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NC Celebrates Confederate Flag Day

(Some images just defy explanation…)

(UPI) North Carolina marks Confederate Flag Day with a salute to the flag and the heritage many defenders of the flag say it represents.

Not everyone wants the heritage to be remembered as something to be proud of, though.

The Charlotte News & Observer reports hundreds crowded the state House chamber Saturday, sang “Dixie” and saluted the flag — along with a Civil War-era state flag and the current U.S. flag.

The event — which the newspaper described as all-white — was sponsored by the N.C. Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Many Americans, black and white, see a link between the confederate flag and a pro-slavery, Jim Crow, white supremacy attitude, the newspaper said, but the flag is still honored in the south.

University of South Carolina history professor Clyde Wilson said the response to the confederate flag is only a mask for a hatred for the South.

I understand (somewhat) the idea of Southerners wanting to celebrate their history and heritage, and pay homage to their ancestors who died in the Civil War. Their attitude seems to be, “hey, Dixie and the Stars & Bars isn’t solely about slavery and Jim Crow; we also had swell debutante balls, great cooking, tasty mint juleps, and delightful manners!”

However, they need to understand that the Confederate Flag is the battle symbol of a terrorist organization that sought to overthrow the US government through violence, period. It represents an uprising in support of an economy and a way of life that depended on the enslavement of human beings. The US has got to be the only country that allows provinces to fly the symbol of a vanquished insurgency that was the sworn enemy of its own national symbol, the Stars & Stripes.

It all seems very strange to me that anyone would even want to associate with that symbol. Of course, I’m from the Pacific Northwest and the farthest southeast I’ve ever been is Brownseville, Texas (no, wait, I did have a layover in Atlanta’s airport once), so my understanding of Southern culture is demonstrably ignorant.

However, as I grew up in Idaho, I saw more than a fair share of Confederate flag stickers on the back windows of pickup trucks, and I knew the owners of those pickup trucks, and that symbol was a not-so-thinly-veiled reference to the white supremacist attitudes that flourish in the rural underbelly of the Gem State. I grew up with these crimson-necked neaderthals and they were very clear about their love of Idaho and its lack of “mud peoples” ruining the pristine Aryan homeland. They were aware enough to realize that a White Aryan Resistance sticker or a swastika sticker were going to bring them grief, but that Stars & Bars was just socially acceptable enough to proudly display on the pickup — especially in a state with no visible black population.

Pam, help me understand these people. Especially the tiny few black southerners who see no problem with the Stars & Bars, like the guy pictured above. You’d think that when you lose a war and generations later your cause is looked back upon with near-universal disgust, you’d be ashamed of that symbol, not revelling in it. I mean, Germans aren’t very fond of swastikas, or even the old East German flag, are they? (Yeah, I know, I broke Godwin’s Law… so I’ll apologize to the South in advance… your ancestors were not as bad as Nazis, OK?)

[Cross-posted at Radical Writ, y’all]

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