January 19, 2008
My old friend Rod Dreher recently opined on Belief.net that it was inappropriate for Gov. Huckabee to claim he was defending the Confederate flag—in an attempt to outflank John McCain, who flip-flopped on the issue and landed (of course) on the side of the journalists who adore him and the national (and regional, even Southern) elites.
At one point Dreher reflects that “too much evil was done under that banner for it ever to be merely a benign symbol of regional pride.” If by this he means slavery, I’m afraid that Rod had better take down his red-white-and-blue—since the Battle Flag only presided over slave regimes for less than five years. It was the American flag that flew over slavery (in states north and south) from 1783 through 1865. (True, Dreher also notes that the Battle Flag was raised in South Carolina by segregationists. Yeah, and pro-abortionists like to talk about “freedom of choice.” That won’t spoil those words for me either.)
Perhaps we should stop flying the U.S. flag, too. I’m not the first one to have that idea. As the college guide I edit notes: “One year after the September 11 terrorist attacks, the University of California at Berkeley held a day of remembrance sponsored by the chancellor’s office. After discussing the course of events, organizers decided that the event would exclude singing of the ‘Star Spangled Banner,’ or ‘God Bless America,’ because the songs were too ‘divisive.’ Instead of distributing red, white, and blue ribbons, white ribbons were be given to attending students so that politics wouldn”t ‘disrupt mourning and grieving.’ The American flag was to be excluded, since, according to the Graduate Assembly, it has ‘become a symbol of U.S. aggression toward other countries.’”
If every emblem, symbol, or custom that offends some minority or other is to be presumptively cast aside, we will be left with nothing but the emblems of angry, aggrieved minorities—holidays like Kwanzaa (invented from whole cloth by an American bombthrower in the 1960s), Cinco de Mayo, and Ramadan. Maybe they’ll let us keep Festivus.