What is wrong with denouncing the Confederate flag?

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The following is a short piece by an American anarchist in response to the ongoing controversy around the use of the Confederate flag in some US states.

On the surface, nothing is wrong with it. Critics are correct the flag is a symbol of slavery and racism.

However, the US flag easily represents those things, too. The Stars and Stripes represents the fact the North financed the beginnings of capitalism with Southern slave profits sent to Northern banks.

The Stars and Stripes represents the fact that in the early 19th century white men of the new Northern working class used racist depictions of blacks to make themselves feel better as inequality began to develop.

The Stars and Stripes represents the fact we manipulated Mexico into war and then stole half its territory. Something undoubtedly similar to the behavior of the Nazis. Difference? They didn’t get away with it.

The Stars and Stripes represents the collapse of Reconstruction (that is, the betrayal of Southern blacks to Southern tyranny and terrorism) when Republican Rutherford B. Hayes made a deal with Southern Democrats so he could be president in 1877.

The Stars and Stripes represents countless brutal and arrogant occupations and murders and thefts as we built our empire over the last century and a half.

It represents the killing of 2 million people in Indochina in the 60s and 70s.

It represents the Cold War deceits and abuses and collaboration with outright fascists and religious extremists.

The Stars and Stripes represent the massive deceit of 9/11 and the ensuing fraudulent War on Terror.

It represents the fact the US lied the country into a war of aggression against Iraq and the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people.

The Stars and Stripes represents the ugly mess that is still going on there.

Yes, the Confederate flag represents evil. But so does the flag we salute or cherish every single day.

Ron Leighton

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