Rediscovering and recovering lost and endangered American liberties by studying our Founders' ideas, contemporaries, and etymology – because our united States "…are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States…"
Dear Governor Haley,
In light of the recent controversy regarding the Confederate flag that currently flies over the state South Carolina Capitol grounds, I’d like to offer a suggestion: replace the flag with another that represents the ideals of limited government, federalism, and self-determination that South Carolina was founded on.
Even though most folks who want the flag removed now are desperately in need of a history lesson, I understand that the Confederate Battle Flag has a certain offensive meaning to them. I wonder, though – where were these protesters 10 years ago? Or even 1 year ago? In their ignorance, would they also have the Democratic Party, the party that historically supported slavery, disbanded? Would they have the Union flag, under which slavery existed in the North until 1860, forbidden as well?
Nothing had changed when South Carolina seceded from the Union in December of 1860 – slavery was still embedded in the U.S. Constitution, as it had been since 1787. The Fugitive Slave Act was also alive and well – having had recently (1850) been polished and updated by Congress for modern times (The Fugitive Slave Act was a Federal law requiring free states to return any runaway slave back to his master). Northern abolitionist attitudes toward slavery had been evolving faster than those in the South, but the South’s secession had nothing to do with reestablishing, resurrecting, or reinventing slavery – the Southern states simply wanted the right of self-determination, and to be left alone to evolve at their own rate.
I must belabor the obvious here, by adding my usual disclaimer: I am against slavery. Had I been alive in the mid-1800s, I would have had serious misgivings about fighting for the CSA, whose new constitution without a doubt permanently legalized “the institution of negro slavery“. However, at the time of secession, the South had committed no new sins. Slavery had been a cultural norm for at least 200 years. The North (and later, Lincoln) was simply demanding that their attitude toward slavery evolve immediately.
Slavery is an American sin, not a Southern sin. The North is just as guilty, even though slavery as an institution in the North had been greatly reduced during the Revolution, since British soldiers freed more slaves there than in the Southern states in attempt to injure the American economy and/or to have them fight with the Loyalists.
Even though the U.S. Constitution initially allowed slavery, the Founders hoped that this hypocrisy would be only temporary, and that the Spirit of ’76 would be the death knell of the evil institution.
Regardless of the ignorance and inconsistency of some who want the flag banned, it’s an incontrovertible fact that many find the symbol painfully offensive. That’s why I think we need a solution, but instead of just removing the flag and giving up a symbol that many Southerners see as more representative of state’s rights than of slavery, why not replace it with another symbol of independence instead? I suggest either the Pine Tree flag, the Gadsden flag, or another early Colonial symbol of liberty and anti-tyranny.
Thank you very much for your time and consideration.
Seth Delconte –June 26 2015, Indian Land, SC
Reader: Please consider writing to Governor Haley to echo my request to replace the flag with another symbol of American liberty. Her office address is:
The Honorable Nikki R. Haley
Office of the Governor
1205 Pendleton Street
Columbia, South Carolina 29201
You can also make an electronic submission via her website: http://www.governor.sc.gov/ContactUs/Pages/index.aspx