The STARS and BARS: A "Civil" Debate
A five-part discussion by Michael Aubrecht and El Veasey

A few months ago, a fellow member of FaithWriters, the online Christian writer's group, posted an article asking, "Is the Confederate flag a symbol of African-American oppression or just a symbol of White Southern pride?" Although it did not read in favor of the flag, it was thoroughly researched and extremely well written. Despite my own feelings on the subject, I immediately recognized the talent of this writer and had no choice but to applaud his efforts. The mean-spirited and combative material that has become a trend on both sides of this debate has frustrated me and this essay was nothing like those previously viewed. It had originality, logic, and most importantly, an author who wrote with intelligence and not anger.

As with most racially and/or politically driven subjects, people today seem more interested in bashing their "opponent" instead of taking the time to learn about their point of view. Often, this interferes with the ability to understand each other and usually ends with both sides divided even further apart from where they started. In an effort to generate some dialogue, I contacted this individual to direct him to an editorial that I had published defending the right to honor an individual's "Southern Heritage". What followed over the next few weeks was a series of long email discussions in which we debated the issue from many different angles.

We started with a simple difference of opinion. While he stated that the Confederate flag was a symbol of the anti-United States of America, "Confederate States of America," a domestic foreign country that preached against "freedom and liberty for all" and should not be glorified (in good conscience) - I countered with a belief that one cannot judge every soldier who fought under the C.S.A. banner as supporting the entire ideology of what that banner stood for (including slavery) and that it should be honored by individuals without fear of judgment.

Both of us were in agreement that slavery was but one factor in the "Call For Secession" and that the debate over the Confederate flag has grown tired (over the years) with the same arguments being given again and again. Therefore, we have attempted to offer some unique insights, while still recognizing the more common ones. Other points arose as we continued and the discussion later evolved into more than just a commentary on a banner. It wasn't about being a white or black American anymore - but simply, two Americans - who both love the same God and country - trying to see the world (of yesterday and today) through different "eyes".

What struck the two of us was the fact that regardless of an inability to change each other's beliefs, we both learned a great deal - not only about each other's perspective, but also more importantly, that two Christians (on opposite sides of an issue) could discuss an otherwise sensitive subject with sincerity and respect. Much like the Civil War, we represented the two sides that were divided, who later became united.

Although both of us have remained firm in our convictions, we both have come to acknowledge the other side's feelings as being legitimate AND relevant. In other words, I understand exactly where he is coming from and vice versa. Throughout this process, we have learned to see this issue from the other side and I am grateful for the privilege of sharing my thoughts with a Christian who remains as passionate about his beliefs as I do mine. Therefore, we have decided to share our discussion publicly in an effort to present BOTH sides of the argument and to set an example, by demonstrating how two people can come together to educate one another.

As a courtesy to friends and family, some of our private information has been removed, but no other parts of this debate have been grammatically edited in order to maintain the integrity of the piece. Our points and counter-points are raw, honest, and just how we sent them. First, a little about us, and the articles that sparked our discussion:

PLEASE NOTE: We recommend that you read the entire series before making any judgments (either way). Many of our points are further explained as the conversation continues. It is not our intent to declare a winner, or to say that either view is right or wrong. We invite you to form your own conclusions.

STARS and BARS: We understand that despite the "popular misconception," the traditional term of the "Stars and Bars" historically refers to the National Flag of the Southern Confederacy and not the C.S.A. battle flag (pictured above). However, our discussion is in relation to ALL Confederate banners - which will be referred to throughout as the "Stars and Bars," and/or the "C.S.A. battle flag," as well as the flag of "The Confederate States of America."

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are solely those of the two participants and do not represent the opinions or views of any others.

El Veasey (E.V.-BLUE)
Article Link:
Should Americans Honor the Confederate Flag?

E.V. "I'm El-Veasey, I have an Associate of Science in Mental/Health Social Work, a Bachelor of Science in Counseling Psychology and 5 years of clinical counseling experience, and I'd like to say that I think that this idea of Michael's is a beautiful thing! It's all about getting to know, understand and respect each other in a deeper manner than just hearsay, what we've been lead to believe or just sound bites. I say this because I believe Michael is speaking for many Americans and I'm speaking for many Americans, (but obviously not all Americans). We're just trying help ourselves and others bridge the great divide between where we are and where we should be as a society, spiritually, psychologically and socially. Thanks for listening."

Michael Aubrecht (M.A.-GRAY)
Article Link:
Rebel Flag Flaps In Eye of the Beholder...

M.A. "I'm Michael Aubrecht, I have an Associate of Specialized Technology in Visual Communications and Graphic Design. I am an Associate Art Director for a leading business magazine, as well as a longtime contributing writer for both Baseball-Almanac and The Free Lance-Star: Town & Country. I have published two Christian-based biographies on Confederate generals (to date) and I feel blessed to have met someone like El who has opened my eyes to a new form of discussion that allows BOTH sides to freely express their opinions without fear of hostility. I truly hope that this project opens your eyes too. Thanks and God Bless."





A proud, published member of

Copyright 2005 Michael Aubrecht - Best viewed in Internet Explorer at 1024x768+