The GOP as Guardian of the Confederacy

“The current debate over Confederate symbols cuts to the central, existential question hanging over the G.O.P. The Republican Party today is an amalgam of upscale white suburbanites who are moderate on social issues but conservative on fiscal and national-security issues, and exurban and rural populist working-class whites, who are quasi-liberal on economic matters and foreign policy, but conservative on politically charged social issues. … But the key demographic in this coalition is ‘white.’”

David Drucker

God Smites GOP Leader Eric Cantor’s District with 5.8 Earthquake


Last summer, as a public service to our right-wing Christian friends, particularly those who live in the South, we asked, “Why is God Smiting the Deep South?”

Kudzu, which destroys 125,000 acres of the old Confederate states every year, was introduced in 1876, the same year that Southern conservatives overturned Reconstruction in favor of Jim Crow segregation

The article was intended as a wake-up call, because Republicans need to realize that God is punishing them for their hatefulness, warmongering, prideful ignorance and selfishness. He wants them to turn away from their hatred and fear of blacks, Latinos, gays, Arabs, Muslims and the billions of other people on the planet who are not old white Republicans. He wants them to renounce their evil ways and put their time and their tithes toward good works — like feeding the hungry, healing the sick and housing the homeless.

Last summer, the South was being punished in the form of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which primarily affected red and purple states along the Gulf Coast — a region that was still struggling to recover from the wrath of hurricanes Katrina and Ivan. We also pointed to the Exxon Valdez spill that smited red queen Sarah Palin’s Alaska in 1989.


The Confederate Flag: A Short History

"Stainless," the last of the three official national flags of the Confederacy in its three and a half years of existence
“Stainless,” the second of three official national flags of the Confederacy in its three and a half years of sovereignty

Update June 20, 2015: This story from June 2008 is getting attention in light of the right-wing racist terror attack on the Mother Emmanuel Church in Charleston this week.


The title of a story I wrote last week — World’s Largest Swastika, Um, Confederate Flag to Fly in Tampa — upset a few people.

Some are proud, lifelong Southerners, who took offense because, as they saw it, comparing the Confederate flag to a swastika was the same as saying Southerners are Nazis. To them, the Confederate flag represents the people of the South, just as the U.S. flag stands for the American people.

As I wrote last week, I used to see the Confederate flag in a more benign light, but my perspective has changed, and not just because I’ve been expatriated from the South for 24 years. My perspective has changed because, in my youth, I saw the flag as a symbol of Southern separateness, of regional pride. But that idealization has been eclipsed by the reality that, whatever the flag may have represented in the past, today it is nothing more than a symbol of hatred and oppression.

I have also become aware that the flag we think of as the Confederate flag is not what has been purported to be. In the Confederacy’s three-and-a-half years of sovereignty, it had three national flags, but today’s Confederate flag was not one of them. Today’s rebel flag is a 20th century adaptation of a battle flag that was square, not rectangular, for one thing.

Still, the Southerners’ visceral reaction to my comparison of the flag to the Nazi emblem prompted me to do a little digging on the history of the Confederate flag. Here’s what I found: