Tag Archives: Confederate Flag

Historians Discuss Confederate Monuments

(May 26, 2018) The YouTube below is a panel discussion about Confederate Monuments from the Sacramento convention of the Organization of American Historians earlier this month. Ed Ayers of the University of Richmond moderates three panel members: John Kuo Wei Then, Turkiya Lowe and Christy Coleman. Ayers is Chairman Emeritus of Richmond University, Wei Then is with New York University, Lowe is the chief historian for the National Park Service, and Coleman is CEO of the American Civil War museum, which is the successor to the Museum of the Confederacy.

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Four points prevail.

First, none of the participants were sympathetic to Confederate symbols. It was an almost entirely one-sided presentation. The Southern viewpoint was ignored on the dais except when Coleman revealed three reasons that Southern proponents had shared with her to explain why they felt the monuments should remain.

Second, all participants generally wanted the statues either removed, or left in place accompanied by new, explanatory stone-and-bronze markers or some other form of “interpretation.” Naturally, panel members seemed to expect that they, and others who think like them, will provide the interpretations.

Third, all explanations for removing the monuments boiled-down to race. Coleman did add, however, that the statues should also be removed because they celebrate “traitors.” But even in that case her argument devolved to race when she opined that Southerners were exercising white privilege when they initially erected their monuments.

Fourth, Lowe and Coleman are young and likely to hold their offices for decades to come. Notwithstanding that Coleman runs a private museum, they are typical of Deep State agenda-driven government employees who expect to control matters pertinent to their domains even as different Presidents come and go. Consider, for example, that despite the opinions of the panel members, a recent survey of readers of the Civil War Trust’s Hallowed Ground magazine strongly favored keeping Confederate monuments in place. 

In addition to the above, Ayers and Coleman made erroneous or egregiously misleading statements.

One happened when Ayers commented that last summer’s Charlottesville riot accelerated the statue-removal trend after white supremacists tried to appropriate the Lee statue. First, he implied that the violence was mostly caused by the heavily outnumbered white supremacists instead of the far more violent  and much larger mob of protestors and Antifa members. Second, while he may have accurately said that a young lady was in a peaceful group when a white supremacist ran her down and killed her with his car, Ayers wrongly leaves the impression that most of the Charlottesville violence originated with the white supremacists instead of the protestors and Antifa.

The second falsehood was Coleman’s claim that Southerners have been increasingly using  public lands to hoist giant Confederate flags along the heavily travelled portions of Interstate-95 Highway in the South. In truth, most of the flags are located on private property.

 

 

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Black Family Refuses to Condemn Confederate Flag

(May 9, 2018) “Ed” is a forty year resident of a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania suburb who sequentially flies various flags from a pole on his property. Often it is the American flag and sometimes a “Steelers”  or other flag. Recently, however, he hoisted a Confederate flag. That prompted neighbor Beth Bowles to contact a Pittsburgh television affiliate (WTAE) of ABC Broadcasting because she considered the flag hateful.

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WTAE leapt like a $100 prostitute at a $1,000 offer to send a television crew to Ed’s house in order to shame him into taking it down. Ed explained his long-standing practice to alternate the flags he hoists. As for the “stainless banner” he flew Ed said, “It’s history. To me, it’s nothing about racism. It’s history.” The WTAE article never clarifies whether Ed had previously hoisted a Confederate flag.

When the WTAE news crew realized that Ed had little to say, they interviewed a next-door neighbor. They chose a black homeowner named Corey Harris who has lived next to Ed for years. Corey said the flags are not meant to be racist, and the owner [Ed] switches them out with a lot of different flags throughout the year. “This [Ed] is like my father. He has different flags he puts up, like the Steelers flag and Pirates flag,” Harris said. I applaud Corey for thinking for himself instead of caving in to politically correct pressures.

Oooops, for social justice warriors Beth Bowles and WTAE.

Why Many Southerners Still Honor Confederate Symbols

(May 5, 2018) “History with Hilbert” is a YouTube vlogger with 77,000 subscribers who does a good job in the twenty minute video below of explaining why Southerners still hold their own memory of the Civil War. While I disagree with some of his points, Hilbert demonstrates a lucid understanding of the Southern viewpoint to which monument-destroying politicians and public mobs are ignorant. Hilbert’s video has been viewed more that half a million times.

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Perhaps because he is a Dutchman, Hilbert “gets it” far better than the vast majority of America’s present academic historians and their acolytes who have too often been poisoned by the dominant anti-Southern teachings of the last thirty years. Hilbert’s comprehension is particularly impressive considering that nearly all of his other videos are about the history Europe and other parts of the World. But, again, it is probably his broader perspective that enables him to objectively comprehend America’s Civil War.

Okinawa Confederate Flag: A Grandson’s Viewpoint

(April 1, 2018) Five days ago I posted an article citing Eugene Sledge’s With the Old Breed that stated the first American flag to fly over the conquered Japanese fortress at Shuri Castle during the World War II battle of Okinawa was the Confederate battle flag. Sledge, who was present, wrote:

Earlier in the morning [of May 29, 1945] . . . Marines had attacked eastward into the rains of Shuri Castle and had raised the Confederate flag. When we learned that the flag of the Confederacy had been hoisted over the very heart and soul of Japanese resistance, all of us Southerners cheered loudly. The Yankees among us grumbled . . .

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Since Sledge was an Alabaman, I additionally noted that Professor Greg Grandin of New York University wrote in an article about Confederate symbols: “In World War II . . . the first flag Marines raised upon taking the [Okinawa] headquarters of the Japanese Imperial Army was the Confederate one. It had been carried into battle in the helmet of a captain from South Carolina.”

The battle of Okinawa began seventy-three years ago today, which was also an Easter Sunday. Several sources such as The Marine Corps Association & Foundation report that South Carolina Marine Captain Julius Dusenberg raised the flag. But the captain’s grandson, Stuart Moore, reveals a more complete and interesting story.

The origin of this photo is unknown.

First, the captain’s correct name was Julian Dusenbury. He was the Executive Officer of cadets at Clemson University in December 1941. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor he led a group of students in a patriotic demonstration on the lawn of the University President’s house to proclaim that they would leave school to enlist. Southerners have long been among the most willing to serve in the American army. Dusenbury’s grandson, Stuart, was among them. Even today forty percent of our troops come from the South as compared to fifteen percent from the Northeast.

Second, the captain led the assault that captured Shuri Castle, the last major Japanese stronghold on the island. “The night prior to the assault . . .  Julian crawled through mud, over bodies, and sneaked past Japanese sentries nine times to drag back boxes of ammunition through enemy lines to his men.” During the wiping up process a sniper shot him, putting him in a wheelchair for his remaining thirty years. After he was evacuated, his men found the Confederate flag in his helmet. Since “they had no formal US colors to fly they flew my grandfather’s, in part to show their victory but also to show their love and respect for their ‘skipper.'” Journalist Ernie Pyle commented upon this affection for Dusenbury in one of his books.

Third, according to his grandson Stuart, the captain “was put up for the Medal of Honor. . .  but even in 1945 political correctness” about the Confederate flag blocked it. Instead, he received the Navy Cross but never bemoaned or regretted his failure to get the Medal of Honor.

Fourth, Dusenbury “returned to South Carolina where he was elected to the state legislature . . . and died in 1976. Although he was [incorrectly] attributed with the controversial flag raising. . . he went to his grave saying he preferred being known [even erroneously] for flying the Confederate banner, over winning our nation’s highest honor.”

As Carlos Eire put it in Waiting for Snow in Havana, “Show me history untouched by memories and you show me lies. Show me lies not based on memories and you show me the worst lies of all.”

Which Historian Cares About the Truth?

(March 26, 2018) Last month at his Dead Confederates blog, Andy Hall posted the following:

“If you follow the debates over the public display of the Confederate Battle Flag online, you’ve likely seen this image (right), purportedly showing a World War II Marine in the Pacific. Why, the argument goes, if the Confederate flag was good enough for the Greatest Generation, are you precious librul snowflakes all up in arms about it?”

(Evidently he intentionally misspelled “liberal” to imply that anyone who believes that American troops sometimes displayed the Confederate Battle flag is necessarily on the political Right, and a dimwit.)

Next Hall correctly explains that the image was probably altered with digital photo editing software like Adobe’s PhotoShop. It appears that the Confederate flag in the above image was inserted into a June 1, 1945 photo of a Marine placing the Stars-and-Stripes on a conquered Japanese defensive position at Okinawa. Hall finally concludes, “I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: if you have to make up phony evidence to support your “heritage,” it’s not worth saving.”

Nick Sacco re-posted Hall’s analysis at his “Exploring the Past” blog and commented, “It might help [the photo corrupter] to take a training session on using photoshop (sic.) before attempting to make lame ‘heritage’ memes. Great work from Andy Hall.” Sacco is a Ranger at the Ulysses Grant National Historic Site in St. Louis and thereby an employee of the Federal Government. As he explains in this Journal of the Civil War Era article he sees no reason why items displaying the Confederate flag should be sold in Civil War museum gifts shops.

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Nonetheless, anyone seeking the truth can find significant evidence that American soldiers sometimes displayed the Confederate Battle flag while in uniform and in battlefield areas. Here are nine such photos. Perhaps one reason the flag was shown is that even today forty percent of American military recruits are Southerners whereas only fifteen percent are from the Northeast.

Evidently without the benefit of Hall’s certainty that the “phony evidence” of a Confederate Battle flag at Okinawa implies the “heritage” of such heroics “is not worth saving,” Sean Michael Chick independently reflected on the matter at his Ongoing Civil War blog. Chick had been reading Eugene Sledge’s With the Old Breed, which was a source for Ken Burns’ PBS series on World War II titled, The War. Sledge, who was among the Marines fighting the Japanese at Okinawa, wrote:

Earlier in the morning [of May 29, 1945] . . . Marines had attacked eastward into the ruins of Shuri Castle and had raised the Confederate flag. When we learned that the flag of the Confederacy had been hoisted over the very heart and soul of Japanese resistance, all of us Southerners cheered loudly. The Yankees among us grumbled . . .

The date is important because Hall admits that the photo he identifies as digitally altered was taken three days later on June 1, 1945. Moreover, according to Professor Greg Grandin of New York University, “In World War II . . . the first flag Marines raised upon taking the [Okinawa] headquarters of the Japanese Imperial Army was the Confederate one. It had been carried into battle in the helmet of a captain from South Carolina.”

Robert Krick on Confederate Monuments

(January 26, 2018) In the excerpt below Civil War author Robert Krick offers pithy comments about those who want to remove, or destroy, Confederate monuments.

Krick then lobs a dead cat into the moral reformer worship service: “It is impossible to imagine a United States in the current atmosphere that does not include zealots eager to obliterate any culture not precisely their own, destroying monuments in the fashion of Soviets after a purge and antiquities in the manner of ISIS. The trend is redolent of the misery that inundated the planet during the aptly named Dark Ages, arising from savages who believed, as a matter of religion in that instance, that anyone with opinions different from their own was not just wrong, but craven and evil, and must be brutalized into conformity.”

The above is excepted from Old Virginia Blog, which is excerpted from the October, 2017 issue of Civil War Times.

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