Assorted neural firing patterns converted into words for no specific purpose other than for mental tinkering and self expression.
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Stars and Bars
The First National off my front porch this afternoon. Fresh out of its plastic package.
In December, Jennifer gave me a Confederate Flag as part of my Christmas presents. She loves giving people lots of little gifts. It is more fun for her than big gifts. This was a real treat, I have to admit. A First National Flag. So festive and hopeful, before all the battles and defeats and deaths.
Some might think it racially prejudiced of me to fly these flags. The Stars and Bars is certainly not the same thing as the Confederate Battle Flag but, of course, that is a rather lost distinction these days. It is prejudiced by association, I suppose. But the funny thing is is that these people who might think me racially prejudiced with my flashy symbolism are of themselves only expressing a prejudice against me. I am no racist, though I harbor many cultural prejudices, as do we all.
My g-g-great-grandfather who fought for the Old South could not read nor write was probably a bigot and completely racist. Am I, too, guilty by association? Is there no space for celebration of the Confederacy left without racism? There is no place for his bravery, his humanity trapped within the large political and cultural forces of the day, to be recognized in the freedom of flying flags? Perhaps not for most but there is in me.
So the irony is the prejudiced ones are the ones dictating what this flag can mean. Of course, we can't speak of it from this perspective. It is a trashy, unenlightened perspective. Race overides every other possible way of looking at my ancestor. That is the prevailing prejudice, the essential theft of southern symbolism by right-wing extremists and left-wing interpretations of southern sins.