Both Andy Hall and Brooks Simpson have highlighted another instance of Confederate Heritage gone wild. It’s nothing new, whether we are discussing the latest Virginia Flagger fiasco or SCV misstep. I’ve been accused of highlighting heritage follies for the sake of blog stats and there is some truth to that. At the same time, however, I think it is important to highlight as wide a range of perspectives as possible during this sesquicentennial. Much of this has only emerged owing to social media channels such as Facebook, YouTube and blogging, which allows for incredibly nuanced narratives and perspectives on the past.
While these stories attract a great deal of attention both in the blogosphere and mainstream media, it is easy to exaggerate their long-term impact. Overall, these past few years have witnessed an impressive range of thoughtful and meaningful commemorative and educational events. Many of these events take place beyond the focus of the media – which is looking for the next story about an African American who wears a Confederate flag t-shirt – but collectively they will leave a much deeper mark.
The recent raising of a Confederate flag by the Virginia Flaggers off of I-95 just south of Richmond is the perfect metaphor for the point I am trying to make. Nobody can see it. Something to remember next time you are outraged.