Confederate Flag Rises Again…in Brazil (video)
The Confederate Flag Rises Again…in Brazil
There is a small enclave in the town of Santa Barbara d’Oeste, Brazil, where love of the Confederate Flag lives on. They are the descendants of thousands of Southerners who fled to Brazil after the Civil War.
The Lost Confederados
According to Gary Hawkins, who visited the area in 2008, the first Confederates landed in Santa Barbara d’ Oeste in 1965. By 1868, that population had increased significantly. About 10,000 of them eventually settled there.
When the Civil War ended, many ‘Yankees’ burned, looted, and destroyed many of the magnificent plantations and homes of Southerners, selling them out from under people who had lived in them for decades. No wonder they fled.
The new immigrants were Protestant,and had a “fierce work ethic.” They believed in education of women, and discipline in all areas of life. They have managed to cling to those values even after assimilation into Brazilian culture.
The Confederate flag controversy doesn’t exist there
The people of Santa Barbara d’ Oeste love the Confederate flag- it’s part of their history. They don’t view it as a symbol of “hate” or “repression.”
It’s not all flowers and unicorns, however, some of the southerners did manage to make the Brazilians angry in historical accounts. But overall, they are proud of the Confederate heritage.
Once a year, out in a field, the confederate battle flag rises again as the people celebrate the “Festa Confederata.” Descendants don their Confederate uniforms, and women wear their Civil war era dresses, and proudly display the flag that has created so much anger in America.
“Imagine if I were to show up dressed like this in the middle of New York. I would get beaten! But not here. For us in Brazil, it has no political meaning at all.” João Leopoldo Padovese, dressed in a gray Confederate uniform.