Saturday, September 16, 2006

My Question is "Why is He Doing It?"

A High School Senior, Brian Wendt, from Swartz Creek Michigan is having a little conflict with his school board right now. He flew two Confederate Flags from his pick up truck while on school grounds and when he failed to take them down the school confiscated them. Now he is fighting for "his right" to fly the Confederate Flag.

My problem is why is he so concerned about that flag. What does it mean to him. It means different things to different people.

I see the Confederate Flag as a symbol of limiting federal power over the state governments and allowing the states to manage their own affairs. In the flags in my blog I almost included it as a symbol of limiting the power of the federal government (as I do believe very strongly that the states are sovereign over their internal affairs -- a Constitutional concept - the 10th amendment -- that has been ignored for too long.) However, I knew it would misunderstood by some so I chose not to include it. The thing is I made this choice willingly but no one should be forced to.

Some see the Confederate flag as a symbol of southern culture and a way of life distinct from the northern states.

Others see it as a symbol of white supremacy. Sadly the courts have allowed this interpretation to trump all others, and they should not be allowed to.

So far I have seen no hint of why young Mr. Wendt is so enamoured of that flag. If he loves for benign reasons then people need to understand that. If he is flying it for racist reasons then he needs to be dealt with as a racist. The school district needs to find out and understand just what that flag means to him. What if he had ancestors who died under that flag? Does he have the right to honor his own ancestors -- if that is the case?

People need to understand that the Confederate Flag means different things to different people. Seeing it only as a symbol of racism and failing to see its racial significance are equal but opposite errors and are equal examples of political tunnel vision. People on both sides need to broaden their minds a little bit.

I once knew a man who was far to the left on the political spectrum and he told me that the Civil War was fought only to encourage northern domination over the southern economy and slavery had nothing to do with it, but Lincoln freed the slaves to create economic chaos in the south. He felt this way because it fit his worldview that no white man ever helped a black man. I asked him that if that was the case, why did he consider the Confederate Flag racist and he replied "That's what it means today, not what it meant 120 years ago". (the conversation took place @ 1980)


Blogger Lone Pony said...

My cousin wears stars and bars underwear. lol No, really, he's some kind of officer in Sons of Confederate Soldiers. I can only imagine what he would do if he got hold of this story. Probably drive to Michigan and start some kind of rally to support this kid.

The Confederate Flag is a common sight around here and in Mississippi where our parents came from.

Our school also has a policy that you cannot show that flag because of the racial trouble it starts.

6:40 AM  
Blogger gawfer said...

You know what 'Rat? This was a great post. I was very interested in your comment about the 10th ammendment. I believe I'll reread that again.

Well done, bro. well done indeed

10:49 AM  
Blogger Skip said...

It seems if something bothers a few people lets make an issue of it... the meanings behind things change, unless you keep up with all the trends, what you say or do today may offend someone tomm.
PC is a sign of weakness

12:11 PM  
Blogger The Conservative UAW Guy said...

Some people will always find something to be offended by.

3:12 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

Well, I'm sure that the Swastika means different things to different people, too. It means something very viceral to a Jew. I'm sure blacks find the Stars and Bars to symbolize the oppession of slavery.
Personally, both are looking to be offended, so you'll do it this way or that.
How would you feel if someoe walked around wearing a sheet?

7:47 PM  
Blogger Gayle said...

Shoprat, people in Texas fly the Confederate Flag a lot, right under the American Flag. Sometimes they fly it alone. No one has a problem with it. And you are absolutely right in saying it means different things to different people. I actually know a black family who flies the Confederate flag. When I asked why they said they just like the way it looks. Go figure! :)

9:38 PM  
Blogger armed_and_christian said...

The "Bonnie Blue" flag is a far more appropriate way to emphasize States' rights.

While I do not agree with the decision of the school the kid needs to be pimp-slapped for being such an a-hole.

10:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With it being Constitution Day I'm glad to see a good reference on it. I believe I'll go take a look at 10th amendement myself...

11:19 PM  
Anonymous Seth said...

Me, too...

States' Rights were the primary concern of the Founding Fathers -- had states' rights to handle their own internal affairs not been firmly agreed upon beforehand, they would have gone no further in creating the U.S.A.

11:43 AM  
Blogger Bushwack said...

Well Shop, I fly the confederate flag on my blog and at home. It represents a southern culture that I'm a proud part of. If it offends someone, too freakin bad. A lot of things offend me and I have to live with it, so should everyone else. Tolerance is a two way street.

3:56 AM  
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