Published on July 1st, 2015 | by Rick Robison2
AMERICA AND THE OLD CONFEDERATE FLAG
WHY THE CONFEDERATE BATTLE FLAG SHOULD NOT BE FLOWN
Of course, this is America—Land of the Free, Home of the Brave. You should be allowed to fly any flag you want to fly as a free citizen.
But that’s also the underlying point, or why you have that right today.
Without the United States of America, represented by the Star Spangled Banner, our world as we know it would not exist. The world would have been overrun by Nazi-Fascists and Imperial Japanese, or more likely by hard-core Communists of the Bolshevik breed, turning our world into a dark, oppressive, angry place not unlike the conditions we see in the movie Hunger Games, or the novel 1984, or perhaps Brave New World. Without the United States, true evil would have long since triumphed.
The United States of America has freed more slaves, financed and rebuilt more economies, forgiven more enemies, and produced a higher standard of living for more people than any nation in history, period. And because we are who we are each citizen has the right to fly just about any banner he or she wants. Yet that goes to the very heart of the issue.
The Confederate Battle Flag, flown by the rebel states during much of the American Civil War, represents many things to many people. To some it recalls the abomination of human slavery. To others it represents a proud history of sacrifice and honor—the willingness of hundreds of thousands of Southern men and women, white and even some black, who were willing to give their all for what they perceived as resisting injustice from the United States of America, as led back then by President Abraham Lincoln.
To many Southerners today, the flag represents those who fought, sacrificed and died, those who left their farms and families and suffered indescribable torments, crippling injuries, and heart-wrenching losses in order to preserve what they viewed as their sacred rights under the U.S. Constitution. To many today, the Confederate flag represents an eternal dedication and loyalty to ancestors, sacred land, and to honor and respect among comrades. It represents “states’ rights.” Anyone who’s lived in the South knows that rarely, in any other part of our country, do you find stronger patriotism for America. An important part of that foundational patriotism is embodied in the South’s tradition of fighting for the freedoms which the flag of the Old Confederacy stands for.
But again that brings us back to the crux of the argument.
Abraham Lincoln had the vision to see what would be the inevitable outcome of a divided American nation: “Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as a heritage of all men, in all lands, everywhere. Destroy this spirit and you have planted the seeds of despotism around your own doors.”
Lincoln knew that the world needed a strong and powerful United States, united from sea to sea, preparing for the inevitable assault by despotism and tyranny which would surely come. Had the United States not been powerful and united in the 20th Century, when fascism/Nazism, and also Communism, rose to conquer most of Europe and Asia, even the world, and tyrants would command most of the Middle East and Africa, that in very fact there would not be a nation powerful enough to resist these evils.
I’ve worked in the Soviet Union, and in Russia. When Ronald Reagan branded the Soviet Union the “Evil Empire,” trust me, he was being generous. And Nazi Germany came close to defeating their opponents and controlling the world with an iron fist. Due to Adolf Hitler’s native arrogance and poor military choices, however, we caught a break and eventually, though not without horrible losses, were able to prevail.
Whatever positive meanings and symbols that some place on the Confederate flag, in reality that flag represents the desire of the rebels to break the United States of America into two (or more likely multiple) American mini-nations, thus weakening what would become the world’s champion of freedom, justice, opportunity, and prosperity. Such an outcome—what that flag represents—would likely have been lethal for America and the world.
In sum, I never fly the Confederate flag because it represents the attempted dissolution of the very nation which God set in motion, born of a genuine heavenly miracle and bought by the blood of patriots to “preserve the spirit that prizes liberty as the heritage of all men” (Abe Lincoln). In essence, any symbol that advocates weakening this great nation in any way, past or present, is a symbol I will not support, nor will I display.
That’s why the Old Confederate Battle Flag should not be flown. It’s as simple as that. It represents a war, a movement, and a passion, that did its level best to destroy, in its nascent state, the most important nation on earth. That’s why I also believe that God knew the multiple dangers that were coming in the world, and, as the National Anthem proclaims, God “preserved us a nation.”
We thank the Lord that he did. We pray that he will continue.