Confederates by the Boatload

I’ll let the following photos generally speak for themselves. I wanted to share them, mostly, so I could use the phrase “Confederates by the boatload.”

Boatload of Flaggers

They’re not actually Confederates, of course, but rather pro-Southern Heritage activists who came in by the boatload and floated a few yards offshore while a group of their comrades occupied the tip of Charleston’s battery–easily the city’s most visible tourist spot. My wife and two sons and I came across them one recent Saturday while we were out for a morning walk.

Flaggers @ the Battery

The boat floated out of the frame of the photo to the left. Out of the frame of the photo to the right, the Confederate Defenders of Charleston monument looks out across the harbor toward Fort Sumter.

As we got closer to the group, we noticed not only activists with their flags but also a collection of local militia, outfitted in fatigues, bulletproof vests, and utility belts that would’ve made Batman jealous. I did not see that anyone was armed. There was also an African-American woman dressed as a slave passing out literature and answering questions from passers-by, although I don’t know if she was with the group or not.

Confederate flags @ the Battery

I’m interested in your thoughts, if you have any to share.

15 Responses to Confederates by the Boatload

  1. it’s unfortunate in many aspects that our nations history has come to these crossroads. Where divisiveness has self perpetuated itself into alot of yelling, waving of signs, flags and rhetoric that is mostly not constructive towards gaining any support for or against either side of “the flag” or confederacy argument. Undoubtedly is the irony that much of the current divide is symbolic of the historical point of impact that brought us much of our countries 19th century’s turmoil. Showing up to protest or make a statement of support towards confederate monuments or “heritage” outfitted in military attire, kevlar vests, etc, does nothing to garner further understanding or serious legitimacy for a groups cause. Neither does vandalizing current monuments or even totally removing them from public settings necessarily the right course of action either. Maybe one day both sides can stop yelling and demanding long enough, to understand the others views. Only then can we all perhaps be able to continue to take in our nations historical landmarks and learn from them while considering all cultural and social perspectives. A return to civility and respect for each other seems like a bridge too far these days.
    I thoroughly enjoy ECW, all the contributors works and the content, both federal and confederate. ECW has provided another gateway for me to indulge and continuing learning civil war history. Thank You.
    Fredericksburg, Va
    (A decedent, Virginia 19th Infantry Regiment)

  2. Finally, a voice of reason and intelligence!!! Well said DC from Fredericksburg, where I will visit in November!!

    1. Enjoy the changing autumn colors while taking in the richness of history. Many things to do and see. Wishing you a safe and enjoyable trip

      1. Thanks!! I plan to photo all the Parks — Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Wilderness, Spotsylvania — maybe Manassas either coming or going — suggestions?

  3. ECW

    Personally, this reminds me of how many of the illegals in California who want to be respected and “make their point”, while they marched in the streets. I thought to myself, “They better be waving American flags”. What was their objective, marching in the California streets while being proud of being illegal, make people angry, or get their citizenship and be treated as an equal? They in fact were smart enough to be waving American flags and not Mexican flags or where ever they were from, in some foreign country.

    In this case these are Americans waving a flag, not only of a foreign country, but a country who’s citizens aimed and fired at soldiers who fought for the United States of America. Most people of America today either had relatives who fought for the North or weren’t here during the American Civil War at all.

    These people waving a flag from over 150 years ago and “going on” look like, in the eyes of most, fools. The people of the South have much to be proud of, and Im glad they are part of the United States today. The American Civil War is but “one chapter” in the history of the United States.

    These people in these pictures seem to be stuck in their own version of “Groundhogs Day”. The American Civil War is fascinating to study. I enjoy visiting the battlefields and reading some of the books, but I don’t wander around waving United States flags of Union troops from 1865, at least not much. 🙂

    Robert Earl Groeling

  4. Those who supposedly want to honor Southern (Confederate) heritage don’t actually know their own heritage. They have fallen for the Gone-With-the-Wind fantasy.

    Here are the facts about antebellum Southern heritage: The average white family was illiterate and dirt poor. The South had no public school systems. There was not even trickle down economics. Millionaire slave masters hoarded the region’s vast wealth exclusively for themselves. Besides being cruel and immoral, slavery artificially depressed incomes for free whites. Because of over-farming, much of the land in the Old South was useless for raising crops.

    Because of ridiculously strict voting regulations, hundreds of thousands of white Southern men couldn’t vote. (Only with Reconstruction were these restrictions loosened to allow poor white men – as well as blacks – to vote.) Gerrymandering guaranteed rich property owners in the piedmont and low country regions of the Old South were over-represented in state legislatures.

    Slave masters and other leaders conned the average white Southerner into accepting this unfair social, educational and economic system by raising the specter of racism. We must keep the current system in place or face roving gangs of blacks raping our women, kidnapping our children and stealing our property, these demagogues successfully argued.

    And this is the heritage that these historically challenged activists want to honor? Give me a break.

  5. Alabama began its statewide public school system in 1850. Jabez Curry was a national leader in free public education. He was from Talladega, Alabama and later fought in the CSA Army. He helped establish what is known today at Alabama State University- an historically black college- for former slaves and freedman after the War.

  6. Symbols, by their nature, have the value that we impart to them. Obviously, different people in separate times and places can look at the same image and see different things. So, for some, a Confederate battle flag is, and may always be, a sign of independence, defiance against others telling them what to do, how to think, and how to live. For others, it will be a symbol of treason, oppression, and racism. Both can be correct, but neither captures reality in its entirety. So long as we refuse to see the meaning that others impart to the symbol, we are forever consigned to culture wars and talking past one another.

    It’s a shame that the study of history has been caught up in those 21st century cultural debates. The latter threaten to pollute honest attempts to understand how 19th century Americans on both sides, viewed themselves, defined their purposes, and thought about “the other.” One hopes that the study of history can help us comprehend those things and perhaps find those threads of the American story that we have in common and make us Americans.

    Sadly, I’m not optimistic.

  7. I agree with Eric ‘ s statement whole heartily. so ill not dwell on repeating it .
    Again i disagree with Mr Ruth and his anti southern views on every thing. So I guess Bob the North had nothing to do with this and is as pure and innocent as the snow . You sir need to read your history looking from both sides. Pres. Eisenhower {a great American and soldier } declared Confederate soldiers as American veterans any disgrace to them is a disgrace to all American veterans ., Which i am ,Are you Bob?.

  8. I would say that it is their right to do so…to honor their ancestors. It’s a damn sight better than seeing the communist ANTIFA flag flying and those who adhere to such communistic philosophies attacking people how disagree.

  9. The Flag means History and Heritage. I have great great grandfathers who fought on both sides. I am more in touch with my Texas/Southern side as I grew up in Texas and my Texas heritage is pre War of Northern Aggression/Civil War. With that said leave my heritage and history alone so that we may learn from the lessons of the past, least we repeat it with greater evil and darkness. Deo Vindice.

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