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.