"A Switch To The Same Wavelength"
I have loved this image for a very long time, finding it in a stack of Civil War era postcards that I picked up in a used bookstore, I stuck it on the wall next to my desk and looked at it every day for 14 years. To me, it always meant that the first intrinsic battle of our Nation against slavery, had been won. It also represents that America will never be the same, Civil War leaves no life unchanged. The Confederate Battle Flag is being furled, General Lee has been defeated (don’t forget to ban his face), the war is over. Everything these soldiers, right down to the drummer boy, were fighting for, is gone, and it wasn’t just slaves-how many soldiers do you really think were slave owners. A way of life, understanding, and most importantly, freedom to behave and conduct themselves in a manner they saw to be most sustainable, is withering, much like the bodies of the dead and wounded in the background. Fear of oppression by the Yankee way hovers on their sweaty brows.
While I don’t have much of a problem relegating the flag to museums and monuments I have a very strong disdain for the idea of banning the image from public sales, relics, video games, and alas, Dukes of Hazard memorabilia-a television show clearly dedicated to furthering the cause of inequality, racism and mass murderers.
A picture has been circulated, of a very mean spirited young man with the Confederate Battle Flag, who went on to kill 9 people, and now, all emotional reasoning rationally in place, it’s a symbol of hate. Like the cross, the inverted cross, the swastika, Che Guevara’s face, Charles Manson’s face, lots of other people’s faces, the SLA symbol, and on and on and on. History is rarely pretty, but history isn’t what you re-write in the present to explain away the ugly past, or has it become exactly that? How much history, and access to American history, are we losing today as the flag is banned by big money and big influence companies? And is the history we are losing, worth the history we are making by banning the Confederate Battle Flag?
You may disagree, but what the Confederate Battle Flag truly stood for, is beyond our comprehension, our current way of life offers no adequate comparison. The flag was laid to rest the day General Lee surrendered, its only today’s misunderstanding and fear that give it new life and make it a powerful ghost of all we don’t want to remember about ourselves, about America. A lot of people suffered, bled, sacrificed and died to make America the country that it is and to put away the symbols of that fight, that history, is to cower in the comfort of ideological idiocy.
(To ban images of the Confederate Battle Flag - is to be afraid of the wrong thing.)