Wednesday, June 24, 2015

"Rebel Flags in Korea: Confederate Banners Fly Anywhere!!!"

Confederate Flags Fly AnywhereRebel Flags Still Flying in Korea . . . Unashamedly

African-American publications in the 1950s noted the prominence of confederate flags flown by American soldiers in South Korea during the Korean War. The Pittsburgh Courier, on September 29, 1951, wrote on the phenomenon in an article "Rebel Flags in Korea: Confederate Banners Fly Anywhere!!!". An excerpt:
The Confederate flag which is receiving widespread use in this country is also used in Korea, it was learned this week.

A platoon of the United States First Calvary Division, consisting of a large number of Southerners, flew the Stars and Bars in Korea.

By a special act of Congress, the Fifth Maryland Regiment flies the Confederate flag with the Stars and Stripes. It is also the official insignia of the "Dixie" Division of the National Guard which draws its personnel from the North and South.

On December 15, 1951, five members of the US army wrote to the Courier to defend the flag's use in Korea:
We have just read your Sept. 29 edition of the Courier and the headlines of an article by A. M. Rivera Jr. read as follows: "Rebel Flags in Korea." Yes, there are Rebel flags over here and the men that carry them are darn proud of it! We believe an article about the men that are dying over here would have been more appropriate, wouldn't it?

We are members of a field artillery battalion from the South, and we're not ashamed of it either. We also have better than 100 Negroes in the outfit that have come in as replacements. We don't resent their being over here with us either, because there is no such thing as racial discrimination in this outfit or any other one over here. We're all over here for just one purpose, to get this thing over with and get back home to our loved ones. We have read your paper thoroughly and are aware of the fact that one of our "inalienable rights" as Americans is "freedom of the press." We know you are aware of the "police action" that is going on over here, but after reading your paper, we've found very little material to that effect in it.

No, we aren't trying to start another "Civil War" by displaying our Rebel flags. We only carry them because they show we're from the South. We're proud of that same as we're proud of being Americans.

In case you're interested, the Stars and Stripes is always with us. We have never heard of a case where a Chinese asked a GI where he was from before he took a shot at him. And furthermore if any of your rugged reporters care to lay down their pens and come over here and lend us a hand we'll be more than glad to have them. And we promise that there won't be any Rebel flags waiving at the welcoming ceremony.

If the big wheels in D.C. would spend more time worrying about the situation over here and less time about what to do about the Rebel flags, we feel that it would boost the war effort tremendously.

Five men of the U.S. Army in Korea: