Heritage Not Hate

[Let us imagine two interviews with two different gentlemen, each of whom are questioned over their colourful shirts.]

Interview #1: Absurd Beyond Belief

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Are you sure you think wearing that is a good idea? What would you say to people who think wearing that flag is “offensive” or “racist”?

I’m not a racist, that’s not what this flag means to me. For me it’s about who I am and where I’m from. It’s nothing to do with race or anything like that.

But doesn’t the flag have a history of being used by those with racist causes?

Well, I can’t speak for them, I only know why I wear it myself, which is to show that I’m proud of my heritage.

I mean, when you say “heritage,” it’s the flag of Adolph Hitler, who said this:

“The noblest and most sacred [task] for mankind is that each racial species must preserve the purity of the blood which God has given it…  There is one error which cannot be remedied once men have made it, namely the failure to recognize the importance of conserving the blood and the race free from intermixture and thereby the racial aspect and character which are God’s gift and God’s handiwork.”

Plus there’s the massive racist violence, the millions of dead. Is that the heritage you mean?

No, obviously not. I don’t endorse any of that. It’s not about that for me. It just means rebellion, it’s that German spirit, it’s about celebrating our people.

But what about the fact that it doesn’t even symbolize your people? It was an ancient symbol used by Hindus and was revived in the 1930’s as part of a fascist movement by white supremacist Nazis.

You’re not listening. Today it means something different.

But when you see photos like this…

01 Adolf Hitler salutes troops of the Condor Legion who fought alongside Spanish Nationalists in the Spanish Civil War, during a rally upon their return to Germany, 1939

…do you ever think that maybe you might not want to be wearing the same flag as these people?

I’m nothing like those people, the comparison is ridiculous. It doesn’t matter how they used it. That’s not how I mean it. If some are offended, it’s not my problem. There will always be some ignorant people who don’t understand what the flag really stands for.

Interview #2: Somehow Up For Debate

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What would you say to people who think  wearing that flag is “offensive” or “racist”?

I’m not a racist, that’s not what this flag means to me. For me it’s about who I am and where I’m from. It’s nothing to do with race or anything like that.

But doesn’t the flag have a history of being used by those with racist causes?

Well, I can’t speak for them, I only know why I wear it myself, which is to show that I’m proud of my heritage.

I mean, when you say “heritage,” it’s the flag of Jefferson Davis, who said this:

“My own convictions as to negro slavery are strong. It has its evils and abuses…We recognize the negro as God and God’s Book and God’s Laws, in nature, tell us to recognize him – our inferior, fitted expressly for servitude…You cannot transform the negro into anything one-tenth as useful or as good as what slavery enables them to be.”

Plus there’s the massive racist violence, the millions of slaves. Is that the heritage you mean?

No, obviously not. I don’t endorse any of that. It’s not about that for me. It just means rebellion, it’s that Southern spirit, it’s about celebrating our people.

But what about the fact that it doesn’t even symbolize your people? It was hardly ever used until it was revived in the 1950’s as part of a segregationist movement by white supremacists and Klansmen. 

You’re not listening. Today it means something different.

But when you see photos like this…

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…do you ever think that maybe you might not want to be wearing the same flag as these people?

I’m nothing like those people, the comparison is ridiculous.It doesn’t matter how they used it. That’s not how I mean it. If some are offended, it’s not my problem. There will always be some ignorant people who don’t understand what the flag really stands for.

These interviews are also available in a handy side-by-side graphic:

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