Friday, December 29, 2006

They came for the flags...

... now it looks like it's hunting season on the "Silent Sams" in select areas of the south, particularly on college campuses.

To be honest, I probably have a more "progressive" attitude about the appropriateness of flying the Confederate flag over present-day governmental buildings or blatantly incorporating it into the design of a state flag than most reenactors. BUT I still draw the line when it comes to completely erasing history because it "offends" certain people.

There's a lot of things historically-connected I personally find hard to swallow, like naming at least one street in every city in the country for Martin Luther King, Jr, but that's the beauty of these United States. It's history folks, for good or for bad, and we all look differently on it. But it doesn't mean we discard an old version for a new version of our shared history because it doesn't suit some current-day viewpoints.

Back to the statues.

They represent and honor historical figures or the common man. Take Robert E. Lee, for instance. Yes, he is the general most associated with the Confederacy in current times, but unfortunately, historical memory seems to grow very dim of what he stood for after the war. I feel that Lee was a good post war leader, even if some of what he advocated in the terms of race relationships seems to be an affront to people who look at history so superficially these days.

He wished the best for the then freed slaves, and only wanted good race relations. But he had very realistic views about how to to arrive at that point. A long hard look at history after the war only vindicates Lee's opinions.

So, why would we want to tear down the statue of an influential post-war leader who advocated peace and reconciliation for a divided nation?

It seems that the University of Texas needs to bone up on its history and find an answer to that question before kowtowing to the golden idol of political correctness.

1 comment:

Blue Bellied Yank said...

Robert E. Lee was a great man! Many in the North also admire him. I think there's a place for the Rebel flag, it's just not on the flag pole of the capital building in South Carolina.