Photo Credit: Universalfreepress.com
O.K. Now that I have your attention. I am reminded that this week was the Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, also known as the turning point of the war. Had this battle gone the other way, we could very well be on a continent with 4 countries instead of 3! It is also known for being one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War.
In case you missed the news, the South lost! I know this might surprise some people in the South today, but it’s true.
So why am I writing this today? Well, this coming Monday is Independence Day. The day we celebrate our own Brexit over 200 years ago. (we’ve always been trailblazers that way). It never fails though, I’ll see some clown, somewhere flying this flag from the back of a truck, or in their yard, or tattooed on their arm/chest/back/wherever.
I’m often asked why this bother’s me. I mean, it represents personal freedom and the heritage of a proud history, right?
The excuses people use for flying this flag are as flimsy as most of the cloth they’re made from.
If by “heritage” they mean a legacy of nearly 400 years of slavery, then sure. If by “pride” they mean white pride, o.k.
Of course, you’ll never get someone to admit this. Who wants to openly admit they are a racist and appreciate the nuances of a slave-owning society? (Unless you’re at a Trump Rally, that is)
Here’s a Muppet News Flash: They Lost! Those ideas were beaten and burned into the ground (in some places quite literally). The blood of a half-million Americans drowned out those cries of “freedom” and “prosecution” of the Southern States.
You would be hard-pressed to travel Germany and find a Swastika bearing flag on a Government building. Here, you only have to go as far as Mississippi to find a Confederate Flag. Why? To embody a sense of “heritage” and “pride.” Why celebrate a “heritage” of hate and bigotry? Why brag about your “pride” in racism?
Like a petulant child, these people will still hoist this rag that I wouldn’t even use to clean up cat barf from the floor. Despite opposition and the outcry of the majority, they will continue to resist giving up their precious symbol of bullheaded racism. Being willful, like a spoiled child, no matter how eloquent or logical your argument is against this symbol of hate, they will rebuff your words with talk of “heritage” and “pride.”
Just remember, arguing might be futile, but deep down you know what “Heritage” and “pride” they are really defending. In the end, I fear, that we may have to put up with this stain in our midst for a time, until it’s no longer “cool” to be a Rebel. We might convince legislatures and town halls to strike it from viewing on public buildings and lands, but its meaning will still be in some peoples’ hearts.
Now, before someone overreacts, that doesn’t mean I’m for striking it from history altogether. Obviously, it has its place. Movies about the period, textbooks, and museums might be a logical choice. But those places are talking about the history behind the symbol, not glorifying a false view of its meaning. We still need to see Nazi symbols so we can remind ourselves what true evil looks like, recognize it, and keep it at bay. Likewise, we are going to have to view this image from time to time, if for no reason other than to appreciate how far we’ve come, and how much farther we have left to go.
P.S.: I’m going to take a couple days off for the Holiday, but I’ll be back at it next week. Until then, stay safe, and don’t blow off a finger. I appreciate my readers, and I want you back, whole, next week to see what annoys me then. See you soon!
The Morning Call 1/7/2016
June 21, 2015 at 3:17 PM EDT