The South Carolina Statehouse
In the third of three required votes, the state senate of South Carolina has decided 36-3 to take down the Confederate battle flag and one or two cases of cold beer. The three votes against came from Senate Majority Leader Harvey S. Peeler, Jr., Lee Bright, and Daniel B. Verdin III, with Deke the smell-hound abstaining. Senator Verdin called for a Confederate memorial holiday on which the flag could be flown, and Senator Peeler complained that “we won’t change history by removing the flag.” Senator Bright, on the other hand, felt that the problem with taking down the Confederate flag was that it would not stop gay marriage:
“This nation was founded on Judeo-Christain principles and they are under assault by men in black robes who are not elected by you…What I would like to see is these folks that are working in the positions that are doing …marriage certificates do not have to betray their faith or compromise their faith and in order to subject [themselves] to the tyranny of five… Our governor called us in to deal with the flag that sits out front. Let’s deal with the national sin that we face today. We talk about abortion, but this gay marriage thing I believe we will be one nation gone under, like President Reagan said.”
The senator’s speech concluded when the firecracker he was holding went off.
Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Carolina burned last night.
Seven black churches in the South have burned down over the last ten days, although officials in Greeleyville, SC say that the fire at Mount Zion AME last night was probably accidental. It burned down during a storm, and “the accidental burning of churches is not uncommon across the US.” That’s one for Fodor’s. It seems possible that various white people in South Carolina, angry their legislature would have the audacity to take down a flag in response to the murder of nine black people, have set things right by terrorizing more black people. It’s a confident moral system that turns to arson. There’s no money in it. The people who do such things must be inordinately convinced of their own rightness.
I guarantee you this home has called 911, probably on the Fourth of July.
The question of what to do with the Confederate battle flag is easy to answer: hang it in your frat house window instead of a curtain. Or adhere it to the back of your truck. You can even wear it on a shirt while your Big & Rich shirt is in the wash. These uses of the Confederate flag occur in different contexts and reflect its diverse meanings, but they all send the same essential message: I am white. Over at the Atlantic, Yoni Appelbaum reflects on the problem with having a flag of whiteness, first designed by the losing side in a war over slavery and reinvigorated in the backlash against desegregation. Meanwhile, in the part of America that does not read the Atlantic, Republican candidates for president are conspicuously mum.