Tag Archives: Confederate Flag

Brad Paisley Meet Leslie Barris

So, in addition to having trouble accessing my blog yesterday the news feed that I use to track stories related to Civil War memory is clogged with articles about the Brad Paisley – LL Cool J controversy.  I’m not sure which is worse.  I don’t have anything insightful to say about the song other than that the music and lyrics are both the work of amateurs.  To be honest, it seems to be much to do about nothing.

On the other hand, I got nothing but props for Leslie Harris of Orange, Texas who asked the city council to consider resolutions and ordinances that would block a planned Confederate veterans memorial that includes a flag just off the interstate.  Harris argues that, in fact, this is not a veterans memorial, but a Confederate flag memorial.  She also offers some comments about the appropriateness of publicly acknowledging Confederate History Month and in the process reminds the audience that white Southern attitudes about the Confederate past are complex.

 

Should This Confederate Flag Be Allowed in School?

Confederate flagOnce again, the courts have supported the right of school districts to ban students from wearing clothing that includes the Confederate flag.  The most recent case involved a school district in South Carolina in which a student repeatedly clashed with school administrators over a number of t-shirts that likely were purchased at a local Dixie Outfitters, including “Southern Chicks,” “Dixie Angels,” “Southern Girls,” and “Daddy’s Little Redneck.”

Hardwick also sought to wear a shirt labeled “Black Confederates,” honoring a Louisiana Civil War regiment made up of free African-Americans. She also tried to wear shirts she characterized as protests of censorship of the others, with slogans such as “Jesus and the Confederate Battle Flag: Banned from Our Schools but Forever in Our Hearts,” and “Offended by School Censorship of Southern Heritage.”

This is nothing more than a case of bad parenting.

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Confederate Heritage Advocates Devour Their Own

Confederate Heritage FlaggersIf you want a sense of how obsessed some Confederate heritage advocates are about the battle flag look no further.  I came across this gem of a thread on the Confederate Flaggers Facebook page earlier today and it doesn’t disappoint.  Billy Bearden is an active Flagger and on occasion will share a thought or two on this site.  I like having him around.  Once in a while he offers something worthy of reflection, but this clearly represents a walk off the deep end.

No one on this page seems to know why the Covington (Tenn.) chapter of the SCV chose to remove the battle flag from the cemetery in favor of a First National Flag and as far as I can tell no one has bothered to ask.  I actually don’t have a problem with the display of battle flags in Confederate cemeteries.  It seems to me that the people who are offended by the symbol are not likely to visit and if its presence helps those who wish to commemorate/remember these men than so be it.  Perhaps the group removed it because the battle flag has proven to be too much of a distraction from the men they wish to honor.  Perhaps the group understands that their ability to reach out to the broader community will be hampered by all the negative attention that particular flag will likely generate.  Ultimately, what is more important, debating the divisive history of the flag or sharing the stories of the men the SCV are committed to honoring and a time when that project is under assault?

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Virginia Flaggers Look For Conflict Badly Dressed

You may remember that a few weeks ago Virginia Flagger Tripp Lewis was arrested on the grounds of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts following a conflict with museum security.  This recent incident reflects a pattern of behavior in this group.  It’s a desperate plea for attention and a clear indication that very few people are listening or care enough to advocate in one way or another for the group.  I’ve said from the beginning that I respect their right to protest, but at this point I see no clear road leading to success.  In fact, the tactics of Mr. Lewis and others have only worked to marginalize the Flaggers.

The following video was filmed before Christmas on the grounds of Richmond’s Oakwood Cemetery.  It is an important cemetery for those who care about the proper treatment of Confederate graves.  In the video Lewis raises a Confederate flag on cemetery grounds to replace those which have mysteriously disappeared.  From there he takes us inside a small office that oversees the grounds.

Lewis is clearly looking for a fight.  Unfortunately for him, no one in the office has the least bit of interest in what he insists is a case of vandalism and disrespect.  At the tail end of the video Lewis is encouraged to end his little stunt and leave.  Even worse, I have no doubt that they did not ask the female employee for her permission to post the video.  Knowing that this video was filmed before Christmas helps to place the VMFA incident in proper perspective.  Given that his mild-mannered approach did not work, Lewis decided to step it up a notch in front of the museum.  Again, no one cared about his crusade, but in this case he confronted the wrong people.