The Veteran and Platte County Confederate Flags

flagsHow quickly we forget the lessons of history! With the Kansas City Star’s recent hit-piece against the Confederate Battle Flag hanging along side the Federal Flag at the Dirty Shame Saloon (located on the privately held Platte County Fair Grounds), we’re concerned that bullying and coercion may once again be rearing it’s ugly head. And it’s not just here in Platte County, but everywhere across the state (and beyond). From the Missouri Battle Flag being removed at Lexington, to discussion of relocating Confederate monuments in St. Louis and Boone County Missouri, one group seems intent upon forcing their will upon those of another.

And while we want to be sensitive to the concerns some may have about the Confederate Battle Flag, or Confederate symbols – we need to realize that many different people groups who currently live together in America could have serious issue with other popular symbols or beliefs. Take the American Indians, who were forced from their lands and in some cases pushed to near extinction. What would they say about popular flags, symbols, monuments or beliefs many Americans hold dear? Or the Japanese American who was placed involuntarily into prison camps on American soil during World War II? Or the approximately 65,000 Americans who were involuntarily sterilized during the 1920’s and 30’s? Some may even say that the millions of unborn, whose futures continue to be wiped from existence, would certainly have much to say – if only they could be allowed a voice. Flags and other symbols have different meanings to different people. Should everything ultimately be banned? Or should we simply learn how to work together in our communities, and peacefully get along with others – even if they may believe or value something different?

The fact is that most families in Platte County during the “Civil War” did not fight to oppress others, but to protect their home and community from invasion and aggression. As Missouri was placed under martial law early in the war, many Platte County people were disenfranchised, had their property confiscated, sent to prison without trial and often executed on the spot. As such, we’re a bit disappointed that the American Legion or Daughters of the American Revolution haven’t stood up for these American veterans and their families who served during this horrific conflict. It would be unthinkable for these organizations to advocate or remain silent if World War II, Vietnam veterans, or Revolutionary era landmarks and figures were given unsavory labels and their monuments or symbols forced from public eye. Yet they do remain silent as veterans and their families from America’s unCivil War are attacked, marginalized and “cleansed” from the public.

It took a long time for our communities to heal after the War Between the States. However, Platte County did slowly mend the wounds caused by this catastrophic event which some believe may have claimed the lives of around 1 million Americans (including women and children). They learned the terrible cost that comes with the use of force, coercion and bullying. Maybe it’s time we do the same?

If you’d like to know more about the history of Platte County during the “Civil War”, you might enjoy obtaining a copy of Platte County History Illustrated. It’s based on the first-hand observations of William Paxton, a resident of Platte City who witnessed Platte City burned twice by the Union Army – as well as interactions with General David Hunter of Ft. Leavenworth, a man who threatened to lay waste to the county, and “damned” the constitution when it was suggested he had no constitutional authority to do so.

For further reading, please see:

(Note: The Kansas City Star article referenced was published July 22, 2015: “Confederate Flag issue rises again at Platte County Fair”, by Matt Campbell.)

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4 Responses to The Veteran and Platte County Confederate Flags

  1. Beverly Shaw says:

    Dear Friends, I thought you would find this article interesting and well reasoned. Beverly Shaw, Treasurer Civil War Round Table of Western Missouri Date: Sat, 25 Jul 2015 00:19:17 +0000 To: bevjoshaw@hotmail.com

  2. Bruce says:

    A well written and historical correct article. Although the highjacking of the Confederate battle flag by white supremacist/hate groups has and is extremely insulting; overreaction by those insisting on approaching history from their modern-day perspective and position with knee jerk reaction and under the guise of political correctness to and for all and in so doing attempting to change or remove history and references to it is way over the top and just wrong. Attempting to rewrite/whitewash/remove history was attempted by Stalin, Hitler, the Khmer Rouge, China, N. Korea, the Taliban and most recently ISIS as they continue to destroy centuries old monuments. I very much want to think we as Americans in our free society are capable and will take the reality of history, whether any or all aspects of it is to our liking or not, and accept history without wanting to “copy and paste” until we change it to suit our personal position. As one who has a keen interest in history and in particular Missouri history; I have and will take it as it was and have respect for the reality of the situation whether I liked what and how it happened or not. When it comes to the history of Missouri in, as it is called in the above article, the unCivil War, I suggest those not familiar with the terrible circumstance the vast majority of our ancestors and all Missouri citizens found to be their existence from the 1850’s on the western side of the state to the entirety of the state from 1860-65 acquaint themselves with Missouri during those dark times and try to understand the depth of feelings and appreciation we native daughters and sons have for our ancestors and the times in which they lived, worked and also fought for their beloved State of Missouri and we not try to rewrite, whitewash or remove writings about or references to that part of our state history; whether the reality of that history is to their liking or not. History; learn it, learn from it and respect those that lived it; don’t attempt to rewrite/remove references to it.

  3. Steve Baber says:

    Would like to know the author of the confederate flag article .

    • Dranimm says:

      Hi Steve, thanks for the comment! We’re planning some more articles on local history soon, from a variety of local authors. Stay tuned! If you would ever like to contribute anything, please let me know!

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