Updating the Retreat of Confederate Iconography

Confederate symbols continue their retreat from public places. Here are some updates:

The Vicksburg Post published an editorial calling on lawmakers in the state to finally change the state’s flag and remove the confederate symbols. “Cities across Mississippi, including Vicksburg, no longer fly the state’s flag with the Confederate Battle Flag insignia prominently showing in its upper left corner.” The Post tells us, “Mississippi’s devotion to its history is deep and commendable, but its addiction to a symbol that has for more than 100 years been a reminder of hate and the oppression of a race after the Civil War is out of date and costing us in many ways in the form of lost industry and lost jobs for our people.”

The Florida state legislature is in the process of considering a bill to remove the statue of confederate general Edmund Kirby Smith from Statuary Hall in the US Capitol. According to this story, “The Confederacy is finally falling in Florida.” The bill’s sponsor is state representative Jose Felix Diaz (R-Miami) [second story here].

In Texas, Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt wrote, “The Confederate Flag is synonymous with slavery and an affront to free people. We should never erase our history, no matter how ugly, lest we are doomed to repeat it. But Veterans Day and the anniversary of Armistice is to honor all military veterans and celebrate peace. The symbol of slavery is not something to honor or celebrate.” In this case, her advocacy for excluding groups that fly the confederate flag from the annual Veteran’s Day parade was not heeded, but she’s providing some significant opposition to the flag. Judge Eckhardt said, “I take a tremendous amount of pride in my family heritage. And my great uncle was a Confederate officer. But I find no honor in the cause of the Confederacy.” Travis County is withdrawing its administrative support for the parade, and Olie Pope, the chairperson of the parade committee, resigned from the committee in protest of including the confederate flag. The SCV was there to lie about history, as usual, making the patently false claim that confederate veterans were the same as US veterans.

City officials in Baltimore, Maryland are considering what to do about the confederate monuments in the city.

Bill Cotterell, a columnist for the Tennessee Democrat, writes in this Op-Ed piece, “It’s taken more than 150 years, but the Confederate flag is finally disappearing across the South.” He tells us, “Long after Appomattox, segregationist candidates for governor and Congress wrapped themselves – sometimes literally – in the Confederate flag, promising voters that somehow they could stop the tide of history. You still see it on a few bumper stickers, or fluttering from the back of a vehicle, but lately it seems the old flag has become embarrassing. There are always a few on either side who love it or hate it, but the vast majority of Southerners in the middle just don’t care to hear about it.” After telling us about Florida’s removal of the confederate flag from its official seal, he writes, “Next up is that 10-by-16-foot mural that greets visitors in the Senate’s fifth-floor gallery. It features not only the flag, but also Gen. Joseph Finnegan, commander of Southern troops at the Battle of Olustee. Come to think of it, having Andrew Jackson and the conquistador in the mural do not exactly celebrate diversity. After 37 years, the mural is faded and frayed. Rather than scrub its content, the Senate plans to move it out – maybe to the old Capitol, with the rest of the museum pieces.”

Note this is all happening in the south, and it’s being done primarily by white southerners.

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