You Say I Disrespect the Memory of the Confederate Soldier

I say Philip Way does more damage to the memory of the Confederate soldier when he appears on television and encourages viewers to steer clear of sound bites and then does just that. I say that H.K. Edgerton disrespects the memory of Confederate soldiers every time he performs his little skit in front of their descendants. I say the Virginia Flaggers disrespect the memory of Confederate soldiers with their highway flags and suspect membership. I could go on and on.

But if pointing the finger at my blog makes it easier for you to maintain some useful illusion about your heritage than so be it. In the end I know it’s not really about me anyway.

CraterThanks for reading this post. Scroll down, leave a comment and join the conversation if you are so inclined. Follow me on Twitter and join the Civil War Memory Facebook group for continuous updates and additional links to newsworthy items from around the interwebs. Stay up to date by subscribing to this blog’s feed. You can also check out my recently published book, Remembering the Battle of the Crater: War as Murder.

6 comments… add one

  • Rob Baker May 2, 2014

    Can you hear this slow applause I’m starting from Georgia?

  • Jimmy Dick May 2, 2014

    The flaggers and their ilk disrespect the people who seceded from the North. They do this by lying about the reasons behind the secession and covering up the truth of what their ancestors said and did. They disrespect all Americans with their continued support of racism. I have zero respect for flaggers and those that lie about the past to support a belief system that has been proven wrong which is what the flaggers and Southern Heritage people do. Every day we educate more people which just reduces the number of people who believe in the Lost Cause myth.

    • M.D. Blough May 2, 2014

      I’ve dealth with the accusations of “presentism” and hindsight is 20/20, etc. I respond that I have read what the secessionists wrote about and said about what they were doing and why at the time of the events at issue, not after the war when they were trying to escape being held responsible for the catastrophic defeat of their cause and all the suffering it caused. I take them at their word. This was when they were trying to rally support to their cause (or, at least, cause withdrawal of support from the Union) in the rebel states, in states they were trying to persuade to join the rebellion, in free states and territories as well as internationally.

    • Jimmy (and M.D., and everyone else), I’ve only been following these blogs for a short while, so I’m only now being exposed to the links between Confederate Heritage (in all its forms) and Southern Nationalism (as represented by the LoS). So my question is, since Southern Nationalism is inherently racist, do you think the CH movement is likewise inherently racist? I mean, I have no doubt there are many CH folks who are not racist, who truly just want to honor this past (although it still escapes me why). But does the logic of the movement point inexorably to Southern Nationalism?

      • Andy Hall May 6, 2014

        Christopher, I find it useful to focus more on what people say and do, rather than simple labels like “racist.” That term, in particular, doesn’t get a lot of traction with that crowd, since they’ve become inured to it, and immediately dismiss it as an unwarranted libel. They will reject that characterization out-of-hand, like Cliven Bundy, but a substantial number of them will (like Bundy) be happy also to tell you “what I know about the Negro.” It’s group of people who embrace a man like the odious Kirk Lyons, who in the early 1990s was lamenting on a nationally-syndicated talk show that it was impractical to send all the black people in the United States back to Africa, who now uses a Confederate-flag-toting African American man as a beard to deflect criticism. They simply don’t care much so long as you can wave a Confederate flag and shout about Sherman the war criminal or Lincoln’s tariffs or whatever louder than the next guy. Tripp Lewis was speaking the truth when he said that the Flaggers really didn’t care much about Matt Heimbach’s white-pride and Nazi fanboy fetish; it’s irrelevant so long as he was willing to march in the parade or protest the MoC Appomattox with them. (At least they were fine with Heimbach until they were called out publicly on it; then they couldn’t disown him fast enough.)

        But these are revanchist folks across the board, as far as I can tell, politically, culturally, socially, and religiously. They pine for a place like Mayberry — which, not coincidentally, is fiction — free from ideas and movements and politics and laws that challenge their sense of place and order. The modern Confederate Heritage movement remains very much a child of the “massive resistance” movement that sprang up in the 1950s, with the Confederate Battle Flag as its unifying symbol, and you only need scratch the surface a bit to see that it has at least as much to do with the current political, social and cultural landscape as it does with anything that happened 150 years ago.

  • Brooks D. Simpson May 2, 2014

    Actually, they are a standing embarrassment to the memory of Confederate soldiers and to Confederate heritage in general.

    Ranting blog post in 3… 2… 1…

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