Mike Rowe Addresses Confederate Flag Issue And A Fan Takes Him To Task

(image source: Mike Rowe on Facebook)

Mike Rowe is loved by millions and from time to time he takes on tough issues with a flair that few possess. His response to the Confederate flag issue drew him both praise and a significant rebuff from one of his fans.

Here’s just a snippet of what Mike had to say, you can read his fill statement HERE.

(image source: Mike Rowe on Facebook)

(image source: Mike Rowe on Facebook)

I think we need to be very careful about congratulating ourselves too enthusiastically for removing a piece of cloth from the public square – even if it’s removal is long overdue. I also think we need to stop calling people racist, just because they see the flag as something other than a symbol of hate. This is what happens when we put a premium on our feelings. We assume everyone who disagrees with us is not merely wrong, but dangerous.

I know many good Southerners who abhor racism, but view this flag as an important connection to their ancestors – the vast majority of whom never owned slaves. This doesn’t mean the flag should be allowed to fly on public property – not for a minute. But it’s a mistake in my view, to equate the removal of a symbol, with the removal of the evil it’s come to symbolize. And that’s exactly what a lot of people are doing. We’re conflating cause and effect.

Amidst all the kudos for his thoughtful remarks, I found this from Michelle.

“While I normally find your comments spot on, it fills me with dismay that you have allowed propaganda to allow you to feel such anger toward an inanimate object. An object which many good men, black and white, died defending. The problem is not the flag. The problem is that history has been chipped away a little at a time. The problem is that we have become so politically correct in this country that we allowed the word “racist” to keep us silent when our heritage was besmirched, belittled, and rewritten. Regardless of what a few evil cowards do (and, yes, I believe all KKK are cowards), that flag does not equal racism where I am from. When my ancestors, some of whom were poor and some of whom were wealthy, were holding that flag they weren’t fighting to keep slavery alive. They were fighting for the freedom to export their goods to England without taxation from the north who didn’t want to pay the south the same prices they could get from overseas buyers. The north knew if they lost the supply of goods it would put them out of business. The north had all the factories and manufacturers, but the south had all the raw goods. England had put a small caveat in their agreement. They said they would not buy goods produced with slave labor. The southern plantations were already doing away with slavery on their own and the north knew they had to strike before this happened. They used slavery (which had only been abolished in the north a few years earlier) as a rallying cry. Furthermore, the largest slave owner of the time was a black man in Virginia.

I would also say this to all those who tell me the confederate flag is a symbol of slavery and oppression…

Slavery still exists in the world. In fact, the largest slave trade in the world exists, at this very moment, in Africa. Look it up. Google it. Read. Do you see people protesting the African flag? No. Do you hear about it on the news? No. Any Hollywood types getting in front of cameras and crying about how oppressed these people are and how we should remove all African flags to abolish hate? No. Anyone wanting to beat African slave traders heads in with a golf club?

It’s only an enlightened comment if it’s actually enlightened. At the end of the day, a flag is a piece of cloth. You choose how you’re going to feel about things. To say you allow a flag to cause feelings of hatred and potential violence when so many good people died defending it is, to me, hurtful and short-sighted.

I had family fighting on both sides in the Civil War just as I have had a family member fighting in every war this country has fought, including the American Revolution. I had a family member in the Continental Congress. I have a great-uncle still on the USS Arizona. I had two grandfathers who were prisoners of war during the Civil War and one who died at Gettysburg. To say I have deep roots in American history is an understatement.

I stand for the National Anthem and I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States with pride and conviction. I would give my life to defend this country and all that inhabit her, white and black. Does it make me a racist that I am also proud of my ancestors who fought for the south? Maybe. I’d hate to think every good quality and thought was erased because of pride in my family’s history of service. Maybe I am wrong though, Mike. Maybe I should hate them because over 150 years ago, in a different time and culture, they stood up for their rights and what they believed in. Maybe it’s me, but I think if more people were like those brave men and followed their convictions maybe this country wouldn’t be in the situation it’s in today. Forget about what the media wants you to believe. We are all the human race. We all have the same rights and abilities. Stand up for what you believe in and stop letting actors and media brain wash you about your neighbor. In short, buck up and do what’s right and it won’t matter what happened 150 years ago or even 10 years ago because you’ll be too busy reaping the rewards of what is happening now.”

Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. I’ll leave you with this thought from the book 1984 by George Orwell.

“Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book has been rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street and building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And that process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.” – George Orwell, 1984

Joining the U.S. Air Force right out of high school, Jon had the opportunity to experience many different parts of the world and different cultures. His post military career path, both white collar and blue collar, allowed him to work alongside both CEOs and average Joes. “Writing was never a goal or even vaguely contemplated as a career choice, it just happened, an accidental discovery of a talent and a passion.” A passion that has taken him in many directions from explorations of the zombie subculture and writing zombie stories to politics and News. He is an avid “people watcher,” political junkie and has a ravenous appetite for history and current events alike.

About the Author

Jon Britton
Joining the U.S. Air Force right out of high school, Jon had the opportunity to experience many different parts of the world and different cultures. His post military career path, both white collar and blue collar, allowed him to work alongside both CEOs and average Joes. "Writing was never a goal or even vaguely contemplated as a career choice, it just happened, an accidental discovery of a talent and a passion." A passion that has taken him in many directions from explorations of the zombie subculture and writing zombie stories to politics and News. He is an avid "people watcher," political junkie and has a ravenous appetite for history and current events alike.

10 Comments on "Mike Rowe Addresses Confederate Flag Issue And A Fan Takes Him To Task"

  1. I love the fact that the fan was so accurate. I’m not Southern, I did not have anyone fighting in the Civil War, (as far as I know but they would have been Yankees had they) but it is still MY history, because I am an American! I understand-to a small extent- having the flag removed from a government building…however, this is not just happening to government buildings!They want to remove statues, monuments, names, GRAVES, books, stories, pictures, the truth…do you know that they no longer sell the flag at GETTYSBURG! I can only guess that the reenactment is going to be lacking it as well, and that is going to be one piss poor act to watch. It is the removing and bashing of our history that upsets me the most. It’s the fact that so many people do not even know their countries history, because SO much of it has been removed from our schools and is now being removed from everywhere else. It is sad that we allow this country to be over-run by “poor me” and “don’t upset them”, Political correctness has been ruining our country and making us weak.

  2. It’s funny how Michelle’s response has nothing to do with what Mr. Rowe actually said. Also, it really doesn’t matter if you don’t believe the Confederate flag isn’t racist. It’s racist to lots of other people. That’s why I’m against the Confederate flag being displayed in any setting other than a museum, historical play, on private property, or in a Civil War reenactment. However, the Confederate flag should NOT be displayed by our governments nor in public. That is all.

  3. Correction: remove “on private property”.

  4. I think it is funny how people can tell me how i feel do they know me NO do they know how i fell NO. Everyone should be able to feel how they feel We can not help what happen than. Everyone should be able to have their own feeling. We are all God children, and the way the world is today we should be helping each other not fighting over a flag. It happen and it was bad when are we going to stop blaming thing on each other that we had nothing to do with, we should be looking at today and learn from the past not keep it going move on let it go.

  5. The “rebel” flag was not the confederate flag. That was the “stars and bars” much similar to the “stars and stripes”, which you never see. The “rebel” flag was a flag they took into war to motivate and inspire troops to push forward. The “X” on the flag is symbolic of God to sypport them in there endevours whatever they my be. To some family and a homestead others seperating from the North because their Christian beliefs were too far off the path. There are many reasons people fought under that flag and why people still are proud to hang it. Right or wrong that flag wasn’t just about slavery.

  6. I don’t understand where Michelle comes up thing Mike has a hatred of anything If anything they both seem to be on the same side. I like her views but also his as well How anyone can read that article and come up with anything hateful shows a twisted version from someone that otherwise seems to have an accurate and objective grasp of the flag and what it stands for

  7. so queen taylor will let the flag be displayed in a museum a play and a reenactment all public events or places,but has the audacity to tell people what they can do on their own private property …. wow that’s mighty “white” of her.

  8. to the original fan if one of your grandfathers died at gettysburg how was he a prisoner of war,most people only have 2 grandfathers,very uncommon to be released and sent back into action even back then,not saying it isn’t possible just not probable

  9. Robert S Moulds | July 4, 2015 at 8:41 pm |

    The confederate flag is a succession flag and was used to protest civil rights in the 1960s therefore should be taken down. However the flag shown is the battle jack based on the St Andrews cross American using stars. It was the flag of Robert E Lees army of Virginia. The true flag was changed because it looked like an early American flag but only with two stripes not more. One included a a battle jack but looked like surrender so it had a horizontal red stripe. Of course their is the Bonnie blue bell a star in a Bonnie blue background. In any case the union had some 400,000 slaves in union occupied New Orleans, Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland and Missouri while the confederate had 2,100,000 slaves. Hillary Clinton is a hypocrite as are Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Al Gore the snore bore. Each of them used confederate flags to further their elections playing unreconstructed southerns. Barack Obama to his regret went to a redneck rally during the 2008 election in North Carolina baring cheap knock off flags with redneck written them . In the Kingston fair Ontario Canada they sold cheap Chinese knock off flags with Git er done along side Bob Marley flags with Lion of Zion. The confederate flag is more a victim of crassness than racism.

  10. Do any of you that dissent (careful that’s a big word)with what she had to say; actually read and comprehend what Michelle was saying? She was trying to do what most of you can’t or won’t do. Educate you (yourselves). She took the time to be accurate and forthcoming. Not like the hypocrites who know nothing about history. She hit the nail on the head, the Civil War had about 10% to do with slavery and 90% to do with economics. Perhaps check out the difference in old and new slavery. Yes there is a difference. Or the fact that slavery goes very far back, to before the dark ages, or antiquity. The Greeks,Romans,Persians, Alexander the Great all owned slaves. If you were capable of being defeated you were capable of being a slave. So WTF is so detrimental to the Confederate Flag? Should we take down all crosses from churches because they offend atheist? Why is this an issue? Political Correctness gone absurdly wild. Learn to think for yourself. Why is America the fall guy in all this? Check out maxskinwood.com for other blog post.

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