T Nation

Confederate Symbols in America

Should important figures of the Confederacy be memorialized with statues? Should the Confederate flag be flown proudly or included in state flags? Should war memorials for Confederate soldiers exist or be removed?

I think statues and memorials should stay, but have plaques and interactive signage explaining the Confederacy and what it stood for, and what it did. Common soldiers have little to no say in the fight so I’m more likely be in favor of memorializing their lost lives as opposed to the lives of Confederate leaders. The Confederate flag is the flag of slavers and traitors, and has no business being on any official government paraphernalia IMO. But just like a Nazi flag, individuals should be able to fly it if they want.

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Some of them should be, perhaps. Lee is arguably the best general the US has ever produced. That surely deserves a mention, even if you did put a plaque near it to contextualise it.

If I was from Stonewall Jackson’s home town, I’d probably want a statue.

Exist. The rank and file soldiery were still Americans, after all. Commemorating your soldiers only when you like the war would be uncharitable to the dead.

I’d be more inclined to agree with this.

It’s a complicated question though. I think it should be left to the locality where these things are present. Outside agitators tend to make the issue more divisive than it otherwise would be.

Cromwell was a monstrous man, but I’m not about to wage some Cavalier redoubt to remove all insignia of him from the U.K.

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I was asked this the other day: What about statues for Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull. Both fought against the U.S. Both lost the war. Should they be memorialized?

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Interesting comparison. My gut says yes.

They fought against America, but only because America had invaded their lands. America then systematically set about erasing their history and culture, relocated them to essentially internment camps, and systematically oppressed them for decades after.

IMO, I think the difference comes down to what they were fighting for, and how they were treated by America before, during, and after their respective wars.

It feels like the Confederacy stabbed America in the back when it seceeded, and fought for slavery. Native Americans were “forced” to fight due to Americans expansion west and were fighting for a way of life far less repulsive than the slavery economy of the Confederacy.

But I also don’t know too much about crazy horse and sitting bull and their actions.

Good point. I remember learning that every battle in the War Between the States was fought in the North.

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Statues of confederates leaders/soldiers are best left in those places where the history of the war can be taught and put in context: Vicksburg, Antietam, Gettysburg National Military Parks.

Robert E. Lee had some words of wisdom on the subject:
“I think it wiser,” the retired military leader wrote about a proposed Gettysburg memorial in 1869, “…not to keep open the sores of war but to follow the examples of those nations who endeavored to obliterate the marks of civil strife, to commit to oblivion the feelings engendered.”
and
*“As regards the erection of such a monument as is contemplated; my conviction is, that however grateful it would be to the feelings of the South, the attempt in the present condition of the Country, would have the effect of retarding, instead of accelerating its accomplishment; & of continuing, if not adding to, the difficulties under which the Southern people labour.”

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What are your thoughts on Confederate flags, statues and memorials?

Every battle was fought in the USA :wink:

They should stay up if the people paying for them want them. They can be torn down if the people paying for them want them down. I feel the same about every monument.

As were the lands occupied by Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse.

Some should be removed simply because they’re so fucking ugly… check out one of the many Nathan Bedford Forrest statues in TN.

I don’t believe those territories were in the USA at the time.

So you would be in favor of voting on individual statues and memorials. What do you personally think should be done about them?.. How would you cast your vote in general?

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That’s a plastic statue. No way that’s metal.

I’d say no.They belong in museums, but not on the public square

Not to mention, if I recall correctly, many of them were put up during the civil right era, to intimidate

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You’d be incorrect.

Sure.

Whatever the people paying for them want done.

I’d vote to privatize all statues, monuments, etc.

The man looked like he could put you down at 100 yds by spitting in your eye.

The statue looks like he’s wearing a skirt and riding a unicorn.

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If you melt it down I bet you find chocolate underneath the foil wrapping.

In school we were taught that Lee was VERY reluctant to join the Confederacy. Everything I’ve read since, seems to back up his utter disdain for having to pick a side in a war he never wanted.

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No it’s real. I edited my post because it’s Forrest, not Longstreet. The statue is south of Nashville.

[quote=“Legalsteel, post:2, topic:267689”]
Some of them should be, perhaps. Lee is arguably the best general the US has ever produced. [/quote]

Lost Cause propaganda. Both Grant and Sherman were superior generals.