The Confederate Flag’s Heritage of Hate

In the wake of the horrible shooting in Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday evening there is a growing chorus calling for the removal of the Confederate from the statehouse grounds in Columbia. A petition is now circulating, which includes 215,000 signatures calling for the flag’s removal and State Representative, Norman Brannon, a Republican announced that he will introduce a bill to make it a reality.

Beyond South Carolina, Mitt Romney called for its removal. In an interview Governor Charlie Baker of Massachusetts offered the tired response that this is a local issue that the citizens of South Carolina need to decide. True enough, but that does not give anyone – least of all a sitting governor – the right to push the issue aside. This is the time for good people to be counted. We are past the point of trying to assuage constituencies for political reasons with vague platitudes. Continue reading “The Confederate Flag’s Heritage of Hate”

Sons of Confederate Veterans LOSE in High Court

Earlier today the Supreme Court of the United States ruled against the SCV, which sued the state of Texas for denying its petition for a specialty license plate that includes a Confederate battle flag. This comes on the same day that a twenty-one year old white South Carolinian man was arrested for allegedly murdering nine African Americans while worshiping last night in the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston. Continue reading “Sons of Confederate Veterans LOSE in High Court”

The Committee Speaks

This is the first interview that I’ve seen featuring members of Washington & Lee’s “Committee,” which last year successfully petitioned their school’s administration to take down Confederate flags in Lee Chapel and to think carefully about the school’s connection to Confederate history and slavery.

I applaud these students for their commitment to making their campus a more hospitable place for African Americans and for other students who are concerned with questions about the place of the past in the present. One of the two students interviewed closed with the following: “I know that someone is going to feel more comfortable by what we did and that is enough.”

This video is part of a larger project on how we remember and commemorate the Civil War.

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]

Because Nothing Says Memorial Day Like a Confederate Flag Burning

Update: Click here for more information on scheduled events as well as a link for LiveStreaming.

Artist John Sims and Julian Chambliss, chairman of the Department of History and Africa and African-American Studies program at Rollins College in Florida, will spend this Memorial Day burning a Confederate flag. The event, which supposedly will take place in all of the former Confederate states, is being organized by John Sims, who is known for his artistic renderings of the flag. As you might expect the event is getting a good deal of media attention, but all I see is a lack of originality and a good deal of laziness. Continue reading “Because Nothing Says Memorial Day Like a Confederate Flag Burning”