Sunday, June 21, 2015

Take it down! Now.

"Driving Dixie Down: Removing the Confederate Flag from Southern State Capitols," James Forman Jr., Yale Law Journal, 505 (1991)

On April 9, 1865, General Robert E. Lee conceded, “[T]here is nothing left for me to do but go and see General Grant.” The Confederate Army surrendered, and Dixie, the Confederate battle flag, ceased to fly. But only temporarily. In 1956, for the first time in nearly a century, Georgia resurrected the Confederate symbol by changing its state flag in symbolic opposition to Brown v. Board of Education. South Carolina followed suit six years later, hoisting the flag above its state capitol. The following year, Alabama revived Dixie, with Governor George Wallace raising the flag as part of his “Segregation Forever” campaign. Brown is still the law of the land, yet Dixie remains entrenched. 
Last year, in NAACP v. Hunt, the Eleventh Circuit rejected the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s (NAACP) claim that the Constitution of the United States and federal statutes mandate the removal of the flag from the Alabama state capitol. Central to the court’s conclusion was the notion that the Hunt plaintiffs’ problem involved neither the flag nor the law, but their “own emotions.” Moreover, the court held that “[t]here is no unequal application of the state policy; all citizens are exposed to the flag. Citizens of all races are offended by its position.” In sum, the court told the plaintiffs to turn elsewhere for relief, because “the federal judiciary is not empowered to make decisions based on social sensitivity.” 
This Note takes issue with the Hunt court. It proceeds in two parts. Part I argues that the Alabama government’s flying of the rebel flag violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment because the flag was raised with the intent to discriminate against blacks. Part II argues that flying the flag violates the First Amendment because it is a form of racist government speech that chills the speech rights of blacks.

4 comments: said...

But, Robert E. Lee wore a beard!

Sandwichman said...

I don't care if he wore a tutu with sequins. Take it down. NOW!

bakho said...

The Civil War did not end at Appomattox, a myth propagated by the southern revisionist history of the Civil War. The Appomattox myth presents the end of the war as an act of nobility by an elite General who led the opposition until the point where it was no longer possible to fight. In actuality General Johnston surrendered the army his control in North and South Carolina to General Sherman on April 26. Johnston had agreed to surrender ALL the remaining Confederate Armies to Sherman on the 19th of April, but that agreement was rejected in the wake of Lincoln's assassination. Armies in Texas were not surrendered until June 1865.

The real end of the war was messy as the Confederate Army under Hood disintegrated after a failed assault on Nashville leaving a trail of men and equipment all the way to Mississippi. Rather than surrender, the Confederacy was helpless to stop the march of Sherman through Georgia and the Carolinas and the destruction by Wilson's cavalry in Alabama. As the Confederate Armies disintegrated, they formed bands that robbed and stole to stay alive. Johnston was willing to surrender all the armies of the South as the only way to stop the devastation to the countryside caused by large opposing armies moving through the countryside and living off the food they could take from the residents. Texas did not suffer large scale invasion and destruction which left them more defiant than South Carolina. It took a large Federal force to put and end to slavery there after the armies had surrendered.
-jonny bakho said...

The final end came in November when the CSS Shenandoah, which had successfully raided a Union ship near Alaska in June, 1865, surrendered in Liverpool, England.