Where the Personal becomes the Political at our whim...
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:: Monday, February 10, 2003 ::
The Issue That Won't Die, part deux When Georgia had its big flag changing debate, I could definitely see both sides of the coin, although I supported the removal of the S&B from the flag because they were in fact added in 1956 to basically piss off the black population and turn a nose up at the Court's decision to integrate. However, I think that Georgia should have gone back to the pre 1956 flag rather than this ugly thing we have now. I actually have the old flag hanging in my dorm room, but thats nothing to do with the fact that its got the Confederate battle flag on it.
The reason that the issue won't die, in my humble and ignorant opinion, is because there are Southerners out there who believe that the S&B is "heritage, not hate" and for them it may be. And there are others like this guy for whom it's all about culture and whatnot. But people need to realize that to a 75 year old black man, it means so much more and that so much more is not typically positive. And then there are people like McCain and sundry other non-native Southerners who think that it is ONLY about hate, and that's not true either. The flag is kinda both. It is all those things that the nostaglic dude linked above talked about, but it is also blood shed, lives lost, a region and a people torn apart, devestated economically and socially, in the name of "preserving the Union" and later abolilshing slavery, and it is about a people with their own unique culture and heritage and ways of life that were, and to an extent are, still trying to hold on to that culture, heritage, and way of life. (Though for myself and many other Southerners today that attempt to preserve a way of life doesn't mean preserving a white supremist attitude or anything of that nature, rather its about things like values, faith, manners, music and if you know me at all, FOOD! :) )
I think that the Mo. rep. in the article that said that the Confederate flag should not be flown anywhere in the country is taking it a little far though. If you've ever been down South and spent any length of time in the more rural South, I would imagine that going through any small town you passed a Confederate cemetery with the flag flying above it, or a memorial of some sort with a flag as a tribute. National parks even have the confederate flag. Take any old battlefield that is now a park such as Vicksburg or Shiloh. My hometown was the sight of a pretty big battle where the Confederates held off Sherman for three days before he burned everything and made his way toward Savannah so we have a pretty big cemetery with the S&B flying and we have a re-enactment every May as well. If you have seen the movie Sweet Home Alabama, it really is comparable to that. (If you haven't seen the movie, don't waste your money... unless it's at the dollar drive in, then I suppose it might be worth it...)
But as for what's going on in South Carolina, hey, at least their state flag doesn't have the Stars and Bars on it... I mean, look at Mississippi's flag... it looks suspiciously like the Thrid Flag of the Confederacy if you ask me...
UPDATE: Hmmm.... maybe I'll be a Southern History specialist.... guess I'm at the wrong school for that, huh?
:: Baby 4:40 PM [+] ::