More Confederate Flag Fallout

Ken AshfordHistory, Popular Culture, RaceLeave a Comment

I want to preface this flag round-up by saying this: although I welcome the removal of the confederate flag from the public (and commercial) square, and while doing so may garner some sniping from the likes of Bill Kristol and Haley Barbour, we must remember that taking down the flag is easy. No matter how good it will be to see less of that symbol of treason and slavery tainting the land, it is just a symbol, a relic of the “Lost Cause”.  It is a end product and not the genesis of a deep-seated racism that still plagues our nation a century and a half after the Civil War. If disappearing from public view this flag—which was dragged from obscurity by advocates of Jim Crow in the 1950s—is really to mean anything significant, it must mark the start, not the end of reforms needed to crush racism.

And now the round-up….

From the vile:

(1)  Conservative author Ann Coulter

She claimed yesterday that South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) has a poor grasp on American history as “an immigrant,” even though Haley was born in the U.S.

During an appearance with Kennedy on Fox Business Network, Coulter said that the deadly shooting at a history black church in Charleston “had nothing to do with the Confederate flag”, despite the fact that the murderer posed with the flag in many published pictures and identified it.

And she lamented that that Americans do not understand the history of the Confederate flag.  she then said that many media outlets, such as MSNBC, got the flag’s history in South Carolina wrong, noting that the flag first went up at the capitol in 1962 under a Democratic governor and legislature to mark the 100th anniversary of the Civil War.  She was wrong — it first went up in 1961, and although it was in part to mark the 100th anniversary, it also was in response to the growing civil rights movement.

And there  is a huge difference between the Democrats of the south in the early 1960s and the Democrats now.  The Dixiecrats all became Republican, and she knows it.

Coulter then took a shot at South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R), who on Monday called for the removal of the Confederate flag from the state capitol grounds.

“I’m appalled by –– though, I really like to like Nikki Haley since she is a Republican. On the other hand, she is an immigrant and does not understand America’s history,” Coulter said.

“You think immigrants can’t understand the history?” Kennedy asked.

“Well, she doesn’t!” Coulter replied.

Nikki Haley was born in Bamberg, S.C.  Her parents were Indian immigrants.

(2)  South Carolina Republican State Representative William Chumley

He went on CNN and blamed the victims:

State Rep. William Chumley: These people sit in there, waited their turn to be shot… that’s sad. But somebody in there with the means of self defense could have stopped this. And we’d have had less funerals than we’re having.

CNN Interviewer Drew Griffin: You’re turning this into a gun debate? If those nine families asked you to take down that flag, would you do it?

Chumley: You said “guns,” why didn’t somebody, why didn’t somebody just do something? I mean, uh, you’ve got one skinny person shootin’ a gun, you know I mean, we need to take, and do what we can…

CNN: I want to make sure I understand what you’re telling me… are you asking that these people should have tackled him, these women should have fought him… that…

Chumley: I don’t know what, I don’t know what the answer was. But I know it’s really horrible for nine people to be shot and I understand that he reloaded his gun during the process. [smiles] That’s, that’s upsetting, very upsetting.

CNN: Those nine families, and every black person in South Carolina, and all of the people, the white people who are against that flag believe it shouldn’t be on the state grounds, you are saying it should stay because your constituents want it to?

Chumley: It stays there until the people of South Carolina say it should come down. Thank you so much. Appreciate it.

UPDATE:  He recants.

(3)  Even some Democrats get it wrong:

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(4)  Bad imagery has the casket of Rev. Clementa Pinckney’s passes the Confederate flag in South Carolina:


To the positive:

(1)  Two-thirds of the SC Senate agree will voote for flag removal:


The SC House might be close.

(2)  Toys changing too:

The debate over the Confederate flag has extended into the world of pop culture.

Fans of the 1980s’ TV series “The Dukes of Hazzard” know that the flag was painted on the roof of The General Lee, the orange Dodge Charger owned by John Schneider’s Bo and Tom Wopat’s Luke. Warner Bros. will no longer sanction the manufacturing of “Dukes of Hazzard” merchandise featuring the flag.

“Warner Bros. Consumer Products has one licensee producing die-cast replicas and vehicle model kits featuring the General Lee with the confederate flag on its roof — as it was seen in the TV series,” a spokesman for the company told Vulture. “We have elected to cease the licensing of these product categories.”

(3)  State Flags

In Alabama:

On the order of Gov. Robert Bentley, the Confederate battle flag which stands at the foot of the confederate memorial on the state Capitol grounds was taken down this morning.

Meanwhile, another prominent voice was added to the call to change Mississippi’s state flag. Republican Sen. Roger Wicker said in a statement that:

After reflection and prayer, I now believe our state flag should be put in a museum and replaced by one that is more unifying to all Mississippians. As the descendant of several brave Americans who fought for the Confederacy, I have not viewed Mississippi’s current state flag as offensive. However, it is clearer and clearer to me that many of my fellow citizens feel differently and that our state flag increasingly portrays a false impression of our state to others.