The Flag, Again?

The once-great controversy about the confederate flag on the South Carolina State House grounds has faded, though the feelings about it have not.  An article in The State paper today brought it back up and reminded me not of heritage, but childishness.

Mine is a family with strong and distinguished ties to the Civil War.  My ancestors fought for the Confederacy and of that I am quite proud.  I maintain that pride knowing that the true basis for the war was states rights as promised in the Constitution.  The legacy of slavery, however, is something of which all southerners should recall with shame and regret.  Nonetheless, it is possible to honor that generation without emphasizing the unhonorable.

The article in the paper noted that the South Carolina women’s basketball team (with a black coach and all black squad) will be able to host a tournament next year despite the NCAA ban on baseball and basketball post-season games because of the Confederate flag at the State House.

“Beginning next year, the NCAA is changing the women’s basketball tournament. Like the NCAA baseball tournament, host teams will be based on merit. If a team is one of the Top 16 seeds, it will host the first two rounds of the tournament.

“For the Gamecocks, who have been denied hosting the tournament in each of the past three years because of the Confederate battle flag at the Statehouse, change is sweet relief.”

I’ve always been of two minds about this.  First, it’s no one’s business but that of the citizens of South Carolina what is and is not on the State House grounds.

Second, as one of those citizens, I think it’s stupid to flaunt the battle flag on the people’ property.

I understand the whole “heritage” and “legacy” argument.  Not very many Sandlappers who took up arms in that war were doing so to retain their slaves because they didn’t have any.   But the purpose of this post isn’t to refight that war.

It has confounded me why the monument to our Confederate dead (1) must use a flag at all and/or (2) why THAT flag?  If it is Confederate heritage that is to be honored, why not use the Confederate national flag rather than the battle version?

Maybe a South Carolina state regimental flag or, just the state flag itself?

I’ve concluded that the real reason the battle flag is kept flying at the state capital is not heritage or legacy, but a childish finger-in-the-eye by a bunch of fools who want to stick it to somebody and, in the process, show more redneck pride than ancestral.


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