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IPFS News Link • History

The Other Stars and Stripes

•, by L. Neil Smith

Note: they are saying, on the Internet today, that, in addition to tearing down the Jefferson Memorial, there are plans to dig up the remains of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest and throw them away or exile them somewhere. True, Forrest was the founder of the Ku Klux Klan, but only those who care not to be know-nothing pimpleheads are aware the he intended it to be valiant guerrilla resistance to the brutal, occupying Union. It went wrong in other hands. I can't think of a lower, scummier act than this one, and I will do what I can so that these ghouls can't look at themselves in a mirror.

It is July of 2015, I am a longtime Internet columnist, and I find myself with so many remarkable events occurring around me, I don't know what to write about. I am struck by the stupidity and evil of the controversy over the battle flag of the Confederate States of America.

I have never cared much for that flag, to tell the truth. I largely grew up in the South, in northern Florida and Texas, and when I was young, the kind of people who reveled in that flag were best describable metaphorically as that part of the body related to waste elimination.

However, I was aware, as most objectors to the Confederate flag don't seem to be (or won't admit they are), that the overwhelming majority of 19th century Southerners owned no slaves, had no interest whatever in slavery, and that they were most concerned with keeping hordes of unshaven, slovenly Union recruits from stealing their crops, killing their livestock, burning their homes, and raping their women—in short, many of the concerns we have today. In time, I learned that the vast majority of Northerners didn't want to free the slaves, as massive numbers of newly-freed blacks would be a threat to their jobs.