“We Shall Overcome”

Confederate FlagLooks like more Confederate Battle flags are flying over America’s Southern highways, but I suspect that heritage groups won’t be celebrating. A group calling itself The Lewla Movement hopes to spark discussion about race relations, history and the meaning of the Confederate flag.

I appreciate how this billboard juxtaposes the history of the flag and its connection to a war to protect slavery and white supremacy with the rallying cry of this nation’s most important grassroots movement to expand civil rights.

But that’s just my interpretation.

5 comments… add one
  • Keith Harris Oct 1, 2014 @ 12:42

    Do you suppose that there is an accompanying song? It’s hard to launch a movement without a song.

  • Marian Latimer Sep 30, 2014 @ 18:50

    Does Kanye West know about this? Is she trying to steal his thunder or has anyone seen them in the same room?

    Seriously, I understand the attempt, but I fear most folks won’t.

  • Julian Sep 30, 2014 @ 15:54


    the person behind this installation is an actress and film producer from Mississippi – Aunjanue Ellis- she was in “The Help” as well as other major film projects


    ” An email reportedly from Ellis about the project said the two conflicting symbols -the confederate flag and the lyrics to an anthem of the civil rights movement — were combined to show how closely related everyone in the state is to the rest of the state’s heritage. ”

    I like it – it is malleable, it is thought-provoking, it raises legitimate visual arts theory questions about ownership, appropriation and circulation of imagery and also then the relationship of imagery to place and identity. It does not worship anyone’s holy cows. It seeks out a third way … it opens out the process of thinking about the Confederate Battle Flag from being that intense polarity of flaggers versus activists – and also defuses the expectation from both sides of the debate that their view is the ultimately correct view that must prevail over all others.

    it could be regarded as a pisstake of the giant highway flags, it could be regarded as a thoughtful response or countering of the giant flags.

    It also reminds us of how the imagery – and even more the strategies and actions – of the US Civil Rights Movement – as with the Battle Flag – has travelled globally, and has been used by many groups of many backgrouds not all of whom have a cultural or a historical link to the origins of these symbols

    It also indicates that there is a difference between the swastika and the Confederate Battle Flag – as the latter does have multiple and non fixed roles and insisting upon that counter reflexivity also becomes dictatorial within a broad social spectrum

    I think it also relates to some of what can be said about the flaggers – technically they have failed to have had any of the public uses of the Battle Flag restored or been able to reverse any decision of any body in authority but in social realpolitik if those campaigning for the removal of officially sanctioned and public battle flags seek to have the symbol erased from the public landscape the flags are still there in an ad hoc publicly led and in fact far more radical manner than before

  • Boyd Harris Sep 30, 2014 @ 8:28

    I would like to thank the Clarion Ledger for finding the guy who makes the stereotypical white Mississippian argument of “outsider’s sticking their noses in our business” and then defends the flag. Sorry Brad Ward, but people like you are why everyone needs to “stick their noses” in Mississippi’s business.

    On another note, here is an op-ed from a colleague of mine here at the University of Mississippi. Its a very insightful piece on the power and influence of Confederate memory on the legacy and landscape of the university.


    • Kevin Levin Sep 30, 2014 @ 8:31

      It wouldn’t have the same impact without it. 🙂

      Thanks for the link.

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