Pictures from a Confederate flag rally


Y’all, click on this panorama, and then click again to enlarge it. It’s pretty cool.

Y’all know that I’ve written hundreds of thousands of words over the years about the Confederate Flag and how we need to get it down off that pole on the State House grounds. So obviously, I set great store by words on this subject.

But I’ve been struggling for a couple of hours with my computer this evening — several crashes, including two appearances of the Dread Blue Screen of Death — and it’s after 11 p.m., I’ve spent a lot of time today out in the heat, and I’m getting to the point that I’m too exhausted.

Besides, I don’t think this is about the words. Oh, there were some fine ones said by speakers at the rally, and some less inspiring ones that don’t do the cause a bit of good.

But it wasn’t about the speakers. This first rally — there’s to be another on July 4, the organizers said — was more about people just wanting to get out and be seen while national media were watching, letting the world know that that flag does NOT fly there with our consent.

The organizers — Mariangeles Borghini, Emile DeFelice and Tom Hall — did a great job in two days. I can’t wait until the next one.

For now, enjoy the pictures…

12 thoughts on “Pictures from a Confederate flag rally

  1. Mark Stewart

    Too many messages, too many signs. This is a bumper-sticker issue. It needs a simple message and a simple graphic.

    Two flags: The U.S. and the Palmetto State flag.

    People advocating for removal should not go negative and distort the Confederate flag. The message is just simply that it is time to furl the battle flag and remove it from our civic institutions.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Well, that’s the thing with a rally like this… There is no message-shaping. It’s spontaneous, up-from-below. So the messages are those of the individuals who show up.

      And that’s what this rally was about. People were deeply moved to say something, and this was their chance.

      A campaign, to be effective, needs to be more focused. But there’s time for that.

  2. Mark Stewart

    It struck me that we are looking to politicians to solve themselves a political issue.

    Except this is not a political issue. Yes, of course, there are political connections, ties and manipulations from both sides. Fundamentally, the issue of whether the flag should be removed from civic institutions; and that is not a political decision.

    What we need to do to solve this is to take the decision out of the political sphere. They don’t want it anyway.

    This Confederate flag debate is a moral one. It is not political, nor is it historical. Therefore, I would like to see this issue lead by two groups: private citizens not actively engaged in partisan politics and clergy of all faiths. Society, our civic and social fabric, is going to decide this issue. It will be decided between neighbors, friends, associates, congregations, coworkers, etc.

    This issue is unlike any other I can think of in our civic sphere. It truly is an apolitical issue. Not non-political; apolitical.

    It is an old fashioned yard sign, bumper sticker, button, decal, social media visual image of accountability. Stand and be counted. The weight of silent public displays can create movement where endless words create only a cacophony of shrill sound.

    Two flags. Our nation and our state. An affirmation of our civility.

    1. Kathryn Fenner

      Well, the clergy *have* been active for a decade and a half, as have unaffiliated citizens.
      Unfortunately, it *is* a political issue, though it shouldn’t be. Only politicians, by law (unless someone can get a court to act), can remove the flag.

      1. Mark Stewart

        I may not have stated my premise clearly enough; which is something I often stumble over.

        My premise was that the legislature had an at bat over this issue, and they chose to go to absolute extremes to avoid ever having to address again this flag problem themselves. That’s why they treat it like something resolved when it is actually the farthest thing from truly being resolved. They remaIn tone deaf to the people; dismissive actually.

        To obtain a lasting resolution a triangulated effort is going to be required. Creating a movement to sway the legislature is bound to fail as the legislature has gamed the situation. A direct appeal isn’t going to work. Direct pressure only creates equal, opposing forces – especially in SC politics. To win a true resolution, a movement will have to first win over and then be able to prove it has obtained a supermajority of voters. Only then will the legislative bodies believe that they have the political cover to relent and vote their supermajorities to alter the political “compromise” of 2000.

        That’s what I meant by saying this is not going to be a political fight. This is a civic exercise to win the hearts and minds of the voters of this state. Frankly, that’s an easier task than to change the minds of the legislature anyway as a majority of the people already support removing the battle flag from civic institutions.

        The campaign to save the Congaree Swamp is, to me, an instructive analogy in the indirect application of social inevitability.

        The more any citizen lead campaign makes this about manhandling the legislature, the less success it will be sure to achieve. There is no path there to success. But there is a path open by fostering and broadening voter resolve.

        That’s why I believe to be successful this needs to be an apolitical, inclusive, bumper-sticker campaign. Give the legislature compelling visual affirmations that a supermajority of the voters want this political compromise revisited and struck and they will do so. Challenge them to abandon their redoubt and they will not.

  3. Kathryn Fenner

    I liked the observation reported in The State today that no legislator displays the flag on his or her home, car or place of business (now McConnell is gone), yet they persist in failing to remove it from display in front of the State House.

      1. Kathryn Fenner

        Hard to keep track of where everything originates….

        Emile is a state treasure. So are you.

  4. Pingback: A short film about the Confederate flag rally Saturday, and what it meant | ADCO

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