• 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16

    Nearly added my two cents worth a couple of times, but been held back by whether a Brit should involve himself in America’s angst.

    Nevertheless here goes ….

    The deeper question is the rift in your great nation and how it might be healed. The fate of a flag seems much less important, no matter how loved or hated it is. If banning the flag meant a better future for the US then many would presumably accept that unwelcome step.

    But banning the flag merely for the sake of banning the flag offers no such hope. It just becomes another casualty along the path of political correctness. In any case reclaiming the flag through positive action to associate it with messages of equality and brotherhood would be so much healing than a ban could ever be. But that would take a great deal of effort and political willpower.

    Let’s keep the flag, reclaim it for a different message and have a cogent plan for brotherhood and equality with mass support from all races and creeds.

    I am touring New England in the fall with some close American friends - no doubt we will discuss all this at length then.

  • 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16

    @wheatbeer:

    You don’t see any Kriegsmarine flag in LHoffman’s photo because this line of argument comes from a hypothetical question from post #39 of this thread. It was also quoted by coachofmany in the post immediately preceding LHoffman’s photo.

    Ah thanks wheat.

  • '17

    @Private:

    If banning the flag meant a better future for the US then many would presumably accept that unwelcome step.

    The United States cannot ban any flag as our Supreme Court would deem that unconstitutional. The debate among educated Americans is not about banning flags because that’s not even an option.

  • '18 '17 '16 '15 Customizer

    @wheatbeer:

    My argument is that flying the Kriegsmarine flag as a memorial is logically and (more to the point) legally the same as flying the Confederate battle flag as a memorial. The only differences lie in the realm of public opinion.

    Okay, I will accept that.

    @wheatbeer:

    That Confederate soldiers are recognized as US war veterans gives those veterans a specific legal status (they are entitled to the same benefits as any other American veteran). Since all Confederate soldiers are now deceased, the main practical benefit they can enjoy is their eligibility to be buried in military cemeteries. In the eyes of the law, human beings can be veterans but flags cannot.

    Agreed. However, a legal or official designation of a flag is an intrinsic implication of status deserving respect. Being an object is not the same as being a person, but my point is that if it is an accepted symbol of said veterans, it is therefore culturally and historically significant.

    (I have done some brief looking and cannot find evidence of what was meant by “official veteran flag” pertaining to this discussion, but the Confederate flag is protected by some states in a manner similar to the US flag. As for which Confederate flag that is… I am not exactly sure.)

    @wheatbeer:

    The ultimate design-origin of swastika bearing flags does not change the fact those were the official flags of the era.

    Agreed. The real question here is how the current German government would treat the situation because then we could have an apples to apples comparison. Because of this German law https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strafgesetzbuch_section_86a there are not going to be any Third Reich flags of any sort either on headstones, flags or monuments in Germany; either in an official capacity or a public one. The United States does not have such laws about Confederate symbols. So even though Confederate battle flags or the Stars and Bars do not appear to be officially erected at national cemeteries or battlefields, people may still display said flags there or plant them next to grave markers and the like. More to the point, there is no federal law against the display and I found multiple images of cemeteries (I am assuming not federally maintained) that have dedicated flagpoles with Confederate flags on them. They seem to treat them in the proper manner, meaning the US Flag, if displayed, is raised above the others.

    If the German government does not display said flags, it would be in my opinion, improper for the United States to do so.

    @wheatbeer:

    @LHoffman:

    Third, historical flags (those no longer used by said government) are not usually flown in an official capacity.

    Both the Kriegsmarine and Confederate flags are historical. This point only supports my argument of their logical/legal sameness.

    Agreed. But relates to my above comment.

    @wheatbeer:

    @LHoffman:

    And fourth, as I often like to point out, not all German military men or civilians were Nazis.

    As I stated before, this is not relevant to my argument.

    I will accept that. However, the National Socialist flag (or just the swasika) carries political implications that the Confederate battle flag does not (at least not to the same degree. This is significant. You see a guy in a truck with a confederate flag on the back you might think he is a southern ‘redneck’, but it doesn’t necessarily mean he is a racist. You see a guy in a truck with a Nazi flag or swastikas on it… well, you see the difference. Or at least I am assuming the distinction is there.

    @wheatbeer:

    I mean that in the eyes of the law at present, the Confederate flag and the Kriegsmarine flag aren’t any different. There is nothing which you can legally do with a Confederate flag which you can’t legally do with a Kriegsmarine flag.

    Agreed.

  • '18 '17 '16 '15 Customizer

    @wheatbeer:

    The United States cannot ban any flag as our Supreme Court would deem that unconstitutional. The debate among educated Americans is not about banning flags because that’s not even an option.

    That is important to point out, because for the most part people seem to believe that if something is offensive, it should be banned. Free speech is not in their consideration.

    But even educated people will disregard constitutionality if a thing can be deemed hateful or discriminatory. That supersedes free speech I guess.

  • 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16

    @wheatbeer:

    @Private:

    If banning the flag meant a better future for the US then many would presumably accept that unwelcome step.

    The United States cannot ban any flag as our Supreme Court would deem that unconstitutional. The debate among educated Americans is not about banning flags because that’s not even an option.

    Just shorthand wheatbeer …. “banning” the flag from government buildings, or from certain activities by so minded groups, or whatever, not a blanket legal ban - replace the word with “removing” if you prefer.

    (Political correctness has lead to many free speech curtailments in the West through fear of offense and the consequences of offense. But - as per my previous post - the flag is not the issue and banning it, even if that were possible, is not the best solution.)

  • '17

    @LHoffman:

    the Confederate flag is protected by some states in a manner similar to the US flag

    It has been my understanding that the US flag has official guidelines for use, but that an individual can still legally do whatever they want to a flag (provided that they own the flag in question).

    @LHoffman:

    The real question here is how the current German government would treat the situation because then we could have an apples to apples comparison. Because of this German law … there are not going to be any Third Reich flags of any sort either on headstones, flags or monuments in Germany; either in an official capacity or a public one.

    I understand that logically it makes sense to follow German custom. But if German custom dictated the Kriegsmarine flag instead (hypothetically of course), would that make it acceptable for an American state to fly it?

    @LHoffman:

    However, the National Socialist flag (or just the swastika) carries political implications that the Confederate battle flag does not (at least not to the same degree. This is significant.

    At what threshold of public disapproval can citizens to lobby for their state to remove something they find offensive from state grounds without being accused of “political correctness”?

  • '17 '16

    I have found You-tube to be my go to place for period music and videos of reenactments. If one looks at videos by a facinating gentleman by the name of H.K.Edgerton a interesting viewpoint is expressed. Another video I stumbled across which was very current is entitled “In defense of the Confederate flag” by David Carroll. As a side note history is history as gamers we know and one must look at the past to understand it thru the pasts eyes of the time tho we know better with our eyes of today.We need reminders lest we forget. Our past is our Heritage.

  • '18 '17 '16 '15 Customizer

    @wheatbeer:

    It has been my understanding that the US flag has official guidelines for use, but that an individual can still legally do whatever they want to a flag (provided that they own the flag in question).

    Yes, that is true. Basically these states did the same thing with the Confederate flag (again, don’t know which flags they are). Desecration laws essentially. However, they are unenforceable due to a Constitutional ruling. My point was only that they have some level of legitimized status in certain areas.

    @wheatbeer:

    I understand that logically it makes sense to follow German custom. But if German custom dictated the Kriegsmarine flag instead (hypothetically of course), would that make it acceptable for an American state to fly it?

    I don’t know. I am not trying to sit here and be a judge. If it were a state issue, as it should be, then it would be up for the people of that state to decide.

    @wheatbeer:

    @LHoffman:

    However, the National Socialist flag (or just the swastika) carries political implications that the Confederate battle flag does not (at least not to the same degree. This is significant.

    At what threshold of public disapproval can citizens to lobby for their state to remove something they find offensive from state grounds without being accused of “political correctness”?

    Again, I have no idea. There is no real threshold (that I am aware of) and I assume your question is just rhetorical.

  • '17

    Not 100% rhetorical. I want to understand your logic.

    @LHoffman:

    In this instance, the American public is oppressed by this nebulous specter of public opinion and political correctness. Much, if not all, of it is borne out of emotion rather than logic, which is where we will fail as a society and a government.

    How did you determine that “this instance” was an example of oppressive political correctness?

    How do you identity oppressive political correctness as opposed to legitimate grievance?

    Am I wrong to assume that you have a logic which separates one from the other?

  • '18 '17 '16 '15 Customizer

    @wheatbeer:

    @LHoffman:

    In this instance, the American public is oppressed by this nebulous specter of public opinion and political correctness. Much, if not all, of it is borne out of emotion rather than logic, which is where we will fail as a society and a government.

    How did you determine that “this instance” was an example of oppressive political correctness?

    How do you identity oppressive political correctness as opposed to legitimate grievance?

    Am I wrong to assume that you have a logic which separates one from the other?

    I have my own opinions which I tend to arrive at by deliberation and observation. I have pulled my decision making down to a science because, again, I am not here to make up everyone else’s minds.

    I would say something is an example of oppressive political correctness when it is demanded that people make a change because some other people are offended or shocked at a given event, statement or work. This demand may come from a small group, a large group, the government or an individual. Doesn’t really matter. Political correctness is intrinsically oppressive (or repressive) in that its intention is to limit speech or expression that is somehow deemed inequitable (or to foster the opposite speech or expression).

    My personal baseline for decision making in this vein is how much the grievance group intends to restrict or curtail the freedom of the other group or of society as a whole.

    In the case of the flag issue, some people may be calling to legislatively ban the flag (the uneducated or uninformed as you alluded to), legislatively restrict the use of the flag, disparage those who would display the flag or support the flag, or exert pressure on society to effectively ban/restrict/ostracize those who do not agree.

    With the flag debate I have seen all of the above. Particularly when combined with a social media platform, it all smacks of a witch hunt to me. Much like a McCarthy-esque hunt for communists, it becomes a social hunt for those individuals, groups or businesses who disagree with the vocal minority or majority, whatever the case may be. Not to mention, that the flags and issues surrounding them have been around for years, but the urgency of the debate is quiet, if not altogether absent, until an event occurs to make it front page.

  • '17

    @LHoffman:

    I would say something is an example of oppressive political correctness when it is demanded that people make a change because some other people are offended or shocked at a given event, statement or work. This demand may come from a small group, a large group, the government or an individual. Doesn’t really matter. Political correctness is intrinsically oppressive (or repressive) in that its intention is to limit speech or expression that is somehow deemed inequitable (or to foster the opposite speech or expression).

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/02/arts/design/02portrait.html?_r=0

    In the article linked above, the Catholic League was offended by David Wojnarowicz’s “A Fire in My Belly” being played (video art) within the Smithsonian Museum’s National Portrait Gallery because one segment of the footage showed ants walking over a crucifix. President of the Catholic League Bill Donohue decried the film as “hate speech”. According the Smithsonian, the work was about AIDS suffering in Latin America (most of the footage depicts cockfighting, lucha libre, matadors slaying bulls, etc.).

    The Smithsonian Museum ultimately caved to pressure from the Catholic League as well as some members of the US House of Representatives and removed the artwork.

    Is this an example of oppressive political correctness? Because it appears to meet your criteria.

  • '18 '17 '16 '15 Customizer

    @wheatbeer:

    @LHoffman:

    I would say something is an example of oppressive political correctness when it is demanded that people make a change because some other people are offended or shocked at a given event, statement or work. This demand may come from a small group, a large group, the government or an individual. Doesn’t really matter. Political correctness is intrinsically oppressive (or repressive) in that its intention is to limit speech or expression that is somehow deemed inequitable (or to foster the opposite speech or expression).

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/02/arts/design/02portrait.html?_r=0

    In the article linked above, the Catholic League was offended by David Wojnarowicz’s “A Fire in My Belly” being played (video art) within the Smithsonian Museum’s National Portrait Gallery because one segment of the footage showed ants walking over a crucifix. President of the Catholic League Bill Donohue decried the film as “hate speech”. According the Smithsonian, the work was about AIDS suffering in Latin America (most of the footage depicts cockfighting, lucha libre, matadors slaying bulls, etc.).

    The Smithsonian Museum ultimately caved to pressure from the Catholic League as well as some members of the US House of Representatives and removed the artwork.

    Is this an example of oppressive political correctness? Because it appears to meet your criteria.

    Sure. It pretty much fits my definition, though I would categorize this more as censorship, as they even say in the article. It becomes somewhat of a semantic argument, but the effect is the same.

  • '17

    A state flying a Confederate flag constitutes government speech. Artwork on display in state or federal museums likewise constitute government speech.

    However, the very notion of “government speech” is relatively new within Constitutional law. Here are two examples:

    In Johanns v. Livestock Marketing Association (2005) the Supreme Court ruled that the government had the right to use tax-payer money to promote beef consumption.

    In Pleasant Grove City, Utah v. Summum (2009) the Supreme Court ruled that the government could, as an exercise of speech, accept a Ten Commandments statue as a gift to be erected on government property, even if it chooses to reject gifts from other religious groups. Ironically, there are other Supreme Court cases where Ten Commandments displays have been deemed unconstitutional :lol:

    Both of these examples demonstrate the awkward situations that arise now that the Supreme Court recognizes governments as entities which enjoy the freedom of speech. I am not sure that the founding fathers envisioned the government itself as a beneficiary of freedom of speech. In my opinion, the First Amendment applies first and foremost to individuals and the press.

  • '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 '12

    Here is an article of why the flag was raised in 1961. Interesting read.

    http://www.scpronet.com/point/9909/p04.html

  • Moderator 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 '12

    Enjoyed it. Thanks hkytown1.

  • '18 '17 '16 '15 Customizer

    @wheatbeer:

    A state flying a Confederate flag constitutes government speech. Artwork on display in state or federal museums likewise constitute government speech.

    However, the very notion of “government speech” is relatively new within Constitutional law. Here are two examples:

    In Johanns v. Livestock Marketing Association (2005) the Supreme Court ruled that the government had the right to use tax-payer money to promote beef consumption.

    In Pleasant Grove City, Utah v. Summum (2009) the Supreme Court ruled that the government could, as an exercise of speech, accept a Ten Commandments statue as a gift to be erected on government property, even if it chooses to reject gifts from other religious groups. Ironically, there are other Supreme Court cases where Ten Commandments displays have been deemed unconstitutional :lol:

    Both of these examples demonstrate the awkward situations that arise now that the Supreme Court recognizes governments as entities which enjoy the freedom of speech. I am not sure that the founding fathers envisioned the government itself as a beneficiary of freedom of speech. In my opinion, the First Amendment applies first and foremost to individuals and the press.

    Well said and good examples. I really did not even know that such a concept existed but it makes sense.

  • '17

    Thank you.

    Someday government speech may become more distinctly regulated by law/jurisprudence than it is now. Different kinds of speech enjoy different levels of protection under US law (for example: commercial speech, satiric speech, student speech).

    I understand the government must speak by necessity, but treating government speech like individual speech is problematic because the government’s voice is louder and more authoritative than any individual.

  • '18 '17 '16 '15 Customizer

    @wheatbeer:

    I understand the government must speak by necessity, but treating government speech like individual speech is problematic because the government’s voice is louder and more authoritative than any individual.

    Agreed. Good distinction.


  • I see this issue as a state issue not federal.

  • '17

    @ABWorsham:

    I see this issue as a state issue not federal.

    The Supremacy Clause (US Constitution 6.2) and the Judiciary Act of 1789 make practically anything a potential federal issue.

    If the state fails to settle the issue, I expect it will eventually be a court case and then eventually be appealed to the Supreme Court, with South Carolina arguing that a flag on state property constitutes protected government speech.

    Incidentally, it’s also likely that South Carolina would win such a case, since the Supreme Court’s own precedents have only ever defended “government speech”.

    Although it’s also possible that South Carolina’s government will decide to remove the flag before it even comes to that.

  • '18 '17 '16 '15 Customizer

    @wheatbeer:

    Although it’s also possible that South Carolina’s government will decide to remove the flag before it even comes to that.

    I think this is more than likely going to happen. The states seem less afraid of the Feds than they are of public opinion.


  • @calvinhobbesliker:

    @Linkon:

    I do hope that my future grandchildren get to grow up in the same great country I did.

    These future grandchildren may have to grow up singing some national anthem that I do not yet know…

    I would not like to tell these future grandchildren that my generation allowed a bunch of communist to chaotically divide yet another country as they took over.  That would be a sorry excuse for them not growing up here in the USA.

    BTW,
    I sense very little love and a lot of finger pointing in the above posts.
    The communists are very good at getting other peoples fingers pointed at each other’s throats.

    I don’t think the word “communist” means what you think it means.

    I mean communist to be the same as Ronald Reagan.

    In his eyes, our nation was supposed to be “as a city upon a hill”

    This positions the USA to watch over and sound the alarm whenever tyranny threatens our security.

    The communists can maneuver and manipulate other parts of the world more freely when our nation is distracted or weakened to the point of lethargy.

    The understanding back then, was that communism was external to the USA.  However, the sad reality now is that communists reside within our borders, and socialists (currently undeclared communists) act as about half of our elected government.


  • @wheatbeer:

    @Linkon:

    I would not like to tell these future grandchildren that my generation allowed a bunch of communist to chaotically divide yet another country as they took over.  That would be a sorry excuse for them not growing up here in the USA.

    Can you explain what these comments have to do with the Confederate flag?

    The division of the USA is a grave matter. 
    Painful for the citizens in the 1860’s.

    Painful for the free world in the 2010’s.

    The former confederate flag is but one aspect of how the harmony of our union, is getting disrupted.  A house divided, can soon crumble.

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