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Flag July 4, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Thought this worth noting:

Lawmakers in the Mississippi House and Senate voted Sunday to remove the Confederate battle emblem from their state flag, which is the last in the nation to display the symbol. There was raucous applause in both chambers Sunday after the votes that came a day after Gov. Tate Reeves said for the first time that he would sign the bill if it obtained approval from the state’s legislators.

In some ways it is almost beyond belief that the flag of a racist secession should wind up in a state flag. That it has survived this long is remarkable and speaks of certain realities as regards the embedded nature of racism in societies and an inability to come to terms with this history.
Here’s a history of the flag. The flag in its present, soon to be jettisoned, form was first adopted in 1894.

This response sums up just how the flag in its present iteration has functioned:

For many residents of the state that has the country’s highest percentage of Black Americans, the flag was a painful reminder of the state’s history. “I would guess a lot of you don’t even see that flag in the corner right there,” said state Rep. Ed Blackmon on Saturday. “There are some of us who notice it every time we walk in here, and it’s not a good feeling.”

What can it be like for him and other people of colour in that context? Perhaps in this Summer and this decade there’s no better day to contemplate such matters.

Comments»

1. CL - July 4, 2020

“The Washington Redskins could be sporting a new team name this fall, if and when the 2020 NFL season begins.

Calls have been growing for the team to change its name in light of the recent protests against racial injustice and police brutality.”
https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/03/us/washington-redskins-team-name-nfl-spt-trnd/index.html

“John Mullaly is credited as the father of New York City parks. And he’s also credited for instigating the notorious Draft Riots of 1863 and for his racist views on Black people.
Mullaly is described as a “tireless proponent of green space” who was born in Belfast, Ireland. He was an editor of the Metropolitan Record, then the Roman Catholic Church’s official publication in the city. In it, he described the Emancipation Proclamation as “vile and infamous,” and encouraged New Yorkers to take up arms against enlisting in the Civil War. The Draft Riots lasted for three days, beginning on July 13th, 1863, eventually leading to the deaths of 19 Black men who were either beaten or lynched.”
https://gothamist.com/news/critics-want-mullally-park-bronx-renamed-citing-namesakes-racist-rhetoric

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WorldbyStorm - July 4, 2020

To me it is shocking how little under-regarded this all is. Take the name of the WR. I have no acquaintance with NFL but vaguely knew that name but not as a contemporary thing.

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Joe - July 4, 2020

“John Mullaly is credited as the father of New York City parks…”

Feck’s sake. I’ve been in NYC twice and enjoyed it. I’d heard there was a park called Mullaly Park somewhere in NY and I’d planned to go there and pay homage, for family name reasons. Now I hear he was a bleedin’ racist. Must be from the Tipp branch, we’re Rossies.

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2. rockroots - July 4, 2020

“In some ways it is almost beyond belief that the flag of a racist secession should wind up in a state flag.”

I’m sure this was seen as a token of reconciliation when these flags were first designed. An acknowledgement that the (white) people of the south were citizens of the USA by virtue of military defeat rather than by choice. In the context of the fairly harsh consequences of the civil war for the economic standing of the southern states you could see how such symbols were a useful compromise to guard against renewed separatism. You could maybe – maybe – make a comparison to the flag of an independent Irish state including the orange of British loyalism as a gesture of reconciliation. I don’t think we can retrospectively say that every use of Confederate symbols since the 1860s was intended as an endorsement of slavery, that’s a very one-dimensional reading of history. But in the modern context it seems like the correct move, albeit a purely cosmetic one.

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EWI - July 4, 2020

I’m sure this was seen as a token of reconciliation when these flags were first designed

Au contraire. After Reconstruction was stopped by subsequent US Presidents, the former slave-owning societies aggressively behan to undo Emancipation through acts like the Jim Crow laws, statue-erection and the rest of it. This reached a fever pitch around the movie BIRTH OF A NATION, which brought into being a new KKK – based on what they saw in the apparently historically inaccurate movie portrayal of the previous incarnation (worth mentioning that the NRA came into existence at the same time the new KKK was eventually outlawed).

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yourcousin - July 5, 2020

I feel like defending the NRA is even worse than defending Democrats, but here we go. The reality is that the NRA came around shortly after the conclusion of the civil war explicitly because of the civil war and the need to encourage marksmanship amongst the masses. It may seem surprising that the NRA wasn’t always batshit crazy but it’s true.

https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/radiolabmoreperfect/episodes/gun-show

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3. CL - July 4, 2020

“Many of these commemorations of those on the losing side of the Civil War are a lot newer than one might think….
Most of these monuments did not go up immediately after the war’s end in 1865….
“The vast majority of them were built between the 1890s and 1950s, which matches up exactly with the era of Jim Crow segregation.” …
The values these monuments stood for, he says, included a “glorification of the cause of the Civil War.”
history.com/news/how-the-u-s-got-so-many-confederate-monuments

“As the appeal of neo-Confederate ideology and symbols wanes among the general American public, it is becoming much more deeply entrenched among all stripes of the far right. It will be necessary for those who oppose it to recognize its various forms and presentations and how it interacts with and affirms seemingly incongruous political ideologies, often to devastating effect.”
https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/ideology/neo-confederate

The (now former) Mississippi flag dates from 1894.

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rockroots - July 4, 2020

‘appeal among the general public’

That’s it though – it’s hard to equate Lynyrd Skynyrd or the Dukes of Hazzard – or the Band singing ‘The Night they drove old Dixie down’ – with white supremacist ideology. Naivity, perhaps.

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sonofstan - July 4, 2020

It wasn’t exactly white supremacist in that the intention was not to state this explicitly or even implicitly – but it spoke of a vision of the south that completely excluded black experience. No black southern artist ever waved a confederate flag to my knowledge.

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WorldbyStorm - July 4, 2020

One bizarre usage I saw the other day was while watcing a Youtube collection of clips. They went on to U2, c. 1982/3, and who was there in a cut off denim jacket but Larry M with a vast Confederate flag on the back of it. It was so jarring given the times we’re in and them as a band etc it was hard to know what to make of it.

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rockroots - July 4, 2020

From a purely aesthetic point of view, I always thought the stars and bars was a much cooler design than the stars and stripes, which is a bit ‘busy’. But that’s neither here nor there.

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yourcousin - July 5, 2020

I must confess that for many years the theme to, “The Dukes Of Hazzard” was my ringtone. And just today I listened to Joan Baez sing, “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”. Still love that song. Hell I still love both those songs.

I still love, and relate to Don Williams, “Good Ole Boys Like Me”

I’ve articulated these inherent contradictions before a decade ago conflating a speech from the 1948 Democratic National Convention to “TNTDODD”.

And I don’t rep the confederacy at all. But all of those things are obviously tied into that.

I believe Malcolm Gladwell dug into this topic as well in a podcast he did awhile ago, details are fuzzy now because it was a red eye flight and bloody Mary’s are good.

I’ve thought a lot about these contradictions, still don’t have an answer.

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4. roddy - July 4, 2020

Here arseholes at football matches and a few Lorry drivers use it without having a clue of what its actually about.

Liked by 1 person

5. CL - July 6, 2020

“The version of culture and history that Trump defends is that of the American South and is primarily to do with contemporary relations between black and white. Most of the statues to Confederate war commanders were erected long after the war and unblushingly asserted white supremacy. Memphis, Tennessee, for instance, until recently boasted a statue erected in 1905 to the Confederate cavalry general Nathan Bedford Forrest, a plantation owner, slave trader and Confederate commander whose troops massacred some 300 black Union army soldiers who surrendered at Fort Pillow in 1864. He later became the first leader of the Ku Klux Klan. As recently as 1998, another statue to Forrest was erected in Nashville, Tennessee….

The real message those statues carried was that the south might have lost the civil war and slavery might have been abolished, but black people would still be segregated, discriminated against and denied civil rights….
The beliefs and values that mutated out of the defeated Confederacy produced a distinct variant of American nationalism. It combined with right-wing conservatism in the rest of the country to produce a winning political formula used by Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump.”-Patrick Cockburn
https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/trump-civil-war-racism-black-rights-guns-abortion-evangelical-a9599936.html

“all fascism is indigenous…
Recent histories have demonstrated that Hitler systematically relied upon American race laws in designing the Nuremberg laws, while the Third Reich also actively sought supporters in the Jim Crow South,…

Then, too, there was Father Coughlin. “I take the road of Fascism,” he said in 1936, before forming the Christian Front,” whose members referred to themselves as “brown shirts.” His virulently anti-Semitic radio program, regularly transmitting claims from the fabricated Protocols of the Elders of Zion, reached almost 30 million Americans at its height—the largest radio audience in the world at the time. ..

the president and his supporters regularly embrace traditions of American fascism….
Trump’s thundering ignorance does not mean he doesn’t understand the racist and fascist rhetoric he deploys. We need not argue that he is a mastermind plotting a fascist coup to recognize that Trump has a demonstrable sense of how white supremacism works in America, without ever having troubled to organize his thoughts, such as he has, about it…..
American fascist energies today are different from 1930s European fascism, but that doesn’t mean they’re not fascist, it means they’re not European and it’s not the 1930s….
recognizably fascistic violence is erupting in the United States under Trump….
Trump is neither aberrant nor original. Nativist reactionary populism is nothing new in America, it just never made it to the White House before.”
https://www.nybooks.com/daily/2020/06/22/american-fascism-it-has-happened-here/

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