The Dixie Flag
The Dixie flag became a problem during the Civil Rights movement when it became associated with Southern values, or in plainer terms segregation. White folk and black folk ain’t supposed to mix, that’s how it’s always been and God intended it. It became an issue in South Carolina in 2000 I think, and the NAACP has been boycotting them or something, which as far as I can see is absolutely wrecking the South Carolinian economy . The NCAA has refused to do any sort of title games in South Carolina until the flag is taken down, too, I think.
All historical events are multicausal. The Crusades were fought for economic reasons like stopping the further over-division of nobles’ land in Europe and to provide a safe outlet for the knights who needed something to do besides turn on their lords. The Crusades are still fairly called religious wars.
Slavery was one cause of the Civil War. It was the primary cause. It had economic, social, and political reasons connected to it, but the firm belief that a black man was not equal to a white man and should not be freed from slavery was an extremely large part. Opponents of desegregation didn’t want to compete with free black labor or have their cultural hegemony disrupted, but they also honestly didn’t think blacks and whites should mix or have children. Multiple causes do not exclude others.
Now as for my portrayal of the South, you’re absolutely right that the average Northern factory worker was not much better off, and quite exploited. Did you ever see me say the North was a wonderful or fantastic place to live? It was terrible for blacks to and they suffered all kinds of racism, but they were still free to work and marry as they liked and not have their kids taken from them. If you want an actual source for the mud poking South reference, I was writing polemically which is to say intentionally provocative, but also I’m re-reading Huckleberry Finn again. Not historical non-fiction by any means, but much closer to the truth than the slave-less plantation aristocracy that jumps to mind when people think of the South. Most people in the South were poor white trash. It was a poor place, except where it was concentrated in the hands of a few. Streets weren’t paved and there wasn’t much entertainment provided. When I use the phrase, it has rhetorical explanations, but it’s also much closer to reality than the idea most Southern pride people seem to have of their own past.
As for the battle flag, you’re absolutely right about that. It does exist and was used by the Army of Northern Virginia throughout the war. It also made its way into the national flags that followed the Star & Bars, and was the basis of the Second Confederate Navy Jack. I knew all this beforehand, but my original article was twice as long as the one you read, and the final version omitted this leading to the idea that I claimed the design was invented post-war. That’s entirely our fault at the newspaper.
However, what I meant was that the rectangular flag with the dark blue wasn’t flown in the war. It was a hybrid of that particular battle flag in color and the navy flag in dimension. The reason for this, in my I’ll be generous and say hypothesis, is that it is easily the best looking flag the Confederates came up with in the entirety of their government. The Stars & Bars is nice, but the rest were damn ugly, and the rejected ones weren’t worth pissing on. But the Confederate flag is aesthetically appealing, and the design that stretches the spacing of the cross and stars and has the strong blue is the most so.
I could be wrong about whether a rectangular one of that color, design, and dimension was ever flown during the war, but the fundamental idea I meant is still valid. The preeminent flag after the war was no the preeminent one during the war.
Don’t e-mail me again, please, but if you do, for the love of God take the extra spaces out between all your lines.