Winston Churchill Hijacked

Neoconfederates also put out this alleged quotation from Sir Winston Churchill: “The flags of the Confederate States of America were very important and a matter of great pride to those citizens living in the Confederacy. They are also a matter of great pride for their descendants as part of their heritage and history.” See this example from The Gift That Keeps On Giving.

This is most probably another fabrication from the neoconfederates. I’ve thus far been unable to track down a credible source for the quotation, and the only place it can be found is on spurious neoconfederate websites. None of these websites ever gives a primary source for the alleged quotation.

Given the neoconfederate penchant for lying about history and fabricating quotations, I think we should consider this quotation to be spurious unless and until someone can show the primary source for the quote.

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13 comments

  1. Jimmy Dick · · Reply

    There are three consistent factors that are hallmarks of the neoconfederates. The first is their inability to employ contextual thinking when using facts. They see something and make it mean what they want without bothering to place it within its context to see if it might mean something else. For them all facts must support their lost cause mythology. It can mean nothing else to them.

    The second factor is their willingness to make up anything to support their beliefs. If a fact cannot be twisted to their needs, then they are quite willing to make up a fake quote. They think that if they repeat something enough times it will become true. This was the manner in which the lost cause mythology became part of history, but also only because the means to refute the myths was lacking at that time (such is definitely not the case now much to their chagrin).

    The third factor is their conflation of the present within the past. For them, the past must support their modern belief structure. When it does not and it really does not support those beliefs at all, then the past must be changed to accommodate their distorted interpretation. For them, ignorance is really bliss. It is pretty rare to engage a neoconfederate about the past without them bringing the present into it. It is a serious flaw in their mentality.

    1. I can’t argue with that, Jimmy. Here’s what I came up with.

  2. Like you, Al, I’ve seen this quote many, many times. I hadn’t given its authenticity a lot of thought, since Churchill was a prolific writer and speaker, and he might indeed have said that (or something close to it) at some point. I guess my question on seeing this quote was always something different — so what? Is that some novel insight or perspective that no one ever considered before? How does Churchill’s (alleged) observation change the equation, exactly?

    1. I don’t see that it changes anything, Andy, but I’m especially concerned about their fabrication of quotes.

      1. Then you’ve got a lot of material to work with. 😉

        1. No kidding! 🙂

  3. My first thought is that it simply does not read like Churchill.

    1. I haven’t read enough of Churchill to get that sense yet.

      1. FWIW, I did read—fairly recently—his history of World War Two (aka, “How I won the war,” according to a cynical friend). I won’t claim expertise on this, but it just doesn’t “sound” like Churchill to me. I own his “History of the English Speaking Peoples,” and I’ll look there for the quote, or something like it. My frank opinion is, if there is any basis for the quote, it is a manipulated twisting of something he actually said.

        1. I don’t think you’ll find it there. I did a keyword search on Google Books in Volume 4 and it wasn’t there. I think it was probably fabricated out of thin air.

          1. Good—I feel less guilty for completely forgetting to look it up 🙂

  4. Art Carlson · · Reply

    Could http://www.scv674.org/confederate-flag-history/ be the origin of this text? It is embedded there without any hint of attribution to Churchill.

    1. It might be. These people plagiarize and falsely attribute things all the time. To be a confederate heritage advocate, one must check one’s honesty at the door before entering.

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