to “Federal.”

    He said that finally the General wrote a short letter, demanding that his articles be published as written. Fred further said that his father had written three articles but he did not believe that he would write any more. [Conversation was before Grant determined to write his Memoirs.]

    Sherman said:

    “This trying to soften treason by expunging the words of the General was wrong, and that if it kept on, pretty soon the sons of Southern soldiers would consider it as much of an honor that their fathers fought under Lee as the sons of Union soldiers that their fathers fought under Grant; that the line of Union and Rebel, of loyal and treason, should be kept always distinct.”

    I [Grenville Dodge] answered:

    “As long as our veterans live it will be; but the tendency all the time is, to wipe out history, to forget it, forgive, excuse and soften, and when all the soldiers pass from this age it will be easy to slip into the idea, that one side was as good as another.”

    Sherman said:

    “It was a conspiracy until Sumpter was fired upon: after that, a Rebellion.”

    Grenville Dodge – Personal Recollections of President Abraham Lincoln, General Ulysses S. Grant and General William T. Sherman – p. 111

    • chevelle1 October 14, 2014 / 7:44 pm

      The written words of Lincoln and the Union government indict themselves that they were the instigators of that war. Read about it in “Truth Of The War Conspiracy” by Johnstone, pub. 1921 The conspirators were led by Lincoln and his Secretary of State.

      • Brooks D. Simpson October 14, 2014 / 8:31 pm

        Given that Seward was against confrontation with the Confederacy, this assertion is funny.

        • chevelle1 October 16, 2014 / 8:19 pm

          You didn’t read the reference. Go back and read it, then compare the government dispatches in the book with the government archives — perfect match. I win.

    • Robert M. Peters October 18, 2014 / 10:54 am

      Of course, the South was not the Nazis. You not so subtly employ a fallacy in your argument. The one wanted to employ such a fallacy, it would better fit Lincoln, the Republicans and the Union. Secondly, who is Sherman that one should be mindful of his opinion. He hated blacks and he hated Indians.

  19. OhioGuy October 14, 2014 / 2:35 pm

    Good post! Frederick Douglass said much the same thing:

    “There was a right side and a wrong side in the late war, which no sentiment ought to cause us to forget, and while to-day we should have malice toward none, and charity toward all, it is no part of our duty to confound right with wrong.”

    • Noma October 14, 2014 / 5:17 pm

      Even better — thanks, Ohio guy!

      Also, I’m not personally saying that any version of the Confederate flag has no proper place. Certainly even the Nazi flag has an appropriate place — in certain historical or dramatic contexts.

      But the idea of, “Why do folks take offense at the Confederate flag?” seems pretty outdated. There are thousands of good reasons to take offense at the Confederate flag.

      • Robert M. Peters October 18, 2014 / 10:47 am

        Your post is made up of hyperbole and ad hominem and naught else.

    • Robert M. Peters October 18, 2014 / 10:49 am

      You give no evidence about the right or the wrong side. You simply pronounce that the side which won the war is the right side. On what deep moral principles do you base your judgment? Please do not site Enlightenment abstractions, for they are not deep moral principles.

      • OhioGuy October 18, 2014 / 9:42 pm

        That was a quote from Frederick Douglass. Why do you think he called the Union side the right side and the Confederate side the wrong side? If you can’t figure that one out, I think you are out of your league in this debate.

  20. Charles Saunders October 14, 2014 / 7:28 pm

    When you start using terms like “RACIST GROUPS” (everyone was “RACIST” (whatever that means) then and thought nothing about it and had no “HANG-UPS” about SLAVERY EITHER ) and the CBF has THIS “KIND OF BAGGAGE” from being used by “Racist Groups” or quoting DICTATOR ABE Lincoln (his own assistant secretary of WAR was a close friend of Karl Marx) or some ABOLITIONISTS (THEY were rightly called “RED REPUBLICANS” at that time) as if they were gospel every time they opened their mouth or reverentially mentioning FDR and his ilk ( FDR told Martin Dies of HUAC: “Some of my best friends are Communists”) and his GENOCIDAL WAR to give EUROPE to “UNCLE JOE” and the HOLOHOAX LIE plus 15 Million Germans dispossessed and murdered…….then YOU-ALL are brainwashed total nitwits and already 2/3’s in the Enemy CAMP. SCREW DICTATOR-IN-CHIEF ABE LINCOLN and his first VICE-PRESIDENT (an ABOLITIONIST MELUNGEON) and all the SACROSANCT members of “YANKEE DOODLE NIGGERISM” like the BUSHES, FDR ,TRUMAN (with (RED) ANNA ROSENBERG as Assistant Secretary of DEFENCE), IKE ( his brother, Milton, like Eleanor Roosevelt had a 100 COMMIE Fronts to his name) and now COMRADE OBOZO (4th cousin, twice removed of “Give-em’-HELL” HARRY SOLOMON TRUMAN). WHY don’t Y’ALL join something more like “LA RAZA” or “NAACP” or B’NAI-B’RITH (or give-even- the ADL your membership lists) ……………. B’nai-B’rith was created in 1843 by HENRY JONAS a cousin of ABRAHAM JONAS, real discoverer of and BOSS of “HONEST ABE” in ILLINOIS ………YOU would all fit in so much better into “MODERN” “MULTI-RACIAL” America now being formed into NWO “NORTH AMERICAN UNION”. WE DON’T need to remember the CONFEDERACY or its FLAGS…….LET THEM ALL GO DOWN THE “MEMORY HOLE”. After all, we don’t want to be ( OY VEH) “DENIERS”. ADMIT it NOW…..WE NOW LIVE IN “OCEANIA”. LET’s ALL ” GO along to get along and let’s go with FLOW ” like the FREE SPIRITED -“ONE-UP”- HIPPIES once did !

    • Burner October 15, 2014 / 6:59 am

      Jerry Dunford? Is that you?

  21. OhioGuy October 15, 2014 / 12:17 pm

    Well, Lincoln was a commie pinko and Jeff Davis was Sir Lancelot trying to slay the Red Dragon and preserve true democracy so that the world would be safe. Now I finally see the light. Thanks for the revealing educational lesson. The things they don’t teach you in school! 😉

    • OhioGuy October 15, 2014 / 8:44 pm

      P.S. Does anyone know who Al Benson Jr. is? I stumbled upon his blog and he preaches this same Yankee Pinko theory and also believes the crackpot theory that Stanton was somehow implicated in Lincoln’s assassination. Personally, I like U.S. General Thomas Maley Harris’ theory that it was a Roman plot. After all John Wilkes Booth was a devout Roman Catholic — as were many of the other conspirators — and clearly an agent of the Pope. General Harris wrote a huge tome about this Roman plot proving it beyond the shade of a doubt. 😉

      • Andy Hall October 16, 2014 / 6:22 am

        Benson is a far-right political conspiracy theorist who believes that the United States is controlled by Valerie Jarrett on behalf of her handlers at Bilderburg and the Rothschilds. He wrote a book with Walter Kennedy on Lincoln’s Marxist plot. He’s sort of a homespun DiLorenzo, hopped up on five-hour energy drinks.

      • Christopher Shelley October 16, 2014 / 8:53 am

        What Andy said. I’ve been visiting his blog, offering mild critiques like “Actually, that assertion is wrong,” and stuff like that. I’m waiting to see how he responds.

      • OhioGuy October 16, 2014 / 11:20 am

        Thanks, Andy. Homespun DiLorenzo — now that’s a thought that makes my head spin. I don’t think even DiLorenzo ever accused Lincoln or Stanton of being a Marxist, did he? So, this guy’s even more fringe than DiLorenzo. That’s saying a lot, IMHO.

      • chevelle1 October 16, 2014 / 8:20 pm

        Al knows his facts, he researches heavily and then writes the truth. People who disagree with him haven’t studied much.

        • OhioGuy October 16, 2014 / 9:43 pm

          Facts? Edwin Stanton was complicit in the assassination of Lincoln? Lincoln’s cabinet was full of communists? Benson may research heavily, but he clearly doesn’t know how to do research and how to weed out unreliable sources from those that are reliable. You can find many sources that say that Jefferson Davis at the end of the war disguised himself as a female and wore a dress to try to elude capture. This is false, as good historical research done competently will reveal, but I can find many contemporary sources that make this claim and state it as fact.

        • Jimmy Dick October 16, 2014 / 10:03 pm

          Looks like a new name for the same old Waterboy.

        • Christopher Shelley October 17, 2014 / 9:06 am

          I’ve not seen much evidence of research, other than sampling from various Internet articles–articles that are no better sourced than his.

  22. Charles Lovejoy October 15, 2014 / 5:19 pm

    Just wanted to remind every body that GWTW is romantic fiction. I grew up in the area it was about, was told all my life it was fiction.

  23. Bill Starnes October 17, 2014 / 4:31 pm

    According to the Congressional Record, as reported for the date of January 12, 1847, lincoln had this to say:
    “Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable, a most sacred right, a right, which we hope and believe, is to liberate the world.”
    Now, would you like to debate on a respectful level and agree to dis-agree agreeably? In his own words, your man, lincoln, agreed with the coming Confederacy. It was only fear of losing a huge tax base that changed his opinion.

      • Bill Starnes October 17, 2014 / 6:26 pm

        Yes, sir, I am entitled to it. Just as you are entitled to your opinions. And we are both entitled to espouse our opinions.

      • Robert M. Peters October 17, 2014 / 7:35 pm

        Mr. Simpson,

        What Mr. Starnes stated is fact. Mr. Lincoln said that. You can find it the library or you can google it. It is not Mr. Starnes mere opinion.

        • Brooks D. Simpson October 17, 2014 / 10:39 pm

          Read his entire comment. It’s more than a Lincoln quote. Mr.Starnes reached into his Lost Cause playbook and declared: “In his own words, your man, lincoln, agreed with the coming Confederacy. It was only fear of losing a huge tax base that changed his opinion.” That’s an opinion … not a fact. Even he admits that. Are you calling him a liar?

          • Robert M. Peters October 18, 2014 / 10:36 am

            Mr. Simpson,

            Your response to my response makes no sense.

    • Jimmy Dick October 17, 2014 / 6:45 pm

      Once again you bring up revenue and ignore the fact that the North collected far more revenue in ONE port than the entire south combined times a factor of ten. The North did not need the revenue from the South. The entire argument about revenue and the tariff has been thoroughly dismantled and rejected. Only lost cause idiots keep bringing it up because they have nothing else to go on and the truth hurts.

    • Christopher Shelley October 18, 2014 / 3:02 pm

      Well, no, Lincoln most certainly did not “agree with the coming Confederacy.” As I’ve said elsewhere: Lincoln is here discussing the Right to Revolution, which is a natural right that a people have ONLY in time of tyranny. What occurred in 1860 did not rise to the level of tyranny. I recommend that you go over a larger body of Lincoln’s work, especially closer to 1860. His First Inaugural is instructive.

      To ask a question: Bill, what is your evidence that Lincoln only changed his mind because of a “fear of losing a huge tax base”? I have heard this opinion expressed before, but I have never seen any actual evidence to back it up.

  24. Christopher Shelley October 17, 2014 / 6:13 pm

    Bill Starnes: and I appreciate your thoughtful comment above. I do, of course, have some responses. First you say:

    “It is, in the final analysis, an opinion of the author.”

    Well, yes. But, as I tell my students, there’s a world of difference between mere “opinion” and an “interpretation.” Opinions are assertions one does not feel the need to support with facts. Interpretations are assertions based on a reasonable interpretation of the facts—in the case of history, the primary sources. And I find this interpretation by Prof. Sandefur compelling because the evidence is irrefutable: Madison & Co. did indeed intend to create a sovereign government under the Constitution. And a sovereign, by definition, cannot be divided up against its will. And so, logically, secession is inconceivable. The evidence conclusively shows that John C. Calhoun’s “compact theory” was simply wrong.

    Now, I freely concede that many Southerners felt that they had this right. But many more thousands—even millions—of Americans did not understand the Constitution that way, and rejected it.

    “The author compares secession and revolution. I believe that is mere semantics.”

    I profoundly disagree, but this has more room for argument. As Prof. Sandefur points out, the American Revolutionaries cited the Right to Revolution, which is one of Locke’s key natural rights (along with life, liberty and property). They fully and totally rejected the right of the Sovereign—in their case, the King and Parliament—to rule over them once those Sovereigns had violated the natural rights of the colonists. This is a radically different thing altogether. Southern slaveholders did NOT cite the right to revolution, because they feared the implications: they would not support Locke and Jefferson so long as “liberty” was one of the natural rights. So they fell back on a different idea, one of secession. And secession, as Sandefur points out, is illegal. So no, this is not semantics, but rather the entire Enlightenment underpinning of the Anglo-American tradition of popular sovereignty.

    “Secession by the Southern States was not the first time secession was brought up in America, after our Constitution was ratified….The New England States threatened secession, if I remember correctly, 3 times….So, before any Southern State left the union, northern States had threatened the same on more than one occasion. That leads me to believe there were many in this great Nation during those years that believed a State had a right to cancel their membership.”

    I don’t disagree. But those who thought they had that right were still wrong—North or South. Please, do not for a moment that I have a Yankee dog in this fight. I don’t now nor never have considered this a “North vs. South” issue. This is an issue of history: what happened and why. I believe secession was unconstitutional because that’s what the evidence shows me; not because I come from the “North” (which I don’t—I’m originally from Southern California).

    “As to the difference between revolution and secession, lincoln seemed to be of the same line of thought as the author of the article you included.”

    Yes, correct, absolutely! Lincoln was a HUGE believer in natural rights. That’s why he hated slavery, because he saw it as a violation of the natural right of liberty. That’s why he states unequivocally his support for the right of revolution. But he too makes the key distinction between revolution and secession.

    “When he issued the emancipation proclamation, he did not reference either secession or revolution. He referred to ‘those States now in rebellion.’”

    Yes—as Commander-in-Chief, he was obligated to uphold the Constitution and put down the rebellion. A long year+ of fruitless war convinced him that emancipation was essential to doing his duty of putting down the rebellion and thus preserving the Constitution.

    “The author differs secession from revolution by saying revolution would only apply if the South had been defending herself, rather than attacking a federal installation. Lets give him that. The Confederacy DID have an armistice with the Buchannan administration. It forbade the Confederates from attacking those installations and forbade the north from re-enforcing them. lincoln violated that armistice when he put troops into Ft Pickens, Florida, under the cover of darkness.”

    Regardless of Buchanan, the Lincoln administration refused to let any state illegally steal federal property. I must say I don’t find the details of the Fort Sumter climax terribly relevant to the overall principles involved. 1) Secession was illegal; 2) Lincoln was correct in rejecting it; 3) Lincoln was equally correct in putting the “insurrection” down. Yes, he did indeed manipulate SC into firing the first shot, but that’s a political thing, not an issue of principle. If secession is illegal, then the notion that the seceded states could legally confiscate federal forts is illogical in the extreme.

    Feel free to accuse me of skating around this issue. There are at minimum five different commenters here who are more well-versed on this issue, and I’m certain will happily give you chapter-and-verse on the technical aspects of ‘who officially started hostilities’ based on the various machinations of Buchanan et al.

    “The Confederacy did not attack any additional forts.”

    Well, I would argue that it only takes one. When SC fired on Sumter, that’s open rebellion, and all bets are off.

    “Congress was in recess. That was in April, lincoln did not call Congress back into session to decide how to best proceed. He declared war. Congress got back to town in July.”

    Yes. But he acted in the face of an unprecedented Constitutional emergency, and his excuse that there was no time to wait for Congress is convincing to me. And, most important, Congress ok’d all of Lincoln’s emergency actions, which implies strongly that most Americans did as well.

    “Now, aside from all that, what was lincolns position on secession? Let him speak for himself. According to the Congressional Record, as reported for the date of January 12, 1847, he had this to say:

    ‘Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable, a most sacred right, a right, which we hope and believe, is to liberate the world.’ Yep, he said that. So he supported secession. Look it up.”

    I have. And I don’t deny he said it. But he is referring to the right to revolution outlined by Locke. As I said, there is a fundamental difference between revolution and secession.

    “You seem to be an intelligent person, capable of doing your own research and reaching your own conclusions. I only suggest you do more research with a more open mind.”

    Always. That’s my job. I have come to these conclusions because I find overwhelming evidence in their favor. But the distinction between revolution and secession is not one of semantics. And so, the seceding states would have to show cause if they were invoking the right of revolution. But none of their rights—natural nor Constitutional—were being violated by the majority, so that removes any possible justification.

    “Do not look for proof you are right. Seek proof you may be wrong. Thanks again for your comments and for providing the article.”

    I will, I promise. Historians, like scientists, are required to test their interpretations to be sure they are accurate. And thank you for the civil argument.

    • Michael Rodgers October 18, 2014 / 3:52 am

      Chris, nice job except one word — you don’t mean “manipulate” but outsmart or something, because the choice to fire on Ft. Sumter was made by Jefferson Davis. Lincoln made a chess move and Davis (I won’t call him davis because that’s childish) made the decision to fire on Ft. Sumter to start the war.

      Bill’s assertion that Buchanan’s nonintervention policy meant that the USA had an armistice with the Confederacy is absurd. The USA never recognized the Confederacy as a legitimate foreign government. Also, Buchanan thought secession was wrong. Even he did not accept the CSA as a foreign nation. Buchanan — and Lincoln for that matter — was willing to put up with a lot of hostility from the secession-declaring states. Buchanan didn’t think the federal government was justified in sending troops during his presidency. He thought all this hostility from the secession-declaring states would work itself out without war and with the nation intact. He was still interested in expanding to bring Cuba in as a slave state, etc.

    • Michael Rodgers October 18, 2014 / 4:26 am

      Buchanan was still operating on the parity model where his goal was to keep the number of free states and slave states equal. That’s the model he knew and worked hard to perpetuate. Buchanan saw all the secession documents and everything in that light, as hardball politics that would settle down when parity was restored.

      Lincoln rejected the parity model and operated on a no new slave state model. Lincoln believed that, because of the 3/5 compromise, slave states had more federal power in the parity model than they ought to on a voting-population base. Lincoln didn’t want slavery to expand into the territories.

      Both Lincoln and Buchanan had the same opinion of the declarations and ordinances of secession, and it’s the same opinion I have of the state sovereignty resolutions of 2009-2010: The legal effect of these documents is exactly zero.

  25. Elizabeth Del Greco October 19, 2014 / 12:02 pm

    Who wrote this stupid blog? The writer is as arrogant as he is ignorant.

    • Brooks D. Simpson October 19, 2014 / 12:25 pm

      How are you doing with your anger issues?

      Thanks for returning.

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