The Continued Decline of Confederate Iconography

The nationwide retreat of confederate iconography continues.

Bowdoin College is renaming an award that had been named for Jefferson Davis. Clayton Rose, the college’s president, said, “It is inappropriate for Bowdoin College to bestow an annual award that continues to honor a man whose mission was to preserve and institutionalize slavery.” The award was a cash prize to a student excelling in Constitutional Law. The United Daughters of the Confederacy endowed the prize. The Board of Trustees voted to return the entire endowment to the UDC. The college is replacing that award with one that does the same thing but is named in honor of the late Professor Richard E. Morgan. Patrick Rael, a professor of history, wrote, “The changing memory of the past has always been a potent reflection of American’s shifting values. Since the Founding, our national story has never been unitary or static. It has always moved to reflect new commitments, and acknowledge (at last) old realities. This can make us uncomfortable, particularly when it challenges what we think we know, or what we want to think, about our past. But as we change, our history changes.”

A commissioner in Greene County, Tennessee, which was a Unionist county during the Civil War, proposed putting the confederate flag up next to the United States flag. His proposal was overwhelmingly defeated, with his the only vote in favor of 21 votes cast.

At the University of Mississippi, the student senate approved a resolution to ask the university to stop flying the Mississippi state flag on campus due to its use of the confederate flag. a student said, “I think it shows that we as a student body recognize that these symbols of white supremacy have no place on our campus. They affect people that are marginalized. They make students feel excluded on their own campus and they promote ideals of hate and racial oppression.” Student body president Rod Bridges said, “This issue is not simply a university issue. It’s not a white issue or a black issue, either. This is a human issue, and we have a symbol that instills fear and insecurity into individuals on this campus and in this community.”

Maryland is in the process of banning the confederate flag on its license plates. Virginia has already done so.

In Florida, the state senate approved removing the confederate flag from its official seal. State Senator Oscar Braynon said, “I’m glad that we are taking it down and recognizing the Confederate flag for what it is. What it is, is a symbol of a time when this country went to war to keep my ancestors in slavery.” No word yet on a reaction from the West Florida Flagger.

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6 comments

  1. Jimmy Dick · · Reply

    I believe Ben Jones has made a claim that southern heritage (TM) has been enjoying the support of the majority of Americans. I don’t know what stats he looks at, but that’s his claim. Meanwhile the heritage folks hang out with the KKK and League of the South to wave the rag and then wonder why they’re called racist.

    1. Call it what you will, dishonesty, lack of awareness, or self-delusion. Whatever it is, it’s rampant with that group.

  2. Jimmy Dick · · Reply

    Also the West Florida flagger has been screaming over on the History News Network regarding the forums for Kevin Levin’s article. As usual she is denying her blog is racist, denying facts, claiming that everyone else’s version of history is wrong and that historians misuse primary sources, and on and on. Her fantasy continues as the CBF moves to the museum where it belongs and out of the public eye.

    1. The screecher can be entertaining at times.

  3. BorderRuffian · · Reply

    Bowdoin College…
    …of Maine.
    I wonder how many places in Maine are named after people that became rich via the slave trade?

    ***

    “Greene County, TN votes down CS flag…”
    …where it hasn’t flown for 150+ years.

    ***

    Mississippi State Flag
    “Change the Flag” sentiment losing steam-
    There was a group that demonstrated in Jackson last Sunday. ABC reported 400 at the event. USAToday said 300. A local news source said 200 and another reported 100.

    I found a photo with an overhead view of the crowd. It was between 100 and 200.

    You would think that with a Quarter Million black people in the Jackson metro area there would be more than 100-200.

    ***

    Maryland has Confederate license plates?

    ***

    “In Florida, the state senate approved removing the confederate flag from its official seal.”

    But leaves the flags that were responsible for bringing 12,000,000 slaves across the Atlantic.

    1. Thanks for demonstrating once again your less than superficial understanding of the points.

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