So there is a lot of debate about the Confederate flag. Southern states are debating about removing it from being displayed on capitol grounds. Retailers are removing it from their stores. Pundits are arguing over the meaning of the flag and, of curse, the First Amendment. I’m not an expert on the Civil War, the KKK, or anything like that, but I’m originally from North Carolina and I have my own opinions about this.

First, let me give you my two cents about the cause of the Civil War. It was slavery. Period. Some will argue that it was about States Rights. I think that is just a way to hide from the real history. The Southern states wanted to continue to use slavery and the US government wanted to end it. Yeah, the federal government and some states disagreed about how much control the federal government had. But that was because of slavery. Every war and political issue is complex, but to say the Civil War was about anything other than slavery is dodging the issue.

farmer-cornfield-720-ncNow let’s talk about one of the argument to keep flying the flag. A lot of flag supporters say it doesn’t represent racism. They insist it represents their heritage. First of all, I don’t think they are acknowledging the true history of the Civil War. In addition, even if they think the Civil War was about states rights, they should acknowledge that the Confederate flag has been used by racists since the 1960s. The flag is flown at many KKK rallies. It was used by opponents of desegregation. If you claim not to have racist intent by flying the flag, then it seems you should be upset with the racists that do. Stand up to them and criticize their ignorant behavior.

Does this mean I’m not proud to be Southern? Hell no! I’m proud, but I have many other ways to show it. I spread my love of Southern cuisine – fried okra, real BBQ, sweet tea, fried chicken and, of course, grits! I use “sir” and “ma’am” when addressing my elders, the wait staff at restaurants, etc. I show respect for hard work – blue collar workers, small farmers, mechanics, etc.  There is so much more to Southern heritage than that stupid flag!

Now can we move on to more important topics? Like ending racism? Or making sure violent criminals or mentally unstable people don’t have guns?