Quote of the Day:
“I have heard something said about allegiance to the South. I know no South, no North, no East, no West, to which I owe any allegiance.” –Henry Clay
TB sees where those against Confederate symbolism on Mississippi’s state flag (and other states) are coming from. It’s obvious really. The Civil War was fought by poor whites so rich whites could keep their slaves. Anyone with enslaved ancestors could never embrace such a flag as a symbol for their homeland and they must never feel truly a valued citizen of such a place. The South lost the war, in part, because of constant problems with desertion in the ranks by soldiers who knew their cause was not only lost, but was also complete bullshit. So I also see where a lot of folks like me with white ancestors who fought in the Civil War would just as soon see the relics left to museums and dime store novels.
On the other hand, I once looked at the flag like a lot of current non-racist Confederate flag supporting people. That is, I revered selectively edited Southern history and mythology, and most of all, I loved the tradition aspect–the show of defiance against an ever-expanding federal government and corporate economic stranglehold over lands once settled by rugged individualists beholden to no one. I also get that white southerners feel unfairly labeled as racist for having absolutely natural feelings of kinship to their ancestors.
Personally, I’ve evolved on the subject over the years. My position now is that a flag should be a source of pride to all who live under it–black, white, and even the surely mystified Asian, Latino and Yankee populations in the South. I also don’t want to be aligned with the Dylan Roofs of the world nor the unbelievably hateful white supremacists filling up the comment section of every news piece on the subject. My preference would be that everyone would come around to my way of thinking and we’d do away with Confederat-y flags and everything else relating to the Old South.
Sadly, and in spite of the modern political system’s insistence upon it, the idea that one point of view must prevail and the other must be ground into dust is both ignorant an impractical.
So what are we left with?
But how to reconcile such diametrically opposed positions? I cleared my mind and thought about this and nothing but this for quite awhile yesterday.
After about ten seconds I had my EUREKA! moment.
The answer is in plain sight to anyone with HBO.
You see I just finished binging all five seasons of Game of Thrones.
Stop right there. I know you are hoping I’m going to suggest beheadings, fiery sacrifices, sodomy and dragons. No, I’m not going there at all.
It’s a line that appears in most every episode that is inspiring me to propose this compromise. A line that in many ways makes no sense, much like the flag debate. It’s a line that assumes we the viewers know much more about the history of Westoros than we do. Much. Like. The. Flag Debate.
Here it is: “the old gods and the new.”
Get it? On Game of Thrones, everyone is always praying to the “old gods and the new”, whoever the hell they may be. It’s like the 7 Kingdoms’ way of letting bygones be bygones. You worship the meaningless symbol you want and I’ll pay homage to the vitally important invisible family of nutcase immortals that I want.
What I gotta draw you a picture?
TWO Flags. The old one and a new one. You fly whichever one makes you happy at your home, business, or in the glass above the bed of your F-150. Two flags in front of the Capitol–it’ll look nice and symmetrical. Two flags in courthouses where witnesses will be required to give an oath to tell the truth before the “Old Flag and the New.” Two flags on police cars–imagine the economic benefits to the local decal industry? Two flags at the high school football game, coming down Main Street at the Christmas Parade, waving in front of the Ten Commandments at your local car wash.
And the best thing of all? Mississippi would be FIRST in something for once. Imagine the possibilities! Other states and nations would be tripping all over themselves to follow our lead because if there is one thing the modern world has taught us it’s that MORE is BETTER.
You think I’m kidding about all this?
Well, I thought it was a funny idea when it first came to me, but the more I think it over….I’m damn serious about it and I hope you’ll consider the merits of my little proposal. Even if you don’t have HBO.