Where Is The Honour?

Just a note

I will admit, that I never saw the harm in Native American Indian mascots and team names, (I lived in Atlanta for a while, did they ever change the name of their baseball team? I don’t know).

But there is something about the fact that Americans should, and for the most part, I think do, treat people with an elemental respect.

Yesterday, I started to write a brief synopsis of my mostly positive association with The Battle Flag of the South. I happened to catch a movie the other day, where Hollywood projected a racist redneck with the rebel flags and all. It was pretty blatantly stereotypical, but I don’t expect a high standard from the entertainment industry. They’re geared for the lowest common denominator. Maybe you’ll need to identify it for yourself, if you care to think beyond the emotional manipulation that makes us watch movies.

Anyway, back to Native American Indian mascots, the real reason I thought of Native Americans is in the context of the way Southerners are depicted. It seems sometimes, Northerners simply view Southerners who still sense regional pride in the battle flag as conquered people, whether they know it or not. I don’t think that fully addresses the complexity of the issue, but it is one aspect of it.

The Civil War has a lot of lessons. I’m a born Northerner now living in the South. The fact that the United States was preserved less than a hundred years after it was formed, is significant. The issue of slavery and its ultimate abolition was a major factor in the war, but it wasn’t the only one, and it wasn’t the only reason 17 year old young men went off to fight and die for their country, as they saw it at the time.

More later.

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The Battle Flag And I

My first exposure to the rebel flag as a Northerner came from listening to Southern Rock. Growing up in Detroit, regional pride is something I’m familiar with, and I never got anything from listening to Lynyrd Skynyrd that indicated it represented anything else. My first inclination that it might be a controversial symbol was when I bought a tee shirt with a rebel flag on it, pops mentioned some blacks might be offended by it. It was in the back of my mind, but I still wore it.

My senior year in high school, I met the brother of a friend. We both had the same “Ass Kicking Southern Rock” graphic; me on the back of my jean jacket, him on his tee shirt. We became good friends, and years later formed a southern rock band.

To this day, he remains one of the most influential people in my life, and I still consider him a good friend.

I moved to Georgia, around 1999. At the time, the battle flag was still part of Georgia’s state flag.

I only lived there for a while, and while it might’ve been a passing thought, I didn’t think too much about it at the time. They changed the flag after I moved away. I still like the one that flew when I lived there better.

Before I moved back to Florida, a good friend and co-worker gave me a Lynyrd Skynyrd tee shirt that had a battle flag on it, similar to this one:

Now, I’ve been in Florida for a few years now. I’ve seen Battle Flag license plates, stickers, and the flag flying itself in different places. I like the flag, I don’t apologise for that. Some folk find it offensive. It’s not to me, and I don’t mean it to be towards anyone. I have more to say on this, but that’s chapter one.