By Benjamin Nickle
WRITERS GROUP

Not long ago one could find the familiar sight of the Confederate battle flag flying over Southern Utah, an object that has since completely disappeared from our skies.

As a young boy, I could find the flag flying everywhere from McDonalds to the Post Office, but now I can no longer find a flagpole in town daring to fly the once popular "Southern Cross." It’s not just the flagpoles playing hands off, many of our local schools have enacted rules barring any display of the battle flag in anyway. What an unfortunate loss for Utah’s Dixie.

Awhile back, in another place called Dixie, a barbecue restaurant owner was issued a fine of $500 per day for flying the Southern banner over his own establishment. I suppose the City Council of Lexington, South Carolina, doesn’t whistle Dixie anymore. They weren’t alone though, the Sam’s Club division of Wal-Mart soon decided to pull the man’s barbecue sauce from their shelves. And to think, the first Wal-Mart was in a Southern state.

A national effort to completely remove this unique symbol of American heritage, and speak of it solely as an emblem of hate, has been very successful. Take for instance a recent decision by the NCAA to ban states still displaying the battle flag from hosting tournaments and championship games. Have we really escalated so far out of control with the political correctness that a Confederate battle flag flying at a Civil War monument would prompt such a response? Yes, amazingly that is the gripe, the flag of Dixie dares to fly at a Civil War veterans’ monument in South Carolina. A gripe not much unlike that made over the eight sailors’ bodies exhumed from the recently raised Confederate submarine, Hunley. Thanks to complaints like that from the NAACP, these eight sailors were denied any statehouse burial service, a service any other deceased sailor could expect to receive. But these men were different. They wore gray; and so the statehouse doors were closed — the very statehouse they died to defend.

It seems that honoring your Confederate dead is about as in style as showing your Southern pride or rebel spirit. Just ask Dixie College; they changed their mascot’s attire and his flag, and removed all other rebel banners to stave off any embarrassment.

What kind of rebel goes out of his way to comply with that kind of political correctness? Not much of one if you ask me. Well, they haven’t removed the Confederate statue on campus yet, but I’m sure it won’t be long until some offended student will prompt its removal as well.

As a descendent of Southern and Confederate stock, I am saddened to see the political correctness of today defeating any display of the battle flag and likening anything with a Confederate connection to poison.

Without question, the battle flag of the South should not be displayed as an emblem of hate. After all, that was not its original intent. But it should certainly still fly as a symbol of heritage, and especially flown in a place called "Dixie."

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