Flags

Occasionally, and it seems to happen more and more often, the sheer ignorance and stupidity of the politics of hate astounds me. On article I read stated that, “It was only a matter of time before anti-gay ultra conservatives used the debate over hanging the Confederate flag in governmental buildings to take aim at the display of the rainbow flag.” However, I have to disagree with that because the thought would never have occurred to me because it is so utterly ridiculous.

The American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer took to his radio program Tuesday to demand that if the Confederate flag is going to be removed from government buildings, so should the gay pride rainbow flag, which he called a symbol of “the Gay Reich.”
Fischer said:

If we are going to remove symbols of oppression from our culture, if we come to the point where we say any flag that represents bigotry, any flag that represents hatred, any flag that represents slavery or oppression needs to be removed, then I want to suggest to you that the next flag to go ought to be the rainbow flag of the Gay Reich.

The rainbow flag represents the gay lobby, it represents Big Gay, it represents what I’m calling for the first time today, I’m introducing a new term: the Gay Reich. They’ve got a flag just like the Nazis had their flag.

That flag is a symbol of slavery and oppression and bigotry and prejudice and bias. So if we’re going to go after symbols of oppression, we ought to make the rainbow flag the next target for removal in our culture.

As a southerner and a historian, I have many many problems with the use of the Confederate Battle Flag as a political symbol. It is a flag of losers. The Confederacy lost. That should be enough. However, it has been taken by even greater losers, i.e. racists, as a symbol of pride and hate. I personally believe that the only flags that should at state agencies is the American flag and the state flag. There is no reason for there to be any other controversy about this. If the government wants to fly the “six flags” of Texas or the “five flags” of Alabama, then it should not be on the Capitol grounds but instead at a historical park separate from the Capitol.

In Alabama, Governor George C. Wallace raised the Confederate Battle Flag above the state Capitol building as a symbol of white supremacy. It was a political move of hatred. It remained atop the dome of the Capitol until controversy over the flying of the flag in the early 1990s. The controversy was quietly and with no fanfare ended six days after Jim Folsom, Jr. became governor of Alabama in 1993. In a move Folsom’s father Governor “Big” Jim Folsom, Sr. would have been proud, Folsom simply ordered the flag to no longer be raised. It actually took a few days for anyone to notice. (A quick historical note, Big Jim spoke to a joint session of the Alabama Legislature the day after the Brown v. Board of Education decision was handed down by the Supreme Court and called for an immediate desegregation of Alabama schools, to which the legislature ignored and passed a law reaffirming school segregation.)

The only place that the Confederate Flag (and it should be the national flag not battle flag) should be flown near the Alabama Capitol is next door at the Little White House of the Confederacy Museum, but it shouldn’t be on the Capitol grounds. However, Alabama’s Governor a Robert Bentley (an idiotic dumbass) has chosen to make a political scene and take down the Confederate flags around the Capitol grounds. He should not have made a big fuss over it, like he did, and instead should have used Little Jim’s example and taken the flag down quietly. He’s making a big scene to cover his own incompetence over the Alabama budget crisis and to get publicity on the national news.

Some of my southern readers may disagree with me, but I do see the Confederate flags as symbols of oppression. If the South had won, LGBT acts would still be criminalizes, and we would have been hunted and jailed. The one thing that might have kept that from happening is that southern “hospitality” and “manners” would have demanded that we were hidden from sight. We would be the skeleton in the family closet. I think the Confederacy would have been an oppressive place for all those who were not the white elite.

I’ve gotten a little off topic talking about Confederate flags, but the whole matter is about bigotry. It honestly has nothing to do with “southern heritage.” However, no matter how you feel about the Confederate flag, the idea of comparing it to the rainbow flag is utter stupidity. The rainbow flag is about openness and acceptance, not about oppression. There is not such thing as a Gay Reich. I find the mention of a Gay Reich to be highly offensive. The Nazis of the Third Reich did their best to destroy homosexuality in Europe. They murdered, tortured, and lobotomized homosexuals merely for being alive. It is the idiotic argument of Reductio ad Hitlerum. When people have lost an argument and it goes to the ridiculous, they always resort to the Nazi Card, because they have run out of stupid arguments.

  

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

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