The Instigator
JimShady
Pro (for)
Winning
3 Points
The Contender
platoandaristotle
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Should flying the Confederate flag be looked down upon?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
JimShady
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/30/2017 Category: Politics
Updated: 11 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 557 times Debate No: 103339
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
Votes (1)

 

JimShady

Pro

Hello, I have enjoyed my hiatus from DDO and am ready to get back into it.

I've been arguing with my family for a while now about the Confederate Flag and the Confederacy in general. My family lives in the South, and they have an emotional tie to the place, especially my mom, and they feel that the Confederate flag is a good representation of their values. Since they believe slavery is wrong, I whole-heartedly disagree.

We are getting nowhere in this debate, so I will try it out on DDO. I will be Pro, you will be Con. The goal of this debate is to try and find out if it is OK or not (should we or should we not endorse/shame) the flying of the Confederate States of America flag. NOT if it is legal or not... I think it should be legal, but I also believe we should scorn it like we do to burning or disrespecting the American flag. You will argue the opposite.

Simple rules:
1. Rounds 1-4 are all for arguing, there is no acceptance round.
2. Please keep semantics and ad hominem down.
3. Use logic, not emotions for your claims.
4. Also, you must be an American, anti-slavery, non-moral relativist to accept this debate.
5. Sources can be in comments.

Now, I can begin.

First, I want to establish the fact that the Confederate States of America were not morally good. For starters, they illegally seceded from the USA, committing treason [1], [2]. And second off, why did they secede? The major issue was of course slavery.

Now, I've heard countless times that slavery wasn't the only issue that started the Civil War. Many people bring up the issue of state's rights. This article right here [3] says that the "The states argue that the Union is a compact, one that can be annulled if the states are not satisfied with what they receive in return from other states and/or from the federal government." This quote is very unspecific to what the states are satisfied with or not, and since it does not present any other issues, it can be reasonably assumed the thing they receive and aren't satisfied with is the North's policy on slavery. It also says underneath the State's Rights bullet point that "The states argue that the North's reluctance to enforce the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 (mandating that fugitive slaves be returned to the South) means that the compact is no longer satisfactory." Both of these issues deal with the question of slavery, and so when someone claims the war wasn't about slavery but about state's rights, they are basically saying, "The war wasn't about slavery, it was about slavery." The upmost important right state's wanted was slavery, so slavery is inclusive of state's rights.

Still, there are other issues the South was fed up with. According to source #3, they also found "dissatisfaction with federal military protection," and Georgia accused Northern manufacturing of exploiting the South and controlling the federal government. Most people have not even heard of these issues, and most can agree that they were not the primary catalyst of the war. They were secondary to the issue of slavery/state's rights. Con is welcome to present an issue that has more importance than slavery. If he/she does not, then I will take it as an agreement on this issue.

So, assuming you agree for now, the South seceded primarily on the basis of pro-slavery. Since we are both against slavery, we can conclude that the Confederacy, founded on slavery, was bad, and the Union was good.

I don't understand why good people at heart would want to fly the flag of a country who was pro-slavery and started a war that killed hundreds of thousands to sustain that practice. I know many bring up the comparison of a Nazi or ISIL flag, but I'm gonna do it too because it makes since. The Nazi flag was the flag of a country that killed 6 million Jews and terrorized multiple continents. Their actions are subjectively worse than those of the South, but they can still be compared. The Nazi flag is seen as a flag of terror and hatred, and so should the Confederate flag.

Now, you may argue that the South's flag also stood for something more- a way of life, a culture. Well guess what, the Nazi flag stood for a country that had economic success and a the German culture. My point is that while their might be miniscule good things associated with both flags, the flags also are associated with slavery and the Holocaust respectively. Slavery is forever attached to the Confederate flag because it was a founding principle of the CSA.

I want to go back to my Huffington Post source, to one of the later paragraphs. It reads: "A southern loyalist cannot be a patriot; the two ideas are mutually incompatible." You cannot hang the flag of the Confederate flag and respect it and also respect the star-spangled flag because the two were at war with each other. You must choose a side, good- USA, or bad- Confederacy. To be loyal to the South and its culture is to be loyal to a society that fought the U.S.A., the country you now live in and support. It doesn't make any logical sense.

The best word I can think of for the Confederate flag is obsolete. If you want to show pride of where you live, why not just fly the Texas flag, or the South Carolina flag, or any other Southern flag? They represent the South just as much as the Confederate flag, but the only difference is that they are Anti-Slavery. Also, you could fly the American Flag- after all, we are an indivisible nation, one people, in this together. Why fly a flag that flew when we were divided and hostile?

I have two questions that I want Con to specifically answer in there round:

1. Is the Confederacy good or bad?
2. Who's side would you be on in the 1860s?

Thanks for reading, your turn Con.
platoandaristotle

Con

Note: I'm here as a competitive debater, so I don't necessarily agree with the con side.
The confederate battle flag has historically been used (duh) as the commonly accepted flag for the Confederate States of America, a unrecognized state which was founded due to political conflicts with the United States. Among these conflicts were those of slavery - legalize it, or ban it? Also, as my opponent says, there were issues of military protection and sectionalism.
I would like to point out the right-wing argument on this position. Flying a confederate flag is, among southerners, less of a statement of white supremacy, but more of a statement of Southern sectionalism. While slavery may indeed be looked down upon, southern sectionalism is an entirely viable view, and thus may justify flying the confederate flag.
Debate Round No. 1
JimShady

Pro

Okay, con does not disagree that the main cause for the Confederacy was slavery, so we can agree on that. The right-wing argument on this issue makes no moral sense. To say that you fly the CSA flag as a statement of Southern Sectionalism is to be proud of what the south WAS, not IS. Under the CSA flag, the South was pro-slavery. If you hang Confederate flag, you are hanging a flag of a nation that was founded on slavery.

I will say it again, there are better ways to show pride for the South than hanging a Confederate flag. Perhaps fly your own state flag which isn't associated with slavery.

Comparatively, say I am a German immigrant and I want to show national pride by hanging a Nazi flag... you could make a case that the swastika is a statement of German sectionalism, but does that justify hanging it? No, because it is associated with a dark past. It would be smarter and create less controversy to hang the current red, yellow, and black flag of Germany.

My opponent also did not answer my questions that I posed in first round, so I want him to address them in round 2. Also, here is a new one: Is it okay to hang a Nazi flag as a sign of German sectionalism? Please answer.
platoandaristotle

Con

Note: I'm here as a competitive debater, so I don't necessarily agree with the con side.
Thanks for responding.
Pro has compared flying the Confederate flag to flying the Nazi flag. However, Germany has another flag; the Confederate flag suggests Southern pride in general. Germany has another flag that can show German nationalism - flying the flag from the Nazi era symbolizes that you liked Germany during that era.
While I agree that flying a state flag can show state pride, it may not be a good symbol of Southern pride - it only represents one state. Showing your general Southern pride can be acheived by flying a confederate flag.
Thank you.
Debate Round No. 2
JimShady

Pro

My opponent says "flying the flag from the Nazi era symbolizes that you liked Germany during that era." Then by that same logic, flying the flag from the Confederate era symbolizes that you liked the South (a culture of slavery) during that era.

My opponent says basically that you can't represent the entire South by just a state flag, and so they can all be represented by the Confederate flag. My above paragraph states why this is simply not an option (because it symbolizes that you liked the Old South). Perhaps you could invent a new one, or just fly multiple state flags. The fact that there is no other official flag that is representative of the entire South other than the CSA flag is not an excuse to fly it.

Please now, answer my questions in your next round or I will assume you realize the logical contradictions of your supposed/assumed answers.
platoandaristotle

Con

Note: I'm here as a competitive debater, so I don't necessarily agree with the con side.
TO answer your early questions: the Confederacy was bad. In 1860, The Confederate flag was the symbol of the South.
First thing to point out: The Confederate flag commonly seen is in fact, not the original. It is a darkened version of the final flag.
Second: Yes, we could make an alternate Southern flag. However, the Confederate flag is the most recognized Southern pride symbol currently. Those with the intent of showing sectionalism should not be looked down upon, but when it is used as a white supremacy symbol, that intent should be looked down upon.
Feel free to assume my personal position - it is not under debate here :)
Debate Round No. 3
JimShady

Pro

Thank you to W3 for answering one of my questions. However, he did not answer the second one, and so I will fill in the answers for him. Yes, technically it isn't under debate, but it will help my point.

So, you have admitted that the Confederacy was bad. You have not answered who's side you would be on in the 1860s, however. I'd assume you'd be on the United States' side, as you say the South is bad. Therefore, you'd be fighting against a flag that you now believe is acceptable to fly in the United States. It makes no sense; you must pick a side.

W3 says that the modern Confederate flag is a darkened version of the original. This means almost nothing, it is easily recognizable as the CSA flag... such a miniscule detail that almost nobody notices does not change its message. If the U.S. flag was darker, I ask you, what'd be the difference? Maybe just a slight appearance, and nothing more.

Again, even if it is the most recognizable flag of the South, it is not something the South WANTS to be recognized with. Come up with a new flag or something... it could be similar, but still noticeably different (not just lighter or darker.)

I agree that those with the intent of showing sectionalism shouldn't be looked down upon, but they should be taught the error of their ways. Many people could also just see the CSA flag and get a racist message. You just can't justify flying the Confederate flag, a flag that slave owners and modern day racists also use. There must be an alternative.

In conclusion, W3 I believe is trying to say that the modern day hanging of the Confederate flag is different from the usage of it back then. He argues that it's a sign of sectionalism, not racism or slavery. And I agree that for a lot of Southerners, it is a sign of sectionalism that they mean no racism by flying it. However, I've already explained that this flag was created for a nation founded by slavery; slavery is the founding base of this flag, and is inseparable. In fact, the CSA flag debate would not even exist if slavery was no longer associated with it. The fact of the matter is that many still become offended by it, and I can understand why. It is the flag of the Confederate States of America, a country of slavery, and a 150 years does not change this fact. And because we live in the U.S.A., I will not deny the right to display the CSA flag, but I think in every instance it is flown, we should see it as a sign of racism, treason, and hatred.

Thanks to W3 for this constructive debate, I had a great time, good luck on the voting.
platoandaristotle

Con

Note: I'm here as a competitive debater, so I don't necessarily agree with the con side.
Time for the final statement!
I would like to thank JimShady back for debating; that was fun.
Flying the Confederate flag to show sectionalism is just as much of an error as interpereting it as racist when used as sectionalist.
I don't have much more to say. Just looking forward to my next debate.
Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by JimShady 11 months ago
JimShady
@NDECD yes it is, in forums I said it was at 5:00PM but it's actually 8:30PM Eastern I believe.
@dsjpk5... I don't know, I'm a little worried. Ben is obviously more educated on issues and utilizes far more logic, but Cenk brings loads of ad hominem, interruption, and crowd applause, which can at times be pretty effective. Ben can win, but Cenk is not that easy of a target as people say mainly because he is such an @ss. But whatever happens, the forecast says it will be a truly legendary debate.
Posted by dsjpk5 11 months ago
dsjpk5
Welcome back! I look forward to the YouTube debate. I think Shapiro will destroy Cenk.
Posted by NDECD1441 11 months ago
NDECD1441
Isnt it 30th July today?
Posted by JimShady 11 months ago
JimShady
Also, in no relation to this debate, check out Cenk Uygar vs. Ben Shaprio debate a Politicon tomorrow (June 30th), it's gonna be on YouTube... get some popcorn
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Manastacious 11 months ago
Manastacious
JimShadyplatoandaristotleTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: The argument about Souther sectionalism is the deciding factor in the debate. And I think the pro edges out the con. Both do a good job.