Despite Politico’s recent claim that “the Confederacy Still Lives” it is, in fact, in full retreat. Confederate flags are being removed from public places and holidays honoring Confederate generals are being revised or removed from the calendars. It is a process that will continue as each new generation moves further away from the history itself and is able to re-assess its legacy.
That is exactly what is happening this week in Texas surrounding a proposal to re-name and move ‘Confederate Heroes Day.’ The proposal is the work of an Austin eighth grader by the name of Jacob Hale. Hale believes that the current holiday does an injustice to his states unionists. He proposes to re-name the holiday to ‘Civil War Remembrance Day‘ and move it to May.
The meeting yesterday brought plenty of people who spoke out against the change. One of them was Texas Division Commander of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Johnnie Holley.
The state of Texas voted to secede from the Union, so any man from Texas who went to fight for the Union was a traitor to his country. So as a Texan I don’t want to honor someone who came and fought against the state of Texas.
I appreciate Holley’s honesty, but I would suggest that such a view is part of the problem for Confederate heritage advocates. It’s a losing argument in 2015.
Jacob Hale is not an aberration. His understanding of the war fits comfortably within the generations raised in post-civil rights America. Of course, we will continue to witness bitter debates about how we remember and commemorate the Confederacy, but its place in Southern memory will never again enjoy the level of acceptance it once did.
Young Jacob Hale is doing nothing less than hammering in the nails of its coffin.