He’s back and more committed than ever to telling the “true” story of the Confederacy and the loyal place that black Southerners occupied within it. H.K. Edgerton was in Ringgold earlier this week to “stage a peaceful protest against the City Council’s decision to remove the Confederate battle flag from above the Depot downtown in 2005.” Unfortunately, the available news does not tell the complete story and this has everything to do with Edgerton’s presence, who is ultimately a distraction. Check out the news item referenced above and you will notice that most of the story is devoted to the fact that Edgerton is black and carries a Confederate flag. We end up trying to figure out what he is about and in the process inflating his own sense of importance.
Two of my readers were kind enough to send along additional information about this story that did not make the paper. It turns out that the Ringgold City Council removed the Confederate battle flag from a memorial that the SCV had erected in downtown area and as a compromise they flew a Hardee Corps flag, which was used by Cleburne’s Division in the battle there. About a month ago the city council learned that they were being sued by Kirk Lyons of the Southern Legal Resource Center. I am willing to bet that Lyons contacted Edgerton to travel to Ringgold in order to bring attention to this case. I am also willing to bet that until Lyons sued there were few problems in Ringgold over the compromise that had been struck which left a bona fide symbol of the Confederate cause in a public space. The problem, of course, is that most white Americans don’t identify with the Hardee Corps flag or know much of anything about its history. Wouldn’t it be more fitting to honor the white Southern men who fought in this area by displaying the actual flag they carried into battle or is that not what this controversy is about?