Sunday, March 18, 2007

Confederate Flag Controversy



They should at least be happy that it's being used as high art.

In an art gallery in Tallahassee, an artist has created an exhibit called, "The Proper Way to Hang a Confederate Flag" which is a confederate battle flag hung in a noose. Personally i think it is provocative, maybe the artist, John Sims should have hung the noose from a tree instead of a gallows because of the connotations of lynching, but I think it is fitting.

Of course the sons and daughters of the Confederacy are in protest over it and apparently it violates a state law that you cannot defile or desecrate the confederate flag, odd that the symbol of an anti-constitutional rebellion is given basically un-constituional protection.

Florida is the last place I would think they would have any sort of feeling for the flag. There were few people there when they joined the rebellion in the Civil War and practically few battles were fought there. If they had won, most of the people in Florida would not be there today. I can't image the Cubans wanting to live there if they still had slavery nor would old Jewish retirees from new York want to head out there either, I would think.

The flag should be considered offensive by everyone, not just because of slavery, but because it represents a group of people who were unhappy with the constitution and pouted and threw a fit and a temper tantrum called the Civil War. The South was run by an aristocratic slave owning elite that essentially were a bunch of crybabies who wanted to run everything in this country and when they saw they wouldn't be able to because Lincoln was elected, they shut themselves up in their rooms and refused to come out.

Remember General Lee killed more Americans than Osama. And don't think because he claimed he was fighting for his state (which I hale originally from, his house is the symbol on my county seal) that his armed struggle was serving just that ends. The nascent country was founded on slavery and slavery alone. State's Rights was not the issue. Anyone who disagrees can read the cornerstone speech. The South didn't care about State's Rights in the War of 1812 and the Mexican American War. It wanted Northern States to prosecute those who helped runaway slaves. They loved the federal government AS LONG AS THEY COULD RUN IT.

And Southern Heritage? What the hell is Southern Heritage? It's an excuse to hang the flag because the young people seem to no longer have been born with an inbred hate of Mr. Lincoln and the sons of Cain. Remember, not all Southerners fought for the Confederacy, many took arms against it. Remember the Black population of the South and how it is a part of that heritage as well, and that they shape how it is defined. What is this Southern heritage? Going to church? People everywhere do that. Respect for property? Seems common too. Owning firearms? Eating the cuisine of the region (which has many sub-variations so I can;t see how this is a "cornerstone" of their heritage)? Despite the accent, the Southern language is not really a dialect and certainly not a separate language. There is certainly a corpus of Southern Literature, but I doubt many of the people who protest the flag have read Faulkner and O'Connor.

The South is a land of many strong, passionate people who have built this country and have struggled to try and overcome the past. Those who would defend the flag and bring it into the Pantheon of essential "Southerness" jepordize the movement away from the scars and battlewounds and threaten to turn the progress of the last century and a half of progress into a lost cause.

(Photo credit of Phil Coale, AP)