Some revisionist history, courtesy of a Southern rocker. (I’ve lived in Georgia forty years and I’ve heard this argument more times than I care to remember.)
The last surviving original member of legendary Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd. Gary Rossington, recently announced the group would quit its association with the Confederate battle flag due to racism and stuff. Well, theere’s been a fan backlash, and Rossington backtracked on/clarified the issue on the group’s Facebook page, saying the band would continue to associate itswelf with the banner.
I wanted to clarify the discussion of the Confederate Flag in our recent CNN interview. Myself, the past and present members (that are from the South), are all extremely proud of our heritage and being from the South. We know what the Dixie flag represents and its heritage; the Civil War was fought over States rights. We still utilize the Confederate (Rebel) flag on stage every night in our shows, we are and always will be a Southern American Rock band, first and foremost. We also utilize the state flag of Alabama and the American flag, ‘cause at the end of the day, we are all Americans.
I only stated my opinion that the confederate flag, at times, was unfairly being used as a symbol by various hate groups, which is something that we don’t support the flag being used for. The Confederate flag means something more to us, Heritage not Hate… -Gary Rossington
Acutually, the Rebel battle flag hass always been a symbol of white supremacy.
As for his contention (a common one down heah) that the Civil War was fought over the issue of “States Rights” … Well, for the record, the Civil War was fought primarily because Southernn States refused to be part of a nation that didn’t allow the expansion of slavery.
As for the catch phrase “Heritage, not Hate,” I’m alll for heritages that don’t include hate, but this ain’t one of them. The “Heritage” Rebel flag wavers refer to may involve the valor of soldiers, but its cornerstone was White Supremacy. And White Supremacy included a lot of hate, especially when African-Americans were rising up in the world.
From The Way It Was in the South: The Black Experience in Georgia:
In Savannah in March 1861, Alexander Stephens, chosen to be vice president of the Confederacy, expressed the fundamental beliefs white Southerners had been busily teaching each other for generations. He said of slavery: “Its cornerstone rests upon the great truth that the Negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery ?? subordination to the superior race ?? is his natural and normal condition.”
It was this racist bedrock, born of self?deception and assiduously cultivated since Georgia was founded, that obscured the relatively simple fact that slavery was an economic institution created to exploit the black worker. It was this racism that took Georgia out of the Union in 1861, that killed so many of its sons on the battlefields of the Civil War, impoverished its economy, and brought needless suffering to countless people, both black and white.
When you honor the Rebel flag, you honor that thinking.
Then again, I always wanted Neil Young, around anyhow.
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