Those unacquainted with America south of the Mason-Dixon line must find the recent flap over the confederate flag bemusing. The impassioned speech by a South Carolina state legislator decrying it as a symbol of hate was seen by millions. Even the Texas legislature has decided to no longer allow people to buy confederate flag license plates. It was after all a flag of the Confederacy and its failed attempt to divide the country in two. The central theme of the Civil War was the issue of slavery. Called the peculiar institution, it was an evil scar on the American conscience. Still, slavery was not the only cause of the conflict, something that is often lost in historical accounts.
To most raised in the South, history is seen through different eyes. The fact is, the South is not merely a place separated by geographic location and once immersed in slavery and Jim Crow. It is a part of America with a distinct culture and heritage. Rural, agrarian, religious, and family orientated; It is a where people speak with a southern drawl, have their own peculiar grammar rules, follow different cultural norms, and have a world renown cuisine. Probably as important, Southerners are more resistant to to central government intrusion than the North. In contrast, the industrialized north is a melting pot of traditions and with bookends of liberal elitism (New York and California). “Yankees” have no specific cultural heritage to point to. Only the American Southwest has anything measurably close to dixieland, and even it does not really compare.
Another thing also sets the South apart from the north. Those who live there are the posterity of the only Americans to have had their lands savaged by a conquering army. The Civil War is a scar on the southern psyche that still has not totally healed. One needs only to mention the names General Sherman and Lee in southern circles to find this to be true.
One last noteworthy distinction, of the south, no where is freedom more valued than in the South. It may be, as Edmond Burke suggested, that slavery infused this into its citizenry (both black and white, but for different reasons). This, more than anything else, has put it in the cross hairs of the liberal establishment. Wishing to defame its heroes, shame its children and crush its culture, liberals have initiated a second Civil War.
Lincoln’s promise after the war was to show “malice toward none” and seek “charity for all” in order to “bind up the nation’s wounds.” Part of this promise meant honoring the fallen on both sides and respecting those who, while once foes, are brothers once more. For the century and half since the war, this promise was kept. Part of this was the acceptance of southern pride and respect for its non-slavery heritage. One shared by both blacks and whites.
For a long time, part of the shared heritage was represented by the Confederate flag. Both races would often be seen flying the flag until liberals started the modern onslaught on what it stood for. Northern elites, and southern liberal sympathizers, singled out the flag as a way to erode southern culture by attacking one of its symbols. Using examples of bigots using of the flag (as if they had an exclusive right to it) they declared it inherently racist.
For liberals, the recent shooting in Charleston by a disturbed young man, who posted a picture of himself with the Stars and Bars, was the opening they were waiting for. Exploiting the tragedy for their own ends, they created a backlash against the flag. It was as if this piece of cloth was the inspiration for the attacks, not the deluded reasoning of a troubled mind. Now, not content with this alone, they wish to expunge from the South all connections with the Civil War. In contrast to Lincoln’s wishes, they seek to remove southern monuments, erase southern war heroes, and hang shame on the entire region for time immemorial. Even the classic novel and movie, Gone with the Wind, has come under attack.
Whether from fear of the liberal establishment, or palpable hypocrisy, businesses like Walmart and Amazon are refusing to sell anything related to the confederate flag. All the while selling other other images with much stronger connections to hate. These actions of course will have no effect on the actions of future racist psychopaths. On the other hand, they removal of the flag strikes at the heart of those for whom the flag represents their region’s pride.
The flag controversy is but part of an ongoing war, a liberal onslaught against a bastion of conservative values. One that has used shame and guilt to enlist many in the South to take part in their own cultural annihilation.
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