In what has to be about the DUMBEST fixation on American history without any basis in what really happened, the Obama Administration has unilaterally decided that the Stars and Bars, the flag carried into battle by the Army of the Confederacy in the U.S. Civil War (which was anything BUT civil once the Union took control), is hereby banned in cemeteries maintained by the Veterans Administration. From the Washington Times:
“In particular, we will amend our policy to make clear that Confederal flags will not be displayed from any permanently fixed flagpole in a national cemetery at any time,” wrote Ronald E. Walters, under secretary for memorial affairs at the VA.
Cemeteries maintained by the National Parks Service and the U.S. Army already do not allow the Confederate Battle Flag to be flown from a flagpole. Congress debated the change, and decided the change should NOT be made. Obama went ahead and did it anyway. One congresscritter is delighted.
Rep. Jared Huffman, a California Democrat who had pushed for the changes, declared victory after the move, and said it was a rejection of some of the sentiments seen at rallies for GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump.
“While racist individuals and groups continue to embrace the Confederate battle flag, it has never been more clear that this anachronistic symbol of hatred, slavery, and insurrection should not be promoted or gratuitously displayed on federal property,” Mr. Huffman said in releasing the VA letter last week.
Descendants of the Confederacy will remind Congressman Huffman that the south actually allowed blacks to serve in the army as officers. The north did not. Aside from that, a thorough knowledge of American history surrounding the Civil War can support the argument that the real fight was over states’ rights and northern aggression even as the abolition of slavery was the most immediate outcome. Bringing Donald Trump’s candidacy into the argument is stretching.
(And don’t forget, the party that passed the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments freeing the slaves, making them citizens, and giving them the right to vote were NOT the Democrats.)
For whatever reason, the Confederate Battle Flag has become a lightning rod in the racism debate. So much so, that debate over allowing state flags that incorporate it in the U.S. Capitol has occurred. Banning the Stars and Bars at VA cemeteries is a small victory, though. There are plenty of southern Americans who know enough of their states’ histories to know that this fight is more for show and to erase that history than anything else.