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Thursday, May 08, 2003  

Neo-Confederates and the 'New South' •New Georgia flag emerges

It seems to be a fait accompli. The Confederate emblem as part of Georgia's flag may be history.

Gov. Sonny Perdue signs legislation Thursday establishing a new state flag for Georgia for the second time in three years.

One of the new banners also may be unfurled and raised at the 10 a.m. bill-signing ceremony, Perdue spokeswoman Kim King said. But she said flagmakers were still at work Wednesday.

Scotty from the blog, Halfass, provides a capsule history of the controversy.

For those just tuning in, the issue is that Georgia legislators, in an effort to thumb their noses at forced integration and civil rights, voted (in 1956) to affix the confederate battle flag (the famous stars 'n' bars a la the General Lee or Lynard Skynard) to the Georgia State Flag. In 1996 (I think), our then-governor made some back-alley political deals and changed the flag to a horrible mockery of a flag that looks like a badly-designed, circa-1993 web page. In the redesign, the confederate battle flag was moved to a tiny icon along with several other flags which have flown over Georgia. He did this without any voting on the issue. . . .

Of course this pissed off the rednecks and even a lot of people like me, who thought it was a pretty shady way to handle the situation. Suddenly, a lot of confederate heritage and racist groups (mind you, I did not say confederate heritage groups are racist, so don't email me) had a lot of grist for their "Fire-Me-Up" mills. And despite political predictions to the contrary, the flag issue cost our governor in his bid for re-election. The man who defeated him promised a referendum to let the people decide the flag issue.

Basically, our governor has kept his word in every sense of the word as far as politicians go (much like the slippery "sexual relations" of Bill Clinton). He has brought a vote to the people, just as he promised he would. He never said that the rebel battle flag was going to be an option. It's just too classic. Stay tuned for the rebel revolt...

The only way the Confederate battle emblem is likely to appear again on a Georgia flag is if voters select the current state flag, which has a small version of it, in the referendum instead of the proposed flag. That is not apt to happen.

•"Gods and Generals" comes to DVD

The movie neo-Confederates love more than grits with bacon drippings is coming to a Blockbuster near Ricky West.

Warner Home Video July 15 will release the Civil War epic "Gods and Generals" on home video.

. . .DVD extras will include a filmed introduction by Ted Turner, three documentary featurettes, music videos and audio commentary with director Ron Maxwell and historians. The disc is also DVD-ROM-enabled.

"Gods and Generals" stars Robert Duvall, Jeff Daniels and Stephan Lang, and made $12.9 million in theaters.

G&G so fared so poorly with critics and moviegoers the director has thrown tantrums excorciating Yankees and do-gooders for ruining him.

Ed Sebesta of The Temple of Democrarcy reminds us Maxwell has long been a neo-Confederate.

The worst thing about "Gods and Generals" is that for the great majority of the public it convinces them that the Civil War is one of the more boring things of the 19th century and better left to Civil War buffs. The Washington Post points out that it is a "Confederate Honor Restoration Project" which is not so surprising since it is produced by Neo-Confederate Ron Maxwell. I detail his role in the Neo-Confederate anti-Hispanic movement in an article published in Touchstone

By the way, one can purchase "Amistad" for less and learn something real about American history.

•A changed GOP in the South?

Dave Niewert of Orcinus believes the GOP may be giving up its bigoted ways in the South to become more mainstream, at least superficially.

This shift in GOP strategy is in most regards a good thing; the more that extremist positions are marginalized within the GOP -- which has unfortunately tended to pander to such voting blocs in the recent past -- the more they are marginalized in the population at large. But so far there is no indication that recent Republican attempts to cast off their Cro-Magnon image and assert their "inclusiveness" are anything more than cosmetic; witness the ongoing defense of Santorum, or the fact that Lott maintains considerable power in the Senate as chair of the Senate Rules and Administration Committee.

An examination of South Carolina politics does not find a shift away from the Southern strategy. The GOP seems as racist and otherwise reactionary as ever. Their dance with the neo-Confederates has not been interrupted. Meanwhile, the Democrats still fail to take the opposition on as strongly as they should. Read about it at Silver Rights.

3:23 AM