A short film about the Confederate flag rally Saturday, and what it meant

My son Matt shot a lot of video at the Take the flag down SC! rally at the State House Saturday.

He edited it down to this, to which I added a little bit of voiceover commentary, and he shared it with me today on this Father’s Day.

And now I share it with you…

tom hall

15 thoughts on “A short film about the Confederate flag rally Saturday, and what it meant

  1. Peggy

    What a great video … thank you for sharing (which I “liked”) and will now share.
    I hope you had a wonderful Father’s Day!!!!

  2. Bill

    Back in the 80’s,I saw two rock concerts that used the confederate flag as a symbol of rebellion.It wasn’t an issue,then.This is a metaphysical argument.It means what you want it to.Once it comes down,will people take some concrete actions?A large percentage of US prisoners are mentally ill,and don’t get treatment;a Reagan legacy.Instead of going to Bull Street (Gee,what happened?),they end up in prison or on the streets.
    Do something REAL.
    Here’s Tom Petty celebrating his rebel status,30 years ago.He wouldn’t be able to do the same show,today…

    1. Scout

      True, he may be using the flag as a symbol of rebellion, but not exactly in a positive fashion. The protaganist of the song is not very rebellious despite his words. Here’s an excerpt from an article where Tom Petty talks about the point of view of the character in the song:

      ” “I was just thinking about the average young guy down there who is brought up in this tradition that tells you, ‘This is the way it has always been and the way it should be.’ I’m not just talking about jobs, but a whole way of living,” Petty said of “Rebels” during a conversation with the Los Angeles Times. “In the song, the guy is born with it all lined up against him, but for some reason he just can’t get in line and play the way he’s supposed to.”
      It’s a character Petty could recognize from his own past — and, on some level, his personal journey out of the South. “I never bought the idea of having your life laid out for you and I got out, but a lot of them never do,” he continued. “It’s hard to understand why, but that tradition is so strong that they don’t ever realize that two hours in any direction gets you somewhere else. I could see the creases in the curtain at a real early age. One thing that helped me break away was music.”

      That’s from here – http://ultimateclassicrock.com/tom-petty-southern-accents/

      Anyway, you could be right that it probably wouldn’t fly today since people don’t get irony like they ought, but still, I don’t think he is exactly championing the flag here.

  3. SBS

    That is a beautiful tribute to the indomitable spirit of the human soul. Thank you.

    Though many were good and genteel stewards of their fellow humans, will the nostalgia of their former, prosperous system be enough to keep the flag hoisted in the public square? Will taking it down represent defeat? Will ‘you can’t tell me what to do’ belligerence keep the flag flying?

  4. Carla Damron

    I attended this rally with many other social workers. This lovely film gets to the heart of the matter. We posted a link on our scnasw.org website–hope that’s okay!!
    Carla Damron, LISW-CP

  5. Kathryn Fenner

    Choked up a bit here. Lovely! Excellent narration.

    I especially like what Will Green (Mr. Eva Moore, btws) said.The flag becomes background to us, but not to the nation at large.

  6. guest

    No, Petty probably wouldn’t do the same show today. But times change. When State Rep. John May had the Confederate Naval Jack hoisted above the State House in 1961, he likely never could’ve imagined how much the world around it would change so that by 2000 the flag’s meaning, practically uncontested when it went up, would undergo such fundamental challenge that sufficient sentiment developed to bring it down from the dome.

    Sure, it’s just a symbol and, you’re right, there are other things that can be done to greater concrete effect. But flags like words are symbols for how we think about ourselves and others. And just as we have collectively decided that there are some words we no longer find acceptable, so too have our perceptions of the flag changed. Besides, many of those concrete things we might do are likely harder to accomplish. Moving a flag, by comparison, should be relatively easy. Should be. Though anyone who followed the debate over the flag in the 1990s will recall how difficult it actually was. And for those who weren’t around or didn’t follow the ins and outs that closely, I can recommend Rally ‘Round the Flag, Boys! by yours truly.

      1. Brad Warthen

        It was something launched a few months ago. NYT calls it a Buzzfeed for conservatives, or something like that. I don’t know. I haven’t looked at it enough to tell…

        1. Kathryn Fenner

          One might ought to establish the particulars, lest one be found to be like the GOP candidates who accepted white supremacist money….

  7. Laura Hart

    So wonderful to see our 95-year-old friend Sarah Leverette speaking at this rally, pointing out that the people at the rally are good people. She is a good person and has not let age slow her down much.

    1. Brad Warthen

      I never look forward to a referendum. That’s no way to make decisions in a republic. That’s the job of elected representatives, and they need to belly up to the bar and do it…


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