Rebel flags do not represent independence or America; they represent a southern tradition of slavery that the Confederates started a war to keep. And they lost. Equating Confederate flags with a 1970/80 TV show about a car named after a Confederate general and an overly-sexualized short-short wearing Daisy Duke is pretty dumb, too. I liked Dukes of Hazard, too. But I was 10 years old and didn’t make the connections that I, as an adult, clearly see now.
I’ve always been for taking down statues of Confederate leaders and soldiers and moving them to a museum so we don’t “erase” history ( which, by the way can’t be erased by moving a statue, that’s just dumb). Statues represent ideas and people we value in a society. We value the idea of slavery in 2020? Remove the statues. Rename our bases. Remove any form of idolatry to a past that stood for the enslavement of a race. When we as a society, fly a flag, erect a statue, or name streets, military bases, or buildings that usually means the ideas behind the flag or name are valued and respected in a society.
In Germany, nothing pertaining to Hitler- no statue, no road, no base, no home, nothing that would give the appearance of worship or ideas to value exists in Germany or anywhere. On purpose. Does that mean he was forgotten? Or World War II? Or the nazis? Or the Holocaust? No. We know about Hitler and what he stood for without idolization. (Funny how white supremacists fly the nazi flag along side rebel flags. Coincidence? I think not. )
Guess what, no one will forget the Civil War either. We don’t need children playing tag in a park next to a 15 ft iron statue of Robert E. Lee to remember. We don’t need new recruits training at a base named after a general from the Confederate army to remember, and we don’t need rebel flags displayed in American homes to remember.
But, redneck hillbilly white folks who probably don’t bother reading history want to keep a rebel flag flapping in the wind attached to their motorcycles, flying in their front yards , and proudly displayed on the back windows of their pick up trucks. You’re not being a rebel, you’re being a racist. You just won’t admit it. Don’t go hiding behind a guise of patriotism, no one is buying it anymore.
I believe humans can and should be better. Society needs to be better. We need to take care of all in society.
It’s time to let go of old ways that no longer work. Cleanse the house of America. Marie Kondo America. What doesn’t bring us joy needs to be folded up, thanked for its presence, and put where it belongs- in the past, in a museum, or in a bin in storage. Slavery and the southern ideas of confederacy should no longer bring anyone joy. If they do, well, that is a sure sign of racism.