Sadly, in the aftermath of the terrorist acts in Charleston, South Carolina, the ongoing dialogue in many circles has not been over the hatred that motivated the shooter, but upon the Confederate battle flag flying over the capitol building in Columbia. Some folks passionately defend that stupid old rag as a symbol of Southern pride. Which to me, as a Southerner, is so much bullshit.
I don’t need to fly a flag that hasn’t been relevant for 150 years to be proud to be Southern. My maternal grandfather’s father was named Robert Lee Chaney in honor of Robert E. Lee, and his father fought for the Confederacy. My maternal grandmother’s father was William Vandiver Moss, and he fought for the Confederacy. Not to mention the more distant relations who fought for the Confederacy. There’s no shortage of Southern pride in my family.
But I still don’t believe that the Confederate battle flag should be flying over the capitol of an American state in the 21st Century. If somebody’s stupid enough to believe that a misplaced reverence for that Confederate battle flag somehow makes you more or less Southern than somebody else, they’re a special kind of stupid. If anybody thinks that’s what being Southern is all about, they’re just playing dress-up and bought the souvenir t-shirt in the gift shop.
It’s easy enough to swing around that fekkin’ flag and pretend it means something. What’s harder to live your life with honor, dignity, and integrity in the way people like Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson did. When Robert E. Lee was asked by a woman about what she should do with a Confederate flag after the end of the American Civil War, he told her, “Fold it up and put it away”.
Yeah. Fold it up and put it away. The Civil War has been over for 150 years.