Slavery and the Confederate Flag

This is Professor Spencer Crew of George Mason University talking about the controversy surrounding the confederate battle flag. The video’s description reads, “Professor Spencer Crew talked about the Confederate flag’s history in relation to the legacy of slavery and addressed the question, ‘Should the Confederate flag fly above government grounds.’ ”

I’m very disappointed in his performance. He calls the battle flag, “the Stars and Bars.” It’s not. The Stars and Bars was the First National Flag, not the battle flag. If he expects to have credibility in talking about the battle flag, he shouldn’t make that very fundamental mistake. Also, he pronounces “secession” as “succession” and “secede” as “succeed.” Thirdly, he goes beyond the evidence to make a claim about Robert E. Lee’s funeral that isn’t supported. He claimed Lee directed that there be no confederate flags at his funeral. I’ve seen no evidence that Lee made any such instruction regarding his funeral.

While he’s right about much of what he says here, these errors really detract from his credibility. He should have read John Coski’s book on the battle flag. If he did consult that book, he must have only skimmed it.



  1. Charles Persinger · · Reply

    Seems the professor has no business lecturing about the Confederate battle flag if he makes mistakes that are so basic.

    1. It does detract from his message. He gets a lot of it right–more than he gets wrong, in fact–but unfortunately the errors are so glaring what he gets right is overshadowed by them.

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