“My hope is that by removing a symbol that divides us, we can move forward as a state in harmony,” Governor Nikki Haley, R-S.C., said
Monday, in the aftermath of racist Dylann Storm Roof’s terrorist massacre.
This rising Republican star is correct to lower the Confederate flag. It has reflected Democrat racial oppression since it was stitched together in 1861, and has been hoisted by Democrats ever since. Just as Republicans — led by President Abraham Lincoln — valiantly crushed the Democrat-run Confederacy, Republicans proudly should banish the Stars and Bars to private property and history museums. They also should remind Americans that Democrats waved this frightful banner until very recently.
As the Civil War began, eventual Democrat activist
Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia adopted the battle flag under contention today. Four years later, the flag was in tatters. The North beat the South, and the Confederacy was gone with the wind.
How did this symbol of a pro-slavery breakaway republic wind up atop South Carolina’s state capitol? As the debate raged over civil rights in 1961, the Democrat legislature under then-Governor Ernest “Fritz” Hollings, a Democrat, raised the Stars and Bars to mark the “Confederate War Centennial.”
About that time, Hollings presented a Confederate flag to then-President John F. Kennedy, another Democrat. Of course, Democrat U.S. senators such as former KKK Grand Cyclops Robert Byrd of West Virginia, Tennessee’s Albert Gore, Sr. (father of you know who), and Arkansas’ J. William Fulbright (Bill Clinton’s mentor) stood shoulder to shoulder with Hollings and other segregationist Democrat governors, such as Arkansas’ Orval Faubus and Alabama’s George Wallace.
the rebel flag over his statehouse in 1963, the day before then-Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy arrived to discuss integration. While Byrd and Company filibustered the Civil Rights Act of 1964, these state executives blocked school house doors to exclude blacks.
Illinois’ Republican senator Everett Dirksen finally broke the bigoted Democrats’ filibuster and got the Civil Rights Act approved for Democrat President Lyndon Johnson’s signature.
As a Democratic governor, Bill Clinton signed
Act 116 in 1987, concerning his state banner. It read: “The blue star above the word ‘Arkansas’ is to commemorate the Confederate States of America.”
When Bill ran for president, some of his political paraphernalia featured Confederate flags. So did some Hillary 2008 presidential campaign buttons.
Former Gov. Howard Dean, D–Vt., told the Democratic National Committee in 2003, “White folks in the South who drive pickup trucks with Confederate flag decals on the back ought to be voting with us.” Two years later, he was elected Democratic national chairman.
Meanwhile, back in South Carolina, Democrat gubernatorial nominee candidate Jim Hodges huddled
in May 1998 with the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens. “Hodges got right to the point,” reported
The State newspaper. “He said that, as governor, he would not initiate any action to bring the banner down.” Hodges won.
Two years later, the state legislature passed and Hodges signed a proposal first offered by his GOP predecessor, David Beasley. The Confederate banner was removed from the capitol dome and flown beside a Confederate memorial on the legislature’s lawn.
So, now, Republican Haley has united Republicans and Democrats, both black and white, to finish what Republican Beasley began and reverse the insult started under Democrat Hollings. Bravo!
The left insists that Americans recognize racism today and acknowledge its stain on our history. We already do this daily, from personal conversations, to national debates (Ferguson, Baltimore), motion pictures ("12 Years a Slave," "Selma"), and even Black History Month.
To that end, Democrats should stop flinging their Confederate flag onto Republicans. Instead, Democrats should concede that they invented this intimidating standard and deployed it for more than a century to keep blacks down.
Knock-kneed Republicans should demand nothing less.
Deroy Murdock is a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace at Stanford University. Read more reports from Deroy Murdock — Click Here Now.
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