The extensive move to remove the Confederate Flag from public and some commercial settings has raised serious concerns over both free speech and academic freedom. While the flag has been used as a racist symbol, it is also a historical symbol. According to one author, that distinction appears to have been lost by Amazon, which reportedly took done the book by Michael Dreese, a civil war author with six books on the conflict. Two of those books concern both the Union and Confederate battle flags and their roles in the Civil War. However, “This Flag Never Goes Down” (a book on the Confederate flag) was taken down by Amazon from its listed works.
The move by Amazon is reminiscent of the move by Apple to remove games, including Civil War games, featuring the flag. Apple later back pedaled on the historical products.
Dreese says that he received an email from Amazon asking him to take down the listing. He says that the book is nonfiction and does not advocate for the flag. It is a historical work.
I did find the book on the UK Amazon this morning. It is not clear if Amazon reversed the actions cited by Dreese or has not carried through on the delisting. The controversy is the subject of chatrooms on Amazon.
If the story is true (and I have no reason to doubt this author), it is a bizarre move by Amazon and captures the concern of free speech advocates and academics over the wholesale effort to remove every image of the confederacy from statue to mosaics to flags. There needs to be some recognition and tolerance for historical images and particularly academic work.
What do you think?
110 thoughts on ““This Flag Never Goes Down”: Amazon Reportedly Takes Down Historical Book On Confederate Flag Due To Confederate Flag On Cover”
@Dust Bunny Queen, The institution of slavery was a specific organizing principle for the states that ceded from the Union. Please consider The Declaration of Causes of Seceding States.
@forgotwhoiam. stupid is as stupid says and does.
@Groty, you make a very big leap to say that because there were free blacks, who were second-class citizens and not the equal of whites, the system of slavery was not white supremacist and racist. Please consider the laws regarding slavery and how these laws evolved.
You will find blacks and whites were treated differently by the law (racist) with whites retaining special privilege (white supremacist). No matter how you slice and dice it and who might have participated in it and what their color. There is no denying the system of slavery was racist and white supremacist. Color was the determining factor and white was superior. Free blacks were not the legal equal of whites. They were barred from many rights like owning guns, jury trials and testifying in court based on their color.
The Declaration of Causes of Seceding States is very clear with regard to the reasons for the war. The reason was slavery and the institution of slavery was both racist and white supremacist.
Thank you for your article. Here is a quote I found interesting: “None of this denies that the South is, in many ways, shaped by its unique history. It broke from the union over slavery, and its economy was indelibly shaped by that peculiar institution. After emancipation, it took a century of grass-roots activism and public policy to break down the legal barriers that limited Southern blacks’ economic opportunities.
The issue of the Confederate flag and other positions of honor in society for that movement and its leaders doesn’t presuppose the Northern States to be innocent. The issue is whether symbols of white supremacy and racism deserve honor in the public space.
“If my aunt had balls, she’d be my uncle.” – Anonymous
Clairvoyants claim to see the future. You claim to see the future of the past. I am suitably impressed. You are an oracle. Here’s some food for thought. I’m talking about the law. I’m talking about a nation of laws. I have never had even a fleeting concern regarding slavery. I have a need to obey the law in my DNA.
Lincoln ignored, nullified, controverted and destroyed the Preamble, Constitution and Bill of Rights. He should have been impeached, convicted and incarcerated after suspending Habeas Corpus, according to the law. African-Americans, in cities throughout the land, rail constantly about various people breaking the law, then they go down and have a picnic outside the Lincoln Memorial, to celebrate a heinous criminal.
(How bizarre is the whole criminal enterprise and its extrapolation contemporarily? 1 million Americans died and the freed slaves complain about mistreatment – not the mistreatment of their African tribal chiefs selling them to Arab slave traders who then sold them to British shippers – but mistreatment by the country that killed 1 million Americans to provide them with freedom. Take a guess about which was worse, working on a farm or being blasted into an exploding mist by a Union/Confederate Army cannon ball).
The Founders DID NOT say they wrote the Preamble, Constitution and Bill of Rights to be ignored. The American founding documents were the best man could do after monarchy. The king ruled the people. The American Founders set people free (Marx enslaved them).
To counter your immaterial speculation, I would direct your attention to the European union and regional associations globally. States will change policies to obtain all discernable benefits of an alliance. The North and the South may very well have eventually come to their senses and rebuilt the United States after slavery was ended in the CSA by boycotts and divestiture. There were 17 states that JOINED the union after the start of the Civil War, continuing until 1959. The greatest concern would have been disposition of freed slaves, citizens of no country without standing under the U.S. Constitution; deportation and compassionate repatriation being the obvious and correct solution for the benefit of the freed slaves by restoring a sense of nation and self-esteem.
Lincoln held no malice for the slaves. Understanding that Moses had a good reason for quickly leading his people out of Egypt, below is Lincoln’s “first,” sincere and intelligent resolution to slavery:
“If all earthly power were given me,” said Lincoln in a speech delivered in Peoria, Illinois, on October 16, 1854, “I should not know what to do, as to the existing institution [of slavery]. My first impulse would be to free all the slaves, and send them to Liberia, to their own native land.” …he asked whether freed blacks should be made “politically and socially our equals?” “My own feelings will not admit of this,” he said, “and [even] if mine would, we well know that those of the great mass of white people will not … We can not, then, make them equals.”
forgotwhoiam, food for thought for a separate thread on what would have happened if Lincoln had ignored the attack on Fort Sumter and let the secession stand. Personal thought: the United States would have fewer states, the Confederacy wouldn’t have survived as a country (fact: the states of the Confederacy didn’t work together in their secession) and the south would have been decimated by a violent slave revolt,
Slaves were citizens of no country. The Constitution does not exist for the benefit of visitors that are not citizens of the U.S. Government branches had no constitutional basis to act or legislate for the benefit of citizens of another country or citizens no country. Slaves had no standing under the U.S. Constitution. The legal action relevant to illegal aliens or undocumented non-citizens is deportation. The legal process for immigration begins in the applicants country of origin.
To be sure, America has many illegal aliens (Cuba and Vietnam now have normalized relations with the U.S., nullifying and voiding the rationale for what was originally dubious “asylum”). It is safe to go home for the many people America protected by providing sanctuary and asylum (now we discover they came for profit not asylum – they won’t go home – the proof is in the pudding). Lincoln’s “Reconstruction Amendments” are unconstitutional and were ratified without a quorum, through coercion and under duress (if there was a quorum, that quorum demonstrates that the Confederate States successfully seceded and Lincoln unconstitutionally invaded a foreign country, a “high crime and misdemeanor”).
To be sure, slavery should have NEVER been started by the African tribal chiefs who sold tribe members to Arab slave traders who subsequently sold tribe members to British shippers who then sold tribe members to 1.4% of the population of the British Colonies which then became America which engaged in slavery for only 72 years.
Slavery should have been eliminated using economic tools such as boycott and divestiture. Free people in the private sector as free enterprise should have generated the abolition of slavery. War was unnecessary for abolition. In the Vietnam war, B-52’s should have dropped dollar bills. The outcome would have been the very situation that exists today.
Americans have the right to private property and slaves were private property as proven by bills of sale, receipts and recorded deeds under the authority of the British Empire.
Nothing Lincoln did was legal or constitutional by his acts of nullification or suspension of the Constitution (denial of secession, suspension of Habeas Corpus) or any portion thereof, confiscation of private property, evading the immigration process or conducting a war of aggression (“common offense”) against a foreign country.
Women are slaves in Nigeria. When will the Exceptional Nation do something about it.
“Samuel, I was just acknowledging my error and thank you for the correction. So much better than our going to war over a fact when I am clearly incorrect.”
Now, if only all leaders of nations and faiths felt the same, the world would be a better place.
I am glad that out of the national debate on the Confederate flag, scholarly research and historical context has come to the fore. It has been made abundantly clear that excising images of the Confederate flag would censor history, and if we do not learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it.
I’ve seen actual, cramped, claustrophobic “dungeons” where slaves were kept before being punished by lash or murder, in the Caribbean. If anyplace on earth was haunted, that place was. It produces such a visceral reaction, it literally gives me the chills just to think of it. Everyone should see such places, as well as the bits and pieces left of slave ships, recreations of the dark, damp, putrid slave decks, and anything else that illustrations what generations of people suffered. That anyone at all could survive a forced march of hundreds of miles, and then get through such a hellish journey is a great testament to their courage and fortitude. Just a fraction of people survived the ordeal from their initial defeat and kidnapping by warring tribes to finally arriving in America. That is why Harriet Tubman is one of my heroes. She was a brave, selfless hero from the time of slavery.
Considering that slavery existed since recorded time, and so quite likely before, it is amazing that we did so thoroughly and completely reject the concept in civilized society. Tragically, it does still exist in some pockets around the world such as, ironically, Africa.
And black slaves were not the only ones. White slavery existed into the 1800s, products of the Irish Rebellion. These were slaves as opposed to the more well known indentured servants. Then there were the European slaves sold in the Barbary slave trade. The list goes on, as we all know, including the Jewish slaves in Egypt, which had multiple slave castes and enslaved many people.
There IS strong debate about the right of private citizens to display the Confederate flag (free speech) compared with state governments using it as their state symbol. In addition, there are memorials to fallen Confederate soldiers. Considering the great numbers of people who died fighting for the Confederacy, such memorials are valued in the regions. Having lived in the South, there are quite different attitudes towards the Southern Cross, although it was just one of many flags used. The South is known for producing great soldiers (as well as writers), and some WWII units even used it as their emblem.
It absolutely is a complicated symbol that creates some strong reactions, positive and negative.
I think such an issue should create more speech about all sides of the issue, as well as our history, instead of less speech.
Personally, I think it is within the rights of individuals to display the Confederate flag if they want to, but not appropriate for a state symbol. And it should certainly be displayed in historical context, such as museums or memorials. If the Southern Cross had not been adopted by white supremacist groups, it would not be as big a controversy to display now.
Comments are closed.