## Wednesday, June 24, 2015 ... /////

### Confederate flag has at least the same right to fly as Quran

In Germany and Czechia, among other countries, the sale of the Nazi symbols (and the promotion of these ideas) is regulated by the law and nearly banned. The regime has done terrible things, including the murder of 6 million Jews in a plan that was meant to be the "final solution".

The ideology and the people behind the regime got to power by using the excessive tolerance of the democratic system, its toothlessness, and the ban was introduced as a common-sense preventive measure that arguably decreases the probability that a similarly bad evolution is repeated in the future.

The anthem is at least as good as the U.S. anthem.

Americans have often told me that the ban meant that we, the Central Europeans, don't have any respect for the freedom of expression. A ban like this would never take place in the U.S., I was often told, because it's up to the free Americans to choose what they believe. They are treated as the adults and so on.

Except that a much more innocent symbol, the flag of the Condederate States of America, is in the process of being banned in the U.S. The president claims that it only belongs to the museum. Hillary Clinton says that the symbol has no place in the U.S., not even in the museums. She says so despite the fact that she and her husband were rumored to have been closet fans of the Confederacy.

Tons of leftists shout that the symbol has to be burned, torn down, it is anti-American, and it is nothing else than a symbol of racism and hatred. A problem is that this description is just a lie. The flag was a flag of a nascent country whose citizens were people analogous to citizens of many other countries, including the Union. They had their favorite foods, rivers and other places, prayers, songs, politicians, and so on, and so on. And it was a country that was located on the same American continent as the U.S. and used the word "America" in the same proportion of its country name as the U.S. did (and does).

They preferred a different scheme for incorporating the blacks into the society. Needless to say, this setup is being demonized all the time – the history is being constantly rewritten. I am not quite certain about the answer but the slaves could have very well been happier in average than the average blacks are in the contemporary America. The Confederacy's arrangement wasn't supported by the Union (and other countries of the mid 19th century) – and by the mainstream parties in the contemporary U.S. – but that doesn't mean that the arrangement was "impossible" or "breathtakingly inhuman".

Most slaveowners' behavior towards their slaves was more or less analogous to the present white people's behavior towards their black employees. The idea that the Southerners were "instinctively" more racist than the Yankees is a silly racist superstition by itself. The Southerners were basically the same people as the Yankees! They had just chosen a different system. I think that slavery isn't a good system but I also think that it's irrational to demonize it as if it were the end of the world or hell on Earth. The Confederacy could have won the Civil War, too.

Two days ago, a poll showed that one-fifth of Americans still supported the public display of the Confederate Flag (raw data). In other words, there are about 70 million U.S. citizens who may be classified as fans of the flag.

This number is greater than the number of blacks, not to mention other groups. You can't make these people suddenly disappear. You can't strip them of their basic rights and freedoms, either.

The Union has won the American Civil War but the Southerners haven't been exterminated. They became citizens of the United States of America. Whether you like it or not, the result of the war has only determined the shape of the maps plus the form of the constitution(s) valid on the territories. The result of the war hasn't replaced the population. For this reason, the U.S. as we know it today is inevitably a mixture of the Union from the 1860s as well as the Confederacy of the 1860s. Internally, the U.S. of 2015 is simply not the same thing as the Union. From the top-down or external perspective, the U.S. is "the same thing" as the Union, it has a continuity. But from the bottom-up or internal viewpoint, the U.S. is a juxtaposition of the Confederacy and the Union.

There exist killers – and racially motivated killers – who are fans of the Confederate Flag. But there also exist murderers who are fans of the U.S. flag and an even higher number of killers – including lots of racially and religiously motivated killers – who are fans of the Muslim symbols. You simply can't single out the confederate symbols while banning things. All the Muslims' attempts to take over the U.S. have failed as much as the confederate secession attempt.

So if you ban (or move to the museums) the confederate flag, you should probably do the same thing with the Muslim symbols and many other things. And yes, if you ask me, I do consider the Confederacy's social arrangement to be more morally acceptable than the Islamic one. Numerous ideologues claim that the confederate flag "is the same thing" as racial murders; but the same people often say that Islam "is not the same thing" as the Islamic terrorism. This combination of views is clearly hypocritical.

Incidentally, amazon.com, the world's #1 Internet store, has already banned the confederate flags. A movement clearly wants everyone to follow in Amazon's footsteps "voluntarily". However, in a country with 70 million fans of the flag, it is damn too obvious that such a de facto ban can't possibly be "voluntary". In similar situations, many supporters of similar bans in America love to suggest that it's not them but the free market that has banned things. Sorry but the free market can't ever ban products.

Also, I assure you that you may buy this symbol freely in the Czech Republic.