Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Confederate Flag is a Red (White, & Blue) Herring

I haven't heard much lately about the nine people killed in the Charleston, South Carolina shooting. All I have heard about in the news recently is a piece of cloth. Buried under an avalanche of politically correct smear attacks, the victims of the shooting have been shoved aside so the posturing politicians and the rabble rousing media can issue an all out assault on Southern culture in general and the Confederate flag in particular. For murder to be overshadowed by a fight over a flag is something that would cause “Satan to laugh with delight” (to borrow a line from an old rock song). Don McLean sang of the “day the music died.” Today I write about the day sanity died in America. And most Americans are themselves too insane to see it.

The politicians love to use a tragedy to their advantage. Recently I read that Hillary Clinton would be giving a speech on “race relations” near Ferguson, Missouri. To do this, when she is doing it, and where she is doing it is such an obvious and shameless political stunt that it's hard any rational person would fall for it. Clearly, Hillary is trying to score political points and amazingly she will. She calls for ramping up gun control and claims to the be savior that will reconcile America. This from one of the most divisive people America ever produced. Who lives in a neighborhood that is 95% white.

Shortly after the Charleston shooting I wrote an article saying that you could expect “an out blitzkrieg against all things Southern.” I think the only incorrect aspect of my statement is that “all out blitzkrieg” might be an understatement. Many, if not most Americans have called for the lowering of the Confederate flag at the South Carolina capital. Of course the media conveniently forgets to mention that the flag isn't really flying over the capital itself. But rather, a Civil War monument adjacent to the capital. Barack Obama says the flag belongs in a museum. That's already where it's at, Mr. President! If a Confederate flag isn't allowed to fly at a Civil War monument, then where is it to fly? The Civil War did involve two sides. And contrary to popular belief there were many in the South who were honorable and God-fearing people who are worthy of remembrance. Many, even in the Confederate army, opposed slavery. While many Yankees were bigoted haters of blacks. The Civil War was far too complex to simply relegate to the “North = Benevolent and South = Racist” mantra that most accept as fact. Did you know that shortly after the war ended many Northern cities passed laws banning blacks from living there? Maybe we should stop flying the Northern flag instead. But I digress.
There was a time when the Confederate flag was seen as primarily a symbol of the South. Nothing racial. Nothing hatred. Nothing violent. When Bo and Luke Duke were driving their orange Dodge Charger around Hazzard County, I don't remember a soul complaining about them being racist. The Confederate flag on the roof of the car, along with it's name “The General Lee” were merely symbolic of the South. There was a time when Confederate flags were commonly seen on businesses and advertisements in the South and when the crowd would sing “Dixie” before high school football games. The South has historically exhibited a regional pride that other parts of the country simply don't have. But attacks on the Southern culture have been widespread and fierce for decades now. Culminating in the latest brouhaha over the flag. And here's how the argument goes.....
The Confederate flag is offensive to some, therefore it shouldn't be flown. OK. What if I told you the American flag is offense to some and it shouldn't be flown. Would you agree? I grew up in “Indian Territory” (Oklahoma) where there was a time when many of the Native Americans there had very bitter feelings toward the Stars and Stripes. The Federal government took their land by force and killed many of their ancestors. Waving the Stars and Stripes in their face and forcing their children to recite a “pledge of allegiance” to said flag was extremely offensive to them. But you might argue another way. You might say, “Well, I'm sorry that happened but that's not what the flag means to me.” You might say, “To me it stands for freedom and loyalty and sacrifice. To me it reminds of my ancestors who fought wars and valiantly served their country. To me the American flag reminds me of my heritage and where I came from.” Funny. That those are some of the exact same arguments I might use in defense of the Confederate flag. For those few in our country today who actually know their history, the Confederate flag is not a symbol of racism but rather a symbol of rebellion against an oppressive Governmental regime. Most people don't know that there have been African countries where rebel forces have adopted the Confederate flag as their own when fighting against a sitting government. These Africans embraced it as a symbol of rebellion.
My point is this, too much is made of symbols and not enough is made of reality. For many years now, the media, the politicians, and the self-professed educational elites of America have succeeded in attacking all things Southern. It's reached a fever pitch and has gotten out of hand. The overwhelming vast majority of Americans have no earthly clue why the Civil War was fought. They have no clue that Abraham Lincoln declared in his first inaugural address that he had no desire to free any slaves. They have no clue that when he did finally issue the Emancipation Proclamation that it only applied to slaves in the South. Northern slaves remained in bondage. Most don't know that Lincoln publicly spoke of the Proclamation as a “war measure” to help the Union win. I could go on and on and on about the sins and atrocities that have occurred under the Stars and Stripes. I could even point out that the current occupant of the Oval Office is the greatest enemy of liberty our country has ever seen. But what would be the point?
The fight over the Confederate flag is a complete “red herring.” It's a distraction that takes away from the fact that nine people were murdered last week in South Carolina. Knee-jerk columnists and those ignorant of history are quick to jump on the bandwagon in the name of racial reconciliation. But Obama and the powers at hand don't want reconciliation. They can't seize power when blacks and whites are living in harmony. So we ignore murder and fight about a flag. We forget the victims and push for gun control. We miss the forest for the trees. And the victims are largely forgotten. And Satan laughs with delight once again. He's used many people to divide and conquer. He used a deranged white boy to kill innocent people in a church. And he uses a deceitful black President to capitalize off of it. He uses the press and he uses an ignorant populace who succumb to group think rather than use their own heads. The tragedy in South Carolina has nothing to do with a flag. It has to do with evil. What the murderer did was evil. And what others have done since then is evil as well.  While America fights over a flag, the victims are largely forgotten. And Satan continues to laugh with delight.
Shane Kastler is Pastor at the Heritage Baptist Church, Lake Charles, LA and Co-Host; "Church & State" KELB Radio, 100.5 FM. He blogs at The Narrow Road.


  1. To me it seems like the feds are using this opportunity to vilify people who want to keep secessionism in memory. They want the flag to be associated with racism instead.

  2. I think you are right lemon. I have thought that the only reason the government wants to deluge the confederate flag to simply mean racism is to take away the memory that at a time in American history a people stood up against the federal government and said "No more". We can't be having such memories kept alive for a servatile people.