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Thread: RE: Was the Confederate flag been flown at Gilwell ?

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    Senior Member Walsallwizard's Avatar
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    RE: Was the Confederate flag been flown at Gilwell ?

    Hi Wayne

    I have just seen the ITV coverage of our the Cub scout celebratory camp (possibly at Gilwell), Bear was filmed in front of a display of Union flags, the Stars and Strips and what appeared to be the Flag of the Slaver States of the Confederacy was this flag actually been flown ?

    If so does the person who authorised it understand that the flag is highly political in the USA and the slavery it stands for is contrary to any concept of Scouting values ?
    Consider this the UK supported slavery, so did France, Spain and other countries should our flags never be flown?

    The Confederate Flag did not solely represent slavery or those supporting it, it represented all of it's peoples. Just like our flag represents us or perhaps we should hang our heads in perpetual shame because our forefathers made what we consider now to be wrong and immoral decisions? Lets get rid of the Union flag because of our history, the forced immigration of children to Australia, the Crusades, etc..

    Or why not be accepting of our history, learn from it and understand the mistakes people made and vow not to make them again
    Richard Fenton
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    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    One has to remember that Lincoln was not an advocate of emancipation. He only freed slaves when the Union was at risk of losing the war.

    We do need to be accepting of our history, not apologetic, but that sometimes means we need to think of how others see us today based on our past...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walsallwizard View Post
    The Confederate Flag did not solely represent slavery or those supporting it, it represented all of it's peoples.
    Are you contending that the battle flag of the slaver confederacy represented the slaves ?

    If you think this is purely a historical irrelevance just goggle confederate flag and check if it is a live political issue.

    Perhaps if we didn't honour the flag of the white supremacists (which is how most African Americans and many Black Britons regard that flag) then may be we wouldn't have to waste quite so much valuable air time denying we are a white middle class movement.


    Are there exemptions to Godwin's Law when discussing racist regimes and their symbols ?
    Last edited by Tony Ransley; 30-05-2016 at 02:17 PM. Reason: double negative

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    I rather suspect this is a fine example of why its important to not give or take offence.

    There are still people in Scotland who are offended by the Union Flag and will let their feeling be known in no uncertain terms if one flutters its way through their village - and there are those who may have these thoughts but choose not to express them.

    That being said, this thread could be entertaining...


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    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Ransley View Post
    Are you contending that the battle flag of the slaver confederacy represented the slaves ?
    It did, insofar as at the start of the US Civil war the Union Flag also represented the slaves under the control of its slave owners. The Civil War was not solely about emancipation but about (how unusual) commerce and taxes as much as how to deal with slavery.

    However, I would agree, it is a tad insensitive to fly Old Dixie - I didn't even see it flown or worn, or sold, anywhere in New Orleans last month...but then, I wasn't looking for it.
    Ewan Scott

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    Very Old Member BigBadBaloo's Avatar
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    Just to put this into context, I believe Tony is voicing concern about the flag being flown at Cubjam
    Peter

    Former CSL - 2nd Bracknell


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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBadBaloo View Post
    Just to put this into context, I believe Tony is voicing concern about the flag being flown at Cubjam
    Right. That does offer a degree of context.

    We did a cowboy themed wide game a few years ago, I don't remember if we had flags - I'm thinking not... I know we made cacti, ummm, cactuses, mmm, cactus'? (wotevs) - out of old carpets tubes we raided from the local Carpet Warehouse.

    I don't think anyone was offended.

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    a quiver full of barbs merryweather's Avatar
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    i suspect that the flag you're all talking about is described as: rectangular with a navy blue saltire with white outline emblazoned with 13 white five-pointed stars on a red background, yes?

    that was not the official flag of the confederate states of america.

    there were 3 national confederate flags. the first, termed 'the stars and bars', was 3 horizontal bars, red-white-red, with a blue square canton containing 13 white five-pointed stars. the second was termed 'the stain-less banner' and comprised a white rectangle (no red and white bars now) with a square canton containing a white outlined blue saltire containing 13 white five-pointed stars on a red background. the third, termed the blood-stained banner, was similar to the second but had an added red vertical stripe on the right of the white rectangle.

    the first major engagement of the american civil war took place not far from washington DC near manassas, july 21 1861. the yankee north called it the first battle of bull run (named for the creek that ran through the battlefield), while the confederates called it first manassas (after the nearby strategic railway junction called manassas junction). a principal feature of the battle was the confusion that reigned on both sides. regiments carried flags so that commanders could visually see the deployment of their forces. however, the confederate stars and bars and the yankee stars and stripes were easily confused, especially at a distance and when there was little wind and flags were limp. furthermore, regiments from different companies in different states also had their regimental flags which added to the confusion. it also didn't help that the two opposing armies were largely a bunch of amateurs and that the engagement was taken light-heartedly by the aristocrats of washington who came out with their ladies in all their finery to enjoy picnics while the battle was taking place (so assured was the north of victory!)

    (i visited the battlefield some years ago and can recall the place quite well: how jackson got his nickname, henry house hill, matthews hill, and the infamous stone bridge.)

    after the battle, general p g t beauregard of the confederate army of the potomac asked for the confederate flag to be changed to lessen the chance of confusion or for there to be at least two flags, one for state and one for battle. it took a little while but from this evolved the battle flag.

    later in 1861 the army of north virginia, a reorganised army of the potomac, and commanded by robert e lee, received the new the battle flag. this was a red square flag with a white-outlined navy blue saltire containing 12 five-pointed stars. (a 13th star for kentucky was added later).

    the army of north virginia's battle flag was flown at all subsequent engagements (such as at gettysburg 1-3 july 1863, another battlefield i've visited) until lee's surrender at appomattox court house 9 april 1865 (and i've been there too!)

    the battle flag became prominent post civil war when it was adopted by many confederate veterans groups. it never was the confederate flag, however, a rectangular variant is now widely recognised and called 'the confederate flag'.

    the flag was revived in the mid 20thC principally for political reasons, as an anti-federal government symbol, and to stand for southern culture and heritage. the battle flag was reintroduced as a canton in the state flag of georgia.

    today most americans are indifferent to its use, however, significant minorities, especially black americans, see it as a symbol of slavery and racism. its controversial use was not aided by it being adopted as a leading symbol by far right groups (southern dixiecrats) and the kkk when it re-emerged in the 40s and 50s.

    it is a symbol of controversy. georgia redesigned its state flag removing the battle flag from the canton and reintroducing a design similar to the stars and bars, the first confederate flag. the battle flag was flown (enshrined in law) outside the south carolina state capitol from 1961 until quite recently following the shootings in charleston, iirc. the battle flag is still to be seen in the canton of the state flag of mississippi.

    the battle flag is highly stigmatised as a racist symbol (as is the swastika because of its use in and association with nazism).

    outside of the US it's mainly seen as just another american symbol seen in popular culture. some of you oldies here will no doubt remember those fun-loving good ol' southern boys the dukes of hazzard from early 80s TV who drove around in a souped-up dodge charger emblazoned with the battle flag on its roof. US civil war history is not that well-known in the UK and elsewhere.

    would i fly it? no, to do so is disregarding the sensitivities that many hold about its symbolism.

    would i allow people in my group to fly it at camp say? no, i see no need to fly what is after all a battle flag! we're not a war with anyone!

    should it be flown? no.

    should it be banned? no.

    i would strongly encourage it not to be flown.

    TM
    Last edited by merryweather; 30-05-2016 at 05:38 PM.
    going...going...still here...just

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBadBaloo View Post
    Just to put this into context, I believe Tony is voicing concern about the flag being flown at Cubjam
    Thanks Peter

    Just to clarify the context;

    I am concerned that the Chief Scout was filmed in front of what appeared to be a large circular display of our Union flags, United States Flags alongside Battle Flags of the slaver Confederacy.

    I hope I have made clear I only got a fleeting glance and am seeking clarification that such a display existed and was located on a Scout Campsite (any confirmation on this would be appreciated from those attending events this weekend)



    I am aware that the flying the Confederate flag is highly controversial in America and its connections with white supremacist and President Obama's objection to it has been widely reported on both sides of the Atlantic. I belive our PR people should be avoiding giving either Bear's or Scouting's detractors opportunities to have a go.

    I am particularly concerned because stating that we are not only catering for White middle class young people has become a mantra from HQ prehaps if we were more aware of current issues around diversity we could avoid sending out mixed messages.
    Last edited by Tony Ransley; 30-05-2016 at 05:51 PM.

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    Very Old Member BigBadBaloo's Avatar
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    Tony, I don't think you do your argument any favours when you use such evocative language and don't address the other well made points in this thread.
    Peter

    Former CSL - 2nd Bracknell


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    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    That flag is the centre of some extreme debate in the USA. It's being taken down from statehouses and there is much unhappinesses on one side at its removal but an awful lot of people see it as a symbol of hatred. There is *still* segregation in some US school systems... (yes. Really. It came up again last week) and there is a shocking level of racism over there.

    It's a flag that should not be flown over here. It *is* a divisive symbol at best.



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    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    Also. If I saw it flying at a group event, I would insist it were taken down. Native American stuff based on hackneyed stereotypes is heap um discouraged by big chief Chris. But I don't pull rank.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBadBaloo View Post
    Tony, I don't think you do your argument any favours when you use such evocative language and don't address the other well made points in this thread.
    If you could give me some examples of what you mean Peter I will try to explain my use of langue and answer relevant points.

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    ADC (Support) & DMM mediamanager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Ransley View Post
    Are you contending that the battle flag of the slaver confederacy represented the slaves ?

    If you think this is purely a historical irrelevance just goggle confederate flag and check if it is a live political issue.
    Because we all know that Google get's everything right!
    Mark Pullen
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    West Yorkshire Scout County (ACC Cubs, Agent 2:007, County Secretary, County MM, Gang Show Secretary, Gang Show Media)
    Keighley District (ADC Cubs, ADC Beavers, DMM, Trustee)
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    All posts made by myself are of a personal nature.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mediamanager View Post
    Because we all know that Google get's everything right!
    No but if you goggle confederate flag you will see links to articles from The Telegraph and The Guardian explaining the current controversy.

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