Forsyth County, Georgia’s Confederate Heritage

This image appears in a new book about Forsyth County’s history and its struggle to remain an overwhelmingly white community through the 1990s. I have not read it, but plan on doing so very soon. It’s the image and its timing that strikes me as significant.

Taken in 1987 it connects the battle flag’s history as a potent symbol of “massive resistance” during the civil rights era with its increasing visibility in recent years, including its presence at Donald Trump rallies.

As I have stated before in connection with so many other incidents, it is no accident that this group embraced the battle flag as its symbol of resistance in the 1980s. They embraced a symbol whose connection to the preservation of white supremacy extended back to 1861. No other symbol can convey such a powerful and unmistakable message.

Searching for Black Confederates: The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth

“Levin’s study is the first of its kind to blueprint and then debunk the mythology of enslaved African Americans who allegedly served voluntarily in behalf of the Confederacy.”–Journal of Southern History

Purchase your copy today!

6 comments… add one
  • James F. Epperson Sep 30, 2016 @ 19:24

    My wife and I lived in Athens, GA, during some of the unrest in Forsythe in the 1980s. I recall trying to dissuade a young lady we knew who wanted to go there and “talk” to the KKK.

    • Ken Noe Oct 1, 2016 @ 6:09

      We were in Urbana-Champaign, IL. I remember trying to convince a couple of my classmates that we weren’t all like that.

  • John Hennessy Sep 30, 2016 @ 17:34

    I recently heard an interview with the author. A powerful story, I think thoughtfully delivered. I was impressed.

  • Jonathan Dresner Sep 30, 2016 @ 17:00

    19… 87? Wow. And that sign on the right…

    Yeah, not even past.

    • Kevin Levin Sep 30, 2016 @ 17:03

      I think there is a tendency to ignore the role of the battle flag as a symbol of white supremacy, other than its use by the Klan, between roughly 1970 and through the 1990s.

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