by The Daily Republic
April 26, 2013 at 1:38 am in The Daily Republic
All of America’s veterans should feel welcomed at VA facilities, and that makes a display of confederate flags inappropriate, said Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D.
Tags: confederate flag, Congress, Hot Springs, kristi noem, Military, racism, state, updates, VA, veterans 21 Comments »
Asked a simple question Ms. Noem gives a politician’s answer.
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I rarely agree with anything that Rep. Noem says. In this case I don’t know what else there was to say. She is correct in stating that it is a divisive issue because of what ‘some’ folks believe.
I looked up the history and this is what it said. ” it is a flag of honor, designed by the confederacy as a banner representing state’s rights and still revered by the South. In fact, under attack, it still flies over the South Carolina capitol building.”
I do realize that many, especially ‘Blacks’ think of it as symbolic of the slavery times. The same gut reaction comes from the swastika flag taken by the Nazi’s of Germany. Until the Nazis used this symbol, the swastika was used by many cultures throughout the past 3,000 years to represent life, sun, power, strength, and good luck.
The question becomes that in a nation such as ours that professes to be aligned with freedom of expression, knowledge breeds strength, the rights for each and all our citizens from the far north of Alaska with the culture of Eskimos to the far south of Florida……Hispanics and the mix of different cultures including the pride of our southern states, how far do we take this? IMO this issue is not all that clear……..and do I dare say ‘black or white.’ Our nation has become too politically correct to the point of erasing our character of history.
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“I do realize that many, especially ‘Blacks’ think of it as symbolic of the slavery times. The same gut reaction comes from the swastika flag taken by the Nazi’s of Germany. Until the Nazis used this symbol, the swastika was used by many cultures throughout the past 3,000 years to represent life, sun, power, strength, and good luck. ”
The “same gut reaction” part of your statement is what lots of folks are going to find troubling. Describing peoples’ reaction to seeing such a symbol as a “gut reaction” sort of diminishes the credibility or legitimacy of how they happen to be reacting. It’s as if their response or reaction is a reflex…rather than something they’ve taken the time to think about.
The swastika example is a good one. I don’t think its adoption by the Nazis as a symbol was accidental. Did it (still) represent life, sun, power, strength, and good luck? I suppose it did….depending VERY much on who you happened to be, of course.
A quote from elsewhere on the web, from one of the many sites dealing with the topic:
“While the Confederate flag may not be intrinsically racist, it represents the entirety of southern history, much of which was racist.”
I’d think that things like that would be apparent to defenders of its display. But then again, maybe not.
At any rate, every time an issue like this comes up, I wonder what ISN’T getting done by elected officials when they’re spending time on stuff like this….
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Freedom of expression is fine, but what does the showing of the flag express? The South seceded to continue a way of life that the rest of the western world outlawed. This is a point of pride? Apparently it is because the flags didn’t fly over state capitals until the Civil Rights movement in the 60′s. The South has to let it go. You talk about freedom of expression as a reason to fly the flag yet the expression the flag represents is to deny others freedom……just as the swastika has come to represent the Nazis.
It is a black and white issue……and Noem should have known that and taken a stand.
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In our civil war it was family against family, brother against brother, neighbors against neighbors. The confederate flag to a certain degree honors the losing side. The brothers, neighbors and families who died fighting an ill-conceived but heartfelt cause which was about more than slave ownership. It does not necessarily pay respect to the idea of slave ownership but rather (at least in part) to the thousands of our own countrymen who died in that terrible strife.
It only seems to be a “black and white” issue to those far removed from the complicated dynamics of that war and those without ancestry that may have fought and died on both sides.
Noem is astute enough to realize that.
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I understand the point of honoring the fallen from the south but why can’t they be honored with the U.S. flag? Since the Nazi comparison was made I’m going to guess that the Nazi flag does not fly over their cemeteries or flies at their VA hospitals. Why? They lost and they don’t want to be reminded of that time or their place in world history. Why honor the South? You can say what you want about the political/economic reasons for the war but the fact is the southern states no longer wanted to belong to the U.S. and THEY started the war and last and the U.S welcomed them back to the fold so therefore they are honored under the U.S flag.
It is a polarizing issue because the south STILL teaches a revisionist history about the war and the scars of racism run deep there.
I fail to see Noem being astute on anything other then acting like a politician but to be fair I would hard pressed to agree with anything she does.
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Disagree with Noem because she represents an ideology different from your own? That I understand. That’s a difference of opinion. Disagree with her because she talks like a politician? Gives a politician’s answer? Now I’m confused.
Here’s a newsflash. Not getting a straight answer from a politician is not a criticism of one side or the other. It’s a criticism of politicians in general. It’s what they do. Both sides. It’s a skill they develop purposely. It makes them better politicians.
Unless of course your saying Noem is the only one that does that? Or only Republicans do that?
Gives a “politicians answer”? Hello. She’s a politician.
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Don Corleonne : Right or wrong I was writing only on the opinion of others regarding the flag. There is a difference of opinion and there lies the conflict. The north may have won the war, but certain folks mostly in the south regard the actions of the confederacy in honor. Thus all the monuments one sees there. Nothing different today with the divisiveness in our own congress. One side won the election but the other side continues to battle the outcome and cause conflict. Each side believe they are right.
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But only 1 is
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Don Corleonne said: “But only 1 is”
And isn’t that the point of this article and comments? It depends on what side of the fence you are on that is right. Each of us think we are correct and continue to defend that thought. Just as the congress continues to battle each other. No one side gives into the other and the conflict continues. The Civil War has been over now for over a century and the issue continues today. Democrats won the election but the republicans think they are going in the wrong direction in spite of the will of the people demonstrated by that same election of the voters. Thus we are seeing a dysfunctional government that makes none of us happy……and nothing gets done.
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I’ll disagree with Noem (and to those writing here which believe the issue is a simple one) to this extent. I can’t for the life of me understand why that flag, symbol, memorial, etc…needs to be flying anywhere in South Dakota.
Although it goes nicely against the backdrop of white granite faces carved in a mountain top which was sacred to a defeated race of people who were the target of the U.S. Government’s attempt at systematic genocide. Now there’s a memorial.
I guess perspective matters.
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Red……….I certainly agree with you in that the Confederate flag flying in South Dakota in an official sense wherever is inappropriate. Even on federal land within the state. It was my thought that this topic was Noem’s opinion about the flag in general being flown anywhere. In the south I would say state’s rights and those in that state should decide.
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John, the article clearly limits the Senator’s comments to the VA Hospital. It doesn’t contain any quotes suggesting that she is expressing an opinion regarding other locations within or outside of South Dakota. Addressing your question of when will political correctness go too far, implicit within this article is the fact that the flag was being flown at a government facility. There is a difference between private citizens flying a Confederate flag and flying a Confederate flag at a government facility.
OK since it is a government facility, one could make a case that it is unconstitutional because it violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
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The only way a case could be made for a Title VII cause of action would be “hostile workplace environment”. Those offended would usually would be required to lodge an administrative complaint first that has been ignored by management and the continuing offensive behavior allowed to continue despite the complaint. Also the offensive behavior would have to meet the “severe and pervasive” threshold enunciated by the SCOTUS.
As a legal theory your comment is far reaching at best.
To be clear the article is actually referring to a display inside. I guess. Presumably in the hallway or lobby area? An historic display of memorabilia commemorating wars or battles or some such.
I missed that on my first read. Very important distinction. I now am of the opinion that those who complained were probably being hypersensitive and that a display of the confederate flag in that setting, behind glass and not flying, is not necessarily inappropriate. Noem says “inappropriate” I disagree but it’s such a trifling issue I can’t believe I’m still typing here.
I swear I heard that the real estate industry is no longer using the term “master bedroom” but nobody seems to care that they still bring me “white” rice at the Chinese place where I go for lunch and then the waitress has the unmitigated gall to ask me if I want “crackers” with my soup. Please. When will it stop?
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You’re right, it does say a “historical setting”. I don’t know what that means but given that….sigh…I take back my remarks about Noem.
I would have been right if it wasn’t for those darn….
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Even if the story was “flags on a pole” your remarks were trite. Noem said she thought the display was inappropriate. She also added the only flag she supports flying is the American flag. What’s unclear about that?
I’m still waiting for you to give me the names of some politicians in the Democratic Party that don’t “talk like politicians” or “give a politicians answer” which was your original criticism of Noem. In fact, tell you what, just give me one name.
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If the flags were on a pole then my legal argument would be correct or why take them down? To put them back up when the patients leave is hypocritical at best. If she only supports the American flag and finds it inappropriate then say take it down and leave it down…..either believe what you say, or don’t but like you said…she’s a politician so why should I expect anything else. I’ll tell you why…because she plays the “little old country girl” bit to the hilt but when you get down to it she is no different then, oh, let’s say Daschle who only happened to be the #3 most powerful person in the U.S. but we had to get rid of him because he “wasn’t one of us” anymore. Never mind the good he could have done for SD.
Haven’t we established it’s a moot point anyway?
Here’s another name…Elizabeth Warren
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I was looking for facts not opinion. Nice try though sonny boy.
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