Southern Cross

Full disclosure: the flag doesn’t bother me at all and never has. I, frankly, never associated the flag with slavery (as in, Confederate Flag = Slavery) until the news media made that association for me. Over the years, when I saw the Confederate flag, I thought “redneck,” not “racist.” Not every racist is a redneck, and not every redneck is a racist. I’ve known many rednecks and good ol’ boys who were never, in my presence or reported to me outside of it, seen behaving in any way racist. They didn’t care what color you were so long as you brought the beer. These guys loved their Confederate flag more as symbolic of the south than as a symbol of hatred. The redneck boys I knew thought the Ku Klux Klan were a bunch of idiots.

I agree the flag should never have been flown over the SC capitol dome (mainly as an F-U to civil rights efforts), nor did I think it should have been flown at the war memorial. But I’d have been perfectly okay with the flag displayed in a glass case at the memorial while the U.S. flag was flown overhead.

Taking that flag down will not bring back a single one of the nine victims of the Emanuel AME shooting, nor will it in any way ease the suffering of their families. Taking down the flag won’t repair the Voting Rights Act the Supreme Court gutted in 2013, won’t bring justice for the growing numbers of African Americans seemingly shot at-will by law enforcement, won’t provide access to health care or solve any of the dozens of public policy issues dividing this nation. Even worse, taking down the flag will provide some in White America with an inappropriate sense of closure, which may cause some to respond to these public policy issues, “We gave up our flag, that’s all you get,” as if taking the flag down actually accomplished anything. Taking down the flag only breeds resentment and suppresses racist attitudes such that, while not openly displayed, they smolder beneath the surface. The worst part about this non-plan is stigmatizing the flag makes real racial problems that much harder to see. I’d much rather they left the flag alone; at least then I could see ‘em coming.

If we really wanted to strip the Confederate flag of power, we’d just stop talking about it. We’d let it fade into obscurity as what it factually is: an icon of southern antiquity. By using the Confederate flag as a prop to avoid actually talking to each other and engaging on serious problems of society, we shame not only that flag but our own.


  1. Jason says:

    Agree. I feel the whole flag controversy misappropriated the tragedy. It felt like marketing to me.

    It worked! I’m not mad. But we haven’t really heard a peep about it since that flag came down.

    It’s hard to be cynical about such a positive, symbolic event.

    • Priest Priest says:

      Yes, but I’m up to the task. Ever see the film, “Wag The Dog?” where the entire nation goes into mourning for an invented soldier dubbed “Old Shoe” in order to change the national conversation away from a controversial subject? That’s what this flag business is. And, now it’s done: nobody’s even *talking* about race now. Mission accomplished.

      Heck with the flag; I want to see some cops actually convicted every once in awhile when they shoot unarmed people (of any color).

  2. Oscar Jimenez says:

    And let’s not forget the kick in the stones it means to the memory of the deceased in the civil war, dust in the wind as they are, and to the freedom of expression itself. But hey, Germany -AKA Europe’s head and face- has been setting this trend for so many years, why not, right?

    Stupid people staring at the finger.

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