Conflicts over Confederate symbols persist in VA Senate campaignBreaking News
Why? Why, in 21st century America, does the relic of a short-lived, long-gone political entity still provoke such feelings? And who's right? Does it represent a noble defense of American liberties, or is it a banner of hatred and bigotry?
According to John Coski, that depends on when, where and whom you ask.
For 12 years Coski, historian and librarian at the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, Va., researched the history of the battle flag, from the Civil War down to today's "flag flaps" over public displays of Confederate symbols. The research appears in his book, "The Confederate Battle Flag - America's Most Embattled Emblem," published last year.
The book was praised by reviewers and historians as a dispassionate, fact-based treatment of its emotion-charged subject, and it makes enlightening reading for those who care, pro or con, about the Confederacy's afterlife.
It's a complicated story, Coski relates: "There are so many perceptions of this symbol."
To different people at different times, it's been a memorial to revered ancestors, the mark of white supremacy and the Ku Klux Klan, an all-purpose symbol of opposition to government, the emblem (affectionately or scornfully) of the redneck or good ol' boy, or simply a shorthand icon for the South in general and its sectional pride.
Or just a good-looking design, with its striking, star-spangled X. "This is a logo that any corporation would die for," Coski recalls artist Jim McElhinney saying at a museum symposium.
In a Sept. 12 speech, Allen said he had not appreciated when he was younger that the flag "was and is for black Americans an emblem of hate and terror."
"This is a good example of why we could use some background and perspective" about these symbols, Coski said.
Allen should have been already aware of the conflicts over Confederate imagery, Coski said.
It is possible, he said, that the younger Allen was simply responding to the flag's "good ol' boy" connotations.
comments powered by Disqus
- Rubio Surges Into Second In New Hampshire
- Branstad Says Cruz Ran ‘Unethical’ Campaign
- Christie Highlights Santorum’s Endorsement of Rubio
- Portman Comes Out Against Trade Deal
- Megyn Kelly Gets a Book Deal
- A Big List of the Bad Things Clinton Has Done
- An Unambiguous Sign Sanders Won Last Night’s Debate
- Still Friends at the End
- Quote of the Day
- Trump Still Leads as Clinton Slips
- Clinton Can’t Shake Image as Wall Street’s Friend
- Maddow Doesn’t See Sanders Winning
- Why Does the Media Still Shield Chelsea Clinton?
- Bush Jokes His Mother May Have Abused Him
- Rubio Closes the Gap in New Hampshire
- Newly released interactive map shows images of destroyed monuments of Mosul
- How the Rise of the Post Office Explains American Innovation
- These Americans are reliving history and don’t mind repeating it
- Britain largest home is saved for the nation
- Shelter and the slums: capturing bleak Britain 50 years ago
- Mary Beard, herself a bestselling author, wonders why more women historians aren't
- Princeton U. historian Imani Perry claims mistreatment in parking ticket arrest
- Retired historian George Dennison remains on the payroll at the U. of Montana while faculty are cut
- The Atlantic profiles exciting ways to teach history
- LDS Church has gone from 0 to 4 historians specializing in women’s history