Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Flag Hags


From the "Not the Least Bit Surprising" file, there's this:

(ABC: Giant Confederate Flag to Fly Over Tampa/6.2.08)

Gotta love Florida.

Am I the only one who thinks that maybe if the deep South had simply been allowed to successfully secede from the Union, we might be in much better shape these days? What the hell would we have lost: Alabama? Mississippi? Miami? NASCAR? Jesus? Insane apocalyptic ramblings? State and federal laws based on 2,000 year old superstition? Incest? Billy Ray Cyrus?

Does that really sound so bad?

If "Dixie" had gone its own way, within a hundred years the place probably would've looked a lot like the country depicted in Idiocracy.

By the way, do yourself a favor and read the indignant comments after the story above, and be impressed by the rise of internet access in America's trailer parks.

(Of course I'm joking about most of this. Still, countdown to comments from people calling me an "ignorant" asshole in 3... 2... 1...)

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

You'd be surprised how many of these flags you see in Michigan. I felt the need to get an anti-Confederate flag bumper sticker when I was 17 to do my part to irritate them.
My wish used to be that we had let them secede, waited about 60 years, and then nuked them.

I'm slightly more hostile.

largo said...

Hey, I'm in.

Anonymous said...

I walked into a bar a few months ago with my sister and a friend and as we were getting our ids checked I looked up and realized that the upper portions of the walls were covered with Confederate flags. It was mighty uncomfortable to have to wait for them to finish looking at my friend's id to turn around and leave because the guy checking was blocking the door.

I can't say I understand it because last I checked, Pennsylvania never wanted to secede.

Chez said...

Once again, a bit of a joke. Dumbshits, unfortunately, know no boundaries within this fine country of ours.

Lily's Mommy said...

I live in VA, and was at a festival in a smaller town last Saturday. I got to the "crafts" section and could not believe the amount of confederate flags, in various forms, for sale. They were parked right next to the Jesus Saves t-shirts. So he saves t-shirts?

Anyway, needlepoint confederate flags are creepy. I always picture those flags owned by angry young rednecks. It's disturbing to think of them being made by grannies. But I guess the new bigots had to come from somewhere.

Ned Hades said...

I live in Michigan too, and the Confederate flags always give me pause. I once made the mistake of talking to a young couple that had two such flags on their vehicle. Of course, just to be an ass I said, "You know they lost, right?" It wasn't well received.

To be fair, let me say that most of the Southerners I have met are some of the nicest people around. Still, seeing a burning cross in the field opposite your hotel while traveling in Mississippi really makes you wonder if you should've just stopped at one glass of moonshine. Or should just get the Hell out of town.

Deacon Blue said...

You ignorant asshole. Ok, not really.

However, you should know that you wouldn't have gotten rid of Jesus THAT easily. J.C. came over on the Mayflower, figuratively and metaphorically speaking. It's possible you might have staved off Pentacostal churches and a few others, though, but losing the South.

However, where would we have put Disneyworld? And would we have fried chicken up North as good as we have today if not for the South? And hey, Jimmy Carter wasn't a bad southern import...

Michael J. West said...

Speaking of "not the least bit surprising," when I first saw this story it simply said "Florida to make giant confederate flag." How did I know, instantly, that it was in Tampa Bay?

Stephen said...

If you're ever in Richmond and happen to be taking a tour of the Confederate White House, and by chance you're stoned out of your gourd, don't start cracking jokes about Stonewall Jackson. I hear the tour guide and the rather large 'john deere chapeaued' visitor on tour with you might not like it.

I'm just sayin...

Jubilant Echo was here said...

Ignorant asshole. However, I couldn't agree more.

Erin MacKay said...

I'm from the South; I've lived in the South all my life; and there's a lot to love about the South.

You are, however, spot on.

Rest assured that some of us are working from the inside in small, hard-to-capture cells of educated, culturally aware rationalists (who also understand that NASCAR is the dumbest activity ever to be hung with the moniker of "sport").

Part of our mission is to help our "Fergit, hell" compatriots come to terms with the fact not only that their great-granddaddies lost, but that they were wrong.

Someday...

P.S. Does anybody else see the irony in the fact that the people who celebrate the Confederate flag and Southern secession also tend to be the blind, right-wing "love it or leave it," patriots? Or is it just me?

Tod said...

As a Southerner, it disturbs me to think of the perversion of the Confederate Flag by the ignorant fucks that usually have them on their beat up piece of shit trucks. When the south seceded from the union, it was all about the rights of states to determine their own destiny, and not be bullied by the all consuming power of the federal government. Most people don't understand that the Emancipation Proclamation never freed the slaves in the Union States, only the Confederate states. Slavery was already a dying thing by the time the civil war came along, but it became the rallying point once Abraham Lincoln "freed" the slaves, even though at the time he had no control over the states in which he freed them. Slavery has become the core issue of the civil war in modern times, but at the time it was all about the fact that most of the Southern states felt that our government went wrong when it decided to drop the articles of confederation in favor of a stronger federal system. When I see the Confederate Flag, this is what I try and think of. It was the last gasp of an agrarian society being overwhelmed by an industrial society. Am I sad the South lost? No, it was inevitable. I am glad the United States of America are still united. What saddens me is that racial hatred still exists, but it exists everywhere, not just in the south.

Janean said...

I'm a South Carolinian, and I hold on to the (probably false) hope that once all the old people die off in the south there will be just enough rational people here to outnumber the idiots. The confederate flag hasn't actually been used as a big campaign issue in elections in several years (not in my local area anyway), so that gives me hope that things are getting better.

But then I hear about groups like Christian Exodus. Have you ever heard of them?

As if we don't have enough of these dumb asses here already, some rabid christians from OTHER states are planning to relocate enough people here to try and take over state government and eventually secede. I'm not joking unfortunately.

I don't think they'll be successful of course, but it is depressing to know that not only do we have too much stupidity here already, it seems that all the worst nut cases from other parts of the country are planning to move here. Lovely.

If enough of these people move here, Florida won't even be able to compete with SC. We will be the world champions of dumbassery, and I will have to finally give up and move.

Heather said...

Nicely said, Tod. There were varying reasons that the South decided that they wanted out. However, Chez, you're right too. I lived in Florida for a year (closer to the Georgia end) and was horrified daily by the things I encountered and experienced there. From the woman who asked what chemicals I used to make my hair so straight because she for some reason assumed I was a "mulatta" (No, I'm not joking, and for the record I'm Portuguese); to the grandmother assailing her 6 year old granddaughter for simply picking up an African American Barbie from the shelf in an effort to tell her mother what she wanted ("You're a WHITE girl. You need a WHITE doll.") I was so, so glad to finally move!

The comments on that story aren't entirely surprising, though even I was pretty shocked by one commenter's blatant defense of slavery. Sometimes, you wish you could just reach through the screen and bitch slap people.

auntiechristus said...

If the South had successfully seceded all the North would have gained is a longer border to protect itself against illegal immigration - that and a contiguous third-world vacation paradise.

mike said...

Erin mentioned that the people waving the Confederate flag also tend to be the right-wing "love it or leave it" patriots -

It's funny. I lived outside of Atlanta from 1999-2004, and the single biggest noticeable impact of 9/11 in my day to day life was that the rednecks switched from the Stars and Bars to the Stars and Stripes.

Harris said...

Lincoln was no abolitionist. He supported sending blacks back to Africa and was perfectly willing to allow slavery to exist so long as it didn't spread.

My in-laws live in North Carolina. I used to live in Alabama and there are some people there whom I love and respect. Nonetheless, and despite all of Tod's high-minded philosophical sheen, boil it down and half the country went to war to defend the practice of chattel slavery. Whatever the other reasons behind the War of Northern Aggression, as I've heard it called, I bet the hillbillies waving that flag in 2008 are less interested in asserting a trenchant point about states' rights and the abuse of federal power than in intimidating those who "ain't like us."

Vermillion said...

Well, I am quite divided on the issue. On one hand, I am a Southern African-American born and raised, and there is still some deeply-felt hostility against those who would rub a symbol of my ancestors' oppression and degradation in my face.

On the other hand, I like not having my neck stretched.

It is a conundrum.

Still, I have to agree, if the South had seceded, things might have ended up somewhat better off. Then again, I wouldn't have access to Chick-Fil-A sandwiches, which is about the only thing (that, and no money) that keeps me down here in Georgia.

The only folks that would be offended by this are the ones that know they deserve it.

dick_gozinia said...

I'm a firm believer that a passport should be required anywhere south of I-80.

Unfortunately, confederate flag-wavers are in every state. We have them here in Chicago-land, NW Indiana is a good ole boy hotbed (except for Gary). There was a huge deal out here about two rival schools (Thornton Fractional North & South) because South was the Rebels and actually flew a pseudo-confederate flag until the mid 90s. To this day, there are still people that live in that South Chicago suburb that are royally pissed that the flag was changed. TF North, by the way, was the Meteors.

Ally said...

Aww, c'mon Chez. If you would've lost the south, then you would've lost Robert Johnson, REM, Johnny Cash, Elvis, for chrissakes .... all musicians that changed our nation and society, for that matter.

And, as much as I totally get ya, I have to point out - there are retards all over the nation. Sure, we export some of ours, but there's plenty of dumbshit to go around. Hollywood and Washingtonl are both overflowing with retardation, and they're nowhere near the South.

Hell, the food alone is reason enough to keep the South. You ever had a crawfish po'boy, my friend? Ok then, shuttit.



(he, just kidding. Had to give you shit for baggin on my territory, cher)

Glenn said...

a modest proposal Chez. long overdue. my inlaws, rabid right wingnuts, all moved from NJ to GA and NC. they really shouldn't be permitted to interact with people who believe in democracy, the rule of law, and healthy food choice.

Erica Dee said...

Sorry to bust your ignorant asshole bubble (aren't we all?) but I sir live five hours NORTH of you and have seen more Nascar lovin' confederate flag flying gun waving WWJD hicks than I think I ever have (since moving back from NYC in '07). Unfortunately they do reside in NY. I fear that if they sneeze on me I might catch their ignorance. And these ones breed like rabbits.

Anonymous said...

Is there really any difference between the rebel flag and a Nazi flag? They both symbolize the same racist ideology and are both emblems of America's (and because the Confederacy lost that makes it politically NOT America - deal with it!) enemies and as such flying them over any state capitol should be seen as treasonous.

Just my thoughts.

Nathan said...

Let me get this straight...you've got a problem with folks celebrating their treasonous ancestors?

figment said...

The best part a/b this commentary is, hands-down, Vermillion. All other points taken, but I moved from NC to Chicago about 5 yrs ago, and the thing I still miss the most about the south is that blessed Chick-Fil-A! Damn. I've resorted to McD's poor man's excuse for a substitute, "the southern style chicken sandwich." It's not half bad when you're as desperate as me, but, do yourself a flavor favor and stay where the gettin's good.

Anonymous said...

I live in a small city in Ontario, Canada and there is a guy who drives his crappy pickup truck by my restaurant all the time and he has a giant confederate flag waving in the back. Now I ask you, what can be more pathetic than some redneck Canadian flying a confederate flag?

Zanna

causaubon said...

Zanna- which small city in Ontario?

i was born and raised in the Toronto - Hamilton corridor, but i have travelled very extensively throughout Ontario, and am ashamed to say that these flags pop up with alarming regularity. especially in the (and i know that i'll get my head bitten off for saying this) more blue-collar areas.

my grandparents live in Burlington and one of their neighbours not only has a Stars-and-Bars bumper sticker, but he also breeds and trains some specialised breed of raccoon hunting dog (some type of hound maybe?) and participates in competitive raccoon hunts, which he uses as an excuse to justify why he has bumper stickers on his pick-up that prominently (as in, bold letters, twice as big as the rest of the letters on the sticker) feature the words coon and hunt in various combinations.

Anonymous said...

As a materialist, I believe that each unique individual is the result of a specific egg being fertilized by a specific sperm. Alter any factor so to prevent a copulation bringing those two together, and that individual is not born.

Prevent the Civil War. Hundreds of thousand who died would have lived. A smaller number of people who lived would have died (an ill-tempered varmint who died at Gettysburg, for example, living long enough to murder his neighbor in Biloxi who, in our world, survived the war and fathered ten children and today has thousands of descendants.)

It's the time travel paradox, writ large. Subtract any major historical event and, within a couple of generations, a vast population has been unborn and a different population exists- much the same DNA, but distributed far differently. 150 years on, and hardly a single person, if any at all, would exist in both time-lines.

Thus all speculation about might-have-beens and should-have-dones is vain. Not only would the course of the alternate past that would have followed from the change be as unpredictable as our own future (a Confederacy armed with modern weapons and allied against the Union with some 20th Century European dictatorship, for example), but had history taken another course none of us would be here discussing this! If you want your life to have been, you are stuck with history as it happened. Thus all who value their existence, north or south, benefited from the Civil War and its outcome.

As for the flags, let the peckerwoods have them. It's as reliable a warning as a snake's rattle.

Hardeep said...

I have a similar story Zanna. I am originally from Calgary AB, and there is a guy who lived near me who actually had a decent sized confederate flag flying on a pole in his backyard. I found it pretty hard to believe the first time I saw it...

Henry said...

Yeah, and we in the Pacific NW wouldn't mind our own country either. Go Cascadia!

Erica Dee said...

http://blog.syracuse.com/video/2008/06/teen_closeup_im_going_to_be_a.html

I told you they procreate like rabbits...

Anonymous said...

Anyone take a look at the comments on that actual article. Quite entertaining.

Draeton said...

at the time it was all about the fact that most of the Southern states felt that our government went wrong when it decided to drop the articles of confederation in favor of a stronger federal system.

Excusez-moi? The Articles of Confederation were superseded by the Constitution in 1788. The Civil War was fought over the right to own slaves. The "South" had two objections to the Union: the election of a resolutely abolitionist President Lincoln, and the Republican opposition to spreading slavery to US territories.

More learning, please.

Emily said...

I always get embarrassed when my family says “coon” as in “raccoon” not “racist term for black people.” For example, we were at Whataburger one night when the electricity went out on our trailer because we lived out in the woods and the electric company didn’t maintain the lines properly (think I’m kidding, fuck no, thank God and baby Jesus for the fact that we now have a fireplace and a generator powerful enough to run our house, try living without running water for a week cause you gotta have a well- and yes, I have done homework by candlelight), and my dad went “Look at that coon in the garbage can!” I was like WTF and looked, and it was a raccoon family, cutest thing I have ever seen. I love my family more than I love pork rinds, but they just don’t got no sense.

Ps. My own living hell would be living in New York for the rest of my life and my kids having northern accents, not saying that I hate northerner’s, just saying that I love my accent. Oh, and an urban myth down here in Texas is that in restaurants up north they don’t put ice in their tea. I know this is dumb to ask, but is this true? Please don’t laugh, I really want to know if this is a common practice. Yes I am that dumb.

PPs. I wipe my ass with GD Confederate flags.

Jayne said...

As in iced tea? Because if you just ask for tea you will get hot tea (we're still a bit British up here.) But yes, darlin', we use ice. Not sure where that one came from. But if you do order our iced tea, it's not likely to be sweetened. You have to do that yourself with the little packets on the table, and it will never be as sweet as you are used to.

Anonymous said...

@dick_gozinia

I was born and raised in NW Indiana, and I've actually never seen a Confederate flag, and my (rather large) town has been under Democratic control for years. We do occasionally have a Klan rally, but those appear more and more to be populated by visiting members, while most of our own population tries to pretend they're not there at all. Apparently all this time I've been living in a tiny liberal bubble in a horribly racist area .... my whole worldview has been shaken.

@emily

We do put ice ICED tea, but not in hot tea. Do you not drink hot tea at all in the South?

Anonymous said...

As a resident of the Tampa Bay area (and a transplanted NY'er), I feel the need to point out that these rebel flag yahoos are not in my area. They are inland, which is where we like to keep most of our idiots.

Emily said...

Thank you to all that have answered my question. No, I do not drink hot tea. I have some friends that are a little bit more “artsy” that drink hot tea, so I know it is available to the public, but I don’t do it. Hot tea is gross and taste like hot nasty. Sorry if I offended all of the hot tea drinkers out there, but that is how it goes. Oh, and this little conspiracy theory all started at a baseball game, and it went a little something like this:

-“Hey ya’ll know that they don’t put ice in their tea up north?”
-“NO, you’ve got to be kidding me? What do you just have to carry around a bag of ice or something?”
-“Yeah, that’s what I heard, you get it hot.”
-“Hot tea, that’s crazy, why don’t they put ice in it to make it cold?”
-“Crazy northerners.”

Think I am kidding, I am not. This memory was imbedded in my mind since then, and I have finally been able to have a forum in which to ask this question.

Jayne said...

ok, you've inspired me, emily. look for a new Love Bites post on tea tonight... :)

Anonymous said...

Crazy Northerners. Don't get me started on Texas. I have never been there, but a branch of our company is in Dallas, and sometimes I get the feeling these people are putting something stronger in their tea than ice. Nicest people in the world but you cannot get them off of the phone! Damn, I got work to do! New Yorkers and Texans should not be allowed to work together.

Anywhoo. I am seriously rethinking any possibility of retiring to the Tampa area, we we have vacationed several times. Between this foolishness and the stories on Quizlaw, I am scared.

Janean said...

It's SWEET tea that you can't find outside the south, not iced tea.

namron said...

Tod, you are misinformed if you believe secession was not motivated by slavery. Southern states believed -- correctly -- that the Constitution guaranteed the right to own slaves. They believed that the constitutional protection of slavery could not be limited to just the states in which slavery existed at the adoption of the Constitution. Slavery could exist in any territory, and the trans- Mississippi west was awfully inviting to Southern expansionists. Secession was the attempt to guarantee Southern domination of the West and preserve slavery for the development of the West. Southern slave owners saw the West as both agricultural and as a source of mining wealth. Both of those endeavors, in the 19th century, required large amounts of cheap labor. The North entered the War without any concensus on slavery, but wholly united on the issue of preservation of the Union. The abolition of human chatel slavery evolved as the North's moral justification for the War. The South embraced the defense of slavery from the very beginning.

There is only one real motive for use and display of the Confederate flag more than 140 years after the end of the War. That motivation is undoubtedly racism. Whites at the --ahem--- "lower end" of the socio-economic continuum believe that the Civil Rights movement unfairly benefitted African Americans at the expense of whites. Other than the Klan, Confederate flag display does not re-appear prominently in the South until the 1950's. Today, it seems to enjoy a contrarian cache' among young white males of all locations. Hell, I even seen the flag decals on vehicles with Canadian tags.

bdh0008 said...

Speaking as someone who was born in the "Heart of Dixie," has lived in the South most of my life AND lived in South Florida (two totally different worlds) for four years ... I can honestly say, anything south of Tallahassee, Florida should NOT be considered to be part of the "deep South," including, and above all, Miami.

As for rednecks, the South does not have the corner on that market. They can be found in northern and western states as well.

And, last but definitely not least, as for racism and bigotry, it exists in the North as well -- it's just that people in the South are more honest about it.

Sweet tea, Blue Plate mayonnaise, Yellow Label syrup, good homecooking and Southern hospitality, however -- those are real and tangible parts of the South.

Anonymous said...

"How did I know, instantly, that it was in Tampa Bay?" Tampa Bay is a body of water; Tampa (the city) has not been called Tampa Bay since prior to 1850. The flag isn't even in the Tampa city limits, it is in a rural area to the east - even Stephen Colbert referred to Tampa as its location.

I disagree with the flying of the flag other than in a historical context, but I have learned an ugly lesson - I will never be treated fairly because of where I was born and my accent.