The Sons of Confederate Veterans are building a huge monument to their “confederate heritage” in Orange, Texas, a monument that will include at least 26 Confederate battle flags. Because it’s about honoring history, blah blah blah, nothing to do with slavery, blah blah blah.
But the Texas SCV is not only fighting against the disappearance of Confederate symbolism, they are behind the construction of what is likely the largest Confederate memorial built in a century—a multi-ton shrine nearing completion in an east Texas town near the Louisiana border. For the SCV, this battle is not just about protecting a Confederate heritage, it’s about resurrecting it, restoring that heritage so that they will continue to have something to protect…
“People don’t realize the true history of the South,” [Texas SCV leader] Toungate calmly said as he spooned the ground beans into a coffeemaker. “It’s really a crying shame.”
We sat down at his kitchen table, which was covered with maps of Israel. In January 2016, Toungate took a 12-day trip to the nation and was “re-baptized in the Jordan River,” he said. Toungate says that he faithfully listens to sermons on CD from Endtime Ministries, a Plano-based ministry that preaches that Armageddon is nigh…
“I had five grandfathers who fought for the Confederacy, and they were religious people who didn’t treat black people badly,” Toungate said, earnestly, his Southern drawl growing thicker as he spoke. “They were fighting for states’ rights, not slavery.” According to Toungate, before secession, the federal government mistreated Southern states by issuing unfair tariffs. “Thirty thousand blacks fought for the Confederacy because they loved their masters,” Toungate argued, offering the fact as proof that “slavery could not have caused the war.”
This is just such a dumb argument. They were fighting for the state’s right to do what? Continue to enslave black people. The Texas declaration of secession makes that absolutely clear:
Texas abandoned her separate national existence and consented to become one of the Confederated Union to promote her welfare, insure domestic tranquility and secure more substantially the blessings of peace and liberty to her people. She was received into the confederacy with her own constitution, under the guarantee of the federal constitution and the compact of annexation, that she should enjoy these blessings. She was received as a commonwealth holding, maintaining and protecting the institution known as negro slavery– the servitude of the African to the white race within her limits– a relation that had existed from the first settlement of her wilderness by the white race, and which her people intended should exist in all future time. Her institutions and geographical position established the strongest ties between her and other slave-holding States of the confederacy. Those ties have been strengthened by association. But what has been the course of the government of the United States, and of the people and authorities of the non-slave-holding States, since our connection with them?The controlling majority of the Federal Government, under various pretences and disguises, has so administered the same as to exclude the citizens of the Southern States, unless under odious and unconstitutional restrictions, from all the immense territory owned in common by all the States on the Pacific Ocean, for the avowed purpose of acquiring sufficient power in the common government to use it as a means of destroying the institutions of Texas and her sister slaveholding States.
By the disloyalty of the Northern States and their citizens and the imbecility of the Federal Government, infamous combinations of incendiaries and outlaws have been permitted in those States and the common territory of Kansas to trample upon the federal laws, to war upon the lives and property of Southern citizens in that territory, and finally, by violence and mob law, to usurp the possession of the same as exclusively the property of the Northern States…
In all the non-slave-holding States, in violation of that good faith and comity which should exist between entirely distinct nations, the people have formed themselves into a great sectional party, now strong enough in numbers to control the affairs of each of those States, based upon an unnatural feeling of hostility to these Southern States and their beneficent and patriarchal system of African slavery, proclaiming the debasing doctrine of equality of all men, irrespective of race or color– a doctrine at war with nature, in opposition to the experience of mankind, and in violation of the plainest revelations of Divine Law. They demand the abolition of negro slavery throughout the confederacy, the recognition of political equality between the white and negro races, and avow their determination to press on their crusade against us, so long as a negro slave remains in these States.
It was all about slavery, which they firmly believed was divinely sanctioned (and they were right, if the Bible is to be believed). The Confederate battle flag is the flag of those states that went to war to protect their right to own black people, plain and simple. Anyone who claims otherwise is lying.