Don’t know how () but I have recently become engaged in an interesting debate on aizens-girl journal regarding the current issue surrounding the Confederate battle flag. I’m fully aware that is not a soapbox for political exchanges, but then again have art and symbols not always reflected the defining spirit of the political scene, the very zeitgeist if you will? Added to which a flag, any flag, is the very essence of art itself, a simple graphic design that means many things to many people over many years, in this case 152 years, time enough to become securely ensconced in the history of a nation, if not the world, certainly my world in England, a perennial favourite in fact with many a Brit who would be hard pushed to describe the flag of the Netherlands even though the Dutch live just next-door. It’s not something that should be callously labelled as offensive this Monday and then banned for sale the very next day by all and sundry after 152 years. Now correct me if I’m wrong here, but I do believe that the Swastika sported by the Nazi Party pretty much went out of fashion about the same time as the party itself, if not well before. Isn’t that the way “Offensive” works in the real world? But 152 years! I smell a rat!
Anyway back to art . Aesthetically speaking, I care little for the flag itself, it’s far too busy for my taste and I don’t like the colours, too predictable, nonetheless I must admit it does evoke a myriad of images which thankfully does not include that of “White Supremacy”.
Perhaps I’m just an ignorant European, but to me at least it is an emblem, by very definition, of rebelliousness; defiance; and I’m not being frivolous here given recent events, but the shenanigans against Boss Hogg the very personification of corrupt government (excuse me while I muse over mental images of Daisy Dukes ), add to this Rockabilly music; V-engine motorcycles; Ironclad battleships; spies; intrigue; hidden gold; quintessential Steam Punk... And yes, I am fully aware, and there’s the key word AWARENESS (because although we cannot change the past we can certainly learn from it) that the reviled KKK and other white supremacist groups took it as their own...But let’s not forget that this battle flag was also carried by American soldiers, sailors and airmen, albeit unofficially, in all theatres of war throughout the 20th century and even today, not as a sign of white supremacy but as a reminder of home and what they were fighting for and in many cases sadly died for. If we ban it and it goes underground then it’s game over, the supremacists win!
It's our duty to educate ourselves and not to be spoonfed opinions. If you're reading this then you must be already connected to the Internet! Use it!
And there is my tuppence worth (I'm just sick and tired of other people happily erasing what I had cherished as my past...Jimmy Savile, Rolf Harris, the Cookie Monster ... it never ends)