Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Massive Confederate Flag to be Flown in Tampa

Frankly, I'm embarrassed.

I live in a large metropolitan area, where the majority of us are Yankee transplants. The "Deep South" doesn't exist in the Tampa Bay area. If you want to find rednecks, crackers, KKK members, and general ignoramuses, you have to either search for them in the center of the state or in the panhandle.

Or so we civilized people thought.

Now, don't get me wrong. Not everyone who lives in central Florida or the panhandle is a neanderthal. But you can find them there. It's very rare that you'll find someone around here that represents the Bubba stereotype.

This is an area where business, commerce, and tourism thrive. Well, it was. We are now facing the possibility of losing both since gas is getting so expensive.

And, as if gas prices weren't impacting us enough, we now have a group that is fresh out of the movie Deliverance which has arranged to fly a massive Confederate flag across our major interstate in Tampa!

Talk about the minority dominating the majority!

I've written an article on The Confederate Flag before. I don't understand why this is being allowed, as it might be dangerous for the public welfare and could serve as a great distraction on the highway. This is not decorative art, after all.

We first heard about this atrocity two nights ago while we were watching the local news (to read about it in detail, go here.)

The Chief Redneck that has arranged to fly it was making all sorts of excuses. They ranged from "It's our heritage" to "The Civil War wasn't really about slavery at all! It was about economics!"

Yeah, my son pointed out dryly. It was about economics - the economics of slavery, amongst other things.

To prevaricate about what the Confederate Flag means is rather silly at this stage of the game. The Nazi symbol once meant "peace", but try and wear that peace sign on your lapel at work.

The Confederate flag stands for racism, hatred, and divisiveness, no matter what it may have once represented long ago. And these rednecks know that.

The Chief Redneck says that this is all about pride.

Pride?! Pride for what? This is equivalent to erecting a billboard with Ted Bundy's photo across from the Chi Omega Sorority House where he went on his killing spree.

If city officials don't put a stop to this, everyone coming in to and out of the city of Tampa will be driving by a massive Confederate Flag.

It's as good as erecting a statue of Hitler.


Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Couldn't agree more and you managed to use the word 'ignoramuses' which is cool.

People love clinging onto the past, feels safe, enables them to make excuses for current failures and also it s a great excuse to be a bit naughty, to do the forbidden I suppose.

Ed Abbey said...

We have a flag saleman that comes in once a year and sets up on a street corner for a month during summer. He always flies the confederate flag front and center. I've never understood it. I would buy other flags from him if it weren't for that one flag but since he chooses to fly it, I choose to take my business elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to agree with you partially on some things. I'm going to disagree on some others.

Yes, that flag represented the Confederacy and the CF stood for slaves. They also stood for state's rights. I would not like my heritage to have slavery in it, but it IS part of our history. Revisionist history is NOT history. And we can't be ashamed of what we were only what we did. That flag and slavery are just as much a part of our heritage as sweet tea, magnolias and southern belles.

I don't believe that it is a good idea to fly that flag for any other reason than to celebrate the END of slavery. However, we do not need to push our past away. Our past is our past and deserves diligent attention to lessons we should have learned earlier.

We should not forget that the founding fathers ALLOWED slavery and as such we should pin the blame for that on THEM and not solely on the south. If the cotton fields and plantations had been in the north, it would have been the same thing, just a different location.

If I could go back in time and correct one thing in the constitution it would be to say, "Do NOT allow slavery. It will cause generations NIGHTMARISH hell. Remember EVERY man is created equal."


The Lazy Iguana said...

Someone ought to tell the idiots that they are not flying a proper flag. The "rebel" flag never flew over the CSA and never represented the CSA.

The "stars and bars" is the first flag of the confederacy. It had a blue field with three stripes - red white red.

The "battle flag" was SQUARE SHAPED. Not a rectangle.

The SECOND navy ensign comes closest to the modern day reble flag. But the colors were different.

The "rebel flag" is nothing more than the second confederate navy ensign with the colors from the battle flag.

Most people who fly the rebel flag would never know this as they are not capable of reading - much less doing some basic research.

But during the time of the confederacy the "rebel flag" did not exist. It was invented well after the war was over. They took the battle flag and stretched it into a rectangle - or they took the second naval ensign and gave it the colors of the battle flag.

In either case it was NOT the "battle flag" of the war.

Has anyone told this to the guy who spent all that money on the flag? That he got the dimensions all wrong? Or maybe he was trying to create the second confederate navy jack - in which case he got the colors wrong (the blue would need to be a lighter color).

Paul said...

Those kinda people make me want to puke. Idiocy is alive and well, I guess.

My First Wife has a best friend in South Carolina who recently told her, "You're beginning to sound just like one of those northern Yankees. I never thought I'd ever see the day." My First Wife just shook her head.

Fred said...

I actually saw it flying for the first time when I was watching FOX 13 earlier. I'm glad I don't pass that part of town very often. I think the Hillsborough County Commission is going to try and ban it, let's see what happens.

daveawayfromhome said...

Dont think of it as a flag, think of it as a southern redneck logo.

To my mild embarrassment, I actually have a rebel flag. I bought it when I was a high school kid, 'cause I thought it looked kind of cool (and I'm not even from the South). Why do I still have it? Because I dont believe in erasing history, and I'm a bit of a packrat.

But I dont fly it.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Dave, Well, people collect Nazi memorabilia even when they're not Nazis, but they don't display it because they have other reasons for collecting it. I knew a guy that HATED Hitler but collected the memorabilia.

My point is that you can COLLECT or keep stuff that has a meaning to you. I think you're right in saying that there's a line that's crossed when you fly it because that makes it appear that you sanction the atrocities.

I'm a packrat too. One of my best friends has been over for a week and a half, forcing me to go through every damned closet and room and eliminate all kinds of crap. Thank God for friends like her.

Fred, Boy, I hope so!!! I know that they're not happy either. I wrote to them about it and got some pretty grim replies.

Paul, CREEPY. It's almost as if we're regressing lately. I'm a native and I'm civilized (there are plenty of us civilized natives). I didn't think these throwbacks existed in these parts. It's like discovering a neanderthal in your backyard!

Lazy, I posted your observations in the St. Pete Times forum and was told that you're incorrect, and then some inbreed bombarded the forum with all types of pics of flags. Like that really solved anything.

Edge, I disagree. I think Southerners SHOULD be ashamed of what they did. HOWEVER: How many of us had Southern relatives that actually fought in the Civil War? I know that MY family was living in New York during that period. So I can be a southernor who's proud of her state, but NOT proud of the war.

AND, even if I DID have relatives who had fought the union, I would NOT be proud of them. Simply because a blood relative did something, that doesn't make it RIGHT.

After all, we also have a horse thief in our family, who was hanged for it in the 1800s. Do I have to be proud of that horse thief? Should I be erecting a flag to horse thievery? Should I have a bumper sticker that says "Horse Thieves Unite"?

And not everyone allowed or tolerated slavery. Yes, the Founding Fathers did (shame on them) but there were VAST amounts of people in the north AND south that disliked it and fought it. Which is why we ultimately won that battle.

Flying the Confederate Flag to end slavery would be a ... novel interpretation. I doubt many black people would suddenly change their views overnight and say "Look, everyone! A flag which symbolizes the END of slavery!"

If we need to fly a flag that symbolizes the END of slavery, we need to be flying the Union Jack.

Ed, Amen, brother.

Daniel, :D Yeah, it's a good word, huh? Apt in these circumstances, too. You're right about people clinging to the past but it's because they have no present or future. PITIFUL.

Ed Abbey said...

Edge said, "I don't believe that it is a good idea to fly that flag for any other reason than to celebrate the END of slavery."

Should we also celebrate the END of the holocaust by showing pictures of thousands of dead jews in concentration camps?

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

I'm all for that Ed, in fact let's fly a flag for all the dead Iraqis and all the dead Burmese and how about a flag for all the dead Africans killed by corporate medicine greed.

I'm loving all the flags, I can't see for all the lovely flags.


Anonymous said...

I will concede on a couple of points. And I agree that flying that flag is not something I want to see. I found Lazy Iguana's comments interesting. I never knew that.

What I hope to get across is that slavery is not a "Southern" thing. It existed all over the United States as evidenced at this site.

I also want to get across is that our Heritage is not always positive. But it is still what makes us who we are. I had a relative that fought for the south. It's not a great thing, but it's what he did. At that time period, he fought for his country. However ignoble the direction. I'm sure there are many Americans with German heritage that fought in WW I or WW II and they aren't proud of that, but they recognize it as being part of their past. I'm saying we can't change history, but we CAN learn from it. And we can't learn unless we make mistakes.


Uncle Joe said...

I sort of agree with Dave.
Here in Oklahoma I'm not sure the rednecks who fly it or have it preeminently displayed on their truck even paid attention in history class much less made it through high school.
It's a symbol of "I'm a rebel, I'm a redneck, kiss my ass".

Saur♥Kraut said...

Uncle Joe, *LOL* Probably sad, but true.

Edge, No doubt slavery was in many places. I don't disagree. It's just that THIS flag is now irrevocably tied to it, whether it's right or wrong, whether the South stood for more than slavery or not. AND, there are other flags symbolizing the south which I would encourage over THIS one.

Daniel & Ed, Ew.

Uncle Joe said...

I like you.
But I'm glad I'm not you.
You carry a large burden better than I ever could.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Uncle Joe, as my son says, a large burden is never that large if you lever it right. ;o)

I have this eerie personality that clings to ideas and won't let go. But if I DO see a valid argument, I never hesitate to change direction.

It's not always easy, though. Funny that you should see that.

The Lazy Iguana said...

Really now? Someone ought to tell that to these people.

The "Confederate Flag" flown today is really one of the confederate navy jacks. It was also used by some armies from Tennessee.

But it was never an "official" flag.

The "official" battle flag was square in shape.

But the Confederacy went through a lot of flags. They could not decide on a design, so it kept changing.

Anyhow I stand behind my original statement. The flag being flown now was NEVER a national flag of the Confederacy. They are flying a navy jack and/or the flag used by some units. And even then only for a year, from late (very late) 1863 to 1865.

To be historically correct, they should be flying the "Stars And Bars"

OR the "Stainless Banner" (2nd national flag)

OR the "Final Edition" (3rd national flag)

What do you want to bet 99.999% of the people flying the rebel flag would even know it was first used as a navy jack? Or that it was NOT the most commonly used battle flag?

By the way, navy tradition says the jack is only flown from the bow, and then ONLY when in port or while entering or leaving port. At sea the jack is lowered and the national ensign is flown from the stern.

It is really easy to research this.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Lazy, well... it's rather difficult to expect neanderthals to do their proper research. Of course, I suppose that statement is really a great insult to neanderthals. I in NO WAY mean to equate a racist with a neanderthal. In fact, racists probably wouldn't like neanderthals, either. I'd like to see a racist and a neanderthal in a cage fight, but that's another story...

United We Lay said...

Freedom of expression isn't just about allowing people to express views we like, or things that we agree with. It that's what this man chooses to express, his arguments don't really matter. Why he wants to do it is unimportant. If it is his business, his property,'s his choice. "I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." Voltaire

Anonymous said...

Tampa Bay is not a city, Tampa Bay is a body of water. Tampa Bay was once the name of Tampa prior to 1850, it has been known as Tampa since then.
So, those of us who were born here are "rednecks, crackers, KKK members, and general ignoramuses" even if we do not agree with the giant flag? Thank you for your delightful candor. I always knew you people felt that way - nice to see it in writing so I can share it with people who try to be gracious to new residents.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Anon, nice try. I'm a native, and we've always referred to this entire area as Tampa Bay. Obviously you don't know that, so you're not a native of THIS area and I doubt you're a Floridian at all.

I never said we natives were known as 'rednecks, crackers, etc. ad nauseum'. What I DID say is that Confederate flag wavers ARE.

You and your kind belong in the stone age.

Saur♥Kraut said...

UWL, Oh, no doubt. But, we also know that we are not allowed to scream "FIRE" in a crowded auditorium (unless it's on fire, of course). There are LIMITS.

If we won't allow a Nazi flag to be flown there, we should not allow a Confederate flag to be flown there, either.

Anonymous said...

You are right it is the Tampa Bay AREA, not the city and yes, I am a native. Most non-natives refer to Tampa proper as Tampa Bay because they don't know better.

Me and my kind belong in the stone age? My kind is middle aged Anglo who used to be a member of the co-op on Nebraska Avenue. Apparently, old hippies are stone age; I have got to tell my tree-hugger friends. I assumed you were from up north because of the Yankee transplant portion of your post and you assumed I approve of the flag because I bristled at the redneck verbiage.

I don't approve of the flag and have never owned one, but I'll go back to the stone age anyway.

And once again, thank you for your candor. I will have to make sure my southern accent is gone before my next interview or others will stereoptype me the way you did.

Robin Berryhill said...

"Massive Confederate Flag to be flown in Tampa"

Only in America can one cite his or
her own opinion. I respect any one's point of view but when that
opinion becomes blurred with ignorance and mis-information then that is when the gate shuts.
I am from Berkeley, California and definitely not a red-neck.
The flag represents to me a sense
of pride and hope. The flag is symbolic of less taxes, less gov't
and a better understanding of the
I associate with the Sons of Confederate Veterans-San Jose Chapter as well as the Vietnam Veterans Against the War.
Basically; I deplore your use
of anger with the Confederate Flag.
Even though I am a Vietnam Veteran,
I feel honored to be associated
with Confederate Heritage.
Have a good day and be happy.

Robin Berryhill
p.s. I suggest you read Jefferson
Davis-His book is called The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government. Your knowledge base will grow I quarantee it.

involved with the use of the flag.
I belong with the Sons of Confederate Veterans-San Jose chapter. Also belong to the
Vietnam Veterans Against the War.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Robin, I truly appreciate your taking the time to write. I completely disagree with you, however. Simply because the Confederate Flag means something different to YOU doesn't mean that it means the same thing to the vast majority of Confederate Flag devotees.

And believe it or not, I'm not ignorant, nor am I liberal. I'm a moderate (formerly conservative) and one of my favorite historical books is Freedom: A Novel of Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War (1987) by William Saffire. I highly recommend you read that.