Last night, a coward was busy in Lee Park trying to put forth their agenda of erasing the past – or more likely trying to “go viral” on the Internet. Somehow emboldened by recent events surrounding the Confederate flag’s removal on everything from state capital buildings to The Dukes of Hazzard‘s own General Lee, someone too afraid of dialogue took to blaring their ill-spaced thoughts in Krylon.
Personally, I think flying outdated flags and clutching equally outdated symbols are dubious pursuits no matter the context. Imagine flying the British Union Jack at U.S. government buildings. It’s today, not yesterday. It’s a flag pole, not a history class film strip.
But aesthetics aside, flags and symbols often carry personal weight for those on both sides of their meaning – especially symbols born of conflict. The confederate flag being flown in public areas is a daily reminder of not only the historical tension over slavery that spawned the war, but also of the “sore loser” who uses it to demonstrate the racial motives it represents. To still fly the Confederate flag over a century later is only evidence of ideological stagnation. For a government to fly it demonstrates that, while it’s supposedly the protector of the downtrodden, the government itself sees its own citizens as unworthy of that protection or respect.