Confederate flag should be taken down in public places
The confederate flag should not be permitted in PUBLIC places such as capitol buildings, churches, school etc.
This does not argue against the flag being flown on private properties.
Round 1 will be acceptance
Round 2 will be main points/arguements
Round 3 will be rebuttles and conclusions
Hello, let me start my debate by recognizing what the confederate flag is, the Confederate flag was used during the civil war to represent the 13 Confederate states. Now for the sake of debate lets analyze what the civil war was, although most people already know what it was. The civil war began April of 1861 and lasted almost 4 years. The civil war was one of the bloodiest wars that America has ever faced with more casualties than any other war that America has ever fought. It was a battle between the North and South, a battle within the walls of our own country.
I want to also shine light on why so many people view this flag as “Racist”. So we know that the flag represented the confederate states during the civil war and we know what the civil war was. But why did the war start? Many people believed that anger came about after the election of 1860 when Abraham Lincoln was elected into office as President of the United States. While many people still debate the civil war’s exact causes, Robert McPherson ( A world-renowned Civil war historian and Pulitzer Prize winner) says that the main cause of this war wasn’t hard to understand, it was caused by the succession of the 13 confederate states because of their disagreement with the federal government’s opposition to slavery. So now we see that the civil war’s two sides were the slave-owning states and the free states. In which the “free states” were represented by American flag and the “slave owning states” were represented by the “rebel”/confederate flag. Which is ultimately why the confederate flag is deemed “racist”.
Even if someone wanted to argue that the flag was not “racist”, they still could not deny that the flag represented the side that opposed America during the civil war. I want to reiterate my statement on how the civil war was the bloodiest war America ever fought. Around 1,264,000 American soldiers have died at war across all wars that America has ever fought. 620,000 soldiers alone died in the Civil war. That’s more casualties in one war than in WW2 (405,399 American casualties), WW1 (116,516 American Casualties), Vietnam war(58,209 American Casualties),and the Revolutionary War (25,000 American Casualties) put together. So not only did the flag represent the support of slavery, but it represents when America was at one of its lowest points and was at war with itself. We were so vulnerable as a country at that point and time that we could’ve easily been taken over by an outside force. Why should we glorify and idolize that by flying it on top of capitol buildings or other public places?
And my last point is that many people do not completely understand that the Confederate flag is in no way “patriotic” to America. The Confederate flag fought to break away from America. It’s the equivalent to someone in Britain flying an American flag. Its disrespectful. I get so confused when I see people flying a confederate flag next to an American flag off the back of their vehicles and claim it to be “patriotic”. In a nutshell, the confederate states didn’t even want to be a part of America. Meaning that the Confederate flag represents hate and disagreement towards the United States of America. How is that patriotic or anything short of disrespect to the USA?
Lastly I would like to recognize that as Americans we have a right to freedom of speech. Yes, we can fly the confederate flag on our front porches and we can idolize it in our own homes and nothing can be said about it because we have the right to do so. However, flying the flag on top of a state capitol building is flat out ridiculous. Period. The confederate flag has no place in today’s government. If people wish to see it in a museum then so be it. American state governments should not be idolizing and flying a symbol that a majority of people consider to be racist, that represents opposition to the American Flag, and overall represents a time of disunity within our nation.
MAJOR POINT #1: "MEANING FROM THE MIND"
The Confederate flag is a piece of cloth, made from various different fabrics according to where you got it from, and as a piece of cloth it is only as good as the meaning we assign to it (unless you are using it for more practical purposes than as a flag). This means the Confederate flag could be used just as meaningfully as anything else. When I say "Meaning from the mind", I mean that the meaning read into the flag in question is the only real value that the flag really has, so the meaning of the flag is highly adaptive according to the will of the person flying it and each individual that sees it. One man could raise the Confederate flag above his house to raise awareness of Lou Gehrig's Disease, and one passing later could see it and think of the Confederacy, the small rebellious nation that made an attempt to revolutionize from America and form it's own sovereign society in 1861-1865, the next person sees it and thinks of Southern pride, and the third person drives by and is haunted by thoughts of racism. I'll address three of these points later (Obviously not the one for Lou Gehrig's Disease).
So, since the flag has whatever meaning the general consensus has assigned to it, the flag means what most people think it means now, which is a symbol of Southern pride. 57% of Americans in June, 2015 think of the Confederate flag as a symbol of Southern pride, whereas 33% of Americans see it as a symbol of racism, for a link to this study, look no further than the "Sources" section below my argument. And because most Americans think of the flag as a positive rather than negative, than the flag IS positive rather than negative, and should be plastered all over Southern states; that is the result of a democratic society, if the minority, black and white, happen across the flag on public property and are offended than that is their problem, because who are we to value the opinions of one over the opinions of the other? Especially, if the opinion of one is the few, and the other is the many?
MAJOR POINT #2: "THE HEART OF DIXIE"
Southern culture is often simplified to iced tea, racism and rednecks duck hunting on A&E, but a closer look reveals that the culture of the South is just as complex and rich in some places as any other. Sure, southern culture has its drawbacks, like lack of education and racial unrest, but so does every other culture, the Southern people just wear their entire identity proudly on their shoulder, the good and the bad, and tell everyone else "this is who I am, and you are gonna have to deal with me", in fact, the outwardness of their identity is the majority of their actual identity. So when a Southerner thinks of the Civil war, whether they are racist or not, whether they support slavery or not, most don't think of the Confederacy as a rebel nation that institutionalized and normalized slavery, but just a rebel nation. A nation that "didn't take no crap from nobody" and weren't afraid to put boot to dirt, and that is why the flag that flies over Dixie is so important to Southerners, because it embodies everything they like about themselves and everything they like about their culture, and not what they don't like about themselves and their culture, like (for some Southerners at least) racism.
Just like I said earlier, the flag has whatever meaning the people assign to it.
I'd like to thank my opponent once again and turn over the metaphorical gavel to her once again. I would like to wish her good luck in the next round.
1. A poll from ORC International, the statistics of how people see the Confederate flag can be found of page 4, but I urge to take a look at the rest of the statistics: pretty interesting stuff.
For my final debate I would like to start off by thanking my opponent for using his time to debate and also for stating a clean and appropriate debate..
So we have both stated our main points and now I have a few things to address that were previously stated in my opponents round 2 debate.
This concludes my debate, I would like to thank my opponent once again and I would like to thank anyone who has taken the time to read this debate and also thank whoever is planning to vote on this debate. Thank you all for your time.
1. Slavery is the main cause of the Civil war. Many people all over the country, about 38% percent (study to be found in "Sources") to be more exact, believe this. However, this is demonstrably wrong and a gross over-generalization of historical events: there were many reasons for the succession of the Confederacy and the following war, non of which were slavery alone.
The South succeeded for these three reasons: Northern unconstitutional behavior, Northern taxation, and the Antebellum period.
1. The North was partaking in unconstitutional behavior before the Civil war, and this is where slavery comes into the discussion. No where in the constitution does it name slavery and the right to abolish it to be written to the federal government, but does say in the tenth amendment that any right not explicitly granted to the federal government in the constitution is to be granted to the individual states. The North made repeated attempts to violate this throughout the Antebellum period, resulting in this reason being the official reason for succession.
2. The North, in an attempt to protect local businesses in the North, levied protective tariffs, taxes places on imported goods to raise the price of imported goods so that citizens will be forced to take their business to local companies, for a short lesson in protective tariffs, see the "Sources". The problem with this is that most Southerns at this time were extremely poor and couldn't afford the higher price of Northern businesses as good as they could goods from Europe, so when the North succeeded to levy these tariffs against the South, many Southerners became even poorer as they were forced to turn to Northern businesses.
3. The Antebellum period was a period of great turbulence in American history, the period between our founding leading to the civil war in which the North became more industrialized and outlawed slavery, and the South continued to become more and more agricultural and began to rely on slavery to support their economy. This period resulted in a LOT of political tension and restlessness that burned a line of gunpowder straight to the Civil war.
The Confederacy did not succeed to protect slavery, but rather their rights to protect it. It is important to realize that the Confederacy was not a racist movement, but a movement mostly comprised of racists, and there is a very important distinction to be made there.
The flag isn't inherently racist, and I'd go as far as saying that the people that claim that it isn't racist are actually more knowledgeable to the Civil war than most.
As previously stated, the most popular opinion is what matters, not EVERONE's opinion, because it is impossible to please everyone, because there could be actual people who think the flag stands for Lou Gehrig's disease or something silly like that. Most people see the flag as a symbol of Southern pride instead of racism, as I have proven, so the few will have to accept the popular opinion as they do live in a democratic society. I think it should be an obligation for Southern states to fly the flag on their capitol lawns as a symbol of a proud culture.
2. Because the meaning of flag has extended well beyond it's original meaning, the treasonous nation of the CSA, the actual CSA should almost be completely discredited from the modern flag to fit the modern viewpoint. An example of this would be the swastika, originally a symbol of good luck, now most popularly regarded as a symbol of the Nazi party, this is the reason you don't see the swastika pinned up next to a four-leaf clover on Saint Patrick's Day. If the swastika becomes a symbol for German pride a hundred years down the road, then I'll be all for flying the swastika over Berlin, because it is not what it DID mean, it is what it DOES mean.
3. And because the Confederate flag no longer means the CSA to the common man, but more a symbol of pride and culture, it also no longer means allegiance to the traitors of America. Because the flag has come to symbolize the South and the Southern ideal of "we're not gonna take it"; it is a symbol of love for the home of the Southerners who fly it, and that home is not just the South, with the sweet tea and chewing tobacco, but all of America.
The Confederate flag, because of what it has become instead of what it was, is harmless and inspiring to the majority. And because it is so for the majority, it should fly over the democratic lawns of each Southern state until such a time as the majority see it as a symbol of hate and racism, because it is the public opinion that makes a flag anything.
I would like to wish good luck to my competitor and thank the audience again for taking time from their day to read this all through. VOTE CON!
A poll from the PEW Research Center about how people see the Civil war, the statistics on their opinion of the cause(s) of the war is found on that last little quarter, you'll see what I'm talking about when you get there.
A lesson on protective tariffs: