Category Archives: Civil War Culture

Were You Lucky Enough to Attend a High School Named After a Slaveowner and Founder of the Ku Klux Klan?

Well, if you attended high school in Jacksonville, Florida (of all places) after 1959 you probably did.  How did a high school in Florida end up being named after a Confederate general from Tennessee?  It turns out that when the school opened in 1959 various interest groups, including the United Daughters of the Confederacy, competed to win the chance to name the school.  The UDC won and the school was named for Nathan B. Forrest.  It was an ideal name for a school in the South at the height of “Massive Resistance” against a burgeoning Civil Rights Movement.

On November 3 the Duval County School Board will vote on whether to change the name of the school.  Of course, not everyone is happy about such a possibility given their commitment to ensure that our youth model their lives on such upstanding Americans as Forrest:

Bodie Catlin, owner of a truck accessories retailer who speaks publicly about Confederate history, has been an outspoken supporter of keeping the school’s name and said Forrest was a man of his time who was “nice” to his slaves.

“They loved him,” he said. “The only people [in favor of the name change] are people from the North who don’t care about our heritage and some that think the whole war was fought over slavery.”

It’s always those damn northerners who are getting in the way.  Stay tuned for further updates.

Tall Flag Poles as Compensation

[Hat-Tip to Robert Moore]

Looks like the SCV in the good state of Tennessee is pushing for zoning amendments that will have the potential to legitimize an 80-foot-tall flagpole which will support a Confederate flag measuring 20-by-30-foot.  According to the article some “have described the display as a ‘political agenda’ and a warning to motorists on Interstate 155 that they have entered the South – a country within a country.”

Let me suggest something a bit more Freudian.  Perhaps these guys are compensating for inadequacies or shortcomings in other departments – if you know what I mean.

“Wild Bill” Strikes Again

You will find his name on a host of message boards, listservs, and other sites.  His mission is nothing less than to protect and defend Confederate heritage from anyone who asks questions or offers a view that differs from his own.  No, he does not live in the "Heart of Dixie", but in Commack, New York – or as he fondly notes at the end of emails and comments, "behind enemy lines."  I've been the target of "Wild Bill" for some time now, but by  now I've grown to appreciate his enthusiasm and good humor.  Today I received an email from a friend who monitors a number of these message boards and email lists.  Today's installment by "Wild Bill" is a real doozy, which you can read in its entirety here.  This is my favorite part of the post:

Don’t waste your time trying to debate Levin. He won’t allow it. It would spoil the nice, neat look of his blog. “Thank God for Kevin Levin”, was one of the comments on his blog!! (YIPES!?) Don’t waste your time trying to engage him in debate on neutral territory either. He has nothing to gain by it. And don’t waste time trying to enlighten those who worship at his temple. They are already in. So what to do then? Email him?   While it might get under his skin, it isn’t going to change anything.   Start a counter blog?   Having had a website myself once upon a time, I can tell you that such things are extremely time consuming. Actually folks, there’s a lot more at stake here than simply counter-pointing a blowhard yankee blogger. Levin, you see, is a teacher, the same kind of teacher who teaches your kids to be ashamed of who they are and where they come from. I wish I had a dollar for every Southerner who’s told me that he’s lost one or more children to an educational system which has seen fit to ingrain shame into them. 

And there are many Kevin Levins, in public schools and in private ones, all over the South and indeed, all over the country. The way to combat people like Levin is not to challenge them to intellectual duels, which they will not accept because they have nothing to gain, but to challenge them when they try to (and I mean this in the most literal sense) take your children away from you! Remember, you pay their salaries. You pay for your kids to go to the school, be it a private school or a public one. Don’t send your kids to them without first giving those kids the “lowdown” on who they themselves are, and who people like Levin are! And when teachers like Levin try to make your kids ashamed of who and what they are, go pay those teachers a visit and tell them that you pay their salaries and that you don’t appreciate what they are trying to do. I could be wrong, but my gut tells me that such schools as the one Levin teaches in are full of “latchkey children,” (children whose parents simply turn their kids over to the educational system without keeping tabs on what’s being taught).

You will notice that he spends quite a bit of time criticizing me for not allowing certain comments through on my blog.  As all of you know I do monitor comments for language as well as content.  If the comment contains offensive language or deviates significantly from the topic I delete it.  Readers, however, are free to disagree.  What "Wild Bill" doesn't tell his readers is that I allowed one of his crude comments through in response to Peter Carmichael's guest post on Confederate slaves.  In fact, both Peter and I welcomed "Wild Bill" to respond directly to the content of the post, which he attempted to do, but than failed to follow-up at all.  It was clear to us that he simply had nothing useful to say.  I couldn't be happier that this blog has brought "Wild Bill" to the point where he feels a need to lash out once again. 

Well "Wild Bill", the cat's out of the bag.  Anyone who bothers to look can see that you are nothing but a fraud and a liar.  It's just more evidence that Civil War Memory is on the right track.  By the way, I will be teaching a course on Civil War memory next semester and I plan on using your emails and postings as a case study for a lesson on the divisive nature of remembrance and commemoration.  Thanks buddy.  Keep them coming.

Note: I've decided to create a new category titled, "Fan Mail" for just this sort of thing.

Big Ass Confederate Flag Just Got Bigger

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I first reported on this story back in May when a local chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans in Florida decided to erect the largest Confederate flag at the junction of Interstates 4 and 72 outside of Tampa.  Well, it looks like a flag measuring 30-by-50 foot was not large enough, so this past Sunday Marion Lamber and the rest of the boys unveiled a new flag measuring 30-by-60-foot.  But wait, here's the best part.  Apparently, these geniuses have decided to cut up the old flag and sell it in pieces on Ebay to help pay for commemorative plaques which will be situated at the base of the flag pole.  Isn't this the same organization that claims to revere the flag as the symbol of courage of their Confederate ancestors?  What better way to show your respect than to cut it up into little pieces for profit.  I guess this is exactly what their ancestors fought and died for.  Oh…and I almost forgot to mention that the old flag was made in China. 

What a bunch of hypocrites.  Don't hold your breadth for the national office to voice any concern.