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I'm a Minnesota Girl, living in the south. I tell my friends I try not to talk and think like a Yankee, but sometimes I slip up!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

40 Years after Martin Luther King walked with us....

We finally have a serious African American contender for the Oval Office.

And just when you're starting to believe it really is a "new" century, you find yourself living with:

Huge Confederate Flag to Fly Over Tampa
50-by-30-Foot Symbol of Southern Cause to Fly at Private Site by Highway Crossroads

The i's are dotted, t's are crossed and a 139-foot flagpole is ready to fly the Stars and Bars over one of the busiest highway interchanges in Florida. (And I get the honor of bypassing it every morning, ladies and gentlemen).

The Sons of Confederate Veterans in Tampa plan soon to raise what they claim is the world's largest Confederate flag on a private triangle of land tucked near where Interstates 75 and 4 meet. The flag measures 50 feet by 30 feet.

John Adams, commander of the organization's Florida division, has spearheaded the flag project, which includes plans for an accompanying memorial park. And he wants to make sure that the only objections the group faces are based on opinion, not the law.

"You're going to hear some complaints about it for sure," Adams said. "But it's a free country as far as I know."

To some, particularly across many Southern states, the rebel flag represents a rich heritage that includes fighting and dying for the Confederate cause during the Civil War. To others, the flag represents dark memories attached to slavery and racial inequality.

One of those people is Curtis Stokes, president of the NAACP in Hillsborough County, who hopes that a groundswell of opposition to raising the flag might convince the Sons of Confederate Veterans to reconsider.

Sigh. Thus far, the county has not been able to figure out how to make this go away. And so it goes, here, in the land of Dixie.


Pam said...

Honestly, as a Southerner, I can understand both sides of this issue.

The Confederate Flag is, indeed, one of the symbols of a rich Southern heritage.

It's also a reminder of the brutality and degradation of slavery.

I guess there's no easy compromise that will satisfy both sides of this.

There are still some wonderful plantations in the South. I don't think we should get rid of them just because they were once maintained by slaves.

There were slaves all over the US. It was a dark time in our History.

The Confederate Flag is not a KKK flag. Some would like to put them in the same category. They're not. Nothin' rich or pretty about THAT part of Southern history!

Donna said...

I stand behind their right to fly it. As a Northerner, it doesn't make me smile.

Am I wrong in thinking that it's being flown to make a statement about Obama? If that's the case, they are marring the rich history they claim the Confederate Flag holds to them.

That being said - a flag shouldn't make someone feel hated or loved. If it does, we're giving the flag too much credit.

Kelly said...

I think Pam has stated things well here.

Bob said...

The unfortunate thing is that those who are fighting for the right to fly the Confederate flag usually do not have the best of intentions. It is a reminder of slavery. A part of history, yes, but a part that is not pretty. I don't get why anyone still wants to give it a place a prominence.

I am no an Obama supporter but think it is way cool that he accepted the nomination on the anniversary of MLK's "I Have a Dream Speech." There is some progress.

Bob said...

P.S. Also way cool that McCain has picked a WOMAN as his running mate!!!!!!!

quid said...

Amazing changes in the "who" of how we nominate our executive officers... I agree with Bob.


Tomlin said...

Forget the living
Some just want to die
for Dixie