“With a Rebel Yell, She Cried More, More, More…”

Maurice Bessinger, Dixie OutfittesNot even the best legal minds in the Confederate South seem to be able to stem the tide of anti-Confederate flag legislation and sentiment.

Even the flags that once adorned Maurice Bessinger’s chain of barbecue restaurants in South Carolina fly no more.

The elder Bessinger, who ran unsuccessfully for governor in the ’70s, has not been involved in running the business for several years. Most of the flags at the restaurants quietly came down more than a year ago, Lloyd Bessinger said.

The family-run operation wants to stay neutral politically, appealing to Republicans and Democrats, Bessinger said. “Dad liked politics,” he said. “That’s not something we’re interested in doing. We want to serve great barbecue. “We want to get past that.”

In honor of this move, I leave you with this classic Stephen Colbert interview with Bessinger that was done while working for Jon Stewart. Oh well, he will always have his Dixie Outfitters t-shirt.

22 comments… add one

  • KG Oct 27, 2013

    Man, Jon looks young in that clip.

    • Kevin Levin Oct 27, 2013

      I know. We are all getting old.

  • Pat Young Oct 27, 2013

    My sister stopped at Maurice’s on a trip to North Carlina. I saw her a few hours later and she was shocked. It wasn’t just the CBF, the place sold books on how the Confederacy was right and others attacking Lincoln as a war criminal. Maurice didn’t just want to honor the suffering of his dead ancestors, he wanted to vindicate their cause.

    • Kevin Levin Oct 27, 2013

      OK, but what did she think of the sauce?

  • Michael Rodgers Oct 27, 2013

    Then SC Senate pro tempore Glenn McConnell (R-Charleston) is now Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell, owing to the money/ethics scandal-prompted resignation of our elected Lt. Gov. Ken Ard.
    http://www.thestate.com/2012/03/09/2184596/lt-gov-ken-ard-to-resign.html
    In 2014, Glenn McConnell is expected to run against SC House Rep. Bakari Sellers (D-Bamberg) for Lt. Gov.
    http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20130508/PC16/130509383
    By the way, Bakari Sellers is the son of Cleveland Sellers. Also, Bamberg is Gov. Nikki Haley’s hometown.

    • Andy Hall Oct 27, 2013

      McConnell is a real piece of work. He’s used his position and influence to create and maintain support for the HUNLEY recovery and conservation, which I think of as a huge plus for him. But otherwise he’s a mess, and Confederate heritage activities trip him up again and again. He makes it worse for himself (they always do) when he tries to explain that what’s plainly visible to all isn’t what it looks like. (Like when he insisted that this uniform was that of a U.S. Navy Captain. We’re not that stoopid, Glenn.) It’s rather fun watching them try to walk that particular political high-wire.

      • Michael Rodgers Oct 27, 2013

        Hunley: While SC should spend significant money conserving the Hunley, probably McConnell directed way too much public money towards it. See for example, this article.
        Uniform: I’m pretty sure he’s always claimed that the uniform is a Confederate general.

        • Andy Hall Oct 27, 2013

          Nope:

          McConnell, a Charleston Republican, said the uniform he’s wearing in the picture is the same uniform he wore in a movie about the Hunley, in which he had a nonspeaking role. He also points out he is not wearing a Confederate uniform, but a Union uniform that the hosts asked him to wear.

          The coat is gussied up with gold epaulets, but it’s a pretty close match to this replica John Bell Hood coat. The kepi is a march for this staff officer’s cap.

          • Michael Rodgers Oct 27, 2013

            If it’s in the newspaper it should be true. It just doesn’t seem like McConnell at all: He would know what uniform he had on and he would neither lie nor be embarrassed about it.

          • Michael Rodgers Oct 28, 2013

            OK, Kevin, here’s a potential student project. What did McConnell actually say to Burris? I guess that McConnell did talk about how he sometimes wears Union uniforms (as he told K. Michael Prince, p.147), but he did not claim that the one he was wearing in the picture was a Union uniform. My guess is that Burris misunderstood McConnell’s story to be relevant.

            • Kevin Levin Oct 28, 2013

              Yeah, I think I would rather students spend their time on some other project. Thanks for the suggestion.

    • Michael Rodgers Oct 27, 2013

      McConnell kicked off the Civil War sesquicentennial with a Secession Ball.

  • Ken Noe Oct 27, 2013

    When future historians write about the sesquicentennial, the flagging of Maurice’s BBQ will be depicted as one of those milestone moments.

    • Kevin Levin Oct 27, 2013

      What happened to your profile pic image? Does this have something to do with Virginia Tech’s loss yesterday?

      • Ken Noe Oct 27, 2013

        You’re thinking perhaps of Al Mackey, I haven’t had a profile pic image since your Discus years. Besides, I’ve been rooting for Tech a long time, the annual; heartbreaking loss is an old tradition.

        • Al Mackey Oct 28, 2013

          Tell me about it. It’s really frustrating.

  • Michael Rodgers Oct 27, 2013

    I like how Lloyd Bessinger recognized that flying the flag was a political act.

  • Corey Meyer Oct 27, 2013

    I like how everyone was all for Maurice and his restaurants when he flew the flag, but once the flags came down quietly and people noticed they all make comments about how awful the sauce is and that they only ate their for supporting the flag. Such hypocrites!

    • Andy Hall Oct 28, 2013

      You mean, the die-hard fans and loyal customers of the restaurant who didn’t realize the flags were gone until they read about it in the paper? Those folks?

      • Ken Noe Oct 28, 2013

        Maybe they just assumed the flag was behind a tree. In a ravine.

      • Corey Meyer Oct 28, 2013

        Yes…those folks!

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