This morning Bree Newsome scaled the gate around the Confederate flag in Columbia, South Carolina and removed it. She was aided by an individual, who apparently disguised himself as a maintenance worker.
I assume a legal fund will be created on her behalf and I hope lawyers will step up to the plate and take on her case pro bono.
What a wonderful example of our long history of peaceful protest.
We just might look back and point to the wave of anti-Confederate flag fervor witnessed over the last week as marking the end of the Civil War sesquicentennial (2011-2015). A good case can be made. While the mainstream media has treated the outcry as stemming directly from last week’s shooting, a closer look reveals that the Confederate flag and other iconography have been engaged in a slow retreat from public view for some time. The flag’s retreat is part of a broader shift in our public memory of the war that has gradually taken hold over the past few decades.
In December 2010 a “secession ball” was held in Charleston to mark the 150th anniversary of the state’s decision to leave the union. That the event was held was not surprising, but news coverage and protests on the ground suggested at the time that the sesquicentennial was not going to be a repeat of the centennial. Charleston Mayor Joe Riley called the celebration “unfortunate” and reminded his city that you cannot understand South Carolina’s secession without understanding slavery. His remarks set the tone for the next four years of commemoration and remembrance. Continue reading →
There have been calls for other states to remove Confederate flags from public places as well as demands to change the names of streets named after Confederate heroes. Not surprisingly, some are now calling for the removal of Confederate monuments that adorn public grounds throughout the South. Continue reading →