Retrieved from teapartytvus
Whenever members of the Judah P. Benjamin Camp of the Sons of the Confederate Veterans don their grey wool uniforms for a demonstration or re-enactment, Al McCray is there among his brothers.
He marches in the parades and flies the Confederate flag. He speaks out against the notion that the Confederate battle flag is a symbol of racism and defends “Southern heritage” causes.
Yet McCray is different from the rest of the camp.
While the other members are descendants of soldiers that fought for the south in the Civil War, McCray is an African-American “legionnaire” — his ancestors were slaves on plantations near his hometown of Manning, South Carolina, just outside of Columbia.
“I understand the true nature of the war, and slavery was not the primary issue,” McCray said. “It was an issue of northern aggression and northern imperialism.”
On his website, McCray covers the latest in Tampa politics and controversies and has interviewed political stalwarts ranging from strip club magnate Joe Redner to former governor Charlie Crist. He also writes articles like, “Has the NAACP lost its way in the woods again,” and “The War Between the States WAS NOT about Slavery.”
Abolishing slavery was little more than a war game for the north to create more rebellion and discord in the south and stop the states from maintaining their sovereignty, he said. World-wide, slavery was phasing out as the war began and would have done the same in 20 or 30 years under a Confederate States of America, McCray said.
“I’ve always felt that way growing up in the south, that linking the flag to slavery and racism was just another way to keep division between the races,” McCray said. “I always wondered why Lincoln didn’t free the slaves his first day in office if he felt so strongly about it.”
Even though he doesn’t have any direct ancestors that were soldiers in the Civil War — normally, a stringent requirement for membership — the camp allowed him to join based on his vast knowledge of Confederate history, and he immediately became a spokesman of sorts that “opened doors to more diversity,” said Judah P. Benjamin Camp member Phil Walters.
“He’s educated us on a lot of issues on the black community and opened doors for us, getting us on black radio stations and in good community conversations,” said Walters, a Tampa alligator trapper. “He’s the kind of guy that wants people to wonder why there’s a black guy marching with the Confederate flag so they ask questions and learn the truth about our history. You don’t see a lot of diversity in these southern groups … but everyone and anyone is welcome. But if you’re a skinhead or come in with a white robe over your face, we’ll tell you to get lost.”
The Sons of Confederate Veterans isn’t the only club to which McCray holds membership. He is on the board of directors for the Tampa Tiger Bay Club and often socializes with the city’s political movers and shakers.
“Some people are shocked when they see pictures of Al with the flag or think it’s a little weird, but when you talk to the guy he’s very nice and very knowledgeable,” said Don Kruse, president and CEO of Beauty and Health Institute and a fellow Tiger Bay Club member who McCray has interviewed for his website . “Everybody knows Al, he’s very well respected, and he believes wholeheartedly in the heritage of that flag.”
A guest column in a Baptist state newspaper takes exception to Southern Baptist leaders reacting to the recent church shooting in Charleston, S.C., with calls to take down the Confederate flag.
Edward DeVries, pastor of Village of Grace Baptist Church in The Villages, Fla., said in a July 17 commentary in the North Carolina Baptist newspaper the Biblical Recorder that criticism of the Confederate flag by SBC leaders including seminary president Albert Mohler and Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission head Russell Moore dishonors godly Southern Baptist men who served honorably in the army of the Confederate States of America.
“While I think the actions committed by a domestic terrorist against our brethren at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church were deplorable and unconscionable, I do not believe that the proper response to them, by Southern Baptists or by anyone else, is to vilify the good name of our ancestors,” DeVries commented. “Nor should we propagate lies about the banner under which many of them so bravely fought.”
DeVries, the author of numerous books including A Symbol of Hate? or an Ensign of the Christian Faith?, said during the war his great grandfather served as the color sergeant in the 19th Texas Infantry.
“His job was to march at the front of the column, carrying the flag that Russell Moore, Al Mohler and others now vilify,” DeVries said. “It also meant that he was the primary target for enemy fire in battle. The fact that he survived the war is a miracle.”
DeVries, who started the small Southern Baptist-affiliated church in 2011 in The Villages, a census-designated place in Sumter County near Leesburg in Central Florida, said he shares that ancestry with his maternal grandfather, a Southern Baptist pastor for 53 years. Hundreds of thousands of Southern Baptists share similar ancestry, he said.
DeVries said perhaps Moore, Mohler and other Confederate flag critics “do not share the ancestry common to the majority of Southern Baptists.” Or maybe they do, he continued, but are “simply choosing political correctness over the Fifth Commandment.” DeVries said Exodus 20:12 — “Honor thy father and thy mother” — also applies to grandfathers and great grandfathers. That’s why the Bible refers to Jesus as the “Son of David.”
Days after 21-year-old Dylann Roof allegedly murdered nine worshippers at the historically black Emanuel AME Church, Moore, Southern Baptists’ top spokesman for moral concerns, penned a blog picked up by the Washington Post claiming that symbolism associated with the Confederate “flag is out of step with the justice of Jesus Christ.”
Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said he was deeply conflicted about the seminary’s founders’ support for the Confederacy and slavery, concluding that they were “heretics” in their teaching about racial superiority.
DeVries said most of the men who founded the Southern Baptist Convention were Confederate veterans, and those too old to serve were documented supporters of the Confederate government.
“So the attack by our denominational leadership is not only an attack against my ancestors, it is also an attack against the men and women who birthed our denomination and established many of its critical institutions,” he said. “It is a direct attack against the character and the godliness of our fathers and heroes in the faith.”
In his 10-chapter book subtitled The Truth About the Confederate Battle Flag, DeVries set out to correct what he says are misconceptions about the Confederate flag. In his op-ed DeVries said the flag his ancestors followed into battle was “not a symbol of slavery or hate” but rather “a symbol they selected from antiquity as a testimony of their Christian faith.”
DeVries said he cannot imagine why SBC leaders “would be attacking the very foundation of our denomination by impugning the character, morality and patriotism of our denominational founders.”
In the few hours between an announcement that Amazon.com would no longer sell Confederate merchandise and the listing for his book was removed, DeVries said he sold 1,215 copies. He responded with a website offering to give it away in PDF form to anyone who asks for free.
“The reason I am giving it away is because our history and heritage are under attack like never before,” he said. “And sadly, the attack against our Southern Baptist ancestors is now coming from high-ranking Southern Baptists.”
The removal of a historical banner won’t stop racists from exercising bigotry. As a matter of fact, racists will be racists despite regulations and constant “feel good” legislation, no flag needed. The ignorance of the disgruntled protestors is evident in their refusal to acknowledge that the flag widely recognized as the “Confederate Flag” was never actually adopted as the flag of the Confederacy. They’ll also never admit or realize that not only was slavery not the motivating factor for the ensuing civil war, but that slavery was an American institution, not a Confederate one.
The Confederacy, in its prime, never mounted the atrocities of the Trail of Tears or the Black Hills conspiracy. But it seems that all because a few cowards in bedsheets once hijacked the gorgeous colors of a banner so rich in history to terrorize and intimidate other Americans, we condemn the Southern cloth to oblivion as a misnamed symbol of hate. It doesn’t matter that slaves outside of the declared boundaries remained enslaved in the North. Neither does it matter that many Southerners gave up plots of their property to house and provide compensable labor for black workers. It doesn’t matter that Lincoln, who is often regarded as the liberator of enslaved blacks cared less for the welfare of slaves than for the sovereignty of an entire country.
Where I come from, deep in the Heart of Dixie, I see that flag every single day with its bold red field and star-studded cross of St. Andrews in royal blue. I hold a certain respect for it that others fueled by emotion and misinformation wouldn’t understand. I revere it as a son of the South in a way that would confuse those on the outside looking in, who by the way are not entitled to commentary on which flag waves in our humid Southern breeze. I spot it on not so subtle scavenger hunts gracing a random shirt at the gas station, the hat of the guy behind the counter at my local bait and tackle shop, and the bed of a passing pickup with the accompanying decal “Southern Pride.” I smile because I know that if in need, that guy would give me that same shirt off his back. I smile because I live in a region that has a certain defiance that only a select few inherit.
In short, I’ve come to terms with it being a wrongfully vilified piece of Southern culture, as important to our collective heritage as RC Cola and Moon Pies.
In so many ways, the South is the conscience of the entire nation. In the 21st century with Americans abandoning all decency and forgetting to walk tall, the South still manages to maintain a certain air of moral obligation that has been all but lost in northern enclaves like Philadelphia where Americans scowl at one another, heavily divided by racial suspicion and bigotry, or cities like New York where neighborhoods a century after the Great Migration of blacks are still heavily defined by skin tone and distrust. In the South, we mingle. We play. We do like Willie Mays and “say hey” no matter the color of the person sitting on the porch. I walk into my local grocery with my daughter and like the tick of the clock, I know I can count on an endearing “Hey baby doll, you need some help?” from the attendant whose skin heavily contrasts mine. Her “y’all come on back now” is the most welcoming invitation I could ever hear.
“If it offends my neighbor, make it illegal, dynamite it, wipe it from the face of the Earth” rages the contentious fascist. It’s becoming clear that what those progressives want is a new, bleak, unrecognizable South, its accomplishments and errors equally stricken from the annals of history. They wish its monuments to be no more, the names of its generals removed from every institution, it’s antebellum flair retold as a horror story as if Sherman’s destruction wasn’t enough of a disgrace.
I am from the great state of Alabama and live between the rivers of Tennessee. I am a proud American and maybe in ways, an even louder Southerner. Can’t help it. I relate because I’m a rebel in so many ways and I’m very proud of where I’m from. I can read an accent from either Carolina and know that I’m in good company. I can present my pistol permit to a Texas Ranger and trust that it will be honored four hundred miles in the other direction. I know that I can stop for small talk in any Waffle House in Georgia, and strike up a meaningful conversation with the Walmart shopper behind me in line in Mississippi. I don’t need to know those people, they already know me. I am related to them and they are related to me.
I predict we are going to see more of these armed patrols of Confederate monuments. It was only a matter of time before the guns came out. I’ve already heard of similar patrols in other states of groups which are protecting Confederate monuments.
I can’t emphasize enough how volatile this situation is becoming. Apparently, the Obama administration has decided to look the other way while a whole class of citizens are abandoned by the law. They’ve decided that it is a “hate crime” when, say, the James Meredith statue is vandalized with a noose in a prank at Ole Miss, but when when dozens, if not hundreds of Confederate monuments are vandalized by #BlackLivesMatter supporters, well, it is nothing to be concerned about.
Is it going to continue to be open season on White people in America? How long is that realistically going to last before the inevitable upheaval comes? Are black mobs going to continue to be allowed to burn down major cities? Also, I see that CNN is already trying to stir up another black mob against the police in Texas.
Note: The White South is almost certainly the most heavily armed civilian population in the world. There are people who have been preparing for years for some kind of inevitable showdown with the government. Is it not obvious that provoking such a showdown would end badly? If so, then why continue to do it?
Am I, a white Southerner, offended by public displays of the Confederate battle flag?
The answer, not surprisingly, is no. My ancestors – dirt-poor Georgia farmers who did not own slaves – threw themselves against an enemy that outnumbered them three to one and outgunned them a thousand to one, and fought until they were too spent to draw back the hammer of a rifle.
They fought to preserve their homes, families and the sanctity of states’ rights, and did so under a slashed, red banner designed to reduce confusion in the heat and smoke of battle. It was, and still is, a symbol of courage, fidelity and sacrifice on a grand scale.
Not everyone, of course, sees it that way. Black Americans in particular claim to be offended by the flag’s public display because, for them, it represents the institution of slavery. Yet in any discussion about this particular symbol, we must remember a couple of historical notes:
The Confederacy supported slavery, but so did the United States. In fact, it was the U.S. flag that flew the longest over slavery, and it was the U.S. Constitution that condoned and protected it as an institution. It was the United States that allowed slavery to flourish so that Northern businessmen could get rich.
Further, Abraham Lincoln – the Great Emancipator himself – wasn’t terribly worked up over the welfare of slaves and said so a number of times. His concern was that he shouldn’t preside over a divided country, and went to war to keep the South in the fold, not to eradicate slavery.
So, if we’re going to start censoring symbols, there’s a lot of candy-striped flags to remove from statehouses, post offices, American Legion halls, cemeteries, school houses, and office buildings.
And American Southerners who honor their Confederate heritage do not celebrate the institution of slavery. We pay homage to superhuman courage and heroism in the face of overwhelming odds. We list dedication, sacrifice and a willingness to die for home and hearth as the height of what is good in the human spirit.
The day we say, “You may no longer revere your cultural heritage because of your culture’s sins or the misuse of its symbols,” is the day we must eliminate every culture known to man.
But when you strip the issue to its core, the problem isn’t the Confederate battle flag at all. The problem is that its most vitriolic opponents – specifically the NAACP, which attacks Confederate heritage at every opportunity – aren’t doing anything to address real problems among blacks.
By attacking Confederate occasions and symbols, the NAACP succeeds in drawing attention to things most people normally wouldn’t notice – which, I submit, is precisely what the group wants. Its aim is to deflect attention from the real dilemmas facing blacks and from the fact that the NAACP is doing nothing to solve them.
Retrieved from WPDE ABC15
He is a African-American activist for southern heritage, a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, and the former president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in Asheville, North Carolina.
“Most of my life has been tied up with community and civil rights at some point,” said Edgerton.
Edgerton started off the service singing the Dixie song.
“I wish I was in Dixie, Hooray! Hooray! In Dixie’s Land I’ll take my stand, to live and die in Dixie. Away, away, away down south in Dixie!”
He spoke about the history of the Confederate flag.
He told the congregation the flag originated from the Christian cross.
“As I watch Jesus Christ and the Christian Bible under attack here in America there’s no greater motivation for me then to pick up the Christian cross of St. Andrew (Jesus Christ’s first disciple) and to share what I know. I just hope folks will listen,” said Edgerton.
Edgerton says many people who are against the flag don’t know the history behind it, because they haven’t been properly educated.
“The spirit of my southern family is so low now. I’m coming here not only to bring a message, but to uplift their spirits. It’s very important to me. I wish half the church was filled with my black family, because they need to know,” said Edgerton.
Edgerton said he’s talked to people on all sides for the Confederate flag and even then he says it goes back to understanding history.
Ladies and gentlemen, I submit that what we see happening in the United States today is an apt illustration of why the Confederate flag was raised in the first place. What we see materializing before our very eyes is tyranny: tyranny over the freedom of expression, tyranny over the freedom of association, tyranny over the freedom of speech, and tyranny over the freedom of conscience.
History revisionists flooded America’s public schools with Northern propaganda about the people who attempted to secede from the United States, characterizing them as racists, extremists, radicals, hatemongers, traitors, etc. You know, the same way that people in our federal government and news media attempt to characterize Christians, patriots, war veterans, constitutionalists, et al. today.
Folks, please understand that the only people in 1861 who believed that states did NOT have the right to secede were Abraham Lincoln and his radical Republicans. To say that southern states did not have the right to secede from the United States is to say that the thirteen colonies did not have the right to secede from Great Britain. One cannot be right and the other wrong. If one is right, both are right. How can we celebrate our Declaration of Independence in 1776 and then turn around and condemn the Declaration of Independence of the Confederacy in 1861? Talk about hypocrisy!
In fact, southern states were not the only states that talked about secession. After the southern states seceded, the State of Maryland fully intended to join them. In September of 1861, Lincoln sent federal troops to the State capital and seized the legislature by force in order to prevent them from voting. Federal provost marshals stood guard at the polls and arrested Democrats and anyone else who believed in secession. A special furlough was granted to Maryland troops so they could go home and vote against secession. Judges who tried to inquire into the phony elections were arrested and thrown into military prisons. There is your great “emancipator,” folks.
And before the South seceded, several northern states had also threatened secession. Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island had threatened secession as far back as James Madison’s administration. In addition, the states of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware were threatening secession during the first half of the nineteenth century–long before the southern states even considered such a thing.
Had the South wanted to take over Washington, D.C., they could have done so with the very first battle of the “Civil War.” When Lincoln ordered federal troops to invade Virginia in the First Battle of Manassas (called the “First Battle of Bull Run” by the North), Confederate troops sent the Yankees running for their lives all the way back to Washington. Had the Confederates pursued them, they could have easily taken the city of Washington, D.C., seized Abraham Lincoln, and perhaps ended the war before it really began. But General Beauregard and the others had no intention of fighting an aggressive war against the North. They merely wanted to defend the South against the aggression of the North.
Winston Churchill wrote in his history of the English-speaking peoples that the Confederate army was one of the most magnificent in history, while his nemesis Adolf Hitler was writing of his great admiration for Abraham Lincoln.
Add that the flag is also a beautiful object, judged by those who look into such things as one of the most beautiful of all national banners.
Public display of the flag was commonplace throughout the 20th century and not just in the South. I have read recently a number of articles in the British and American press that inform us that the Confederate flag appears in Europe only as the symbol of neo-Nazis. You would never know that it has appeared often as a symbol of liberation, for instance at the fall of the Berlin Wall and the freedom of the Baltic countries. There is no bottom to the combined ignorance and dishonesty of contemporary journalism. A friend in Europe has over the years sent me many examples of the appearance of the flag among Europeans that have no relationship to neo-nazism. He tells me that it has recently been used to protest the European Union. Certain it is that nobody objected to the public appearance of the Confederate emblem in many different forms throughout the world before very recent times. Franklin D. Roosevelt and Dwight D. Eisenhower did not flee in terror from being photographed with it. The great Toscanini played a rousing version of “Dixie” when he toured the U.S. During World War II and Korea, and I expect Vietnam, the flag appeared in front of Marine tents near the combat front and on fighter planes and was flown at the conquest of Iwo Jima. Before the U.S. armed forces became historically ignorant and gender-neutral institutions.
Love of the flag is authentic, deep-seated, and long lasting. Hatred of the flag is a recently invented political weapon.
Defenders of the flag often speak of “Heritage.” I have always thought this was a bit off the mark. It may be easily answered by “put it in a museum.” By heritage they mean our Confederate ancestors. I understand and share the sentiment. But this does not carry much weight with critics who have no notion of what heritage means and certainly would reject the idea if they did. They are determined that Southerners, and in time the whole of America, be deprived of all heritage, at least all heritage that precedes Ellis Island. That is their goal. It is no accident that the attack on the flag comes at the same time and from the same sources as the sanctification of sodomy.
It seems to me that the flag is primarily and ought to be defended as a representation of the Southern people and their continued distinctiveness from the American norm. This is the way most of the world views it, though without clear articulation. The hysterical campaign to suppress the flag is actually a campaign to extinguish the South. To get rid of people who are more traditional, conservative, and religious than it is now fashionable for Americans to be. I believe Southerners are hated–and yes we are hated, and by people it would never occur to us to interfere with–because we are the last large group of Americans who believe in freedom–who believe that not every sphere of life should be regulated by government. The anti flag campaign is nothing more than ethnic cleansing, which, as we know from history, often becomes oppression and then liquidation. I have in recent days read several screeds about how America would be so much better off without the South. Very certainly, the ethnic cleansing will not be over when the beautiful Confederate banner is suppressed. It will just be getting started. If we are so bad, why have they never been willing to let us go? Because they need their idea of us to keep up their self-esteem in the American nightmare they have created.
We are a small flag company located in Georgia – the heart of Dixie. We have received some pressure and less than polite “requests” to stop selling the Confederate battle flag.
As ardent supporters of the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution we don’t appreciate it much when people want to ban a flag – or harass us about selling it to our fellow Americans.
To these bullies I say you can KISS MY GRITS!
No one can honestly say that everything done in that flags name was honorable and decent, and no one wants to return to that more backwards time in our history. However, it does have historical an cultural significance that cannot be denied. For some it is a flag of oppression, however for many it is a flag that symbolizes a struggle for freedom over tyranny. The kind of tyranny that lets mob rule take away rights from people who are not politically correct or don’t think like they do.
Flags represent ideas, past and present. The way some people attack ideas they don’t like is to attack the symbols of that idea – such as its flags. Trying to re-write history by redefining words and symbols is the trick of a despotic and rotten mind. It has never been an effective form of argument. Every time someone proposes banning a flag, sales of that flag go through the roof. We have shipped more Confederate flags in the last few days than in all of this last year combined.
Its been said that the first amendment that protects free speech is really there to protect unpopular speech, as popular speech needs no protection. At Ultimateflags.com we don’t just pay liberty lip service. we live it.
(…and don’t even get me started on how someone is trying to use the deaths of several people to further their own political goals. Flags and guns don’t kill people, psychopaths on mild altering drugs kill people).
Virgina Flaggers retrieved from VaFlagger