Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Confederates rise again...

Political Karma

It appears that the wonderful governor of Missouri has decided to allow the display of confederate flags on government buildings. It may be my parnoia but it seems that the rise of the Republican party is allowing the expansion of the silent wing of their party. Does anyone think this is a good idea?


Blogger The Underdog said...

I have mixed feelings on the use of the flag. I understand that the Dukes of Hazard Flag, as i like to call it, has some significant historical value. It does signify a past time in American history, albeit a pretty bad time. I have no problem with individuals flying the flag to honor whomever they want. I don't have to like it. But i do have a problem when the governmnet raises the flag. I don't support my tax dollars raising the flag anywhere. The flag is a symbol of everything evil in the past and sometimes present US. I agree with you Mr. Incredible. It's pretty weird that all of a sudden, the Repubs get their "mandate" from the people, and a confederate flag pops up.

Here's what a columnist in the KC Star had to say about it.

Governor’s flag stance flat wrong


Will the South rise again?

This week the Confederate flag did in Missouri, anyway, if only for a day in that Higginsville cemetery.

Two years after Democratic Gov. Bob Holden said the rebel battle flag had no business on a taxpayer-owned flagpole, his Republican successor reversed him.

And you have to wonder what in the name of Jefferson Davis and Jim Crow was Gov. Matt Blunt thinking?

Was it to show he’s the Un-Holden?

Was it a bid for that all-important Civil War re-enactor vote?

Or is Blunt jealous of neighboring Kansas for the publicity it has earned over the evolution debate and so forth and now has chosen to get the Show-Me State a piece of that action?

If so, Blunt pulled out all the stops when his press secretary channeled the spirit of Abraham Lincoln, declaring that the 16th president would have approved Blunt’s action.

“The furthest thing from Abraham Lincoln’s mind,” Spence Jackson reportedly said, “would have been to interfere with the honoring of fallen Confederate soldiers by families, comrades or their ancestors.”

Allow me to point out that very few “comrades” show up at these memorial ceremonies 140 years after Appomattox. What’s more, most of these “fallen” were felled by old age.

However, all this does prompt the question: Why should we care what Lincoln would have thought?

Certainly, he couldn’t have guessed in 1865 how strongly Americans would still feel about the Confederate flag today.

How could he have known that the rebel battle flag would come to be a symbol of lynching, and the Klan and the institutionalized racism that had blacks and whites using separate drinking fountains a century after his death?

But they say he was a very wise man. And I think if he were around today — see, I have a Ouija board, too — he’d doubtless conclude that Matt Blunt was foolish to stir up this controversy at this time.

If you or I want to fly the rebel flag on a 100-foot pole next to our houses, that’s between us, the homes association and our consciences.

But when a unit of government gives that flag some sort of official sanction, as Missouri did once more, that’s done in everyone’s name, even in the name of those who find it offensive.

You’d think Blunt would recognize this.

But fresh from his seance with Lincoln, Jackson relayed to the press this week some firsthand information regarding Blunt’s feeling on whether the flag should fly regularly in the state.

Blunt, he said, had “no opinion.”

If that’s true, then either the governor is blissfully unaware that many of his constituents find the Confederate flag offensive, or he doesn’t value the opinions of those Missourians, many of them persons of color.

Of course, some people argue that the Confederate flag is merely a historical artifact that racist bigots have appropriated. Therefore, it’s unfair, they say, to prohibit the flag from being flown over the graves of soldiers who served under it.

I’ve found there’s no arguing with anyone that naive. So if you should write or call in about today’s column, you can expect a polite response, but not a debate.

Because unlike Matt Blunt, I do have an opinion on this.

And to my mind, the governor is dead wrong.

2:38 PM  
Blogger dointhemedance said...

I am glad that I am not in the states. It seems the same topics keep resurfacing. As Mr. Incredible put it, when Axis of power get rolling it takes a lot to stop it, yet alone slow it down. How many times have we debated this flag issue? I know there was an article at least once a year in my school paper. If a flag causes protests amongst the people in your own state, by flying the flag, they are saying that they don't support everyone in that state. I KNOW there are many people that don't support this flag flying in a gov't building and I also know that its enough people cause a massive uproar if they got together.
I know supporting the rebel flag is something many people are proud of. That's fine and all, but in front of a gov't office is a bit excessive. Something that is such a negative stimulant should never make it past someone's own personal memorial site. This open the floodgates to more problematic racial issues.

9:37 PM  
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