More evidence that the Confederate flag is inexorably tied to racism and bigotry comes from the racists and bigots themselves. My Fox 8 reports that a North Carolina branch of the Ku Klux Klan made plans to rally outside of the South Carolina State House next moth in defense of the Confederate flag.
The issue began anew on June 17, when a man — inspired by racism and hatred — stormed a traditionally black church in South Carolina and gunned down nine of the adherents. Photographs of the gunman with the flag appeared online, and since, all eyes have fallen on South Carolina’s capitol, where the battle flag flies defiantly in the face of history and sanity.
All flags at half-staff
The Confederate battle flag had been the target of criticism long before the shooting happened. The flag, also called the Southern Cross, has been a hot button issue lurking under the surface of U.S. politics since it was revived in the 1940s by pro-segregation racists.
By the 1950s, the flag had returned and, nearly 100 years after the South started the war of secession it lost, was once again seeing widespread use. In 1956, Georgia inserted the battle flag into its own flag, while in 1961, South Carolina hoisted the flag onto the capitol– the flag that remains on the grounds of the statehouse to this day.
That the flag has only seen widespread use since about the 1950s — about 60, almost 70 years — doesn’t speak to any sort of heritage. That’s a single person’s lifetime. Of course, the right is very good at revisionist history — the battle against abortion, for instance, is younger than the McDonald’s happy meal.
Still, the flag remained until the shooting. In the wake of the shooting, all flags were flying at half-staff — except the Confederate flag. That was a legislative matter, due to arcane laws put into place in the 50s and 60s. This only spurned more criticism directed at the flag, a long-standing symbol for slavery and oppression.
Ever since, a debate has embroiled the flag, with its defenders steadfastly maintaining that it doesn’t represent racism and white supremacy — while reality and history are doing everything to show otherwise.
“They are trying to wipe us out of the history books”
Calling itself the “largest Klan in America,” the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan — based in Pelham, N.C. — are set to weigh in on the flag controversy next month, when they will orchestrate a rally at the South Carolina State House.
They requested the rally from 3-5 p.m. on July 18, according to Brian Gains, a spokesman for the South Carolina Budget and Control Board.
As is natural for the terrorist group, they oppose efforts to ban the Confederate flag. On their website, they left a message warning readers, “If you can’t tell, they are trying to wipe us out of the history book,” and asking readers to “Tell this Marxist government they better not dishonor out ancestors [sic] graves.”
There have been several demonstrations already around the State House, from an anti-flag rally that drew more than 1,000 people to a North Carolina woman who climbed the flag pole and removed the flag on Sunday.
The South Carolina legislature is expected to take up bills on the flag’s removal on July 6.
Feature Image via Michael Holahan at the Augusta Chronicle