It's amazing how quickly public opinion can turn on a topic and result in sweeping change. It wasn't that long ago that "Don't Ask - Don't Tell" was the law of the land. Once that and DOMA got repealed, we saw gay marriage become legal across many states in the country, due to laws falling by court order. Once Americans saw that Armageddon wasn't unleashed, they said "Hey - I'm okay with this". We went from hush-hush to ho-hum in just a few years.
It seems that now the Confederate flag teeters in the same balance.
After the horrific massacre at a historic Charleston church, it became clear that the murderer was driven by hatred for anyone who wasn't white. The confederate flag featured prominently in photos of the psycho, and was clear in video taken at the SC state capitol, where it still flies. Knowing that gun control and reducing gun violence is next to impossible, our need to do something focused on addressing the hate and all it's symbols. The confederate flag fits that bill, like the swastika represents Nazism.
Historically,The flag was only used by the Army of northern VA in the Civil War; it was not used elsewhere. It wasn't until the civil rights era where (once again) defiant southerners began adopting it as a way to flip their collective middle finger at a federal government they felt were interfering with the Jim Crow laws the whites enjoyed. It is probably this - more than the Civil War connection - that gives the flag its reputation.
But since those who embrace the flag claim it's all about "southern pride" - let's examine that quickly. What's to be proud about? Are you proud your ancestors were traitors to the country? Are you proud they lost? Are you proud they fought to ensure "their way of life" (i.e.: slavery)?
I was brought up to treat the Civil War as a black mark on American history, where several states tried to leave the union, causing horrendous bloodshed and destruction. It is a shame of the nation, not something to remember fondly. Our country has healed the wounds with Germany and Japan, and that was after major destruction in WWII. Why can't certain southerners just let this one go?
Nonetheless - the flag appears to be fighting its last battles. South Carolina has agreed to debate this summer
whether to remove it from the state capitol grounds. For SC - that's progress. This has spurred other states to act as well, including Mississippi
. Virginia is going to banish it from license plates
(and recall those already out there). Even NASCAR has its detractors, including the Earnhardts
Many stores, like Wal-Mart, Sears, and eBay will no longer sell the flag
, and Valley Forge Flag is going to stop making them
. This has all happened in less than a week.
Naturally, the dying gasp of a bygone era has it's heroes trying to hold on. Stores that are still selling the flag are seeing a booming business
, as buyers either want to "stock up" or display their support (i.e.: ignorance) of what will surely become a relic in our time. It will soon be rightly seen as a symbol of stupid white pride by everyone, not just those who aren't white or holding on to some fantasy of the Old South.
Leave it to RushBo, then, to rile up the idiots even more
Conservative radio icon Rush Limbaugh warned on Tuesday that if liberals were allowed to banish the Confederate flag from the South Carolina statehouse grounds then traditional American symbols like the U.S. flag would be next.
“I have a prediction,” Limbaugh announced. “It’s not going to stop with the Confederate flag because it’s not about the Confederate flag, it’s about destroying the South as a political force.”
According to the conservative talker, liberals had a plan to paint everyone in the entire South as if they were the white supremacist who murdered nine black church members in Charleston.
“Do not doubt me!” Limbaugh insisted. “And I’ll make another prediction to you. The next flag that will come under assault — and it will not be long — is the American flag.”
Funny coming from a person whose shows are slowly disappearing from the airwaves. Apropos, really. Two symbols of an embarrassing fading era.