The Instigator
Farooq
Con (against)
Losing
6 Points
The Contender
wingnut2280
Pro (for)
Winning
18 Points

The flag of Mississippi, which contains a mini-Confederate flag, should be altered.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/3/2008 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,334 times Debate No: 2398
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (8)

 

Farooq

Con

Mississippi's state flag has been one to attract controversy- mainly due to the symbol in the left corner of a Confederate Stars n' Bars. Some groups have even gathered emotions from the extreme, such as the NAACP who have condemned it has "racist and degrading towards colo[u]red people. But this is utter nonsense. True the Confederate States during their brief existence were seething with slavery and apartheid, but was not the very country in which the NAACP operates founded on such principles as well? Contrary to popular belief it was not Lincoln and his Union crusaders that first freed the slaves of America- but rather King George III during the Revolutionary War- but control was lost so this liberal ideal never properly manifested itself outside New York. Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, and even the man who's birthday is a national holiday, George Washington, were all slave owners and devout white supremacists. Yet no one dares to condemn these men. Only the South is unfairly blamed, and such hypocrisy has no place in modern America.
Rather the left-corner icon on the state flag should be looked on not as symbols of racism, but of heritage. And what principle is a flag based on sides this? Surely this consideration should be paramount among all others as people gaze upon this flag and remember the significant period of history in the 1860's when Mississippi underwent one its most important historical sequences of all time, when thousands of her young died for that flag, when governments were toppled and battle raged throughout the countryside. No matter what side one supported- federal or state surely no one can deny the profound amount of impact that flag had on Mississippi as a whole.
wingnut2280

Pro

True, nearly all of our Revolutionary heroes were slaveowners. However, even after years of slavery had been present in America, the North made an effort to realize its terrible nature and rectify a horrible situation. The South rebelled for several reasons, but one of the biggest differences was slavery.

First, we see the South as advocates of slavery from the very beginning. The 3-5ths compromise was one of the most notable advocacies here. One could argue that the Northern states saw slavery as more of a necessary evil, since less than half a century later, the abolitionist movement comes to a forefront.

So, the rebelled southern states outwardly rebuked the message of freedom for all and the anti-abolition movement was united under one symbol, the confederate flag. We see this in modern culture as the typical redneck racist uses the flag as a symbol for intolerance, like those before them did for years. There is no denying the connotation that is associated with the stars and bars. Universally, everyone associates it, rightly or wrongly (i would argue correctly), with slavery and intolerance.

Now, the question becomes whether it is OK for a government to be symbolized by something with that kind of connotation. Obviously, the answer is no. A government shouldn't be represented by something that alienates and offends such a vast portion of its population.

While I am the last person to advocate political correctness, this is a situation where it is obvious people have a right to gripe.
Debate Round No. 1
Farooq

Con

Thank you for accepting my challenge wingnut. I look forward to engaging in intense intellectual exchange with you. Now let me continue with the side of logic and reason.

Yes it is true that more citizens of the northern states were inclined to consider the abolishment of slavery than their Southern counterparts, but the same could said for the British and colonists in regards to the American Revolution. That doesn't mean the proud tradition of independence, heritage, and history is prevented from being present in the form of American flags, Founding Father honourings, and respect for the leaders such as Washington, Jefferson, and Monroe. They are not honoured though for their views on slavery- but rather for their historical impact and commitment to patriotism. The same can be said for men like Jefferson Davies and Judah Benjamin. I don't see why one can simply condemn the latter two as racists and rebels and yet at the same time grant the former three with reverence and respect.

In addition slavery is not only issue the South disagreed with the North on. There were also many other controversial ones like free trade, the gold dollar, relations to Europe, and most importantly of all- the role of the federal government. Declaring the CSA a nation founded on the principles of racism and slavery is true to some degree, but that is a title that could applied to the United States, South Africa or Brazil just a easily. It is no reason to shun the Stars and Bars as "evil" and symbols of racism anymore it is to due so to the Stars and Stripes (keep in mind had the British vicotred in the 1770's slavery in America would have ended four score and seven year earlier. It is also logical the South would have eventually given up slavery and renounced apartheid- the same as the USA, Brazil and South Africa all did.

Which brings us back to the main aspect of the argument. That the people of Mississippi are engaging in perfectly acceptable behaviour when they leave their flag with the small image of the ancient flag to signify their peoples' deep fascination and remembrance to their roots and past so that they can better understand what sort of histrocal factors have made their marks, for better and/or worse, on Mississippi history, lest the state be filled with ignorant loudmouths like the men and women who make up the NAACP and have no grasp of what the actual meaning is behind that proud Confederate flag.
wingnut2280

Pro

The key here is symbolism. Yes, Americans favored slavery during the revolution. But, the North became the symbol for freedom during the civil war. The south and its flag were the symbol of opression and racism during and after the civil war.

No, slavery was not the only issue, but it was a major one and the one that applies to this debate. The flag stood as a symbol of opression in the south for almost two centuries and is still used by racists as a symbol today. The heritage that you wish to represent is largely composed of enslavement and intolerance. Slavery is a major part of the 'spirit of the South'.

Even as we as a country attempted to abolish the practice, a new movement began that was largely defined by the embracing of slavery. This movement is sybolized by the stars and bars.

To sum, the stars and bars are uniquely recognized as a symbol of slavery. This symbol shouldn't be the symbol of a government today. The heritage people are trying to remember is largely one of intolerance and currently illegal practice.
Debate Round No. 2
Farooq

Con

"Slavery is a major part of the 'spirit of the South'". This is nonesense. the "South" as you so put it is a vague term. No Southerner in the United States, if very few, actually sympathize with the concept of slavery. rtaher they look at the Stars and Bars as a symbol of pride, standing for oneself and it is imporant that histrocially you examine things from two points of view. The South can also be seen as a force of democracy, local power, annd the North as a force of evil invaders that refused to let go of their economic interests in the South. The North was not a bunch of abolsihnest crusaders- many didnt care for Negoroes at all and at least at the time the main issue was that holding the country together. The meaning of the symbol of one of slavery is a propagandic misconsception developed after reconstruction. We can allow lies like this to dictate the values of an enligtened people of the current time. Thus, the flag should remain as is.
wingnut2280

Pro

It doesn't matter!

Sure, the South had several reasons to secede, many of them not related to slavery at all. However, the connotation that the flag carried during and after the civil war for blacks was and is obviously offensive. The South, among other things sure, carried the banner for slavery after the North tried to get rid of it. Additionally, the South was the hottest region for anti-Black sentiment after the war. Organizations like the KKK and other racists groups used the confederate flag to represent this racist sentiment and the 'heritage' which was largely founded in anti-black sentiment.

What the flag actually represented is not as important as what it means to people. Sure, the Confederacy didn't slap "We hate Blacks" under the flag. But, the connotation that it carried as the flag of the slave-holding states and afterward as a region of intense struggle for blacks is apparent.

The flag represents one of the worst periods of struggle for blacks. So, in a state with a large black population especially, the flag shouldn't be on or as the state flag.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by 1NCP 8 years ago
1NCP
First, People need to quit equating the Confederate flag with the Nazi flag..that's rubbish. Second, the people of Mississippi voted to keep the Confederate emblem on their state flag. If my memory serves me right 34% of the black citizens of Mississippi voted to keep their state flag the way it is and had they voted otherwise the flag would have been changed. For decades that flag never offended anyone now since 1985 it offends people. That's too bad, they need to get over it and move on.
Posted by pandorash 8 years ago
pandorash
History is no excuse to have a flag that so obviously has become a symbol for racism. Though not everyone may see it that way, or even care, there are those that do, so very much. I would just like to see what Americans (especially those from Mississipi) would think if Germany decided to revert to the Swastika as their national flag. One could argue that the Swastika doesn't just represent racism but also unity, pride, courage and wealth. Yet to the families of the millions that died and were tortured under the Nazi regime, it symbolizes pain, bloodshed, poverty, depravity, the darkest side of humanity. The way the families of african-american slaves feel about the Confederate Flag is how Holocaust victim's families feel about the Swastika. A modern day state, of a western country, should have more empathy and sensitivity.
Posted by smith76 9 years ago
smith76
There was a vote to change the flag several years ago. Needless to say it was struck down by the people of the state by a large majority. Therefore it shouldnt be changed.
Posted by Farooq 9 years ago
Farooq
You speak wisdom. It is only the severly ignorant who believe the CSA was completly based on the principle of slavery and had no positions on any other issue.
Posted by toria_2metal 9 years ago
toria_2metal
i think the confederate flag should still be aloud in the flag. The flag doesnt mean racism, it means southern pride. Way of life they carry down there. People take the meaning of the flag into racism and etc. If maybe schools taught differently to us maybe we wouldnt have this problem.
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Vote Placed by 1NCP 8 years ago
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