On the night of June 17, Dylann Roof walked into a Charleston church, sat for and hour, and then killed nine people. The flag that he embraced, which many South Carolinians embrace [the Confederate flag] endorses the violence he committed.
There is nothing anyone can write about this concept better than what Ta-Nehisi Coates of The Atlantic has already written, and I won’t even bother to try. Those truly interested in understanding this perspective would do well reading his pieces here and here.
The idea of white supremacy, though tightly intertwined with our founding, is one that surely America should have moved on from by now. It is true that when we speak of the Confederate flag’s tradition, the tradition we speak of is white supremacy. Arguing for states' rights is a smart cover for this, but the underlying issue was and always has been slavery and the belief that one race is inferior to another. This is why so many cried out for the flag’s removal from it’s post on the South Carolina capitol grounds.
That cry was misunderstood just as strongly as the true meaning of the flag’s tradition.
As if aiming to complicate things more than necessary, a week after Warner Bros. announced it would no longer sanction the manufacturing of The Dukes of Hazzard merchandise featuring the flag, TV Land announced it's pulling reruns of the 1980s’ TV series featuring John Schneider and Tom Wopat as Bo and Luke Duke in fictional Hazzard County, Georgia. And a new outcry began.
The show's stars itself took to Twitter and the media to share their displeasure. And who can blame them when, for them, this move has only accomplished taking away their royalty checks.
Then there was Joe Rogan, who accused “toxic lefties” of being the force behind The Dukes' removal. How will we go on without the show that spawned our beloved Confederate flag-emblazoned '69 Dodge Charger aptly named the General Lee, and Daisy Duke shorts? A penalty stemming from said lefties' “tireless effort to turn our country into a nation of weepy, sandy vaginas," Rogan spouted.
To add to the complication, the current owner of the original General Lee car, pro golfer Bubba Watson, vowed to paint a US flag over the Confederate flag on the roof.
It’s worth noting that the cry to take the Confederate flag down has nothing to do with airing or not airing reruns of a classic TV show. The aim is to stop it’s usage in modern times and relegate it to being viewed in museum displays.
Gettysburg National Military Park, a place I have visited many times over the years to learn more about the Civil War's role in shaping American History, yanked stand-alone depictions of Confederate flags from it’s gift shop. And yet one can still view the flag in the park's visitor center displays. After all, that is what museums are for—to preserve relics of our history. I’m happier with the flag becoming part of that tradition. And I don’t think that makes me a weepy, sandy vagina.
By the way? I loved The Dukes of Hazzard. My biggest crush throughout most of the late 80s was Luke Duke. And never did I once associate the show with white supremacy. The General Lee itself is a sort of relic—stop driving it, leave it on display, but there's no reason not to leave the car intact.