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Confederate Symbology in Contemporary American Foxhunting

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    #61
    What is the name of the color when it is woven at the mill? It might be something like "Medium Pearl Grey no. 4".
    “It’s up to you the voters to decide the future of our democracy. So get out and vote. ... As Abraham Lincoln said, the best way to predict the future is to choose it.” Professor Allan Lichtman

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      Original Poster

      #62
      Originally posted by Janet View Post
      According to the MFHS roster there are 10 hunts with "confederate" in the description of their hunt colors. Mostly "confederate grey",but at least one "confederate blue" and "confederate cavalry yellow". 6 in VA, 2 in GA, 1 in MD, 1 in FL.

      Yes, the confederacy ended 150 years ago. But all but 2 of these hunt (1899 and 1910) were founded, and defined their colors, in the second half of the 20th century. It IS intentional confederate symbology,at least by the hunt founders, even if not endorsed by current members.
      Thank you Janet - this is what I was trying to ascertain.
      When I pull on my boots, I know who I am

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        #63
        OR it could have been as simple as that the grey colour of preference had that name. That happened more than 100 years ago so I'm curious why it's being dredged up now. Grey is a neutral colour and goes with everything probably looking good beside Hunting Pink.

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          #64
          Originally posted by rubles View Post
          OR it could have been as simple as that the grey colour of preference had that name. That happened more than 100 years ago so I'm curious why it's being dredged up now. Grey is a neutral colour and goes with everything probably looking good beside Hunting Pink.
          If the name doesn't have any significance it will be easy to change.

          Comment


            #65
            Originally posted by On the Farm View Post

            I appreciate the tone of your comments, but allow me to speak to a term that has been tossed around a couple of times. First, and not the point of my comment, some rewriting of history (or at least some heavy revision) is taking place not by the victors, but by present day "historians" who are creating new narratives which really aren't supported by fact. That's another conversation. The term I'm questioning is the present day notion of "privilege" and how I should step back and appreciate my benefit. I'll ask you, was it "privilege" that both my father and maternal grandfather grew up in extreme poverty? Was it "privilege" that my father was forced out of school in the fourth grade due to bullying because he was so poor? Was it "privilege" that the president of the Bank of Pineville in NC cleaned out the vault and disappeared in the 1920s, taking my great-grandfather's family nest egg (no FDIC back then)? Was it "privilege" that that the first house I lived in from my birth in 1959 until 1962 (yes, I'm old) was a 1930s era sharecropper edition which had only cold running water and no indoor toilet? And tell me, was it "privilege" when my parents' business failed in 1980 which led them to losing everything they owned? Was it "privilege" that after a bad marriage I found myself with absolutely nothing except massive debt, an alcohol addiction, no job, and absolutely nowhere to go? Recovering from that fiasco took about 20 years of sacrifice. I may have a 3200 square foot house and two cars now, but I challenge you, and anyone else, to provide any evidence that I achieved that through some sort of "privilege."
            Imagine how much worse all that would have been, and how much harder it might have been to recover, if your family was black. You/they might not have even survived those hardships in that case.
            If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

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              #66
              Originally posted by Willesdon View Post
              Well then, you and I know, when out hunting, that party politics disappear as we focus on the line, listening to and viewing hounds, exerting ourselves to the exclusion of other trivial daily concerns. I have excellent days in the company of people who are the opposite of end of the political spectrum from me and we all enjoy a hunt tea afterwards, together recounting our derring-do.

              However, currently we are in a period of soul searching about inclusivity and diversity within the equestrian sphere. In the event that a non-wealthy, non-white person looked at foxhunting as something to try, wouldn't the fact that the hunt club colours were described as "Confederate grey", in Virginia, suggest a lack of welcome and probably a hostile attitude towards that newcomer? And if that isn't recognised, that is the problem.

              Symbols do matter, otherwise your national flag is just a bunch of coloured stripes and some stars in a jolly pattern.
              Most black people are not looking for reasons to claim they are victims. If they are well off enough to have grown up riding, or have ridden enough recently that they are proficient enough and well off enough to hunt, I doubt that seeing Confederate gray color is going to make them freak out.
              Enjoy the hunt, welcome everyone, and don't try to make every single thing political. If you think about it, hunting was an elitist sport that excluded minorities going back in history. So if you are really wanting to be PC, stop hunting. If it bothers YOU, then find another hunt, or take up something solo like knitting. Because there will always be something to complain about.

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                #67
                Originally posted by Highflyer View Post

                If the name doesn't have any significance it will be easy to change.
                My point exactly. There being no significance then why bother (shrugs shoulders)?

                Comment


                  #68
                  Originally posted by rubles View Post
                  OR it could have been as simple as that the grey colour of preference had that name. That happened more than 100 years ago so I'm curious why it's being dredged up now. Grey is a neutral colour and goes with everything probably looking good beside Hunting Pink.
                  Only two were 100 years ago. The rest were after 1950 and two were after 2000.

                  They CHOOSE to call it "condederate grey" (rather than just "grey"). It isn't a color name in general use. So it DID/DOES have significance to the people who chose to use THAT name.
                  Janet

                  chief feeder and mucker for Music, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now). Spy is gone. April 15, 1982 to Jan 10, 2019.

                  Comment


                    #69
                    Please don’t yell at me, I’m not deaf. I think it’s a stupid waste of time to let something like a colour choice of cloth to assume importance in my life. Those that fought for the South were American citizens too. There are many more problems in the US to be concerned about so I wonder why anyone wastes time on the colour of cloth. Find a life in this century. Maybe there are courses being offered?

                    Comment


                      #70
                      Originally posted by rubles View Post
                      Those that fought for the South were American citizens too.
                      They seceded from the Union to form a different country. General Lee resigned from the Union Army to fight against men he was sworn to protect. The entire purpose was to maintain the ability to enslave other human beings.

                      I can’t believe this needs to be said.

                      BLACK LIVES MATTER

                      Comment


                        #71
                        This being a thread about an adjective describing the colour of cloth is not the place to debate the merits of the Civil War. Peace was declared in the eighteen hundreds so let it die a death and not keep fighting it. Look around at the current problems facing the US and spend time and energy solving them. Now there's a challenge worthy of attention.

                        Comment


                          #72
                          Did citizens of the defeated South not retain their American citizenship at war's end? I can't believe persons are still fighting a long ago war. And as for the colour of cloth, what a waste of time.

                          Comment


                            #73
                            Originally posted by rubles View Post
                            This being a thread about an adjective describing the colour of cloth is not the place to debate the merits of the Civil War. Peace was declared in the eighteen hundreds so let it die a death and not keep fighting it. Look around at the current problems facing the US and spend time and energy solving them. Now there's a challenge worthy of attention.
                            It is worthy because the use of that term "Confederate Grey" will cause an entire demographic of people to feel that they are unwanted in the hunt group. This can descend into lawsuits if taken that far down the road. I would think that use of the name could be considered at least partial evidence of discrimination in that case.

                            It's not nothing.

                            And no, although the south was militarily defeated, and rightly so, I grew up hearing "The South Will Rise AGAIN!!!!" As a child I didn't understand all the implications of that phrase, but as an adult, I do.

                            Rubles, you might want to read a new book that's out.

                            https://smile.amazon.com/White-Too-L...6554224&sr=8-2

                            And here is an NPR interview with the author. It's a good listen.

                            https://www.npr.org/2020/07/30/89671...cy-author-says

                            “It’s up to you the voters to decide the future of our democracy. So get out and vote. ... As Abraham Lincoln said, the best way to predict the future is to choose it.” Professor Allan Lichtman

                            Comment


                              #74
                              Originally posted by rubles View Post
                              Please don’t yell at me, I’m not deaf. I think it’s a stupid waste of time to let something like a colour choice of cloth to assume importance in my life. Those that fought for the South were American citizens too. There are many more problems in the US to be concerned about so I wonder why anyone wastes time on the colour of cloth. Find a life in this century. Maybe there are courses being offered?
                              To some extent, I would argue that this conversation is one of those problems to be concerned about. Words matter and words that make reference to a movement that was created for the sole purpose of continuing the ownership of human beings are part of the reason why we are having national conversations right now.

                              I have been thinking about this thread a lot recently...trying to decide if "confederate grey" would keep me from joining a hunt...wondering if I would paint my house that color if it was a shade of grey that I liked in the store. And...I probably would do both. Because I am lucky enough to have the (ahem, white) privilege to be able to ignore the symbolism surrounding the word--and the deliberate reference to a color worn by the army whose purpose was to defend slavery. It's easy for me to say "it's only a color" or "it was 200 hundred years ago" because my family was not affected by that war or why it was fought--we weren't even here yet.

                              There are many, many people who are not lucky enough to say that and many more who are still feeling the fallout of slavery every single day of their lives. It can't be dismissed as history when it is still affecting present day.

                              Comment


                                #75
                                If you want to nitpick, hunting was a sport for elites, and slaves were often hunted down on horseback. So stay true to your values and just give up riding because its has such a racist history.
                                Good Lord people, do you stay up at night searching for things to offend you?
                                Irish people were taken as slaves. Time to sell that irish sporthorse. England fought our country...time to boycott English leather, saddlry. Germany killed many jews and fought against us. Time to get rid of german leather products, and german warmbloods.
                                Our TB's descended from Arabians that came from a culture that kills gays. Time to get rid of TB's due to their bigoted history.

                                Comment


                                  #76
                                  Originally posted by jetsmom View Post
                                  If you want to nitpick, hunting was a sport for elites, and slaves were often hunted down on horseback. So stay true to your values and just give up riding because its has such a racist history.
                                  Good Lord people, do you stay up at night searching for things to offend you?
                                  Irish people were taken as slaves. Time to sell that irish sporthorse. England fought our country...time to boycott English leather, saddlry. Germany killed many jews and fought against us. Time to get rid of german leather products, and german warmbloods.
                                  Our TB's descended from Arabians that came from a culture that kills gays. Time to get rid of TB's due to their bigoted history.
                                  The OP asked an intelligent question. Your simplistic, reactionary attempt to answer a thoughtful question is not helpful to anyone that is actually considering the issue.

                                  In other words; other people's intelligent contemplation of what may be acceptable or unacceptable to their own conscience, should not be dismissed by you, or anyone else, in such a simplistic and obnoxious manner.

                                  At least give the OP the intelligent response that they deserve. It does require thought.
                                  Last edited by skydy; Aug. 5, 2020, 12:12 AM.

                                  Comment


                                    #77
                                    Originally posted by skydy View Post

                                    The OP asked an intelligent question. Your simplistic, reactionary attempt to answer a thoughtful question is not helpful to anyone that is actually considering the issue.

                                    In other words; other people's intelligent contemplation of what may be acceptable or unacceptable to their own conscience, should not be dismissed by you, or anyone else, in such a simplistic and obnoxious manner.

                                    At least give the OP the intelligent response that they deserve. It does require thought.
                                    I guess it is a matter of opinion how seriously you want to take someone’s virtue signaling.
                                    Honestly it seems like a very silly thing to hang your hat on, with so many real problems going on in the world.
                                    By all means though let us know how woke and offended you are by the word Confederate.
                                    Jetsmom is right , horse sports are elitist, and they have ( and still do) a long history of exploiting poor people and slaves for cheap or free labor.
                                    So why are you still riding, much less hunting?

                                    All over the world things were built by slave labor, do you avert your eyes every time you see a picture of the Pyramids?


                                    Comment


                                      #78
                                      Originally posted by skydy View Post

                                      I still think it's odd, but I suppose I don't really know what the OP means by "symbology". I was imagining the hunt button designed as a confederate flag or a KKK themed hunt ball.
                                      It never occurred to me that it was a coat color issue. It's not surprising that "confederate gray" is a thing in Virginia. Probably better to rename it, but how often is a coat color mentioned anyway? Well, perhaps it's written in the hunt's rules and looks a little sketchy. I can understand the OP not wanting to be counted as part of the "confederate" gray gang.
                                      You can judge how worked up I am about the subject by reading my post quoted above. I'm surprised that jetsmom responded with what seemed to be such a vehement post that didn't give a thoughtful answer to the OP's question. I thought the question was a little odd, but certainly nothing to rant about.

                                      Comment


                                        #79
                                        I guess my response is due to feeling like people are going overboard trying to find things to be offended about, and then trying to make everyone change things to their liking, rather than changing themselves. Like if the color of a certain hunts clothes offends you, then join a different hunt, or don't hunt, if there are no alternative hunts. Everything out there can be found to be offensive to SOMEONE. You are responsible for your own feelings. If a hunt's colors bother you, change hunts. If it bothers enough people then they will make a change. If it doesn't bother anyone else, then you changed hunts and no longer will be bothered by it.

                                        Comment


                                          #80
                                          Originally posted by jetsmom View Post
                                          I guess my response is due to feeling like people are going overboard trying to find things to be offended about, and then trying to make everyone change things to their liking, rather than changing themselves. Like if the color of a certain hunts clothes offends you, then join a different hunt, or don't hunt, if there are no alternative hunts. Everything out there can be found to be offensive to SOMEONE. You are responsible for your own feelings. If a hunt's colors bother you, change hunts. If it bothers enough people then they will make a change. If it doesn't bother anyone else, then you changed hunts and no longer will be bothered by it.

                                          jetsmom, I disagree with you. Right now many hunts are actively trying to recruit younger members in order to maintain healthy membership and ensure that the sport of fox hunting is something that can be enjoyed by generations to come and that land for hunting can be preserved. Hunts are also trying to maintain community support and develop a positive public image, both of which have ties to crucial landowner support. Having a "take it or leave it" attitude is an old way of thinking that has not been good for the sport of fox hunting. I think now is a time for hunts to carefully take a look at what they can do to make themselves more welcoming and maintain a positive public image.

                                          I've been mulling this entire conversation over since it was first posted. I'm not "offended," and a few years ago I wouldn't have even noticed something like a hunt's colors being called "confederate" this or that. As a white person, it just seems like a distant, historical reference at first glance. But you know what, this season I have been excited to be helping a good friend with a longtime family equestrian tradition prepare to fox hunt. And a couple members of my hunt have recently been posting stuff on Facebook that could be construed as racist. And this person that I'm bringing out to hunt is not white. And this situation has given me pause, and an opportunity to put myself in the shoes of my friend, and what factors might make her feel more (or less) welcome. If, speaking hypothetically, a hunt were to have a couple prominent members posting racist material on social media, have a homogeneously white membership, and have confederate colors as their hunt colors...well, that really isn't a welcoming look, is it?

                                          As a white person it's really easy for me to not be offended by much--none of this stuff actually affects me. But saying "Eh, that's kinda wrong but it doesn't affect me so I'm going to walk away, or the people it does affect can just stick up for themselves" is not a great moral compass. Obviously it is okay to pick our battles, nobody has to fight every battle and I'm overall against social media drama. But overall it is morally correct to strive to make the institutions and organizations you belong to better for everyone, vs. just walking away.

                                          If our sport truly is just about the sport, the hunting, the hounds, the horses, and the beautiful natural world that we inhabit, then I don't think it should be difficult for a hunt to rename their colors if they represent or honor something not in line with the hunt's values.

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