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Looking for a solution, should we forget the past?

Looking for a solution, should we forget the past?

In light of the horrible event in South Carolina, there has been much discussion about removing confederate memorials in the southern states. When a hate crime occurs in our country, we naturally look for a solution to avoid another one.


Some have suggested that confederate memorials should be removed to museums. While I understand the anguish and desire to do something to stop hate crimes, removing all memorials might have the opposite effect.

monument looking glasses

Confederate Memorial Monument, Montgomery, Alabama (2010 by photographer Carol Highsmith – Library of Congress)

Is this the best answer?

The definition of memorial is “an object which serves as a focus for memory of something, usually a person (who has died) or an event.” Sometimes the event may be bad, sometimes good. When memorials are in the public eye, they remind us of historical events that have taken place in of our country and it is up to us as citizens and older generations to relate to younger generations what each one represents so we do not repeat the same mistakes.

Confederate Memorial Monument montgomery, Alabama (2010 by photographer Carol Highsmith - Library of Congress)Confederate Memorial Monument montgomery, Alabama (2010 by photographer Carol Highsmith – Library of Congress)

Tendency to forget what actually happened

When we tuck our history (good and bad) away in museums, there is the tendency to forget what actually took place. All the information I provide on this website is readily available at the state archives, libraries, and museums, but many people constantly comment that they never heard or read about the events until it was published on the site.

This is not the museums, libraries and state archives fault. They constantly provide programs, displays and encourage visitors, but honestly—when was the last time you visited a museum, or state archives to study history?

On the average, most people never give history a second thought unless the news reports a tragic event like the one that occurred in South Carolina.

archives researchAlabama Department of Archives and History

Memorials provide an emotional response

I am reminded of my visit to Germany and the Auschwitz concentration camp many years ago. Though difficult to observe, my visit to the actual concentration camp and all the buildings where so many people were tortured and killed greatly reinforced the terrible things that happened at this point in German history. The memorial was palpable, and elicited an emotional response as well as a greater understanding of the horrors that took place on the site. I would not have felt these strong emotions had I only observed items in a museum. I’m sure German citizens would rather destroy the concentration camp which is a dark blemish of their history, but I’m glad they saved it for this reason.

The same is true of Gettysburg, and York Town, etc. Historical accounts and items in museums do not elicit the emotional responses that one has when visiting memorial sites.

Alabama_State_Monument_at_GettysburgAlabama Monument at Gettysburg (by photographer Bo Gordy-Stith from Wilmington, DE uploaded by Altairisfar on Wikipedia)

yorktown victory monumentYorktown Victory Monument (www.nps.gov)

Never store our history from view

Time has a way of obliterating the past. The Trail of Tears was a tragic event in American history that we seldom talk about today and I believe it is because we have so few memorials to remind us of what actually took place.

We should always fear storing our history from public view, even if it is bad. In a very real sense, this could create the world author George Orwell depicted in his books, Animal Farm and 1984 (Signet Classics)—a “whitewash” of history.

When historical items are only available in museums, libraries, and archives, in a sense, we are giving the facility full control on how, when, what, where and which of our historical items to display. This also allows each facility to interpret history from their individual viewpoints. Removing Confederate memorials to museums does not obliterate what took place in the south. Is that what we really want? Then where does it stop?

Those who forget the past are destined to repeat it.

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Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and www.daysgoneby.me All her books can be purchased at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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101 comments

  1. James Chase

    The flag okay…but leave the memorials alone.

    1. Joe Domnanovich

      So just a little bit of disrespect is ok?

    2. James Chase

      No, I’m not saying its okay, but its already been done. No use arguing about that now.

    3. Greg Creech

      Lots of evil has already been on all kinds of fronts…so that’s okay now? Let’s just forget any evil done, let it lay as it fell and move on. No wonder this country is in such a mess.

    4. James Chase

      We know the truth. Thats enough for me. General Lee made it very clear the flag should be folded up and put away. In the interest of living a peacful life, I support Robert E. Lee’s request.

    5. Greg Creech

      WRONG. Lee said sometime after the war that, had he known what the “those people” had intended for the South, he would never have surrendered at Appomattox but rather would have died with his sword in his hand. Learn some history. Continued compromise is eventual defeat.

      1. Mr. Creech, I am not sure where you read the following statement: “Lee said sometime after the war that, had he known what the “those people” had intended for the South, he would never have surrendered at Appomattox but rather would have died with his sword in his hand.” Historians agree that there is no evidence that President Lee, as he came to be called in those last years of his life, ever made the statement attributed to him. None of his writing supports such a claim. You can look this up easily enough. Before you determine I am a Lee deifying racist, let me say I do support the removal of the Confederate flag from the Capitol. There are other places where the flag can appropriately be flown. No white Southern Christian should want to bring offense his black brothers and sisters for any reason.

    6. James Chase

      Nevertheless, Lee surrendered. Because thats what a gentleman does when the given the chance avoid further suffering and death.
      And yes I agree “those people” are venal and evil, but Lee would also NOT have approved of the KKK and subsequent misuses of the Conderacy’s image and namesake.
      And I have learned history sir, and by an actual Professor and in the South. I didnt come in here to get into a pissing contest. Im simply saying there isent an effective means to oppose what has already taken place.
      That flag coming down doesnt mean much, and I urge you not to react in any way with anger, because thats exactly what “those people” want.

    7. Timothy Williams

      Lee only surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia, not The Army of Tennessee, The trans Mississippi Army. or the western forces, navy or Confederate Marine Corp. Lee also had no authority to represent our elected government, and never ed claimed to. There was never no formal surrender by the government, and because of that the flag has never been de- commission. So it is still a legal flag. The last unit to surrender was General Stande Waite on June 23 1865. And the last warship to surrender was CSS Shenandoah on November 6 1865. So no, you need to read and understand history. All Lee surrendered was the army he commander, The Army of Northern Virginia.

    8. James Chase

      Okay fuck em. Keep it up and never let it touch the ground.

    9. Charles Moore

      I truely respect the memorials to the men who died in the field. That includes my gg-grandfather who died with the 19th Alabama at Shiloh. I grew up next to Chickamauga NP and walked among the memorials for the men from the south and north whose blood poured in that horrible war. May we also realize that our monuments to our veterans of WWI are crumbling, forgotten, and Alabama is losing its brave veterans from WW2 every day with few memorials to recognize them.

  2. Joe Domnanovich

    More Alabamians died under that flag than did in WII. this ethnic cleansing of the South must stop.

  3. CHRISTIANS ARE NEXT….

    Just a little HEADS UP to all you people out there. With the recent shooting in SC and it’s second-hand, round-a-bout link to the Confederate Battle Flag, the imperialists, elitists, brainwashed and historically ignorant in this country are once again on a rampage to do away with anything Confederate. From the flag of of the State of Mississippi, to flags on the SC and Alabama capitol grounds, to national legislation that would remove ALL CONFEDERATE SYMBOLS on ALL public property ANYWHERE in the United States of America – the attack is on. Never mind that the Battle Flag had nothing to do with slavery; that the American flag was and has been much more closely associated with slavery, the Klan and bigotry and for far longer and much more directly than the Battle Flag ever was, that perhaps some of these nuts who wave the Battle Flag do it BECAUSE THE MEDIA, THOSE WHO THRIVE ON RACIAL DIVISIVENESS, AND POLITICIANS HAVE TOLD THEM REPEATEDLY THAT IT’S THE FLAG OF CHOICE FOR THOSE WHO HATE…that’s all beside the point with these people. The attack is on. And I’ve got news for all you folks out there. When they finally rid the world of anything Confederate, they’ll be coming after the Christians next. Thaaaat’s right. Alexander the Great knew, you have only completed conquest when the conquered civilization has abandoned everything that once made them unique and have joined whole-heartedly with the conquerors. A socialist state, that which was the vision of Alexander Hamilton and his protege’s (Henry Clay among them) and their protege’s (Abraham Lincoln among them), cannot tolerate diversity. Ironic huh? Everyone must not only act the same, they must THINK the same. Religion gets in the way of all this, especially Christianity. So, all you tolerant Christians out there who are currently sitting back and either saying nothing or agreeing with these out-of-control zealots, you’d best lock and load. Christians are next.

  4. Bryan Smith

    We shouldn’t forget the past but we can’t live in the past either. We should learn from it and try to be a better nation because of it.

    1. Greg Creech

      This has nothing to do with the past. This is now. This is a violation against our heritage now. Continued compromise is eventual defeat.

      1. I have to agree with most of what is being said by you. It is time a stop was put to all this. The media just makes it worse by dwelling on something negative. Our rights and freedoms are being taken away at an alarming rate and nobody seems to care. Unless it affects them directly, they just shake their heads and mumble. It is time to do something about our rights, otherwise, we will all wake up one day and find the government owns everything we have, and I do mean everything. I am not advocating violence, but what happened to the protests from the 60’s that were not violent? What happened to getting in touch with representative, senators, etc. Take a look around peeps.

    2. Bryan Smith

      Heritage is our past and the past has everything to do with it! The south was defeated get over it already! There is no violation here just continued hate for others different than you. If that’s your heritage go see it in a museum where it belongs.

  5. Jo Rodriguez

    It is wrong to remove flags, memorials, etc. This is history. You cannot rewrite it! I am TIRED of this being seized by people with a political or hate axe to grind trying this. Are you going to remove ALL war memorials and grave sites? Just homogenize everything?

    1. Greg Creech

      Homogenizing everything is one of the primary tools of socialism. You are dead on.

    2. Judy Smith

      Absolutely….i just dont understand the historical removal….

    3. Jon Byrd

      Sorry you don’t get it.

  6. Randall Sharp

    States jumping on the bandwagon for political correctness, that is all!

  7. Cyd S. Noble

    It’s not a question of should we forget the past. It’s a question of should we celebrate our criminal past? We should not be proud that the cell tried to lead the union! We should not be proud that We had slaves or that the South went to war to keep slaves. These people were morally wrong and should NOT be celebrated with statues and memorials. However, I don’t think it is financially feasible to try to remove existing memorials or statues.

    1. Arlee McCoy

      Thank you for the first clarification of the problem. I just discovered my 5th great grandfather owned 48 human beings and had a child by one of his slaves. All to make a profit from cotton. I am horrified and apologetic!

    2. Charles Moore

      Arlee McCoy You should not have to apologize your ancestor, he was a person of his time, he believed as people of his time believed and as he was taught to believe, and followed the laws of his time. You can only pray he was as humane as an inhumane practice would allow. To be the descendant of a slaveowner is hard to come to terms with. History is not used to judge the lives of those in the past.

    3. Charles Moore

      Cyd , Most of the memorials do not “celebrate” anything, they “commemorate”. There is a great difference. Over 630,000 Americans died in the conflict we call the American Civil War, blood poured from one end of this land to the other. My gg-grandfather died at Shiloh and left a teenage widow with two babies to care for. In battlefield national parks, state monuments and plaques are there to commemorate the dead. To destroy all of those monuments would be as to erase the lines of the Gettysburg Address. While I believe the flag properly belongs in museums, we must never erase what happened between 1861-1865.

  8. Bobby Dodson

    Revolution is far beyond past due.

  9. Amy Parker

    I have asked these questions on several different pages and have not been able to get anyone to answer me this..

    Trying to get someone to answer these questions..

    Have had many to agree, but not one answer..

    Please, someone tell me what makes one racist (Yes, this flag has been turned into a symbol of racism! Please keep reading!) symbol worse than another!?

    The American Flag has a much longer and a much darker past with hate and racism then any Confederate flag. It is continued to be used today!

    What is the difference?

    The Confederate flag only became know as a symbol of racism AFTER the Civil War.

    If Native Americans spoke up and started demanding the removal of the American Flag..

    Would you be so quick to support that?

    If not, why not? What makes it any different?

    So what if it’s our country flag.. It is still used as a symbol of racism.. That is the whole point for wanting another flag removed..

    Let us not stop there!

    Radical groups also use the Bible and Christian crosses.. As did Hitler!

    How many over the 2000 plus years have died in the name of God? Because they believed different?

    Folks continue to use American currency with image of men who owned Slaves. Yet we hear nothing about this.

    We stand in honor of the National Anthem, but it was written by Francis Scott Key who was a well known slave owner and was very out spoken against abolition!

    Where does it stop?

    Why is one different from the other?

    Wake up America!!

    It’s not the item or the symbol that is evil! Removing them want remove the evil!

    1. Roger Gann

      The reason no one answered the question is that no one knows the question

    2. Amy Parker

      Lordy, if you can’t see the question you have bigger issues than discussing racism!

    3. Greg Creech

      1. The original definition of “racist” as per it’s use by the person who coined the term, was different from the way it is used today. Surprise! The socialists have done this with a great many words. Leonid Trotsky, of the newly formed USSR, exclaimed when a slavic country refused the Soviet invitation to join their Union, “Racists”. What he was referring to was that when said invitation was extended to the slavs, they refused by saying that if they joined the Soviet Union, they would have to become Russians….abandon their peoples history, heritage, traditions and their culture. They thus refused. Trotsky’s reply of “racists” therefore is defined by it’s use as someone who holds their way of life dear and, for them, is the best way for them to live. 2. The difference is why the Battle Flag is considered “racist” and Old Glory and the Crucifix are not is because the media, the government school system, unscrupulous politicians and those who thrive on hate have been telling everyone in this country that the Battle Flag is racist and those other symbols are not for a very long time. In fact, the original Klan (1865- 1877) never used symbols aside from their disguises. The new Klan (1913 – present) used exclusively from 1913 till the early 60s, Old Glory and the Christian Crucifix. It was only during the racial unrest of the 1960s that the new Klan picked up the Battle Flag. I have seen numerous pictures of huge Klan rallies in the 30s and 40s….no Battle Flag in site. And of course, we all know what flag flew on the slave ships leaving northern harbors exclusively. But it goes far beyond that….there is so much one can learn about the north’s active, behind the scenes, promotion of slavery. It was very profitable for them and as long as it was, everything was fine. 3. Native Americans are a portrait of what the US government has had in mind for the South since 1830….be like us or suffer the destruction of your civilization. The South is no more. There are very few left who remember, let alone retain, Southern manners, culture, humor, art, etc. The thin grey line is in it’s final death throws 150 years after their ancestors defeat. 4. Yes. We use money with the pictures of slave owners on it. So what? You can’t view history through the eyes of the modern day and judge anyone….not if you truly want to learn or understand anything. Slavery has been around since the dawn of time. It doesn’t make it acceptable but it is a fact. It is condoned by the early writings of practically every major religion. It is still being practiced today in Africa but no one says a word. Blacks brought to America in yankee slave ships were already slaves when they were bought…. slaves and prisoners of inter-tribal warfare on the African continent. And blacks aren’t the only people to enslaved….every race on this planet at one time or another has been enslaved. My great Grandfather many times removed came to America in 1623 as a Scottish slave. 5. Francis Scott Key’s grandson was a Confederate and held prisoner in Fort McHenry, the same fort in which his ancestor was held in the American Revolution. Do you think the grandson would have stood when he heard the United States National Anthem? To him, they were a foreign country invading, pillaging and destroying his sovereign country, the Confederate States of America. You know, the Confederate government never surrendered, only it’s armies. Technically, the Confederacy still exists as a conquered and occupied country….much like Ireland and Scotland were.

    4. Jennifer Tudor

      What’s your question? You’re talking all about white slave owners. The 1st man in the United States of America to own a slave was a BLACK man. I must be misunderstanding you or just missing your point.

    5. Jennifer Tudor

      Greg Creech you have some very interesting literature on your page. It seems you don’t allow friend request. I have enjoyed the last hour reading the articles you’ve posted.

    6. Amy Parker

      Jennifer, what makes all the other symbols of racism and hate. Different from the Confederate flags?

      Why just focus on just one, when there are so many more that could make a bigger statement!?

    7. Greg Creech

      Because Amy, it is the intent of the US government, and has been their intent since 1830, to obliterate the South….it’s people, culture, heritage, history, traditions. It’s all about control/power and money. All wars are. The Battle Flag is a target of convenience for those still obsessed with the homogeneity of the country. Despite their cries of diversity, what they really want is in fact, just the opposite. It has always been about making everyone into a yankee. It still is. Do you really think the foreign wars we are engaged in are to spread liberty? Really?

    8. Scott Lane Brewer

      Greg Creech ,is that Quantrells black flag? Reason I asked is the black flag was frequent in North Alabama .

    9. Linda Maddox Hammond

      I’ll say the truth its all political, the blacks get everything they want and the democrats get their vote… The whites people have no guts anymore to stand up and fight… They just simply roll over and complain,while our ancestors died for this country. May GOD HAVE MERCY AND COME QUICK LORD JESUS

    10. Denita Long

      The difference is that the Battle Flag was used by the army of General Lee during the rebellion against the United States. It’s a symbol not only of racism, but of treason.

    11. Amy Parker

      Again! No difference as the American flag was also seen as a symbol of treason..

      But that leads to question is this all truly about racism? Or a cultural cleanse?

      If it’s about racism start at the U.S. Constitution and work forward..

    12. Charles Moore

      Jefferson Davis was the President of the Confederate States of America. This quote, made Feb 29, 1860, before the US Senate prior to secession, sums up his ideas about slavery and race. ” It (slavery) is but a form of civil government for those who by their nature are not fit to govern themselves. We recognize the fact of the inferiority stamped upon that race of men by the Creator, and from the cradle to the grave, our Government, as a civil institution, marks that inferiority.” If that isn’t racism, nothing is. (I did not get that quote from some liberal online source, that is from the actual speech. When I study history, I prefer primary sources, not the views of others unless they are qualified historians.) What Davis said about slavery and race was the general belief held in the South at the time. To spread any other belief, written or verbally, was actually illegal in all slave-holding states. Since the Republican Party platform stood for stopping slavery in the territories and new states and abolitionists had joined the party, Southern states began calling for secession if any Republican were elected president as early as 1858. That has been in history books forever, the primary sources or the era are all found on-line. This has never been a mystery.

    13. Greg Creech

      Scott Lane Brewer: Yes, it’s the flag carried by some of Quantrills troopers.

  10. You can’t forget the past. It is apart of us all.

  11. Vicky Haywood

    None of these memoriaks had anything to do with charleston…..it does however to do with the “bend over keep kissing my #$%% morons like you have for 200 years”

    1. Greg Creech

      Jefferson Davis said that the north had put the South upon a stool of perpetual repentance from they planned to never let us down.

  12. Mark Mhk

    The south went to war to keep slaves? Taught that in school were ya? I’m sorry you believed that to be the reason for the war. I’ll not argue this. I ask that you do some honest research.

    1. Denita Long

      Read the declarations of cause from South Carolina, Georgia, Texas and Mississippi. Then tell the states rights being sought weren’t connected to slavery.

      Look it up on civilwar.org

    2. Charles Moore

      Click on “The Gathering Storm” and “Secession”. Put on line by the U of Miss, not a liberal site. http://www.confederatepastpresent.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=47

  13. Joyce N Billy Lambert

    Leave the memorials alone, again, it’s heritage.

  14. James Chase

    Since we all have to take down the Confederate flag out of respect for the victims of Charleston and slavery, can we also take down the United States flag out of respect for the 1 million Native Americans who were slaughtered like animals for their land by the Unites States military?
    Sic Semper Tyrannis

  15. Arlee McCoy

    The memorials are just that concrete placed to remember deceased soldiers. The flag a whole other issue. How can a state keep a symbol of slavery flying over 50% of the very people whose ancestors were enslaved. The war is over. The South lost! Move on. Leave it to Sons of Confederacyand Daughters of Confederacy to do all the monument placing, etc. Put the flag in a museum. The issue IS about slavery and King Cotton. Who would work the fields if not for the slaves?

    1. Arlee McCoy

      PS: I recently went to Camden Co., AL on a genealogy trip only to discover that my 5th great grandfather owned 48 slaves and had a child by one of his slave girls. I’m ashamed of them. All I can say is I’m sorry and that is not me.

    2. Francis Martin

      my daddy farmed almost all his life, as long as he was able. We children, all 10 of us, farmed right alongside him. We were not slaves nor did we own a slave. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    3. Cheryl Armstrong

      it’s not a symbol of slavery, it was the war flag of the south during the civil war.

    4. Icey Nichole Bales

      It was a confederate battle flag that was adopted by the kkk. If they put all the others down and picked up only the American flag should we ban that as well? Should of me on government buildings? No, it has no place there since it is not in use. But if you go to the confederate memorial then different confederate flags should be there. Forget all the other history of the flag and choose one thing after the fact about it that some people have perversed and twisted it’s true original meaning to further their awful hatred.

    5. Timothy Williams

      a lot of you need education about the Confederacy and the flag. never represented slavery. Stood for state rights as guaranteed by the 10th amendment

    6. Greg Creech

      It’s over – move on? Is that what you tell your Jewish friends about the Holocaust? It’s over, you lost, move on? Yeah, I bet you do.

    7. Jim Gray

      Arlee McCoy, and others here shoud read the history. before making false statements.

    8. Arlee McCoy

      History is written from the viewpoint of the person in charge. Do you think the Native Americans got the chance to tell their story about the Trail of Tears or Wounded Knee. My husband’s g.g.grandmother could not claim her heritage NA in fear of removal to Oklahoma. The history of the South is written in biased versions also.

    9. Bill Bolton

      Seems as if you might be a niggra lover arlee cause the puke spewing from your mouth is a disgrace to any honest southerner.

  16. Jean Moore Sanderson

    Wise men say “To forget the past is to repeat the same mistake in the future.” No, we can’t forget history. There will be no “pie in the sky” peace until jesus returns.

  17. Jon Byrd

    Most Confederate memorials honor, laud, celebrate what’s being remembered, specifically what’s NOT being remembered about the Old South.
    The Civil War was about economics… the economics of slavery.
    The Civil War was about states’ rights… the states’ right to maintain slavery.
    Heritage not hate? The heritage is hate.

  18. Dave Patterson

    Those men, many of my relatives fought for their State when called upon. Many gave all! If we turn our backs on them it will be the greatest injustice of all time in the history of the State of Alabama. We must teach and live the truth. I had relatives that fought in the 1st. Ala. 4th Ala. 5th Ala. 8th Ala.10th Ala. 14th Ala. 17th Ala. 21st Ala. 24th Ala. 26th Ala. 30th Ala. 40th. Ala. 44th Ala. 50th. Ala. and 62nd Ala. and last but not least the 1st Alabama US Cav. These men are United States Veterans by law and should be given the respect they earned.

  19. Bonnie Hix Easterwood

    Shameful is all I have to say……

  20. Janice Taylor

    What gets me is not one person living has a slave. Put the past I’m the past. If anyone should have a problem with the past it would be tested Indians. N if they had pulled any carp like what has been going on here in these US States they would have been cut down in a heart beat. This was there states n white men came in n took it all. So who has rights to tell us all what flag we can fly. Move on n put God in it life. For we r only passing thru this world.

  21. Myra Bailey

    No we should leave the memorials and the flag alone those are our ancestors that fault under that Confederate flag

  22. Mark Ellsworth

    While you where arguing about a flag our leaders sold America to the United nations we are officially being govern by international laws and regulations

  23. Susan Bryant Myers

    discuss stopping evil men from killing others – without unarming law-abiding citizens

  24. Keith Phillips

    There’s a lot of people that are sheep they follow along with thing because it political correct and know anything about history. The American flag flying over this country has 85 years of slavery on it.
    So people going crazy over the confederate flag is a lot of crap. There a lot of people making lots of money off of everyone right because of this. So go people rich because no one knows what there talking about. And people giving in because there basically cowards

  25. Teresa Wolford

    We shouldn’t forget it, but we should stop bragging about it.

  26. Icey Nichole Bales

    It was a confederate battle flag that was adopted by the kkk. If they put all the others down and picked up only the American flag should we ban that as well? Should of me on government buildings? No, it has no place there since it is not in use. But if you go to the confederate memorial then different confederate flags should be there. Forget all the other history of the flag and choose one thing after the fact about it that some people have perversed and twisted it’s true original meaning to further their awful hatred.

  27. Richard Cobb

    Bet the Native Americans have issues with the American flag too. This is suddenly an issue across the country, but why now? There wasn’t an outcry with James Byrd’s death? I’m offended by many things but my rights are predicated by obliging those I don’t agree with to feel as they wish. There’s something unconnected to the tragedy in South Carolina going on and it’s very dangerous.

  28. Paula May

    You can’t erase it. It’s part of our nations history.

  29. Jim Gray

    No we should not for get the past. Too Many of our brave ancestors are buried baring the CSA history !

  30. Scott Williams

    Let’s forget the past and rip down all memorials to everything, destroy all the statues honoring anybody and rename all buildings and streets that are named for any person. We should also get rid of flags of every type so we won’t offend anybody.

  31. Charles Moore

    We cannot erase and forget our history but neither can we keep revising, and sanitizing it to remember a guiltless version. Many of our ancestors were slave holders, including mine, and the south did go to war to defend that practice. There are mountains of documents including speeches and resolutions from the era that show the central issue of the mid-19th century was slavery and slavery alone. I am not ashamed of my ancestors and neither should anyone else be, they were people of their time, but I will not revise history and wave senseless banners to praise a war that was on the wong side. If we are to retain anything of our past, it must be an honest past.

    1. Launa Annette Brown

      Actually slavery was not the reason, but taxes…..many southern states had already submitted laws…to free the slaves way before the war…..it was four years into the war that Lincoln said he would free the slaves of the south….(but not the north) ( the white house had slaves ( what do you call black servants that did not get paid) …Lincoln Hated the Blacks and wanted them all sent back overseas…but the congress said that would be impossible…Does no one ever truly read for them selves….to the victor goes the spoils…The north rewrote and taught us what they wanted us to believe….if you want..go to the Virginia archives…and read for your self how the first legal slave came into law….it was because a rich Black man named Johnson…bought another black to be his slave…well the slave said he was an indentured servant and paid his dues…left the rich black man named Johnson and went to work at another plantation…Mr. Johnson took the black slave to court saying he was his slave for life..and the court agree with Mr. Johnson…he won his case…this was back in the 1600 hundreds….you can look it up and read it for your self don’t take my word for it!….the truth is out there…you just have to read it….don’t take some Else’s word for it….MY ancestry is Irish and Native American….none of my ancestors were slave owners….they were share-croppers and indentured servants….the truth is out there…all you have to do is find it and read it!

    2. Charles Moore

      I’m not going to going to argue with you Launa but your history is all wrong. In a every speech and resolution made when the Southern states seceded (the primary documents are easily found online) slavery and the right to own slaves is the central issue discussed. I’m going by primary sources, the actual words of the time, not the twisted tripe that’s found online. I don’t know about your background, but I have studied and taught American history for five decades with two degress in the subject. I grew up next to Chickamauga NP in Georgia, my ancestors fought and died in the war, and I have read and researched the subject extensively. Furthermore, a country would never go to war and lose almost 800,000 (historians now accept those estimates) people over taxes. We would’ve had several wars since then if taxes were the reason. Mr. Lincoln, also whom I have studied and taught, while not accepting equality of the races, still despised slavery from an early age which is evidenced in his writings. The ‘back to Africa’ movement was seen as a common remedy among many early anti-slavery whites. Respectfully, Launa, please do not lecture a historian on one of his main areas of study. Find it and read it? Lordy, girl, I’ve been doing that for decades. (btw, Some of my family would’ve considered tenant farming a step up at one time.)

    3. Charles Moore

      A partial list of primary sources. Click on The Gathering Storm and Secession and look for those from southern states. Produced by the U of Miss, hardly a liberal site. http://www.confederatepastpresent.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=47

  32. Repurpose the state capitol building and the grounds around it, and the Confederate White House across the street from it, and turn it all into an archive and history museum to address Alabama’s brief leadership role in the Confederacy’s formation, and more importantly, keep the memorial to Alabama’s Civil War Soldiers who died, many of whom never came home. Attach it financially to the Alabama Department of Archives and History, also across the street. Close the Confederate Soldiers Home and bring its contents to Goat Hill, and use the money spent on the Home to pay some of the costs for the above. Hang the battle flag indoors as appropriate to a museum, or carve it in stone on the memorial.

  33. You don’t understand why they are doing this do you. It has nothing to do with the flag or slavery. The left is trying to rid us of our heritage & patriotism. They don’t deny it so why is it so hard to believe?

  34. Are the very same people asking for our flags be removed going to ask every nation to remove theirs for the very same reason? Nearly all people have ancestors who were subjected to some form of slavery.
    Personally if I had children & they were of college age I don’t know what I’d do. The garbage they are forced to ingest there is sickening.

  35. Kimberly Patton

    No I don’t believe so it is part of who we are in our heritageWe are proud people

  36. David Hastings

    Blacks make white people racist what about blacks that sale poisons to our kids by selling drugs some of you white people that listen to this propaganda make me sick you don’t see white neighborhoods with white people standing on the corner selling drugs you whites that are going against your own people are nothing but pure white trash

  37. Phyllis M. Lightle

    My 5g uncle settled in Camden in 1820 on land the govt took from Indians. He started a cotton farming operation with 16 slaves. He grew the business and handed it down to his sons and grandsons, one of whom had 49 slaves in 1860. Then of course the Civil War put an end to that way of life. I know all of this because my mother, Arlee McCoy, is an exceptional genealogist. Those of you here who’ve called her knowledge of history into question are seriously mistaken. I’m not proud that my ancestors owned slaves, nor that some of them died for that cause. I am proud of my mother for discovering these parts of our family history. So while I qualify for membership in the Daughters of the Confederacy, I would never claim that right. States rights, yes, but finish the sentence because it always ends with states’ rights to own, beat, sell, rape, and work to death other human beings. There’s really no getting around that, no matter how much some people try to write a version of history the doesn’t have the South losing that big fight under a battle flag that represents one of the worst ideas humanity has had to offer one another.

    1. Phyllis,
      It is most unfortunate that many indulge in strategic amnesia on the truth of the history you have so well summarized.

  38. To me the flag is not a racist symbol. Its people who make it so. It was part of the past of my forefathers so please leave it and the statures alone. You can’t rewrite history, study it and learn from it.

  39. Launa Annette Brown

    1/ read the truth for your selves and not you are being taught in school and by the government 2/ what happened in SC was a hate crime against Americans….this child hated America ( do your research)…..3/ when you take away our history how can we learn to be better and rise above it…we need to know where we came from and what makes us who we are and choose to be. A flag is did not killed those people it was a boy that hated America….he has pictures of himself holding an American..that is on fire……4/ Blacks were not the only race that was held captive during that time…Japanese were held captive as they worked the railroads…..Irish men women never were able to buy back there bondage, and they were considered expendable so they were the ones that had to do the dangerous jobs such as dynamite and mines….The natives Americans were considered a threat and was sent on the trails of tears to be put on reservations…..what happened in that Church had nothing to do with the Civil war…..so why take away our history, what are you proving by doing so? Remember the truth can set you free….do you really care enough to find out what the real truth is? Or you going to listen and believe in what Our government what us to believe??

  40. Charlie Crabtree

    Is the city of Mobile going to have to change the name of British Park? The Brits were defeated by the U.S. Will we have to change the name of Spanish Plaza too? Oh mercy!! What if we have to change the name of my little town, Semmes, named after a confederate civil war naval admiral!!! We are part of the greatest nation in the world, the United States of America! We cannot have anything that honors the past. Our past is as bad as Germany’s. Oh no!!!!!

  41. Raymond Steuber

    We should not forget the past….

  42. This article valiantly tries to walk the high wire down the middle of this controversial topic.

    I would simply point out that the American analog to the concentration camps in Germany, which the author found so compelling, is not the Confederate battle flag. It would be, instead, slave ships, slave pens, chains & manacles, whipping posts, etc.

  43. I now believe the ONLY people qualified to say if something is racist or not are the people affected. I used to argue with my close Mexican friend whenever she pointed it out to me when I said or did something racist. I also argued with my Japanese friend about the same thing. My AA friend finally told me that I ought to listen to the people who were affected by what I did and said. He was right when I thought about it. I think the dumbest thing now is to listen to group of white people arguing about whether or not something is racist or not. I lived in Birmingham in 1957 when the White Citizens council was using the Confederate Flag, If the South didn’t want it to be construes as racist, they should have used another flag.

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