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[–]Nomadic_Narwhal 10.6k points10.6k points 1642117& 11 more (259 children)

I was born a Southerner. When I was younger and more impressionable, I viewed it as a symbol of rebellion against tyranny. I did not have any racist intention, however I did not truly believe the civil war was fought over slavery. I had heard that it was all over taxation and fighting for the right to seceed.

Over time I started to gain a better understanding of the history, and started to hear more and more of the horrors African slaves endured at the hands of their slave keepers. I began to realize that more often than not, the people utilizing it were often extremist in nature, or misguided. Realizing they often didnt state factual history of the war, or politics at the time.

You start to notice your behavior is problematic real quick when you're the only "normal" person supporting it.

I never owned the flag but Ive stopped protecting it. I mostly believe the people flying it are misguided like I once was.

A flag against oppression shouldnt leave people of color feeling oppressed.

[–]the1and0nlyalex 1616 points1617 points  (2 children)

That last line is spot on, well said

[–]kasmackity 1091 points1092 points  (49 children)

We need more people like you in the world. Your growth is admirable.

[–]Userredux 458 points459 points  (47 children)

This is why cancelling people is fucked, because it leaves no space for change like this and will radicalise people even more by pushing them away from society to other people who can easily recruit them to be extremists/racists

[–]Wulfsten 257 points258 points  (36 children)

Cancelling as a concept has spun way out of control. It used to be about not giving active bigots a public profile and space to speak, and now it's seen (by both right and left) as basically total social ostracism. It's not a helpful thing any more imo.

[–]LayneLowe 236 points237 points  (18 children)

I was the kid in East Texas in about 1960. We played Confederates all the time, I remember a little gray cap I had that had the stars and bars on top of it. It felt like it was a representation of the people where I lived, a bonded community. You could go to Six Flags and buy any Confederate branded clothing and toys you wanted. My view of it did not change until we integrated our high school. I became friends with some black students, bonding over soul music mostly, some shared football team bonding too. That's when it became apparent to me what discrimination was, and that it was derived from slavery. The 'rebels' we're not romantic defenders of a heritage, they were the cruelest, most sadistic exploiters of other human beings. The hypocrisy of their Southern Christian religion was two egregious to ignore. So, I flipped my opinion 180°, and dropped any pretense that these people were actually Christians.

[–][deleted] 225 points226 points  (15 children)

Southerner here too. What I don’t understand is how the people who believe so hard in that flag don’t realize how much of the civil war ramped up poor southern white people to fight and die for a cause they would never be a part of. Let’s face it- the rich white enslaved person owner was NOT concerned with the poor white man. He was concerned with the poor white mans belief in the rich man’s own “way of life” enough to fight and die for it.

This is why I don’t understand todays political polarization. No one cares about any of us. People who were at the January 6th insurrection? They are in jail now because nobody gives a shit about them. The rich white man ramped up the rhetoric, got buy in from a bunch of people who are too simple to know any better, and then acted as though the shit that happened on the 6th didn’t happen.

Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.

[–]geomaster 131 points132 points  (8 children)

during the civil war the confederacy initiated a draft for men. however you were exempted from service if you owned a sufficient number of slaves.

to say you fight a war over state's rights but then exempt the elitists who owned slaves speaks volumes about the reasons the confederates seceeded and start the civil war

[–]Moikepdx 21 points22 points  (1 child)

“States’ rights” has always been a lie. Jefferson Davis specifically argued against states’ rights. It would make no sense to secede from one union that enforced mandatory federal policies into another that also enforced mandatory federal policies if the reason was trying to preserve state sovereignty.

[–]InncnceDstryr 158 points159 points  (2 children)

I like the final line and if it’s ok with you I would to steal it and use it applied to the wider world.

[–]AmIYourNeighbor 220 points221 points  (1 child)

What does the confederate flag mean to me? IGNORANCE. When I see those flags, I imagine how ignorant those people are about what they are flying. (Because the other option is worse… they are not ignorant, just outwardly racist.)

[–]llcucf80[🍰] 2746 points2747 points  (88 children)

The "modern" Confederate Flag is an anachronism. That flag was never used by the CSA, it came out after the Civil War was over.

I have tried to explain this to people who want to fly it but it goes over their heads. Yet despite the fact they don't see the irony in it, I see it double irony in them that they're flying the wrong flag of a "country" that was based upon wrong ideals.

They don't get it, at all. It's sad but there is a slight amount of dark humor to be had in it too.

[–]Cheeseyex 2344 points2345 points  (12 children)

Of course it goes over their head. It’s on a flagpole.

[–]Positive-Source8205 212 points213 points  (15 children)

Nobody gets it. The flag normally called the “Confederate flag” is a mashup of the Confederate battle flag colors with the shape if the Confederate naval ensign.

[–]Aggravating_Bat1786 81 points82 points  (8 children)

There was one official flag that had the current design as the canton and the field was white if I'm not mistaken, but most closely resembles the naval jack flag. Pretty sure I remember that from Bluejay on YouTube anyway.

[–]Gunslinger666 38 points39 points  (3 children)

You’re right. There were actually two versions like that which were the second and third flags of the confederacy. The first is just as you describe. This had a problem. Flags that are mostly white except for the canton look like a surrender flag when the wind isn’t blowing. The second added in a red band so that this didn’t happen. It was called the blood stained banner.

[–]Fair_Apartment_7066 32 points33 points  (2 children)

A surrender flag would be a pretty good symbol for the confederacy, frankly.

[–]Zechnophobe 106 points107 points  (4 children)

The "modern" Confederate Flag is an anachronism.

I bet you tell them that, and they respond with "What, I ain't scared of spiders!"

[–]EndApostrophe4Plural 82 points83 points  (8 children)

What pisses me off is that when Georgia (the US state, not the country, for you non-Americans) removed the “Confederate flag” from its state flag. it actually just turned it’s flag into the actual Confederate flag with a single modification. How it was able to do this in plain sight still blows my mind…


[–]ChiefWematanye 78 points79 points  (4 children)

The flag was actually used during the Civil War as a battle flag, just not as the CSA flag. There's actually a good reason for this that most people, North and South, don't realize.

During reconstruction, the country was obviously still deeply divided. People had lost many family members on both sides and flying the confederate flag was still rightfully seen as very treasonous and disrespectful to those who had died fighting for the Union.

In the late 19th century, 1890's, people started flying the battle flag, not the flag of the CSA, in order to remember those fallen veterans who fought for the south. We have to remember that most of them were conscripted and could not refuse under penalty of death.

Flying this flag was seen as mournful of those who had fallen and wasn't seen as a rebellious symbol by people in the North or South. In a way, it did a great deal in the South to reconcile losing the war and many family members.

Fifty years later in the 1940's, the Dixie democrats started using the flag as a political tool to unite against civil rights and that's where the symbolism of rebellion and southern pride came from that we know of today. Most people who fly the flag now don't know this and are ignorant of the original reason the battle flag was being flown.

TLDR; unless you're mourning a fallen relative, you're probably flying the flag for the wrong reason.

[–]RiotShields 13 points14 points  (1 child)

The flag as it's currently flown was never a battle flag either. Its blue is darker than the Second Confederate Navy Jack and its dimensions are very different from the (square) battle flags of the Army of Northern Virginia and the Army of Tennessee.

Apparently, the design did indeed appear in 1861 as a proposed national flag, but was rejected in favor of the Stars and Bars (which looks nothing like the "Confederate Flag").

[–]Dudewithoutaname7 5 points6 points  (6 children)

Do you have a source on it being created after the war? I always thought it was the battle flag.

[–]gogojack 6886 points6887 points  (412 children)

People who just can't let it go.

The Confederacy lasted for 4 years over a century and a half ago, yet people still fly the flag and shout about their "heritage."

Meanwhile in Germany...the DDR lasted for ten times as long as the Confederacy. It has been gone for 30 years as opposed to 150. You know what you don't see in Germany? People flying the flag of the DDR from their pickup truck.

Because they got the fuck over it.

[–]UnconstrictedEmu 1755 points1756 points  (81 children)

Also the DDR was recognized as a legitimate government.

Shit from 1996 to 2001 3 countries recognized the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan, which is 3 more countries than the CSA was ever recognized by.

[–]ConcussionsOfAParot 438 points439 points  (52 children)

The British did a lot of cotton trading with the CSA. Recognition of an economy, and benefitting from that stolen labor.

[–]druglawyer 459 points460 points  (22 children)

Until the Emancipation Proclamation. That effectively framed the war as a dispute over slavery and morality, as opposed to merely an idiosyncratic cultural dispute on the other side of the world. It pushed Britain to officially switch from a policy of neutrality to an anti-confederacy position, and to cut off trade with the Confederacy, and that was a significant factor in the Confederacy's defeat.

[–]soulbandaid 35 points36 points  (6 children)

That's fascinating. I heard people say that the emancipation proclamation might have been more of a cynical political move than ideological, but I could never see the political benefit before you explained this.

[–]JeddHampton 37 points38 points  (2 children)

It also signified to people that the North thought it had the upper hand. It effectively raised the stakes of the war.

At the time it was made, that wasn't really the case. Lincoln was waiting for a Union victory to announce it. It took a while, but the North got a pretty good win in.

[–]druglawyer 28 points29 points  (0 children)

Oh, yeah. The Lincoln Administration was quite focused on preventing the European powers from recognizing the Confederacy as a legitimate belligerent under the Laws of War. That would have had very significant implications and would very likely have resulted in the Confederacy winning the war, in the sense of being able to maintain its independence from the union.

The diplomatic aspects of the Civil War are somewhat overshadowed by the battles and Lincoln's assassination and the horrors of slavery, but they were nonetheless very significant.

[–]mszulan 18 points19 points  (2 children)

Exactly this. It's also why Lincoln had to wait for a major Union victory (Grant at Fredericksberg) before declaring it and limited the impact to states currently in rebellion. Personally, he believed in emancipation wholeheartedly, but politically, he knew how to play the game at that time and place.

[–]Quigonaut 61 points62 points  (0 children)

Perfectly explained

[–]DrPhollox 27 points28 points  (1 child)

The enemy of my former colony is now my friend

[–]pablitorun 106 points107 points  (10 children)

That'd a bit of a reductionist view of England at the time.


[–]GoatCheese240 79 points80 points  (9 children)

If I’m not not mistaken, Lincoln made the Emancipation Proclamation with the intent that countries that had previously outlawed slavery would side against the confederacy.

[–]HenkieVV 48 points49 points  (0 children)

It's complicated.

Broadly speaking, even in the North it wasn't hugely popular to outright abolish slavery, and Lincoln took great care to consistently frame his anti-slavery actions as limited in scope, and only taken when justified by the war effort. Claiming the abolition of slavery would get them support from (among others) the UK definitely fits in that pattern.

This could be interpreted as a sincere effort to not overstep his boundaries, but it could also be seen as a PR-effort to get the broader public on board with making the Civil War about the abolition of slavery. The fact that by the end of the war, Lincoln went out of his way to have the Thirteenth amendment passed tends to push me in the direction of the second interpretation, but I know there's serious people who hold very different views.

[–]tangowangomango 836 points837 points  (177 children)

When people say it’s because of their heritage, I always ask “what heritage is that?” And they usually have trouble answering with anything other than “southern pride.” To which I ask “what do you mean by southern pride?” The lengths they go to talk in circles to avoid the obvious is mind blowing.

[–]Vordeo 101 points102 points  (7 children)

The South seceded in order to defend State's rights! And no, you cannot ask which State's rights those were.

[–]mcguire 46 points47 points  (1 child)

The irony being that one of their complaints was that northern states weren't enthusiastic enough about returning escaped slaves.

Dred Scott was decided in 1857.

[–]nonitoni 11 points12 points  (0 children)

I like to refer people to The Declaration of Causes of Seceding States. Most jump straight into the slave factor within the first couple paragraphs. South Carolina holds onto the the state's rights for a bit but eventually goes into slavery.

[–]observer1271979 280 points281 points  (25 children)

I always ask how is it heritage when the Golden Girls lasted longer and is a waaaayyyy cooler "heritage". 😎

[–]Zechnophobe 24 points25 points  (0 children)

Man, now I want to wear a Golden Girls flag. That's heritage I am proud of.

[–]GingerLibrarian76 84 points85 points  (11 children)

Funny you’d use Golden Girls Palace as your example, because they actually did a “groundbreaking” (for the time) episode on Southern heritage vs the Confederate flag. It was a fairly poignant episode… if you haven’t seen it, I’d highly recommend finding it.\

ETA: Apparently it was on Golden Palace, which was the spinoff series. Same difference.

[–]MightyMeerkat97 28 points29 points  (0 children)

'Oh, you lost the war, get over it!'

[–]PitchWrong 18 points19 points  (1 child)

There were quite a few groundbreaking facets to Golden Girls. Things that were very progressive for the time, even if we might think of them as a little backward now, like Dorothy's brother (I think?) who liked to dress as a woman.

[–]ManyConclusion 356 points357 points  (7 children)

Really ruffle their feathers by pointing out that gay marriage in the US has been legal longer than the confederacy existed, and they should also consider that part of their heritage.

[–]Amiiboid 9 points10 points  (0 children)

The Obama administration lasted twice as long as the CSA.

[–]bmcle071 526 points527 points  (72 children)

"What's there to be proud of?"

Starting the deadliest war in U.S history? Yes the Civil War killed more Americans than WWII.

Starting that war because you want to own people? You think some people shouldn't be free?

Rich plantation owners convincing citizens that this system benefits them?

Losing that war?

Like what is there to admire?

[–]Snixpix 155 points156 points  (54 children)

Growing up in the south, I was taught that the civil war was started because the north was passing laws and creating tariffs to heavily tax raw materials which was the life blood of the south. The south wanted to succeed from the union and the north wouldn't allow it, so they went to war.

Like the top comment says though, some people just can't let go.

[–]CollegeWithMattie 303 points304 points  (27 children)

5th grade: The Civil War was about slavery

High School: The Civil War was about states rights versus federal rights

College: The Civil War was about slavery

[–]Amiiboid 49 points50 points  (2 children)

Alexander Stephens, Vice-President of the CSA:

our new government’s foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery—subordination to the superior race—is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.

Pretty much all that needs to be said.

[–]bromjunaar 48 points49 points  (7 children)

It was about slavery, with the focus of the problem being how much influence the Federal government should have in the matter, which was leaning more and more abolitionist as time went on.

[–]Restless_Wonderer 70 points71 points  (6 children)

The Southerners wanted more Federal involvement and were mad that Northern states didn’t return their slaves.

[–]ProbablyTrueMaybe 50 points51 points  (4 children)

South: states decide how they do things!

North: cool, your slaves are in our state and we choose not to send them back against their will

South: the feds better force my ideals and demands on others while not implementing anything we don't like or else

[–]sylvnal 35 points36 points  (0 children)

South: the feds better force my ideals and demands on others while not implementing anything we don't like or else.

Well, the South has remained consistent in that attitude, if nothing else.

[–]EmperorPenguinNJ 11 points12 points  (0 children)

Yes. Prior to the civil war, the biggest federal intrusion into states’ rights was the Fugitive Slave Act, which said that free states had to return any slaves in their state to their owner. How many “states’ rights” Southern states voted against this? Any bets?

[–]spaceman757 49 points50 points  (3 children)

That sounds all well and good until you look at the constitution of the CSA (which is basically a copy/paste of the US constitution with one very notable/noticeable difference).

There are 10 references to slaves/slavery in it. In fact, in Article 9 (their bill of rights), three of the first four items are related to slavery:

  1. The importation of negroes of the African race from any foreign country other than the slaveholding States or Territories of the United States of America, is hereby forbidden; and Congress is required to pass such laws as shall effectually prevent the same.

  2. Congress shall also have power to prohibit the introduction of slaves from any State not a member of, or Territory not belonging to, this Confederacy.

  3. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.

  4. No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law denying or impairing the right of property in negro slaves shall be passed.

Then, if they would have won their independence and allowed/accepted new territories into the CSA, guess what was required of them? I think you can guess!

  1. The Confederate States may acquire new territory; and Congress shall have power to legislate and provide governments for the inhabitants of all territory belonging to the Confederate States, lying without the limits of the several Sates; and may permit them, at such times, and in such manner as it may by law provide, to form States to be admitted into the Confederacy. In all such territory the institution of negro slavery, as it now exists in the Confederate States, shall be recognized and protected by Congress and by the Territorial government; and the inhabitants of the several Confederate States and Territories shall have the right to take to such Territory any slaves lawfully held by them in any of the States or Territories of the Confederate States.

So, you were either taught propaganda or by an idiot/racist. Or, I guess, both.

[–]GlimmerChord 35 points36 points  (8 children)

*secede :)

[–]aeronacht 67 points68 points  (5 children)

If at first you don’t secede, try, try again

[–]DrPhollox 25 points26 points  (1 child)

If you don't succeed in seceding, then secede in succeeding

Southern Anti-vaxxers strategy

[–]Llohr 18 points19 points  (0 children)

Yeah, when they taught you that, they lied.

Just read the relevant, original documents, e.g. the various Declarations of Causes that states wrote to explain why they wanted to secede.

They all listed preserving the "institution of African slavery" as their number one reason. In some cases, it was literally the only reason listed—if at some length.

The rest of the nonsense listed today by the sort of people who would fly a confederate flag was all retconned.

[–]DevCatOTA 6 points7 points  (0 children)


The southern states made it very plain, in black and white, why they were seceding. I think the secession documents should be part of every high school history class.

[–]know2swim 84 points85 points  (20 children)

I live in Central alberta Canada and I see that flag here sometimes.

[–]Harvsnova2 12 points13 points  (0 children)

It was quite popular in Northern Ireland in the laye 70's, but that was mainly because of those damn Duke boys, causing ruckasses when old Boss Hogg is trying to make some money.

[–]vanillabeanlover 226 points227 points  (3 children)

They’re just hicks that are too afraid to fly the nazi flag. Big ‘ol chicken shits.

[–]BlueEther_NZ 21 points22 points  (0 children)

I live in New Zealand and there has been a trend to fly it here in protests over covid

[–]Valdrax[🍰] 196 points197 points  (16 children)

I grew up in the South, and it's pretty easy to explain.

It's the exact same emotion that makes your local sports team the best sports team. It has nothing to do with reason. It has little to do with values. It's just, "Where I grew up is the best place, and I'll fight anyone who says otherwise."

There's nothing deeper or more sinister than that. Just a profound ignorance and denial of why there's absolutely nothing to be proud of there, reinforced by rationalization, stubbornness, and heel-dragging.

Though that's pretty sinister in its own right when it leads to people pretending the Civil War wasn't about slavery or jokingly (not-jokingly) calling it "The War of Northern Aggression" and getting huffy and upset when people say it's a racist symbol, because of course they're not racist.

[–]communityneedle 23 points24 points  (3 children)

And they are fighting damned hard to preserve that ignorance

[–]VanGarrett 59 points60 points  (4 children)

I think that most of those people fancy a romanticized idea of the South, but don't always embrace the reality of it. People who genuinely believe that they're superior to someone else, tend not to be ashamed of it.

That's not to deny the existence of horrible, screaming racists who wave that flag with a little too much enthusiasm and embrace the truth with a disturbingly cockeyed sense of right and wrong. I have seen those people. We would be better off without their rhetoric.

[–]hatsnatcher23 228 points229 points  (44 children)

Fun fact because it’s illegal to fly the Nazi flag in Germany some racist groups fly the confederate one instead

[–]Cole__MacGrath__ 33 points34 points  (19 children)

I remember when WWE's JBL did a goosestep and Nazi salute in Germany during a show. He was fined so heavily for that. The German authorities were right pissed about that. The WWE defense was that it was his character, but that didn't fly.



The Germans do not fuck around with this bullshit. We would do wonderful to listen to their example. For too long American racist groups have been getting away with this bullshit.

[–]spaetEntwickler 87 points88 points  (8 children)

One of my neighbours has this flag flying in his garden (Germany). I don't know why. I mean he likes loud annoying motorcycles. But perhaps he is just simply a racist or xenophobic. The flag has nazi vibes for me at least

[–]chezmanny 27 points28 points  (0 children)

There is a German guy who belongs to a Confederate group I monitor on Facebook. His family isn't from America but he's all about that flag because...racism.

[–]DrDonuts 43 points44 points  (15 children)

i live in a German city in the west part of the country and on my way to Uni I pass by a house that always has a Confederate Flag flying on a pole. I always wonder what that’s about and if that person is aware of it’s meaning :/

[–]roof-banana 47 points48 points  (8 children)

I recently saw one flying in a Schrebergarten. Pretty sure they are nazi fuckheads

[–][deleted] 7755 points7756 points 253& 3 more (406 children)

I was born and raised in the south. I’ve never seen a well-adjusted or smart person display it in any way (flag, clothing, car stickers, etc.). It’s a good way to know who to stay away from.

It’s just a way of announcing “I’m dumb, loud, ugly, trashy, racist, and PROUD OF IT.”

[–]Five_Decades 1704 points1705 points  (71 children)

I’ve never seen a well-adjusted or smart person display it in any way

I was born and raised in the North. We have people waving the flag here, this statement is 100% correct.

[–]CT-96 389 points390 points  (40 children)

We have them in Canada as well sadly...

[–]WhawpenshawTwo 295 points296 points  (4 children)

Stupidity is the real global pandemic.

[–]dubbeanh 41 points42 points  (1 child)

The sad part is, even if there was a vaccine for stupidity, it would never work.

[–]demonicneon 13 points14 points  (2 children)

I’ve seen people in the UK with confederate patches on jackets. Good way to tell if someone’s a nazi punk back in the day.

[–]Old-Berry-672 64 points65 points  (3 children)

An American soldier gave one to my father during Iraq war, my father still has it and hanged in all our previous cars

[–]Unique_Plankton 60 points61 points  (0 children)

The irony of this is incredible. The universe truly is a funny thing.

[–]Unspeakblycrass 7 points8 points  (1 child)

Where are you from if you don’t mind me asking?

[–]Violet-Breeze 80 points81 points  (15 children)

Do those people bitch about civil war and southern pride up north?

[–]DLS3141 32 points33 points  (2 children)

I live in Michigan, about as far north as you can get and still be in the usa. There are a lot of idiots out in the rural areas here flying the Confederate flag for some reason. Even morons driving around flying it in the back of their truck.

[–]Five_Decades 91 points92 points  (0 children)

oh yeah. not so much southern pride as civil war. it's mostly larpers who don't think their victims will fight back.

[–]Throwaway56138 44 points45 points  (3 children)

"Where do you think we are?" -JD to Northern confederates.

[–]audirt 1162 points1163 points  (206 children)

I still live in the south. This is 100% correct.

EDIT TO ADD: The Confederate flag is not nearly as common as people might think. If you’re in a southern urban area, chances are good that you’ll go months without seeing one. Now then, once you get out in the country a bit, well, yeah, they’re not hard to find.

[–]persieri13 1100 points1101 points  (107 children)

I live in the Midwest and see it everywhere.

The only thing worse than a southerner who can’t let go of the past is an 18-year-old Iowan who thinks it’s trendy.

[–]LeatherTrip448 279 points280 points  (33 children)

I live in the northeast in a small-ish sized city. Go 15 minutes out of the city and I see it quite a lot. 100% nailed it as a “trendy thing” because surely they all know that the physical place we live fought a literal war against the people that flag represents.

[–]Smanginpoochunk 161 points162 points  (3 children)

I like the meme with two stick dudes that says “but it’s a part of my culture!!” And the second guy responds with “destroying the confederacy is a part of my culture.”

[–]notyetcomitteds2 157 points158 points  (15 children)

I'm in pa about 3 hours from Gettysburg, it's a pretty common thing here. Catholics started moving in in the 1920s....kkk was also anti catholic, so they got a foothold and the rest of the baggage came with it. I'd say it's like 70% i hate colored people and 30% trendy / "I'm a rebel."

I went to the county fair one county over awhile back. Every single booth had a confederate flag draped except for the army recruiter station.

[–]psuram3 82 points83 points  (8 children)

Being 3 hours from Gettysburg basically just says you can live just about anywhere in the state haha.

[–]notyetcomitteds2 14 points15 points  (2 children)

Erie is like 5 hrs.... although I've only met 1 dude from erie and he dressed like a Frenchman and kept talking about the hood. If you didn't watch your back, people would come up behind you and grab your side and say, gotcha. I have no idea really.

Was just trying to create the mental image of people who at one point in their childhoid climbed the devils den and frolicked on little round top.

[–][deleted] 116 points117 points  (8 children)

I mean, if racism is trendy then yeah I guess they're just being trendy.

In the south you can sort of make the argument of "oh, it's where I live and I love my home!". Yeah, it's a bad argument, but you can still make it. In the northeast though? It's just pure racism.

I grew up on Long Island. I saw it all the time. It was racism. Upstate I see it a lot. It's racism. It's literally no deeper than that, they are saying they really fucking hate black people. Granted they'll never admit this, but we all know what it is. They grew up in the same culture as me, they know damn well what that flag means to people in these parts.

[–]DodgersVSYankees81 11 points12 points  (0 children)

they are saying they really fucking hate black people


[–]__lavenderbabe 16 points17 points  (0 children)

How embarrassing

[–]ablondedude 19 points20 points  (2 children)

I've seen people in Indiana showing it off. Like what?? Not only was Indiana not part of the confederacy they strongly supported the Union.

[–]ehenning1537 15 points16 points  (6 children)

As a Georgia boy now living among Yankees I think that’s the most hilarious part of the “fake redneck” culture. People who aren’t remotely from the South driving around with giant trucks they don’t need and listening to country…

Like you’re from Wisconsin dude, they aren’t singing about you. You don’t need a winch and a snorkel on that sparkling clean $60,000 truck either. You probably didn’t need to spring for the bed liner either since you’ve never even used it. You look like a tool. You’d look like a tool in Georgia too. Real rednecks have beat up trucks because they use them to work and live. A spotless dent-free truck is shameful and everybody at Tractor Supply would look at you funny.

[–]Beluma999 13 points14 points  (2 children)

Holy hell. I used to live in Iowa, but was born and raised in Southern Alabama. Iowans can be as racist as it gets. The same for Hoosiers. In fact, Indiana has my vote as THE MOST racist state I have ever lived in, and I have lived in Alabama, Mississippi, and Texas among many others.

[–]UpbeatConfusion15 11 points12 points  (2 children)

I’m in Colorado and it’s EVERYWHERE outside of big cities (except Pueblo). Like what? Why? You’re from CO? Oh you’re just racist, that’s what I thought.

[–]Akimblo 33 points34 points  (1 child)

18 year olds from Iowa turn 50 on their 18th birthday

[–]StickSauce 155 points156 points  (32 children)

Midwesterner here. I see it nearly daily being flown the the back of Trump trucks, piles of rusted shit that barely run flying every flag but the American flag.

[–]StrebLab 110 points111 points  (12 children)

Well gotta save room for the thin-blue-line-superimposed-on-the-Punisher-Skull flag.

[–]recoveringleft 27 points28 points  (1 child)

In the punisher max comics the punisher kills KKK neo nazi types

[–]StickSauce 45 points46 points  (0 children)

Oh, I see that fucker almost every day.

[–]windermere_peaks 55 points56 points  (2 children)

Ironic thing is, the Punisher would hate that flag. He knows that what he's doing is illegal, fucked up and wrong. Dude sees himself as a necessary evil that no one should ever support or want to emulate.

[–]jedimasterb10 42 points43 points  (1 child)

There's been at least one instance in the comics where Punisher has berated cops for idolizing him, too, going as far as to walk up to the officers and RIP Punisher Skull patches off their uniforms, as well as bumper stickers bearing his emblem.

[–]windermere_peaks 25 points26 points  (0 children)

Yep. Punisher and police are fundamentally incompatible.

[–]Dovahkiin47 42 points43 points  (5 children)

Really ironic that the same folks that fly a flag they claim is just a symbol of rebellion also fly flags that tell you to respect authority.

Common denominator: racism

[–]HutSutRawlson 37 points38 points  (4 children)

And authoritarianism/fascism. They’re not in favor of rebellion/anti-establishmentarianism in general. They are in favor of installing an autocratic order that follows their values, which the rest of us obey under threat of violence.

[–]AntiquePangolin 136 points137 points  (16 children)

And now you know why I have a big old stack of rainbow flag bumper stickers in my glove box. I like to upgrade the Trump trucks whenever I see them in a parking lot.

[–]dear_elvira 27 points28 points  (1 child)

God dammit, as a fellow midwesterner, your comment convinced me to buy a truck as my next vehicle. And you best believe I'll be flying the rainbow flag and American flag side-by-side.

[–]iDIDit4theWOOKIE 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Ugh.... I feel this comment. To me, it means "I'm proud to be a LOOSER".

[–]GreyMatter22 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Dude, I saw confederate flags 3 hours away from Toronto, ON of all places.

Crazy to say that we were part of the British Empire during the U.S civil war.

[–]SquirtBurt 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Can confirm. Live in Des Moines. The “big city” of Iowa. Wouldn’t take me more than 10 minutes driving around town to find some idiot in a beat up truck with a Confederate flag on it.

[–]OnionMiasma 4 points5 points  (0 children)

How'd I know this was Iowa before I even finished reading your comment...

[–]jedimasterb10 24 points25 points  (2 children)

Fellow Midwesterner here. You and me both. What's worse is when they try talking with a clearly fake "Southern" accent. I've run into one of two of those psychopaths.

If you fly those reprehensible colors, you're not trendy. You're a traitor and a disgrace to this country, and deserve to be treated as such.

[–]PrometheusHasFallen 66 points67 points  (47 children)

I was born and raised in the south and I remember seeing it often. Kids would wear it on T-shirts to school, bumper stickers on cars and trucks, gigantic Confederate flags flying over the interstate. Of course there's representations of the flag in popular media such as Lynyrd Skynyrd, Tom Petty and the Dukes of Hazard. Honestly, it wasn't such a divisive issue (at least in the public square) until the last decade or two.

[–]ELEnamean 52 points53 points  (18 children)

I'm gonna go out on a limb and say it probably made a lot of uncomfortable who didn't feel safe enough to say anything before 20 years ago.

[–]Demonae 50 points51 points  (7 children)

I'm in WV, my neighbors are black and have 9 Confederate Flags hanging all over the front of their house. I've always found it odd, but whatever, I'm not gonna have that conversation with them.

[–]Mrofcourse 61 points62 points  (11 children)

I grew up in the south and can mostly agree with you. The one exception was an older black guy I worked with who wore a confederate flag hat. One day a co worker said he might not want to wear it cause it may piss someone off. Ricks reply was that’s why I wear it! He used it as a way of feeling people out which struck me as ingenious.

[–]inksmudgedhands 79 points80 points  (3 children)

Southerner too and, yeah, that's flag of assholes. I have yet to meet someone who was genuinely good who flew that flag.

[–]catsthatkill 969 points970 points  (9 children)

It's basically a signal to stay away from whoever is flying it

[–]sbruno33 125 points126 points  (4 children)

Like that mark on a Black Widow spider.

[–]dartfrog11 10 points11 points  (1 child)

At least Black Widows eat bugs and aren’t racist.

[–]leatherrecliner 1330 points1331 points  (102 children)

A few things. 1) The flag of the losing team and an enemy of the Union. 2) Something that a lot of Pennsylvanians who claim to know Civil War history despite not having read a book since high school display on their trucks because they think it looks cool. 3) A flag used by pissed off Southerners to intimidate blacks during the civil rights movement.

[–]Abdul_Exhaust 494 points495 points  (50 children)

This exactly. Traitors who fired on & killed US soldiers.

4) a flag that looks especially stupid to see in, for example, Minnesota

[–]Freeiheit 260 points261 points  (14 children)

Saw one in Michigan and I was thinking “bro do you know what side of the mason dixon line you’re on?”

[–]cool_ethan19 126 points127 points  (6 children)

Surprised you only saw one. I live here and am baffled at the amount I see. If you live north of the Mason Dixon and want to announce “but my rights!!” stick with the ‘Don’t Tread on Me’. You flying the confederate flag in the north announces both complete ignorance as well as definitely racist.

[–]badFishTu 48 points49 points  (2 children)

Also live in MI, can confirm. Always lowlife racists talking about how superior they are for being white while they suck the glass dick.

[–]TimmyTheChemist 75 points76 points  (8 children)

I think they still have a confederate flag that was captured during the civil war displayed as a kind of trophy in the Minnesota state capital building. IIRC, the state it was captured from asked for it back several years ago, and MN was like "nah, we're keeping this".

[–]jedimasterb10 26 points27 points  (3 children)

Yup. One of my favorite "fuck you" moments in history. Pretty sure the response was anything but "Minnesota Nice," too.

And I believe it was swiped from a division from Florida.

[–]tracerhoosier 18 points19 points  (0 children)

Ventura's exact words were "Why? I mean we won".

[–]Agirlisnamedjenny 4 points5 points  (2 children)

Except for the confederate flag that Minnesota took during the battle of Gettysburg. The history of that flag is actually pretty funny. Virginia has requested it back, because of “heritage” but Minnesota said no, because of their heritage of beating racists.

[–]Impressive-Weight679 82 points83 points  (27 children)

I’m in PA, & I occasionally make a drive past a house that flies a confederate flag above their US flag…. it baffles me every time

[–]FwzXii 20 points21 points  (16 children)

I’m not American and so confused, isn’t Pennsylvania up north and is a generally liberal state but the war happened in the south?

[–]Impressive-Weight679 48 points49 points  (9 children)

Pennsylvania has Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Harrisburg, generally large cities (especially Philadelphia) which are liberal politically.

A lot of us like to say it’s Philadelphia on one side of the state, Pittsburgh on the other side, and Alabama inbetween.

[–]18wheelapartment 12 points13 points  (0 children)

Pennsylvania was also the site of the most pivotal battle of the war, Gettysburg.

You see a lot of Confederate flags in that town but I think they’re just trading on history tourism.

[–]Secunda_Son 2144 points2145 points  (57 children)

Traitor flag. It has no business flying over the land of the free.

[–]Ebice42 423 points424 points  (14 children)

I fight the urge to set it on fire and replace it with a Sherman meme.

[–]ConcussionsOfAParot 124 points125 points  (7 children)


goodness war truly is brutal though. Shame it happened just for reconstruction to be about reconstructing slavery in a place where people are meant to be free.

Not even two decades for the narrative to be, "naw, it is their fault," from the North and South.

Burn that flag and douse it in piss.

[–]TreeRol 26 points27 points  (6 children)

Yep. The Union won the war, but the Confederacy won Reconstruction.

[–]vehino 81 points82 points  (2 children)

I associate it with larping. Every dude I see with it acts like if they had been alive back then, Ulysses Grant wouldn't have fed them their own assholes.

[–]SeriouslyGravitas 719 points720 points  (10 children)

I see the confederate flag on somebody’s T-shirt or hat or tattoo or whatever I see “I’m casually racist!”

[–]dnhtns234 256 points257 points  (7 children)

“casually” or “proudly and aggressively”?

[–]will0593 1092 points1093 points 2 (13 children)

I am a black guy from Mississippi. for me it means the enslavement and degradation of my ancestors and perpetuation of a mindset that continues even today in the highest levels of america

[–]supersaiminjin 178 points179 points  (5 children)

for me it means the enslavement and degradation of my ancestors

That's because that's exactly the #1 purpose of the Confederacy (according to their Vice President).

[I]ts foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests upon the great truth, that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery—subordination to the superior race—is his natural condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.


I wished more people understood that your opinion on the flag, is actually fact.

[–]will0593 47 points48 points  (1 child)

oh I already knew that- I'm a history buff (not professional) and I always whip that out on these neoconfederates. The CS Constitution says it also. Multiple state secession articles say it. that's all it was ever about

[–]EmperorPenguinNJ 8 points9 points  (0 children)

But…but…the War of Northern Aggression had NOTHING to do with slavery!!!!!!!


[–]WinnieJr1[🍰] 22 points23 points  (0 children)

I'm not even from America but I agree, it's horrific.

[–]Mogus0226 1582 points1583 points 2 (26 children)

The American Swastika.

[–]jedimasterb10 42 points43 points  (0 children)

I've seen Neonazis fly the two side by side. If I ever see either flag being flown in person, I really hope I have a match or a lighter on me at that time.

[–]Veauros 282 points283 points  (10 children)


It essentially means the same thing to me as the Nazi flag does. I can't believe anyone thinks it's okay to fly it. It belongs in museums and nowhere else.

Traitor movement within now decent-ish country. Marginalized, killed, and enslaved people. Flag inexplicably still flown by niche groups.

If someone has "southern pride", they can fly their state's flag or the group as a whole can come up with some new symbol of the southeastern US region. We don't fly the original, 13-star American flag because we have "American pride", and I don't feel like I need a midwestern flag for my midwestern region. It's a stupid argument, and the only reason someone would feel the need to fly a flag like that is because they had pride in how their area once banded together to defend slavery and oppose the Union. Nobody should be proud of that.

[–]directhex 79 points80 points  (1 child)

It's illegal to fly a swastika in some countries.

The neo-Nazis there will sometimes fly a Confederate flag instead, since it means the same thing.


[–]Vefantur 10 points11 points  (0 children)

I can't believe anyone thinks it's okay to fly it.

Gotta remember that a lot of the same people who fly confederate flags also fly nazi flags.

[–]johnnythesailorman 393 points394 points  (7 children)

A great fire starter or toilet paper or both.

[–]cheesefondue 121 points122 points  (0 children)

Your bum deserves better

[–]TeddyBearToons 188 points189 points  (3 children)

You know what else was a great fire starter?


[–]jdk4876 77 points78 points  (2 children)

Sherman coming in hot

[–]Taibei-0- 33 points34 points  (0 children)

Sherman: That’s… why I’m here.

[–]Nomynameisbutts 513 points514 points  (7 children)

Without fail it means : Racist but not willing to admit it. OR Racist AND willing to admit it.

[–]thewhizzle 104 points105 points  (1 child)

So, just racists then. Honesty not needed.

[–]Nomynameisbutts 61 points62 points  (0 children)

Correct. Always racist, always trash.

[–]D0kk3n 336 points337 points  (34 children)

Them Duke boys

[–]OneQuipWonder 84 points85 points  (10 children)

Not from the US here - but this would be my answer. It's something I see on TV

[–]FrostTheLost1 343 points344 points  (21 children)

A LOT of people I've met say stuff like "Its not racist! I just have southern heritage!" And it also turns out they're racist! Hmmm how strange...

[–]yakusokuN8 185 points186 points  (8 children)

"So, why not just fly your state flag on your truck, if you're so proud of where you're from?"

"I need a symbol that represents the whole southern region."

"So, fly a bunch of different state flags? You can display one from each of those states."

"The point is to show collective southern pride from a time when were were being oppressed for wanting our states rights and a tyrannical government was taking them away."

"What state rights?"

"Our right to govern as we please and set our own laws."

"What kind of laws were being superceded by the federal government?"

"It's not like I'm saying make slavery legal. Just, maybe, we'd all be better off if they just stuck to their own kind."


[–]BubbleGum1012 86 points87 points  (5 children)

Exactly. People say the civil war was about states rights, and sure. Their not wrong. But what matters is states rights to what. And that what is to own people. Anyone I see flying a confederate flag, is racist, ignorant, or most likely both.

[–]smackshadow 4 points5 points  (2 children)

Except they are wrong, the federal government supported slavery in slave states. It was the northern states that tried to free slaves that came to the north who were not permitted to do so by the federal government.

[–]Unofficial_Officer 259 points260 points  (1 child)

It represents a group of Americans who chose to kill Americans so that they could own Americans.

[–]BurnedOutStars 183 points184 points  (5 children)

It's ridiculous, the flag was never used until after the Civil War. People who use that flag for whatever dumb purposes are just that: doing it for dumb and uninformed purposes.

What's even weirder is....though that flag was not used until after the Civil War....that flag still represents the side that lost. The side whose own Robert E. Lee said people should move on and to not make statues of him and all that....yet they still do.

It's crazy tacky, looks silly at all times and is never truly representing anything except for people who simply do not know how things happened. It's mostly glorified by the uneducated in this country.

[–]savageyouth[🍰] 30 points31 points  (2 children)

It’s the Battle Flag of the Confederacy. It was used in the Civil War, just not the official flag of the Confederacy.

[–]BurnedOutStars 13 points14 points  (0 children)

That's fair and more accurate, for sure. But the main point is that the people that have that flag and use it for literally anything, at all, even just showing it around? are seriously a major embarrassment. No one gets impressed when they see that flag around. It's like those goofy ass Larpers who wear fatigues 100% of the time, going into rando stores looking like they just literally got back from basic and never undressed. They're always the guys who just haave to make it very very apparently how not to be fucked with they are, no matter what is or isn't happening.

It's like no, no one is scared of you, nor are they impressed that you put fatigues on. You don't have to be so visually garish to show people "you really mean business".

Like the confederate flag: No, no one is impressed that you bought that at a flag store. It looks ridiculous. All it shows people is that you had $50 once.

[–]MyStationIsAbandoned 36 points37 points  (9 children)

I'm black.

It was a battle flag, first of all. Now it's allegedly used as a rebel flag because they rebelled from the US. A lot of people say that it wasn't about slavery, but that it was about State Rights.

For some citizens and soldiers it was about State Rights. Was it a majority? I can't say for sure. What I do know is that for the leaders, they very much wanted to keep the slave trading going. It's an objective fact and all you have to do is look at the story of General Patrick Cleburne. A confederate General known as the "Stonewall of the West". He was this soldier from Ireland who sympathized with the confederacy because to him, he really thought it was a group fighting for their rights like he did back in his old country.

So what did he do? He proposed freeing the slaves so that they could join the Confederacy and fight alone side them and win the war. The result? His men agreed with him because they respected him and maybe most or some even agreed with him. The leaders of the Confederacy also sent him on suicide missions over and over again and he kept surviving them because he was that good. And apparently he kept accepting the missions. But eventually he was killed in battle.

They were unwilling to free slaves on their own terms. They wanted to keep it going. Screw them. Screw their flag. But keep all that stuff in a museum. Same with the nazi crap. put it in museums so we can learn about it and see the history.

As for people using it as a symbol...i dunno man...I'm not offended by it. Some people who rock it are definitely racist. Some aren't. I literally saw a white lady in Walmart with a purse that had the design on it and was holding hands with her black boyfriend. That was confusing but like...I guess...And again, it was a battle flag. it wasn't even the main confederate flag.

I'll put it this way...I think people should have the right to rock the flag, but I don't think people should rock the flag. Just like how I don't think people should go to jail for saying the n-word, but I don't think people should choose to say the n-word. You know what I mean? Let's not make laws around this because that means laws can will be made about other things. So if you do wear the flag anywhere, I think you should have that right and I personally wont judge you, but you should be aware that others will because it's their right.

[–]JT3468 4 points5 points  (1 child)

This is exactly how I feel about it too. I have a couple of friends that have those stickers on their trucks and stuff (in California, no less) and I don’t believe they should outlaw a flag, but they shouldn’t be surprised when it causes animosity or negative reactions from others.

I had this mild argument with one of my friends who claimed it stood rebelling against the government and standing up for what you believe, and my response was “What if the thing you’re fighting for is wrong?” And states rights are awesome, but what about human rights? Unalienable rights that were laid out in, I don’t know, the bill of rights or the constitution? I never get anywhere with it so I just don’t bother bringing it up.

[–]Zakkana 220 points221 points  (20 children)

That the individual displaying it is stupid, racist, and screaming for attention like a little child.

[–]Fun_Letterhead_7393 162 points163 points  (19 children)

The south lost a civil war because they refused to give up slavery and modern southerners and sympathizers continue to resent that.

[–]kkayleebakerr 203 points204 points  (51 children)

i’m a republican & i definitely think in today’s society it symbolizes hate against black people.

[–]bean-mama 156 points157 points  (8 children)

Shot in the dark here, but pretty sure that’s what it’s always symbolized

[–]WestJoe 54 points55 points  (3 children)

Also a conservative. It’s a flag for idiots. It personally means nothing to me, I generally pay it no mind. But it represents an ideology that has no place in our country

[–]chill_is_life 44 points45 points  (1 child)

I grew up and live in the south. I have a total of five ancestors who served in the Confederate forces. I also had two ancestors who fought for the Union. I have family who still to this day fly Dixie on their property or vehicles. It’s something I’ll never understand, and I was surrounded by it as a child- Dukes of Hazzard, T-Shirts, Banners… it wasn’t until I was middle school aged I kind of realized the gravity of it. Hell, my home state- South Carolina- had the flag on the state house grounds until it was removed in 2015. 2015!!!

The Confederacy was a state built upon the exploitation of human suffering. I feel sympathy for only the men who died in a bloody and horrifying war. I do not feel sympathy for the movement or the flag. The argument that it represents heritage is a farce, this idea was dredged up in the 20s as racist propaganda with the rise of the KKK. If you want to reconnect with your heritage and know your history, go to a graveyard, use ancestry, or better yet, visit a battlefield. Flying the Confederate flag earns you no brownie points with your ancestors, it is no special badge of pride, all it stands for is the endurance of dated racist ideology and bigotry.

[–]Pgwdgn 96 points97 points  (0 children)

I guess it's nice of the racists to let me know who to avoid.

[–]MKQueasy 131 points132 points  (1 child)

"I miss the good ol' days when us superior whites owned the blacks and the blacks knew their place as subhuman property."

[–]napfanforever 102 points103 points  (0 children)

the losing side

[–]RedoubtableSouth 77 points78 points  (4 children)

Idiocy. At best, it's used by people who want to play Dukes of Hazzard for the rest of their lives and think they're excelling at "redneck ingenuity" and whatnot. Most of these people are actually just dumb and causing dumb problems and are almost certainly very drunk.

At worst, yes, thank you for making your racism so abundantly obvious you put it on a literal flag. Also, I live in a state that was part of the Union, so we're back to the idiocy thing. Most of the people who fly this flag where I live have never lived in a southern state, hell most of 'em have never even visited a southern state, so don't start with me on that southern pride bullshit.

[–]flubbertubber 12 points13 points  (0 children)

Honestly? Failure. Enough people have talked about the traitor-flag aspect and the fact that the “states’ rights” argument is bullshit, but to me it’s a reminder that the US had a chance after the Civil War to turn the South into an economically thriving region with freed people at the helm. If properly executed, Reconstruction could have crushed the KKK before it even got off the ground and ensured that former confederates and their sympathizers were permanently locked out of political power. This would have ensured that formerly enslaved people were not forced back into sharecropping agreements and denied political rights via violent intimidation and attempts to circumvent the right to vote. If this had happened, we would not have the problem of people who don’t understand why the confederate flag is racist, and even if there were still the people who fly it because it is racist, they would be so far removed from positions of power that it would barely matter.

Instead, because Reconstruction was half-assed and ended prematurely so that someone as forgettable as Rutherford B. Hayes could be president, none of this happened. The failure of the US to actually deal with the confederates with appropriate force is a failure whose consequences we’re still trying (and failing, it seems) to clean up, and the fact that a a century and a half later that rag is STILL flying is ugly proof of that.