Last night’s Democrat debate in Orangeburg, South Carolina revealed another weak stab against the Racism that still bleeds in the Deep South — and in urban cores across America — when Senator Barack Obama confirmed, when asked, that the Confederate Flag belonged in a museum and not flying above state buildings.
I ask you: Is the Confederate Flag a symbol of Racism in America, or is it merely a historical artifact that honors the struggle between being and bondage? This Confederate Battle Flag — owned by Confederate General JEB Stuart — recently sold at auction for $956,000.00 USD:
There are those in the South who argue Size Matters: The Confederate Battle Flag is a square shape while the Confederate “Rebel Flag” — as seen below and made popular in current mainstream culture — is rectangular and non-authentic:
I ask you: Does Semiotic Matter? Is it the size of the flag Confederate flag that matters, or is what the flag Semiotically reflects in the eye what matters — without concern for size or shape or bearing? Does it matter that these Confederate images have a deep historical Semiotic intent that always gouges pain in the view of human culture and caring?
The Rebel Flag was a prominent cast member in the Southern television life of The Dukes of Hazard on the mainstream CBS network for six years from 1979-1985:
Today you can buy on the internet the Confederate flag celebrated in clothing, toys and jewelry:
Are these Confederate Rebel Replicas revolting or quaint?
Do these Rebel Replicas honor history and culture or do they provide an excuse for the continuation of Racism under the guise of a free market economy? Should the Confederate Flag — both the Battle and Rebel versions — be banned from ever flying over a state or federal building?
Should the sale of the Confederate Flag — in any form — be banned as a Racist Semiotic that only creates cruelty, promotes Race Baiting, and reminds us of our sad and bloody history in the eradication of formalized slavery in America?
I wonder if most people who wear or display Confederate flags are hoping for the Old South to rise again or if they are trying to be rebellious?
I always view the display of the Confederate flag in a negative way because I always associate it with the horrors of slavery and racism.
I think if you decide to wear the Rebel flag you are promoting the time and effect of its use in a specific historical context. You want to return to the days of slavery and the romance of the Old South.
I, too, have a similar negative reaction to seeing those colors placed together in the pattern of the Rebel cause. I have the same nausea when I look at KKK paraphernalia and other hate group minorities finding purchase on the web.
Looks like racist images to me. Why is this so popular?
It seems to be popular in the Old South states, arin. You don’t see many Confederate Flags being worn or flown on the East Coast or West Coast or even in the Midwest.
Their feelings are still hurting from the civil war? Is that why they wear these things?
That’s a good question, arin, and I don’t know the answer. I wonder if it restores a sense of pride in the old life when the South was the center of cotton production and agriculture?
The south sure seems to hang on to the old times. I wonder why KKK hats aren’t as popular as the flag clothes.
I wonder if — at its most general and basic and simplistic core — it is because the KKK’s business was Whites killing Blacks, while the Confederacy was about Whites killing Whites to free Blacks.
As an outsider looking in, do you think this is part of the Katrina legacy?
I don’t think this is Katrina related in that phrase “The South Shall Rise Again” has been heard down south since the end of the Civil War on April 9, 1865.
I don’t think the south ever got over the humiliation of losing the Civil War and these Confederate clothes and celebrations are one way of showing they won’t be controlled by the winning majority.
Is there any sort of similar tasteles rebellion in the UK?
I live in North Carolina, and I grew up in places where everyone celebrated the Rebel flag. I never really agreed with it, but I think the reaction in a lot of places is an overreaction. For most, the Rebel flag was just something that their parents flew on the front porch. It’s apart of their childhood. While racism is still a problem, it isn’t in any way because of the flag. The two may coincide, but they aren’t dependant upon one another.
That having been said, I agree with it not being displayed above governmental buildings.
The flag’s popularity today is due in part to a celebration of consumer culture, really. It’s marketed in the South as being an inherently Southern icon, an almost necessary badge of identity. That’s a misguided viewpoint, but then again, the majority of the populace in the US is plagued with misguided viewpoints.
Like arin’s, for instance.
Arin, people with responses like yours add to the frenzy for Southern paraphenalia. “Hurt feelings”, “wonder why KKK hats aren’t as popular”, etc. For some, being proud of the Confederate flag is basically saying, “I really don’t care what you think, so bugger off and leave me alone.” It’s a response to your kind of attitude.
And David, the people of the South really don’t care :). There aren’t uprisings in the street proclaiming, “Down with the victors!” And it isn’t about being ruled by the winning majority. As I said in my previous comment, it’s more a matter of, “I don’t care” than “Go away.”
I was wondering if there had been an upsurge in the light of Katrina?
I know quite a few people from New Orleans who felt very aggrieved by the response/ lack of response and the way it was dealt with by the rest of the country – humiliation a second time around re-igniting the Confederate fire?
I am not sure we have an equivalent here in the UK -certainly not one that reflects itself in quite the same fashion.
Thanks for your comments, Julian, and welcome to Urban Semiotic!
What does the Rebel flag represent? It has a historic, specific, context, right?
How does the Rebel flag not represent the south’s fight to preserve slavery?
Does someone wearing a Nazi Swastika represent the same sort of “I don’t care” attitude of the Rebel flag? It seems one can rather easily substitute “Rebel Clothes wearer” with “Nazi Skinhead” and create the same historical delusion.
The Rebel flag bearers — and those who passive-aggressively deny it has any meaning other than creating childhood fondness — are re-architects who are trying to change the very fabric and being of the history of this nation with purposefully misplaced faith embedded in a devastating loss that still lingers with hatred and blood today in the guise of the Confederate cause.
Hi Nicola —
Your Katrina connection is interesting. I see that connection as a confirmation of a southern state president demonstrating to his southern base that he does not need to care about or even rebuild the homes and neighborhoods of those the traditional north fought to free and protect. By ignoring the minority Katrina victims, a sort of odd historical revenge is wrought against those who are blamed at the core for the loss of southern pride.
It’s interesting the UK doesn’t have an equivalent history of one side fighting another side, and one side suffering a devastating defeat and then trying to re-do the same war in different arenas while changing the terms and the conditions of the original surrender.
Symbols evolve. I think you’re running with the assumption that everyone is living in the past. As was mentioned in the post, the flag of today isn’t the flag of yesterday, even in so little way as shape. Why not in meaning as well?
David W. Boles:
“How does the Rebel flag not represent the south’s fight to preserve slavery?”
We see the flag as representing a fight for >self
I appreciate you examining this matter and playing hard to equalize the discussion even though you may not closely hold all the beliefs you are defending.
I don’t think symbols evolve. Symbols, by being symbols, are static and recognizable and have a specific identity. I think they always mean the original thing they were created to represent — but those who do not know that history or hold firm the real and true meaning of the symbol end up twisting and wrenching the symbol to try to make it mean something else.
The Confederate Flag of today is the flag of the past –- that’s why the colors and patterns are the same. The flag doesn’t exist today without the context and the meaning of the past. Size does not matter, but color and design and their relationship to each other in creating a recognizable semiotic do matter in all contexts.
The problem with the Rebel flag what it represents in the history of our nation for the All of Us and that representation is a specific and devastating moment in time that should not be celebrated in public with clothing, bumper stickers and jewelry – but rather mourned in private.
Welcome to Urban Semiotic, Tom.
That may be how you view the flag now — but that isn’t what the flag means or represents in the history of our nation.
I didn’t know the existence of a confederate flag until I saw it in someone’s room. Yes, I saw it just an year ago – in 2006. When asked, the person replied it was a reminder of his ancestor’s sacrifice. Later I found out about the history and controversy behind it.
An interesting point about Swastika; the symbol is still the most auspicious sign in Hindu religion.
The Confederate Flag does have a popular purchase in the current mindset of Americans who are either unaware or who do not care about the history it carries — much the same way the Swastika has been taken up as a semiotic of evil — but if you know its history and meaning of the Swastika, you can see just how clever and audacious the Nazis were in their theft, application, and abuse of a religious symbol.
The only thing difference is black is the most inauspicious sign in Hindu religion – you will never see a Black Swastika except the Nazi one. The Nazi Swastika is a little angular too.
In India I used to wear a Swastika pendant and ear-top, after I got my US visa some of my friends warned me not to wear it while traveling – or else I might have been viewed as one of them!!! What a chaos!
Semiotics — and their power — are a lifelong intrigue for me. The difference between a right-facing or a left-facing Swastika in the Hindu religion is fascinating.
The Nazis literally — as you so rightly suggest — TWISTED the Swastika and put it on an angle to represent just the opposite of its original meaning and intention. What cunning. What minds it took to invent that corruption of an international, historical, symbol.
I would love to see your Swastikas. It must have been a sad shock for you to hear about their international and historical corruption in America. I fear your friends were quite right and caring to warn you away from them. Great harm could’ve come to you and your unwitting attempt to honor your cultural beliefs.
Now, if you’re up to it, you should really provide your in-depth analysis in an Urban Semiotic article concerning the cultural Semiotics in play for the Gere/Shetty fiasco playing out in India right now!
That Gere-Shetty episode was really a farce.
We really have something more important to do than this Talibani moral policing…we need to pay more attention to some of our real problems than who is kissing rather smooching (I can’t even call it a real kiss! There is nothing passionate or erotic in here!!!) whom!
The whole drama makes us look like a clown.
We, as a nation is repressive, we love to play moral guardian of all Indians – this is a symptom of a fragile moral structure which some people think can be guarded by policing. Moreover, it’s easy to create a hue and cry over nothing and draw some attention where the real problem stays unnoticed.
As far as Gere goes – the poor guy should have been a little more aware and careful about the cultural climate of the country he was traveling.
Same as when I offered my food to one of my classmates in my first day of class here – he got the shock of his life!
It would still make an interesting article for you to analyze the cultural Semiotics at play in the Gere debacle. Why are the Indians so upset? How does their upset reconcile with their Bollywood addictions? WHAT WAS GERE THINKING? (Hint: See my article on why men must always be funny…)
Why did your classmate get the shock of his life when you offered your food?
As I have told you, we are probably the hypocrite – est amongst all.
We prefer to put on a Victorian image of puritan conservatism. One way it is an eye wash to camouflage some of our serious issues in our social and moral life.
We can ridiculously refuse to provide sex education in schools in 2007,
We still kill people in the name of religion and caste,
25% of our total population is still below poverty line.
We pretend to be upset as a result of this Gere-Shetty circus because we want the whole world think that we are perfect and we know ‘how to save our moral chastity’.
And we watch blue films when no one is looking at us.
We, only we Indians can perform this drama.
Gere wasn’t probably thinking anything. He lost his mind after seeing Shetty! 😀
I think my classmate feared I was trying to hit on him, he felt relieved as I explained it was a part of our custom to offer food as I was eating in front of someone, even if I didn’t know him/her.
Excellent comment, Katha! You wrote a mini-article right here for us! 😀
You make an excellent argument for the disconnect between world reality and culture. Well done!
I agree Gere lost his mind! Any normal man would in the same situation! 😉
You are kind to share your food. Wonderful! I’m glad you taught your classmate about the kindness of the world beyond these narrow shores.
I am glad Madhuri is still not in Bollywood!
Can you think about the impact on poor Gere? 😉
Ha, Katha! He’d probably STILL be kissing her! 😆
There is a strong passion in the South to promote a conservative, non-changing lifestyle. They want things to stay the same and not change, because for some reason, change seems to mean the end of the culture and heritage of the South. Tradition must be maintained.
My cousins from Georgia used to chant it like a mantra – “Ne’er forget tradition.”
Even if it is a symbol of defeat and fear.
This reminds me of a fairly famous short story by Percival Everett. I found it online here , but I originally read it in one of my Literature classes.
I’ve seen people with the confederate flag before, but I’ve never asked about it. And if your going into history, some would argue that the Civil War was more about whether or not states had the right to secede from the Union than about slavery. But that’s not what it means in the public conscience, so it probably doesn’t matter.
I personally don’t think it represents racisms for everyone who wears it, but it can be seen as offensive. I don’t think they should fly it next to the US flag, but people should be allowed to wear the symbol if they want to. I think blacks and to many whites it is seen as racist. There are a lot of symbols like this that can be seen one way but meant in another.
On another note, Gere weirded me out there. It looked like unasked for attention and it disturbed me a bit. I wonder if he was drunk.
Hi Stacy —
Thanks for that link! Boiled my blood a bit!
The Civil War was about the Abolition of Slavery. Those who choose to couch that awful fact in a “states rights” argument are not feeding from the trough of verifiable historic truth:
People who wear that flag or fly that flag are either inconsiderate to the shameful fate of history or they are unaware of the semiotic they are falsely celebrating. Wearing a Nazi armband today conveys the same effect.
Gere did look tipsy to me — especially in his unsteady “bow” to her after the assault.
I see the word “Nazi” brought up quite often.
Let’s check that out-
General William T. Sherman, United States Army:
“The government of the U.S. has any and all rights which they choose to enforce in war – to take their lives, their homes, their land, their everything….to the persistent secessionist, why, death is mercy, and the quicker he or she is disposed of the better”
“extermination, not of soldiers alone…but of the people”
“There is a class of people men, women and children, who must be killed or banished before you can hope for peace and order.”
“The more Indians we can kill this year the fewer we will need to kill the next, because the more I see of the Indians the more convinced I become that they must either all be killed or be maintained as a species of pauper. Their attempts at civilization is ridiculous”
General John Pope, United States Army:
“It is my purpose to utterly exterminate the Sioux . . . . They are to be treated as maniacs or wild beasts, and by no means as people with whom treaties or compromise can be made.”
John G. Nicolay (Lincoln’s secretary):
“…against the Sioux it must be a war of extermination…”
the confederate battle flag is a symbol of heritage not hate. the civil war was not fought over slaves but rather over our (the souths) rights but the darn yanks will not shut up.
In no way is the Confederate Flag a symbol of hate, racism, or slavery. The flag stood for the C.S.A. (Confederate States of America) and the Articles of Conferation (C.S.A.’s Declaration of Independance). People today have made it into a symbol of hate or racism. One reason, being hate groups (ie., the KKK). I strongly support the confederate flag and I fly it all over my house, I had family fight for that flag and its “TRUE” beliefs. Every one who puts a prejudice on people for flying the flag need to brush up on history, and find out the true meaning on the flag. I have never really agreed with slavery.
Why shouldn’t the Confederate Flag be flown on Government buildings, it is a very big piece of our history, am I wrong? Every other piece of history is celebrated, but one the Confederate Flag. It’s that discrimation toward the people who fought for that flag?
Just another thang that ch*ps my b*tt, durning the slave trade the south states only had 4% of the total slaves that where sold in Africa, by Africans by the way. Where South America got 50%, Central America had 2% and the Carribean Islands had 42%. So my question is, why is the South hated on the most for Slavery? Also Honest Abe, had no problem with slavery and only abolished it to bring the South back to the Union, and said that is the only reason he abolished it.
And just remeber one thing, It’s a southern thang ya’ll wouldn’t understand.
[Comment edited for content by David W. Boles]
The people on both sides of my family have lived in Virginia and North Carolina for three hundred years. Some of them were slave owners. Most were not. Nearly all of them were farmers. I have been reserching my family for many years now, and have found at least ten Confererate soldiers that I am directly related to. I am proud of them. These men did not fight to preserve slavery, but to protect their homes from the invasion of 75,000 federal troops called for by the Presedent of the United States. Most people back then, North or South, thought of themselves as Virginians or Main men, rather than Americans. The unity that we feel today, came as a result of the Civil War, and WW1, WW11, and Sept. 11th.
I am not going to try to discuss the whole war. Let me just say that to most of the soldiers of the South , It was a matter of honor. When their states joined the Confederacy, Their governors asked for vollenteers to defend the state. What would you have done?
One of the Soldiers of the Stonewall Brigade was captured, and when asked by the Yankees,”Why are you fighting us” He replyed ” Because your down here”
A letter written by a Virginia soldier to his two little girls went somethhing like this. ” I suspose you are wondering why your Daddy has gone off to fight in a war. I want you to know that I dont want to hurt anyone, and I do not want to help hurt anyone, but I would kill a thousand of them to keep them from hurting my darling little girls.”
I cant make it any plainer than that. I had kin killed or wounded at Hanover Court House, Fort Fisher, Cold Harbor, Chanclorsville,Gettysburg, and the Crater at Petersburg. I am proud of them all, and it has nothing to do with slavery or racism.
By the way , I do own a confederate flag, but I do not fly it, because I do know that most people in this country think of it as a symble of hate. I think of all people as my brothers and sisters.
The flag represented a struggle between the South who belived in the right of self government and beliving that Lincon did not have the right to call for the invasion of their homes…..and the North, who belived in a central Government who would dictate to all the rest of our country.
I do not believe that the confederate flag is a symbol of racism. It was simply the flag that was adopted by the new country, the Confederate States of America, upon secession from the US. This was no different than the US adopting our flag instead of the Union Jack upon declaring independence from England. As a person born in Alabama and now living in New Jersey I consider myself an American, but I recognize that the C.S.A. (and by extension, the rebel flag) are a part of my history. I do not agree with slavery in any way, and as far as I have been able to research, my ancestors were among the 94% of Southern landowners who owned no slaves at all. However, as far as racism goes, yes, Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation freeing the slaves, but he did so on Jan 1, 1863, almost 2 years after the war began. Before Lincoln was elected President he made an unsuccessful run for Senate. During the debates with Stephen Douglas during that campaign, Lincoln said
“I will say, then, that I am not, nor have ever been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races – that I am not, nor have ever been, in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races…I, as much as any other man, am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.”
Those who consider people who honor the Confederate flag as history to be racist should note that President Lincoln, the “Great Emancipator” was, in fact, a white supremacist – the same as a Skinhead or a member of the KKK. Racism is reprehensible no matter in what form it appears, but it certainly isn’t confined to the South or to those who honor the Confederate flag.
In response to everyone that thinks the Confederate Flag is in any way some sort of longing for the former days of slavery or that it is some sort of rebellion because our feelings are hurt, you’re mistaken. I’m from Alabama, and I have to assure you that we don’t sit around whining because the South lost the war. We’re not ashamed… at all.
I will agree that the South has racism but no more than the rest of this country. And it isn’t strictly a “white hate black” sort of thing, it does go both ways.
As far as the whole “rebel flag wearers are just like nazi paraphenalia wearers” is absolutely freakin absord. For one the nazis exterminated millions of people based on race in a matter of years. The white Confederate states fought against the white Union states i BATTLE. It’s a little different. And the Civil War wasn’t as much a fight about ending oppression, as it was a fight about political issues. The North wasn’t really trying to rid the South of slavery. At that time congress was seperated by “free” and “slave” states. The North was trying to prevent slavery from spreading to the western territories and becoming and creating more slave states thus giving slave states power over congress and its law making.
As far as the “KKK hats and rebel flag shirts” comment goes, the KKK killed black people out of hate solely because they were black. Confederate people didn’t do that, it wouldn’t make sense if you need them to plow your land and pick your cotton. And by the way the main KKK state is Indiana which was a Union state.
When you refer to the Rebel Flag, which one are your refering t0? There were hundreds. Do you associate them all with as being racist symbols? Or is it just the Battle Flag of the Army of Northern Virginia, or the Conferate Navy Union Jack(the one displayed on the Dukes of Hazard car)
Funny no one says a d*mn thing about the Confederate Battle Flag that flys continuously atop the Texas Capital Building, at municipal buildings, county buildings, public and private schools in Texas.
I agree slavery was wrong and should have been abolished. But remeber that slavery began in the North with the original colonies.
The first official legal recognition of chattel slavery as a legal institution in British North America was in Massachusetts, in 1641, with the “Body of Liberties.” Slavery was legalized in New Plymouth and Connecticut when it was incorporated into the Articles of the New England Confederation (1643). Rhode Island enacted a similar law in 1652. That means New England had formal, legal slavery a full generation before it was established in the South. Not until 1664 did Maryland declare that all blacks held in the colony, and all those imported in the future, would serve for life, as would their offspring. Virginia followed suit by the end of the decade. New York and New Jersey acquired legal slavery when they passed to English control in the 1660s. Pennsylvania, founded only in 1682, followed in 1700, with a law for regulation of servants and slaves.
By the time of the War between the States slavery was mostly phased out in the North and was begining to decline in the South. The “War” was over the same thing we fought England over. Taxation without Representation. When the war was not going well for the North, Ole Honest Abe made it an issue over Slavery in order to gain public and monetary support for the War. Much like Bush made the Iraq war an issue over “Weapons of Mass Destruction” But I am glad to see Sadam gone.
As for Southern Pride, Yes I’m proud to be Southern. I’m proud of the way the of how Southern soldiers fought. Just visit any battle field, Shiloh for instance, you will see why. After the battle the Union and Confederate dead were buried in mass graves. After the war only the Union dead were disintered and identied and reburied with honor at government expense. The Confederate dead still lay in mass graves mostly forgotten. And you wonder why the South feels alienated?
As the KKK goes the First KKK was formed to help protect the South from “Carpet Baggers and Scalawags from the North as well as Republicans. When the first KKK began its viloent history and began attracking freedmen. It was ordered disbanded as it no longer served its orginal purpose and was abolished by President Grant in the 1870s
The Second KKK was created in 1915 in Altanta Ga. This is the one that was anti-immigrant, anti-Catholic, and anti-Semitic and anti-black
I wish to state that I am not a Republican, a Demorcat, anti-immigrant, anti-Catholic, and anti-Semitic and not anti-black, have never been or will ever be a member of the KKK
[Comment edited by David W. Boles for content.]
Rebel Medic aka Jeff Barnes
The Confederate Flag is part of the history of the United States. To ban it would be to censor our history. We really shouldn’t go the way Germany did in coming down hard on anything reminiscent of Nazi Germany.
This is a very interesting thread. I was drawn to it because I just had an article published called Camping While Black. It’s about the emotional rollercoaster I experienced when I saw a confederate flag flying at a nearby campsite. After reading this post, I now see there is a side to the story I never realized. however, based on the circumstances surounding my encounter, I feel my concerns were justified.
Welcome to Urban Semiotic, Deb!
I appreciate you coming here to share your real life story and the reality that hits you in images.
It is important we all confess and confirm the semiotic power of past grievances and not try to parlay the despair of history into some sort of misguided and misconstrued civic duty that we should now admire.
It’s true that people think the confederate flag is racist but that is only because they are ignorant to the truth.The South left the Union for many reasons and the North acted barbarically to this.The Union’s General gave orders to kill innocent families and even children to lower Southern Morale.The North didn’t fight to end slavery either,they fought for economic reasons.The same reasons the South seceded.This isn’t southern propaganda either.I’m from Connecticut and this is what the American School Systems teach.Thanks for reading.
I am only a teen as some people would say. But I would like to add a comment on this rebel flag issue.
Most teens my age and even some younger kids liek the rbel flag. Most of them i have ever talked to doesnt believ in the racist part of it and the slavery that occured during the civil war. Although some do most teens and even adults dont believe in that part. I have heard alot about this issue and I believe most people use this flag as a symbol to show they are rebelling against a strong issue that is occuring in their life. I use the rebel flag as a symbol of standing out and standing up for issues i believe are wrong. Most teens use the rebel flag as a symbol of rebeling as i do.
I was raised to believe that racisim is horrible and i was taught the horrible things they used to do to the african americans befor the civil war, and befor the emancipation proclamation.
It bothers me to hear racist comments about whatever race you are. Especially when i hear the nigger word. I was raised to know that that word can be used toward any race of a human being. Although i only hear it being used towards blacks these days. It makes me sick knowing that this cr*p has been going on for many years and god did not want it to be this way. But man made it this way.
I recently had a debate in class about the presidential candidates and why people dont like obama. I have been hearing alot about obama and racist comments about him. One point i would like to put out there is Why are people only looking at him like an african american, he is also half white? People need to start standing for what is right and treating everyone as human beings and not only looking at eachohters race.
I have been called racist in my school by a black kid because i dont get along with him because he is a huge jerk and noone can get along with him. I hear alot of cr*p said behind his back too but not about his race but because of the way he acts. Anyway gettingto the point. I also dont get along with many other people too of other races but that doesnt make me racist because i look at everone like they are humans until they do something to me that makes me not want to ever tlak to them again.
Thankyou for your time and i would love feedback on this issue if anyone would like to comment this. I hope i cleared some questions up about this issue.
[Comment was edited by David W. Boles to conform to acceptable publication policies.]
I live in the South, in Georgia, but I am not native, and have had the opportunity since living here to experience this first hand as well as talk with someone about it. He said that this is not a racist symbol, but a symbol representing a desire to return to the days of Southern sovereignty, when the south was self sufficient, not poverty-ridden, with textile wealth and non-centrist political governance. In his view the South never recovered from the damages(mostly financial) of the civil war. However, it is notable to say that he is white, and I have yet to see an African-American flying, wearing, or representing the Confederate Flag in any way.