Confederate Flag Rally, photo by Lex Rofes
Israel, Politics

Israeli Flag Flies At Confederate Flag Rally

[Editor’s note: check below for another incongruous spotting of Confederate and Israeli flags flying together. Got sightings of your own? Email them to [email protected]]
In the aftermath of the Charleston, South Carolina massacre, debate about the Confederate flag has been raging. Opponents of the flag hope that these murders, committed in order to provoke a “race war,” will demonstrate that the flag is not merely a relic commemorating Southern history, but in fact a destructive symbol of white supremacy that should disappear from our public sphere. Supporters of it appear to have buckled down, taking to the streets, social media, and elsewhere to defend their flag against what they call political-correctness or thought police.
[pullquote align=right] These Confederate flag proponents were displaying an Israeli flag.
[/pullquote]So it was no huge surprise, as I drove down the street in downtown Hot Springs, Arkansas, that a few of these supporters had gathered for a rally. I looked out my window and saw four or five people display ten or so large Confederate flags.
But then something caught my eye. One of the flags was different from the others. Not red and blue, this one was in fact blue and white. I strained to see what it was. As it turns out, these Confederate flag proponents were displaying – amidst their stars and bars – an Israeli flag.
Almost immediately, I sorted through an array of emotions. First, I felt sheer revulsion. I am an unabashed opponent of the Confederate flag. Preserving it does not, as some suggest, merely preserve Southern heritage. The reason for that is that the Confederacy was not merely an expression of Southern pride. It was an expression of Southern white pride, and the reason for the flag’s existence was as part of an effort to maintain one of the most horrible institutions in human history – slavery. The flag, like slavery, belongs in the past. Not in our present or future.

Confederate Flag Rally, photo by Lex Rofes
Israeli flag spotted at Confederate flag rally in Hot Spring, Arkansas, photo by Lex Rofes
Seeing a star of David alongside a Confederate flag, therefore, was pretty jarring. The magein david (shield of David – often referred to as the star of David) did not originate as a Jewish symbol. The hexagram has a long history in both mathematics and religion outside of Judaism. But it has over time become associated with our religion and its adherents. Many of us wear this symbol around our necks as a way to feel a connection to Judaism on our person at all times. For Jews and others, its display at any event signifies some sort of connection between it (the event) and Judaism. I shudder at the idea that my Jewish identity would tie in to the horrible elements of the past that the Confederate flag has come to represent.
Next my mind wandered away from my revulsion and settled on confusion. Why group these two emblems? What is to be gained? What political viewpoints are being progressed?
[pullquote align=right] As I did so, my mind flashed to the recent GOP debate.
[/pullquote]I did my best to determine their thinking. As I did so, my mind flashed to the recent GOP debate. In that debate, candidate after candidate voiced their unabashed support for the state of Israel (Ann Coulter had some particularly well-publicized and controversial thoughts on this subject). On top of their comments that night, however, many have expressed support for the hawkish administration of Benjamin Netanyahu and opposition to the Iran deal. They have advocated to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and denied the existence of the Palestinian people. They do not merely support the existence of Israel or a strong US-Israel relationship. They desire the same kind of Israel that their Right-of-center and right-wing counterparts in K’nesset envision.
That’s when I shifted from confusion to contemplation. I realized that, for many people, the two flags really do belong together. While I have grown up feeling almost entirely positive associations when I see a Jewish star, for many that star at the center of the Israeli flag feels just as oppressive as the stars and bars of the Confederacy. For Palestinians living under occupation, it would be difficult to feel any other way.
[pullquote align=left] I desperately want my Jewish symbols to stand for good.
[/pullquote]I am hoping now to move on from this contemplation to the next step: action. I desperately want my Jewish symbols to stand for good. I want the magein david to stand so unambiguously for justice that any juxtaposition of it with the Confederate flag would be written off as sheer lunacy. I wish I could say, with all sincerity, that we are living in a world where that is the case. But we are not. If the state whose flag bears the Jewish star, Israel, fails to take serious steps to treat all under its control with dignity and respect, rallies like this one may become commonplace.
On Rosh Hashanah morning, I heard a series of blasts from the Shofar, rousing me from a spiritual slumber and calling me to enter a new year with intention and resolve. But this rally, a few days later, was the most important wake-up call yet. What I heard, loud and clear, is that we have to prove this rally wrong. We have to take steps towards a reality where oppression cannot in any reasonable sense be linked to our Judaism and its symbols. This new year, we have some important work to do.
Editor’s note: Below is another instance of oddly juxtaposed Israeli and Confederate flags, spotted in Jerusalem on Agripas Street in summer 2014.
Confederate flag spotted in Jerusalem on Agripas Stret in summer 2014, photo anonymous
Confederate flag spotted in Jerusalem on Agripas Stret in summer 2014, photo anonymous

11 thoughts on “Israeli Flag Flies At Confederate Flag Rally

  1. Doesn’t surprise me at all. The neo-Confederate group that’s most active here in NC is taking up a new cause–opposing any absorption of Arab refugees by our local cities and towns. I think it’s even simpler than you make out here. Neo-confederates dislike all non-white people, especially Black Americans and brown Middle Easterners (thank the TV news for the latter.) They perceive Israel as a white enclave that does battle with these brown people, therefore they support it and view it as part of their own struggle for white dominance.

    1. Have you ever spoken to on of those people?
      “White Dominance” isn’t what we’re about nor is our flag.
      I’m probably wasting my time posting here but I’ll just say that you think you know what a person flying the Confederate battle flag feels but you don’t.
      You don’t understand us…you never will.

      1. I am a part of this group, if someone will stop us and ask us why we fly this flag, we will answer. We are not about “white dominance” at all. We are all about preserving history. Not the politically correct history, but the true history. We support our Jewish brothers and sisters, so we fly their flag, just as we were flying the Christian flag that day as well.

    2. While at the beginning of the Confederacy, the union had more slave states that the CSA did, until Lincoln sent 8 warships to Charleston Harbor to reinforce a South Carolinia Fort, Anderson should never have been in, one that only two weeks earlier he promised to evacuate, and to force collection of the morril tariff. They of course defended themselves, no lives were lost, and then Lincoln invaded causing 4 more states to leaves, and 3 more to attempt to leave. This only left more than a half million slaves and 80,000 slave owners in the north. That wasn’t the biggest reason they left. The north passed thr crittenden resolution that stated outright the war wasn’t over slavery, they tried to pass the Corwin amendment guaranteeing slavery forever, three states ratified it before they noticed the South wouldn’t come back and pay the high tariff. While the South had Jews, one was even high in the cabinet, Latinos, Chinese, Indians, blacks, whites, and others fighting for their constitutional government, the north used blacks as cannon fodder, and kept Jews out of the fight altogether for the most part. In the South, certainly their was a social order of the day, as in the north, but everyone pretty well got along, over 10% of free blacks owned land and slaves, many were very wealthy. In the north constitutional amendments kept free blacks from most northern borders under penalty of prison, beating, theft, or death. Praise God for Benjamin Judah, and others like him in the Southern Government. If we had more, maybe the north wouldn’t have came down here to rape, steal, and destroy. The northern. Army did unspeakable things, and their leaders were evil.

    3. Israel is the ingathering of Jews of all colors, shapes, sizes!!! Everyone who displays the Confederate battle flag is a racist &/or Jew hater!!!

  2. Well now we know who funds the right wing anti-Americanism … The sooner we flush Netanyahu down the toliet the sooner Politics can become business as usual again instead of, “I haz tah raight tah call tah President ah N—–r because he is from Kenya…”

  3. Any association with the Star of David and the Confederate flag is definitely sheer lunacy. The Star of David was also used for boycotting, sanctioning and divesting from Jewish businesses in Nazi Germany. The Nazis also required Jews to wear the Star of David at all times from September 1941. Today, the Star of David signifies the renewal of the Jewish people through their miraculous return home to Israel after 2000 years in exile suffering violent persecution culminating in the Holocaust. To equate those wishing to protect Israel from annihilation with racism in the USA is just dishonest and truly depraved.

    1. Google Benjamin Judah, then attempt to see how many high ranking officials in the US government were Jewish. The Confederacy supported the Jewish people, long before it was politically correct to do so. They did so because it was the right thing to do. In the South, we were fair to everyone. We were much better to the slaves than they were in the north. Many earned their own freedom, 10% of free slaves owned other slaves, some were quite wealthy. Latinos, Jews, Indians, Chinese, blacks, whites, and others all fought to try to keep our freedom from the oppressive north.

  4. As a part of this group, they support the Israel. And as far as our confederate flag, not everyone waving that flag is for “white pride” it is about unity, unity over a croupt government, just as it was the first time. I know that I won’t be taken seriously, because of people with hate in their heart had waved this flag in everyone’s face for so many years. But for most of the people who have came out to support this flag across the United States, it was not about hate, or any racist reason. In history class in school back in my day, we were taught the south succeeded because they felt that the government was trying to tax and ruin their way of life, yes everyone speaks of slavery. But if you will read a book you will see it wasn’t the only reason, and the south did away with slavery. After the war between the states there was still slavery up north. Hmmm this war wasn’t just about one thing? And as far as the Israel flag, the people that stand there in Hot Springs go talk to them about why they have it flying, as well as the U.S. Flag, the Christian flag, the POW flag, tea party flag. It’s all in support of our rights…. To try and get people to stop and hear about how the government wants to take certain rights away. Or to talk about the real history, or even the current way things are going. They are there for everyone who wants to talk and not for any kind of hate…. I know this was a long post, but I am a part of this group. They are good people who only want people to see what this government is trying to take away from us. Next time you see those flags out on that strip in Hot Springs ask someone why. They will tell you. They will be happy to explain why…… You only need ask instead of assuming things.

  5. I’m happy to see that many Flag supporters have been here before me. Some of the racist League of the South types (not all Leaguers are racists, but enough of them are for me to get in their virtual faces – and plenty of them are “false flaggers”, pun apt) came after a post I made where people flying the Israeli flag are being prevented from attending a rally ON ANTI-SEMITISM. The fact of the matter is not only is there no contradiction between being a Confederate Flag supporter AND a supporter of Israel and Benjamin Netanyahu, here I am to prove it. Further, members of my family were amongst those who aided Judah Benjamin in his escape from his Yankee pursuers when he “got outta Dodge” at the fall of the Confederacy. The writer of this blog wants to know what association Jews have with the Confederate Battle Flag? It was a Jew, Charles Moise, who spoke to William Porcher Miles in criticism of Miles proposed Flag Design – see “South Carolina Sovereignty Flag” and its upright cross. Moise opined that such might be offensive to Jews and other non-Christians. And so, Miles opted for the Saltire on the diagonal, and the Southern Cross was born! Isn’t God’s Hand in this a marvelous thing? The Battle Flag is NOT racist. All those years of the civil rights movement, and NONE of those civil rights leaders had a problem with the Flags of the Confederacy. As H.K. Edgerton points out, the Confederate symbols are SOUTHERN. Despite the attempts of the NAACP to change the meaning so that THEY can agitate racism in order to attack AMERICA – for Confederate symbols and veterans ARE American veterans by Acts of Congress, we FIGHT for the Truth. Those who hate the truth and who seek to call us what THEY actually are, are the enemies of freedom loving, Judeo-Christian peoples everywhere, then and now.

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