Sunday blog: The trouble with flying the Confederate Flag in Wellington (updated Monday)

first_imgEditor’s note: According to USD 353 school officials, there were no Confederate Flags being flown in the Wellington High School parking lot Monday morning.———Commentary by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — It would be the height of all hypocrisy for me to try to take away someone’s First Amendment rights when I have spent a career promoting its value. But of all the things in the world for which to take a stand, flying a Confederate Flag around town is a rather lousy one to make.Tracy “Cueball” McCueI have noticed lately some people are flying Confederate flags in the back of their pickups around Wellington. At least two of them are WHS students, and their Confederate flags were in the parking lot along with a McDonald’s Restaurant flag.I’m not sure what the reason is for the McDonald’s flag, but I’m all for it. I support the rights of all hamburgers to be consumed and chicken nuggets to be processed, deeply fried, and bundled in packages of great number like 20, 40, or even 151.The modern day Confederate Flag? Not so much.In some ways, this topic is tiresome. I remember writing about it in the 1990s when South Carolina was fighting to keep the Confederate Flag flying at its state capitol. I’m aware of the flag’s heritage and it being an integral part of the Southern culture. It’s also a topic I decided was none of my business since it was a fight the people of the former Confederacy states needed to decide for themselves.But the topic has come to me. It has suddenly became an issue here in Wellington, Kansas. Now, I know I’m playing in the hands of these misguided youth and their desire for 15 minutes of fame. But, I can’t help myself. There are so many things wrong with this political statement on so many levels, I can’t keep quiet. Thus, perhaps we should have a little history lesson.Bleeding KansasFirst of all, let’s state the obvious. Kansas was a Union state. People flying the Confederate Flag here are obviously displaying profound ignorance for their own history. In fact, Kansas becoming a free state was one of the key issues sparking the Civil War.You heard the term ‘Bleeding Kansas?’ It came during a critical juncture when the North and South Congressional leaders were battling for legislative supremacy as western territories became states. It was critical in the balance of power, much like the Democrats and Republicans of today.Because of the Kansas- Nebraska Act – enacted in 1854, new states were allowed to decide for themselves whether to be a “free” or “slave.” But, as we well know in today’s political climate, that doesn’t always work. Kansas held an election that was as mean spirited as the one’s today – except instead of the big national parties throwing money for illogical television commercials and political pamphlets, they just went down and shot people and pillaged communities. Same thing, different tactics.In Kansas’ ultimate act of being cool, the state would eventually become free. Missouri, of course, wanted us to be slave. But what do we expect? It’s Missouri.And when the war broke out, Kansas fought with the North.So essentially when a Kansas person flies a Confederacy Flag it is the equivalent of a Wellington Crusader football fan showing up to a game wearing Andale Indian gold and black and cheering the opposition.The South lostHere’s another stupid aspect of flying the Confederate Flag. The South lost. And in the end, it wasn’t really close.I like to use sports analogies. So let’s lump the whole U.S. Civil War as if it was a single football game: North vs. South.Bill Belichick, like Robert E. Lee, but grumpier.I’ll give the South credit. It was very well coached and played a very good game. General Robert E. Lee was the Bill Belichick of his time. And the South came out of the gate and kicked the North’s tail for the first two quarters. The North was so incompetent in the early stages of the game, that the owner, i.e. President Abraham Lincoln, fired the head coach and another one and another one after that before halftime.But the South made a huge blunder. Belichick, I mean Lee, left his playbook out and it was discovered by someone from the North right before the half. So when Lee called for the Antietam play, the North was ready, intercepting the ball and taking it in for a touchdown. The North was back in the game.The second half, with Coach Ulysses Grant now at the helm for much of it, played even ball through the third quarter. But late in the third, the North decided to throw the Gettysburg pass in their own territory, resulting in a 70-yard touchdown. The North took the lead, and it broke the South’s back. From that point forward, the North used its superior bench to pummel the battered and bruised South. The game got ugly late. I think a 38-21 final score would best describe the final Civil War outcome.So I’m perplexed why there is this clamor to fly the Confederal flag. I don’t see too many people flying the flags of the Detroit Lions.It’s the wrong flagMy history-loving son at TCU pointed something out I didn’t realize. These Confederate Flags being flown today aren’t even genuine Confederate Flags – but evolved later after the fact.The official flag of the Confederate Flag was this:Only the battle flag of the Army of the Northern Virginia had a similar flag to the one misconstrued as today’s Confederate Flag:Notice it was much more square. The rectangular version of the flag was never part of the Confederate’s existence.And then there was the issue of slaveryThere seems to be this delusional view among Confederate Flag wavers that the Civil War was not about slavery. Well, yes it was.Abraham LincolnOne could argue the North originally got into the fight, not because of slavery, but because of economical reasons. The South, with its cotton and other exports, was a key ingredient to the North’s industrial aspirations. It did the North no good to have the South secede. However, two years into the war when Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, the abolishing of slavery became the North’s rallying cry.As far as the South, it was all about slavery from the start to the end. They fought the war to preserve their right to own slaves. Those slaves were free labor.So, why?So let’s fast forward to today. With all I said above, what is the point of flying a Confederate Flag in Kansas?If it is about individual expression, why not grow your hair to your knees, tattoo yourself up, or wear pink boots with a thong in public?But I think we all know the real reason here. The Confederate Flag is associated with racism. It is an ode to a racist time when white people owned black people.People get worked up about the women’s march, or Black Lives Matter protests, or other movements that are part of some kind of liberal agenda. I don’t always agree with many of these protests especially when they turn violent. But these movements at their roots are demanding change for the better in the lives of those who are protesting.I don’t understand how flying a Confederate Flag will make society any better. It won’t help me as a white American, and it will only antagonize those of other ethnicities. If you want to embolden the Black Lives Matter movement – just fly around a few Confederate flags. That will do the trick.Personally, for me, my anger stems from the fact that I live in Wellington, Kans. and the Confederate Flag is such a misrepresentation of this town. I cringe at the thought of a visitor passing through seeing one of these flags, and erroneously thinking we are a town of ignorant redneck racists. I know better. But that visitor might not.Yes, these young men are embarrassing the community.But what can be done? Perhaps, USD 353 could take a more active stand and forbid the allowance of symbols that could be construed as hate speech on governmental property. That is what the state of California has done. You aren’t allowed to sell or display a Confederate flag or any other memorabilia in the Golden State.But, again, it becomes a First Amendment rights issue. That opens up a Pandora’s Box of other issues.I guess for me I request two things from these young men:Take the flags down.Grow up.You are young enough. 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The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. +17 Vote up Vote down Ron furman · 171 weeks ago Oh boy cueball. This ought to be good Report Reply 0 replies · active 171 weeks ago +1 Vote up Vote down Ted “Theodore” Logan · 171 weeks ago “There seems to be this delusional view amongst(sic) Confederate Flag wavers that the Civil War was not about slavery. Well, yes it was.” ” The Confederate Flag is associated with racism.” You are exactly right with both statements. The parents of these children should be ashamed. Although it’s entirely possible they loaned the flags to their children. Report Reply 0 replies · active 171 weeks ago -2 Vote up Vote down Phoebe Lord · 171 weeks ago I hope this is no indication of the level of history being taught in our schools. Report Reply 2 replies · active 171 weeks ago +35 Vote up Vote down Steve Durst · 171 weeks ago I had an aunt that kept the family bible. She didn’t want the family to look bad so if someone got divorced or widowed and later remarried she would erase all information of the prior marriage. I had a cousin that was married 5 times but the family bible shows she had one long loving matrimony. My point, she made it look like it never happened. Sorry Aunt Nell, we can’t erase the past. I’m not pro or con flying confederate flags but I don’t think because someone does means they are pro slavery. These young men probably think they are rebels of some sort who are trying to get attention, which they have. Report Reply 0 replies · active 171 weeks ago +20 Vote up Vote down Bars&Stars · 171 weeks ago Tracy-Well written article but maybe you can explain how the Confederate Battle Flag (Bars & Stars) is considered hate speech. It is only hate speech if one allows it into their mind as such. I have operated under different flags, but I truly prefer how the Gadsden Flag with story of Ben Franklin/ Moultrie including gentleman it is named after. Now, if USD 353 is considered government property, then whom is the government? Is it not the people of the USA the actually ‘government’, or have we all but lost that notion? Either way, while it may bother many people or visitors in Wellington, I see it only as a symbol of a war which cost more American lives than all other wars combined. I do not see it as ‘hate speech’, I simply see it because other Americans and countries consider the American flag as something to hate also. For all the way-ward former hippies and such that wish to burn the American flag, please be sure and do it at a Veterans Rally so the veterans can explain free speech to you! Report Reply 0 replies · active 171 weeks ago +22 Vote up Vote down Jeff · 171 weeks ago If you don’t like it, don’t look at it. Free Speech works both ways. You have free speech because rough men stood (and still stand) ready to visit great violence on anyone who might wish to take that freedom away. An even more bothersome issue is how the left -and its news minions- is attempting to silence anything and anyone who has *any opinion or belief* that differs from theirs. Report Reply 2 replies · active 171 weeks ago +6 Vote up Vote down Wondering · 171 weeks ago Wheres the parents? Kids don’t alway use good judgement. Thats when parents step in and say NO YOU DONT! Report Reply 0 replies · active 171 weeks ago +14 Vote up Vote down SilenceD · 171 weeks ago Those kids flying that flag equates to racism, in my mind, as much as the local high school being called the crusaders equates to being anti-muslim. Try putting a liberal spin on it being OK to be proud to be a “crusader”. It’s probably only a matter of time before some pansy liberal decides it’s not ok to be a crusader and pushes for that change. I would imagine you, Cue, would support that change? Report Reply 0 replies · active 171 weeks ago +41 Vote up Vote down Wellington Wildcats · 171 weeks ago It’s a flag and one assumes they know why the person decides to use it. Assume is the key word. Why is it that this flag or any symbols associated with the history of this country need to be taken down now. Because some over educated snowflake is offended? Let’s see the rainbow flag does that offend anyone? I am not gay but don’t care if someone wants to drive around with one on their vehicle. What about a Bronco or Raider flag here in Chief Country. I am sure more are annoyed by that than.a few rebel high school seeking attention five seconds of fame. Why is it that someone’s business becomes everyone’s business? Why. Do I have a rebel flag. Nope but I don’t care if someone else does. Before we judge somebody why not have a conversation with that person. we may just be surprised as to what they may say. Report Reply 0 replies · active 171 weeks ago -14 Vote up Vote down big d · 171 weeks ago In many business settings, you will be fired for showing the confederate flag in the parking lot, on your desk, tool box, etc. We should prepare our young folks for the real world of life and have them remove the flags. ” can’t we all just get along” Report Reply 1 reply · active 171 weeks ago 12345Next » Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! 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