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Monday, June 29, 2015

Re-posting from What Would Patton Do with my own thoughts

I do not normally re-post other peoples work but this one struck a cord and I want to shar and provide some thoughts of my own.  The original article is here: Symbols in Miniature Wargames I think most people who play "Historic War Games" are historically minded and know symbols like the Nazi or Confederate Flag and can put them in their proper context.  That said I have never decorated a German tank with a Nazi Flag it just didn't seem right.
Like wise when I started looking for images for German Propaganda posters for use as Flames of War Objectives.  I went with images form World War I as I didn't want nay anti-Semitic hiding in the images or languages.  I felt this sensitivity was necessary.
 As readers of this blog will know I have an extensive Civil War collection including a large Confederate Army with quite a few Confederate Battle Flags.  It never once crossed my mind to consider this an embalm of racism in this context, Maybe it should have.  I am giving this some though but I don't think I will change it.  For good or ill Confederate history is American History. I happen to think the Confederacy was about slavery yes states rights were an issue but the right in question was the right to own human property.  I would strongly recommenced any one interested in the subject to read General Lee's Army From Victory to Collapse by Joseph Gatthaar  it gives a sense of the strong correlation between owning slaves and serving in the Confederate Army.  No I am not saying that every Confederate was Racists or a slaveholder that wouldn't be true, but it was a major motivation and one that cannot be dismissed.

That said I think of the Confederate Flag as the Flag of a brave army not as a symbol of racism when it relates to that army.  I don't think the Confederate Flag should appear on Government building unless they are museums, or National parks that relate specifically to the Civil War. When used a certain why this flag is a symbol of Racism but then again so is this one.
In the end I think Symbols have only the meaning we give them... we can take a negative symbol and give it a positive meaning we just have to have the right mind set.  I won't say any one who claims the Confederate Flag is a symbol of Racism is wrong because they are not... its a symbol any one can use it.   I'll take my chances with your comments but please try to be respectful.