Why It Is Still Wrong to Vandalize Confederate Monuments

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. Continue reading “Why It Is Still Wrong to Vandalize Confederate Monuments”

Southern Cities Should Look To Richmond

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. Continue reading “Southern Cities Should Look To Richmond”

Unravelling the Confederate Flag

A couple of weeks ago groups from a number of Southern states burned Confederate flags as part of an art project organized by artist John Sims. In my post on the event I stated that I did not think that burning Confederate flags did much of anything beyond provoking the usual suspects. I stand by that assessment.

Today I came across a much more creative and thought provoking project. Sonya Clark, who is unravelling a Confederate flag to mark the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War. The video below is a short interview with Clark. I completely agree with her explanation of why some people go out of their way to distinguish between different types of Confederate flags. What do you think?

[Uploaded to YouTube on June 3, 2015]

Quote of the Day

Ron Sydnor
Ron Sydnor Addressing SCV and UDC

On Tuesday night the local chapters of Sons of Confederate Veterans and United Daughters of the Confederacy of Murray, Kentucky came out to commemorate Confederate Memorial Day.  The keynote address was offered by Ron Sydnor, who is the park manager at the Jefferson Davis Historic Site.

He was a man ahead of his time. But because of that one moment in time, his legacy has been tainted. My grandmother used to say, ‘You can have a million ‘atta boys, but just one awe shucks, and that one can ruin them all. None of our history books talk about what he did before the Civil War. What he did helped shape this country. He’s the scapegoat for everything, but he gets no credit for the positive things that he did.

Yes, it is unfortunate that this one moment (which happened to involve leading a rebellion against the United States to ensure the future of slavery and white supremacy) overshadows all of the positive contributions made by Jefferson Davis.

Davis may not be getting the credit he deserves, but I have no doubt that for the amount of time it took Mr. Sydnor to share his views on Tuesday evening all was right with the world for the members of the SCV and UDC.