For some people, it has nothing to do with slavery, racism, and maybe even little to do with history or heritage. An old flag is simply a symbol of modern rebellion.
On a family vacation to North Carolina’s Outer Banks, I lost count of how many Confederate flags I saw flying proudly from the backs of pickup trucks. Some were riding up and down the beach. Some on the roadways. I noticed other motorists and beachgoers giving these flag wavers an enthusiastic thumbs up or a toot of the horn.
I noticed that all of the flag-waving vehicles were from North Carolina or Virginia. Always in pickup trucks. Always a Chevy, Ford, or Dodge. Most had fishing rod holders mounted to the front or rear bumper.
Real Southern Americans.
Fed up with being bullied by the loud minority of our country. The anti-southern movement. A ridiculous awakening that insists we heap shame on their ancestors and blame them for current problems.
Current political climate thrives on separating voters by the perception of “haves” vs. “have-nots”. But generations of people actually believing it’s up to the government to lift them up and hold them up has led to explosive growth in a frightening new segment of the population……the “will-nots”.
These are the blamers and excuse-makers. They look in every direction except the mirror for answers on how to lift themselves up. The path of least resistance is to drag someone else down. And they’re running out of excuses and people to blame. So they have begun digging hard into the past. Somehow past injustice has suddenly become very relevant to current situations.
But it’s only a smokescreen. Just another avoidance of personal responsibility that is so dangerously vanishing in our “I deserve” society.
There really is no end to this whole wave of stupidity. The Confederate flags may come down from government buildings, but it doesn’t stop there. A wholesome show like Dukes of Hazzard is taken off the air. A Nathan Bedford Forrest statue is being taken down in Memphis. NAACP is pushing to have Confederate leaders sandblasted off the face of Stone Mountain in Georgia.
The sentiment is twisting quickly toward the divisive point that all who fought for the Confederacy were horrible men. Their ancestors, and all white southerners in general, owe the rest of the country an apology. Meanwhile, Union soldiers were all choirboys simply because history says they fought for a noble cause.
But the simple truth is that Confederate soldiers did not fight to preserve slavery and Union soldiers did not fight to end it. The reasons wars are fought and the reasons that soldiers choose to fight cannot be blindly joined together.
My guess is that many of those today who have found a moral high ground of acting as if they would have undoubtedly defected from the south to fight for the cause of the Union army……..are the same ones who support baby-killing under the cloud of women’s rights.
Push someone down to make yourself look taller.
I think the southern man doesn’t feel like being pushed down. They owe no apology.
Symbols take on whatever meaning man gives them. The Confederate flag is being pounded like never before as a symbol of racism. But this past week, I saw it as a symbol of rebellion. A rebellion against stupidity and bullying. A time to be louder than the loud minority that is re-shaping the way our country views work and morality.
Get off our backs.
Stop blaming us.
Don’t lift yourself up by trying to push us down.
As I stood on the beach each day fishing with my sons, I silently cheered for each Rebel flag that passed. My youngest son waved, gave them thumbs up, or threw them horns. I eventually followed suit.
People who have lived in harmony with African Americans for their entire lives are suddenly painted in a corner. They now have a real reason to rebel, not against black America, but against senseless bullying, northern ignorance, and shameless political maneuvering.
Maybe the true rebel spirit dictates that a lot of folks would voluntarily put their Confederate flags away as soon as it became their idea to do so. If you shame someone with unsound or twisted information or make demands from a shaky stance of moral high ground……..you’re just fueling the desire for defiance.
Not heritage, not hate. Defiance. Rebellion.
If it’s truly hurtful today, maybe the right person has to speak about it in the right way to achieve the right results. That hasn’t happened yet. The loud logic still deepens the divide and digs the feet of southerners deeper into the sand.