The removal of the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia from the South Carolina State House grounds took a lot more energy and drew far more attention than necessary. The circumstances that prompted its furling was beyond horrible and the person responsible is the lowest form of human scum; that cannot be debated.
The ensuing and nauseating conversation not just about the flag, but of things Southern is far beyond reasonable. In the name of reason, good manners and national sanity, the two most vocal sides of the Great Confederacy Debate of 2015 both need to shut up.
For those who bellyache that the flag represents heritage and not hate, shut up. The cold, unassailable fact is that a bunch of hateful yahoos have co-opted the Confederate battle flag and use it as a part of their identity. Just as the Nazis took a religious symbol and turned it into the swastika, the battle flag has negative connotations to far too many people. Not everyone, of course, but enough. If that flag is so important to you; if it is so much a part of your heritage, why have you not tried to rescue it from the KKK, white supremacists and biker gangs? It is with them you have an argument, not those who see it and flinch, wondering if those flying it might have evil intent or are just reenactors. You should have started your campaign for “heritage, not hate” decades ago and directed it to those people. But you didn’t, so, now, shut up!
And for the liberals and non-southerners who have taken South Carolina’s decision about the State House (it is NOT the state capitol, it is the State House!) flag as a call to demean all things southern, shut up! No one needs you to define the South or give the world your opinion about what the Civil War was about. Southerners neither want nor need your self-derived wisdom about the Constitution, Wade Hampton, states’ rights or barbeque because you usually are wrong about them all – especially the barbeque. Southerners are respectful of their history even though, yes, they overlook (ignore) the parts that are “unsavory.” As appreciative as we are of the past, we do not live in it. Southerners are not backwoods, inbred social Neanderthals, so shut up!
For my fellow sons and daughters of the South, keep in mind that our history, in which we have so much pride, does include great injustice and the attitudes and mores of today don’t synchronize with those of the 1800s. People today do not appreciate the nuances -the excuses – of the bad behaviors and cruel actions of our ancestors. Though we want to revere our forebears and be proud of the South, the Confederacy is dead, so shut up about it!
Finally, for those not from South Carolina, what is or is not on our State House grounds is none of your business. None! What NASCAR drivers, actors, singers, football players or West Coast politicians think about the propriety of what is and is not in Columbia is of no concern to you and we don’t give a flying flag what you think; so shut up!