How was your Confederate Memorial Day?

S.C. political culture
keeps flag up,
DOT unreformed

RECENTLY, I said state lawmakers refuse to find the time to deal with the Confederate flag’s implications for our state.
    I was wrong. They’ve saved so much time by not reforming the Department of Transportation this session that they managed to take off a whole day Thursday to honor the flag and all that it stands for. They also paid state employees several million dollars to do the same.
    They know just what they’re doing. They don’t declare state holidays for every failed insurrection that comes along. There’s no Stono Rebellion Day, for instance. That was when some black South Carolina slaves rose up violently to assert their right to live as they chose, and lots of people died horribly, and the rebels suffered much and gained nothing. Whereas the War Between the States was when a bunch of white South Carolina slave owners rose up violently to… OK, well, the rest of it’s just the same.
    But you see, we have a Confederate Memorial Day holiday because the General Assembly had to do something for white people after it gave black folks Martin Luther King Day.
    It was a tradeoff. Our leaders think in those terms. Something for you people in exchange for something for us people. The idea that Martin Luther King might be worth a nod from all of us just didn’t wash.
    The Legislature’s refusal to reform the Department of Transportation is actually related. That agency is governed according to the principle of something for you people in exchange for something for us people, leaving out the needs of the state as a whole.
    The power lies in the Transportation Commission. The governor appoints the chairman; the other members are chosen by legislators. Not by the Legislature as a whole: Each member represents a congressional district, and only the legislators who live in that district have a say in choosing that commissioner. Therefore the people in a position to set priorities on road-building have parochial notions of what roads need to be built — all except the chairman, who can’t vote unless there’s a tie.
So how are priorities set? Something for you people in exchange for something for us people — the balancing of narrow interests, rather than a statewide strategy.
    Lawmakers as a whole aren’t even seriously considering giving up that commission. Even the idea of giving greater power over the commission to the governor — who in almost any other state would be running that executive agency outright — is utterly shocking to some of the most powerful legislative leaders.
    “This Senate would rue the day that you turn that billion-dollar agency over to one person,” said Sen. John Land, who represents a rural district.
    The scandal at the Transportation Department didn’t arise from former Director Elizabeth Mabry being a bad administrator. She was a bad administrator, but she was part of a system. A job for your relative, commissioner, in return for indulging the way I run my fiefdom ….
    Something for you in exchange for something for me. It didn’t even have to be stated.
    When I say the “Legislature” is like this, it doesn’t apply to all lawmakers — just to the decisions they make collectively.
    There are some who want to fix the agency, and others who want to take down the Confederate flag. But the status quo runs right over them without breaking stride.
    Sen. John Courson proposed to do away with the commission and put the governor in charge. He got support, but not enough; the idea was dropped.
    After I wrote about “the Legislature” not wanting to talk about the flag recently, Rep. Chris Hart called to say he wants to talk about it, and that he and Reps. Todd Rutherford, Bakari Sellers and Terry Alexander have a bill that would take the flag down — H.3588. But it’s sat in committee since Feb. 27.
    My grand unifying theory is not a simple matter of good guys and bad guys. Sen. Glenn McConnell is a champion of the monument for you, flag for me system. But he’s pushing the plan to give the governor more say over the Transportation Department.
    What  matters is how it comes out, after everybody votes. This legislative session will end soon. Significant reform of the Transportation Department is looking doubtful, while action on the flag is politically impossible.
    Rep. Rutherford has some hope for next year on the flag, especially after recent comments from football coach Steve Spurrier, and the protest by United Methodist clergy. If that blossoms into a movement of the breadth of the one that moved the flag in 2000, H.3588 could have a chance.
    But he warns that if it does start to gain support, a moribund proposal to declare a Confederate Heritage Month will likely be revived. Something for you people, something for us people.
    The Transportation Department won’t be reformed until the culture changes, until the notion that there is such a thing as statewide priorities replaces the traditional balancing of the interests of narrow constituencies.
    The flag won’t come down unconditionally until the notion sinks in that it’s not about whether your ancestors were slaves, or slaveholders, or neither. This is the 21st century, and the Confederacy hasn’t existed since 1865. “I’m not trying to disrespect anybody’s heritage,” Rep. Rutherford said on Confederate Memorial Day. “It just shouldn’t be there.”
    That’s true no matter who your kinfolk were, and no matter what day it is in the year 2007.

92 thoughts on “How was your Confederate Memorial Day?

  1. Bill B.

    So Brad, did you use up a whole box of Kleenex writing this article?
    Wasn’t MLK the saint who was married but still had a woman on every corner motel room? Yep, he deserves to be the only other single individual to have a national holiday named after him. If you can’t recall the other individual, he was someone by the name of Jesus Christ or “the son of God”. I can see where you would agree that a known adulterer, as well as a liar and a plagiarist would be just as worthy.
    Maybe Rep. Rutherford should rethink Black History Month, because I don’t think it should be there either… no disrespect.

  2. Brian

    MLK?? Thank God there are still some of us that remember that charlatan for what he was.
    We are fed too much BS about the so-called “civil rights movement.” We have the Bill of Rights and each state its own Constitution. Don’t confuse privileges with rights; both need to be rationed.
    Mr. Warthen has been in Columbia and associated with the elite so long that he has apparently gotten above his raisin’.

  3. Randy E

    Bill B, Simply comparing King with the Lord in terms of being individuals is myopic and is overly simplistic.
    Christmas is a state holiday based on its value to a segment of our population. Starbucks is open Christmas morning because they serve many who are not Christian. King represents and has tremendous value for a segment of our population as well.
    Why should King be revered in such a way? Clearly he holds a unique position in the history of our country. Look on the wall of a high school history class and you will see a row of pictures of mostly dead white men yet not a single black man. Some of them are honored on national monuments or on currency. There is a national holiday to celebrate these white men collectively. A man who did more than almost anyone else to help our country overcome almost 200 years of injustice is certainly a candidate for such reverence.
    The notion that he should not be honored for some improper acts amounts to cherry picking. Is Iran-Contra the defining memory of Reagan? Are the many affairs of JFK the sole criteria used to judge him? King is not up for Christian sainthood. He is honored for his work in promoting racial equality.

  4. Randy E

    Priviledges? Brian, you think African-Americans were simply fighting for priviledges? Voting is a priviledge? Having a classroom with less than 50 students is a priviledge? Being able to walk into a restaurant and have a meal is a priviledge? Talk about an elitist view.
    Someone on this blog needs to do some research on history and the Bill of Rights and it’s not Brad.

  5. Bill B.

    Randy E – So when is Ronald Reagan or JFK Day? They don’t even get to share a date. Where on the calendar is the day we celebrate the Hispanic, Asian, American Indian, Jewish, or how about FEMALE historic citizens? Why is that?
    So the best the black man can do is to honor one single black man who was a known adulterer, liar, and plagiarist who took a bullet from a coward who couldn’t look him in the eye when he pulled the trigger… they can’t find any better role model than that??? The way that works, Jesse Jackson probably can’t wait until he dies so he’ll have his own holiday.
    Starbucks… like they’d close for a single day when there’s money to be made.

  6. Brad Warthen

    It’s interesting how everything immediately flies into polarized assumptions on this issue. You’re for THIS so you’re against THAT, which means you’re for this OTHER thing, because that’s the way we choose up sides.
    For instance: We see people attacking the idea of an MLK day holiday as if I had asserted that we just HAD to have one. I didn’t say what I think of that at all — because that’s not what the column was about.
    But if you want to know, I’ve always been ambivalent about it. Nothing against MLK; I just thought we had enough holidays. It gets to where it’s hard to get any work done, both in the government and the private sector. Maybe I see it this way because I work in a 365-day-a-year business, and for almost 30 years, I have functioned as a manager in that business. In any week you choose, we still have to put out seven days’ worth of editorial and op-ed pages. That’s hard to do with a small staff and keep it down to five days a week of work. Throw in a holiday, and you’re doing a week’s work in four days rather than five.
    I realize it’s not like that in a lot of businesses, or in a lot of government offices. But that’s my perspective.
    So I was never thrilled about adding a holiday. What was appalling about this deal is that lawmakers were determined to double the damage by adding a second holiday, and for no other reason than a matter of “something for white folks, because that other is for black folks.”
    Such thinking is disgusting. Either MLK is worth all our state employees — black, white and whatever — taking the day off to honor him, or he isn’t. Note that I didn’t say, “Golly, we just had to have a holiday to honor this man;” I said, “The idea that Martin Luther King might be worth a nod from all of us just didn’t wash.” Either he was or he wasn’t. Don’t “compromise” with a gesture of racial separatism that is stupid and impractical on so many levels.
    Note the problems: the racial separatism, the fact that you’re paying employees to be off two days instead of one. It’s idiotic, and shameful.

  7. mark g

    Ugh. Everyone is entitled to their opinion I guess. But this kind of thinking is why I read the posts on this blog, but rarely ever check out the comments. I don’t know how Randy or Brad find the energy to engage these guys.
    MLK was a dynamic, courageous hero of the civil rights era.
    The confederate flag flying at the statehouse may not be an appropriate symbol for a state government, but it is an accurate one– it shows the world what a backwards state this really is.

  8. bud

    Just a factual comment here. At one time, going back to at least to 1978, SC had four confederate holidays: Lee’s Birthday, Jefferson Davis birthday, Confederate Memorial Day and one other that I can’t remember. In the 80s we changed that to delete the Confederate days and replace them with: National Memorial Day, Election Day (in even years), an optional holiday of one’s choosing and the Friday after Thanksgiving. When the MLK holiday was added, along with Confederate Memorial Day, election day and the optional day were eliminated. So we haven’t had a net increase in state holidays for at least 30 years.

  9. Paul C Graham

    I had a GREAT Confederate Memorial Day.
    I enjoyed the service at Elmwood Cemetery, the walk to the SC Statehouse, and the Program in from of the soldiers’ monument.
    Given all of the opposition in The State and elsewhere, I was surprised that there was no one protesting us, although I wish someone would have.
    They would have found a couple hundred well dressed, well mannered, citizens who paid tribute to their family members (ancestors), sang hymns, and assembled peacefully for a cause that has nothing to do with race hatred or treason.
    I wish you could have been there. I do not think you would have been uncomfortable. In fact, I think you might have even enjoyed yourself.
    It is a shame that the beauty that is traditional Southern culture is not on the list of acceptable things (according to some) to celebrate.
    Thank God there are still folks that still understand it and love it.

  10. Bill B.

    Brad, if you took your head out of the sand and quit beating this poor Confederate dead horse about anything involving the Confederacy, you would realize that the state legislature DID NOT add two holidays when they agreed to have a MLK Day and a Confederate Memorial Day… they reassigned one holiday and took away a personal day. State taxpayers are still paying for the same amount of days they did prior to these two days off. The only difference is you now are whining about what days we get off.

  11. Wally Altman

    While I think it’s a bit silly for state employees to get the day off for Confederate Memorial Day, and I agree that reinstating the holiday at the same time the MLK holiday was introduced just so there’d be “one for us, one for them” is appalling, I’m having a hard time getting worked up about this issue. It’s just a day off. As others have noted, it’s not costing taxpayers any more money than the old set of holidays did, and it’s not flying in the face of our citizens 365 days a year like the Confederate Flag.

  12. josephine bass

    I don’t know why I even bother to write a message to this sleazy column.
    I guess because the ending statement is so bizarre.
    “That’s true no matter who your kinfolk were, and no matter what day it is in the year 2007.”
    Brad should have added IN MY OPINION to the front of this statement because this whole peice is just that his opinion.
    In my Opinion his opiion STINKS!

  13. Ready to Hurl

    People can gather at Elmwood Cemetery or many other locations any day of the year to pay tribute to their ancestors etc.
    To say that the rebellion of the CSA has nothing to do with racism is simply incorrect, however. There’s plenty of writings by 19th Century defenders of slavery who cite the inadequacies of black Africans as a race to justify slavery.
    No one is attempting to eliminate the right of individuals to worship their ancestors– no matter how misguided their ancestors were.
    However, when 29% of South Carolinians are (mostly) descendants of slaves it’s rather perverse to think that they should continue to pay taxes to fly the banner of a failed rebellion incited to keep their ancestors enslaved.

  14. Bill B.

    Ready: Could you please point out exactly where in the budget it appropriates money for the flying of the Confederate flag? If you can, I bet the yearly expense is less than one catered luncheon for the Legislative Black Caucus. My tax dollars go for that and they don’t represent my interests. Can I get my tax money back too?

  15. Brad Warthen

    Do you wonder why Bill B. chooses the Legislative BLACK Caucus for his comparison? I don’t, because I know what this is all about, just as he does.

    FYI, the point of caucuses these days is to get around the state ethics law, and let LOBBYISTS, not the state, buy lunch, dinner, etc. The law allows lobbyists to spend on caucuses, but not on individual members. That’s why you see bogus attempts to create new caucuses.

    And I would be very surprised if the spending on the black caucus were anything near what is spent on caucuses with actual power, such as the Republican caucus. Lobbyists spend money where they will have an impact.

    So why mention the black caucus? Once again, we know why.

  16. Marc Posner

    Does one’s heart good to see that intolerance is alive and well in our fair state in 2007. Martin Luther King was a great leader who ultimately gave his life to help bring into our consciousness the terrible inequities that exist in our country. Martin Luther King stood out front and led when people of color were not even allowed to sit in front of the bus or drink from the same water fountain as a white person. I too share Brad Warthen’s ambivalence regarding the holiday for the same reasons as Brad. However honoring Martin Luther King’s memory and remembering how he helped to lead all of us to a better place is proper and right.
    The Confederate flag represents a bleak time in the history of this country—take the ludicrous thing down and let’s get on in living in the 21st century. The Confederate Memorial Day is a reminder of the state sanctioned bigotry of the Jim Crow era. South Carolina is part of the United States of America, let’s celebrate one Memorial Day and remember the lives of the people who perished in all of the wars our country has fought.
    Six million Jewish people died in concentration camps because they happened to be born Jewish and follow the Jewish faith. We do have a Holocaust Remembrance Day. It is not a national holiday but it is a day that hopefully all of us takes pause and honor the holocaust victims in our own way. Should we dismiss that day too since some of the Jewish leaders that gave direction to the formation of the state of Israel might have committed adultery?

  17. JH MacDonald

    I currently have 2 children attending the University of SC. For that reason I have attempted to become more familiar with the culture, politics and economy of your lovely state. We have visited several times now and we have met many residents.
    I have tried to keep an open mind regarding traditional southern culture and the ongoing debate related to the flying of the confederate flag at the State House. The intensity of the vitriolic remarks that this issue triggers is staggering to an outsider.
    I am never sure exactly what the term traditional southern culture actually means by its proponents and opponents. I have no particular objection to the ancestors of fallen soldiers remembering them fondly and honoring them appropriately. After all, most of them were youngsters just doing what they were told by their elders, just like today.
    I am, however, unclear on two related issues:
    A] If the definition of traditional southern culture does not include the values and dogma of the Ku Klux Klan, where were the descendants of the honorable fallen confederate soldiers when the KKK and more recently the American Nazis usurped their primary symbol and logo? It’s nice to gather at your Memorial once a year, but if the honorable fallen were there some year, how would their 21st Century ancestors justify their memory and honor being irretrievably tarnished by losing control of their battle flag and now sharing it with not one, but two groups of dress up boys?
    B] As a result of the complete failure to protect the Symbol referred to in A, is it not apparent to the current generation that the entire rest of the Country, if not the world, now associates the flag flown at the SC State House with two outrageously dishonorable groups of people? This is no longer a subjective debate, tinged by Yankees versus Confederates or whites versus blacks. This is a matter of objective, quantifiable and verifiable data gathered by people trying to decide whether to invest in SC or bring their Brand, their flag or their logo to SC.
    It’s admirable to honor your past and your ancestors. It’s sad to keep petulantly trying to re fight battles that have been long ago lost, including defense of the battle flag against usurpation by the KKK and the Nazis. It’s too bad that the passion and intestinal fortitude to protect the flag from those despoilers were not more effectively brought forward.
    Exactly how do South Carolinians explain to their children and their grandchildren, that the flag that you cherish also happens to be the symbol of the KKK and is an honored companion to that of the Nazis? Sometimes energy spent honoring the past can detract from the much more important obligation to build an honorable future.
    Let the non sequiturs begin.

  18. Bill B.

    I chose the Legislative Black Caucus, because all of the members you mentioned (Hart, Rutherford, Sellers, and Alexander) are the ones attempting to bring back up anti-flag legislation. Am I wrong?
    Did that answer match your reasoning of why I selected that group of individuals? I seriously doubt it. I’ll accept your apology whenever you’re ready.

  19. Ready to Hurl

    Hmmm, now I see, Bill B. You begrudge the lobbyists buying meals etc. for the Black Caucus because BC members oppose the state buying and flying the current (and former) banner of racism and rebellion.
    Of course. Your comments defaming MLK and deriding the Civil Rights Movement were only meant to make us think that you’re a bigot.
    BTW, ALL U.S. Presidents (including JFK, Reagan, and Lincoln) ARE recognized by Presidents Day.

  20. Bill B.

    Ready: I don’t begrudge any lobbyist more than others, they’re all parasites.
    Please correct any comments I made about MLK that are incorrect. See if you can do it without name calling this time.
    Your explanation for Presidents Day still doesn’t allow for why we are honor a single person on one day. Unless MLK is more important than or equal to the combination of all presidents of this country. Like I said before, the only other single person who has his own national holiday is Jesus Christ, I guess by your logic MLK = Jesus Christ. I respectfully disagree.

  21. Sheila

    What I want to know is why is this flag still an issue after a compromise was approved? The flag was moved down from the dome to the Confederate War Memorial. Where else should it be? Why are we continuously told to spit on and hide the unpleasant part of our history? Why can’t we move on? Because so many people (black and white) are too busy living in the past.

  22. Sheila

    And for those of you who don’t know – it is well documented that MLK was an adulterer. His wife knew about the affairs but looked the other way. Just like so many women did back then (and still continue to do).
    If everyone wants to get upset and remove a flag from flying on the dome maybe we should remove the Stars and Stripes since that was the flag flying on the Northern slave ships. That was the flag flying in the ports when the slave ships landed and unloaded. And that was the flag flying when the slaves were sold.
    And the African flags people are so proud of wearing – don’t forget that the tribes were selling their slaves to the white man years before the first slave ship ever landed in America. Read history – it’s amazing what you’ll find out when you read and know for yourself instead of letting people tell you what to believe.

  23. JH MacDonald

    I don’t see anybody suggesting that you should spit on your history or hide the unpleasant parts. Your ancestors had a divergent idea and they felt strongly enough to fight for it. They lost.
    They wanted to fly one of their battle flags to honor their fallen and to honor traditional southern heritage. So be it.
    Their heirs allowed their battle flag to be usurped by the KKK; OR, they willing tolerated its use by them. Was that tolerance or inaction somehow part of traditional southern heritage or was it somehow honoring the fallen confederate soldiers? I hope not.
    Most recently your treasured flag shows up next to the Nazi flag and is specifically noted as making them feel at home on your State House grounds.
    It’s one thing to lose a war and expect your flag to be flown in conjunction with the winning side. It’s quite another to not have the intestinal fortitude to take back ownership of your battle flag from two groups of dress up boys. If I was a fallen confederate soldier, I would be quite peeved to see what my ancestors had allowed to become of my flag.
    You can talk about the affairs of Martin Luther King all you want, but that does not negate the fact that the battle flag was taken from honorable southern folk and paraded by two bands of vile creatures. That horse, long ago escaped the barn.
    You can talk history and slave ships and who had affairs all you want. Unlike the fallen confederate soldiers of the 1860’s, you southern history experts wimped out and let the dress up boys steal your flag. Pay your ancestors a real tribute and stop using their now defiled flag to divide your people.
    The NAACP, MLK, Yankees, liberal northern judges, Brad Warthen, liberal media and all the rest of your silly excuses did not allow for your flag to change from a symbol of honor to a symbol of wacko dress up boys. One might conclude that the gene controlling valor and honor of the southern man was, indeed, one of the tragic losses sustained in the War of Northern Aggression.

  24. Paul DeMarco

    I admire you for pressing for the flag’s removal from the State House grounds. However, per usual, the recent blog threads on that subject have offered so much more heat than light.
    The discussion thus far could pretty much be summed up by the following five words: You’re a racist! Am not!
    Impugning someone’s racial motives is not a useful strategy. None of us know another person’s heart, so you can never truly know if someone’s a racist unless they do something unmistakable or if they are candid enough to admit it. Very few people are proudly and openly racist (our recent Nazi visitors excepted).
    Arguing race (and the flag) is like arguing religion. It’s unlikely that someone is going to be persuaded to suddenly abandon his deep seated belief and come over to your side.
    Is fruitful discussion impossible? I don’t know, but I think we would do better if we narrowed the question and focused on a particular tangible item. One possible question would be, “Is the current flag compromise final, i.e., has it achieved the goal of placing the flag in a proper historical context and eliminated it as an impediment to our progress as a state?”
    I think the answer to that question is no and wrote a column about it (submitted but alas rejected by my favorite newspaper). However, I post it below in an effort to give us something to shoot at. If we haven’t quite got the compromise right, how do we fix it?

  25. Paul DeMarco

    This is the column mentioned above:
    The dynamics of the Confederate flag debate seem much like one of those stereogram images from which, if you stare long enough, a three-dimensional hidden picture emerges. Some people can see them, some people can’t. Flag opponents’ eyes immediately shoot to an unmistakable (to them) 3-D image of the word “injustice” that spans the length of the flag, bisecting Saint Andrew’s cross. Flag supporters just don’t see it that way. No matter how long they look at the flag or from what angle, all they see is a flag, a cloth banner that represents the accomplishments of the soldiers that carried it long ago.
    Our views of the flag are mutually exclusive and that’s why middle ground is so hard to find. It’s much like my family’s approach to peanut butter. My daughter and I love smooth and can’t abide the thought of crunchy. My wife and my son are the absolute converse. So to maintain family harmony we try to keep two jars in the pantry and refrain from discussing our peanut butter preferences in mixed company.
    Because it is so hard to see the flag through another man’s spectacles, we just can’t believe that a thinking person would ever view it the opposite way, making substantive discussion rare. Mostly we resort to ad hominem arguments assaulting the other side for their idiotic perspective.
    I was about to tread that tired path when I read Senator Glenn McConnell’s recent column about the flag (“No need for another battle over the flag”). I put it down determined to fire off a scathing rebuttal about how wrong his perspective was. But we’ve heard that a million times before. It would have been another tired recitation of smooth vs. crunchy.
    So after counting to a hundred, I’m going to give the good senator the benefit of the doubt. I’m going to assume the best about my worthy opponent. I’m going to take on faith that he is the same kind of chivalrous Southern gentleman that I aspire to be. I’m not going to question his integrity, his motives or his intellect. I’m even going to ignore his rather inflammatory language-he may be the first author ever to scold opponents of the flag for their “prejudice.” I’m just going to resign myself to the fact that he will forever be crunchy and I will forever be smooth.
    Having established that immutable divide, is there any sense in going further?
    I think there is. Rather than continuing to bash heads about who is right about the flag,
    let’s ask a different question. Let’s debate whether, as Senator McConnell claims, the flag has found its final resting place. No matter how you view the flag, I think it’s fair to ask if it is in the right place. Why should the Confederate monument and flag be the primary adornment of the State House grounds as we approach the front door?
    Common sense would suggest (and Southern chivalry would require) that we not offend a third of our population as they admire the building that reflects South Carolina’s best and noblest aspirations. Our black brothers and sisters have spent most of this state’s history as second class citizens. It’s only in my lifetime that the door of equality has swung open for them.
    So let’s show in unmistakable terms that we as South Carolinians are committed to equality and justice. We have an African-American monument on the east (Senate) side of the capitol grounds. Let’s move the Confederate monument from its current prominent position on the north side to the west (House) side for balance. If flag supporters can’t bear to see the flag removed, keep it. But add the Pan-African flag (a tricolor banner created in 1920 representing the black struggle for liberty throughout the world) to the other monument. I have no real desire to see either flag fly, but equal is equal.
    Is separate but equal all we can achieve with our monuments? Perhaps. But I would venture one further crowning step. Our history as South Carolinians of all colors is much more intertwined than we usually acknowledge. And certainly our future will only be bright if we walk into it as one people. Once the Confederate soldier is moved, why not replace him with a monument to that future. I’m no artist, but I can envision that a sculpture cast to embody Martin Luther King Jr.’s words “I have a dream that…one day little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers” would go a long way toward pointing the way forward.

  26. Bill S.

    WHAT…the South Lost..we have a Lost Cause?
    Mabye this is something Brad might understand, but I know Spurrier gets.
    “South O…Yankee’s 1…Half Time.”
    What started in South Carolina…stay’s
    in South Carolina…don’t like it..
    last time I looked I-95 still runs North.
    “God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion.
    The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is
    wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts
    they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions,
    it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. …
    And what country can preserve its liberties, if it’s rulers are not
    warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of
    resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as
    to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost
    in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from
    time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
    It is its natural manure.” Thomas Jefferson.
    “If I had foreseen the use those people
    designed to make of their victory,
    there would have been no surrender at
    Appomattox Courthouse; no sir, not by me.
    Had I foreseen these results of subjugation,
    I would have preferred to die at Appomattox
    with my brave men, my sword in my right hand.” Robert E. Lee.
    WE Lost..a Lost Cause, huh,, Who Lost in
    April 1865?

  27. Michael Rodgers

    Good questions! The SC legislature called their decision to fly the Confederate flag from a flagpole on the Statehouse grounds a “compromise,” but who did they compromise with? Or did two (or more) other groups get together and offer a joint statement of compromise? It was not a compromise.
    Michael Rodgers
    Columbia, SC

  28. Michael Rodgers

    You’re right that name-calling and polarization are getting in the way. And you’re right that novel ideas are exactly what we need to break through the clutter to find some agreement. I encourage you to keep posting innovative ideas like what you have proposed today. One caveat, though, if I may — I suggest that you think about Brad’s discussion and conclusion in his post today, that we must end this “one for us” and “one for them” political methodology. Also, I hope that you get a chance to read some of my entries here and along with other posts, especially towards the end of
    and towards the end of
    Please keep writing such interesting posts, and please keep presenting innovative ideas. I am really glad that I read your post.
    Best Regards,
    Michael Rodgers
    Columbia, SC

  29. Brian

    What the heck is DOT??!! And who really cares?? Give me a weak governor!! And give me a State House that has to beg and plead for anything in the budget; starving the gov’t–fed or state–is great.
    MLK, MLK, MLK… I’m so sick of hearing about that Stalinist moron. He was nothing more than an agitator and this state and country are much worse off having adopted his philosophy. And yes, it is a privilege to vote. It is also the right of a State to limit privileges and/or rights of anyone; the Constitution and Bill of Rights is not absolute. We can have it all; liberty for all, but limitations also.
    The Confederate battle flag should come down when every federal flag is removed from every state property and our Constitutional right to secede from a corrupt government is acknowleged. Heck, I don’t even believe in a constitution, but as long we have one, let’s use it. The problem is this; we are a class society and somehow that has been misconstrued into something bad. Those of a lesser social status should defer to those of a higher social status.
    Oh yeah; the Enlightenmnent showed us how backwards we were…

  30. Randy E

    It is a shame that the beauty that is traditional Southern culture is not on the list of acceptable things (according to some) to celebrate. – Paul Graham
    How about the beauty of our STATE? As in STATE flag, STATE history, STATE heritage? How is our allegiance to a “traditional southern culture” more important than our STATE affiliation?
    Using this reasoning, the African-Americans in our state should show greater affiliation with Africa and African culture and heritage. Given their “family (ancestors)” were slaves working Southern fields, perhaps they should have a flag on the state grounds flying next to and as prominently as the confederate flag.

  31. Sheila

    Michael – There were 2 groups who met to draw up the compromise. The black caucus was one of the groups so why is this still an issue? The flag was moved to the confederate memorial. The flag was usurped by several hate groups and there is nothing anyone could do to stop it, like so many of you claim. What could we have done?
    How come no one wants to talk about the Stars and Stripes still flying over the dome when this flag flew on the slave ships and on the grounds when slave trading was happening? If you take down the confederate battle flag for flying during slavery you have to take down the Stars and Stripes for the same reason.

  32. Sheila

    Why don’t we have an area on the grounds where all the flags in our history are flown? That way no one’s feelings get hurt for being left out? I say, sure, why not. As a white Southerner I am made to feel ashamed for something I didn’t do. My ancestors didn’t come to America until after the Civil War so why am I told (and I have been told) that I should be ashamed of SC’s history and that I need to make reparations to the slaves’ descendants?
    If anyone deserves reparations and apologies it’s the Native Americans who are still being treated like second-class citizens. How would you like it if your ancestory was being held in question and your rights being held from you? Ask the Native American tribes still trying to get recognized by the federal government how hard it is to just get someone to listen to you and review the copius records and detailed paperwork you have to submit. The federal government has stolen land and money from these groups of people and don’t want to recognize them because then the government would have to account for the mismanagement of the land and money.

  33. VaSteve

    Well JH, you say you have an open mind and are learning SC. From your letter and reply to others,I say your mind is closed and you have a lot to learn. You want to blame defenders of the flag for allowing the KKK and others to use it. You mention this more than once with a tone I find arrogant. If you would have bothered to research you would have learned that years ago the Sons of Confereate Veterans tried to stop the KKK from using the flag. Guess what? The Feds rule that the KKK has the same rights as you and I. So, will you now take a pro-flag stance with us? Or will your “open mind” find another reason? And keep in mind, the state could easily pass a law to stop the racist actions but….the Feds will over rule. Wonder when that started?
    Oh yeah, 1865. We would very much love to have our flag but we lost, as you like to remind us. And as for what you think was lost and not passed down from our ancestors.
    You do have a lot to learn.

  34. JH MacDonald

    I have a lot to learn about a lot of things. Interestingly, every confederate flag supporter alleges that history and the correct analysis of history leads inexorably to the conclusion that the confederate flag should fly at the SC State House and that it should be regarded as an honorable symbol of traditional southern heritage.
    It would certainly help to understand that position if someone would take the time to articulate exactly what you mean by traditional southern heritage or culture. I have seen the phrase used hundreds of times. I have seen it understandably defined 0 times.
    As far as me sounding arrogant, I posit this for your consideration: There is a group who contend that the battle flag in 2007 is a symbol of honor and cherished culture and some sort of states’ rights dogma. There is a second group comprised of a broad amalgam of historically informed and historically uninformed people from across the country who look at the battle flag in 2007 and associate it with the KKK and the American Nazis. They are baffled as to the intended connotation of flying that flag in 2007 on the SC State House grounds.
    Is it arrogant for you to continue to argue that all of these neutral observers are out of step with current reality and are ill informed about the nuances of the true meaning of southern culture and they are wrong thinking because they are unable to dredge up quotes by Gen Lee as what he woulda, shoulda, coulda done?
    I take no pleasure in articulating my basic postulate. You lost control of your flag. It now stands for, and is inexorably associated with, innumerable vile ideas and actions. It is arrogant to ignore this 2007 reality. It is arrogant and self defeating to force the entire world to keep telling you this and then have you reflexively reply that they haven’t read enough history or revisionist history. It is no longer a matter of historical interpretation. Just open your eyes and your ears and your heart and ask any group of neutral adults or children what they associate the flag with.
    You sound smart enough to distinguish between criticism of state endorsement of your unfortunately besmirched flag versus an attack on your ancestry, your right to self determination, your right to celebrate Confederate Day and the innumerable tangents discussed above. I am debating about the former and I have no comment on the latter.

  35. Tom

    jh macdonald-
    “You lost control of your flag. It now stands for, and is inexorably associated with, innumerable vile ideas and actions. It is arrogant to ignore this 2007 reality.
    “associate it with the KKK and the American Nazis.”
    The primary flag used by these groups now and throughout most of their history is the United States flag.

  36. JH MacDonald

    If we take a random sample of 500 Americans from all 50 states and we show them the US flag and ask them to write down what thoughts or groups come to mind, what percentage do you think will write down the KKK or the American Nazis?
    Would you care to venture an opinion on how the battle flag would compare in the same test?
    Would you care to place a wager on this?

  37. Brian

    Wait a minute, now… I thought that we all had ‘rights.’ If we use the argument that these so-called hate groups have used the Confederate battle flag to promote their agenda, what difference should that make?? Or do you agree with me, that certain groups of citizens should be monitored and controlled?? Your logic, and that of The State is severely flawed. Give the Klan and the Nazi party a voice in our political debate and then we can begin a discussion. As long as they are on the fringe and hold no political office, that debate is off the table. Otherwise, let us debate the use of the Bible within the context of David Koresh or Jim Jones. Y’all can’t have it both ways.

  38. Ready to Hurl

    Bill B., you should stop beating that strawman argument that someone so cleverly constructed in order to denigrate MLK.
    How else could you find a way to bring up his alleged philandering? The honor of the holiday recognizes his leadership in turning the tide of 200 years against racism in the United States, both de jeure and de facto.
    There is no requirement that one be either a saint or a saviour to get a holiday named after them. And, the calendar implies no equivalence between MLK and Christ.
    Go ahead, bleat your cute turns of polemic illogic. I’m sure that the neo-confederates down at the League of the South or the more politically correct inheritors of Carolina racism at the GOP party meetings may actually fall for it.
    At least it gives them a fig leaf for covering the shameful heritage of slavery, discrimination and civil rights denial.

  39. cowtown rebel

    To whom it may enlighten,
    It may interest you that the flag of the state of South Carolina is a Confederate Battle Flag. It was carried by Soldiers who were fighting for the South.
    So, maybe you should lobby to take it down as well. And, while your at it, take down the Stars and Stripes also. Based on your criteria of what constitutes an acceptable symbol,it would never pass serious scrutiny.
    I don’t think this country will survive intact through this century anyway. Ever hear of the North American Union?
    But,if your so offended by the history of this country, the flag for you bears a hammer and sickle comrade.

  40. Brad Warthen

    Yes, we know, tovarich. I have suggested that the state flag go on the monument in place of the ANV flag. No takers. Supporters of the flag know exactly what the difference is, as do you.

  41. VaSteve

    JH, How can you possibly call people neutral
    that are, as you say,”historically uninformed”.I would say they are ignorant.
    Was the Reb flag taken over by racist groups
    in the 50’s and 60’s? Yes, but we are trying to bring it back to it’s place of honor. And who is fighting us every step of the way? Brad and Co.Yet you say it is “silly” to blame them while every day it’s “Confederate Flag=racist-racist-racist-racist”.No wonder the “people” you want to wager on think the flag is about the KKK.
    People like Brad won’t let us get it back.
    From the words you use, I can tell you are well educated, so I am having a problem with one thing you said in particular.
    “It is no longer a matter of historical interpretation”. Maybe I’m drinking too much java, but that sounds way too much like some other countries that erase pictures, re-write or simply deny some of their own history, in order to get people to believe something that is not true. You tell a lie long enough, it becomes the truth. So, will you follow Brad and his comrades or will you take your “open mind”
    and help us teach the masses the true historical interpretation of our flag?

  42. Michael Rodgers

    The SC Legislative Black Caucus asked for the Confederate flag to be removed from atop the Capitol. The SC Legislature did so, but kept the Confederate flag FLYING FROM A FLAGPOLE ON THE STATEHOUSE GROUNDS. The SC Legislature combined their spin on this action with other spin about the African-American Memorial and called all these actions together as a “one for us, one for them” type of compromise. It was not a compromise at all. However, it happened, and it’s over, and what we should focus on is the present and the future. I agree with you that too many people are inappropriately bringing the past into the present.
    Michael Rodgers
    Columbia, SC

  43. Michael Rodgers

    Please let’s focus on the PROBLEM and propose WAYS OF ACHIEVING THE SOLUTION.
    THE PROBLEM IS that the Confederate flag FLIES FROM A FLAGPOLE, and that’s NOT A PROBLEM for any particular citizen or group except when it’s an SC STATE GOVERNMENT action, which it clearly is in this case because the FLAGPOLE IS ON THE STATEHOUSE GROUNDS. We cannot have ANY FLAG FLY from ANY FLAGPOLE on the STATEHOUSE GROUNDS except the SC State flag and the USA flag.
    THE SOLUTION IS taking the Confederate flag down from where it flies from a flagpole on the Statehouse grounds. How do we actually achieve this solution? What should we do with the Confederate flag? How can we continue to honor the sacrifices of the Confederate soldiers and their families? Those are good questions. They are important questions. They deserve discussion and debate. We want the taking down of the Confederate flag to be an action that many more than a majority of people can support. People will support the taking down of the Confederate flag when we discuss and debate to come up with appropriate answers. And I strongly suggest that we try to focus on answers that are not based on “one for us, one for them” divisiveness.
    Michael Rodgers
    Columbia, SC

  44. JH MacDonald

    This is a complicated situation as evidenced by the depth of the emotionality of the many responses we are reading; and as evidenced by the fact that all Brad has to do on his Blog is say, “The Flag” and it starts again. I do not say that critically, but rather as an indication of the stridency of these feelings.
    I hope that you would agree that there are really several related but distinct issues in play. Off the top of my head, I suggest that we are seeing input from bloggers who are interested in, or displeased over, different nuances of the issues raised in their minds by the symbol of the confederate flag.
    Many, including you, are disappointed that there is not a better understanding of the complicated socio economic issues that arguably led to the Civil War. I suspect that you are irritated and disappointed at the overly simplistic view that the South was in favor of slavery and the North was gallantly fighting to abolish slavery. As we have learned all too frequently in the modern era, war and the equities on either side are NEVER that simple. I do not know you, however, I interpret you to want to clarify and promote the fact that many confederates fought and died for what they thought and still think were honorable reasons. I have no reason to dispute that and I hope that it was true.
    As we touch upon the more primal emotions, it is likely that many advocates remain bitter about the actual and perceived atrocities perpetrated upon various southerners during the War and after the War. There was, and is, no excuse for those actions. I have no solution for those who harbor those feelings. They have to decide for themselves whether it is in their best interests and their childrens’ best interests to make these issues a central part of their world view.
    I expect that some portion of the heirs of the Holocaust Jews in Europe, the Japanese in Hiroshima, the Palestinians, the Tutsi, the Guantanamo prisoners, Bosnians, etc., have a continuing deep hatred for their war time adversary.
    It would appear that many people in the 20th Century came to associate the confederate flag with policies of racial segregation that were attempting to preserve as many vestiges of slavery as possible. I choose to think that this was painful to a purist such as yourself. Unfortunately this perception was exacerbated by the KKK and the ubiquitous display of the confederate flag in very poignant images of white southerners acting less than honorably toward black southerners.
    One might argue that the flag was being displayed without the endorsement of honorable southerners, but that avoids the underlying issue that this powerful symbol was pounded into the psyche of America for years, well before the recent Nazi nonsense.
    The possible relevance of the above is that the unfortunate association of the flag with slavery, racism and most recently, wackoism is not something that would have been overlooked or any less vivid even without the NAACP or the ACLU or Brad W.
    If for a moment we step away from the Civil War, racism, states’ rights, war time atrocities, southern culture, honoring one’s noble ancestors, one for them and one for us and not wanting to be pushed around by outsiders or by “them”; and, we look rationally and objectively at the flag on the state house grounds in 2007, what do you honestly see as an informed, intelligent, non stubborn, non pig headed man who has the best interests of his children and South Carolina in mind?
    All I ask is that you think about it. Those of you who are ardent supporters of the honor of the past, are frequently angered at the northern spin or the liberal spin that was put on the war between the states. I am willing to agree with you. I ask you to think hard about the other side of that coin. You are being manipulated and spun everyday by individuals who want the flag to stay where it is for reasons that have nothing to do with honoring the memory of those who fell in defense of their homes.
    Flags are powerful symbols and they evoke powerful emotions, both conscious and subconscious. This flag has had a tortured 20th Century and it is now an unfortunately confusing symbol. South Carolina may have the best of intentions as to what it WANTS to convey by displaying this flag at its state house. Is it not obvious that those best of intentions are failing miserably?
    Would it not be better to get the Flag into an appropriate museum and display it with an intelligent history and explanation of what it is intended to stand for and even how it was unfortunately misused as a symbol of groups that were not rightful heirs of its original bearers?
    My instinct, VaSteve, which I think Brad may have stated a while back, is that removal of the flag is something that will need to come from your political leaders in Columbia, as opposed to something that is forced on them from perceived outsiders.
    I do not expect that I have persuaded you to advocate for flag removal. I expect that flag advocates will continue to argue, some in good faith, some as we against them types and some as jack asses, that nobody can or should tell them what to do. There is the basic argument that defending the flag at the state house is honorable and that your ancestors are entitled to this staunch defense. As you can see this generates a never ending series of diatribes related to the motives and beliefs of the confederates and their progeny. I ask you to consider whether this is really honoring one’s heritage or whether you are being spun by a simplistic we versus them line of bull crap that wastes all of your energy on useless clarifications and endless explanations of motive and honor that might be accomplished way more effectively in a proper setting to an audience that is there to learn, not an audience that is being spun about the flag of slavery or the flag of the KKK and watching a little Nazi dress up boy on the state house steps tell them how much he loves speaking in the presence of the confederate flag?
    It will be interesting, indeed, to try and analyze the social, cultural and economic impact of that one Flag on the state house grounds over the next 3-5 years as Inovista evolves and Columbia tries to step into the 21st Century. At least Brad will not be at a loss on a slow news day!

  45. VaSteve

    I think one very important point you are missing is the fact that Brad and Co want all things Confederate removed. You may not follow these things but the changing of names of schools,streets, bridges,etc., that are named after Confederates, are happening all the time. Even the removal of statues.There is reason to think that once that flag is removed, Brad and Co will go after the statue.Either have it removed
    completely or just moved from a place of prominence.Every one involved knows this.
    A few years back a bridge named after a Reb general had the name changed. We raised holy hell.Some people not from around here couldn’t understand the big deal over “just one” bridge.From your writings,I’m taking that you take that approach; as when you say it should be in a museum.Trust me. It’s not the flag that bothers Brad and Co.If you mean what you say in your writings, and I certainly have no reason to doubt you, and
    if things were as you believe, I probably could go along on some measures.But it’s not.Removing that flag is just a continuing
    eradication.And let’s be honest.That flag is not holding back SC. If Brad and Co. were to back off and shut up about it, it would just be another WBTS site for the tourist.

  46. Cowtown Rebel

    How was your cinco de mayo Brad?
    Down here in Texas we have Confederate History month in April and Confederate Heroes day on January 20th.
    Robert E. Lees’ birthday is on the 19th of January and Stonewall Jacksons’ is on the 21st. So, the 20th was designated.
    For General Lees’ Birthday, a fellow compatriot and I drove over to Dallas and braved freezing rain to pay tribute at Lee Park. The park features an equestrian statue of Lee that was dedicated in 1937 by Franklin Deleanor Roosevelt.
    To answer Ol’ McDonalds’ query in regards to traditional Southern heritage, allow me to give just a few examples:
    Southern heritage is: saying Yes sir and Yes Ma’am;
    It’s opening the door for and tipping your hat to a lady;
    It requires standing your ground even when you know the odds are against you;
    It’s saying hello to folks when you pass them on the street;
    It is self sufficiency and being thankful for what you have instead of being bitter about what you don’t have;
    It is saving for what you want and paying in cash;
    It is living within your means instead of trying to keep up with the Jones’s;
    In short, it is courtesy, modesty, thrift, chivalry and a hundred other outmoded concepts.

  47. JH MacDonald

    Cowtown Rebel
    Thank you for your opinion on traditional Southern heritage. It is a bit hard to distinguish from “the cowboy way”. Perhaps the latter are a little less chatty. I am hopeful that not all of the attributes on your list are outmoded. As we try to instill those concepts in the next generation, I would respectfully suggest that it will be important to teach them to distinguish between: A] “Standing your ground even when the ODDS are against you” -honorable, perhaps valiant; versus B] “Standing your ground when the FACTS are against you” -stubborn, perhaps self centered.
    What FACTS might we be referring to VaSteve?
    The facts that the State of SC is flying a flag on the State House grounds that symbolizes and evokes dishonorable and distasteful emotions and connotations in the eyes of all but a diminishing minority of those who glance upon it.
    I am not talking about school names and road names and the back of pick up trucks. I am talking about that one flag on the State House grounds. Standing your ground even when the FACTS are against you is not honorable, it is not valiant and it is not beneficial to your State or to your ancestors. It is stubborn and short sighted and self defeating.
    As I have posted before, I challenge any advocate of the Flag remaining where it is to commission an unbiased survey by any reputable firm to determine what percentage of the people who are shown the Confederate Flag in 2007 associate it with the virtues outlined by Cowtown Rebel versus what percentage (unfortunately) associate that flag with ideas and people that no honorable Confederate would tip their hat to or hold a door for. At this point in time would you even take a bet at 5:1?
    It gives me no pleasure to say this, but it’s the unvarnished cowboy truth. Take it like men and do something about it.

  48. krazeeboi

    It would be one thing if the Confederate battle flag was raised over the Statehouse sometime shortly after the Civil War, but that occurred in the 1960’s (in the midst of desegregating schools at that), when the flag had already been “hijacked” by the KKK.
    Secondly, why the Battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia? This probably wouldn’t even be an issue (or much of one) if it were the official CSA flag.
    As far as being offended by the flying of the American flag, under which much oppression was perpetuated, that’s a point worth considering. However, the major difference here is that the USA was not founded to preserve a “way of life” that was largely dependent on slavery, whereas the CSA was. So the issue with the flag of the USA would be one of correlation, whereas with the flag of the CSA, it is one of origination.

  49. Cowtown Rebel

    Hey ol’ McDonald
    By gum, we’ll make a farmer out of you yet! Like a compatriot of mine is fond of saying, “Even a stopped clock is right twice a day”.
    You’re absolutely right! Southern heritage does sound a lot like “The Cowboy Way”. That’s because most of the Cowboys were Southerners. Charles Goodnight and Oliver Loving, of Goodnight-Loving Trail fame, were both in Confederate service.
    And, John Chisum, for whom the Chisum Trail is named, supplied beef for the Army of the TransMississippi. Just to name two notable examples of Confederate Cowboys.
    Sir, I declare to you that the forces of political correctness are your only allies. The facts are irrefutably on our side and we are determined to see that they are presented to coming generations for their consideration. So, that they may make an informed judgement, instead of having their thoughts stifled by trite and curt characterizations.
    You say you have 2 children attending the
    University of SC. You also state that you try to instill the virtues I listed in the
    next generation. I have to wonder if that also includes buying Snoop-Doggy-Dog CD’s and Che Guevara T-Shirts for your fine collegiate youngsters.
    Krazeeboi! The asylun is looking for you. They’re trying to figure out how you slipped out of your straitjacket. But, just to make an attempt at bringing you out of your dementia; The Confederacy was founded to preserve the rights of the States as outlined in the Constitution. (The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were both written by white, Southern slaveowners, by the way.) Jeff Davis stated at the end of the war, That the object for which we contend, would reassert itself. He wasn’t talking about slavery, he was referring to States’ Rights. Lo and behold, he was right, the object has reasserted itself in the forms of: Euthanasia in Oregon, Medical Marijuana in California, Abortion Limitations in South Dakota, Secessionist Movements in Vermont and the Pacific Northwest, Gay Marriage Amendments and Bans in Numerous States, etc… Also, The Flag was raised over the Statehouse not in response to the civil rights movement, but, to commemorate the centennial of the conflict. So, take your medication, consult your psychiatrist and read a little more history.
    Deo Vindice!

  50. VaSteve

    So much for the open mind. We are trying to do something about the flag. We are trying to get people to see the flag for what it really stands for, not the 60’s-70’s KKK BS.
    But you and Brad won’t let it go. You know it so stop with “open mind-I’m new here trying to learn” BS. You had me for a while but the more you post, your true colors show. And what’s with the survey? Just because people have been fed BS and now believe something, true or not,we should
    act in accordance with their ignorance?
    “The Emancipation Proclamation freed the slaves”. Ask anyone.But anyone who knows anything about this war knows that’s not true.But the lie has been told for so long, it’s the gospel. “MO was the last slave state admitted into the Union, in the Maine
    and MO compromise”. Ask anyone. Again, anyone that knows that war knows knows it was WVA in 1863. But it doesn’t fit the Yankee agenda so the lie continues until it is the truth. Hell, you could ask people on the street if the North had slaves during that war and I’m positive 90% would say no.
    So what what would the survey prove? The North had no slaves? People in general are
    ignorant? Your survey. The Confederate flag is racist? People in general are ignorant?
    Leave the flag and the fine people of SC alone.Doesn’t your town need a new street sweeper or something?

  51. JH MacDonald

    Let us assume for the moment that I accede to each and every historical fact and argument that you posit. Let us assume that every single Confederate soldier and every single Confederate supporter was an honorable and virtuous individual.
    While I am sure that that is an exaggeration, it is clear that you and Cowtown Rebel are aware of considerably more facts and people who were examples of your version of the war than are most current southerners and most current northerners; I am trying to discuss a related BUT different issue.
    I am asking that you think harder about the flag itself. Would you agree that this flag is and has been the powerful shorthand symbol for all of the virtuous ideas and principles that you and Cowtown Rebel passionately discuss? You evince incredulity that others can look at the battle flag and not feel the same sense of honor and pride that you two do. I am not suggesting that you change your mind about your history.
    I do ask you to think further about the power and emotion of flag symbols though. Do you recall how immediately after 9/11, virtually EVERYBODY was displaying an American flag on their house, their place of business, their lapels and on their vehicles. Flag manufacturers were not able to keep up with demand. Why were people doing this? What were they saying? Had they been less American prior to displaying the flag? What compelled them to have to display their flag? Whatever your answers might be, I suggest that they are all indicative of how powerful a flag can be as a symbol.
    Remember how the soldiers in Iraq, toppled the statue of Saddam and momentarily replaced it with the American flag? Why did they do that? I suggest that it was their way of saying proudly that they succeeded in deposing a dictator and in giving freedom to a previously unliberated populace. Honorable achievements by my standards.
    I ask you to remember also that the Flag was almost immediately taken down. Why? I speculate that it had something to do with the raw power and emotion associated with that symbol and the recognition that the intended honorable message could not be sufficiently refined and nuanced by just the Flag. There was no certainty as to how the world at large would interpret the Symbol. The obvious concern was whether the Symbol would be one of Conquest versus Liberation. Thus, the Flag was immediately taken down.
    I offer this example not as a political commentary. I offer it to support my request that you separate Confederate history and personages for one moment from the related but different issue of the Power of the Symbolism of the confederate flag and the fact that the message conveyed by these powerful symbols cannot always be precisely controlled by their original proponents.
    Is it productive to stand pat on the argument that everyone who looks at the confederate flag on the Sate House grounds and is confused as to why the State is endorsing or even silently tolerating the issues we have rehashed ad nauseum is merely
    ignorant of history or being duped by a pc media, etc.?
    Should we have displayed American flags all over Iraq and then set about to tell everyone who was confused about the Symbol that they were ignorant of our underlying virtue and motives? …that it was to honor our fallen soldiers? … that they were being manipulated by the foreign press? … that we weren’t going to be told what to do by outsiders?
    The confederate flag is a powerful symbol. I suggest that this is because it evokes many visceral and primal emotions and instincts. Even if you could teach and remediate the deficiencies of the citizenry on the 1860’s facts, how do you reeducate and remediate the searing, unequivocal images of that flag being prominently displayed by those perpetrating lynchings and related abominations? Is it remotely reasonable, VaSteve, that if you were black, you would accept the reply that the SCF did not authorize the usurpation and they tried to prevent it in Court?
    There is dramatic power in the symbol of the flag AND there is dramatic power in the connotation of displaying the flag on government-of-all-the-people-property like the SC State House.

  52. Cowtown Rebel

    For those with a truly open mind,
    It is quite obvious that there are some who simply will not concede their errors.
    Therefore, in an effort to assist those who are concerned with the direction we are headed as a Nation, I have composed the following list of resources, with which you may defend yourself against the arsenal of leftist propaganda.
    The Death of the West: Patrick Buchanan
    This is a good overview of the erosion of our culture and values and the consequences associated with it.
    The Great Betrayal: Patrick Buchanan
    A somewhat tedious, but revealing book on the sellout of the American working man. Full of charts, graphs and statistics. Wonder why your job got shipped overseas?
    Pat can answer that.
    The Vanishing American Jew. Alan Dershowitz
    Mr. Dershowitz is a noted ACLU attorney.
    This book was written for other Jews. It is full of disclaimers, in case some Gentile happens to be reading. On the first page, Mr. Dershowitz expresses his concern that the Jewish presence in America is in danger of disappearing due to assimilation and intermarriage. He laments that the era of enormous Jewish influence on American life may soon be coming to an end. He later states that he could never consider marrying a non-Jewish woman. That it’s not just a matter of wanting his children to be Jewish, his Jewishness is just too central to who he is, not to want to share it with a like minded mate. This book has some interesting graphs relating to the population growth differences between the hassidic/orthodox Jews and the secular/observant Jews. It also has a section dealing with Negro/Jewish relations. Alan asserts that the primary funding and behind the scenes operations of the NAACP, SNCC, CORE and other civil rights organizations was contributed by Jews.
    Out of America, A Black Man Confronts Africa: Keith B. Richburg
    “Thank God my nameless ancestor, brought across the ocean in chains and leg irons made it out alive. Thank God I am an American”. Mr. Richburg was the chief African correspondent for the Washington Post. He traveled extensively throughout the “Motherland” and found barbarity, inhumanity, slavery, corruption, massacres and mutilations. He went to South Africa last and hoped to find some redemption there. To his shock, horror and shame, he found himself sympathizing with the AfriKaners(White South Africans).
    Soul on Ice: Eldridge Cleaver
    Revealing insight into the mindset and rationale of a founding member of the Black Panthers. This man is considered a hero by many who have probably never even read this trash. The Feminists should revel in his definition of Rape as an act of Insurrection.
    Left Behind in Rosedale: Scott Cummings
    Scott is a professor at the University of Louisville. He came to Cowtown in the mid 70’s to assist HUD and inner city youth. He soon found himself caught up in the plight of the elderly caucasian residents. After White flight and the subsequent change in demographics, what had been a quiet working class neighborhood became a crime infested ghetto. The primary targets of the criminals were the elderly Whites who had been living there for decades. They were beaten and robbed on the streets and in their homes. Several women between the ages of 60 and 90 were raped, sodomized, beaten stabbed multiple times, hit in the head with hammers and as an added flourish, one lady had a broomstick shoved down her throat and her genitals spraypainted. There were 46 recorded attacks against the elderly between June and September of 1982.
    Whites were always a minority at every school I attended. So, this book especially hit home for me. Because all of this took place 1 mile north of where I grew up and I remembered some of the stories in the news and some similiar incidents in my “hood”.
    According to the author, these types of incidents were taking place all across the Country at this time. Isn’t it funny how you never hear this side of the civil rights struggle.
    There are other titles I could list, but, these are good to start with. It is my fervent hope they will help to strengthen the arguments of the few who are willing to stand up against the rising tide of liberal jabberwocky. You see ol’ McDonald, I also believe the issue is larger than just The Flag flying at the Statehouse in SC. It ultimately comes down to who we are as a Nation. How far do you think we’re going to allow ourselves to be pushed before we start pushing back? The sesquicentennial of the War of Yankee Arrogance is nigh approaching. Shall we celebrate it by having a new armed conflict? If so, the lily livered, White, pinko liberal will have noone to turn to. Having betrayed your own people, they will have no use for you. And the minorities you so flagrantly court, see your efforts at appeasement as weakness. If they tolerate your presence at all, it will be as cannon fodder. Remember the slogan of MEChA, “Por La Raza todo. Fuera de La Raza nada.”

  53. JH MacDonald

    Cowtown Rebel
    We are, as they say, comparing apples to oranges. My sentiments and opinions are not guided by leftist propaganda, nor are they guided by Patrick Buchanan or his sister. There are no minorities, racial or religious, that I am courting.
    My world view and my guiding principles are more dependent on expanding and including people into the sphere of influence of my business interests, than closing down or excluding people.
    That is my problem with your confederate flag. It diminishes the universe of people, businesses and capital investment in Columbia.
    I am sorry if your earlier experiences with different races or religions went poorly. I do not quite see the connection to your speculation about another southern insurrection or some reason that I should be reticent about Jews or fearful of blacks. Your view of who we should be as a Nation, strikes me as defensive, fearful and neurotic.
    When you ask how far I think that you are going to be pushed, before you start pushing back, I must again ask, “Exactly who is pushing you; and, if they have been doing so for any length of time, why haven’t you figured out how to effectively push back?”
    I must also note that your recent post certainly muddies the waters on what the seminal ideas and ideals of the southern heritage and the southern culture that you and VaSteve talk about actually are. If the confederate flag remains at the State House, what message would you like people to infer when they look at it? Is that the same message as the history oriented VaSteve? Does either message have any validity in 2007?
    We started out talking about the impact of the flag as a symbol. I question how effective the symbol continues to be in its current location.

  54. Cowtown Rebel

    Ol’ McDonald,
    I did not expect you to understand the point I’m trying to make. That is why I addressed the last post to “those with a truly open mind”. I noticed that you said that you try to expand and include people into the sphere of influence of your business interests. That is precisely the problem. GLOBALIZATION. We will sell our culture, ignore our laws and barter away our morality if we can make some money.
    I brought up Alan Dershowitz’ book, because, I found it ironic that an ACLU attorney would have such a RACIST view on intermarriage.
    As far as the armed conflict, I wasn’t talking about another Southern uprising. The White people in this country are far too timid and complacent for that. Most likely, the conflict will come about as the result of a natural disaster. Ask the people of Houston how they feel about the Katrina evacuees. What do you think will happen if the big earthquake hits Los Angeles?
    By the way, what kind of neighborhood do you live in? I would guess that you have at least a Bachelors’ degree, if not a Doctorate. I would speculate that you probably make at least $100,000 a year. People like you remind of Bill Maher when he said he wasn’t worried during the Rodney King riots, even though the lunacy was just blocks away.
    You’re view of who we should be as a Nation sounds like a mirror image of the United Nations. Half of the flags flying over that edifice should be, by your logic, taken down. China tops the list of Human Rights abuses according to Amnesty International. So, will you stop buying cheap Chinese trinkets or boycott Walmart until the Chinese agree to behave in a more humane fashion? Of course not, that wouldn’t be good for business, would it?

  55. Cowtown Rebel

    Ol’ McD
    One item I neglected to address on my last post, I never said anything about my encounters with people of other races or religions. I did relay some rather ugly episodes that took place near where I grew up. I did this in response to your attempt to draw a connection between the Confederate Flag and lynchings. Apparently, you have sympathy for a black man who you assume was unjustly hung. But, none for defenseless, innocent, elderly people who were mercilessly assaulted in their own homes. You tried to spin my post to infer that I was painting myself as a victim. I did no such thing. I merely pointed out, rather graphically I hope, that there were victims on BOTH sides of the civil rights struggle. But, we only hear one version.
    As for the identity of the people who are pushing me… It is YOU and Brad and Jesse and Al…and as you can clearly see, I have figured out how to effectively push back.

  56. VaSteve

    JH, Do you honestly think that flag is stopping economic growth in Columbia?
    Is this based in fact or emotion? Just like the boycott that was going to put a hurtin’ on SC. What happened? Tourism up! Imagine that. But to hear it in the beginning, and Brad and Co were right there, this was going to kill SC. “Thousands and thousands of people not coming because of that flag”.
    Read Brad’s old reports in the State.”Convention after convention cancelled.” All BS. Just like the flag is hurting SC. BS. Back to what you said earlier about people not being as informed as I. So why should a flag be taken down because people are stupid about what it means. And I say stupid, not ignorant, because by now they should know the facts.
    Bottom line. Taking down that flag is nothing more than a power play. We all know it. We all know why. You can’t honestly tell me or anyone else that that flag, on the Confederate monument, means anything other than tribute to the fallen Confederate soldiers.

  57. JH MacDonald

    I generally understand your position on what the Confederate flag means to you and what it symbolizes to you. I have no desire to dissuade you from those feelings and I have no basis to claim that your studies of the nuances of the Civil War are erroneous.
    I am not a pacifist, however, I contend that when citizens are called upon to be soldiers and to enter into mortal combat with other citizens it is unpredictable and alarming to see what happens to some of those citizens and what they are capable of doing. Some men are heroes, some men are cowards, some men are deserters and some men are just scared into paralysis. Unless you have been there it is interesting to blog about, but through no fault of your own I suspect that you, nor Cowtown Rebel, have any clue at all, as to what its like. Count your blessings.
    If you and your family derive pleasure from remembering or honoring the positive virtues of that percentage of Confederate soldiers who had such virtue, I have no quarrel. Rest assured that some percentage of the citizen/soldiers on both sides of the conflagration were honorable and some were dishonorable and some were alternately both. It was no different then than it was in the wars that preceded or succeeded 1865.
    I am telling you that that flag on the Confederate monument DOES mean something other than a tribute to fallen Confederate soldiers. You know all of the probably correct arguments and interpretations as to why the flag SHOULD stand for what you WANT it to. For unfortunate, but real reasons that we have rehashed many times, the Confederate flag does not stand for what you want it to in the eyes of the world. You know in your brain, but not in your heart that it has nothing to do with the ignorance or stupidity of these observers. You repeat that argument out of frustration.
    You can sense that I do not dispute your historical analysis. Please also sense that I am telling you the truth when I say that that one flag IS hurting South Carolina and Columbia in particular. I assume that you may be from VA. There is major construction going on in Columbia and a lot more to be done. There is REIT fund money that is on hold due to a lack of confidence in the state government and the perception that there is no progress whatever toward moving to the 21st Century.
    I have told you before, I derive no pleasure from this. It saddens and frustrates me.
    It is not a matter of 1860’s facts. It is a matter of 1960’s facts and 2007 facts.
    There is no power play in process on my part. I, respectfully, have no direct interest in what the NAACP does or boycotts. It really is up to the SCF and the white legislators in Columbia to think harder and think with their children and grandchildren’s best interests in mind.
    What exactly do you want to imbue your children with? Is the reason for this debate the need to remember that atrocities were committed during the war? There was no excuse, there is no excuse. Are you trying to create a Palestinian or Bosnian mind set in your children toward Yankees or blacks or outsiders?
    It is the SC legislature and the SC “we versus them mindset” that is hurting the economy and the people. The Confederate flag once again is unwillingly in the middle of the confusion and the flag at the Capitol is the shorthand symbol for the stagnant mess.
    Why don’t the black legislators speak out? Obviously because the white majority controls the purse strings. Their underfunded districts would get even less.
    Same reason they don’t complain about the money spent on the Submarine. Another example of “Honoring” fallen Confederate soldiers. Think about it VaSteve, at least the Kitty Hawk flew a couple of feet.
    This will not go away, even without the prodding of this blogmaster. It will get worse as more frank comments come forth that are viewed as “pressure from outsiders”. E.g., “Who is Steve Spurrier to tell US what to do?” He is a guy who could care less what the legislators or bloggers think because he could get another million dollar position any time he needs to.
    It is amusing to read people actually articulating that he is just a football coach and what does he know anyway, he’s not from here.
    The conundrum is that progress and the magnanimous mind set does, indeed, have to come from the inside and not outsiders.
    What does the next generation of SC need more: a flag on the capitol grounds or a semi unified and semi inclusive State moving into the 21st Century? The piece of cloth may not determine that, BUT the symbolism of that flag will.

  58. Michael Rodgers

    Dear JH MacDonald,
    You are on target in many ways, and I appreciate your insights. I think we agree on a lot about this issue. I especially like where you said, “I am telling you that that flag on the Confederate monument DOES mean something other than a tribute to fallen Confederate soldiers.”
    That is where we can join together to attract people like VaSteve to our goal of improving the Confederate Memorial and making a less divisive SC. See, he wants the Confederate Memorial to be a memorial to Confederate soldiers, and he wants to respect the Confederate flag, which he connects to his heritage. We want this too — we want the Confederate Memorial to be a memorial to Confederate soldiers, and we want him to be able to celebrate his heritage with his Confederate flag, if he so chooses.
    We want to help him by removing the Confederate flag from where it flies from a flagpole on the Statehouse grounds. Because it is the flying of the Confederate flag from a flagpole that turns the Confederate Memorial into political grandstanding that encourages people to view the flag itself as promoting racism and ignorance.
    How do we get there politically? Well, I know that people like VaSteve are not interested in being lectured to or being told that he’s supporting racist beliefs. It’s a racist society, and in some (many?) ways it’s more racist elsewhere in the US than in SC. Since one goal is less divisiveness, we should try to get VaSteve to support our proposals, and we should listen to and support any moderate or would-be moderate on this issue.
    I know that I need to improve my rhetoric and my strategy on this issue. I continually criticize the “compromise” when in fact it took enormous political courage to do the two things that the SC legislature accomplished. They got the African-American memorial built and they successfully moved the Confederate flag off the governing flagpole atop the Capitol. Doing these two things was a great achievement, and I am very happy that the SC legislature made this progress.
    We still have more to do, and we will get it done together SC!
    Michael Rodgers
    Columbia, SC

  59. Cowtown Rebel

    You keep referring to the impression that the World has of the Confederate Flag. From my experience, all over the Department of the TransMississippi as a Reenactor, I can tell you that most of the rest of the people of the World are ambivalent towards the subject. They often express curiosity, ask questions and are typically delighted to see this part of our history being portrayed. Some of the “negative” comments I’ve gotten from some of the Asian tourists and residents were directed toward negroes and would have made a Klansman blush. So, if they thought of the Confederate Flag as a symbol of racism, they certainly didn’t seem to be offended by the notion. They have time and again requested to have their pictures taken with me. The Europeans have consistently shown nothing but enthusiasm as well. I fear that once again you are completely off base. The only people who are offended by The Flag are YOU, Brad, Jesse, Al and “Coach” Spurrier.
    As to your reasoning about the power of symbols and the raising of the American flag in Iraq, talk about comparing apples to oranges. Iraq is a FORIEGN COUNTRY. Of course that’s going to send mixed signals to the rest of the world. When you raise YOUR FLAG on FORIEGN SOIL that means you are taking possession as a conqueror. The Flag at the Statehouse has been raised over HOME TURF. We can hardly be accused of taking over what is ours already. Maybe what really bothers you is that we’re trying to retain control and we rebuke meddlesome outsiders and “businessmen” like you.

  60. JH MacDonald

    Dear Cowtown Rebel
    I am disappointed that all that you have chosen to extract from my attempts to discuss this Flag issue is that I am completely off base and that I am an outside businessman. I am a little confused at your foundation for drawing a personality parallel between me and Brad, Jesse, Al and Coach Spurrier, but I am still learning the shorthand of those who debate the flag issue. For the moment, I doubt that you could articulate a synopsis of the the personality parallels among them, let alone me.
    YOUR observations and attitudes have been considerably more enlightening to me. I thank you for them, however, I fear that we have reached the bottom of that well.
    This is a serious problem for serious thinkers and it has nothing to do with Alan Dershowitz or what some random Asians or Europeans think of your reenactment hobby.
    In the spirit of Michael Rodgers, I will refrain from further comment on the dismissive tone and simplistic vitriol that you have elected to use toward my posts.
    In closing, I would note that I am aware that Iraq is a foreign country, are you equally aware that South Carolina is not? The point Cowtown was a current events example of the power of a flag as a SYMBOL.
    There are many lessons to learn from the past, but at some point you have to stop merely Reenacting the past and apply those lessons to building the future. Read this slowly 3 times and then Spread this message to the Department of the TransMississippi. If they want to debate the point, find the best and the brightest and bring it on.
    Whoops, sorry Michael. Are you sure about this kinder gentler approach?

  61. cw

    I don’t live in South Carolina, not even close.
    I don’t have any particular opinion about flying the Battle Flag, although I will say, contrary to the assertions made by others, my first thought on seeing a picture of one is not “Oh, that’s the flag of the KKK” – but rather “That’s a symbol of independence.”
    JH, if you’re still around, would you answer the following for me:
    Being of the opinion that a flag that many view as a symbol of repression should not be flown on government property; do you also join those who advocate removing the US flag from all federal, state, and local properties?

  62. JH MacDonald

    I am not sure that I would say that I actually join with anybody at all in the blogosphere debate on the Confederate flag issue. By reading and sometimes provoking posts, I have observed and learned a number of things in the past 3 weeks. Some related to the flag, some related to southern culture, some related to the ability of people to express themselves and from Michael Rodgers, I have observed the gentility and perseverance that I hope will grow exponentially in and around Columbia by the time I move there.
    I take you at your word on the thoughts that the battle flag triggers in you. I have no interest in dissuading you or VaSteve or Cowtown Rebel from such feelings. I, however, am firmly of the opinion that the battle flag evokes less desirable feelings than independence in a significant number of people. VaSteve and others argue that this reaction is based on ignorance or stupidity. I disagree.
    I add that as far as a SYMBOL on government property goes, there is more to it than what you WANT people to feel. It is more a matter of what they ACTUALLY feel in 2007. Historically, I speculate that there are several examples of flags and symbols that originally represented one set of values and emotions and then changed, for whatever reason, in the eyes of the “broader beholder” to represent a different set of values and ideas. I consider this to be a fairly simplistic concept.
    If ones position is set in concrete that the original noble ideas of the battle flag have not changed in the eyes of the 2007 Broader Beholder, then so be it. I get your position. I respectfully argue that in 2007 it is a mistaken position.
    As to your tangential argument related to the American flag, I have discussed this before. If you are really serious and you have thought about flags as symbols, and flags of countries or states versus battle flags associated with a unique historical event, I will be happy to consider your arguments that there is a parallel. I disagree that there is. I suggest that your statement is a further example of the EMOTIONAL POWER that a flag can have as a SYMBOL of ideas and values and intentions of those who fly it.
    Times change and attitudes change, CW. I recollect that the US flag was raised, revered and saluted in France when we liberated them. That is not the case today.
    I speculate the opposite emotions were evoked in Japan after WW II. As perhaps relevant to our debate, there are citizens in Japan and in the USA who span the spectrum of emotion toward the stars and stripes and the rising sun.
    As others have argued, the solution to this festering boil will have to come from South Carolinians, their legislature and a consensus on how to best move their children and themselves into the 21st Century.
    What concerns me the most, is the perpetuation and aggrandizement of this we against them and we against the world mind sets that creates such an impenetrable wall to rational and respectful discussion. It provides comfort to some with its artificial sense of camaraderie, BUT it is THE most basic tool for manipulating large groups of people.
    I will remain interested in how this continues to play out.

  63. Michael Rodgers

    Dear JH MacDonald,
    Nice finish! I am more sure than ever that the progressive and kind approach is the way to go. What’s actually quite interesting and a little surprising is that it feels politically courageous to follow this approach, in my opinion.
    Michael Rodgers
    Columbia, SC

  64. Cowtown Rebel

    I know that it has been painful and frustrating for you to have to admit that you don’t know anything about history. Once again I have to set the record straight… The Hunley was the first submarine to sink an enemy vessel. It had sunk a target barge in Mobile Bay before that. It had also conducted several successful and two notably unsuccessful tests afterward. On the night of February 17, 1864, The Hunley sank the U.S.S. Housatonic, making maritime history. The Wright Brothers named their aircraft “Flyer”, subsequent versions were the Flyer II and Flyer III. Kittyhawk was the location in North Carolina where the first few flights took place.
    But, I guess your sociological theories and business principles make up for your lack of knowledge and surpass the logic gained from environment and experience.
    Anyway, I know neither of us cares one bit what the other thinks. And that suits me just fine. Southern Hospitality is reserved for friends. Enemies are shown no quarter.
    I have endeavored to insert FACTS and useful information in each of my posts, for anyone who can benefit from it.
    This has been fun. Where I grew up, debates never went beyond one or two verbal exchanges, invariably consisting of the witty and readily applicable “Yo Mama”, followed by a flurry of fists.

  65. JH MacDonald

    Cowtown Rebel
    I hate to disagree with you further, for fear of a flurry of fists, from such a macho blogger; but I do, indeed, care what you think and I care how you think.
    I am insatiably curious at the never ending “we against them” mindset of so many 21st century southern men. Who is perpetuating this debilitating psycho dynamic? Why do so many of you have this inferiority complex and this insane need to Reenact the Civil War over and over?
    The war was horrific. There were honorable men and dishonorable men on BOTH sides. It’s over. Move on as one Country under one Flag. Especially today, when we remember all who have served and sacrificed, [which I speculate you did not].
    Stop being a pathetic little schmuck. You’ve had a few petulant exchanges with me on a Blog and now you’ve declared me to be intellectually deficient and your ENEMY because I do not happen to agree with you.
    If you’re so tough with your fists based upon where you grew up, then answer one simple question which I have asked you several times: When the KKK took over your Confederate flag, did you back them or did you back down from them? AND are you doing the same thing toward the little Nazi boy from South Carolina who supposedly is running for president?
    Instead of Reenacting a war from the 1860’s maybe you tough southern boys ought to be focused on fighting some honorable battles here and now to enhance the honor of OUR flag, which flies on the top of the capitol building.
    My grandchildren are determining whether I ought to come to one of your Reenactments and give you one upside the head myself. They predict that you will lose, yet again, as will we all, if we refuse to work together.
    Stop living in the past, you cannot and will not change it. BUT, if you focus on your real southern virtues, you can, however, change the future. Think harder.
    We are not enemies, you knucklehead, just because we have different suggestions for the future. Happy real Memorial Day observance.

  66. cw

    With all due respect, JH – you didn’t answer my question.
    I’ll try again:
    Being of the opinion that a flag that many view as a symbol of repression should not be flown on government property; do you also join those who advocate removing the US flag from all federal, state, and local properties?
    Yes or No? No more tap-dancing, please.

  67. Cowtown Rebel

    JH MacDonald
    You start out by saying that you’re trying to learn about South Carolina’s history. It is obvious that you would like to shelve it away neatly and quietly in some museum. Where, with declining patronage and suspended field trips ailing these facilities Nationally, it will hardly be seen and never understood.
    You never mention where you are from. Is it because you are ashamed?
    You apparently don’t have any Confederate ancestors. Are you envious?
    You say we allowed Our Flag to be taken over by the KKK and Nazis. But, you allowed the American Flag to be taken over by the same individuals. Has part of your armchair crusade actually included running up and jerking Old Glory out of their hands? Or, are you a hypocrite? What steps have you taken to keep those people from using the American Flag?
    You speak of an honorable future. But, there is no honor in meekly and ignorantly relinquishing your traditions and culture, while your children are lined up to celebrate the heritage of everyone else.
    We should all celebrate Black History Month (February); Cinco de Mayo (A victory of Mexican forces over the French at the Battle of Puebla); Hispanic Heritage Month (Starting Sept. 15, a celebration of the Independence of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico and Chile); Asian Awareness Month (Observed variously in numerous universities in March or April); Martin Luther King Jr. Day (The third Monday in January); Juneteenth (June 19th); and Kwanzaa (Seven days starting on December 26th. Conceived of and first celebrated in 1966 in Los Angeles by Maurana Karenga and his friends and family) But, we should not celebrate Confederate Memorial Day or Christmas.
    With your propensity toward wagering, wouldn’t you be happier in Las Vegas? It was enabled to reach its current state of prominence due to the vision of lovable Mob Hitman Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegelbaum. It’s well lit. It has the distinction of being known as Sin City and it has moved into the 21st century. I know “Bugsy’ would be proud and you should be too.
    You chastise others for their harsh tones. But, your were using expressions like, “Pig Headed”, “Dress UP Boys”, “Wimped Out”, and “Wacko” from the start.
    As to threats, be forewarned! I’ve been in fights with more people than you have listed in your Rolodex. I am not a tough guy. I’m 5’10” and between 160-170lbs. But, I can and will defend myself.

  68. JH MacDonald

    Cowtown Rebel
    My secretary advises me that I have 1239 people listed in my Rolodex. All of them are wondering why you don’t answer the simple question: Did you back the KKK; OR, did you back down when they took your flag? When it was time for you to standup, exactly what did you do, tough guy? You can hold all the doors you want and tip your cowboy hat all you want, but unless you have the guts to reject oppression and racism and fear of minorities you cannot claim to be honorable.
    Are there a lot of people who think similarly to you about these issues? Are you really disturbed about those holidays that you list? My company has a Christmas party every year. Who is preventing you from celebrating Christmas where you live? Did you celebrate the US Memorial Day yesterday or do you exclusively celebrate Confederate Memorial day? Isn’t one of the reasons you criticize the various groups you have mentioned for NOT assimilating and becoming more American? Aren’t you perpetuating the same separation and divisiveness?
    In your Dreamworld, Cowtown, if the Confederates had prevailed, what do you speculate would have happened? Would there actually have been two separate countries? Would slavery have continued? Would it still exist? Would you still be riding horses or would the Yankees have eventually sold you used pickups?
    Maybe your Reenactors could put on a show about that if they ever move beyond reruns.
    Your we versus them worldview is a debilitating philosophy, Cowtown. Stop being afraid of them.

  69. JH MacDonald

    The agreement was that you would think harder about this question and that you would focus on the distinction between a governmental entity flying its flag on governmental property VERSUS a governmental entity allowing the flag of a non governmental entity to be flown on its property.
    To be even more specific, cw, in this case, I suggest that the US flag and the SC flag are the flags of all citizens of SC and, therefore, should fly on the citizen’s capitol grounds. The Confederate flag is not the flag of all citizens of SC and, therefore, it should not be accorded the same honor.
    As Step 2 of the analysis, one gets to your oppression issue. The critical point that you gloss over is that the Confederate flag is seen by SOME US citizens to be a symbol of oppression or suppression. This further tips the scales on Step 1 above.
    Since the US flag satisfies Step 1, I argue that you do not get to Step 2. But since you do not like to tap dance, I suppose we should clarify when you say, “many view the US flag as a symbol of oppression”; are you talking about US citizens? what do you mean by Many? What flag do you suggest that this Many group would rather have flying on government property?
    In light of the main topic that we are discussing, cw, are you suggesting that the Many who are opposed to the repression that in their minds is represented by the US flag would rather have the Confederate flag flown on government property?

  70. Cowtown Rebel

    1239? hmmm…That sounds about right. Of course we can always make it an even 1240. I guess if I was a rapper like EMINEM from Detroit or 50 Cent from Los Angeles, you would believe every thing I said about crime and violence where I grew up. Just to give you a couple of more pesky FACTS; Fort Worth is the 19th largest city in the Nation. It is larger than Boston or Seattle. In 1978 and 1979 Fort Worth had the highest Murder rate per capita in the Country. Dallas is the 9th largest city in the Nation. It currently has the highest crime rate in the United States. The Fort Worth/Dallas metropolitan area is the 4th largest metropolitan area in the Country.
    The KKK/Flag issue was already addressed by VaSteve. The Federal Government said the Klans use of The Flag is their within their rights. Personally, I’m not too concerned with their actions. Their name, appearance and methods trigger instant repudiation, which prevents their message from gaining any widespread acceptance. If you’re so worried about the influence of the Nazis and the Klan growing, why haven’t you taken action to keep them from using Your Flag? Obviously, it is because you are a loud mouth blowhard with no real sense of conviction.
    Christmas comes under assault every year in different ways. Right now, it mainly consists of banning Nativity Scenes in Malls, on Courthouse Lawns and in some Neighborhoods. Some companies REQUIRE that employees use the phrase “Happy Holidays”, saying “Merry Christmas” is an offense warranting disiplinary action.
    My Greatx5 Grandfather and his brother both fought in The American Revolution. My Greatx3 Grandfather was in the Army of The Republic of Texas. My Greatx2 Grandfather fought for The Confederacy. My Maternal Grandfather built C-47’s at Douglas during WWII. After the war, he built B-36’s at Consolidated; B-58’s at Convair and F111’s and F-16’s at General Dynamics. He had brothers that were in combat in WWI and WWII. My Mothers’ cousin was killed on board the USS Hoel at the Battle of Surigao Strait. My Father was in the Army during the Korean War, but, he was not sent overseas. This is all recollected by me on Memorial Day.
    Your liberal social/business concepts are based on the naive assumption that everyone will be as gracious and fair with us, as we are with them. I believe your Grandchildren will live to curse your foolishness.
    If a North American Union is formed, the United States will cease to exist as a Soveriegn Nation. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights will no longer have any validity. Mexico, under a new legal system, will have as much to say about US policy as we do.
    One can only speculate what would have happened if The South had won. A couple of things are certain though; The North would have lost 80 percent of its Tax base and Slavery would have soon been ended by the Southern people themselves, for numerous reasons that were already coming to light at the time The War was declared by Abe.
    Keep pouring on your derision and expressing your contempt. The people of South Carolina deserve to know how you really feel about Southerners and their history.

  71. Michael Rodgers

    Cowtown Rebel,
    I offer my respect to you and your family through the generations for their service, and I say that your last paragraph was spot on.
    I want the Confederate flag down from the flagpole on the Statehouse grounds, and I want this to be achieved for all of us.
    Best Regards,
    Michael Rodgers
    Columbia, SC

  72. JH MacDonald

    I suggest to you that our battle of words has lasted long enough. I have no contempt for the people of South Carolina and no contempt for the people of Dallas/Ft. Worth. My feelings in that regard are rather succinctly summarized in the P of A.
    I am not adverse to citizens expressing different points of view on any topic. If their points of view are supported by clear thinking and some facts, so much the better.
    I philosophically favor actions and policies that lead to closing the gaps, as opposed to creating gaps or perpetuating gaps.
    While I accept that some percentage of the people will differ on almost everything, I suggest that it is not overly simplistic to remember that a house divided will fall and a house united will remain strong.
    In the long term many species have dominated the earth and then disappeared; and many civilizations have dominated the earth and then disappeared or fallen from power. Those lessons are at least as important as those derived from the Civil War. That event was merely one in a never ending series. If you want to remember it and learn from it, I applaud you. BUT, if others want to use the two way harshness of war or interpret its events to justify a never ending philosophy of divisivness, blame, revenge and/or separation, I respectfully disagree and strongly oppose.
    My position has nothing to do with party politics, liberalism, conservatism, state of birth or extent of formal education. In the time frame of my life and my grandchildren’s lives, I am more concerned about divisiveness in and among our 50 states than I am about any threats from a North American Union being imposed upon us.[For different reasons, I am sure that fella in Venezuela would be a little nervous too.]
    In conclusion, I wish you a good summer, I shake your hand as being a spunky combatant and I agree to attend at least one Reenactment in return for you thinking about the possible benefits of uniting rather than dividing. Take care.
    Michael Rodgers
    You have an interesting way with words.

  73. cw

    “The agreement was..”.
    Are you hearing voices in your head?
    Because you and I made no agreement, so I’ll just assume you’ve been talking to yourself.
    I asked you an easy question; all you do is tap-dance.
    The “many” I referred to include some (notice I didn’t say all) lefties, with assorted anarchists, various members of Indian tribes, and quite a few, to use the pc discription, undocumented immigrants. I’m sure there are others, but those quickly come to mind. Many are US citizens.
    You’ve got your earmuffs on if you’ve never heard their rhetoric.
    (You’d have to consult those who feel the US flag is a symbol of repression to learn if they can agree on an alternative flag, it seems some want no flag at all; and no, I doubt they want to see the Confederate Battle Flag, flying.)
    So, I’ll ask again:
    Being of the opinion that a flag that many view as a symbol of repression should not be flown on government property; do you also join those who advocate removing the US flag from all federal, state, and local properties?
    Yes or No?

  74. Cowtown Rebel

    JH MacDonald, Brad Warthen, Michael Rodgers, CW, Krazeeboi, VaSteve and other interested parties,
    I have had quite a time debating with you.
    My position is still pretty basic; We have to draw a line somewhere in order to preserve a sense of National and Regional Identity. Tourists expect a Southern flavor to enhance their visits. Every section of the country has unique characteristics and an individual history. I would not like to see this section of the United States come to resemble the West Coast or New England and I know they would not want to be like us. I would not presume to venture into their neck of the woods and instruct them as to what was appropriate or acceptable. I’m pretty sure they would direct me to the nearest Bus Station.
    JH spoke of the civilizations that have come and gone. Among those, was the Roman Empire. It fell because the people became lazy and decadent(Like so many of us here). And, because, they allowed hordes of foriegn barbarians into their midst, whose allegiance to Rome was merely a matter of convenience and personal benefit. Immigration and who is suitable to be an American have been issues confronting this Nation from the start. Benjamin Franklin said, Referring to the Pennsylvania Deutch,
    “Are we to allow them to come here in such preponderance in numbers, that they Germanize us as opposed to us Anglicizing them?” For those who believe assimilation is the proper method of address, I recommend; The Unmaking of Americans: How Multiculturalism is Undermining Americas’ Assimilation Ethic, By John Miller. Another good book, I just finished reading, that deals with the assault on Americas’ sense of morality is, The Death of Right and Wrong, By Tammy Bruce. Tammy is a Lesbian Feminist and the former President of the Los Angeles chapter of N.O.W. She offers an insiders look at the people and organizations who are engineering a moral decline in our society.
    Let me conclude by saying; I bear no ill will toward anyone I’ve disagreed with here and I am glad that we still live in a country where such discourse is possible.

  75. Cowtown Rebel

    JH MacDonald
    I wish a pleasant summer for you and your family as well, and I hope good fortune will continue to smile upon you.

  76. JH MacDonald

    I suggest that the US flag, a state flag and or a municipal flag are appropriate for governmental property on the premise that in theory governmental property is owned by ALL of the citizenry.
    I acknowledge that most Governments are considered to have oppressed SOME group or another at some time. Ideally, in a democracy it is the citizens themselves who should advocate to correct those oppressions, OR at the very least debate them. In my opinion that does not equate to taking down the country’s flag, even if it has made a mistake. On the flip side, that does not provide a basis for flying the flag of another group or another country on US government property, even if that group or country has done something perceived as honorable at some moment in history. You may recall our discussion of the raising and immediate removal of the US flag in Iraq. It was raised with the best of intentions, BUT some flags are just too powerful and too varied a SYMBOL to be raised on governmental property.
    I think that this provides a simple and workable rule. Our debate has revolved around the Confederate flag’s permutating symbolism and perception by the broader citizenry of South Carolina. That is a result of the fact that it is already there and flying at the State House, thus, the debate has expanded to the unlimited reasons to leave it or remove it.
    I respectfully suggest that based upon the simple rule above, the Confederate flag, nor others of a non state or city nature should be flying on the State House grounds.
    The emotionality that enters the debate once you move away from the simplicity of this premise leads to the passionate petitions and explications that we have been discussing.
    After weighing all of the opinions and historical facts thet we have been offered, it occurs to me that the Confederate Flag can logically be interpretted at this time to be SYMBOLIC of the oppression perceived by BOTH its proponents and its opponents, i.e., That perpetrated by the North against the South and all of those tangents; AND, that perpetrated by some Whites against Blacks and all of those tangents. Quite a unique irony.

  77. JH MacDonald

    Cowtown Rebel
    Thank you for your post. You remind me again that Spirited exchange is better than no exchange. I have learned a lot from you and VaSteve. I will, indeed, check out some of your articles and books. There are problematic developments taking place. I continue to ask that you consider dialogue and empathy as one of your tools to deal with these ongoing events.
    It may, indeed, become necessary to exclude or discriminate or retaliate against some groups at some point in time, BUT I do suggest that this should not be a reflexive first move. Frequently we might discover that people are just groping for the opportunity to pursue basic human needs and freedoms AND they are willing to adhere to our rules of the game, if we just explain them to them in an understandable way.
    Openmindedness can be perceived as weakness or it can be perceived as the only path to a solution. Another unique irony.

  78. Michael Rodgers

    JH MacDonald,
    Wow, your post of 8:14am Jun 2, is awesome! I want to point out the best sentences, but there are too many of them. I think that we’re all getting somewhere finally, and I have really learned a lot myself. I’ll try to learn and posit as I post this post here, and hopefully we’ll all progress a little further.
    First, I like your simple and workable rule. I mean, the issue is quite simple: The Confederate flag is not a government flag, and therefore it shouldn’t be flying from a flagpole on the Statehouse grounds. And yet, the debate has expanded, as you said. Although the expansions seem unlimited, I think there are three main expansions: Capriciousness, Power, and Perception. I think we need to figure out what these expansions are and the degree to which they must be addressed. In this frame of reference, I offer the following discussion.
    1) Capriciousness
    CW’s question is really about capriciousness — are we drawing the line between government flag and non-government flag properly or are we using other perceptions to make the line fall where we want it to fall? To follow the argument, we need to look at the history of the state flag of Georgia. In Georgia, the official state flag was brought down and replaced, more than once, in recent years. So, if we consider the Confederate flag being endorsed by our legislature (and it clearly is, even though it’s not THE flag of SC), the clear demarcation of official government flag becomes quite fuzzy. The tautology (or Catch-22) arises: “We can’t fly it from governmnent property unless it’s a government flag, but if we do fly it from government property then it is a governmment flag.” To carry on further into hypotheticals, how would our position change if the SC legislature suddenly made the Confederate flag the official state flag? Is the “simple and workable rule” a stark, objective line or is it capricious? Do we need to argue about the symbolism of the Confederate flag to help us draw our clear demarcation? What would our position be if, hypotheticaly, the KKK or neo-Nazis started using the SC state flag as their premier symbol? All these questions fall in this category of debate expansion, I think. And my opinion is that they cloud the debate unneccesarily. I feel that these ifs and hypotheticals are not sufficiently grounded in the political reality of SC, and it’s really quite clear that the Confederate flag is not an official state flag. The line, in my opinion, is objective, not capricious.
    2) Power
    As the song goes, “If loving you is wrong, I don’t want to be right,” many people love the Confederate flag so much that they want it to fly from a flagpole on the Statehouse grounds anyway. I mean why can’t they do something that’s wrong — who’s going to stop them — if it’s so wrong then what’s the downside — what price are we all paying — and maybe it’s worth it? The NAACP and many others, including myself, say that there is a downside (and the boycott seems to be calling for an emphasized economic downside, I suppose). The downside is political, economic, social, educational, and spiritual. And at the very least, the downside is divisiveness and an unwelcoming atmosphere. I want us to take the flag down from the flagpole and display it in the State Museum. Returning to economics, that’s where people say, well how much is it going to cost me? People argue by saying, “what is the specific economic harm that is directly attributable to our flying of the Confederate flag from a flagpole on the Statehouse grounds?” And then, realizing that they know that they can argue that any answer, no matter how reasonable and well researched, can be dismissed as “fuzzy math,” they smugly relax. They also say, “why don’t you just shut up about it and let us put this issue to rest?” Well, a flying flag speaks every day, so the flying flag issue cannot be put to rest, when the planters and raisers of the flag have it up on the flagpole every day. We’re just answering back. We’re trying, inasmuchas we can, when we’re on our best and most politically courageous behavior, to be as respectful as possible in our answers, so telling us to shut up is, well, ludicrous. They have the power, and they want everyone to know it.
    3) Perception
    Again, they have the power and they want everyone to know it. Here, your comment at your conclusion is fantastic and important. You said that the Confederate Flag is “SYMBOLIC of the oppression perceived by BOTH its proponents and its opponents” I watched Borat yesterday, and I also read a column in the Columbia Star about how no one speaks for white men. In Borat, the drunken University of South Carolina frat boys say 1) they want slavery back, 2) women are for sex (but otherwise women must be oppressed and repressed so that men “Never, ever change,”) and 3) that minorities are actually in control of everything — much more so than white men. While many white men have difficult times in the current ecomomic system, the statistics show that minorities and women have it a lot tougher. And, as for who’s in charge and who speaks up for white men, I can think of many who are talking nonstop “for” white men, including Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, and many, many politicians. But economics is not a zero-sum game, and having a divisive system of repression is actually more harmful to everyone than a system of fairness and equal opportunity. OK, back to the issue. We must know that many supporters of the Confederate flag feel that the current economic and political climate is against them. We must address this perception and the perception of what the flag stands for and the perception of power. As we all have said, “symbols matter.”
    OK, well, I’ve said a lot, and hopefully I have helped to frame the debate expansion avenues and to explain how they work and where they come from (or at least how they are manifested). Probably these were already clear to some (or all), but now they are more clear to me. I feel that shining the clear light of day on the different arguments is crucial if we want to move forward.
    Michael Rodgers
    Columbia, SC

  79. Cowtown Rebel

    Heeeeeeere’s Johnny!!!
    I had decided to bow out of this debate, but, I think I should clarify something.
    I want to take a moment to point out; I have never, in my posts or at any other time, advocated the removal of any statues or the suspension of any holidays.
    Personally, I think Kwanzaa is chock full o’ corn. But, the seven principles are admirable enough. If African-Americans want to celebrate this mock holiday and use its tenets to better themselves. I say, more power to them!
    I keep hearing how America is a diverse society and how that diversity is our strength. Well, if that’s true, then why is that diversity embraced in every instance but one? Why is the history of the Southern White Male singled out for exclusion from the diverse family of Americans? Don’t tell me it’s because of the exclusiveness of our ancestors, some sort of belated justice. I would be forced to dig into my Big Book O’ Facts and demonstrate how inclusive the Confederacy was as compared to the United States at that time.
    If, we are to be expected to cherish diversity, then we must start by accepting that it exists. We must also understand that some ideas, cultures and religions are incompatible. This may require a separation to maintain the peace. I mentioned the Pennsylvania Deutch in a previous post. Today, we know them as the Amish. They still refer to anyone, that is not Amish, as English. For their society to work, they must segregate themselves from the rest of the Country. They have never assimilated and, for them to remain Amish, they never can. Does their isolation make them any less American? Or, are they another ethnic enclave?
    I believe if you are going to have an African-American monument, then you have to accept a monument to the Confederacy. You may not like it, but, you must reconcile yourself to its presence. This is known as compromise and it is the glue that holds a diverse society together. Otherwise, you have an unwillingness to yield on either side, resulting in a showdown.
    Your heroes may not be my heroes. Your virtues may be sins to me. I do not have to agree with you and no amount of sensitivity training can make me change my mind. Does this mean we have to kill eachother? No, it means that we are going to have to find a way to live together without coming into conflict. That means you cannot ridicule or condemn my ancestory and then expect me to admire yours.
    I hope this serves to shed some light on my position.

  80. Michael Rodgers

    Cowtown Rebel,
    We need you in the debate! Hopefully Brad Warthen will start another channel and hopefully we can have public meetings of our All for South Carolina (or whatever it gets called) organization. None of us are calling for the removal of any statues or the suspension of any holidays. And we must make sure that no one ridicules or condemns anyone’s ancestory.
    I’m very happy that we have a Confederate Memorial on the Statehouse grounds. It’s extremely important that it’s there! I just think that flying the Confederate flag on the Statehouse grounds is inappropriate. In fact, in my opinion, flying the Confederate flag there diminishes the Confederate Memorial by making us focus on the divisiveness of today instead of on remembering the inspiring valor and sacrifice of yesterday.
    As a state, SC should encourage its citizens to find inspiration wherever they can, and many of our soldiers, citizens, and visitors (of any background — white, black, northern, southern, or any other or combination) can and should find inspiration from the Confederate Memorial. Many who want to find such inspiration are stymied upon seeing the flying Confederate flag on the Statehouse grounds, because that sight is, in my opinion, extremely confusing, distracting, and disconcerting.
    Michael Rodgers
    Columbia, SC

  81. JH MacDonald

    Michael Rodgers
    As to All for South Carolina, I am interested to know your observations on whether the current generation at the several colleges and universities in and around Columbia has any interest or opinions regarding the flying of the Confederate Flag at the State House.
    I have offered an idea that no flags should fly on governmental property except those of the citizens’ current government. People may agree or disagree. We’ll see.
    I have offered the additional idea that the current SYMBOLIC impact of the Confederate Flag is at the very least confusing and contradictory. People may agree or disagree. Given what we have read thus far, it would seem self evident.
    The above contentions have the uncanny effect of generating a never ending series of tangents relating to states’ rights and the incompleteness of people’s knowledge of the root causes of the Civil War. That somehow devolves to who celebrates what holidays, the infidelities of civil rights leaders, the honor and intelligence of Gen Lee, the lack thereof of President Lincoln, etc., etc., etc.
    I interpret many of these arguments to be indicative of the passion that is symbolized by the flying flag. In addition to symbolizing the honor and valor of Confederate combatants, it seems clear that the flag also represents the continuing historical resentment toward the Union for the decisions made during and shortly after the War.
    It strikes me that this aspect of the emotional symbolism of the Flag cuts even deeper for many bloggers than the desire to honor the fallen.
    Is this attitude of resentment for having been wronged 140 years ago being passed on intentionally in your schools or is this something that is passed down within the family structure? For the history buffs, think about this. We have seen it before. The boil festers, but sooner or later it bursts and spews forth a puss of little soldiers whose minds and souls have been lost to the cause of vengence of their “wise and honorable” elders.
    Have you ever analyzed the concept that the above resentment was unable to be effectively expressed toward the North or the Union and, thus, was immediately focused on the relatively powerless black southerner? Some may agree or disagree. I leave that to the history buffs and the history spinners. As near as I know, it was not General Sherman who was doing the lynchings and the burning crosses.
    I reiterate, the Confederate Flag flying at the State House in 2007 arguably and ironically symbolizes the resentment and oppression of its proponents as well as its opponents.
    What is the opinion, if any, of the current generation of intelligent white southerners and intelligent black southerners on these points? Do they have an opinion? Are they learning how to form an opinion? Are they waiting for their allegedly honorable and wise elders to tell them what their opinion should be?
    Perhaps they are your hope to resolve this divisiveness. Their brains have not yet atrophied and their beliefs are still being formulated. Dialog is the key tool. Knowledge of, and increasing familiarity with, “THEM”, has a chance to lead to some common ground and tolerance. Avoidance, separation and shunning will lead to a perpetuation of this nonsense for another 140 years. At the very least, a change of strategy can do no worse in South Carolina.
    You have a very difficult task, Michael Rodgers. I hope that you find some helpers.

  82. Michael Rodgers

    JH MacDonald,
    Racism is being learned and fought against everywhere. Southern racism and Northern racism and worldwide racism are as similar as they are different. Simultaneously, we have debates about immigration, wars of reconstruction, and commentators going on and on about a war on Christmas. We’re all victims, but we all are empowered, but …. Again, your realization is spot on, “the Confederate Flag flying at the State House in 2007 arguably and ironically symbolizes the resentment and oppression of its proponents as well as its opponents.”
    I have enormous hope for our current global generation. Giant progress has been made, and young people today sometimes seem to have immense optimism and fortitude — when they’re not despondent or partied-out. We can improve with the young people or we can spurn them, and we’d better do the former. They are really an amazing and inspiring group of people!
    Basically, nobody likes being told what to do, and everybody wants to feel like they have made a difference. Everybody wants to please their parents and their ancestors and their mirror. Young people today sacrifice a lot by going to college, which is fun and educational, but wow, what a debt!
    Everyone wants to celebrate symbols of their strength, and everyone is discouraged by symbols of their oppression. We’re much more alike than we are not, and we should celebrate the best of our cultures, instead of harping on each other’s shadow sides.
    I’ll get started right away. Please see my post here:
    Michael Rodgers
    Columbia, SC

  83. Cowtown Rebel

    Michael Rodgers,
    You keep trying to eradicate the last vestige of the Confederacy and I’ll keep trying to get these wonderful worldly young people to pull their pants up and we’ll see which benefits society more.

  84. Michael Rodgers

    Cowtown Rebel,
    I am not trying to eradicate anything, and how in the world is the flying of the Confederate flag from a flagpole on the Statehouse grounds the “last vestige of the Confederacy?” Are you saying that our state government is a Confederate government somehow? If so, it does an enormously good job of keeping it quiet — which is hardly a good legacy of the honor and spirit of the Confederate soldiers and their families. Keep rebellion quiet? Never!
    I want to be encouraged by my state (SC) to celebrate and honor the Confederate soldiers and their families. I want to celebrate and honor the Confederate soldiers and their families at reenactment events, at the State Museum, on the Statehouse grounds, on Confederate Memorial Day, at the Confederate Memorial, ….
    Getting the Confederate flag from where it shouldn’t be (flying from a flagpole on the Statehouse grounds) to where it should be (displayed in the State Museum), is a simple action that will actually enable more honor and celebration of the Confederate soldiers and their families. This one action is hardly eradication, and in fact this action is not negative at all — it’s actually an extremely positive, pro-Confederate soldier, pro-Confederate family action.
    Do you think that SC currently celebrates and honors the Confederate soldiers and their families as much as we should? We currently hide the flying Confederate flag from internet pictures on the Statehouse website, travel brochures, and everywhere, and we are typically dismayed (to say the least) when people bring it up in conversation!
    Our state government never says anything or does anything to remember the enormous sacrifices of the Confederate soldiers and their families — just a day off and a flying flag that everybody is supposed to ignore and never talk about. Why, the neo-nazis and the supremacists celebrate the Confederate soldiers and their families more than we do, and that’s RIDICULOUS!
    Michael Rodgers
    Columbia, SC

  85. Cowtown Rebel

    “If” I believed you were sincere, I might be persuaded to agree to a compromise. However, I have seen too many instances of the slow, erosive process of eradication in action. I have witnessed cherished traditions, monuments, plaques and school mascots fall victim to the assertion that they were inappropriate or offensive. Therefore, I can no longer afford the luxury of taking your word that you won’t target the monument next.
    Here in Texas, there is an ongoing battle to restore the plaques that were removed from the entrance of the State Supreme Court Building. The building and several others on the Capitol grounds were constructed using donated funds from the Confederate Veterans’ pension fund. The United Daughters of the Confederacy, who were the benefactors, donated the money with the stipulation that there would be two small plaques recognizing the sacrifice of the Confederate Soldiers.
    Another case involves the Confederate statues on the grounds of the University of Texas in Austin. The land was donated by George Littlefield. In exchange, Mr. Littlefield requested statues to be erected to honor some of the men he admired. These statues are currently being targeted by the University faculty and certain segments of the student body for removal.
    So, as far as I’m concerned, the removal of The Flag from the South Carolina Capitol grounds is just another step toward the complete elimination of memorials to the Confederacy. I will continue to argue against any further efforts to appease a segment of the population that will never be content. I am not Neville Chamberlain. No peace in our time!!!
    I would have responded sooner, but, I was on vacation.

  86. Michael Rodgers

    Cowtown Rebel,
    I appreciate your position, and I am interested in gaining your trust. I firmly and strongly believe that removing the Confederate flag from where it is flying from a flagpole on the Statehouse grounds will IMPROVE the Confederate Memorial. I do NOT wish to move, remove, erode or eradicate the Confederate Memorial. I wish to celebrate, remember, and honor the Confederate soldiers and their families. I pledge to hold to this position, and I ask for you to “trust, but verify.” Verify means to do as you are doing, carefully watching over attempts to change “cherished traditions, monuments, plaques and school mascots,” and courageously fighting those changes that are capricious and disrespectful. I submit to you that removing the Confederate flag from where it is flying from the flagpole on the Statehouse grounds is neither capricious nor disrespectful. You will see. Thank you.
    Michael Rodgers
    Columbia, SC


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