Confederate flag draws pointed reaction

06/04/08 Seán Kinane
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Tampa elected officials weighed in today on the Confederate Flag controversy. WMNF spoke with several members of the Tampa City Council as well as Mayor Pam Iorio.

“I think that such a large confederate flag right off our interstate system is inappropriate. I think it’s divisive for our community, for any community,” Iorio said.

Tampa City Council Chair Thomas Scott represents District 5, which includes East Tampa. “My hope is the Board of County Commissioners will address that,” Scott said.

John Dingfelder is the Tampa City Council member representing District 4, South Tampa. “I think it’s really unfortunate because it’s a symbol,” Dingfelder said.

West Tampa is represented on City Council by Charlie Miranda. "Well, that’s a county issue but it’s also a lot larger than a county issue," Miranda said.

But Joseph Caetano, who represents District 7 has a more laissez–faire attitude about the confederate flag than his City Council colleagues. “I really don’t know much about it but I think people have the right to do what they want on their own property,” Caetano said.

Photo by Seán Kinane/WMNF

Tampa City Council

Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio

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Flag detractors are off base

The CBF is a soliders' flag, flying it today honors those soldiers. The SCV flies it to honor ancestors. That michelle with the nooses should have been arrested for possessing a hate device and for telling lies. For slavery the most painful years were July 1776 thru Dec. 1865, so anyone who doesn't like the CBF must be horrified at the sight of the US flag. The South wanted to be free, the North wanted the South's resources. It was an economic war. The soldiers who fought for the South's freedom under the CBF (and many other battle flags) are heroes like the men of 1776 who fought for America's freedom.

"Traitor", hate speech from liberals

Several callers used the word "Traitor" regarding Confederate States soldiers. All of those callers were from the industrial Chicago to Detroit north. Such shocking hate speech from liberals is the result of history texts that are still regionally biased. It's important to have a dialog on the hard feelings that Northeners bring here. The decision to start a new Confederation of States was voted on by duly elected officials. When average Joe and farmer Brown saw the new flags flying and heard the news of a new republic they had to live with the results of what the officials had done. Joining with all of his neighbors in commerce at the local market under the new official flag does not make Farmer Brown a traitor. Confederate States Citizens were honorable people. As we learn more from each other, Please don't call my mama names.

war heros?

to say the war was about economics and not mention the fact that indeed most if not all southern fortunes were built by the bodies and souls of slave mothers fathers sons and daughters kept against their will as property of another, is wrong those willing to die to inslave another based upon greed shrowded by states rights is wrong as well and war heros simply does not come to mind when i see thar is a reminder of the unrespectable ugly way of life and uglier traditions. without redemtion not then not now and yes farmer brown was wrong too.. . admiting that slavery and succession was wrong can only help as a southerner and i cherish many values of the beautiful, romantic ,proud and strong south as well as southern tenacity and tradition not any of which is represented by that flag. perhaps a symbol that is enjoyed by all not by just one group of southerners is more appropriate and represents the true character strengths of the south instead glorifying gruesome mistakes made by our ancestors. if anything the flag should be used as tool to educate others of feirocity and cruelty humanity is unfortunately capible of.

Slavery is wrong but "Traitor" is hate speech

I'm glad to see people saying slavery was and is wrong. I'm a liberal Democrat and support centrist Democrat Obama. My point in the Farmer Brown example is to put a human face on the people who lived in the south. It's a shame that high school history classes make it difficult to quote the trade agreements that sparked off the war. Every graduate should be able to quote it. It was a foreign trade agreement about trading northern manufactured goods with Caribbean and South American nations for agriculture goods previously acquired from southern states and at prices undercutting the south. When the northern Representatives refused to put in a tariff to protect the south from foreign dumping a ruckus on the floor of the house ensued. Isn't it true that the first shots of the war were at a fort on the river where a foreign vessel of corn was docked? I hope the new museum can finally get history past the censors. In this light I think a good flag compromise would be to replace the battle flag with the official peace time flag of the Confederate States. Speaking of which the current stars and stripes is a wartime flag. The peace time flag of the United States can be viewed on some web sites (use Google). Or we could just sweep facts under the rug and do some name calling. Farmer Brown (living in an inherited misguided system) was a real patriot of a real nation that had real foreign trade agreements (agriculture for goods). What a shame that the history book writers want the north to be so right that they resort to name calling so they don't have the time to cover the bills on the floor of congress that cost so many lives. Exam: 1- Is cheap foreign goods still an issue? 2- Is slavery still being practiced today? 3- Do neo-cons still resort to name calling "Monica Lowensky" instead of covering the facts. 4- We report, you listen. 5- What does the peace time flag of the United States look like? Extra Credit: Name the trade bill that cost millions of lives. (Not with China or Iraq).

Calling someone a racist, and a bigot, especially if its not true, is offensive. That is why I challenged our County Commissioners, and Mr. Stokes of the NAACP to a debate. If "perception is reality," as a County Commissioner stated, lets change perception. Slavery was a significant issue leading up to the war. The majority of the slaves were uneducated, unskilled, and incapable of functioning in society on their own. Freeing millions of slaves, without proper planning, and yes compensation for the taking of private property, terrified, as well as angered Southerners. Isn't that understandable? The institution of slavery bothered the consciences of many good Southerners that fought under the Confederate Battle Flag, including Robert E. Lee. I only wish the war was a humanitarian effort. That would be a tremendous improvement over the North's invasion to usurp Southern wealth. It was purely an economic war. That being said, As far as the flag is concerned, most people like it because first it is a pretty flag, and secondly it appeals to our rebellious spirit. It is the most recognized symbol of the "South" and all things Southern. Unless you attribute being Southern to being a racist, it isn't a racist symbol. Lastly, historical tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry. The Tampa bay area is rich with events from the War between the States. We have the two ships that were scuttled in the Hillsborough River. We have the salt works that were attacked by Union gun boats, and then defended by Joseph Robles. We have the Cow Cavalry monument in Plant City. We have Oaklawn Cemetery. We have Fort Brooks. We have the world's largest Confederate Battle Flag. Did you know we were captured by the Union for a short period of time? I could go on, and on. Instead of capitalizing on these potential tourist destinations, and other things Southern, there are those in Tampa Bay that simply want to remain politically correct, and appease the unappeasable that capitalize on racial conflict. Think of this ad in Southern Living magazine, "Come to Tampa, The Southern City with a Latin Accent!" This is instead of being another me too sports city near a beach. We have a Southern identity to claim, and a rich, proud, history, that can attract thousands of tourists annually. The heck with the Super Bowl!