How to Make the Confederate Flag Respectable

Column by Paul Bonneau.

Exclusive to STR

It used to be that the Confederate flag (correctly known as the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia) was not respectable. It was found on dirty pickup trucks, hanging in bars, and painted on the roof of that orange car in “The Dukes of Hazzard,” which was about as silly a show as one could find. The intelligentsia and the chattering classes looked down their noses at it, if they bothered to comment at all.

Then that idiot shot some people in the Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

It was interesting how quickly the rulers and chattering classes took up, and then abandoned the call for gun control after that. Normally they would really have beaten that drum. Maybe the fact that the church was a gun-free zone was too prominent to obfuscate. Or maybe it’s just that gun control is dead; when you are losing both women and “blacks" from gun control advocacy, and have it honestly reported on National Propaganda Radio, it’s all over but the shouting.

But as usual, the rulers don’t like to waste a good crisis, so they cast around until their gaze fixated on that silly old Confederate flag, despite its utter irrelevance to the shooting. You can almost imagine them saying, “Here at least is a safe target for us!”

So, they ginned up the propaganda organs, started wailing “waaacism,” goosed their stooges in the state legislatures, and finally had the flag taken down in Columbia. There was some agitation from the sillier quarters to dig up some old graves. What were they going to do with the bones? Dump them in the ocean?

The big store chains were bullied into dropping that flag, although Nazi memorabilia continued to sell. And heaven forbid they should pull their Che Guevara T-shirts!

Funny thing though. All the minor retailers reported selling out, with long back orders. And Americans, “black” and “white” and various in-between shades, started waving that old Confederate flag in the streets. Even Obama was greeted by a bunch of them.

Hell, even I am thinking of buying one, “just because”; and I’ve never owned a flag in my life.

Back in 1933, Augusto Sandino managed to drive the US Marines out of Nicaragua with the help of some campesinos armed with machetes. But he was ambushed and killed, and his legacy dropped down the memory hole by the dictator Somoza and his son. However, years later Carlos Fonseca started writing about Sandino, who became the patron saint of the Sandinista Party, which eventually overthrew Somoza much to the consternation of Washington DC and that war-monger Jimmy Carter. I took a trip down there to check it out after Reagan started going on and on about the Sandinistas. There were little silhouettes of Sandino with his big 10-gallon hat spray-painted everywhere. Sandino will never again be forgotten.

I like the quote I found on Wikipedia by him: "La soberanía de un pueblo no se discute, sino que se defiende con las armas en la mano.” (The sovereignty of a people cannot be argued about, it is defended with a gun in the hand.”)

Anyway this worry that some express about dropping the Confederacy down the memory hole kinda reminded me of what happened with Sandino and his rebellion. Americans (and Nicaraguans) can be ornery bastards, can’t they? Sort of like trying to herd cats . . . .

Good job, rulers! You’ve made something that was once the butt of jokes into a respectable and revered symbol--one of resistance to yourselves!

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Paul Bonneau's picture
Columns on STR: 101
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Comments

Mark Davis's picture

Good point, Paul.  Authoritarians never learn how burning books and banning symbols of resistance to their authority only fuels the popularity of those books and symbols.  Also, this is another example of how coercion is typically counterproductive to desired goals.

ReverendDraco's picture

"Hell, even I am thinking of buying one, “just because”; and I’ve never owned a flag in my life."

Same here - and I've never been a fan of the Confed flag. . . as the losers, the colors should have been struck and relegated to history books and museums.

But. . . all of the brainless caterwauling over the flag has got me considering the purchase of one, "just because."