When I grow older, I will be stronger, They'll call me Freedom, Just like a waving flag


I'm not here to tell you why the Confederate Flag (AKA the battle flag of the North Virginian Army, AKA the Southern Pride flag, AKA the White Pride flag, AKA the Lynyrd Skynrd flag) is unsuited to modern usage in the United States of America.  These reasons have been endlessly recounted elsewhere, and just as endlessly denied by solipsistic apologists who can't accept that the actions with which that flag has been associated speak far louder than the hollow words with which they attempt to redefine it.

If, indeed, the desire is to have a flag of genuine "Southern Pride" (a vastly loaded and suspicious concept, given the history there), then rather than fighting over what one tainted symbol means, then perhaps it's time to start looking at viable replacements about which ALL Southerners can feel good, free of the burden of racist history.

1. The Martin Luther King Jr. Flag

One of the most persistent claims be defenders of the Confederate flag is that "Nuh uh, it's totally not racist!  It's about freedom and rebellion against power and the Southern heritage we're prouda."

Okay, so why is it always the Confederacy?  Is there nothing else for the South to be prouda?  And what makes treason and bigotry heroic?  The desperation of the spin on this subject is pure, uncut cognitive dissonance, so I'd like to offer a symbol that actually does, for ALL Southerners, and indeed all Americans (be prouda your contributions!).

Martin Luther King Jr. was a Southerner.  He was a Christian.  He was an American.  He stood up to power to fight for human rights and freedoms, ultimately giving his life for the cause.  He was, indeed, ALL of the things that white Southerners claim they believe in when they defend the Confederate flag.  Unlike the Confederate flag, however, he ACTUALLY, REALLY, NOT-JUST-MADE-UP stood for those things.  So why WOULDN'T you want this to be the flag of Southern pride and accomplishment?

Unless you're just full of shit.

2. The Barbecue Flag

 Who doesn't love barbecue?  Black or white, from the Carolinas to Texas to Missouri, Southerners have developed numerous styles of cooking and saucing meat that are the envy of the nation.  Southerners should be proud to rally around the BBQ flag and show their pride in the art and innovation of the South.

If it helps any, you'll still be able to piss off those fussy eaters in the Northwest with your love of cooked meat, and just between us, isn't pissing off non-Southerners pretty much the point?

3. The Blair Mountain Flag

 In 1912, the largest armed uprising since the Civil War took place in West Virginia.  More than 10,000 miners, black and white together, stood up for their right to unionize and demand better working and living conditions.  You get all the rebellion and independence, but you get it in the context of DEFENDING THE RIGHT THINGS; real rights; not the "right" to deny the rights of others.  This was a case of actual victims standing up to power, not using their power to victimize others.  It would also make a valuable symbol today, when once again, corporations use fear tactics to keep labor docile or complicit.  The South, which continues to struggle economically, has always done the best for itself when it has reminded its controlling economic interests that its man-and-woman-power is one of its greatest assets.

4. The Music Flag

So much of the music enjoyed by Americans, and indeed the world today was either invented, or at least has roots that crisscross through the South.  Country, Bluegrass, Blues, Gospel, Jazz, Soul, Rock & Roll all have roots in the South.  Honestly, so much of what gets called "Black culture" is in overlap with Southern culture, that is just seems bizarre to me that there are so many "proud Southerners" who are so willing to disown it.  Once you really understand that African Americans are AMERICANS, and that Southern Blacks are just as Southern as y'all honkies, you start to realize how much more you have to share proudly.

The acknowledgement of Gospel is also the closest you're getting to having some Jesus up on ya flag, so I advise you to take the deal.

Other possibilities include the Sweet Tea Flag.  It features a sack of sugar and a tea leaf.  The Sweet Tea flag serves the purpose of identifying something the Southerners love but everyone else generally hates, so you still have the advantage of pissing off Yankees, while at the same time continuing to demonstrate your disdain for science and personal responsibility with all those fat-ass kids with the sugar-beeties y'all're raising.

And the Second-Hand Trampoline Flag.  Nothing says freedom like a turning your kids loose on a trampoline that's no longer sold due to safety issues.  How dare them Feds tell your kids that they can't break their arm during the first week of summer!  The background would be a house with plywood replacing rotting siding, because you have a right to a hammer, and only some elitist Yankee cares about fancy-pantsy siding anyway.

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