The American Civil War is unique in human history for being the only civil conflict that ended with reunion, respect and brotherhood. The most bloody national conflict in world history is defined, ultimately, not by the conflict itself and that conflict’s destruction, but by the preservation of the values of all Americans.
The twin gifts of patriotic understanding and American freedom not only survived, but have thrived to make this nation a beacon of hope and peace the rest of the world admires to this day and will forever. This production is honored to have developed a connection between this ultimate American sport with the ultimate American story and is proud to announce an association between select NASCAR™ affiliated drivers and roles that best exemplify this tradition of patriotism and competition in our production.
The connection between the Civil War and drivers who race NASCAR™ is simple: those values of the Civil War—the patriotism, the spirit of American competition, the regional and national pride that poured forth from and for its heroes—is best exemplified in the American Values and American Spirit embraced today by the NASCAR™ affiliated drivers and their fans.
A good friend of mine recently set up a Facebook page for her forthcoming book on the role of Christianity in shaping the concept of race in early Virginia. She asked friends on Facebook as well as her Twitter followers to go ahead and “like” the page and within a couple of days had reached 100 fans. Pretty good showing, but creating a Facebook page or Twitter account for a book is the easy part. The challenge is in turning those social media connections or virtual clicks of support into sales.
Now I am certainly no Chris Brogan, but over the past few years I have learned a little bit about turning likes and follower into sales. Of course, whether what I’ve learned actually pans out will be seen in the next few weeks. Here are a couple of suggestions.
I suspect that the Confederate flag story out of Lexington will go viral by the end of the day. No doubt, we will be treated to the standard mainstream media narrative of an unfinished Civil War as well as the overly defensive posture of the SCV. Already we’ve heard from Brandon Dorsey, who is the local SCV commander in Lexington:
As far as I am concerned, this is little different that some states shutting down all their public schools to avoid desegregation and then claiming their motivation for closing them is of no concern because they screwed over everyone.
Oh brother. Pass the hyperbole. The SCV and other heritage groups have staked everything on the display of the Confederate flag. It’s all or nothing. Any attempt at limiting its visibility is seen as an attack on their history and heritage as if they alone have a monopoly on the Southern past.
The days when the Confederate flag represented a people, a culture, and a history are over. Thankfully, we now live in a time when an ever wider spectrum of voices are able to make their voices heard and they are adamant that the flag ought not to be displayed on public property and/or supported with taxpayer dollars. Why? Because of its history and nothing the SCV or anyone else says or does can change the flag’s symbolic connection to a history of violence and racism. I suspect that most reasonable people would agree that there are settings in which its display is appropriate and even necessary, but that is a discussion the SCV will not consider.
This has nothing to do with hating the South or “evilizing” the Confederacy. That is as unimaginative an argument as one can make and as we have seen it will lead to the SCV’s continued marginalization in society. The SCV’s decision to stake everything on the flag reflects a simplistic understanding of the very history and heritage that they claim to defend. Instead of wasting limited resources on court cases, television ads, and airplane banners they should be thinking of creative ways to share the rich history of the Confederacy and their ancestors in their local communities.
When it comes to the Confederate flag the SCV is doomed to fail and they deserve everything they get.
A legal battle to fly the Confederate flag from the street light poles of Lexington died today at the hand of a federal judge. In a written opinion, U.S. District Court Judge Samuel Wilson dismissed a lawsuit against the city filed by the Sons of Confederate Veterans. The lawsuit challenged an ordinance, passed last year amid public furor, that limited the types of flags that can be flown from city-owned light poles. Lexington City Council’s decision to fly only the city, state and national flags was “eminently reasonable,” Wilson wrote in a 10-page opinion released late today.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans had claimed that the city abused their free speech rights — banning the battle flag because of its controversial nature. But in granting the city’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit, Wilson wrote that the city’s alleged motivations do not override the fact that the ordinance is content-neutral on its face. By allowing only flags that represent government to be displayed on its light poles, the city essentially banned all private displays, including not just the Sons of Confederate Veterans but also two universities and several fraternities that have previously been allowed access to the poles. For that reason, the city argued, the ordinance did not shun a particular cause and thus was not subject to First Amendment attack. Wilson agreed, writing that to allow “a city-owned flag pole to serve as a public forum could suggest that government has placed its imprimatur on private expression.”