Mulvaney: It’s more than the Confederate flag

I would like to start by saying that I am disappointed that the conversation in South Carolina — largely driven by those outside our state — has been focused on a flag, rather than the victims of a heinous crime and their courageous and forgiving families. While I always welcome debate on a divisive issue, I prefer that debate not come on the heels of a tragedy before the victims have even been laid to rest.

Rep. Mick Mulvaney U.S. House of Representatives, 5th District

Rep. Mick Mulvaney
U.S. House of Representatives, 5th District

In part because of those concerns, I will admit that I have not been as quick to call for the removal of the Confederate Flag from the State House grounds as some others. I remember that the flag is where it is as the result of something that is becoming all too rare in politics: compromise. Indeed, moving the flag from the dome to the grounds in 2000 — and the concomitant establishment of the African-American monument — could be considered as a high point in South Carolina politics: a time when people got together and worked through their differences in a way that all could accept with pride.

And my initial reaction to calls to summarily remove the flag was that such an action would be tantamount to admitting what is not true for many South Carolinians: that the flag is a symbol of hate. Yes, it was for Dylann Roof. In fact, for him it was something even more evil than just hate. But we typically do not allow such people to define what our symbols mean.

But in speaking with many people over the course of the last few days, it has become clear that the flag does in fact mean different things to different people in our state. And I blame myself for not listening closely enough to people who see the flag differently than I do. It is a poor reflection on me that it took the violent death of my former desk mate in the SC Senate, and eight others of the best the Charleston community had to offer, to open my eyes to that. And because of those very different — and very valid — impressions of what the flag represented, I admit that the flag has become a distraction: something that prevents us from talking about all that is good about South Carolina. It strikes me as particularly disappointing, for example, that we have spent more time talking about the flag for the last few days than we have talking about the extraordinary display of faith, love, and forgiveness shown by the families of the victims of the shooting in Charleston. If the flag has become an excuse for people to ignore things like that, then perhaps time has come for a change.

I hope that the Legislature can do the same thing now that they did 15 years ago: take the time and effort to fashion a compromise that removes the flag in a way that all South Carolinians can rally around with pride and respect — and with the sense of community that has been on display for the world to see in Charleston in the aftermath of last Wednesday evening. By doing that we will once again have the opportunity to show everyone what is special about our state. Maybe with the flag removed, people will listen.

Finally, I will say this: there is no Confederate flag flying at the state capitol in Missouri, yet Ferguson had race riots; there is no Confederate flag flying at the state capitol in Maryland, yet Baltimore had race riots. There is a Confederate flag flying on the grounds of the state capitol in South Carolina, yet Charleston set an example for the world to marvel at in its response to this atrocity. And of that, I am extraordinarily proud. Perhaps those who are now trying to focus attention on the flag are spending their time on the wrong things.

Mick Mulvaney represents the 5th District in the U.S. House of Representatives. Elected in 2010, the 5th District includes Cherokee, Chester, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lancaster, Lee, Newberry, Spartanburg, Sumter, Union and York counties.

Filed in: Cheraw, Education, Latest Headlines, Opinion, Public safety, Region

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  • momatad

    this ‘fecknugget’ thinks because the Stars and Bars weren’t flown in Missouri and Baltimore they rioted? I think the situations are vastly different. The two cases listed were caused by the police using ‘questionable’ tactics whereas the SC case is where a loon white separatist took a gun to a large number of people and was promptly caught and charged…..in the others, it took a ‘bit of time to think if there would be charges’ leaving the population questioning the police departments’ motives. Apples and oranges, but anything to keep the ‘sainted’ confederate flag flying high, right? Sorta like rewatching Jake’s ‘North and South’ and expecting a different outcome at the end of the movie….sorry, the South STILL lost the war, no matter how much you want to sugar coat it.

    • trotsky

      momatad, Mulvaney is an idiot.

  • urconcience

    A lot of words to avoid the fact that however you wrap an opinion in opposition to taking it down, you will always equate the flag with hate.
    Pride in the South for who fought== fought to retain the right to own slaves

    • momatad

      I get the impression from a lot of ‘flag defenders’ that they wouldn’t be ‘opposed’ to people still being able to ‘own slaves’. As long as they were on the ‘owning end’ that is.

  • Joe Deberry

    History books, the media, the school systems, etc abound in falsehoods and
    inaccuracies of Confederate and Southern history. This fact sheet will
    help to clarify and dispel some of these rampant inaccuracies.

    MYTH – The War of 1861 – 1865 was fought over slavery.

    FACT – Terribly untrue. The North fought the war over money. Plain and
    simple. When the South started Secession, Lincoln was asked, “Why not let
    the South go in peace?” To which he replied, “I can’t let them go. Who
    would pay for the government?” Sensing total financial ruin for the North,
    Lincoln waged war on the South. The South fought the War to repel Northern
    aggression and invasion.

    MYTH – Only Southerners owned slaves.

    FACT – Entirely untrue. Many Northern civilians owned slaves. Prior to,
    during and even after the War Of Northern Aggression.

    Surprisingly, to many history impaired individuals, most Union Generals
    and staff had slaves to serve them! William T. Sherman had many slaves
    that served him until well after the war was over and did not free them
    until late in 1865.

    U.S. Grant also had several slaves, who were only freed after the 13th
    amendment in December of 1865. When asked why he didn’t free his slaves
    earlier, Grant stated “Good help is so hard to come by these days.”

    Contrarily, Confederate General Robert E. Lee freed his slaves (which he
    never purchased – they were inherited) in 1862!!! Lee freed his slaves
    several years before the war was over, and considerably earlier than his
    Northern counterparts. And during the fierce early days of the war when
    the South was obliterating the Yankee armies!

    MYTH – The Confederate Battle Flag was flown on slave ships.

    FACT – NONE of the flags of the Confederacy or Southern Nation ever
    flew over a slave ship. Nor did the South own or operate any slaves ships.
    The English, the Dutch and the Portuguese brought slaves to this country,
    not the Southern Nation.

    BUT, even more monumental, it is also very important to know and
    understand that Federal, Yankee, Union ships brought slaves to America!
    These ships were from the New England states, and their hypocrisy is
    atrocious.

    These Federals were ones that ended up crying the loudest about slavery.
    But without their ships, many of the slaves would have never arrived here.
    They made countless fortunes on the delivery of slaves as well as the
    products made from raw materials such as cotton and tobacco in the South.

    This is the problem with Yankee history History is overwhelmingly
    portrayed incorrectly by most of the Federal & Yankee books and media.

    MYTH – The Confederate Battle Flag represented the Southern Nation.

    FACT – Not true. While the Southern Battle flag was carried into
    battle, the Southern Nation had 3 different National flags during the
    course of the war.

    The First National flag was changed due to a resemblance of the US flag.

    The Second National flag was subsequently modified due to the similarity
    to a flag of truce.

    The Third National flag was the adopted flag of the Confederacy.

    The Confederate Battle Flag was never a National Flag of the Confederacy.
    It was carried into battle by several armies such as the Army Of Northen
    Virginia and the Army of Tennessee. Was also used as a Naval Jack by the
    Confederate Navy.

    MYTH – The Confederate Battle Flag is known as the “Stars & Bars”.

    FACT – A common misconception. The First National Confederate Flag is
    correctly known as the “Stars & Bars”. The Confederate Battle Flag is
    known as the “Southern Cross”.

    MYTH – The Confederate Battle Flag represents racism today.

    FACT – The Confederate Battle Flag today finds itself in the center of
    much controversy and hoopla going on in several states. The cry to take
    this flag down is unjustified. It is very important to keep in mind that
    the Confederate Battle Flag was simply just that. A battle flag. It was
    never even a National flag, so how could it have flown over a slave nation
    or represented slavery or racism? This myth is continued by lack of
    education and ignorance. Those that vilify the Confederate Battle Flag are
    very confused about history and have jumped upon a bandwagon with loose
    wheels.

    MYTH – The United States Flag represented freedom.

    FACT – No chance. The US flag flew over a slave nation for over 85
    years! The North tolerated slavery and acknowledged it as a Division Of
    Labor. The North made a vast fortune on slavery and it’s commodities. It
    wasn’t until the South decided to leave the Union that the North objected.
    The North knew it could not survive without the Southern money. That is
    the true definition of hypocrisy.

    MYTH – Abraham Lincoln was the Great Emancipator.

    FACT – While Lincoln has went down in history as the Great Emancipator,
    many would not care to hear his real thoughts on people of color. Martyred
    President Abraham Lincoln was fervently making plans to send all freed
    slaves to the jungles of Central America once the war was over. Knowing
    that African society would never allow the slaves to return back to
    Africa, Lincoln also did not want the slaves in the US. He thought the
    jungles of Central America would be the best solution and conducive to the
    freed slaves best interest. The only thing that kept this from happening,
    was his assassination.

    MYTH – The South revered slavery.

    FACT – A very interesting fact on slavery is that at the time the War
    of 1861 -1865 officially commenced, the Southern States were actually in
    the process of freeing all slaves in the South. Russia had freed it’s
    servants in 1859, and the South took great note of this. Had military
    intervention not been forced upon the South, a very different America
    would have been realized then as well as now.

    MYTH – The Confederate Army was comprised of rich slave owners.

    FACT – Very far from true. The vast majority of soldiers in the
    Confederate Army were simple men of meager income. Most of which were hard
    working farmers and common men. Then, as now, very few rich men ever fight
    a war.

    MYTH – Only the North had men of color in their ranks.

    FACT – Quite simply a major falsehood of history. Many blacks, both
    free and of their own will, joined the Confederate Army to fight for their
    beloved Southern home. Additionally, men of other ethnic extraction fought
    as well. Oriental, Mexican & Spanish men as well as Native American
    Indians fought with pride for the South.

    Today, many men of color are members in the heritage group SCV – Sons Of
    Confederate Veterans. These men of color and pride rejoice in their
    heritage. The continued attacks on the Southern Nation, The Confederacy,
    and her symbols are a terrible outrage to these fine people. These attacks
    should be denounced with as much fervor as those who denounce the South.

    MYTH – The Confederate Flags are an authorized symbol of Aryan, KKK and
    hate groups.

    FACT – Quite the contrary. These despicable organizations such as the
    KKK and Aryans have taken a hallowed piece of history, and have plagued
    good Southern folks and the memories of fine Confederate Soldiers that
    fought under the flag with their perverse agenda. IN NO WAY does the
    Confederate Flag represent hate or violence. Heritage groups such as the
    SCV battle daily the damage done to a proud nation by these hate groups.
    The SCV denounces all hate groups, and pridefully boast HERITAGE – NOT
    HATE.

    MYTH – The SCV – Sons Of Confederate Veterans are a racist, hate group.

    FACT – This is a blatant attack on one of the finest heritage groups
    ever. The SCV – Sons Of Confederate Veterans are a historical, patriotic
    and non-political organization comprised of descendants of Confederate
    Soldiers and sailors dedicated to insuring that a true history of the
    1861 -1865 period is preserved and presented to the public. The SCV
    continues to educate the public of the memory and reputation of the
    Confederate soldier as well as the motives for his suffering and
    sacrifice.

    #2
    22 June 2015, 02:22 AM

    • trotsky

      Mr. Deberry, that’s a heck-of-a long post. I disagree with all of it but I’ll respond to just a several points here.

      First:,whether or not the Confederate Battle Flag is a racist symbol? It’s a racist symbol to many of the people (and their descendants) who were subject to slavery, Jim Crow and segregation. You don’t get to decide for them which symbols are racist or not. Because so many citizens in South Carolina and other Southern states find it racist and offensive it should not be flown as a symbol. that represents all citizens in those states.

      Second: did only the North have men of color in their ranks? No, several thousand (maybe six thousand) blacks fought for the Confederate States, but more than 175, 000 blacks fought for the Union. About 40,000 of them died during their service. The great Frederick Douglas pushed Lincoln to allow blacks to serve. They did serve and the contributed to the Union wining the war. Note; there were Jews who supported the Nazis but that does not in any way diminish what the Nazis did to the Jewish people in Europe. Do you see?

      • Joe Deberry

        I do not want a dam thing from you ,got it.

        • trotsky

          I get that you’re angry because I schooled you.

          • momatad

            the only commentary allowed here is his, trotsky. That’s his MO. I said it, it must be right, so you shut up. Truth burns him. That’s why he insists HIS is the only opinion to have.

          • trotsky

            I didn’t want him to get angry. I want him to defend his position.

          • momatad

            I understand that. I disagreed with him on something a while back and he turned it personal…..everything was reverted back to him. Defensible or indefensible, I don’t think it matters, only that it is HIS opinion.

          • Joe Deberry

            Trout you have got to come here for that visit I keep inviting you and Mohammad to, then we all can set down( LIKE MEN DO ) here in Rockingham ,but do not hide like you to do with all the bull shit you to do to everyone one here because you 2 are nothing but dick heads that have nothing to do but get into a discussion that has nothing to do with you idiots . If you are not in PA or outside this country you 2 are going to F with the wrong ones that will make your world a mess .So come back on here and keep playing stupid games with men ,because if you will come for a visit we can cook out and have a good old southern edjumacation as you see good old southern folks that stick together Live a longer life like we do here eating grits and Possum and collard greens as we do here . So get in your little car for little people you seem to be and come on down and sit a spell and we will be waiting for your arrival that we know you 2 want come.

          • Joe Deberry

            I do not need to defend nothing to a ( German ) or you and want .

          • unscrupulous

            It’s not even his own opinion, it’s something he copied and pasted. Frankly, I’m amazed that he even had sense enough to do that. 🙂

          • Joe Deberry

            I see the neighbor hood idiot is back on , and i heard that little red truck got reposed that is a bitch.

          • momatad

            i disagreed ONCE and I’m on the radar for all hell to break loose apparently. I think he probably grew up swimming at Black Bottom and ‘swallowed’ a little too much ‘water’.

          • Earlybird54

            I will disagree with that . You stepped into his world by the trash talking you do on here with that Trosky as I have read all your reply’s you both do to people across this country for over two years now.
            Lee and all the ones you try to put down on here and these guys are not going any where. This unscrupulous is a county resident that is well known by his crazy ways he runs from the law all the time here and is one that will get you in some trouble on here more than you are doing your selves . Just saying, so come on and start with me for warning you to walk from unscrupulous.

          • momatad

            Another ‘Blackbottom Bobber’ heard from…..he pay you to support his drivel? If he takes it as a ‘put down’ when people disagree with him, he lives in a pitiful little world…….

          • Joe Deberry

            Mohammad we have been through this with you and we want play these childest games with you two and Trout you just need to go away ,beside you 2 bastards need to go play with each other or Mohammad come back to hamlet and bring bad boy Trout with you or is it Dion or and i found you to Dion Trout or Leon so we will be here waiting on y’all’s visit with us here in Rockingham .You 2 have a great day

          • momatad

            ‘Childest’ games. Must have been that good ol’ boy Richmun Countee edjumacation speaking again. You don’t know me, so don’t pretend you do. I just stated the obvious, if someone, ANYONE, disagrees with you…….’off with their head’. trotsky is entitled to his/her opinion just as I am mine……you’re not the only one allowed to have one.

          • Joe Deberry

            Never said i did little man ,I bet you are a goat Doctor since your name is Mohammad

    • trotsky

      Okay, I’ll take another stab at this and address several of the issues you brought up:

      First:, are Confederate Battle Flags an authorized symbol of Aryan, KKK and hate groups: It doesn’t matter if the battle flag is authorized by these groups. These groups fly them proudly and there is a reason they do. These groups view them as racist symbols. The same with Dylann Roof. He viewed and used the flag as a racist symbol. You can’t deny that.

      Allow me to make a comparison. Many racist and Neo-Nazi groups fly the swastika.even though they have not been authorized to by Adolf Hitler, the SS or any official Nazi Party. Never-the-less, when I see these groups flying the swastika, I know what they mean. Do you know what I mean?

    • hanktuesday

      I really don’t believe that black people care about that flag, I believe it’s about control and the liberal media is pushing it. They pump these things up to stir up the black race so that it becomes a big issue, where it wouldn’t have been if it were only reported. Both media parties have talking heads that persuade people to start seeing things the way “they” want the issue to be perceived. There is a ultimate agenda that I believe has to do with end time events (such as the Antichrist) getting the masses prepared for that time. The media is learning to work the people, like they have been for years when election time rolls around. Just look at the recent supreme court ruling on gay marriage, a very small part of society has used political correctness to force change upon the majority. This is preparatory work for end time events.

      • Earlybird54

        You hit the nail on the head with every word .

      • trotsky

        I prefer to see things at face value. South Carolina has chosen to put up the Confederate Battle Flag in a very visible place on the capitol grounds. This flag represents hate and oppression to a large number of South Carolina citizens. Because the South Carolina state government represents all citizens in South Carolina and not just those who believe the flag means “heritage, not hate” and those who have a convoluted “end times” view of the flag, South Carolina should take it down.

      • trotsky

        So, should South Carolina take down the flag or leave it up?

        • hanktuesday

          I really had no idea it was up in the state Capitol of South Carolina. I figured they took it down years ago, I remember when Georgia took it off their state flag I figured that they had got rid of all the battle flags back then.

          • trotsky

            Thanks for the response. Yes they removed it from the capitol dome, but another flag,the South Carolina Battle Flag was put up in at a memorial in front of the capitol building. It is very visible to those looking at the capitol building.

      • moedeberry

        Hank these two, Trotsky and momatad, are nothing but trouble starters that have to complain on everyone on here that has anything at all to say . Just wait on their reply to this and you will see the way they talk nasty to anyone even if you just agree with these two they are not worth the time to reply to as Im not going to as many here in Richmond County has decided not to do as well . I just set and laugh at the way they make their selves look like spoiled children that do not respect life as we do .

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