Displaying and Teaching the Confederate Flag in the Classroom (Part 1)

Update: Due to the agitating nature of some comments, further comments that are off topic or argumentative for the sake of arguing will not be approved. As always, if you have an argument to present and evidence to back it up, please post. I am looking for good resources to use in the classroom. Thanks


Today in class my students and I discussed the violent, and often genocidal, conflict between the Puritan settlers in New England and Native Americans. After a brief discussion and a short video on the Pequot War and King Philip’s War, I assigned a short essay. I asked students to analyze “Why do [they] believe [Americans] are so quick to forget this important part of the history of Puritan settlers and embrace the mythology that we learned in grade school of the peaceful and freedom seeking Pilgrims?” The answers I got were great, but one stuck out. To paraphrase, one of my students suggested that people prefer to concentrate on the positives of the past. Another student noted that not many people would not want to acknowledge that their grandfather carried the head of Chief Metacom to Plymouth. Collectively, the class seemed to agree that people gloss over the past in praise. I asked if they had any other examples of this “whitewashing” taking place. One student said, “The flag.” I asked, “which flag?” The student responded, “The Confederate Flag. People want to say it represents history or heritage…but not racism.” 

Since the tragic event this Summer, the Confederate Battle Flag has become a toxic symbol. Many Americans criticized the unapologetic and noneducational use of the flag and in some cases, violence occurred in reaction to it. Since that time, many educators searched for a way to “introduce the subject of the history and memory of the flag in the classroom.” I too have been pondering this issue. It is especially difficult in a public school setting where there are strict academic frameworks and tedious standardized tests. Regardless, I feel strongly that it is my duty as an educator to address contemporary issues and teach how and why those current events are connected to the past.

During pre-planning, part of a public school teacher’s yearly process is to decorate the classroom. Unlike universities and some private schools, public school teachers usually do not have the luxury of an office. The classroom is our office. Additionally, the classroom is an extension of the education that a teacher provides. In the past, because I’m a Civil War enthusiast, I decorated my walls with generals, portraits, and flags. I always make it a point to use my decorations during the school year in one form or another. In previous years, this included the Confederate Flag. Due however to the pernicious nature of the flag since the Charleston massacre, I decided to be more attentive in what I put on my walls and in what context. I also sought another point of view on the matter and I emailed Kevin Levin, an educator and Civil War historian who focuses a lot on race and memory. Kevin published my email on his blog,  which generated a few responses about whether or not it is appropriate to display the Confederate Flag in the classroom.  The comments are an interesting read in and of themselves.

To make a long story short, I came to the conclusion that I want my classroom to be a safe environment for education. I did not, however, want to fall victim to censorship and avoid controversial topics out of the fear of offending someone. Much like Eric Jacobson stated on Kevin’s blog, now more than ever it is important to teach the history of that flag and its connection to race. To do that without the flag, is indeed a missed opportunity. I ultiamtely decided that the use of the flag in my classroom, would always be dictated by me without any room for its use or interpretation void of proper context (i.e. waving it around in front of buildings, in pick-up trucks, beside the interstate, and on government building).

On the first day of school, after introductions and the usual paperwork shuffle, I asked students about their Summer and gave them the floor. Then we got on point, and I asked them about events that took place during their break that have historical significance. Some referred to SCOTUS’s decisions on gay marriage and ‘Obamacare,’ but most said the Charleston shootings and the Confederate Flag. As I pinned the flag on the white board I asked, “What makes this so controversial?” After a general discussion I told the class of a planned activity that I had come up with in an attempt to make history relevant to current issues affecting the country. I told them that this would be an activity that we would start on day one and it would take us into next semester, through the Civil Rights unit.

I passed out index cards and asked all of my students to write their names on the card. Then I asked them to write down, in three words or less, what runs through their minds when they see the flag. I amplified this request by telling them that I did not mean if they saw the flag in a museum or classroom, but rather on a building, next to the interstate, in a truck, or any other informal setting such as that. I tried to rush students into writing their responses by telling them not to over analyze but to literally write down the first thing that popped into their head. Granted, I teach at a very racially diverse multicultural school. This means that I teach students who have no cultural connection to the flag whatsoever. I encouraged students to write down what they thought even if the ‘Dukes of Hazzard’ or Kanye West was the only thing they associated the flag with. After that, I directed them to write down three “points” or “arguments” that they might make to support what popped into their head. You can see some of the responses below.

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My long term goal in this activity is to allow students to assess what they think about the flag, and to analyze whether or not that assessment is accurate as the school year progresses. When I get to the Civil War unit, I will hand students back their cards and tell them to write an opinion essay about the flag based on what they know and using what they wrote on the card. I will collect those essays and the cards when students are finished. During second semester, after I have completed the unit on the Civil Rights movement, I will have students revisit their cards and essays. At this point, students will have to write another essay evaluating their initial responses to the flag and if that response has changed. Students will have to use what they have learned over the course of the school year to justify their responses regardless of what opinion they argue. In short, if their opinion changed or stayed the same, the students will have to justify it.

In addition to self-assessment, I want students to have a powerful image of their evolving view of the flag. To do this, I am going to refer to Civil War soldiers who often painted on their flags to give them extra meaning. Soldiers painted or stitched regimental designations, symbols, and the names of battles onto their flags. It distinguished their flag by showing whom it represented and where it had been. In somewhat of reverence to that, I am purchasing a Confederate Battle Flag and painting a line down the middle. On the left side, I will have students paint their reaction to the flag at the beginning of the school year. On the right, they will paint their reactions at the end of the year. The flag sends different messages to my students – so – my students are sending the messages back. I really cannot think of a more “appropriate” way to display the flag.

Hopefully this long term project will serve as a personal guide on how to introduce and teach the memory and history of the flag in the classroom. Over the years I’ll be able to make adjustments, keep what works and throw away what does not. I will definitely make it a point to post pictures and provide updates about the project as the school year progresses. As always any comments, observations, or recommendations are appreciated.

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122 thoughts on “Displaying and Teaching the Confederate Flag in the Classroom (Part 1)

  1. Stephanie

    Teaching the history of the flag is one thing, but I can’t help wonder if your intent is simply to educate on the history of the flag or if your intent is to change/form/direct a students current view of the flag to a historical Civil War view of the flag. Will you also be teaching your students that “The meaning that people attribute to a symbol or movement is malleable and not simply derived from selected components of its history.” ~http://edge.ua.edu/steven-ramey/ironic-symmetry/#more-8782

    1. My intent is allow students to reflect on their own pre-conceived notions about U.S. history which includes attention to the Confederate flag. Students will be able to evaluate and re-evaluate their views as their understanding of history evolves over the course of the school year. This re-evaluation of pre-conceived notions will be accompanied by a bombardment of primary source documentation and current historical research in the field of the Civil War, Southern history, and race.

      You quoted from another source:
      The meaning that people attribute to a symbol or movement is malleable and not simply derived from selected components of its history.

      That’s true, but it does not mean that a person’s view is accurate or all together appropriate.

      1. Stephanie

        Will the history presented to the students include Pre-Civil War History as well as Post-Civil War History and will it also include social and political factors? Also, what determines if something is accurate or appropriate? Are you saying that the Civil War period of history alone is what should be used to determine if displaying the Confederate flag is accurate and appropriate?

        1. Good questions:

          The history presented will include information which stretches from 1607 c.e. to roughly the present era.

          History always includes political and social factors.

          Evidence determines what is accurate and what is not.

          No, I am most certainly not saying that the “Civil War period of history alone is what should be used to determine if displaying the Confederate Flag is accurate and appropriate.” As I stated in my post, this project began on the first day of school and will continue on until the conclusion of the Civil Rights unit. At that point, students will re-evaluate their initial stance on the meaning of the Confederate Flag. They will have to judge whether or not their view has changed and students will be required to justify that stance in writing.

          1. Stephanie

            “My long term goal in this activity is to allow students to assess what they think about the flag, and to analyze whether or not that assessment is accurate as the school year progresses.”

            I guess what I am failing to understand, is how you can determine if someone’s individual thoughts regarding the Confederate Flag are accurate and appropriate because the Confederate Flag is not just a battle flag that represents the Confederate Army anymore. The confederate flag has become a symbol, a symbol with multiple and varied meanings.

            “a symbol, like everything else, shows a double aspect. We must distinguish, therefore between the ‘sense’ and the ‘meaning’ of the symbol….” and “Human cultures use symbols to express specific ideologies and social structures and to represent aspects of their specific culture. Thus, symbols carry meanings that depend upon one’s cultural background; in other words, the meaning of a symbol is not inherent in the symbol itself but is culturally learned.” ~ Campbell, Joseph (2002). Flight of the Wild Gander:- The Symbol without Meaning. California: New World Library

            “Symbols are a means of complex communication that often can have multiple levels of meaning. This separates symbols from signs, as signs have only one meaning.” ~ Womack, Mari. Symbols and Meaning: A Concise Introduction. California: AltaMira Press, 2005.

            If symbols are complex and have multiple levels of meaning, how does one go about determining if the usage is accurate or not? Have you pre-determined what the accurate and appropriate response is? In other words, is the accurate and appropriate response that the Confederate Flag only represents racism today?

            Past polls have indicated that college educated Americans who have a proper understanding of historical events view the Confederate Flag as a racist symbol which is probably a pretty good indicator of what could happen with the results in your classroom because of the malleability issue. The data indicates that your students will probably form a racist view of the Confederate Flag if you simply teach them that The Civil War started over slavery, and then expand on KKK and Civil Rights era usages of the flag without presenting all of the other possible current cultural uses of the flag. Because the meanings of symbols will always be malleable, complex, and varied, I think it would be important to take great care in how the information is presented. Simply teaching them that The Civil War started because of slavery will not give them an accurate view of the current usage of the Confederate Flag because the information they are going to be given will end with the Civil Rights era. For example, the swastika is a symbol that means “good fortune”, and It is a sacred religious symbol that can be currently and commonly seen in India and Indonesia. If I don’t ask questions to find out why they are using the swastika in India and simply assume that everyone who displays a swastika in India is Nazi/racist/white supremacist which I based on my American education which did not include anything about the original meaning of the swastika, my assessment would be wrong and inaccurate.

            Since you are ending your project info with the Civil Rights Era, is it your goal to teach your students that the Confederate Flag is only a racist symbol?

          2. Correct, the Confederate Battle Flag does have numerous meanings. However, all of those meanings are either associated with the Civil War in some manner (slavery, heritage, states’ rights, etc.) or Civil Rights. People that carry the flag or view the flag through the lens of “heritage” or “states’ rights,” also view the flag as void of the stain of slavery or racism. That is an inaccurate interpretation based on evidence. The typical and usual comparison is the swastika. The swastika originally stood for “good fortune” or “well-being.” The symbol can still be found in Hindu temples. However, because of the volkish movements which fed the Nazi-ideology, the Swastika today is associated with the antisemitism of the Nazi regime. The difference between the two symbols is that people recognize and respect the negative interpretation due to the 6 million plus that the Nazis systematically killed while waving that banner as a symbol of their ideology. Also, the Swastika started out as a positive symbol, which is why some cultures tend to still claim it. The Confederate flag however, was negative from its inception. Does this mean that people who believe the Confederate flag represents “heritage,” “states’ rights,” or the veneration of their ancestors are racists and liars? Certainly not. Those perceptions are based on their reality. The issue people have that, is that the reality refuses to believe their veneration of their ancestors, states’ rights, heritage, etc. have anything to do with race.

            “a symbol, like everything else, shows a double aspect. We must distinguish, therefore between the ‘sense’ and the ‘meaning’ of the symbol….” and “Human cultures use symbols to express specific ideologies and social structures and to represent aspects of their specific culture. Thus, symbols carry meanings that depend upon one’s cultural background; in other words, the meaning of a symbol is not inherent in the symbol itself but is culturally learned.” ~ Campbell, Joseph (2002). Flight of the Wild Gander:- The Symbol without Meaning. California: New World Library

            I have two responses to this quote. First, Campbell is writing about myth. The quote you provided is out of context with his broad work on myth. For example, if you had placed this quote in its proper context, readers could see that Campbell is making several points about the “unknowable.” Campbell prefaces his points by stating that, “And now, I think I am ready to formulate two of three final suggestions. The first is that since what we are now discussing is an experience not of the relatively known but of the absolutely unknowable, it cannot be termed “knowledge,” in the usual Occidental sense of the term.” Civil War history is not myth, it is certainly known. The second response is this, please refrain from splicing together two sentences from a book, out of context, which do not even appear on the same page of that work. It is not proper research and it misrepresents the author.

            The context of the symbol’s presentation is what determines that accuracy. I have made no pre-determined justification for what is an accurate and appropriate response. The assignment is for students to reflect on their own interpretations, and to justify those interpretations.

            Simply teaching them that The Civil War started because of slavery will not give them an accurate view of the current usage of the Confederate Flag because the information they are going to be given will end with the Civil Rights era.

            Perhaps you have a preconceived notion that the Civil War began over an issue which did not include slavery. I am going to present historical evidence, who points to slavery’s undeniable role as the central issue which caused the war. If students decide that the flag represents racism due to its use a symbol of a rebellion bent on preserving slavery, then they will have reached an informed opinion based on evidence. Is there something wrong with that?

            I could teach a unit of the history of the Confederate Battle Flag which ends with the Civil Rights era, and still teach that the flag does represents veneration of veterans and heritage. The Civil Rights era is simply a nice place to stop. I will also include information from the early 20th century about Heritage groups that condemned the use of the flag outside of memorial uses due to the possibility that the flag might develop new meanings. Students will then be asked to interpret whether or not these new meanings, are actually ‘new.’ The idea is that students will leave the school year with a better understanding of the background of the issue.

          3. Stephanie

            “First, Campbell is writing about myth. The quote you provided is out of context with his broad work on myth.”

            No, it is not out of context because myth or folklore or belief has played a part in in the shaping of the current view of the CBF.

            “People that carry the flag or view the flag through the lens of “heritage” or “states’ rights,” also view the flag as void of the stain of slavery or racism.”

            Untrue statement, most Americans are keenly aware that slavery existed in this country and that racism still does exist.

            “The Confederate flag however, was negative from its inception.”

            Not entirely true, unless you consider St. Andrew’s Cross, and the Scottish and UK flags to be negative symbols.

            “please refrain from splicing together two sentences from a book, out of context, which do not even appear on the same page of that work. It is not proper research and it misrepresents the author.”

            ad hominem

            “Perhaps you have a preconceived notion that the Civil War began over an issue which did not include slavery.”

            Incorrect

            “If students decide that the flag represents racism due to its use a symbol of a rebellion bent on preserving slavery, then they will have reached an informed opinion based on evidence. Is there something wrong with that? ”

            Yes, there is because you are shaping their view by presenting a limited portion of evidence which is leads them to a certain decision. It’s not allowed in the courtroom, that’s why both sides are allowed to present their evidence.

          4. It is incredibly out of context because we are not talking about myth or folklore as Campbell referenced, we are talking about an apologist interpretation of the Civil War which began in the immediate aftermath of the war. Groups began developing an alternative history to why the war was fought called the “Lost Cause.” It is a man created myth that is knowable, not unknowable, which is what Campbell was referring to. That is why it is never smart to splice together sentences out of context from different parts of a book.

            Straw man argument. I never said that Americans were NOT keenly aware of slavery’s existence. You quoted exactly what I said and then argued something completely different. I said that people who argue those things, typically “view the flag as void of the stain of slavery or racism.” That is a very accurate statement. The polling data you love to reference to indicates that.

            My statement is very true since design is not necessarily meaning. The flag has various intended purposes such as unit designation and guide-ons for tactical movements, but the reason for why the flag exists in the first place is because a group of politically affluent Southerners decided to rebel to protect slavery. They then raised an army in order to protect their rebellion and used a flag to represent that army. An army is merely the sword of the state. The state wields that sword to execute its policy. Their policy, was the preservation of slavery through secession.

            If you look up the definition of ad hominem you will see that it is an argument directed against a person rather than the position they are maintaining. I addressed the position you maintained then asked you not to misrepresent another author’s arguments by cherry picking statements out of context. That is not ad hominem.

            Ok, I see you stated your notion of what caused the Civil War with Jimmy, which I responded to.

            Who says I am limiting a portion of evidence? Have seen the evidence I plan on presenting? Do you know what else isn’t allowed in a courtroom? Assumes facts not in evidence.

          5. Stephanie

            Your evidence has been clearly presented to indicate that you care more about being historically right than you do about improving race relations. If have indicated no clear concern for humanity nor have you shown compassion for both sides. Therefore, I bid you good day!

          6. I teach history, my job is to be historically correct and to teach historically correct things. Thank you for acknowledging that.

            In regards to race relations, lying about the past to make one faction feel better about themselves, is not positive race relations. The tragic events of this summer is an example of that dismissive attitude.

  2. Jimmy Dick

    What I have noticed is that modern folks who wave the rag around do so for modern political reasons. They also are quick to deny that slavery had anything to do with the Civil War or that rag. This proves several things.
    1. They’re too lazy to make up a new symbol to represent what they want to believe in so they steal a symbol and try to make it represent their modern ideology.
    2. They equate the Confederacy with their modern political ideology.
    3. They are ignorant of history.

    I’m not even going to bother with racism in the post for today.

    1. Stephanie

      So, are you saying that Mr. Baker should address the Confederate Flag as a “rag” in his classroom, and that he should teach his students that the reason history is not being taught or understood correctly is solely because of laziness, and that people who use the Confederate Flag as a modern symbol of their political ideologies are thieves? Just trying to figure out how to apply your statements to the original topic.

      1. Jimmy Dick

        Stephanie, the CBF is a racist symbol. You can say what you want, but its only function was in the service of men who fought for slavery. It belongs in the museum. If you want to wave the thing around outside of the museum for modern political ideology, then you do so for your reasons while ignoring the history of the flag. I will say you are a racist for doing so. Why do you want to fly a symbol of racism? Spare me the bs of state’s rights because it never stood for them except when they represented racism. It does not stand for state’s rights today either. I laugh at the very idea.

        The only use it has outside of the museum, the graveyard, or the reenactments is on a roll of toilet paper. If you think the Civil War was not about slavery then I say you are ignorant. I do not care if you like it or not because the FACTS clearly show it was about slavery just like the FACTS clearly show the CBF is a symbol of racism and has been used as such for a long, long time.

        1. Stephanie

          Jimmy, I’m an educator trying to evaluate the educational methods being described in this post. Part of the problem as was stated in the original post, has been the issue of omitting information and incomplete historical pictures being given to people in order to “whitewash” history. I have an accurate understanding of history and have not nor will I try to tell you anything about the Civil War being started over states rights. However, I do disagree with your opinion, it does stand for states rights today because it is currently being used by some in that way whether you choose to believe it or not, and the polling data shows that statement to be a fact and not just an opinion. I do not fly the Confederate Flag nor do I understand why it wasn’t put away a long time ago, but my understanding or opinions do not address the current issue at hand. You can call me a racist, but I would ask what are you basing that opinion on? Being an objective observer of current events now makes one a racist? I’m sure Mr. Baker and his students will appreciate knowing that their educational work involving the Confederate Flag is equivalent to nothing more than a roll of toilet paper as far as you’re concerned.

          1. Jimmy Dick

            Stephanie, I teach at a community college. The CBF does not stand for state’s rights today because state’s rights is nothing but a joke. It is the rallying cry of the party not in power. Once it gains federal power it uses that power to force through legislation on a national level in violation of other state’s wishes. I point this out to my students as we progress through the survey courses. I also point out how states have been the biggest violators of the people’s rights throughout US history.

            The CBF is a symbol of racism. Ignorant people prefer to fly it today. Ask them about the flag and they almost always say slavery had nothing to do with the Civil War. They equate state’s rights with the Civil War and that is not what that conflict was about. I point out to my students that the people waving the CBF around today are either racists, ignorant, (both in many cases), or trying to use the symbol in an attempt to give validity to their modern political ideology.

            The CBF’s association with state’s right mythology comes straight from the Civil Rights era when it was used as symbol of white supremacy because state’s rights for those people meant white supremacy and the denial of rights for minorities. So much for state’s rights and the CBF. As for the roll of toilet paper, that is exactly what I see the CBF as when it is used outside of its historical context. Put it in the museum and put it away. It has no use outside of history.

      2. So, are you saying that Mr. Baker should address the Confederate Flag as a “rag” in his classroom, and that he should teach his students that the reason history is not being taught or understood correctly is solely because of laziness, and that people who use the Confederate Flag as a modern symbol of their political ideologies are thieves?

        I don’t think he said that at all.

  3. Stephanie

    Jimmy, I taught at a University. What I have found is that many students today just want to be spoon fed information rather than to think critically about things and that there are many teachers there who are more than happy to oblige them. The CBF does stand for states rights today because people today believe that it does, it is a part of our current history. The CBF is only a symbol of racism to those who choose to believe that it is a symbol of racism. A more appropriate statement would be that slavery and states rights were intricately tied together and held together by the belief system of the people at that time (right or wrong). If we really want to get down to it, the Civil War was not just simply fought because of slavery, it was fought because of the beliefs that the people held regarding slavery and their way of life. Giving people something, letting them build their lives upon it ,and then trying to take it away is a bit complicated. The same exact thing is happening right now, the government allowed the CBF to fly and now takes it away. As we have seen in the past, that doesn’t turn out real well unless we really are trying to start another war. People are not suddenly going to just freely give up their beliefs because people like you say they should. Have we learned nothing from our past? Are all of the people who are flying it today ignorant? Do you really believe that none of them know that slavery existed in this country? Do you really think that continuing to stigmatize a flag or removing a flag will change race relations in this country? Teach history, do it justice, but don’t police the thoughts of others and then make false assumptions and false accusations about them. Your dogma won’t change anyone, nor will theirs, but if you continue to mesh your knowledge with your arrogant, condescending attitude you will reach none of the “ignorant” with your knowledge. They will not be fooled by your lack of compassion.

    1. The CBF does stand for states rights today because people today believe that it does, it is a part of our current history. The CBF is only a symbol of racism to those who choose to believe that it is a symbol of racism.

      People believe that it does because they associate the symbol with the states’ rights ideology of the antebellum. This is political projection onto the past. These same people will usually make the claim that the flag and the Civil War had nothing to do with slavery, or that slavery was at the most an issue of contention among numerous issues of contention. This is historical inaccuracy. The CBF is a symbol of racism from its conception, to its use during the Jim Crow era, and its use during the Civil Rights. It has little do with choice, and a lot to do with evidence. This is why context matters.

      A more appropriate statement would be that slavery and states rights were intricately tied together and held together by the belief system of the people at that time (right or wrong). If we really want to get down to it, the Civil War was not just simply fought because of slavery, it was fought because of the beliefs that the people held regarding slavery and their way of life.

      Incorrect. Northern states also engaged in arguments of their “rights” versus the power of the federal government. These appear throughout the the 19th century and pop up especially in arguments against fugitive slave laws. Southern states argued in favor of federal power when it suited them, especially true when federal power protected slavery. The Southern states’ stated reasons for secession dwell heavily on slavery and the threat to that institution. Those reasons are, like you said, their social order and economic stability was based on chattel slavery. The end of slavery could mean the end of their society, which is why southern states chose to secede and wage war to protect it. It was not a matter of two issues being intertwined, it was about slavery being intertwined in practically everything – every issue – and the threat to that institution. These are stated reasons. We know today that they were reasons because southerners at the time stated that these were the reasons. To argue otherwise is simply take on a mantle of a Confederate apologist.

      Giving people something, letting them build their lives upon it ,and then trying to take it away is a bit complicated. The same exact thing is happening right now, the government allowed the CBF to fly and now takes it away. As we have seen in the past, that doesn’t turn out real well unless we really are trying to start another war. People are not suddenly going to just freely give up their beliefs because people like you say they should. Have we learned nothing from our past? Are all of the people who are flying it today ignorant? Do you really believe that none of them know that slavery existed in this country? Do you really think that continuing to stigmatize a flag or removing a flag will change race relations in this country? Teach history, do it justice, but don’t police the thoughts of others and then make false assumptions and false accusations about them. Your dogma won’t change anyone, nor will theirs, but if you continue to mesh your knowledge with your arrogant, condescending attitude you will reach none of the “ignorant” with your knowledge. They will not be fooled by your lack of compassion.

      Also incorrect. People today are not overtly enthusiastic about defending the Confederate Battle Flag’s public presentation. This is largely due to apathy and other issues. Flag crowds and Heritage crowds a like are smaller and smaller.

      1. Stephanie

        “To argue otherwise is simply take on a mantle of a Confederate apologist.”

        Incorrect, in no way do I support or argue for the confederacy.

        “People today are not overtly enthusiastic about defending the Confederate Battle Flag’s public presentation. This is largely due to apathy and other issues. Flag crowds and Heritage crowds a like are smaller and smaller.”

        That may have been true a year ago, but not so now. Flag crowds are growing in the south, more are being displayed today than at this time last year.

        The problem is that your teaching of evidence and history will do little to end racism in this country. Symbols, like a flag, do not have a singular fixed meaning. Your teaching methods will most likely reinforce generalizations that are typically made about white southerners as being racist, and contribute to the division in this country. Your perceived victory will only be symbolic as it will do very little to heal race relations and foster unity.

        1. Well, you had me fooled when you presented an apologist idea on the cause of the Civil War.

          Flag crowds are not growing, they are just loud. They get smaller with each generation. The people that display the flag currently, already held those ideas, they just have a reason to wave it. And what a distasteful time to do so.

          I recognize that teaching history will not “end” racism, but is a start. Also, what evidence? You’ve cited no evidence of mind nor have I provided any evidence on what I will teach. You are making a lot of assumptions about this project. You think I’m attempting to achieve some sort of “victory.” Please tell me how teaching accurate history will do little to heal race relations? Am I to lie and proclaim everyone is right? I feel like you’ve gone off the beaten track.

          1. Stephanie

            Yes, I understand that most people are not able to grasp abstract thinking. I know because I am intuitive, and I am watching what’s gong on around me. Historical facts alone do not change the heart. You are attempting to make a symbol concrete, but society will not accept your teaching as such. Take a step back and look at your project from a scientific point of view because in a way your project is scientific, but your methods will most likely persuade the outcome. Employ the scientific method, assess your controls, and the complete quality of your project. Are you simply teaching historical fact or are you shaping a point of view that could be detrimental to a certain group of individuals? Honor all people groups in what you are doing.

          2. I’ve already stated my attempt. It is to have students evaluate what they think of that symbol. Teach them history, and have them re-evaluate what they think. It is about self-assessment and self-evaluation. They should form their opinion of the flag based on reality and history. The history I provide to them. I will give them primary source documents as well as modern scholarship. Students will interpret that information for themselves.

            Again with the assumptions. What methods am I using exactly that would make a symbol concrete or persuade the outcome? My project is an experiment in so much as I am curious about the outcome. I am interested to see what the students think about the symbolism and if or how that evaluation changes after learning history. This is interpretation and critical thinking, not a test.

            Why should I honor all people and all groups. Should racists be honored? Should the Nazis be honored? Furthermore, why should I honor a point of view that is inaccurate?

        2. Jimmy Dick

          Flag crowds are full of ignorant racists. The KKK shows up. The gun nuts show up. The flaggers show up. The lack of education is overwhelming. When they get asked questions they say the Civil War wasn’t about slavery. At that point the stupidity enters the stratosphere. I love how these people say the CBF isn’t racist while the KKK folks walk around with their racist signs. Not to mention how their own actions prove their racism and bigotry.
          I show some of these folks primary sources and they don’t want to see them. They want to make generalizations based on what they want to believe. The division in this country is not due to my teaching. It is due to stupid people who want to continue to discriminate against others.

          1. Stephanie

            Yes, and you are the opposite end of the ignorant, flag crowd. Discrimination for some is a little more subtle than for others. Or in your case, not so subtle. The division in this country is partly due to your own attitude in regard to the “ignorant racists”. You’re the other side of that coin.

    2. Jimmy Dick

      As for education, I use Paulo Freire’s philosophy along with Jack Mezirow’s Transformative Learning Theory to create an Interactive Learning Model. I teach history using a method that involves students developing critical thinking skills through interaction with content. The content is delivered in various forms and includes primary sources. They work in groups because I am a firm believer in collaborative learning practices within the Interactive Learning Model. I try to avoid lecture as it is the banking model as Freire called it and is in my opinion pretty much a waste of time past the 20 minute mark if not sooner.

      I have had a few students drop out of my classes that use this method. I had one who refused to stand in front of the class. I had another who flat out stated she wanted the spoon fed method. Still others want the easy A with no homework. Since I’ve flipped the class and put points into a lot of activities they can’t even get a C without doing homework.

      I use a blog with tabs full of Internet resources for them to use as well in the content encounter phase of the course. You may be interested in the blog since I have a challenge on it about the cause of the Civil War. http://amoregeneraldiffusionofknowledge.blogspot.com/2015/07/according-to-jim-vol-1-no-10.html

      One does not have to police the thoughts of others when one uses facts to teach with. In the case of the Civil War the primary sources say it all.

      As for arrogant and condescending, damn right I am. Don’t expect an apology from me for being correct and using facts.

      1. Stephanie

        I’m glad to see were are on the same page in regard to our teaching methods and ideas. I will take a look at your blog. I don’t expect an apology, but you were WRONG about me which makes you incorrect.

  4. Jimmy Dick

    “A more appropriate statement would be that slavery and states rights were intricately tied together and held together by the belief system of the people at that time (right or wrong). If we really want to get down to it, the Civil War was not just simply fought because of slavery, it was fought because of the beliefs that the people held regarding slavery and their way of life. Giving people something, letting them build their lives upon it ,and then trying to take it away is a bit complicated. The same exact thing is happening right now, the government allowed the CBF to fly and now takes it away.”

    Let’s take this apart piece by piece shall we before we get to education. How were state’s rights tied together with slavery? How were the state rights of any slave holding state being abused by the federal government? You made a statement, now back it up with facts.
    How did the federal government threaten slavery? How was the federal government threatening to take away slavery?

    How is the federal government taking away the CBF? What we are seeing are governments removing the rag from government displays. Private citizens still possess the right to wave the rag around to show their racism. I just saw one waving from a car in Kirksville, Missouri proving their racism. I can guarantee that if I asked them questions they would say the civil war was caused by slavery and that the CBF was not used for racist purposes.

    The CBF is a symbol of racism because it has been used as such since the end of the Civil War. You may wish to deny that which means I question your ability to process information since the facts show that it has been used as a racist symbol since then. You should read some history that is based on facts and not beliefs. In the case of the CBF, you might want to start with John Coski’s The Confederate Battle Flag: America’s Most Embattled Emblem. http://www.amazon.com/The-Confederate-Battle-Flag-Embattled/dp/0674019830

    1. I doubt she’ll respond Jimmy. It appears after my comments she believes that I am stirring racial animosity with my project; and that I care more teaching historical accuracy than I do about fostering racial unity…..

      1. Jimmy Dick

        She is merely uttering what she wants to belief as we have seen so many times before. There is a belief going around right now that race relations in this country have been stirred up by Obama and liberals. In a way they have because we point out how they exist and a lot of white people would prefer that we stop pointing out their racism. They liked life when racism was swept under the rug.

  5. UnConfederate

    I’ve taught in space! And as a universal teacher… sorry I couldn’t resist joining the I’ve-taught-at-a-more=prestigious-place Olympics.

    It sounds like Stephanie is super worried that you’ll make people think about race, and think about the social and political implications of racism – and whatever symbols represent it. I must say that “fostering racial unity” must be the whitest thing I’ve ever heard. That’s hilarious. It’s almost like saying, let’s ignore this thing that makes everyone uncomfortable, and that won’t make it go away – but it will make everyone play nicer? Until your biases, which are never addressed, end up manifesting themselves in subtle racism at best or shooting of unarmed black kids at worst.

    Rob, do your damnest to make kids think, and figure out why they believe whatever they do. They’re in a part of the world that is much too worried about being polite sometimes. Unlike Stephanie, they’ll be better equipped at defending themselves because if they can’t come up with a solid and unbiased reason to continue to defend their beliefs they’ll be more likely to abandon them and figure out what actually makes sense in the world.

    It’s odd to find an educator that is bending over backwards to re-brand the Confederate Battle Flag. It’s the CONFEDERATE battle flag. CONFEDERATE. Whoever is trying to rebrand it, lost that one a long a time ago.

  6. Jimmy Dick

    I do believe this addresses the reference to the “ever growing flag crowd.” My definition of ever growing is kind of like my weight, it keeps increasing (damn ice cream machine). http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/story/news/2015/08/29/rally-state-secession-falls-flat/71388448/ Hat tip to Brooks Simpson who linked this story at Crossroads. https://cwcrossroads.wordpress.com/2015/08/29/prospects-for-secession-in-alabama-2015/

    It also brings up the issue of racism. The Alabama Flaggers invited the League of the South to the event. For those who do not know, the League of the South is a group dedicated to white supremacy.

    Then we have the issue of secession. For those of you who do not know, secession is unconstitutional without the consent of the federal government.

    So as we see here we have a “big” crowd of flaggers with a racist group who want to secede over the “treadin on Southern heritage.”

    I think I can pretty much rest my case here. The references to modern politics that are mentioned down at the bottom of the article kind of put the whole thing together just like Rob and I have been saying.

  7. Stephanie

    “My intent is allow students to reflect on their own pre-conceived notions about U.S. history which includes attention to the Confederate flag.”

    Yes, many American have their own preconceived notions about US history and the Confederate Flag, and you have clearly established that you believe the Confederate Flag to be a symbol of white supremacy, racism, and hatred, and that there is only one correct and appropriate symbolic interpretation, and that your interpretation is the one correct and appropriate symbolic interpretation based on historical facts and evidence. However, I do not agree with your views, I am concerned that your views will taint your teaching methods, that your views will add bias to the results of this project, that your views will influence the views of your students in regard to how they view the Confederate Flag, and that your students will then impose their biased view of the Confederate Flag on all who choose to display it, and that they will label all who choose to display the Confederate Flag as “ignorant”, “uneducated”, “white supremacist”, “racist”,” gun nut”, “KKK”, “bigots”, and that this kind of derogatory labeling will cause your students to stumble by filling their hearts with hatred for everyone who chooses to display the Confederate Flag. You asked if I think that racists should be honored. My honest answer would be no, I don’t think racists should be honored, but what I think does not matter because the Almighty God I profess to believe in demands that I do honor all people including racists. Therefore, I will continually have to fight my flawed, weak, sinful, human flesh to not do what I want to do and do what God says to do: love my racist neighbor and all other human beings who bear the image of God, forgive as I have been forgiven, and give grace to those who do not deserve it because God has given His grace to me though I do not deserve it.
    You are entitled to your opinions, but that does not mean I have to buy into what you believe because history is a story and the story of the Confederate Flag has continued throughout history and is still being told. The symbolism found in the Confederate Flag began with the saltire/Saint Andrew’s Cross which is symbolic of the Christian martyr, Saint Andrew. The Confederate Flag commonly seen today was used by the Southern Confederacy during the Civil War as a battle flag and as a national flag. The Confederate Flag has been symbolically associated with white supremacy/racism, resistance to/rebellion from authority/government authority, southern heritage/pride and whether you like it or not, recent polls indicate that most Americans have thought and still think the Confederate Flag is a symbol of southern pride see http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/poll-americans-say-confederate-flag-symbol-of-pride-not-racism/article/2567510. If you stop looking at history at the Civil Rights Movement era, you will paint a symbolic picture of white supremacy/racism. You will cut off an important part of American history from which current living Americans are a part of. You cannot ignore an entire generation of baby boomers who used the Confederate Flag as a symbol of rebellion to authority/government authority during the Vietnam Era and still view it as such today, nor can you ignore generation X who grew up watching The Dukes of Hazzard on TV and never saw the horrific events of the Civil Rights Era, nor can you ignore generation Y or millennial and other Americans who view the Confederate Flag as a symbol of southern heritage/pride or are apathetic and hold no symbolic view of the Confederate Flag whatsoever. Yes, Mr. Baker et al. symbols can have multiple meanings which mean that there is not one correct and appropriate meaning for a symbol. Therefore, before one imposes their interpretation of a symbol on another, I think it would be wise to consider that Americans today are using the Confederate Flag in different ways and for different reasons. So, I will not be making any assumptions about another person’s use of the Confederate Flag, if it is not clear from the context of the usage of the Confederate Flag, and I want to know why a person has chosen to use the Confederate Flag, then I will ask that person what that Confederate Flag means to them. Nor will I devalue any individual person or their character because they have chosen to display a Confederate Flag.
    When I see the Confederate Flag, I see rebellion. And when I see rebellion through the context of the history you have presented, I see the sinful rebellion of men who start wars, kill other people, enslave and oppress and discriminate against women/minorities/children, rape/pillage/plunder, and leave a trail of pain, hurt, and destruction behind them. I see a Confederate Flag that is being used to detract from the real problem which is the sinful nature of humanity, and I could choose to look at every white male in America as a symbol of evil hatred, but I choose not to, and instead of focusing on the evil, I will choose to focus on hope. Hope in an Almighty God to keep His promise to change the hearts of evil human beings if only they would let Him.

    1. You have made your point abundantly clear, and you are wrong. The reason you are wrong, is because you have created an assumption of my teaching methods, project, lesson plans, etc., of which there is no evidence for. This is an assumption you have expressed time and time again – only to be told that you are wrong, time and time again. It is interesting that you decided to invoke God in the conversation. I’m fairly certain that the Bible does not tell anyone to honor all. To love all? Certainly. Honor is not the same thing – in fact, the Bible routinely points out and states laws against practices, beliefs, and actions that humanity is supposed to shun. The almighty, that you referenced, pledged to destroy those off the face of the Earth who do not follow some of those laws.

      My opinion is based on evidence, you’ve yet to provide any evidence to suggest that your opinion is anything other than an opinion. I could say that the Confederate Flag stands for Asians…would that be accurate to teach in class? It’s my belief after all…

      If you stop looking at history at the Civil Rights Movement era, you will paint a symbolic picture of white supremacy/racism. You will cut off an important part of American history from which current living Americans are a part of. You cannot ignore an entire generation of baby boomers who used the Confederate Flag as a symbol of rebellion to authority/government authority during the Vietnam Era and still view it as such today, nor can you ignore generation X who grew up watching The Dukes of Hazzard on TV and never saw the horrific events of the Civil Rights Era, nor can you ignore generation Y or millennial and other Americans who view the Confederate Flag as a symbol of southern heritage/pride or are apathetic and hold no symbolic view of the Confederate Flag whatsoever

      Incredibly incorrect. For starters, the Vietnam era is in line with the Civil Rights era. The baby boomer generation that used the flag as a symbol of rebellion to authority/government authority during the Vietnam era was overwhelmingly intertwined with the Civil Rights movement. The flag’s emergence on state flags and public buildings in the South correlated with attempts to resist de-segregation. If you have evidence to the contrary, please post. Dukes of Hazzard was on TV by 1968, at the same time the horrors of the Civil Rights movement were pasted across the television. People who watched it after 1968 would have been fairly well associated with the Civil Rights era as well. However, this is a moot point since I never stated that I would or would not talk about the Confederate Flag’s use as a pop-culture icon – which began before the Civil Rights era. To be honest, your constant redundant rhetorical device is getting old. You have the luxury to look at that flag and think those things, because you never had to live in fear of it. That polling data you like to suggest, here’s a few more to chew on.

      A 2011 Pew Research Center poll revealed that 30% of Americans have a “negative reaction” when “they see the Confederate flag displayed.” According to the same poll, 9% of Americans have a positive reaction. A majority (58%) have no reaction.

      In a October 2013 YouGov poll, a plurality (38%) of those polled disapproved of displaying the flag in public places. In the same poll, a plurality (44%) of those asked viewed the flag as a symbol of racism, with 24% viewing it as exclusively racist and 20% viewing it as both racist and symbolic of pride in the region.

      In a national survey in 2015 across all races, 57% of Americans had the opinion that the Confederate flag represented Southern pride rather than racism. A similar poll in 2000 had a nearly identical result of 59%. However, poll results from only the South yielded a completely different result. 75% of Southern whites described the flag as a symbol of pride, while 75% of Southern blacks said the flag represented racism.

      Poll results vary depending on the pollster and the questions asked. However, if you focus on racial breakdowns of those polls, you get a different picture entirely. One which you fit in with quite well.

      When I see the Confederate Flag, I see rebellion. And when I see rebellion through the context of the history you have presented, I see the sinful rebellion of men who start wars, kill other people, enslave and oppress and discriminate against women/minorities/children, rape/pillage/plunder, and leave a trail of pain, hurt, and destruction behind them. I see a Confederate Flag that is being used to detract from the real problem which is the sinful nature of humanity, and I could choose to look at every white male in America as a symbol of evil hatred, but I choose not to, and instead of focusing on the evil, I will choose to focus on hope. Hope in an Almighty God to keep His promise to change the hearts of evil human beings if only they would let Him.

      And as a white affluent female, you have that luxury.

    2. Jimmy Dick

      The generation who used the CBF as a symbol of rebellion were also lied to about the cause of the Civil War. They were told it was about state’s rights. That is a flat out lie meant to obscure the truth in that the Civil War was about slavery. The UDC and SCV have gone out of their way to prop up the lie, but the facts clearly show the Civil War was completely about slavery. At that point, the use of the CBF changes doesn’t it? Would that generation have used the CBF as a symbol of rebellion had they known the truth?

      To answer that, let us look at what that generation is doing now that they are learning the truth. They are rejecting the CBF as a symbol of rebellion and see it as the racist symbol that it is. You can see it any way you want to see it. However, the majority of Americans see it for what it is, a symbol of racism and ignorance. You want to wave it? Then you can enjoy being labeled ignorant and racist. That is your choice.

      As for teaching about the flag, that’s not a problem. When you show students why that flag was created they see it was about slavery. The Christians who used that flag fought to maintain the institution of slavery. They used the Bible to maintain the institution of slavery. Obviously, the other interpretation of the Bible regarding slavery won over the one that said slavery was ordained by God. God did not bless the cause of the Confederacy. Nor did he bless the South by imposing Jim Crow on them and making the region an economic blight on the nation. Man did that.

      You sound just like the people that deny the role of slavery in the Civil War and say that God will vindicate the South. God doesn’t work that way. I can go outside right now and put up a cross on a green sheet and say whatever I want about God and any major subject. It doesn’t mean whatever I say is blessed by God. A cross on a cloth doesn’t turn the cloth into a mystical object of veneration just because I say it is. You say the CBF is a Christian item because it has a cross on it? That’s ludicrous. How about I put a cross on a green sheet and say it is God’s LGBT battle flag? By the exact same standards you give for the CBF, that new symbol would now be a symbol of God because of the cross.

      How about the flag of the League of the South? They have a white sheet with a black St. Andrew’s cross on it. Does that give them legitimacy and award them God’s favor? Keep in mind the LoS is a white supremacist group dedicated to white nationalism. By your standards they’re doing what? Acting in God’s name? I reject that utterly in contempt.

      The Confederate rebellion was about slavery. Once you establish that FACT, the CBF is just a symbol of men who fought to preserve slavery. Put it in the museum because it has nothing to do with state’s rights.

      1. Stephanie

        The Civil War WAS about slavery. The Confederate rebellion was was about slavery. The US Government granted the Southern States the right to hold slaves. Using your logic, the American Flag should be put in a museum. You’ve brought up another important point regarding the Christians of that time and false teaching. “You say the CBF is a Christian item because it has a cross on it?” Why do you not know the history of the Southern Cross? Technically, it’s not a Christian item because goats pretending to be sheep are not sheep. But, historically, yes, there is “Christian” symbolism in the CBF.

        1. Big deal. The Christianity is man made, not God given in the CBF. It has absolutely no relevance at all. The right to own slaves was given by the people of a state in that state. So where are you going with that? The Southern Cross is a constellation in the Southern Hemisphere. What you are trying to do is link God with the Confederacy and that is pure BS.

          1. Stephanie

            Can’t link God to the Confederacy. Goats are not sheep. False teaching, still rampant today. What happened to the symbolism? Symbolism is man made.

          2. Jimmy Dick

            You are the one who is linking God to the CBF. By doing so you are saying God approved of slavery. Any time you try to say the cross of the flag gives it legitimacy you trip yourself up.
            “Symbolism is man made.” So is racism. So why do you want to wave a symbol of racism around?

  8. Sigh.

    Stephanie, you have the luxury to look at the Confederate flag and see “rebellion.” You, a white, Southern, Christian woman. Many of us, those of us who do not share your privilege, see that flag and experience – all at once – sadness, terror, and disappointment. Your failure here is your inability to empathize. Focusing on hope alone, and being unable to confront the past failures of this country – perpetuate in large part by generations of white males – it’s delusional. It’s false, and it further discredits the millions of Americans whose stories must take a back seat to yours, because it makes you – the majority – uncomfortable. Practice empathy. Try, really hard, to see the world from another’s perspective, and stop running away from conflict or uncomfortable or inconvenient truths.

    1. Stephanie

      Luxury? Not born southern, not born or raised Christian. Born in the pits of hell and managed to work for EVERYTHING I have achieved from the age of 14. Don’t even bring up empathy to me, because YOU have no idea how much I have had to empathize. As for conflict, I’m up to my eyeballs in conflict. The past failures of this country are the past failures of this country and they don’t just apply to the south.

      1. Double Sigh

        Listen, Stephanie, you seem extremely nice and conscientious. You’re wrong, but you seem well-intentioned. Rebellion from what? Maybe that’s a question you should ask. Children rebel, they’re rarely right, no? I honestly don’t have the bandwidth to explain white privilege to you, so here’s a good place to start: http://www.tolerance.org/article/racism-and-white-privilege. You didn’t ask you for it, you may not recognize it, but it’s there and you benefit from it regardless of how early and how hard you worked.

        1. Jimmy Dick

          She just wants to fly the flag and not be bothered with something trivial like a conscience. Instead of accepting the facts of history, she wants them altered so she can do what she wants. Sound familiar?

  9. Sigh.

    I wanted to say a couple of things:

    1)I meant “perpetuated in large part…” and not perpetuate. Typo.

    2) Stephanie is talking to two white males, and one woman, and accusing them of seeing themselves as the roots of all evil…that’s weird. I don’t think anyone is saying that at all. We’re saying, the Confederate flag is a symbol of racism whether that makes you uncomfortable or not. You may have a new interpretation, but that doesn’t matter so much. If there’s a table in the middle of room, but I just it as a chair – it doesn’t really just stop being a table just because it’s being re-purposed? I’m not sure this is the best metaphor, but I’m sure you can get my point.

    2)Also, Stephanie’s assumption that Rob has this much control over a student’s interpretation of the flag is a little condescending. I can distinctly remember sitting in a history class in 9th grade, and being told my the authority figure – my teacher – that the U.S. dropped the bombs on the Japanese people “to save lives.” His argument was that the Japanese were never going to give up, and he attributed this to their cultural expectation of honor – justifying unspeakable violence on our part, as a way to save these poor backwards people that were going to lose many more lives because we would win anyways. That was taught to me, and everyone else in the room by a U.S. history teacher. That was FALSE. My reaction to that, at 14 was, “yeah, I just don’t think so.” I didn’t quite a handle on the words that described the feelings that came up when he said these things…Thinking back this was a myopic, revisionist, white-washing justification… the bomb wasn’t necessary. This fact wouldn’t take away the bravery of the U.S. soldiers that fought in the war, the pride a person has for their country etc. etc. However this is what we got. We weren’t trusted to reach our own conclusion.

    3)We should celebrate teachers that allow students to question things – not just memorize them.

  10. Stephanie

    I am not Southern, I am from the Western United States. I was clearly taught that slavery was the cause of the Civil War, and I am not disputing that fact. I was not taught that the KKK existed outside of the south, I was not taught that the KKK used the American Flag (especially in the 1920’s) and that the KKK was not just a southern organization. Yet, the southern states are the ones being stigmatized for all of this. Who allowed slavery in the first place? Yes, there’s a bunch of whitewashing going on for sure. Do you look at the American flag and not see terror? If not, why not? Do the American Indians look at the American flag and not see terror? The crusade against the American Flag has already begun. When does the insanity end? If you want the truth, you had better be prepared to find out what the truth is for yourself. Teachers can’t teach everything. Everyone has a responsibility for their OWN learning.

    1. Who allowed slavery in the first place? Good question. The need for labor brought about the codification of slave laws in colonial Virginia in the 17th century. The Carolinas brought it over from Barbados in their case. Georgia was set up as a free colony, but the demand for labor caused them to rewrite their charter and shift to slavery years later. When it came time for the Constitution to be written, several delegates wanted to ban slavery, but the southern states refused to consider it. Therefore, thanks to the insistence of the Southern delegates, slavery was continued in the United States.

      The KKK existed throughout the US in the 20s and 30s as well. They used and still use the American flag. The difference here is the men who fought under the US Flag were the ones who defeated the men who fought under the Confederate one, you know, the one that was created for an army of men fighting to preserve slavery. The American flag stands for principles that the confederate flag did not stand for. While my ancestors were practically exterminated by white men under the US flag, the flag has also come to represent them as well. It is because this is a nation of ideas and principles. So the war against the US flag is like the war against Christianity. It does not exist.

      If you want to learn it helps to use facts. You can’t learn the truth without it.

      1. Stephanie

        You haven’t told me anything I don’t already know. Doesn’t matter. There are no laws against displaying the Confederate Flag. It has evolved to represent rebellion much like the rebellious principles this country was founded on. American Flag = Rebellion. Confederate Flag = Rebellion.

        1. Jimmy Dick

          It is a racist symbol and you can close your eyes to its past all you want. If you wave that flag I will call you racist. The fact that I have explained its history to you and you refuse to accept facts proves to me you are willingly ignorant if you choose to fly that symbol of racism. It is your choice. Live with it.

        2. Wrong. It never “evolved” to mean rebellion. It was lied about to mean rebellion. The historiography of the Lost Cause is very clear on why many associate the flag with rebellion without acknowledging the racial aspects of the flag.

  11. Double Sigh

    The problem, Stephanie, is that you’re so worried about people that don’t need your help. Frankly, as a Southerner, we certainly don’t want it, nor do we need it. You’re worried about stigmas that the South acquired with great pride when it seceded from the rest of the country in an effort to keep people in bondage. You’re doing the people of the Southern states a disservice by pretending they need protection from people pointing out that they did shitty things, and that some of those shitty things still appear in their cultural and societal dealings. A people that refuse to confront their past is doomed, and your consternation with the history of the Confederate flag is little reason to stop making people think about its meaning, interpretation, and use. By denying the meaning and purpose given to the flag, you’re damn near denying the fact that this war was fought in order to keep slavery as the economic engine of an economy.

    Also, yes, a lot of people see the U.S. flag – and feel terror. I don’t personally see terror, but I don’t start on a rampant justification party for every single thing this country does on my behalf the moment someone takes issue with a decision made by our leaders.

    I’m not sure what insanity you’re talking about. It could be argued that it is insane to see the Confederate flag as anything, in 2015, but a symbol of hatred. Here’s a useful map: https://www.splcenter.org/hate-map
    I’ve by no means said that we should go around burning the Confederate flag, and hid it forever. I’m not sure anyone has advocated this throughout this thread. However, I don’t think it belongs on public grounds as a symbol of any state or public entity. I think that it’s clear that this is a historical artifact, and it should be studied – not glorified. I mean c’mon, they lost, for Pete’s sake!?

    Teachers can’t teach everything – that’s a fact. I don’t dispute that, but they can’t be afraid to try. They should be encouraged to push their students, and not reprimanded for going after things that are uncomfortable. Those kids that are made to take a good hard look at their interpretation of the Civil War will be better equip to argue which ever side the choose later on. They won’t be part of the ignorant masses that, true play nicer, but affect nothing.

    1. Stephanie

      Headsmack! When did I say the truth shouldn’t be taught. If you had been paying attention, you would know that I already said that facts should be taught, history should be taught, ALL of it. We’ve been discussion opinions. Thanks to the teachers for teaching history!

      1. You have routinely stated and/or suggested that teaching the racial history behind the flag would do little to bring about racial unity in the country. I’m confused as to how that means the same thing as “facts should be taught.”

        I am waiting on some evidence of this “ALL” of history you speak of. Please include some resources?

        Thanks to the teachers for teaching history! You’re welcome.

        Stephanie – you came to this blog with a lot of assumptions of which there was no basis for. You keep repeating the same assumptions and opinions without actually backing any of what you have to say up. If you have something to add – such as a primary/secondary source, etc. – feel free to do so. I, in fact, welcome new materials to analyze. However, if all you are going to do is repeat things you have already said, don’t bother. You’ve already said it. I’m moving on. Be on the look out for the next post which focuses on the initial data I’ve collected from my students. And feel free to check out other posts on this website, especially these two:

        “Our Art is a Reflection of Our Reality”
        “Understanding White Privilege”

        Thanks for commenting.

  12. Stephanie

    Fact: I can make any assumption I want to about this teacher’s intent regarding this project because this teacher has presented his project without presenting his experimental design, hypothesis, controls, etc.

    Fact: Symbolism is not concrete and fixed in meaning.

    Conclusion: There is not one correct and appropriate interpretation of the symbolism contained within the Confederate Flag.

    Leaving you now, with your opinions…………..

    1. Fact: You certainly can make any assumption. However, expect me to laugh at your assumptions when they are founded on no evidence whatsoever. Much like you’ve done in this thread.

      Fact: Symbols do not have a fixed meaning. No one has argued that, you seem to think everyone has though.

      Conclusion: There most assuredly is not an absolute meaning, but there is a predominant one – as much as there is a predominant ignorance and denial about the meaning of the flag. If you honestly think the flag espouses rebellion without the stigma of race – that’s your own misconception. That’s not opinion – that’s fact.

      1. Jimmy Dick

        She wants to cut the race out of the rebellion part. That cannot be done. The rebellion was about slavery and white supremacy. That is crystal clear. The use of the CBF has been in racist tones since it was created and still is. She wants to deny that. She has the ability to make a new symbol for her modern political ideology but refuses to do it, instead choosing the CBF for what reason? To look cool with a crowd of ignorant racists? You are what you associate with. The people waving the CBF are ignorant of history and most are flat out racists. We saw that on full display this weekend in Alabama.

        I doubt she would like our history classes. Those damn facts keep getting in the way of feel good history. Something about using primary sources with a lesson plan that is content driven. Last week in my lesson on the Reconstruction era I showed my class the Confederate Catechism. They were in disbelief that people are that stupid to actually believe in that crap. Today when covering the New South we hit on the UDC and its mission statement. On the surface the UDC looks fine until you dig into the words “To collect and preserve the material for a truthful history of the War Between the States.” Then you find the reality which is built around preserving the Lost Cause.

        Yep, once again having an educational philosophy and learning model interferes with the teaching of fiction.

  13. Stephanie

    Good Morning, I’ve been thinking a lot about this discussion, and I am not feeling very good at all about how this went. I have been living in the south for about a year now, and I have been trying to wrap my head around southern culture and this confederate flag debate. It really wasn’t my intention to stir up any trouble or ill will, I would like to apologize for any wrong assumptions made on my part, I’m afraid that I just didn’t communicate very well here, and that it caused my thoughts and intentions to be very misunderstood. You all did help me to see some things I hadn’t thought of before, and I always appreciate things that make me think.

    1. Jimmy Dick

      Transformation takes time. I apologize for being abrupt. I deal with people constantly who deliberately reject facts in favor of beliefs. It gets tiring and very repetitive. You are seeking information and that is a great thing and reflects your intelligence. You are experiencing a culture shift that is taking place within your own culture change via moving.

      I had someone on my historical society FB page whine about the removal of confederate heritage stuff and they compared it to ISIS’s removal of ancient culture. The post went on and on about cultural cleansing etc. What they did not realize and still refuse to consider is that the confederate culture they are referring to was the lost cause culture which was based on a fictional version of the Civil War and also a deliberate manifestation of white supremacy meant to maintain a segregate society. The symbols of that belief are not being destroyed. They are being removed and relocated to other locations such as museums so they can be explained in their context. That’s a big difference.

      For the person who posted, that is not what she wants. She wants to maintain the lost cause culture because she identifies with it. So she just ignores the white supremacy aspect which the whole thing is rooted in because she doesn’t want to replace her belief system. So much for historical accuracy on her part. Others are seeing that culture in a new light and they don’t like it. They are rejecting it and they want it gone. That is a major transformative cultural shift. Any time that happens, there are always shock waves.

      Feel free to post on my site if you want to, Stephanie. I always have time for people who have questions. God Bless!

    2. Isabel (No More Snarky Names)

      I’ve been where you are Stephanie. Keep arguing! A word of unsolicited advice, these folks don’t take kindly to emotional arguments or things that, even if they seem nicer, are factually incoherent – or hide what seems to be the reality of truth of a matter. “The right thing to do” or “The better thing to do” won’t fly at these blogs. Anyways, remember that you’re arguing with some people that care a lot about these issues, and they’re going to passionately say their peace. Stand for your side, but if the platform starts to crumble – reconsider? Or get better arguments 😀

      1. Stephanie

        Yep, you’re right. I shouldn’t have let Mr. Dick suck me into his emotional tirade. I’ll remember to be less empathetic next time.

        1. We tried.

          em·pa·thy
          ˈempəTHē/
          noun
          noun: empathy

          the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

          I believe you’re using it wrong, and it’s unclear if you’re being facetious. I won’t lose any sleep either way.

  14. Stephanie

    You all remind me of the person I used to be before Christ changed my life. There’s hope for sinners:

    Frederick Douglass knew that the shame of slavery was not just the South’s, that the whole nation was complicit in it. On the Fourth of July, 1852, he gave an Independence Day address:

    “Fellow Citizens: Pardon me, and allow me to ask, why am I called upon to speak here today? What have I or those I represent to do with your national independence? Are the great principles of political freedom and of natural justice, embodied in that Declaration of Independence, extended to us? And am I, therefore, called upon to bring our humble offering to the national altar, and to confess the benefits, and express devout gratitude for the blessings resulting from your independence to us?.. .
    What to the American slave is your Fourth of July? I answer, a day that reveals to him more than all other days of the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. ‘To him your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants, brass- fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are to him mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy-a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages There is not a nation of the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of these United States at this very hour.

    Go where you may, search where you will, roam through all the monarchies and despotisms of the Old World, travel through South America, search out every abuse and when you have found the last, lay your facts by the side of the everyday practices of this nation, and you will say with me that, for revolting barbarity and shameless hypocrisy, America reigns without a rival… .” see more at: http://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/zinnslaem10.html

    Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, see more at: http://www.gotquestions.org/all-have-sinned.html

    Matthew 15:19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts–murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. see more at: http://www.gotquestions.org/definition-sin.html

    Revelation 21:8 But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

    “But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.” ~Martin Luther King Jr

    “The Biblical vision is much bigger than how black and white people relate to each other. King knew that. It’s about people from every race and every language and every tribe uniting with a passion for the supremacy of God in all things.” ~ John Piper see more at: http://www.desiringgod.org/messages/every-race-to-reign-and-worship

    Romans 5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. see more at: http://www.gotquestions.org/saving-grace.html

    Romans 10:9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; see more at: http://www.gotquestions.org/lordship-salvation.html

    A good example to follow: http://www.amazon.com/Nathan-Bedford-Forrests-Redemption-Kastler/dp/1589808347

    The verdict for those who have committed the sin of racism, have repented, and seek faithfulness to God is not guilty: http://www.blogos.org/exploringtheword/repentance-asking-forgiveness.php

    Take the Confederate Flag, Matthew 6:10 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal,

    Deuteronomy 32:35 ‘Vengeance is Mine, and retribution, In due time their foot will slip; For the day of their calamity is near, And the impending things are hastening upon them.’

  15. No puede ser...

    I stopped reading that article when I read the following bigoted sentence: “What these white (and East Indian and Asian) parents know is that black culture is not education-oriented.”

    I get it Stephanie. You’ve lost any shred of good will you had with me. It is clear that in fact you’re a self-righteous bigot. Best of luck.

    God, if he exists, will forgive you for your lack of empathy, lack of self-reflection, and purposeful ignorance because that’s her job.

    I certainly don’t have much more patience to deal with your irresponsible and malicious world view.

  16. Cereally though...

    Rob, you should start an “Accepted Realities of the World Dictionary” on your blog; that way when a person comes to this blog to perpetuate hatred – even the “nice” way, you can helpfully point them there. They’ll find words like “white privilege,” “racism,” “victim blaming,” “empathy” and others…

    1. I already wrote two posts that focus on “white privilege.” The second post is actually more broad to touch on different types of privilege such as white/class/wealth/gender/etc. I probably will not start a “Accepted Realities of the World Dictionary,” simply because of the time I would need to dedicate to such a section. I just sort of hope people do not say such ignorant things. But they do time and time again.

    2. Stephanie

      Race Baiter– HOW THE MEDIA WIELDS DANGEROUS WORDS TO DIVIDE A NATION
      http://ericdeggans.com/?page_id=80
      “This book is an attempt to decode the ways media outlets profit by segmenting Americans. I call it the Tyranny of the Broad Niche; what happens as the biggest pieces of an increasingly fragmented audience are courted at the expense of many others.” –Eric Deggans

      1. Yo Quiero Taco Bell

        I think that’s a word you find in the Fox News Dictionary. You clearly dos not even attempt the article I suggested.

  17. Stephanie

    Now lets get down to business. Why are you playing on the ignorance of the ignorant? Are you not supposed to be teachers of the ignorant?

    big·ot·ry biɡətrē/ noun: bigotry; plural noun: bigotries intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself.

    Bigotry-intolerance towards a group of people in general based on their group characteristics such as race, religion, national origin, gender, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status ~https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bigotry

    By definition, you are bigots with intolerance against the ignorant.

    By God’s standards, you are also liars.

    Slavery was not the cause of the Civil War. PERCEIVED threats and fears were the cause of the Civil War.

    “The agricultural South was dependent on cotton production and the economic and political elite there feared that as more new states entered the union they would choose to be free-states, shift the balance of power in Washington, and ultimately lead to higher tariffs for the South as well as threats to the institution of slavery.”
    ~http://www.civilwar.org/resources/civil-war-history-how-the.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/

    The PERCEIVED loss of slavery came with the expansion of the American West and the admittance of territories as free states and the disruption of sectional balance in congress between the Pro-Slavery Democrats and the anti-slavery Republicans.

    Lincoln was not an abolitionist, but he was PERCEIVED to be anti-slavery. Lincoln ran for president on the Republican platform to stop the expansion of slavery in the West. (Opinion alert) Lincoln would have been an IDIOT to end slavery as Southern Exports accounted for about 60% of total American exports. Cotton in particular was the backbone of the textile manufacturing industry in the UK and US.

    The symbolism of the Confederate Battle Flag is the representation of the Confederate side in the Civil War between the states.

    “Because the Confederate battle flag did not fade into history in 1865, it was kept alive to take on new uses and new meanings and to continue to be part of an ever-changing history. As much as students of Civil War history may wish that we could freeze the battle flag in its Civil War context, we know that we must study the flag’s entire history if we wish to understand the history that is happening around us today. Studying the flag’s full history also allows us to engage in a more constructive dialogue about its proper place in the present and in the future.” ~ http://www.historynet.com/embattled-banner-the-convoluted-history-of-the-confederate-flag.htm

    Now, maybe you can stop teaching falsehoods AND engage in more constructive dialogue about the flag.

    PS The Dukes of Hazzard ran from 1979-1985. It did not run in 1968 as was previously stated. It’s contribution to the history of the flag can be noted in the last link directly above from historynet.
    ~https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&rlz=1C1KMZB_enUS571US594&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=dukes%20of%20hazzard%201968

    1. If you want to label someone a “bigot,” because they are intolerant of bigots, be my guess. You will only make a mockery of yourself.

      For starters, everyone lies. By God’s standards (or rather your interpretation of God’s standards), everyone has lied. But you cannot point to one spot on this blog where I have lied.

      Yes, slavery was the cause of the Civil War. Attempting to dilute the issue of slavery as a central cause of the conflict is a whitewashing of history. What you argue in this comment, and the quotes you post from other websites to reinforce this argument, is absolutely hilarious. It was perceived threats towards SLAVERY, and Lincoln being viewed as ANTI-SLAVERY. All of those issues, threats or otherwise, involve SLAVERY. Ending slavery would not have meant the end of cotton exportation. What facts do you have to base such an assumption on? In fact, the North outproduced the South in terms of food items without the use of slave labor. What would have really changed would have been the type of labor from slave to free. Cotton exportation would have continued, much like it did after the war.

      The second quote actually reinforces my point, thank you. The “whole history” the author of the quote is talking about, includes race. This is in contrast to Heritage advocates who wish to venerate the flag as the soldiers’ flag ONLY. However, yet again, you are making assumptions about what I am teaching in the classroom without any evidence to back it up. I’ve produced no lesson plans or sources that I am incorporating into these lessons. So again, you are making baseless assumptions.

      I stand corrected on the Dukes of Hazzard, yet it still came at a period after the Civil Rights movement. The people alive knew very well the flags use in the movement as anti-segregation and anti-race. To say that people who watched it are absent of the memory of the Civil Rights era is just misguided.

      1. Stephanie

        Did I name you by name, who was I referring to about lying? If the shoe fits….. The question is are you repentant?

        “It was perceived threats towards SLAVERY, and Lincoln being viewed as ANTI-SLAVERY.”
        “The perceived threat to state autonomy became an existential one through the specific dispute over slavery. The issue was not slavery per se, but who decided whether slavery was acceptable, local institutions or a distant central government power. That distinction is not one of semantics: this question of local or federal control to permit or prohibit slavery as the country expanded west became increasingly acute in new states, eventually leading to that fateful artillery volley at Fort Sumter.”
        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeff-schweitzer/slavery-and-the-civil-war_b_849066.html

        “Ending slavery would not have meant the end of cotton exportation. What facts do you have to base such an assumption on?”

        “Between 1793 and 1815, cotton exports from the U.S. grew from 500,000 pounds to more than 80 million pounds. Cotton from the U.S. was the fuel for the Industrial Revolution in Europe and the development of capitalism–and slavery was the key to producing cotton. As Karl Marx wrote from his vantage point in Britain, “Without slavery, there would be no cotton, without cotton, there would be no modern industry.”
        http://socialistworker.org/2009/02/12/lincoln-and-the-struggle-to-abolish-slavery

        “However, yet again, you are making assumptions about what I am teaching in the classroom without any evidence to back it up.” Then present the evidence in the format of experimental design.

        1. Jimmy Dick

          You may recall from studying history that the issue of slavery in the territories was to be decided via popular sovereignty. The Missouri Compromise had been repealed so that this concept could be applied. It was tested in Kansas. Slavery lost. The slave owners rejected popular sovereignty from that point on because it would not protect the institution of slavery. Only slave owner control of the federal government could protect slavery and expand it into the western territories regardless of what the people in that territory wanted.

          As for federal control of the territories, that was and still is addressed through the US Constitution. See Art. IV, sec. 3. No state had any right or power over any territory of the USA.

          By the way, Dr. Schweitzer is a marine biologist. He messes up the state’s rights issue big time. No state was in jeopardy of losing slavery except by the will of its people. Slave owners didn’t like that idea either because the will of the people was to end slavery as history was showing them. The Northern states had ended it. The border states were losing slavery, and the institution could not spread to the west because no one wanted to compete with slave labor, not was the West considered viable for slavery in the first place. On top of all of that, the primary sources show us that when state’s rights was uttered, it was always in connection with slavery. State’s rights was never the actual issue. Who controlled the state and federal governments was.

          The slave owners had a nice set up in the South. Real democracy threatened that set up.

          Cotton in America? I do recall seeing that little cotton was sold from the US in the period 1861-1865 due to some war taking place. The year after the conflict, 1866, cotton production resumed without slave labor and by 1867 easily exceeded pre-war production. Keep in mind this was done without slave labor.

          Once again, your statements not only fall short, but prove slavery was the cause of the war.

        2. Forum etiquette, especially in a comment thread as long as this, dictates that you identify whom you are talking to. It is logical to assume that, given the topic of your comment,you could have been talking to my or to everyone. Also, I don’t sit in judgement under anyone on this Earth. So save it.

          A copy and paste quote from a random article on the internet does not an argument make. For starters, HuffPost is not considered to be a database for historical research. Additionally, it is difficult to ascertain whether or not the author has any historical training. The author is a Marine Biologist, not a historian. Regardless, his arguments fall flat and are apologetic attempts to focus on things other than slavery. The state and federal governments debated throughout the 19th century over the issue of state sovereignty. Notice that the nullification crisis, the “tariff of abominations” and indian removal did not lead to civil war. Nor did any of those issues unite the South in secession. Slavery, however, did. Watch the video below.

          Again, a copy and paste from a random article on the internet does not an argument make. The author states that cotton exports grew from 500,000 pounds to more than 80 millions pounds. Yet, the author makes no mention of the invention of the cotton gin and how that invention led to the mass production of cotton in the South and entrenched the system of slavery. However, the author is pulling from a Marxist historical interpretation. The Industrial Revolution in places like Britain had already begun way before 1793. Another point to make is that the author is talking about the slave system as existed, he is not commenting on whether or not cotton would implode if slavery ended. So I’m not really sure what point you are trying to make. You seem to already have your mind made up about that point, without any evidence.

          Experimental design? You realize I’m not a scientist, yes? And you realize that history is a different field from science? I do not come into your lab and expect to be more knowledgeable than those that work there. It is hilarious that you think you are more knowledgeable coming into mine. As far as evidence, you are the one making assumptions based on no evidence. Now you want me to provide evidence to the contrary. The burden of proof is on you, if you are going to make accusations – then back them up.

      2. SAVED BY THE GRACE OF IGNORANCE!

        Rob, this lady wants you to teach the white-washed version of slavery, racist symbols, and the Civil War. Your continued assurance that you will teach historically accurate things is really causing her a lot of trouble. You’re supposed to teach the version of slavery where they had God on their side – because these were barbaric sturdy people that couldn’t have done anything productive without whites, and that when they were forgiven by God for perpetuating White Supremacy, in the form of an economic engine based on free-labor, it magically erased any shred of horribleness that was to befall minorities in this country; so if we brown folks still down in the dumps it’s totally our fault now, and not really a product of some liberal conspiracy that racism and white privilege exist.

        This horseshit justification and lack of responsibility makes her more comfortable, and it would probably be easier to understand for brown folks. You know, brown people can’t learn good – we’re supposed to be cleaning things and shooting hoops anyways! Get with the program!

        Come to think of it! I don’t really know what I’m doing at work right now trying to save American jobs from discriminating employers. I should be at home barefoot, cleaning someone else’s house because I can’t learn anything or use the monies well – so obviously I can’t like, save any to get my own house. Facts try to go in, but it’s just – my culture doesn’t allow me to retain any. I can only retain facts given to me in Spanish. Flan es muy bueno. That’s all I got…

        Stephanie, you’re so right. I’ve been lying to myself all of these years. God is the answer to my racist and privilege problems. So God – I need you to pay down my student loans, elucidate this woman on basic U.S. history, and help me stop being so snarky. I get that I’m brown, and probably don’t deserve any of your mercy – but, help a sister out! AMEN!

        1. Stephanie

          Mezirow believed that transformative learning takes place through experience, reflection, and discourse (Stansberry & Kymes, 2007). The process can be disruptive and uncomfortable as the learner is forced into seeing the world differently than previously accepted (Davis, 2006). Transformative learning is considered to have taken place once learners make choices or takes action based on the new understandings (Stansberry & Kymes, 2007). ~http://www.enotes.com/research-starters/transformative-learning

          I’m patient, transformation takes time Jim et al. We’ll have you thinking on your own again in no time!

          1. Jimmy Dick

            I prefer Jack’s words from his book, Transformative Dimensions of Adult Learning. In it he says that in order for rational discourse to exist one must be free from self-deception. When you realize the Lost Cause mentality you have is a delusion, then you will be able to enter into rational discourse. Until then you are stuck in an endless loop of self-delusion brought about by cognitive dissonance.

            I feel sorry for you, Stephanie. You have established a happy place for yourself that is rooted in a willingness to reject factual information in favor of a lie. Eventually that happy place will fall apart because you will eventually recognize the place is only temporary and that the beliefs that sustain it are flimsy and fail to prevent facts from penetrating the barriers you have erected.

            In the Transformative learning cycle you have arrived at step one: A disorienting dilemma. When moving to step two: Self-examination with feelings of guilt or shame you recoil and fail to accept them. You are erecting barriers to prevent the guilt from being acknowledged. So you end up right back at step one. This is common for those who can’t break free of their false assumptions and prefer the guilt-free lies to the harsher reality.

            For someone who says she taught at a university I really find your self-delusion pretty alarming.

          2. Isabel

            Oh Stephanie, where to even begin? There’s really no reason to take you seriously at this point; you’ve put forth racist articles, and changed your mind multiple times…it’s been over for a while, and you’ve made zero headway.

            For example, It’s sincerely funny that you think we will be the ones to change into believing a lie; one that you so comfortably bought into and refuse to see as the propaganda that it is. The truth is people that think like you are the relics, the backwards, the ones that my bilingual grandkids will learn about and feel sorry for. Anyone can see it; throw a rock and you can get a credible statistic of more tolerant political leanings towards, families, women, religion, race, immigration, same-sex marriage etc. Your lot is so afraid in the world of Obergefell v. Hodges, of equal pay, of Black Lives Matter, of Obamacare, of Slut Walks, of the Iran-deal… it must be scary for you all. It must be so weird that the order of society that you are so comfortable with is being upended. I, for one, am ecstatic. Those bilingual grandkids will live in a more just and peaceful world. They’ll learn from teachers like Rob and Jimmy to stop being yes-men like you. I’m confident that your side will lose. Historically it always does.

            “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”― Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

            You’re on the wrong side of everything.

            Oh, and though I do not have any reason to explain myself to you, I work really hard on your behalf every day, and I’m sure you’re devastated to hear that I don’t fit in the nice little brown box you need me to.

            Rob is correct. You wanted to lecture us, and you wanted to tell how good of a person you are. No one cares. Take some fucking responsibility.

            I’ll leave you with a list of the people that did not have the chance for YOU to change; for people like YOU to change – and for people like YOU to accept history and its consequences:

            Dontre Hamilton
            Eric Garner
            John Crawford III
            Michael Brown Jr.
            Ezell Ford
            Dante Parker
            Tanisha Anderson
            Akai Gurley
            Tamir Rice
            Tumain Brisbon
            Jerame Reid
            Tony Robinson
            Phillip White
            Eric Harris
            Walter Scott
            Freddie Gray

        2. I really need to stop engaging people like this. She obviously just came here for the sake of arguing and to tell us all how informed she is. Numerous stupid statements and baseless assumptions later, she is talking in circles and backing herself into a corner. Initially she stated that slavery was the cause of the Civil War. Today she posted articles that argued to the contrary. She did this simply for the sake of arguing. Now that that line of reasoning has run its course, she returned to posting biblical statements. Also hilarious due to the fact that she wants us to open up, transform and learn something for ourselves. Yet she is perfectly fine with using other people’s opinions of God’s view of humanity.

          If you do convert to a life of cleaning houses, I recommend Kaboom and Lemon Pledge. You’ll think me later.

          1. Jimmy Dick

            She has a blog that is pretty breezy to be blunt. Her line of reasoning is illogical and lacks clarity. Like you said, she is just running around in circles. She wants a guilt-free CBF and that is not going to happen. Throwing Bible verses around is meaningless. I’ve seen far too much hypocrisy from people quoting the Bible. I find that many people who are fond of quoting the Bible only do so to lend validity to their beliefs. When those beliefs are challenged they have problems because they cherry picked the verses that only accrue to their beliefs. Anything that doesn’t fit in with their belief structure gets ignored.

            For someone who claimed to teach at a university, I find her arguments and statements to be pretty simplistic. She is only restating what we’ve seen so many times from the lost cause crowd. They all use the same handbook of ignorance. We toss a primary source at them and they just ignore it and make another claim. Give them a challenge and they can’t respond to it. As for transformative learning theory, she really does not know anything about it.

            What we are dealing with here is a born again Christian who sees the world in one color and rejects everything that threatens that worldview. She found a happy place and will do anything she can to keep it, even to the point of self-delusion.

    2. Jimmy Dick

      The Civil War was caused by slavery. The CBF is a racist symbol. Two facts. Your own actions keep coming back to bite you. Every time you try to say the war was caused by something else it always involves slavery. As for the CBF, its use since the Civil War shows it for a racist symbol. You ignore that use in favor of using it for your modern political ideology.

      Here’s the deal. If you wave the CBF today you are ignorant. You are choosing to ignore the racism it stands for. You will be perceived as a racist for waving a racist symbol. Not only that, but when you start talking with the people at the flag events you find them to be racist in reality.

      You may want the flag to be the symbol of state’s rights today, but it never stood for state’s rights except when used in conjunction with white supremacy. That is a fact. Deal with it.

    1. Stephanie

      Go get yourself some hormones, check your EQ, and get a grip on yourself woman! I’m patient, you’ll come around. You’re going to have to work to pay off your loans. Sniff!

  18. Stephanie

    There’s freedom in liberation, stop with the oppression complex! You can do it, I have faith in you, God forgives sinners like you. Maybe you’re just not one of His sheep, but you sure act like a sheep following the masses with their rhetoric.

    1. You realize that she is a minority correct? A member of a group who suffered imperialism. She belongs to a minority group who moved to America and suffered under the hands of racism – a racism that continues to this day given Donald Trump’s approval ratings… Yet despite that, she has degrees from UGA and works for the Federal Government. Soo…liberation?

  19. Stephanie

    YOU are brave, sitting right down there in Georgia transforming the views of your students to be anti southern, anti confederate, anti flag, etc.

    Good luck with all that. I already know how all of this ends.

    1. Again, assumptions assumptions assumptions. Honestly, how did you get a degree in science? Do you usually claim false assumptions before seeing an experiment or its results?

  20. Stephanie

    “The Spirit of God draws or leads the sinner from one phase to another, gradually, in proportion as one is found having a disposition to responsive hearing. Grace flows ordinarily from prevenient grace through the grace of baptism through the grace of justification toward sanctifying grace leading toward consummation in glory. The power by which one cooperates with grace is grace itself. In this way God draws all to himself, eliciting a hunger for righteousness and a desire for truth.”
    ― Thomas C. Oden, The Transforming Power of Grace

      1. Stephanie

        It does help. It helps you see humanity through God’s eyes, His love, mercy, compassion, forgiveness. I care about you guys other wise, I wouldn’t take the time to be here. I know what true transformation is. God Bless and I will be praying that all of you come to know God and His grace.

        1. So a man tells me how to view humanity through God’s eyes by interpreting the Bible for me…

          It’s interesting that you tell others on this forum to think for themselves, post evidence to counter your baseless assumptions, and to ignore racial controversy because you think ignoring something creates racial harmony.

          When it comes to religion however, you seem to be just fine with letting other people think for you.

        2. What is even more asinine and pompous about your middle class white attitude, is your privileged religions attitude. Because we disagree with you, and counter the baseless assumptions you have about history…we are without God.

  21. Stephanie

    By ‘the grace of God’ is sometimes to be understood that free love, that unmerited mercy, by which I as a sinner, through the merits of Christ, am now reconciled to God. But in this place [2 Cor 1:12] it rather means that power of God the Holy Ghost, which ‘worketh in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure.’ As soon as ever the grace of God in the former sense, His pardoning love, is manifested to our souls, the grace of God in the latter sense, the power of His Spirit, takes place therein (A. Outler and R. Heitzenrater, eds., Sermons I [Abingdon, 1984] 309). – See more at: http://www.catalystresources.org/consider-wesley-39/#sthash.9GsaU6zf.dpuf

    Let cut to the chase. We need to work out the oppression and move on with transformation. What do you have against southerners. Lets flesh that out so we can work on forgiveness. Sound good?

    1. Fair enough, how about we start working out the oppression by teaching the racial history of relevant symbols in the United States. Then our students can make informed decisions about their person use and display of symbols which acknowledge history, society, and empathy.

      I have nothing against Southerners, seeing that I am one. However, you have falsely associated me as being anti-Southern. A silly notion. Another silly notion is that you seem to think being anti-Confederate Flag is the same things as anti-Southern.

      You need to read Coski’s book on the Confederate Flag and it wouldn’t hurt to read McPherson’s Battle Cry of Freedom. If you are going to discuss history, at least be informed.

  22. Stephanie

    What you all have failed to see is that I am not on your side or on their side. I’m in the middle. You say you looked at my blog, but you failed to see what is there. I’m not an advocate for the south or for the flag. I’m a Christian who sees the south as an idol. My blog is breezy, yes, because it takes more than being snarky, arrogant, and condescending to really reach people. It really is hard for me to put my own snarky attitudes away and to see past your snarky attitudes. I found another historian who is not whitewashing and who is doing a better job of explaining things. I think I’ll stick with his stuff and leave you to yours.

    1. Unfortunately for you, in order to teach history, you are required to teach the accurate form of history. I do not spend time teaching lies for the sake of being inclusive.

      You also apparently do not understand what “white-washing” history implies. Are these the same ‘historians’ that you posted yesterday? By that I mean, people who talk about history but do not seem to understand it?

      Thanks for commenting.

    2. Isabel

      Go Stephanie. No one misunderstood you. Everyone challenged you. No one here believes that the South is an object of worship like you. It’s time, a place, and a people that deserve our attention, respect, and analysis; not subservient admiration and pandering. That’s what you didn’t like. Best of luck in the echo chamber.

    3. Jimmy Dick

      Nick did not give you leave to have a guilt free experience waving the CBF either. He said if you want to use it you have to carry its baggage with you. He said you can wave it, but be prepared to be seen as a racist if you do. I’m sure you think he said something else, but he did not.

      1. I wouldn’t bother. She doesn’t want to learn. You read her blog, correct? Notice she goes on and on about her opinion as if it is absolute. She also ends that people should learn to think for themselves. But notice that she never actually links to my post or quote my arguments at all. Think for themselves really means think like I do.

          1. Jimmy Dick

            That is Nick. He works for NPS at the Grant place. He did say what you said. She just pretty much lied to him. Note her statement that we didn’t use context. I made sure to link this page to Nick so he could see what was going on. He liked your explanation.

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