What The Confederate Flag Stands For Now

25 Jun

People like me grew up learning about the Civil War from a Southern perspective. We know, as much as it may disconcert you, that Southerners owned slaves and Northerners hated that. But we venerate the Confederacy. I still like the damn thing. Why?

confederate-flag-art-print-posterWell, it might astonish you that a defeated people indulged in a little revisionist history. But as Jesus says, you might have a plank in your own eye. Our fathers did indulge, and we young people were taught to revere the Cause and its symbols, for reasons wholly unrelated to racism or slavery. We revered it because men showed bravery in the face of a paternal and violent central power. We like that our generals were geniuses in the battlefield, and that those kind of men are “something else.” Our General Johnston was magnetic, brave, and died on the battlefield. Our Stonewall had ingenuity, cunning, and quirkiness; his end taught us what tragedy meant. Our General Lee was the gentleman soldier. Brilliant in battle and gracious in defeat.

Oh, but now we learn they were men who supported cruel things, or were traitors, or something else equally bad. Some very angry people have taken it upon themselves to make a noise about how bad these men were, similar to the noise they make about America’s Christopher Columbus … or the Washington Redskins, or nativity scenes.

And that brings me to what the flag means today. It means an end to all that “origins raking.” It means an end to American guilt. The fact is, every people has its origins in some injustice, and this is no surprise to any intelligent person. What we mean by flying the flag is that “we know this;” which means we know that “you too” have unjust origins. We forsake the injustice of our ancestors and embrace what is good about them, and so we refuse to be moved by your guilt trips. Why don’t you go tend to your own garden and leave us be?

Flying the flag today means: guilt trips, as a sort of political motivation, carry no truck here.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: