Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Thursday, July 9, 2015

South Carolina: Maybe It's Done

The Confederate flag, a symbol of racism for many in the United States and of Southern heritage for others, is set to be removed from South Carolina's state Capitol grounds on Thursday after lawmakers sealed its fate in a late-night session.

The bill to remove the flag, which dates back to the 1861-65 American Civil War, would transfer it to the "relic room" at a military museum in the state capital, Columbia, as soon as midday Thursday.

It passed a third and final vote in the House of Representatives shortly after 1 a.m. Thursday by a hefty margin of 94-20, after 13 hours of at times rancorous debate and stiff opposition from a group of conservative white Republicans.
As many commentators have pointed out, the "Confederate Flag" was never the flag of the Confederacy. It was an army battle flag and one that, not long after the war was done, was appropriated by racists and killers. The article noted that South Carolina (among other Southern states), only began flying it as a "fuck you" to those pushing for civil rights and voting rights for all.

What gets me, though, was this line:
[South Carolina] House members who supported the flag denied its association with slavery, repeatedly referred to the need to show respect for their ancestors who fought for the state and the Confederacy on the losing side of the Civil War.

"I have wept over this thing. I have bathed this thing in prayer," said Eric Bedingfield, a white Republican flag defender. "You can't erase history."
No, but you also don't flaunt it. We all know that millions of German soldiers were killed during the Second World War. We all know for whom they fought, to whom they swore allegiance. But if the German swastika flag flew over their cemeteries, everyone (other than the neo-Nazis and the white supremacists) would regard that as being both insane and offensive.

And so it is here.

1 comment:

Deadstick said...

Agreed: Germans get the picture. I've visited their cemetery in Normandy. It's very plain and meditative, none of the cheery brightness of the US counterpart, and no flags. A thirtyish man came into the gate house, paged through the book of names, carefully photographed a single page, and walked out onto the grounds...there was a moment of eye contact that stayed with me.

As you say, there are holdouts: at Hitler's mountaintop chalet, a few people come up the steep hiking trail to leave flowers and love notes where his main house used to be, and the caretaker's first job in the morning is to remove them. Tours of the chalet are offered in every European language but German.