The Meaningless(ness) Of Flags
November 20, 2009
“Y’all have stirred up a hornet’s nest now,” a friend of ours emailed our founding editor today, referring to a story we posted Thursday regarding the Confederate flag.
Actually, we have Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mullins McLeod to thank for that, as we were merely covering the Confederate flag issue within the context of his “jobs plan,” which called for the Stars and Bars that currently flies from behind a soldiers’ monument on the State House grounds to be transported to a museum.
Anyway, as much as we’d love to write about the Confederate flag every day (and rake in all the huge web traffic that such articles bring), in good conscience we just can’t.
Because frankly, we don’t believe that the Confederate flag debate – or any flag-related flap (bad pun, sorry) – is really that big of a deal.
After all, you are currently reading a website that relishes bashing rednecks every bit as much as it enjoys telling the NAACP to go f*ck itself – although those examples stand out because we rarely feel compelled to address the race issue at all.
Why not? Well, as much as polarizing politicians like President Barack Obama and Rep. Joe Wilson might think (read: exploit) otherwise, race isn’t all that complicated.
To us, “equality” means exactly what its definition implies – a level playing field for all that doesn’t discriminate based on race, gender or sexual orientation. Is such a position considered “progressive” for a state like South Carolina? Who knows. We honestly don’t think about it all that much. We believe what we believe, and others are free to do the same.
The flip side of that coin, though, is that we also don’t believe in affirmative action, handouts, hate crimes legislation, quotas, the re-imposition of the welfare “bounty system,” government-imposed education monopolies (which, ironically, hold more blacks down) non-performance based pay raises, minority-only loans or any of that other PC nonsense that presumes to give any minority an unfair competitive advantage over non-minorities (read: crackers) in any field of endeavor.
Yeah … our “white guilt” level is less than zero, people.
Bottom line, we never enslaved or lynched anybody, nor did any of our parents, grandparents or great-grandparents. You wanna go back further than that? Take it up with President Johnson (Andrew).
Of course, if you flip that coin back over (again), racism is a fundamental human evil that makes us want to throw up. That’s why it’s doubtful you will ever find another news outlet in South Carolina that so aggressively (and articulately :)) excoriates those who demean or belittle other human beings based on race.
Joking is one thing (we do plenty of that), but when people spew authentic hatred – and it comes time for somebody to “drop the hammer” on them – we’re always game. Similarly, you won’t find a more stringent advocate for undoing South Carolina’s racist 1895 state constitution,which continues to hold our state back a helluva lot more than any piece of fabric.
On that note, if gubernatorial candidate Mullins McLeod was serious about improving economic conditions for all Palmetto State residents, he would have included a plan to bring our state government out of the 19th Century, not a pandering focus on a meaningless symbol.
Which brings us our point (and the picture we were forwarded earlier today by a good friend of ours).
As you can see from the image above, that’s a group of Ku Klux Klansmen marching through Washington D.C. in 1925. Amazingly, they’re carrying the American – not the Confederate flag.
“Oh say can you see,” right?
Pandering, obviously, was every bit as alive and well then as it is now. And flags, obviously, can still be carried by anybody looking to make any sort of statement. Even racists like the KKK.
Of course, when you stop and think about it, a lot of people who stand by the flag these days clearly don’t have the foggiest conception of what it stands for.
Most of them don’t, actually.
Think about it … the revolutionary equation that this nation was founded on is strikingly simple – individual liberty and prosperity for all, with a limited government (like we used to have) dedicated to protecting freedom and free markets.
Accordingly, where individual freedom and free markets wax, America moves closer to its ideal and its people move closer to happiness. Where those principles wane, however, we move closer towards oblivion and a repressive regime that will soon have to erect walls to keep people in, not out.
Until the current generation of politicians – in Washington D.C. and Columbia S.C. – figure that basic formula out, their flags will continue to stand as meaningless symbols on the political battlefield.
They’ll also continue to cheapen the sacrifices being made by those who are fighting for freedom on the actual battlefield.