Random Western Nebraska
Tuttle Creek Lake 2015

Rebels and Rainbows

Heritage or hate?  I don't hate the rebel flag.  I don't hate the people who use it to symbolize who they are.  Just as I don't mind Christians who say the Rainbow is God's promise or the Gays who use it as a sign of unity for the LGBT community.   We use symbols as something easy to recognize to draw us together as people.   This is "my people"- my tribe, my symbol.  There are symbols everywhere in society.   Corporate trademarks are easily recognized symbols that are used to gain our attention, such as McDonald's "Golden Arches."  

Marlow Independence Day Parade 2015-92

If this flag offends you, you need a history lesson.    I disagree.  This Rebel Flag that the confederacy uses does not represent everyone.   It does not represent "America"-  It briefly represented the southern states and has stayed around as an icon for that period of strife.  In contemporary terms for those of us who had ancestors who fought and died for the South; it doesn't represent our oppression.  But for African-Americans and the descendants of the people who were oppressed under the rule of slavery this flag is not a unifier.   This flag does have meaning, it is a symbol.  I often just have brushed it off as being a "Southern Redneck" thing.  I haven't given it much thought or questioned it.  I've viewed it flying over Confederate Cemeteries and battlefields.   But I never thought or questioned it because it was just the way it is.    But much could be said of the American flag for Native Americans, yet it still is our country.  

Marlow Independence Day Parade 2015-341

But, if you think about it, this flag does not reflect all southerners. It does reflect the struggle of states versus the federalism, and that's all.  But, we are a better world for the South losing.   We are a better society without slavery. 

Marlow Independence Day Parade 2015-273

But I do not think this symbol needs to be flying above state capitols in 2015.  It did not need to be flying above the state capitols in 1866.  It did not need to be flying over the states in 1964 when the Civil Rights Act was passed.  But, it doesn't need to be banned.  Education is key in creating understanding.  Yes, many people of Southern heritage can look at our family trees and see that we lost Great-Great Grandfathers to this terrible war.   I knew that I would see the rebel flag at yesterday's parade.  This flag is just something that somehow got left out of the Civil Rights movement.  It should have been fought against many years ago but when you're fighting for the right to eat at the same lunch counters, go to the same schools, and drink from the same fountains, fighting over a flag is not at the top of your priorities.  I am glad we are to the point that this awareness is being brought.  I know my heritage, I still don't hate this flag, but it does not represent everyone.  If a flag is flying over a state capitol it should represent all of the citizens in that state.   

The rainbow doesn't represent me religiously or sexually.  Yet, I do not begrudge the use of the symbol by Christians or Gays.  That is another issue that is worthy of discussion.  If your answer to an argument is that something is illegal just look back to 1967 when people were fighting for their right for interracial marriage.  Love is love, was an issue then just as it is now.  With time comes acceptance and I, for one am grateful that individuals are given the right to marry who they choose. We will only move forward on other important government issues when we can quit dividing ourselves with social issues.  We can't begin to address our government shortfalls when we are fighting over symbols and people's private lives.  

I do not understand fighting to keep someone from a right that you already have? Unjust laws have always existed, isn't it time to change them?  Mind your own business and religion, it is not your job to tell others how to think, feel or believe or live their lives.  Don't ban things, think.   

 

 

Comments

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_crookedcrosses

Pretty good words, Joy. I'm one of those guys who likes the rainbow because of God, and I've never thought that gay people were trying to take anything away from me because of their flag.

I'm not a Confederate Flag person. My people come from Ohio, and whoever was alive at the time of the Civil War fought for the North. I'm glad the flag is coming down from public property. I don't think it should be flying above government buildings or on state property. But I don't like the erasure of it that's happening in the media. Canceled reruns, products pulled from store shelves, and NASCAR too? I think we are over reacting, and those people who want to fly the flag now, will be doing so out of a frustration of being told "You shouldn't fly that flag" - with the only explanation as to why is because some person they will never meet will have hurt feelings.

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