I heard they wouldn’t let the guy that played on Dukes of Hazard drive in the Nascar “thingy” because he had a Confederate Flag on top of his truck! That brought into mind an article from the NYT book review of April 3, 2005, by Diane McWhorter, of “The Confederate Battle Flag” by John Coski.
Ms. McWhorter says “Throughout its history of controversy, one thing the Confederate Battle Flag has consistently stood for is the tendency of human beings to muddle their best instincts and their worst. As the banner of southern nationalism, the Star-Spangled Cross is an emblem of heroic self-determination, of the Confederacy’s rebellion against federal ‘opression’. But the ideal that urged the secessionists on to their blood-drenched sacrifice was the freedom to subject a race of people into enslavement”.
She points out the the Battle flag is still seen as a standard in the eternal struggle between tradition and change, that today looks like a culture war. (Dukes of Hazard?).
In his book, Coski, historian at the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, does bring out many interesting things about the Battle Flag, including the fact that Marines raised it on Okinawa in WWII, (as well as the U.S. flag).
Coski goes on: “Fighting over the spoils of a tattered cloth is another example of ordinary people taking passionate political stands that distract them from the likelier source of their distress, the widening division, not between whites and blacks but between have-mores and have-lesses”.