I was watching the news reports about the a Confederate flag finally being removed from the grounds of the state house in South Carolina and they were interviewing defenders of the flag, some of whom of course insisted that the flag had nothing to do with slavery.
These people need a history lesson. Fortunately, the founders of the Confederacy wrote a Constitution in which they codified exactly what they were fighting for:
Article I, section 9, paragraph 4:
No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law denying or impairing the right of property in negro slaves shall be passed.And just in case that wasn't clear enough:
Article IV, secion 3, paragraph 2:
The Confederate States may acquire new territory; and Congress shall have power to legislate and provide governments for the inhabitants of all territory belonging to the Confederate States, lying without the limits of the several Sates; and may permit them, at such times, and in such manner as it may by law provide, to form States to be admitted into the Confederacy. In all such territory the institution of negro slavery, as it now exists in the Confederate States, shall be recognized and protected be Congress and by the Territorial government; and the inhabitants of the several Confederate States and Territories shall have the right to take to such Territory any slaves lawfully held by them in any of the States or Territories of the Confederate States.Of course it was about slavery! They wrote it into the fucking Constitution, for Christ's sake! They even went so far as to make it explicitly negro slavery! At least the original U.S. Constitution expressed a certain queasiness about the institution by using the term "other persons" instead of "slaves." The Confederacy could have pussy-footed around the issue just as easily, but they didn't. Why? Because that's what they were fighting for! They were proud of it!
That's the ultimate irony. All those people who insist that the flag is about "heritage" and not about hate are actually denying the very heritage they are purporting to honor. Anyone who professes to want to fly the Confederate flag in the name of Southern heritage needs to read those passages from the Constitution of the Confederate States and let the words "negro slave" sear themselves into their soul. Maybe the only way to heal the still-festering wounds of the Civil War is to cauterize them.