An online MoveOn campaign to remove the Confederate flag from all government buildings — and most particularly from South Carolina’s capitol building — is bucking the South Carolina Heritage Act that says:
CERTAIN FLAGS OF THE CONFEDERACY SHALL BE FLOWN OR BE DISPLAYED ON THE GROUNDS OF THE STATE CAPITOL COMPLEX, AND WHICH PROHIBITS THE REMOVAL OF THESE CONFEDERATE FLAGS ON THE STATE HOUSE GROUNDS AND THE REMOVAL, CHANGING, OR RENAMING OF ANY LOCAL OR STATE MONUMENT, MARKER, MEMORIAL, SCHOOL, OR STREET ERECTED OR NAMED IN HONOR OF THE CONFEDERACY OR THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT WITHOUT THE ENACTMENT OF A JOINT RESOLUTION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY APPROVING SAME ADOPTED BY A TWO-THIRDS VOTE OF THE MEMBERSHIP OF EACH HOUSE…
There’s more. Click the link. And the flag is padlocked in place, though there’s talk of introducing a bill to remove the flag. That should be a fascinating discussion and I hope to be able to keep you apprised of it here because as we all know, there’s heritage worth sharing, and then there’s heritage that’s worth learning from, but not necessarily displaying. Every Caucasian benefited from the U.S. slave economy. Wouldn’t you think more white people would be arguing for its removal from public places? It’s like waving the bloody flag of someone you just shot. Heritage, my ass.
(Full disclosure: I owned a Confederate flag as a child, and floating around somewhere is a photo of me and my step-grandfather on a porch in Crane, Mo., where I am holding that flag. I was 8, maybe 9, and my reading list was short. That is a lame excuse, I know, but I got older, started reading, and left off childish and hurtful things. Back to your regularly-scheduled blog post:)
From a 2014 interview, S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley said “not a single CEO” has complained about the damn thing. And she’s an Indian-American, so they’ve obviously fixed racism. So there’s that.
And thanks, Cynical, for the link.
White supremacy groups use the Confederate flag as a symbol of their hatred. The flag was aligned with the side that wished to continue slavery. There is no disputing these things. The “heritage” preserved by flying this flag is one that clung to the idea of white supremacy and black oppression. Why would today’s black and white citizens of SC want any part of preserving that heritage? It has no place on any public or government property.
If it’s padlocked to the flag pole, cut the whole dang flagpole down.
Little Susan holding that flag was too young to understand what that flag meant. She grew up and is no longer holding it. All is forgiven.
What’s interesting to me about Susan having that flag is the approximate year in which her photo was taken with it. What did the person who gave it to her present it as? “Your heritage?” “Our real flag?” Nothing special, just another part of southern life?
Sorry it took me a while to respond. I would have been maybe 8, and I don’t remember anything about “heritage” being mentioned, but I’d already ascertained that this was a rebel flag, and who doesn’t want to be a rebel? It was more just a part of life. I was significantly older before I realized what that part of life entailed.
I was thinking in terms of the civil rights movement that was in full swing by then — was that ever a subject of conversation in your family/community.
Yes, but not in a positive way. However, by age 8, I could read Newsweek and Time and I did so, as best I could, fueled by my Sunday school lessons that Jesus loves the little children…red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight. That meant something to me.
It would be a good start, I suppose. But it’s not a solution.
Krugman on Slavery’s Long Shadow.
If we want things to change…we have to change things. Doing the same shit over and over and over isn’t working.
It’s happening? Gov. Haley says it’s coming down? Did I hear that correctly?
You did. And the Miss. House Speaker has said the battle flag within THAT state’s flag needs to go, too. Watch this space :) for a blog post on that.
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