The True Crime Of The Confederate FlagEver since the Confederate Flag walked into Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church and shot and killed nine people it has been under tremendous scrutiny.
Within days of the shooting the state of California banned the flag’s display and sale on state property and South Carolina removed it from their capitol. Georgia, Tennessee, and Virginia all stopped the display of Confederate Flag license plates, and Alabama ordered that four Confederate flags be removed from a monument on their capitol grounds. Facebook announced that its ban on any posts containing The Confederate Flag would go into effect the week after Independence Day. Walmart, Amazon, Sears, and eBay all stopped selling The Confederate Flag. Then they stopped selling merchandise that displayed contained, mentioned or slightly resembled The Confederate Flag.
None of this is surprising considering the horrible nature of the crime that The Confederate Flag has committed, and by week’s end many more would exact their just and much deserved punishments upon it.
The same Confederate Flag that committed the horrific murders in Charleston, South Carolina was painted on the roof of an orange Dodge Charger in the 1970’s TV show "Dukes of Hazzard" and for that reason TV Land pulled reruns of the show and Warner Bros. stopped making and selling "Dukes of Hazzard" merchandise. Golfer Bubba Watson who owns the show’s original car the “General Lee”, announced that he will repaint the car’s roof to remove the offending symbol. NASCAR announced its plans to limit The Confederate Flag’s presence at its tracks (best of luck with that one) and Fort Sumter, where the first shots of the Civil War were fired, has taken down its Confederate Flags under a directive by the National Park Service. Gettysburg National Park also removed Confederate Flag items from its bookstore. This makes a great deal of sense because the last place we need to see The Confederate Flag is in a book about the Civil War.
During this same historic week North Charleston police Sgt. Shannon Dildine was fired for posting a picture of himself wearing Confederate Flag boxer shorts on his Facebook page. His termination letter said the photo undermined the officer’s “ability to improve trust and instill confidence when working with our citizens.” Chuck Netzhammer walked into a Walmart bakery in Slidell, Louisiana and ordered a cake with an image of The Confederate Flag and the words, "Heritage Not Hate" on it. His request was denied. As you know, cakes are now a leading barometer of the political and social climate in this country.
Yes, the Confederate Flag has been getting more bad press than Donald Trump hosting a Cinco DeMaio pageant, and I think its treatment demonstrates a true need for us to reflect on who we really are as individuals, as a culture, and as citizens living in a nation of laws. What does our response to this tragedy say about our principles and our collective character? Where do we go from here? I have some ideas.
First, this is another glaring example of the need for sweeping changes in our gun control regulations. How does the Confederate Flag legally purchase a 45-caliber Glock handgun in the first place? Did they DO a background check? I know, some of you are still saying guns don’t kill people, flags with guns kill people, but I think that the problem here is obvious and needs to be addressed.
Next, we need a drastic rewrite of our history. If the National Park Service sees the need to pull down the flags that flew over Fort Sumter and stop the sale of certain books at Gettysburg, well what more do we need. Just remove The Confederate Flag from history. How hard can it be? In just one week we have removed it from most of our culture. There is already a detailed design of how to do this in George Orwell's 1984. In the book Winston Smith spends his days at Ministry of Truth "rectifying" historical records to conform to Big Brother's most recent pronouncements. I’m sure that our President would have no problem using his pen one more time to create a Ministry of Truth for us, and our new and improved history will fit right into federal Common Core education standards.
Further, in light of our legal system’s embrace of hate crime legislation, a jury will need consider what motive the Confederate Flag had in committing this crime. What was it thinking? What was it standing for at the time?
It has been said that the Confederate Flag stands for many things to many different people. Some say that the flag stands for slavery, others say it stands for southern heritage, there are those from the north as well as south that say it stands for state’s rights. I think we can be sure of one thing here. If the Confederate Flag is truly tied to state’s rights they need not consider the death penalty. The flag will be dying of natural causes very soon anyway. This should help the jury during the penalty phase of the trial.
Seeing what is happening to The Confederate Flag should have a great influence on keeping other flags on the straight and narrow. If there is any debate left on what the Confederate Flag stands for it should be pretty obvious. It stands as an example to other flags that they better not get out of line. I heard a rumor recently that the state flag of Colorado has a drug problem. Don’t say anything..
Over the last several weeks The American Flag has been taking a beating in this country as well. It has been burned and stomped on in the streets and public squares across our nation by people telling us that black lives matter and gay pride matters and others that are just really pissed off but have not assigned themselves to a popular cause yet. I am not sure what horrible crime the American Flag has committed. I know over the years it has been accused of many. I think back before prohibition it robbed a liquor store or two. Anyway, I am sure it deserves the punishment that it is now receiving.
Perhaps it’s time that we went out and got a new flag. One with less baggage. Maybe the flag of Greece. I hear that we could get a pretty good deal on it about now.
Special thanks to Phil Valentine for leading me to this concept.
Thanks Phil hope to meet you someday.