J.D.R. Hawkins

One bullet can make a man a hero… or a casualty.

Archive for the tag “heritage”

Disrespect for History Continues

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The desecration of Southern history and heritage is still, sadly, alive and well. Apparently, too many people have chosen to forget where they came from, and have instead decided to sway to the influence of political correctness. I find it so sad that these things keep happening.

STATUE IN CROSSHAIRS
Roughly a year after a Confederate monument was removed from Forrest Park, the placement of another statue in a St. Louis park has been called into question.
A commission is being formed to consider whether a statue of Christopher Columbus belongs in Tower Grove Park, where it has stood for more than 130 years.
Annie Rice, the 8th Ward alderman who represents several neighborhoods surrounding the park, told the Post-Dispatch she hoped the formation of the commission would lead to “fruitful conversations” between park officials and local activists who are saying that, “Christopher Columbus, a monstrous human that much of this country continues to celebrate and glorify, has an approximately 9-foot statue dedicated to him in Tower Grove Park. We think it’s long past time that this statue was dealt with permanently.”
As predicted, the PC crazies haven’t stopped with Confederate history. They are attacking every aspect of American history. And in other news…
GEORGIA STATUE TOPPLED
 
The people of Sylvania feel like they lost a piece of history. Inspired by the toppling of Silent Sam, an unknown person(s) have toppled a statue of a Confederate soldier in the Screven County Memorial Cemetery.

Everyday, people in Sylvania are driving to the cemetery to see what’s left of it.

The statue had already been moved from the City Park to the cemetery. “That statue was to memorialize the soldier,” explained retired veteran, Colonel David Titus. “More 340,000 soldiers lost their lives in the south, in the civil war conflict,” said Titus.

The destruction of the memorial has also gained attention from the Georgia Division Sons of Confederate Veterans.

They’re offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to the suspect’s arrest.

The Sylvania Police Department asks for the public’s help to find the suspect. If you have any information, call (912) 564-2046.

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I also learned that the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, which decided to change its name to the American Civil War Museum a few years ago in order to kiss some complainers’ asses, is slated to close at the end of this month. The artifacts will be split up and sent to various other museums in the state, and of course, politically correct explanations will be attached to the items that are chosen to be displayed. This will also happen to the Confederate White House, where President Jefferson Davis resided. It’s heartbreaking to think what might happen to these items, and how some will be displayed under false pretenses of preserving slavery, etc. The women who founded the museum and found all those amazing items must be turning in their graves.
(Articles courtesy of Dixie Heritage Newsletter, September 7, 2018 ed.)
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An Article From My Favorite Confederate

H.K. Edgerton is one of my favorite advocates for the Confederate cause and the Southern side of the story in regard to the Civil War. I have learned a lot from him, and I hope to someday have the opportunity to meet him in person. Here is a recent article from Mr. Edgerton.

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Tucker Carlson “Gets It”
    by H. K. Edgerton

H. K. Edgerton is an activist for Southern heritage and a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. A former president of the NAACP, he is on the board of the Southern Legal Resource Center.
As I watched and listen to Tucker Carlson of Fox News interviewing one James Nicols, who proclaimed to be a Professor of Black History, advancing his personal political view as he slandered the name of the Honorable General Jeb Stuart in an attempt to justify having his name removed from a school in Virginia because he fought in an army that fought to keep slavery; I couldn’t help but to become angered because Carlson said that he “got it.”

The fact is that none of General Lee’s men fought to maintain the economic institution of slavery.  And that includes Holt Collier, Polk Arnold, Dr. Alexander Darnes, Levi Carnine, Napoleon Nelson, Rev. Mack Lee and a host of other black confederate soldiers and their families back on the home places that directly supported the integrated Confederate army, and to change the name of a school because he is offended should first require a lie-detector test!

However, it got to be more pathetic as I was made privy to four white girls and two white men, and later on a black man with a six year old boy and three young black baby girls not to far removed from “Pampers” struggle to carry signs in protest of the Cenotaph of this integrated Southern army in Pensacola, Florida.  Save Southern Heritage researchers tell me that 75% of the protesters were imported from out of town, and the ‘babies’ were brought in for show by their grandfather from the Tampa area!

My grandmother used to say all the time “if they would just leave us alone in the South, we will be alright.”  And, for sure decent loyal black Southerners don’t need white Socialist Party members using black Southeners as their weapon of choice against our Southern white family. We had enough of that during reconstruction, and during the reign of Barack Obama in the White House.
I hope you will contact Tucker Carlson and let him know that agreeing with changing a school named for Jeb Stuart is wrong and he shouldn’t side with those that lie about our Southern heroes.  You can reach him by clicking:  http://www.foxnews.com/shows/tucker-carlson-tonight.html
(Courtesy of Dixie Heritage Newsletter, July 6, 2018 ed.)

How is This Any Different?

Last weekend, I flew out to California to visit my youngest son. While I was there, he told me about a trip he and his best friend took a few weeks ago to Sequoia National Park. I had never been there, so I was fascinated by the photos and beautiful scenery. That is, until he showed me photos of the Sherman Tree and the Grant Tree.

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The Sherman Tree, named after Union General William Tecumseh Sherman, is the largest living single stem tree in the entire world. This massive tree is estimated to be about 2000 years old. The tree is 275 feet tall. The Sherman Tree is a giant sequoia located in the Giant Forest of Sequoia National Park. Likewise, the Grant Tree is the largest giant sequoia in the General Grant Grove section of Kings Canyon National Park in California, and it is the second largest tree, by trunk volume, in the world.

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I think these two trees are spectacular and amazing, but one thing bothers me about them: their names. How is it that the NAACP has a problem with all the Confederate statues, street names, school names, etc., but not with the Sherman Tree? Afterall, General Sherman was probably the biggest bigot the Union Army had to offer. He didn’t hesitate in drowning hoards of freed slaves who were following the Union Army in search of refuge and freedom. And he certainly didn’t have a soft spot for any Native Americans. In fact, he waved off the offer to run for public office, which is what his contemporary, General Grant did. Instead, Sherman went out West to annihilate the Indians. I don’t know of any Confederate officers who were so blatantly racist, and yet, there are plenty of street names, school names, and even a giant sequoia named after Sherman. By the way, Grant was no friend to the Native Americans, either.

This double standard is appalling to me, but perhaps I should be patient. Maybe after the NAACP and other groups like Black Lives Matter do away with Confederate heritage, they will attack other historical figures, like Sherman, Grant, Jefferson, Washington, and Jackson, to name a few. And let’s not leave out Lincoln. He was the one who wanted to ship the freed slaves off to their own little island, or back to Africa, and said the two races (whites and blacks) could never co-exist.

Maybe he was right. Maybe the NAACP and BLM would back off if it were their ancestors being attacked. How can they be offended by white heroes of times past? How is it that it’s okay for those of us who are against the demolition of history to be offended? Let me know what you think about this subject. I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter. In my opinion, all this political correctness nonsense needs to end NOW. Moving statues around isn’t going to solve the problem.

Ole Miss Misses the Mark (Again)

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Another event took place last week involving the never ending assault against the Confederacy. Ole Miss (University of Mississippi) announced its marching band won’t play “Dixie” at football games this fall. This decision was made by the athletic department. In a statement, they said the song will be replaced by something “more inclusive for all fans.”

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What? How is “Dixie” non-inclusive? First of all, the song was written before the Civil War. Second, it was written by a Northerner. Third, it was President Lincoln’s favorite song. Fourth, there is nothing in the lyrics that implies racism, which is what all these idiots are now claiming everything Confederate is. Fifth, Ole Miss should be ashamed of doing away with its unique, wonderful heritage.

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The University Greys were students from the school who went to fight in honor of the South. None of them survived. Their bodies were returned, and they were buried on campus. This is a great dishonor and tragedy, because whoever is in charge at Ole Miss is seriously missing the point. Instead of misrepresenting the history of this school, they should be embracing it. They’ve already replaced Colonel Reb and renamed Confederate Avenue. And they refuse to fly the Mississippi state flag on campus: the same state that funds them. I guess getting rid of the Rebel name and the Confederate soldier statue will be next, because who knows who that might offend. If I was an alum of Ole Miss, I would be very offended by what is going on, and I wouldn’t hesitate to let them know. Cutting off funding might get through to them.

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Shame on you, Ole Miss. Shame on your leadership for misdirecting the school. And shame on you for discrediting your history and categorizing all your Southern heritage as racist.

https://socialismisnottheanswer.wordpress.com/tag/ole-miss-wont-play-dixie/

http://www.gopusa.com/ole-miss-to-stop-playing-dixie-at-football-games-this-fall/

Southern Baptists Against the Southern Cross

 

Southern_Baptist_Convention_logo1A recent decision by the Southern Baptist Convention has received a negative reaction from its congregation. The church requested that members stop flying the Confederate battle flag. As you can tell by the following letters, some members are not happy. What do you think? Do you think the Southern Baptist Church has a case? Or are they merely jumping on the politically correct bandwagon?

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Southern Baptists attempt to appease heritage haters and liberals by passing a resolution condemning the Confederate flag and all those who honor and fly her. Thousands of us are lifelong Southern Baptist and have already begun the search for a new denomination…one with leaders who stand with courage and conviction on the word of God and don’t make resolutions based on which way the PC winds happen to be blowing. Apparently, our souls have been deemed less important than that of the “unnamed offended brethren” who will apparently rush to fill the pews now that the resolution has been passed.
Big mistake, SBC…BIG mistake. You are being used by the left to further their Godless agenda and don’t even realize that you are as much a target as ever, no matter how many resolutions like this one you pass.
We heard today that one SBC church in Georgia voted unanimously last night to withdraw from the SBC, and similar votes are scheduled for other congregations in the coming days. We hope and pray thousands will join them in making a stand. If the SBC is bent on condemning ANYTHING that might offend ANYONE, YOU may very well be the next casualty on their list.
‪#‎HeritageOfFaith‬
‪#‎NothingSouthernAboutTheSBC‬
Susan Frise Hathaway
The Virginia Flaggers
SHNV Facebook Page
https://www.facebook.com/SouthernHeritageNewsandViews
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Greetings Rev. Smith:

We were in church when you made the announcement that the Convention had voted to pass the Anti-Confederate Flag, Anti-Christian resolution.  The devil shouted with glee that his will has been done!  It is hard for me to believe that with that many preachers present, none took a stand for the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

You are well aware that the Confederate flag proudly displays the Cross of St. Andrew: next to the Cross of Jesus the most scared symbol in all Christianity!  The Constitution of the Confederate States of America plainly stated that God (the Christian God) was the founder of the nation.  It was no accident that the Confederate Congress adopted the Cross of St. Andrew as the symbol of the nation.

The Southern people loved their country and their flag.  Southern Baptist boys fought hard for the Cross of St. Andrew; many willingly gave their lives under that flag!  Those who founded the Southern Baptist Church; those who preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ; those who have been members and who have advanced the church unto this day strongly stood for the Gospel.  Now, the Convention has defecated on all their graves!

By taking an Anti-Cross of St. Andrew; Anti-Gospel stand, the Southern Baptist Convention has replaced Jesus with the devil.

When you made the announcement that the Baptist Church was no longer a Christian organization, we walked out!

If you would like to discuss this e-mail or anything related to the War Between the States, please contact me.

I end most of my personal communications with “God Bless!” but I cannot with this letter.

Southernly Yours,
Gary C. Walker
(Letters Courtesy of Southern Heritage News & Views, June 27, 2016 ed.)

Noble Heroes Would Turn in Their Graves

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On May 2, 1863, during the Battle of Chancellorsville, General Robert E. Lee divided his army and sent Stonewall Jackson’s entire corps on a flanking march that routed the Union XI Corps. The battle was a Confederate victory, although the South lost one of its best generals as a result. Jackson was fired upon by his own men, who thought he and his entourage were the enemy. The accident took place at twilight, when visibility was poor, and even though Jackson’s men identified themselves, the North Carolinians who fired upon them thought they were lying. Jackson lost his arm as a result, and died several days later after contracting pneumonia. I wonder what Jackson would say now to all the political correctness going on in the country, primarily in his beloved South?

What everyone seems to be forgetting is that the Confederates fought for something they truly believed in, which was state’s rights. It had nothing to do with slavery, but now, everything honoring these brave men is under attack by politically correct activists and BLM protesters who claim the flags, monuments, and memorials are racist. I think this is BS!

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Dishonoring American veterans, specifically Confederate veterans, seems to be the norm these days. In Anniston, Alabama, an ordinance was passed that forbids flying the Confederate battle flag at General John Pelham’s statue on Quintard Boulevard. The city stated that the flags are racist and offensive to some people. So what? Everyone finds something offensive. Why cater to a few? That is what is commonly known as discrimination.

A group called the Southern Poverty Law Center released a report that details “publicly supported spaces dedicated to the Confederacy.” The report, titled “Whose Heritage? Public Symbols of the Confederacy,” is a play book that is being used by anti-Confederate groups to substantiate their cause to erase history. The book includes propaganda attempting to associate the Confederacy with racist ideology. It also includes a “community action guide” offering tips and suggestions on how to benefit those who want to destroy all memorials to Confederate heritage. And the Southern Baptist church has been requested to support the discontinuation of displaying Confederate flags. When will it end?

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Speaker of the House Paul Ryan was asked by a Georgetown student last week about the removal of the Mississippi State Flag from the U.S. Capitol. The student said it was “renewed, northern Republican reconstruction” and “the erasure of Southern symbols, as well as ostracization of Southern voters by the GOP.”

Ryan’s response was, “I never looked at it that way.” He continued by saying, “We discussed it, and I thought it was the right thing to do. This symbol does insult. This symbol, I think, does more to divide this country than to unify this country. But I got to tell you, if, in the Capitol, we’re going to have symbols, we’re going to have symbols that unify people, that don’t divide people, and that’s just the way we think.”

Wow. So sensitive! We had better seriously re-think who we elect this fall.

 

Southern Baptists asked to endorse an end to public display of Confederate battle flag
http://politics.blog.ajc.com/2016/04/24/southern-baptists-asked-to-endorse-an-end-to-public-display-of-confederate-battle-flag/

$PLC finds at least 1,500 symbols of the Confederacy in public spaces
http://freenorthcarolina.blogspot.com/2016/04/plc-finds-at-least-1500-symbols-of.html

 

 

 

IN LOUISIANA ANOTHER MONUMENT COMES UNDER ATTACK

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A tall memorial that honors Confederate soldiers has stood in front of the Rapides Parish Courthouse for more than 100 years, but an organization of black attorneys believes it is offensive and should be removed.

Malcolm Larvadain, an attorney who is president of the Louis A. Martinet Legal Society, asked Rapides Parish police jurors to remove the memorial, which features a statue of a Confederate soldier on top. The society is made up of area African-American attorneys.

“In this day and age of 2016, I feel that that statue is offensive. Honestly, it should be placed in a museum,” said Larvadain, whose father, Ed Larvardain Jr., is a longtime civil rights attorney and whose brother, Ed Larvadain III, is an Alexandria city councilman. “I just feel the South was on the wrong side of history and humanity. I feel that it needs to come down. I can only imagine how people who look like me (black) who walk up to this courthouse and see this the statue and see the word ‘Confederate’ at the bottom of the statue, how they feel about that,” he added.
Police jurors did not take any action on Larvadain’s request because they said they’ll wait to see what happens with Senate Bill 276 by Sen. Beth Mizell, R-Franklinton.
The bill would create the Louisiana Heritage Protection Commission, which jurors said might exercise control over such memorials.
Police Juror Richard Billing says he’s against removing the statue because it is part of history. “I think it’s history. I think it declares who we are – the place in America,” Billings said. “We were Southerners. You’re a Southerner,” he told Larvadain. “Whether you like it or not, you were born here … raised here. Black or white, it’s history. We recognize black people all over, and I have no problem with that.”
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He said he went to look at the statue only after he heard it would be raised as an issue.

“I don’t go by and salute it. I don’t agree with everything that’s been done. … I think it needs to stay where it is because of history,” Billings said.

“It is history, but it’s an ugly history,” Larvadain said. “That history involved enslaving people who looked like me, Mr. Overton, Mr. Perry, Mr. Fountaine.”
He was referring to the three black members of the nine-member Police Jury – Ollie Overton, Scott Perry and Theodore Fountaine.

The Confederate memorial was erected in 1914 by the Thomas Overton Moore chapter of the Daughters of the Confederacy, according to information on the base of the statue.

Most jurors did not seem that familiar with the Senate bill and noted the statue-removal request was new. The Senate bill, if it becomes law, might make it harder to remove a statue or memorial.

“Except as otherwise provided in this section, no memorial regarding a historic conflict, historic entity, historic event, historic figure or historic organization that is, or is located on, public property, may be removed, renamed, relocated, altered, rededicated, or otherwise disturbed or altered,” the bill reads.

 

It does note that a public entity may petition the commission for a waiver if it seeks to remove a memorial.

Fountaine, Overton and Perry each had a different take on the memorial.

“The statue should never have been put up, and it should come down,” Fountaine said.

Perry said Larvadain’s request caught him by surprise, and he noted he never paid much attention to the memorial.

“I’m going to wait and see what the Legislature does,” Perry said.

Jury President Craig Smith also said the jury wants to see the outcome of the Senate bill.

“If we have to, we’ll address it again,” Smith said of the request to have the memorial removed.

Overton said the memorial is “distasteful” to him and others, and he would like to see it removed.

He noted there would be cost in removing it, and he indicated he’d like to wait to see what happens with the Senate bill.
(Courtesy Dixie Heritage Newsletter, Mar. 19, 2016 ed.)

Georgia Under Fire

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Not surprisingly to me, all things Confederate have fallen under attack. This was prompted by the shootings at a black church last year by a racist lunatic who posed in a picture with the Confederate battle flag. It seems this was all it took to spark a wildfire of attacks on Southern heritage and history, using the excuse of racism as a cloak to destroy these treasures and force a hateful message of cultural cleansing on everyone. In Georgia, the following has been targeted:

The Chattooga County Commissioner has the flag display removed from the Confederate Monument on the County Courthouse grounds.

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The Georgia Department of Revenue pulls the Georgia Division, SCV specialty tags for all tag offices and halts the sale of the tags.
NAACP attempts to have the Bullock County Confederate Monument removed from the Courthouse grounds.
NAACP attempts to have the Jasper County Confederate Monument removed from the Courthouse grounds in Monticello.
NAACP and past City of Macon mayor calls for the removal of the Bibb County Confederate Monument in Macon to be removed.
Governor Nathan Deal has Robert E. Lee and Confederate Memorial Day removed from the State Calendar.

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The NAACP and the SCLC call for the removal of the Confederate Memorial carvings from Stone Mountain.
Liberal Activist in Rabun County attempts to remove the flag display from the Confederate Monument in Clayton, Georgia.
Representative DaLawn Jones of district 62, files House Bill 760 that would change Stone Mountain from being a memorial to the Confederacy and give the authority to state agencies to define and change monuments if they deem them inappropriate.
State Senator Vincent Fort of Atlanta files Senate Bill 294 that prohibits the recognition of public and legal holidays honoring, recognizing, observing, or celebrating the Confederate States of America, its history, or the military or political leaders thereof or the Civil War; to repeal the observing of Confederate History and Heritage Month.

All these attacks are nothing less than alarming and disrespectful. Lest I remind these politically correct activists that the items listed above are in honor of American veterans. Regardless of what side of the Civil War they fought for, they were designated as U.S. veterans decades ago. To try and take away the honor they earned and deserve is nothing less than shameful and selfish.

House Bill 50 has been filed in support of “protecting government statues, monuments, plaques, banners, and other commemorative symbols; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.” To read House Bill 50, check out:

http://files.ctctcdn.com/c6653e36501/948f936e-0920-40cb-9484-4458ec40fe3a.pdf

 

 

Kansas’ Connection to the Confederacy

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As in most states, soldiers fought for both sides of the Civil War. This was especially apparent in the border states of Kansas, Missouri, Maryland, and Kentucky, as well as the Indian territories of New Mexico and Oklahoma. It seems unfathomable that these states are now debating the relevance of the Confederacy. For Kansas, one particular Confederate soldier stands out.

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General Richard Montgomery Gano was a devout Christian who served as a pastor, congressman, medical doctor, and brigadier general for the Confederate Army. Kirby Smith, the commander of the Army of Trans-Mississippi, said that Gano was “the most brilliant and effective” general in the Western Theatre. After the war ended, Gano planted churches in Kansas and Texas. He also preached throughout the U.S. and baptized nearly 5,000 converts.

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General Gano’s grandson was Howard Hughes, the eccentric business tycoon, investor, aviator, filmmaker and philanthropist. It’s no surprise that Gano’s former ranch and home became the Dallas/Ft. Worth Airport. Ironically, the Forth Worth Stock Show and Rodeo is inappropriately banning the display of the Confederate battle flag. Is it because Texas doesn’t know it’s history? Or merely because certain activities planners are trying to jump on the politically correct bandwagon? If more of these states would take pride and understand their Confederate heritage, this controversy wouldn’t exist.

 

BATTLEGROUND MISSISSIPPI GETS EVEN NASTIER

The Enemies of Southern Heritage ship in PAID YANKEE activists!
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(From The New York Times)
LOUISVILLE, Miss. – In single strokes after the massacre of nine black churchgoers in Charleston in June, Confederate battle flags were taken from statehouse grounds in South Carolina and Alabama, pulled from shelves at major retailers like Walmart and declared unwelcome, if to limited effect, at Nascar races.
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What happened so swiftly elsewhere is not so simple in Mississippi. The Confederate battle flag is not simply flying in one hotly disputed spot at the State Capitol but occupying the upper left corner of the state flag, which has been flying since 1894. And as recently as 2001, Mississippians voted by a nearly two-to-one ratio to keep it. Recent polling suggests the majority have not changed their minds.
“My flag’s been flying for 33 years, and I’m not about to take it down,” said Nancy Jenkins, 58, a postal worker who is white and who flies the Mississippi flag and the United States flag at her house a block south of Louisville City Hall. “It doesn’t stand for hate. It means a lot of people fought and died.”
Over the past few months, there have been scattered outbreaks of municipal defiance by those who find the Confederate flag offensive, as mayors and city councils from the Delta to the Pine Belt have decided to no longer fly the state flag.
But beyond these sporadic gestures, any organized effort was always going to wait until politicians were on the safe side of this year’s election. With the closing of the polls on Tuesday night, what could turn out to be the last battle over the Confederate flag in Mississippi has begun in earnest.
“It’s all about momentum,” said Dane Waters, the head of Tipping Point strategies, a communications and advocacy firm. “If you take a pocket here and pocket there of things happening, I don’t think anything is going to change.”
This week, Mr. Waters, a self-described conservative who has been retained by a group of people he declined to name, will arrive in Mississippi to pick up a difficult task: forming an unlikely and perhaps unmanageable alliance of preachers, business executives, state boosters and civil rights advocates to remove forever the Confederate battle flag from the state flag.
He is working with the Flag for All Mississippians Coalition, which was started by Sharon Brown, an activist in Jackson, who is black. The campaign has already been organizing supporters and held a hundreds-strong rally at the State Capitol. But Mr. Waters spoke of other tools that will be brought to bear outside the public eye, such as pressure on political donors and lobbying in the Legislature.
The coalition that he and others are trying to put together would need to unite groups almost never politically aligned, testing the depth of what Mr. Waters called the state’s “tremendous social, economic and racial divide.”
In the immediate aftermath of Charleston, it seemed that such a coalition might be possible here. Several conservative political leaders called for a change, including the state’s two United States senators and the speaker of the Mississippi House (inspiring critics to print “Keep the Flag, Change the Speaker” yard signs). Down came flags at city buildings in Grenada, Magnolia, Starkville, Clarksdale and Yazoo City. In October, even the University of Mississippi lowered the flag at the circle where segregationists once clashed with federal troops over the admission of James Meredith.
But the move to change the flag, which, in the words of the daughter of the state senator who designed it, was intended to “perpetuate in a legal and lasting way that dear battle flag under which so many of our people had so gloriously fought,” is not widely popular. It takes no time at all in any Mississippi downtown to find that out.
“This is what we stand for – this is our pride,” Trey Jefcoat, a 26-year-old construction worker in Hattiesburg, said on the October day that the nearby University of Southern Mississippi took down the state flag on campus. “We don’t think it’s offensive, and most of the black folks I know don’t think it’s offensive.”
Partisanship in Mississippi has become ever more racially polarized, and there are few topics on which racial division has been more explicit. In the 2001 referendum, according to the book “Mississippi Politics: The Struggle for Power, 1976-2008,” 90 percent of whites voted to keep the flag as it is. Among blacks, 95 percent voted for a new design, which replaced the cross with a circle of white stars.
“Don’t try to force me as a black man who knows his history to honor something that goes against my heritage,” said Robert Brown, a 42-year-old barber in Louisville, a small town in the central Mississippi pines with a population that is about 60 percent black.
Over the summer, Mr. Brown began using his post at Eiland’s Straight Line Barbershop to expound upon the causes of the Civil War, lecturing to the men who had come in for a trim or a shave about slavery, the meaning of the battle flag and the offense of its lingering in the state flag. One evening in September, he went to City Hall to ask that officials follow the example of the other scattered towns and cities and vote on whether to fly the state flag.
He was met, he said, with mannerly talk of pressing budgets and correct protocol, and ultimately told that this was really an issue best left to the Legislature. The state flag still flies.
If a new flag is to be adopted, the simple math of a 60 percent white majority statewide dictates that it will come down to whether enough whites support it, either in the Legislature or at the polls. Feelings about the flag run so deep – as evident from the recent arrest of a man in Tupelo who was accused of firebombing a Walmart for not selling Confederate merchandise – that a widespread change of heart seems hard to fathom.
At a Hardee’s a few blocks north of Louisville City Hall, older men talked over coffee of how “the blacks” tried to get the flag taken down at City Hall and the cemetery – one man drives by daily to make sure they are still flying – and how such crusades would be as doomed across the state as they were here.
The minority who want the flag changed should not be allowed to dictate to the majority who want it kept, Carl Higginbotham, 63, said.
“Funds need to be cut off for that school,” he added of Ole Miss.
With sentiments like these widespread, many advocates of a change in the flag, Democrat and Republican alike, believe their only hope lies in the Legislature. They speak bluntly of the odds against them in a statewide vote and of the kind of international attention Mississippi would attract. But they also acknowledge that legislators and state officials, beyond those who staunchly defend the flag, would probably be quite happy to turn over such an incendiary topic to a referendum.
Derrick Johnson, the president of the state conference of the N.A.A.C.P., said he would actively oppose a referendum, insisting that economic pressure was the only answer. “There’s never been a change in Mississippi when it comes to racial relations without pressure,” he said.
State Representative Scott DeLano, a Republican, also said a legislative solution was the preferred way to bring about a change, but he insisted that too much provocation could jeopardize the good will required for a successful vote.
“Within Republican circles there have been discussions about this,” he said, “about how we start the discussion and how we work towards unifying the state, and what that discussion would look like.”
“I think it’s going to take some more time,” he added.
Time appears to be somewhat short. Gov. Phil Bryant, a Republican who won an overwhelming victory over token opposition on Tuesday, recently came out in support of putting the question on next year’s ballot.
“I trust the people of the state of Mississippi as they are the sovereigns of this state,” he said recently. “They should be empowered as to the decision of what their flag should look like.”
There is no making everyone happy on this, said Charlie Box of Columbus, a small city near the Alabama line that claims to have been the site of the first Confederate Memorial Day.
Mr. Box is one of two whites on the six-member City Council, which voted in July to take down state flags at city buildings. He was not a fan of this approach, believing the city should defer to the state, and found the whole issue unnecessarily divisive, he said. When he polled his mostly white district, he found many dead set against taking the flag down; one woman put his photograph up in her beauty salon afterward, identifying him as persona non grata.
But about half of those he polled told him what eventually formed the basis of his decision: that it was time to take the flag down and move on.
“I just think people are tired of hearing about this,” Mr. Box said.
The vote, in the end, was unanimous.
(Courtesy of Dixie Heritage Newsletter)

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