The Confederate Flag Controversy keeps popping its head through the ground like the gopher in "Caddyshack." Taking the flag down from the Capitol in South Carolina is a half-century overdue. But banning it? Really? Let the stupidity begin!
Let's look at the flag through Southern eyes.
In the aftermath of passage of civil rights legislation under Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson, interpreting the flag changed. Northerners were pretty snooty about it, especially Canadian Neil Young with his protest of antebellum conditions, "Southern Man." Given the race riots following efforts to integrate Boston school, we may ask "how long, how long?" of Massachusetts.
For people under 30 in the South in the 1970s, it became the Southern flag, a sign of racial tolerance. Southern rockers used it defiantly the same way hippie bands might use a marijuana leaf. Consider the Allman Brothers, one of those all-too-rare integrated rock bands. They used the flag as a symbol of a new South (something Al Gore and Bill Clinton would do in 1992).
From a 2011 Rolling Stone article:
Kid Rock accepted the Detroit NAACP's Great Expectations Award on Sunday despite protests from members who object to his use of Confederate flag imagery onstage. Prior to the event, a group of about 50 people picketed outside the Cobo Center, where the awards dinner was held. Back in March, Adolph Mongo, the head of the organization Detroiters for Progress and a boycotting NAACP member, told the Detroit News that Rock's use of the flag is "a slap in the face of anyone who fought for civil rights in this country."
Rock maintains that his use of the flag is part of a Southern rock tradition inspired by Lynyrd Skynyrd and has nothing to do with how he feels about black people and African-American culture. As he accepted his award, which was given to him in honor of his ongoing support for the city of Detroit, Rock said, "I love America, I love Detroit and I love black people."I think it is a slap in the face of civil rights to trample on someone else's free speech rights. Actions speak louder than words.
This weekend, Kid Rock said flag protesters can "kiss my ass." He has said that before. He will again.
The old white supremacists died out. A new South rose. Old ideas gave way to enlightenment.
The Confederate flag is not my cup of tea. But lots of things aren't. Ours would be a dull and uninteresting world with 6 billion Don Surbers running around. You do your thing, I'll do mine.