December 5th, 2011
12:51 PM ET

Opinion: Black student defends his Confederate flag

Byron Thomas is 19, black, a freshman at the University of South Carolina Beaufort and a proud Southerner. He hung a Confederate flag in his dorm room window until the university asked him to take it down because several people had complained about it. (The university later stepped back from the request, saying all students have the right to free speech.)

"I know it's kinda weird because I'm black," Thomas said in an iReport he submitted. "When I look at this flag, I just don't see racism. I see pride, respect. Southern pride, that's what I see."

"Ignorance gave that flag a bad name, ignorant people like the KKK," he told CNN's Don Lemon.

The post got other iReporters talking, including Omekongo Dbinga, who said Thomas has the right to fly the flag, but there's no denying the flag's history. Egberto Willies said he doesn't understand Thomas' view of the Confederacy, but he thinks the North and South both have ugly histories with race relations.

Thomas said he won't put the flag back up, although he believes he has the right to do so. The university plans to host a discussion about the flag after students return from winter break.

Here's what Thomas told CNN In America about the flag and why he probably won't hang it up again.

CNN: What does the Confederate flag mean to you?

Thomas: To me, it means more states' rights and no bigger government. The government was getting too big. I believe South Carolina knows me better than the federal government. I personally have a lot of pride from being in the South. I see some freedom from when the South seceded from the North. I know that sounds bad. I see freedom differently than most people see it. Just that you have the right to do what you want to do and form your own opinion.

The bottom line for me: I do not see that flag as a racist symbol. Only an ignorant person can say that. I have researched it and studied it.

CNN: Why is it so important to you to be able to display this flag in your dorm room?

Thomas: It is very important that I be allowed to exercise my freedom of free speech. I'm one of the nicest people, but today, you can't say anything without people getting offended or hurt by what you are saying. I felt very offended when I was asked to take down that flag because [the housing department] said it violated the racist code. It's a freedom thing to me.

The generation before us told us that the flag is racist. It's not going anywhere. No one is going to burn all of the flags. If me or someone else can show my generation that it means something different maybe it won't divide us. I haven't experienced racism myself but it still exists. Maybe if we start now with this flag, racism can continue to get smaller.

CNN:  Do you have roommates and what do they think of your flag?

Thomas: I have three white roommates and they know I'm not racist. They think what I'm doing is amazing because they have never met a black person like me before because of my opinions. I was starting to make a change because I made my own opinion.

Some black students came to me and have said I have changed their viewpoint on the Confederate flag and that I helped change them. They have said [like me] they also don't want to be called African-American anymore. They, too, feel like they want to be American, not African-America, because it's like a second category and they were born in America not Africa. So other people have come up to me, not just my roommates.

CNN: When did you hang the flag up and how long was it up for before you were asked to remove it?

Thomas: I hung it up in September after a research paper for a class about it. After that, I hung it up because I saw other students hanging things up and I didn't really have anything. It was up for two months and no one said anything about it. I had other black students say they had no problem with it. There were no riots, no complaints, no one was throwing rocks or anything. It was peaceful around here until the housing department asked me to take it down. They said they had been trying to get in touch with me. It was Sunday, November 20. A resident adviser came to my room and asked me to take it down. So I put it up in my living room and then the head housing woman came looking for me and said I was violating the racism code. I asked if I could put up an American flag and she said yes because it's not racist. It's a double standard because some Native Americans could take offense to an American flag. I didn't say that, but I was thinking it.

The flag is down [since Monday, November 21] because the housing woman said I had to [remove it.]

I might not put it back up now because my parents are disappointed in me. They've said I can do what I want but I want them on my side. I want them to see it as trying to make a change for my generation. I'm sorry if I'm making my family look bad.

CNN: Were you surprised when you were asked to remove your Confederate flag?  

Thomas: I was very surprised because it wasn't bothering anyone. The big reason is because I'm black and most black people have feelings about it and I have no problem with it. It didn't' become an issue until they asked me to take it down. People came and asked me why I had to take it down and I was embarrassed. I was apparently violating a code I didn't think I was violating.

CNN: What do you want your critics to know?

Thomas: I just feel like, I should have my right to see a flag the way I see it. Just because someone feels offense to it, why should I have to take it down? They can walk another way. It's not like I have a cross burning or a noose hanging outside my room. I don't see it as a racist statement to me and that's my opinion of it. I don't think I should have to take it down just because someone might take offense. They shouldn't have that control of me. They are not my mom and dad.

My generation should have our opportunities to show our viewpoint. We shouldn't have to change it just because the majority disagrees. I'm not trying to make someone cry or hurt them. Why can't we be ourselves and think for ourselves for once? I'm trying to show that I'm not thinking for the majority which is that [the Confederate flag is] racist.

CNN: At this point is it about influencing change more than about the flag itself?

Thomas: Change has to happen somehow so I said, 'Why can't I be the person who makes the change? Why not start now instead of later?'

I've made change before in my community, so why can't I do it on a national level? In my high school, I got them to become a national green and solar school by using solar panels and my school or county didn't pay for a thing.

CNN: What have you learned from this experience so far?

Thomas: I learned that my generation of people are applauding me and telling me they want to see things different now. I've gotten so many friend requests on Facebook. They are encouraging me. The generation before has mixed views about it, strong views. The generation before won't let us think for ourselves. They had their chance to think and run things but we need to have our chance. We will have our turn to step up to the plate and get out of this mess that we're in.

I respect where they are coming from. I'm not saying that what happened didn't happen. We don't want history to repeat itself, but I see where they are coming from. They endured things I might never endure, but why do I still have to feel grounded, that I have to endure it? They weren't allowed to go to school with white people but I am. I have never been to a school without white people. Why can't my generation start making our own history? I respect every black person for the civil rights movement. I just want us to move on from all of the hatred that's still dividing us today. I'm tired of us still being divided.

Filed under: Black in America • History • Race • What we think
soundoff (1,367 Responses)
  1. George Purvis

    Sure is hard to make a point when the website only works part time.


    December 23, 2011 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
  2. WOW

    So he wants to change the worldview with a symbol of oppression? He says he would like others to not be grounded with the thoughts of the older generation however, if you are a person hurt or offeneded by it TO BAD walk the long way and dont look. Yeah that reflects that great mind of this "humanitarian.' No wonder his parents are embarressed i would be to.

    December 20, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Kumar

    Woah and I thought only Uncle Ruckus will wave the confederate flag.

    December 9, 2011 at 11:47 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Cal

    @ Goerge, I'm gonna leave the board with you now. Thanks for the conversation. May we meet again someday and perhaps engage in a slightly more civilized form of deabte, with out out the snide remarks and such. I may not agree with you, but I respect you 1st amendment right, and more importantly your opinion as afellow human being. Peace out.

    December 9, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • George Purvis


      It should be noteded I never cast the first snide remark, just a policy of mine. I think it takes away from the discussion.

      Please come to SHAPE, be my special guest. We have so much information to share it is unreal. If you are not willing to do that at least take a good hard look at what you think you know about history and research those facts. You will be surprised at what you find.

      George Purvis
      Southern Heritage Advancement Preservation and Education

      December 9, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
      • Cal

        I was actually refering to myself. You presented your arguments in a quite respectful manner. I will take you up the offer. I bashed you for not "educating" but we do have a responsibility oursleves to learn the truth. Maybe after some research I will "get it". I might not agree, but I don't like the idea of hating someone because of thier wardrobe choices. I'll be the first to admit I'm quick to judge when I see the "stars and bars", and honestly don't like that about myself. It realy makes you no better than the people who do judge based on race. For now I'll just stick with the "stars and stripes. take care.

        December 9, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
      • George Purvis


        Well said. If you do visit SHAPE at least take the time to register and post a hello - and please start learning by looking up the "Stars and Bars."I think you are gonna be surprised. 🙂

        The problem with the history of The War For Southern Independence is it has been sanitized and changed to fit the agenda of the North. The education system on all levels just gives a generic sample of what the war was all about, so we understand that type of education will just not make it in today’s world with all the info that can be found on the web. I know it is not necessary to remind you that the winners write the history. Now when it was being written I am sure there was no consideration that one day a bunch of Confederate descendants would start getting their hands on the truth and all of this revised history would be exposed.

        A person cannot be two quick to judge, you never know the other fellows situation. You are not alone in making quick judgments, I am afraid I do also. Took me a long time to not look at a "Yankee" and not think stupid right off the bat. We are all human.

        Have a Dixie day,

        George Purvis
        Southern Heritage Advancement Preservation and Education

        December 9, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Cal

    @ George Pervis. Despite the nature of my posts, I have enjoyed the healthy debate. It's one of the best ways to learn new things. I'm going to miss this article when it's gone.

    December 9, 2011 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
    • George Purvis

      Really??? I am surprised you would say such. Not a problem. SHAPE is full of "the same open generalities" you find on any other website. Why not come there and use your massive knowledge to correct all of the mis-information we have posted?

      By the way "Pervis, Perves, Purves, & Purvis" are some of the various spelling of my surname. There is a complete history oftthe name online, you are welcome to look it up. I know you did to try to be insulting, just didn't work.

      George Purvis
      Southern Heritage Advancement Preservation and Education

      December 9, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cal

      I defenitly plan on taking a second look. If I'm going to debate someone, I need to know the facts on both sides.

      December 9, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Cal

    Apparently not even the great Genral Pervis Lee, has the ability to explain what the flag represents. As you know I did visit the SHAPE website, and found nothing but the same open generalities. The name of your organization has the word "education" in it, yet you claim I just won't understand. well try me. But if you can't give me a good reason I'll just keep seeing the flag the way I have been since I saw it being used as tool of hatred when I was kid. According to your organization, it appears to be your duty to help me understand. If you can't atleast try you might as well resign from SHAPE.

    December 9, 2011 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
    • George Purvis

      Sure didn't take you long to get down to the snide remarks did it? And your response just serves to prove my point , regardless of how much time and effort I put into a response to you; you would just "yes but" and disagree. So why try? Now that being the case I'll just give you the short answer.

      I feel the same about my heritage as you or anyone feels about theirs.

      Now you rae going to tell me you read the entire SHAPE website? I honestly don't beklieve it. There is just to much sourced information on that website for you to have read it and still hold your biased views.

      Go ahead tell another one.

      George Purvis
      Southern Heritage Advancement Preservation and Education

      December 9, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cal

      First off, take a joke. I thought you might get a giglle out of the General lee remark. Second, since no one can give me an alternate explanation of what the flag means to them, I'll just stick with basing what the flag means to me on my own life experiences. That's all anyone can go by. I was born and raised in Alabama and have never seen the flag used for something positive. The flag is just that, a symbol. It HAS been used for hatred. It HAS been used for violence. Maybe it doesn't mean that, but when has it ever been seen in a positive context. Maybe you guys need a better PR department. Until a superman with rebel flag on his chest saves the day, I'll always see as sign of hatred.

      December 9, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
      • Thor

        Very good.

        December 16, 2011 at 6:03 am | Report abuse |
  7. Cal

    I have seen a lot of people here defending the rebel flag becasuse it is not racist. I have not seen anything indicating what it actually stands for. I see vauge generalities like "southern pride" and supporting the confederate heritage, but what do these things mean? What is it that is so uniquely confederate? Yes, they stood up to what they saw as a corupt government, but people have been doing that sinc governments have existed. This was not the only civil war in the earth's history. Is it states rights? Because right now Arizona is leading that front, maybe you should fly the Arizona flag. (I will admit Alabama is a close 2nd, though) Why is the rebel flag the only symbol worthy of suming up what you believe in? And what exactly does it stand for?

    December 9, 2011 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
    • George Purvis

      If you have to ask, you wouldn't understand .

      George Purvis
      Southern Heriatge Advancement Preservation and Education

      December 9, 2011 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
      • Cal

        Not even gonna try huh, Just as I thought.

        December 9, 2011 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
      • George Purvis

        See just as I said-- You wouldn't understand.

        Regardless of what I posted would you agree???

        George Purvis

        Southern Heritage Advancement Preservation and Education

        December 9, 2011 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
      • Cal

        I don't have to agree with it to understand it. I know not everyone who flys the rebel flag is racist. I know some of these people personally. I just have never gotten a straight answer about what it means to them.

        December 9, 2011 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
    • James

      I can tell you exactly what that Flag stands for; The Flag that Byron Thomas has displayed is our Naval Jack, It was flown above our Navy ships, and will one day be flown again. Our 3rd National Flag is the official Flag of our Confederate government. We are currently seeking to end your empires occupation of our Confederate States, so that we may restore the Founders Confederated Republic. You would do well to visit our Confederate governments website at http://csagov.org or just google CSAgov, there you will find the answers to your questions, and receive some much needed education. Try reading some of my articles posted there. James Everett..... You will find the TRUTH.

      December 11, 2011 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
      • No One Is Safe

        you should be in federal prison for sedition.

        December 19, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
      • Thor

        That flag will NEVER fly on my ships any more than your white robes and masks will be permitted on them.

        December 22, 2011 at 6:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Thor

      Cal, Sure, it can stand for anything. It is just a piece of cloth. But the same can be said for the Maltese Cross, the Swastika, the Golden Eagle, ..... just symbols of a time. However, when the symbol has a predominate meaning amongst a huge and majority crowd.... why wave it to incite? Why on Earth would a white supremist drive through a town in Louisiana with a hangmans noose hanging from his tailgate? Do you think for one instant that you would, as a non member of a particular Latino family, be able to get away with driving into a LA neighborhood on Saturday night and stopping to wave a middle finger around? Probably not! It is the arrogance. The simple arrogance that goes with the symbol. THAT is the hateful message that thing sends, here, now, in our lifetime.

      December 22, 2011 at 6:25 am | Report abuse |
  8. George Purvis

    Well about 1/2 of what I posted is here. Gotta go to SHAPE to read the rest.

    Southern Heritage Advancement Preservation and Education (SHAPE)

    December 8, 2011 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Chase

    "Stars and Bars".... Anyone??? The first Confederate Flag... looks kinda familiar...

    December 8, 2011 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • George Purvis

      yes it does. 🙂

      December 8, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Wil L.

    "The risk of what Thomas proposes is that we forget why the symbol was changed. “Choosing” to see the Confederate flag as non-racist also plays to the agenda of those who, in the name of “honoring Southern heritage,” would delete slavery and black pain from the Civil War narrative... http://www.urbanfaith.com/2011/12/neutralizing-racist-emblems.html

    December 8, 2011 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thor

      ...best comment yet, Wil L. ! 🙂

      December 22, 2011 at 5:46 am | Report abuse |
  11. George Purvis

    Well I don't know what is wrong I try and I try to post some info on Lincoln yet they will not show up. I guess CNN doen't like the truth.

    I am going to create a thread on the Southern Heriatge website under "general discussions" + Lincoln. If you are serious about learning then I suggest you read that thread.

    George Purvis
    Souuthern Heriatge Advancement Preservation and Education

    December 8, 2011 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • James

      You should visit your Confederate governments website at http://csagov.org or you can simply google CSAgov.org.
      If you really want to do more than argue the past, we offer our Confederacy, and the Founders Confederated Republic a future, not just a past.
      James Everett.......

      December 11, 2011 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
      • George Purvis


        Thanks for the invite, but that sort of thing is not for me. I don't argue the past, I try to educate people on past historical events one which includes the War For Soutjhern Independence.

        George Purvis
        Southern Heritage Advancment Preservation and Education.

        December 12, 2011 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  12. George Purvis

    Test test test

    December 8, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
  13. A. Harrison

    I guess it's ok to use the 'N' word as a term of endearment... The point here is that, the flag is not the issue; your lack of understanding the context and history of what transpired... Your freedom of speech is not an issue either... You need to solicit more research from Civil rights leaders; people who have walked and experienced the negatives of society during the time of the Confederacy
    and why it was allowed to be used for fighting the north... Did it ever occur to you that the civil war utilizing the flag was not only about money, but also about the Jim-Crow statues, supported by the majority...? DO research more in-depth

    December 8, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • J.Decker

      Jim Crow Laws were POST cival war... Nice try, but your arguement is invalid.

      December 8, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • George Purvis

      Jim Crow laws started in the North. I suggest you research what is known as the Northern Black Codes.

      George Purvis
      Southern Heritage Advance Preservation and Education

      December 8, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Greg Kells

      It sounds like he researched it more thoroughly than you. As others have already pointed out Jim Crow laws were post civil war, and the north had just as much involvement in segregation and even in slavery. The northern industrialists profited from slavery as much as the southern plantation owners. The civil war was a war over state's rights. Slavery was the central issue, but it was not the only issue. The Confederate flag may represent racism to you, but to many it is just a symbol of southern pride. You should do a little more research before you blindly accept the history you've been taught. There's more to the story than what they put in our grade school history books.

      December 8, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
  14. lunchbreaker

    A few thoughts for those here showing southrn PRIDE.

    James 4:6
    But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."

    Job 40:12
    Look at every proud man and humble him, crush the wicked where they stand.

    Proverbs 16:18-19
    Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Better to be lowly in spirit and among the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud.

    Romans 12:16
    Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

    December 8, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • George Purvis

      Call it what you want, at least we don't hide behind "patriotism" and attack our fellow Americans because of their heritage.

      You should look up slavery in the bible, I am sure you will be surprised.

      George Purvis
      Southern Heritage Advancement Preservation and Education

      December 8, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
      • Thor

        Unless your family sprouted up on the face of the planet right before the Civil War in North America, I suggest you, sir, do a little research further in your past. Then, and only then, might you find some of what your ancestors contributed to your "heritage".

        December 22, 2011 at 5:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Greg Kells

      However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way. (Leviticus 25:44-46 NLT)

      December 8, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jmaes

        You nailed it. The truth is slavery and Christianity went hand in hand in early America, the Christians used their religious freedom as an excuse to enslave others as per their Bible; and very few people had the courage back then to stand against the Bible. It was also the Christians that judged the American Indians 'Heathen Animals" providing cover for those that were committing genocide. I used to be a Christian, it was in Theology College that I finally realized that I can no longer endorse the evils of the Bible, it is just morally wrong on so many levels.

        December 8, 2011 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
      • Thor

        I was in line to become a Catholic priest once. I met a "high ranking" priest on the college campus and went to shake his hand to greet him.... he looked at my hand with contempt and suddenly said "Well, I guess I can shake your hand... I can do that." Hmmm. Well, that wasn't the only thing that turned my stomach about a priest that held himself above other men, but, the lack of servitude generally demonstrated by most actually did. The guise of the "bible" to cover for the acts of the "holy" in such a way as to offer "forgiveness" for sins that are repeated... simply left me incredulously aghast. The "Christian" faiths did the same... only more intensely: they don't even require one to admit to any authority figure that they have "sinned" and discuss what they have to do to stop sinning. Wow! No accountability to the normal gregarious nature of human kind whatsoever. So, I worship no one and no thing. I simply defend others from wrong and make people stick to the rules around me. Period.

        December 22, 2011 at 5:57 am | Report abuse |
  15. I SERVED...

    Byron my man, you are lost my young brother. Please find yourself fast because it is NOTHING prideful about the confederate flag for people of color. I can think of a thousand other ways you can show your southern pride!!#openyoureyes

    December 8, 2011 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      I believe there is something prideful about the confederate flag for people of color, because you just read about it. If you don't agree then you have the right to your opinion, but you couldn't convince me christianity doesn't exist because you personally don't believe in it. At one point, Jesus was also one man, but now there are many christians... in this same way, maybe it seems like this student is only one black man in support of the confederate flag, but he referenced others being ok with it as well. You say you can think of a thousand other ways of showing southern pride... well, this student makes it 1,001.

      December 8, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
      • lunchbreaker

        How funny. Paul is spreading Chrisianity.

        December 8, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  16. lunchbreaker

    1. The "rebel" flag was the battle flag of the confederacy not the Confedrate flag.
    2. It was used when the confeedrate army went into battle.
    3. Some people use it as a symbol of southern pride (not it's original purpose)
    4. Some people see it as racist (also not it's original purpose)
    5. Being that niether points 3 nor 4 were what the flag was original designed for, they are both equally valid points.

    So to the people who think it is racist, realize that not everyone who flys it is racist. To the ones who fly the rebel flag realize some people will see you as racist.

    December 8, 2011 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Thor

      The fear and fright that is felt by MOST blacks who see that flag flying, is justification enough to not fly it. It simply is not right and all of you know it, regardless of the justifications that you cook up or "research". It simply is wrong to do it and you know it.

      December 8, 2011 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
      • George Purvis

        The fear and fright!!!! Come on very black has a negative story that involves the CBF. They are brought up on biased tales how do I know, I have been involved in these issues for years and have talked with many protesting blacks on many occasions

        Most. How many is most? The same statement can be made about the United States flag.

        George Purvis
        Southern Heritage Advancement Preservation and Education

        December 8, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
      • Thor

        "Most" would be "ALL" of my friends who are black and "ALL" of my family members who are black.

        December 15, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
      • George Purvis

        Well just like I said every black has a horror story about the CBF –regardless if it is true or not.

        George Purvis

        December 15, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
      • Thor

        George Purvis, you represent some of the worst kind of evil.

        December 15, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
      • George Purvis

        Worst kind of evil???And you know nothing about me.

        Thank you for making my point. Now we all see just exactly what blacks consider "attacks” by the CBF. Your attacks are nothing more your imagination running wild, and is a result of your own biased and prejudiced.

        George Purvis
        Southern Heritage Advancement Preservation and Education

        December 15, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
  17. history must teach or repeat

    Well I guess we should just give up trying to fly the flag, hell, I'm going to write my congressman and explain to him how "offensive" the southren states flags because they have parts of the confederate flag in them. Then we can pick out brand new flags to represent those states. Maybe some with pansies. Since we are considered so weak. Oh now that I'm really looking at the whole picture, the United States flag kinda reminds of the the Confederete flag with all those stars.( the design of the rebel flag was adopted from it) Wouldn't want anyone to think that we are picking favorites. Well, I guess we have to give up our ways, follow our leaders like lemmings and send the "General Lee" to the scrap yard. BUT before all that is done, I would like for you to go down the street and personally scrape the rebel bumpersticker off of the back of Xaviers old truck, who is a black man. Yes, a black man. He knows what it really stands for. You see the only reason anything was said to this young man is because he was on school grounds. which belongs to the school, not him. And we all know that it is the education dept fault for this whole mess. Not teaching the truth has bred hate. Or maybe that is what have to teach. Teacher's don't have much freedom to teach. I don't blame them, I wouldn't want to go to jail ether or face fines. How many times has that happened in your perfectly formed goverment? How about the Judge who got in trouble over the ten commandments in his court room? or did that not happen?

    December 8, 2011 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Thor

      Hey Deliverance; my ancestors knew how to symbolize terror and fear, and definately knew how to carry it out. That knowledge did indeed come with the apple that fell from the tree. It is how the spirits of the field speak that tell me, my brothers, and my sisters how to respond. Is your spirit a kind and gentle one?

      December 8, 2011 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  18. jc jenkins

    this kid is extremely stupid

    December 8, 2011 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
    • jo

      no, this kid understands the historical context of it

      December 8, 2011 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
      • Thor

        Actually, it is obvious that he does not. What is apparent is that he is simply a tool for the white supremacy movement.

        December 8, 2011 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
      • DeeNYC

        which is why he's so stupid. nothing a southerner likes more than the good ol days of slavery. this kids is sooooooooo stupid.

        December 8, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
      • George Purvis

        Are you aware that slavery was in the North also?

        George Purvis
        Southern Heritage Advancement Preservation and Education

        December 8, 2011 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
      • Thor

        Yes Mr. "Southern Heritage" .... we do.

        December 22, 2011 at 6:01 am | Report abuse |
    • George Purvis

      That is only your opinioon just how smart are you?

      December 8, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
      • Thor

        George Purvis, you may have YOUR opinion on what the "Crossbars and Stars" mean, and you may have brainwashed yourself from the throws of other bigoted prosers, however, let it be known by you, here and now, that that flag represents the WORST of what Americans can brainwash each other into. Not even Hitler could do such evil for so long. How DARE you pretend to know what that flag "means".

        December 15, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
      • George Purvis

        "Crossbars & Stars"

        That tells us exactly how much you know abouut what you are talking about. If you are going to hate something at least know what you hate.

        Brainwashed?? Youhave been brainwashed in ignorance and it shows on a public forum!!!! What's wrong can't get all your hate in one post, gotta make 3????

        Have a Dixie Day.

        George Purvis
        Southern Heritage Advancement preservation and Education

        December 15, 2011 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
      • Thor

        Yes, you are right, I can't say enough how I HATE the display of the confederate flag, simply because I know what it means and I know what you are doing. YOU are perhaps not one who can stand face to face with a real man and spout all of this "Southern heritage and Pride" crap; or, perhaps you are too stupid to know what you sound like if you would. Yes, the soft-spoken "gentle" Southern Heritage "Gentleman" might not show much in his physical actions that he is really a spawn of hate, but, it is obvious that if you in any way think the confederate flag is all about Southern pride, then you need to re-evaluate what impact it has on other folks who do not. Yes I hate the feeling I get when I see that thing flying, because, as a white Southerner, who has seen what that flag means to some very dear black friends and family.... and yet when I honestly communicate that to someone like you... you continue to write trash that supports the nonsense that it means nothing to you because you have a "right" to your "Southern Heritage". Well, the claim to "heritage" is a fragile and precarious one, my fellow white boy. We are all on this cargo ship called Earth together and the cautions lay in what a society believes that an individual is accountable for causing, not just the doing. If you write the words to cause something, then you have just as well directed it. So, the ones who hang on to your words supporting this flying of the rebel flag..... when they fly it , and they hurt someone, well.. you just as well have done that injury yourself. Reap your just rewards buddie!

        December 16, 2011 at 5:43 am | Report abuse |
      • George Purvis

        It is a good bet I am smarter than you!!! You won’t catch me making ignorant statements like Crossbars and Stars.” I'll stand face to face with any real man and tell him why I am proud of my Southern Heritage; however I am afraid you are not that man, you aren’t smart enough to understand what I would be talking about.

        If you would like to exchange facts feel free to do so I am not going to address every little detail in foolish rant.

        Have a Dixie Day.

        George Purvis
        Southern Heritage Advancement Preservation and Education

        December 16, 2011 at 7:50 am | Report abuse |
      • Thor

        Hey Purvis! I don't really care whether you think I'm smart or dumb. I AM probably a lot dumber than most, however, it portends that you are irreconcilably deviant from a functional member of society. It seems, perhaps, that the formicidic view is best for one of such limited content. Your global view is incredible!

        December 16, 2011 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
      • George Purvis

        Hey Thor.

        At least I don't go around bragging about being a descendant of the Norsemen. Men who made war on women and children and then condemn another person heritage because of ignorance and prejudiced.

        Dumber than most?? You give yourself too much credit you know less than anyone I have ever exchanged words with. Get rid of your hate and educate yourself. "Crossbars and Stars" LOL LOL LOL

        George Purvis
        Southern Heritage Advancement Preservation and Education

        December 16, 2011 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
      • Thor

        " at least..." Yes Purvis, I DO brag about that, especially since the people from where they came are very much a changed people. None of them, or I, would weigh a penalty on another for our own pride. The bragging that I do, however, to make this perfectly clear for you who are so much more educated than I; is to a statement of what my ancestors overcame. The mad methods of terror of those ages, where men discoverd a new tool... war. The hoards of violent peoples slaughtering others came to an abrubt end by no other than the Norsemen who landed on the shores of what is now referred to as Normandy in the year 911. That fortuitous day, when the viking age began to end... when a parlais between two men, Rollo and Charles, resulted in a benevolent beginning of a symbolance of democratic ideal in a barbaric society that has extended through time of a thousand years. So, as my fathers before me, I too have cast aside the instruments of terror and stand to defend the helpless.... or the strong who need help. .... and so, if you were a real "historian" then, you would not simply stop at the Civil War in America, but search for your family further back. You may be.... interested.

        December 22, 2011 at 6:09 am | Report abuse |
  19. Letalis Metal Omier

    Wow, i'm just laughing at these statements. Are we not allowed to be who we want? Can you accept people for who they are? Or are going to be stepping on the backs of Angels and be content with feeding off the machine? Fools who think that flag represents racism or just a failure flag are just fools. You must not be humble and tasted defeat. How would you like to rebel loose and take that in for the rest of your life? While in the process seeing many die. You think their just going to throw away that flag? Living in defeat and seen as the evil kkk south is harsh. The world is no different, there is still racism and ignorance. There still will be malice between our own kind! Why is south seen as KKK land by some? Why do young people think it's about race. You have been manipulated and feed twisted yet truthful data to become biased. It was never about race! From the start its alway been about the money. Come on people this is not civil rights for minorities era. We got freedom, now lets use it to the best.

    December 8, 2011 at 5:52 am | Report abuse |
    • George Purvis

      EXCELLENT!!!!!!! And we are still occupied!!!

      The more the truth gets out the more people will come to our side.

      George Purvis
      Southern Heritage Advancement Preservation and Education

      December 8, 2011 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
      • Cal

        Did you get permision from Mark:

        All communications (with the media, OTHER MESSAGE BOARDS, private emails or other organizations) that is directly related to SHAPE must be approved by the president or the board.

        December 8, 2011 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
      • George Purvis

        I did - at one time. Now I am two feathers so I do niot need to ask anyone. Would you like Marks address to verify???

        Thanks for visiting the website hope you learned something.

        George Purvis
        Southern Heritage Advancement Preservation and Education

        December 8, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
      • Robert J Medina

        how do you explain slavery and white privledges

        December 8, 2011 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
      • George Purvis

        How do you explain New England slave ships and the privledges that came with that class?

        George Purvis
        Southern Heritage Advancement Perservation and Education

        December 8, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thor

      You are allowed to be who you want to be, as long as the arm of who you want to be does not tender a transgression on another. So, if you want to be someone who can be that transgressor, then, unfortunately for you, another might come along to take that arm off!

      December 22, 2011 at 6:12 am | Report abuse |
  20. 4ngharad

    At least he has pride about where he's from.
    But you can't punish someone for being racist.

    December 8, 2011 at 12:30 am | Report abuse |
  21. history must teach or repeat

    if it means standing up for my family, my right to work,or doing what is right. you have to take of your family, no one is going to do it for you. Do you belive that the goverment is really here to help us? How long have people had to wait for help in a state of emergency? How come we worry so much about other countries having hungry and sick people, when we have so many here? What about those who die coming over here for a better life? How about those in sweat shops or mail order brides, nothing short of moderen day slavery. What of those brave soldiers who march into combat, without question, to do or die at the desision of someone at a desk? We think that just because we are the United States of America, that these issues don't apply to us. We are arrogant with pride. Maybe some have forgotten what it is to be american, why we seperated from Britian, and what it really means to be patriotic. And if the goverment would try and force us to be anything other then true Americans, then yes, we would have to stand together and fight

    December 8, 2011 at 12:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Thor

      What the heck are you saying that relates to this flag business?

      December 8, 2011 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  22. Chad

    The kid believes in what he feels and has a sense of pride. Something a lot of people don't have. He has researched and hopefully has looked at both sides of the coin. History has shown that the winners write the history books; therefore, we don't see a lot of pro-southern books around, but views from the U.S. perspective of Southern rebellion. People are sometimes scared to write books about the "Northern Agression" point of view. Afraid they will be looked upon as racist. Speaking of the KKK....don't they wave the Christian flag as well???? I guess that means that all Christians are racist as well. No matter what...people will still live in the past instead of looking forward. One day we will probably have another Civil War, but it will be the fools in Washington D.C. that causes that.

    December 7, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • George Purvis


      Well said . The history books are written by the winners and using their books it is easy enough to determine a few facts -
      1. Slavery was not the cause of the war.
      2. Lincoln provoked the war, which could have been avoided
      3. Lincoln did not free the slaves.

      George Purvis
      Southern Heritage Advancement Preservation and Education.

      December 8, 2011 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
      • jo

        Agreed anyone who has simply read a high school level history book should know that. To Thor, maybe you should have paid better attention in school

        December 8, 2011 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
      • Thor

        Unfortunately, I didn't get my knowledge from the errors in the "schoolbooks" ... My knowledge came down from relatives whose ancestors actually owned slaves. You see, some of us white folks really do know what the causes of the Civil war were, and, there were many. Unfortunately, I HAVE to accept members of my family, even though many approve of the oppression of blacks, and the continuation of "Southern Pride", regardless of how it affects others. Unfortunately, my knowledge is not from some false "knowledge" posted by someone attempting to demonstrate that they have a "logical" reason for waving aroung the most antagonistic symbol in America. Fortunately, I actually served in a capacity to help free others from very similar pinings of oppression. Unfortunatley, little pieces of me are left all around this globe as a tribute to my service. It is a severe slap in the face when someone from the South seems to think that it is just fine to wave around the confederate flag instead of the colors that really have prevailed against oppression from "royalty".

        December 15, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Camia

    I think it is beautiful that he takes the positive of what this flag stands. He did not think about why it was raised by the KKK and the many things that the Black nation thinks it stands for. He thought about how it reperesents who he is as a individual. I applaud him for his indivduality and its minds such as his that will change the way things are. He knows the history, yet he chooses to give it another meaning. A child only knows what he is shown and when you show the good and the Bad of something, you give them the opportunity to make it how they want it to fit into thier life. Don't rip them of their indepedance...I don't tell my kids that white, hispanic, asian, are this and that, I let them be who they are and make thier own decisions. I want my children to be open to the world around them as its forever changing.

    December 7, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thor

      I am not sure he knows the complete history of the causes that contributed to the Civil War. I am not sure your are either. There are many. Additionally, I am not sure that many are aware that the causes of the Civil War included a significant number of states declaring their separation from the United States of America. To this, event, one can speak of cause too. So, the cause of states separating from the union was extemporaneously articulated in a speech referred to as the "Cornerstone Speech". Therefore, if a cause of the Civil War was the separation of states from the Union, and a cause of the separation of the states from the union was listed in the speech, then, it follows that whatever the causes listed in the speech caused entry into the Civil War. Read the speech!

      December 8, 2011 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  24. lunchbreaker

    After reading most of these posts, I'm starting to see the rebel flag as a multiporpose tool. The flag can be used in many ways. I attended the University of Alabama. Recently a fraternity dressed in confederate uniforms flying a rebel flag marched through campus. Pretty harmless right? Just celebrating their heritage. Then they purposely stopped in front of a black fraternity house and just stood there. I know, not everyone who flys the rebel flag is racist. I also know that some of the people here claiming the flag is not racist are themselves racist and fly the flag for that reason. The fact is that when you do fly that flag, you are going to offend some people and some people will think you are a racist, but hey, you don't care what anybody thinks.

    December 7, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • George Purvis

      So?? I have read that before. Some sort of tradition on campus. If you didn't like it why didn't you jump into the middle of the crowd and run them off?

      Was there any trouble??

      George Purvis
      Southern Heritage Advancement Preservation and Education

      December 8, 2011 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
  25. lunchbreaker

    Just to be clear the "rebel" flag is the confedrate BATTLE flag, not the flag of the confedracy. If the south had one The rebel flag woul not be the flag flying above the capitol building. So if your intent is to support the confedaracy, you are displaying the wrong flag. The battle flag would only be flown in times of war.

    December 7, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • George Purvis

      Don't recall making the staement it was the flag of the Confederacy. It is a Confederate flag It is the only flag that the majorityof the Confederate fought under. Your point????

      George Purvis
      Southern Heritage Preservation and Education

      December 7, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • lunchbreaker

      Consider this, if the United States today had a separate flag that was flown in battle, how would it be appropriate to fly that flag all of the time, instead of just during war? I see the confederate "battle" flag everywhere. I have nver once seen a shirt, hat or bumber sticker with the flag of the confederacy on it.

      December 7, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
      • George Purvis

        The United states didn't have a seoparate flag so that is a non issue. What is your point. The CBF as we know it is the most recognizable of all the flags of the Confederacy, so now I ask you why shouldn't it be used? If any other flag of the Confederacy was used, would it change any Yankee's opinion of the South? I think not.

        I gave you an explanation, so what is it you do not understand.

        George Purvis
        Southern Heritage Advancement Preservation and Education.

        December 7, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
      • lunchbreaker

        Here is the point: the "battle" flag's original purpose was to flown during war. So if you use the "battle" flag in support of the condfederacy, simply because it is recognizable, your not holding the flag up for it's original purpose. If you can make the flag mean something other than it was designed for, than anyone else can give it another meaning. You "recognize" the battle flag for one thing, while others "recognize it for racism. If you can just arbitrarily pick what the flag means to you, you have no right to hate someone elses opinion of what it means to them.

        December 7, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
      • George Purvis

        How about this we use it because we want to? You object to that? Tell me what is the purpose of flying the United States flag? Any argument you present about racism against the CBF can be said about the United States flag. Shall I post some examples for you?

        I just gave you a couple of good reasons all you want to do is yes but. I told you it is the flag that most Confederates saw when going into battle; it was the flag most die under. Second time I told you that .What is the problem?

        George Purvis
        Southern Heritage Advancement Preservation and Education

        December 8, 2011 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |
  26. history must teach or repeat

    because of the south standing up for themselves, that they fought for their states, yes they lost but they didn't go down without a fight, they didn't just go belly up, and say take us, we will convert, honestly that is what people are trying to say when they display it, I do my thing, no one runs me, I am a rebel. Not I hate you, when I see someone with that flag up, or on their car, they simply say I'm me, my rules, it is a statement of character

    December 7, 2011 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
    • lunchbreaker

      So basically you would advocate the southern states taking up arms and trying to leave the country today? How Patriotic of you. You are a true American.

      December 7, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • George Purvis

      Anyone thinking the Confederate is a racist symbol has never taken a look at the United States flag. When you study your history then come back and we will make some comparisons. Mr. Thomas has absolutely every right and reason to fly the Confederate Flag - an American flag at that.

      George Purvis
      Southern Heritage Advancement Preservation and Education.

      December 7, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jay

        Anyone who doesn't think that the confederate flag is a racist symbol is being willfully ignorant. Yes, the south seceded over "states' rights": the right for southern states to allow slavery. That was the be all and end all and any latter-day revisionist who says otherwise is lying (either to themselves or to the rest of us.) I wouldn't be surprised to find that this young man's (not to mention the author of the post to which I am replying) favorite film is "Birth of a Nation."

        December 7, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
      • George Purvis


        So slavery is the extent of your knowledgeabout secession. Why am I not surprised?

        How about taxes, border security, bailouts and favortism? Do any of these ring a bell?

        Never saw Birth of a Nation. Try a better snide remark

        George Purvis
        Southern Heriatge Advancement Preservation and Education

        December 7, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • lunchbreaker

      A flag that sybolizes the division of America into 2 countries is not an American flag.

      December 7, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
      • George Purvis

        Well that is sorta true. The Confederacy was a separate country - LEGALLY FORMED!!!!

        George Purvis
        Southern Heritage Preservation and Education

        December 7, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
      • lunchbreaker

        By that logic it would appear you would support the formation of a palastinian state. I know this is off topic and not the same situation, just curious.

        December 7, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
      • George Purvis

        Tell me why you think the Palastinian don't desrve a place to live. Do you approve of the way the United States treated the Indians???

        George Purvis
        Southern Heriatge Advancement Preservation and Education

        December 7, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
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