J.D.R. Hawkins

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

Archive for the tag “USA Today”

The War against the Flag Rages On (But You Can Win!)

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Since I posted on my blog last week, numerous developments have occurred in regard to the desecration of the Confederate battle flag. Not only have several big box stores vowed to discontinue sales, but Apple has taken down some of their games as well. Since then, sales of the Confederate battle flag have doubled. TV Land has stopped showing The Dukes of Hazzard, and rumor has it that Facebook will not allow postings of the Confederate battle flag (we’ll see if this gets posted).

NASCAR C.E.O. Brian France said that the flag is an “offensive and divisive symbol.” However, he somewhat changed his stance. Instead of banning the flag from races, he has offered a flag exchange, and is asking that spectators fly the Stars and Stripes instead of the Confederate battle flag this weekend in honor of Independence Day.

Ft. Sumpter has furled its Confederate battle flags, and all Confederate flags are being removed from the entrance to Stone Mountain. Some nut is even circulating a petition to have Stone Mountain blown up.

Baltimore’s mayor and city council have taken up a proposal to remove three Confederate monuments in the city. And Memphis Mayor A.C. Wharton wants something even worse. He has announced a proposal to have the bodies of General Nathan Bedford Forrest and his wife exhumed from Forrest Park (recently renamed Health Sciences Park by Wharton and the city council), and moved to Elmwood Cemetery. He would also like for the statue of General Forrest to be removed from the park. There is no word as to where the city would move it, or if they plan on moving the body of General Forrest’s grandson, who is also buried at the park. Absurdity reigns.

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The Ku Klux Klan has stated that they will march in South Carolina later this month to protest the removal of the Confederate battle flag. In my opinion, this is derogatory to the cause. Because of them and their racist views, the Confederate battle flag has been associated with them. However, most of us know this is not the case.

It’s bad representation like this that gives fuel to the fire of anti-Confederate nonsense. In a recent poll taken by USA TODAY/Suffolk University, the country is split on whether or not to do away with the flag. According to the poll, 42% believe it represents Southern history and heritage, while 42% believe the flag is racist and should be removed. More than half of whites who were polled believe the assault in South Carolina was an isolated incident committed by one lone gunman, and one-third say “it reflects a larger problem of racism in America.” However, among African Americans, three out of four say the battle flag reflects racism.

I would say that hypersensitivity is part of the problem. Why is it that three-fourths of blacks view the flag as racist? I’m sure part of the reason is because of the way the flag, and white Southerners in general, are portrayed by the media. Here in Sioux Falls, a local television station broadcast this story:

“A Sioux Falls couple feuding with their neighbors is flying the Confederate flag, hoping to offend people they don’t like who live close by. What would you think if this was your neighbor?”

Really? I find the wording to be offensive and misleading. We don’t know what their feud is about, or if there even is a feud. Is that really why they are flying the flag, or are they just proud to be from the South? Who knows, but in this case, it’s bad reporting. The cartoon below, which recently appeared in the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, is also very offensive. Associating the Confederate battle flag with ISIS is horrendous, to say the least.

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So what happens now? Will the flag continue to vanish, whether we like it or not? Why don’t we get a say in the matter? Why haven’t these issues been put to a vote? And what will this lead to? Will all books with the flag on the cover, historical or otherwise, be banned? Will all movies be banned as well? Gone with the Wind is already under scrutiny, and you can forget about ever seeing The Birth of a Nation on TNT again.

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In honor of the Confederate battle flag and those who fought under it, I am running a contest throughout the month of July. Please send an email to jdrhawkins@gmail.com stating what the flag means to you, and you will be entered to win both of the first two books in the Renegade Series – A Beautiful Glittering Lie and A Beckoning Hellfire. It’s my intention to show the Confederate flag in a positive light and educate people about the Southern cause, so please help spread the word.

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The Craziness Continues

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I’m sure glad I bought my Confederate battle flag when I did, because now it will be increasingly difficult to find one. In the latest news, the oldest flag manufacturer in the country, Annin Flagmakers, has stated that it will cease manufacturing the flag. Not only has Walmart pulled the flag from its shelves, but now Amazon, Sears and eBay have pulled the flag from their sites as well. It’s amazing all the uproar one deranged lunatic has caused. Never mind that he killed nine innocent people and nothing’s been said about that – let’s get rid of that nasty flag instead!

“We never want to offend anyone with the products we offer,” Walmart said in a statement.

I could name many items Walmart sells that offend me, but that’s another story.

According to USA Today, “Flag makers say there isn’t much of a market anyway for the Confederate flag in the U.S.”

“It’s not something regularly produced,” says Reggie Vandenbosch, chairman of the Flag Manufacturers Association of America. “It’s not even a 10th of a percent of the overall business.”

So then what’s the big deal? If there aren’t that many flags being sold, why are they all being pulled? Is it because they supposedly might offend some people? Mass murder offends me, not the flag.

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The Flag Manufacturers Association plans to discuss continuing the manufacture of the Confederate flag. In the meantime, Valley Forge Flag, where Vandenbosch is the vice president of sales, will stop selling it.

The states of Tennessee and Virginia have banned the use of the flag on license tags. This action directly attacks the Sons of Confederate Veterans, because their banner is the Confederate battle flag. To me, this seems highly unjust. The SCV uses the flag to honor 480,000 Confederate Civil War casualties, not to stir up social unrest.

A Confederate activist group, the Virginia Flaggers, regularly displays Confederate flags on private property along major highways. The group condemned the move, stating that their displays have always occurred without incident.

In other news, the governor of Alabama removed the Confederate flag from the capitol grounds in Montgomery. There was no press conference or fanfare; no vote or ceremony. The flag was just gone this morning.

“We are facing some major issues in this state regarding the budget and other matters that we need to deal with,” said Alabama Governor Robert Bently (R). “This had the potential to become a major distraction as we go forward. I have taxes to raise, we have work to do. And it was my decision that the flag needed to come down.”

Wow. A distraction? So keeping the flag flying would prevent the governor from raising taxes, then? How does that work? So far, the governor of Mississippi has vowed to keep the flag, which is in the state flag’s canton.

I wonder what would have happened if Dylann Roof had been holding an American flag in his photo instead, or a Bible? Hypersensitivity reigns in the U.S.A. now, but instead of directing blame at the person who deserves it, the Confederate battle flag is being blamed because it supposedly stirs racial unrest. I can’t imagine how many people are offended by all of this, in that their history and heritage are being suddenly swept away. There are many people in the South who love this flag, both black and white, and I’m sure they feel personally attacked. Still others say it’s time for the flag to go, and that it’s time to move on. I believe the flag needs to be reinvented, instead of being associated with racism. Removing it from public view won’t solve any problems.

Protesters display Confederate flags United States flags from the bed of a pickup truck May 6 on a highway about 15 miles south of Miami in what organizers said was a protest to show support for Attorney General Janet Reno and respect for the flag. Organizers said they wanted to counteract demonstrations held by members of the Cuban-American community that followed the April 22 seizure of Cuban rafter Elian Gonzalez by government agents from the home of his Miami relatives. BC/CLH/

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