I came across this article on Steve Spurrier and it provoked me. Apparently Spurrier has a problem with the presence of the Confederate Battle saltire on a monument to Confederate soldiers in Columbia.
Spurrier: “I realize I’m not supposed to get in the political arena as a football coach, but if anybody were ever to ask me about that damn Confederate flag, I would say we need to get rid of it. I’ve been told not to talk about that. But if anyone were ever to ask me about it, I certainly wish we could get rid of it.”
I’ve always admired the old ball coach for his prowess on the field. Perhaps he should limit himself to that arena.
“The flag was removed from the dome in 2000 but placed at the Confederate Soldier Monument on Statehouse grounds. The state chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People said that was not good enough and continued its boycott. The initial boycott drew wide support from inside and outside the state, but encouragement for the ongoing effort has waned in recent years.”
I’ll address a couple problems here. The Confederate flag is exactly that. A flag. A symbol. Symbols by nature are to be interpreted. Each individual is free to interpret that symbol however they choose. It is absolutely impossible and inappropriate to fiat one meaning upon all citizens for a flag, or any other symbol for the most part. It represents different things to different people–some good things, and some bad.
Furthermore, and even more importantly concessions were already made. The flag was removed from the courthouse and placed in an area reserved for history. In my estimation it is absolutely an appropriate place for the flag to fly. Would it not be a greater disgrace and slight to the memory of these citizens to hang a US flag over them; that is, to posthumously display the banner of their conquerors over a memorial dedicated to time gone by?
It does bother me to no end at the same time to see the actual Battle Flag flown. To the best of my knowledge flying a battle flag off the battlefield is contrary to the purpose of the emblem. The use of “battle flags” is quite antiquated, but suffice it to say it’s just not proper. Other Confederate emblems in a case such as this would be much more apropos.
Ultimately in view of decorum and history there is no appropriate place to actually fly the Confederate battle flag (notice I did not say “display”). I’d love to see the day that those were the motivating factor behind discussions such as this, not simple minded political correctness. “I don’t like it” is a fine reason to end something until you’re on the short end of the stick.
The evils perpetrated by rogue entities such as the Ku Klux Klan were done under Southern, and US flags. While I, as most of us would, disagree with what they stood for let’s be careful once again at rallying upon the slippery slope of moral indignation. It is all too easy to slip into politically correct totalitarianism of the mind. Facts in cases such as this are far too difficult to cipher.
Especially when they are shrouded in 140 years of historical revisionism.
Coach, go play ball