Okay, folks. Don't get yourselves in a tizzy over the illustrations below. They are SYMBOLIC graphic representations of the mentality shown by the Lexington City Council in its vote to prohibit Confederate flags from flying on city-owned flagpoles.
It's obviously repressive -- but how? It is contemptuous of its own past, so that gives us a clue. There comes to mind two examples from the previous century of repressive regimes hostile to the past -- the USSR under Joseph Stalin and Afghanistan under the Taliban. (Text continues below graphic.)
Stalin was infamous for his purges not only of those who opposed him politically, but of their very memory constructed in the past, carefully cutting their images out of photos in books and slicing away written references to them.
Likely we all remember the Taliban blowing up Buddhist statues almost 2,000 years old, to the dismay of most of the world.
Bloggers hostile to Southern heritage are having a field day, attempting to evilize (or, at least in this case, stupidize) Southerners who honor that heritage because they might have been misinformed about what the city's vote was intended to do. The shrill derision aimed at opponents of the ordinance inspired me to post the following at Civil War Memory.
This decision was reactionary -- it was instigated after, and because, the SCV flew flags from city owned staffs for their Lee-Jackson commemoration. It wasn't instigated after some Girl Scout flags were displayed, or GBLT Rainbow flags were displayed. The ordinance was designed specifically to prohibit Confederate flags from flying on those staffs -- everybody else's organizational flag-flying was collateral damage -- sacrificed for the sake of sticking it to the SCV and Confederate heritage. It was the city's (and some university faculty's) middle finger in the face of the SCV.
And this is my response to a gentlemen who explained things in terms a little less offensive than what is normally aimed at me over there:
Mr. S---, I have never claimed that it was unconstitutional. In fact, I have explained this to people on Facebook groups where I post -- that the ordinance is not a First Amendment, free-expression issue. It doesn't apply to personal displays of the flag. Yet.For some of us, however, there is a problem with it, whether you see it or not. I clearly understand that the city did this purposely to prohibit Confederate flags displays on city property. (From the photos I've seen, these are small flagpoles mounted at an angle on larger poles, apparently lampposts.) It is the city -- officials elected to represent all the people of the town -- sitting in judgment of those who honor its history, at the behest of a few instigators, the primary one being an immigrant to this country motivated by a deliberate or inadvertent misunderstanding of Lexington's history and heritage.This is an example of the ongoing official eradication of the South's Confederate heritage accomplished in tiny increments. There are people who say that's not happening but here's an instance of it going on before our very eyes. And if the city can do this, it can ban people carrying flags on city-owned sidewalks or displaying flags on vehicles that travel city-owned streets ("Oh, no, we're not encroaching on your First Amendment rights. You can still display your flags -- just not on our poles, or on our sidewalks or on our streets....")
So, do y'all like the graphic? I'd love to see photos of these things duct taped to "city property" (flag poles? lamp posts?) all over Lexington. I'd love to see them all over Dixie's corner of cyberspace, too. You can see a larger version by clicking the image; and you can download a .pdf version by clicking the link below. (Note: Download at your own risk. The image/pdf files and my personal webspace supplied by my ISP were virus- and malware-free at the time of uploading, but who knows what happens after that....)