The Civil War Was About Free Speech.

Sid Miller. CREDIT: AP Photo/Eric Gay.

Sid Miller. CREDIT: AP Photo/Eric Gay.

For bigots, the Civil War was never, ever about slavery, oh my no. It was about everything and anything under the sun, but not slavery. Sid “Jesus Juice” Miller is pushing the “it was about freedom of speech!” button.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is planning to the restrict the display of Confederate flags by “amend[ing] our policy to make clear that Confederate flags will not be displayed from any permanently fixed flagpole in a national cemetery at any time.”

As expressed in a letter written by Roger Walters, interim undersecretary for memorial affairs, “We are aware of the concerns of those who wish to see Confederate flags removed from public venues because they are perceived by many as a symbol of racial intolerance.”

But a recent vote indicated a majority of House Republicans oppose the VA’s attempt to restrict where and when the Stars and Bars can be displayed. So does Sid Miller, the Texas Agriculture Commissioner who was recently tapped to be Donald Trump’s national co-chairman of his agriculture advisory team.

In a Facebook post published Thursday, Miller suggests the Civil War was first and foremost about protecting free speech — not slavery. He also strikes a skeptical note about whether Confederates who fought against the United States behaved treasonously.

Responding to a Washington Post column supportive of the VA’s move, Miller writes that the piece “makes my blood boil” and says the Post isn’t “entitled to… attempt to read the minds of my long-dead Confederate ancestors and determine that their actions and motivations during that awful war were treasonous.”
He also denounces “politically correct bureaucrats” pushing for the Stars and Bars to be banned.

“With all that is going on around our world and the serious threats that exist to our country and our constitiional [sic] freedoms by those who carry black flags with Arabic writing upon them, I would think that those in our national government would simply leave alone the flags marking the burial grounds of our Confederate dead,” Miller writes. “Unfortunately, I fear that is just wishful thinking on my part and highlights why the outcome of the upcoming election is so very, very important.”

Full story at Think Progress.


  1. kestrel says

    The Partner was telling me about that. In complete and utter disbelief.

    This may have flown a long time ago when maybe people could not read or there were not a lot of books. Sadly there are people today who *can* read but choose not to, or only read in a limited way what confirms what they already want to think in their made-up world.

    Sorry, non-readers and history deniers: the Civil War was about slavery. They were making a lot of money because the cotton gin had been invented so slavery was suddenly very profitable, so they wanted to expand slavery. The North said no. The Mexican war was about slavery too. :-(

  2. Brother Ogvorbis, Fully Defenestrated Emperor of Steam, Fire and Absurdity says

    Sure. Not about slavery. Right.

    Why, then, does the Constitution of the Confederate States of America set aside one entire article (Article IV) stating that the federal government can make no laws about negro slavery? Then why, in Article I, Section 9, does the document go on at length stating that the confederate government can make no laws regarding slavery? Slavery is mentioned 10 times in that document and 9 of them are to state that under no circumstances, in no way, shape or form, can the government say no in any circumstance to slavery?

  3. says

    The US broke away from England in order to preserve slavery (and cheat on taxes) So, yeah. The south was just preserving the Virginia tradition established by Jefferson and Lee.

  4. Scr... Archivist says

    Brother Ogvorbis @2,

    Some of that language was taken from the U.S. constitution, with a little bit of Find-Replace. It is worth remembering the acceptance of and protection of slavery in the foundations of U.S. law. But the C.S.A. also added some of their own rules regarding slavery, so your point is still valid.

    Also see the various state declarations of secession. The claim that secession and the Civil War were not about slavery is a god-damned lie.

  5. Crimson Clupeidae says

    This ass stain is from TX?
    The TX declaration of secession can be found here:

    Some choice quotes:

    Texas abandoned her separate national existence and consented to become one of the Confederated States[…] She was received as a commonwealth holding, maintaining and protecting the institution known as negro slavery--the servitude of the African to the white race within her limits--a relation that had existed from the first settlement of her wilderness by the white race, and which her people intended should exist in all future time. Her institutions and geographical position established the strongest ties between her and other slave-holding States of the confederacy.

    Gee, I don’t see anything at’all ’bout no slavery in there….

    In all the non-slave-holding States, in violation of that good faith and comity which should exist between entirely distinct nations, the people have formed themselves into a great sectional party, now strong enough in numbers to control the affairs of each of those States, based upon the unnatural feeling of hostility to these Southern States and their beneficent and patriarchal system of African slavery, proclaiming the debasing doctrine of the equality of all men, irrespective of race or color--a doctrine at war with nature, in opposition to the experience of mankind, and in violation of the plainest revelations of the Divine Law. They demand the abolition of negro slavery throughout the confederacy, the recognition of political equality between the white and the negro races, and avow their determination to press on their crusade against us, so long as a negro slave remains in these States.

    Yeah, saying that all men (note, women need not apply for at least another 50 years!) is debasing I tell you.

    We hold as undeniable truths that the governments of the various States, and of the confederacy itself, were established exclusively by the white race, for themselves and their posterity; that the African race had no agency in their establishment; that they were rightfully held and regarded as an inferior and dependent race, and in that condition only could their existence in this country be rendered beneficial or tolerable.

    That in this free government all white men are and of right ought to be entitled to equal civil and political rights; that the servitude of the African race, as existing in these States, is mutually beneficial to both bond and free, and is abundantly authorized and justified by the experience of mankind, and the revealed will of the Almighty Creator, as recognized by all Christian nations; while the destruction of the existing relations between the two races, as advocated by our sectional enemies, would bring inevitable calamities upon both and desolation upon the fifteen slave-holding States.

    Not about racism or slavery at all. Nope. Nosiree.

    Note: A search for the word ‘speech’ comes up empty. (This is my shocked face….)

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