Bree Newsome Takes Down the Confederate Flag

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.

[Uploaded to YouTube on June 27, 2015]

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The ‘Cornerstone’ of the Confederate Flag

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Earlier today President Barack Obama eulogized Reverend and South Carolina State Senator Clementa Pinckney. There were numerous references to American history, but on this blog, right now, it is his thoughts concerning the Confederate flag that deserve special attention. But first a reminder of an earlier speech. [click to continue…]

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Removal of Confederate Flags Marks the End of the Civil War Sesquicentennial

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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. [click to continue…]

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Why It Is Still Wrong to Vandalize Confederate Monuments

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Yesterday the Governor of Alabama ordered the removal of a Confederate flag located on the statehouse grounds next to a Confederate monument. Given the wave of calls for the removal of Confederate monuments I am surprised that this particular monument was not singled out for removal or even defaced as has been the case in Baltimore, Charleston, and Memphis. I am pleased that neither has occurred as of yet.

In March 2015 I accompanied roughly forty students from Boston on a 5-day civil rights tour of the South that included the city of Montgomery. On one bright early morning I led the group around the statehouse grounds and made it a point to stop by the flag and monument. Many of the students had never seen a Confederate monument up close or given much thought to what they represent. [click to continue…]

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Southern Cities Should Look To Richmond

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Since South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley announced on Wednesday that she supported the removal of the Confederate flag from the statehouse grounds a flood of announcements have followed. Today the governor of Alabama ordered the removal of a Confederate flag adjacent to a Confederate memorial on the statehouse grounds and a number of governors are calling for the discontinuation of license plates that feature the flag.

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. [click to continue…]

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