Confederate Flag outside the South

I grew up in the American South. I’m glad the Union won. I personally dislike the symbolism of the Confederate battle flag for it’s connotations of racism, redneckery and good-ol’-boy-ism, although I can understand why other people in the south might revere it as a symbol of a gallant lost cause. I have no beef with Joe-Bob in Lizard Lick having it on his truck, and the Duke boy’s General Lee was an awful cool car.

However, on occasion I see the Stars and Bars on a license plate up here in the Great White North, and I’m pretty sure it’s a local Canadian’s car, not another immigrant, and I find it gets right up my nose, while the exact same thing would be almost unnoticed were I down south. I don’t know if it’s an issue of the Canadian being a poser, a wanna-be southerner, or just that such a complex symbol is reduced to a license plate by someone who doesn’t know what they’re saying, or do I simply think they haven’t the right to it. I don’t know.

I know that I wouldn’t drive around with anFLQ license plate if I weren’t from Quebec. That said, there are a hell of a lot of Tibetan flags in Southern California that never bothered me much.


*Just to prove my southern chops, I should mention that despite living in Soviet Canuckistan, I’ve taught my children to consume Cola and Peanuts in the only appropriate fashion, and the plural of you is y’all, as it should be.

Y’all are weird down South. I had no idea what this meant, so I Googled, and found apparently people down there put peanuts in their soda? Okay then!

Well of course. This “you” being the plural of “you” business is just silly.

Anyway, regarding the thread topic, actually, the Tibetan flags in every hipster neighborhood around the country irritates me. You don’t give a shit about Tibet, douche, and I know this because the only thing you have actually done in your entire life regarding Tibet/China was purchase that flag for $10 at some street festival, whose proceeds went to some charity you may or may not support, but didn’t really ask because you figured you got your awareness cred simply by attending.

Confederate flags irritate me whenever I see them, except on “The Dukes of Hazzard.”

That’s not the Stars and Bars.

This is.

I’m baffled by the display of a Confederate flag bumper sticker in Canada. Does this really happen with noticeable frequency?

Could they be advertising a panel discussion on the Confederacy?

Sorry, you’re correct. I wasn’t thinking. I should have said ‘Battle Flag’ or just ‘Confederate Flag’.

Reported - Mods, please fix if you’ve a mind to.

It’s a really common error. Stars and Bars is just more memorable and easier to say than Confederate Battle Flag.

You sometimes see them in places like northern New England too which is rural but very much not the the South. I think some people just like the way it looks or are trying to some type of statement with Confederate flags. It is kind of odd.

[Mod mod]Changed “Stars and Bars” to “Confederate flag” in title.[/Mod mod]

I once saw a Confederate battle flag on a pickup truck in Moscow. Wasn’t very shocking, as Russia isn’t known for its racial tolerance. Photo here. (Warning: truck also has profanity written on it).

While hiking in Yunnan, China, I met a Kiwi with a very noticeable “Free Tibet” patch on his backpack. I wonder what reactions he’s received from the Chinese.

That’s really, really weird. Maybe some confederate types fled to Canada rather than live under a Reconstruction government, and their kids’ kids are into it, or something.

Apropos of a little, I once saw a Confederate flag license plate on a purple Honda Civic. That’s weird.

I see the requisite nitpick has been registered.

Otherwise, meh. I imagine you’ve seen flags of many nationalities and causes, but this one has just stuck out for you because of your associations. People might display them for any number of reasons.

I like and tend to notice flags generally, so besides those you mention, I know I’ve seen as vehicle decals (here in the South) all the other Confederate variants, several of the more distinctive state flags, Union Jacks, Welsh and Scottish flags, Irish tricolors, Irish harp flags, the Dannebrog and its Swedish and Finnish variants, colors of Israel, Palestine, India, Jamaica, Cuba, the Dominican, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, South Korea, and at least one Basque emblem. Probably a bunch more I’m not recalling at the moment. I’ve seen a Sri Lankan flag sticker on a car, but I don’t remember where that was. A couple times I’ve seen Rising Sun flags on vehicles driven by people who were assuredly not Japanese; let me know what that’s supposed to mean.

Confederate flag = rebel in many people’s minds. When I see a confederate flag I think the same thing as when I see the image of Che’ Guevara. Somebody wants to picture themselves as radical or outside the mainstream but hasn’t done enough reading to understand the symbol completely.

Thanks, oh Chicken of Bristol.

Sure, but most of odd flags have some association for the driver, even if it’s just ‘I’ve been to Wales’. Nobody living has been to the CSA. The Rising Sun decal may be more of a parallel.

For many people, the rectangular Confederate saltire just represents “the South.” It’s not necessarily about history at all. (IME, it’s the other, less-common Confederate variants that tend to indicate historical/political positions.)

You should try the Cola and Peanuts thing. Take a swig first to make room, cause it’s gonna foam up.

As a black person, you’ve got a certain moral high ground on this issue, and can reasonably speak pointedly to anyone with a Confederate flag - it’s probably good that you give the Dukes a pass, since they’re fictional and all.

I’m caucasian-to-pasty and although I have no known connection with slave owners, I have a more difficult time countering a similarly pale person who claims, as some posters above do, that the flag is merely about the south and southern culture. I’m also not as dyed in the wool southerner as some - my people are from elsewhere.

More to the point, I think anybody in the US, and especially in the South, with a flag like that has probably at least slightly considered the issue and made their decision, knowing that people like me are more likely to have our own interpretation of their choice to display this symbol regardless of their interpretation and intent. Someone in Canada, however, especially in the extremes of Canada, far from access to the US kinda comes across as ‘don’t know, don’t care’, which I think is what chaps my ass.

Sure, but that would suggest that somebody from Canada goes to Gobbler’s Crossing and wants to remember it, and chooses something as a memento that will piss off a fair few people.

Keep in mind, I’m not picking a fight with Bo and Luke having the Confederate Flag on their car. It’s more that it irritates me that someone with no connection to either camp and no clue is driving around with this…symbol. If you’re (not you, spark240) a neo-Nazi and you wear a swastika, fine, I loathe you, but I get it. If you’re a Jain or you collect Navajo artifacts, fine, I get it. If you’re Prince Harry, I think you should have done some homework, or at least asked Grandma about it.

Pfff. That’s pure punk provocation, Sid Vicious had already done it 25 years earlier.

Of course if Prince Harry had dressed in Mao or Che Guevara attire, no one would have batted an eye. He would even have been lauded for it :rolleyes:

Are you sure it was the Conferate Flag and not the British Union Jack?

Yeah, my friend from Western MA said that they’re not hard to find in gas stations and the like in rural areas up there, and according to him there seems to be a particular concentration of flag-stickered vehicles right around the Canadian border in northern Vermont. His best guess as to why people in New England like the Stars n’ Bars so much is that to some people it just connotates “rebel” and has nothing really to do with someone liking the old Confederacy or even the Southern U.S.

I live in NC (where Lizard Lick is, lol), and around here it IS mostly the Joe Bobs and other such good ole’ boys who stick the thing on their trucks, hats, t-shirts, etc. I don’t think they’re “rebels” in the same sense that the people in New England are; I think it’s more of an “I’m from the South, I’m proud of it, so deal with it” sort of thing (on-the-record they’ll explain it as “I’m honoring the history of the South, and this is one of our symbols”). There are a lot of people here who do find the Stars n’ Bars offensive, however.

Yup. There are lots of Union Jacks in Canada, at pretty much every government building, and as I said, I grew up in the south.

Here’s a picture of the Confederation Building in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada, which despite the name is a Canadian government building. Note the Union Jack.

I imagine he knows what the Union Jack looks like. It’s not exactly an obscure symbol.

ETA: simulposty goodness.