Restricted Who defines "Southern Heritage?"

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WJC

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This is the former Georgia state flag, which was the official flag from 1956-2001.

View attachment 300859

This is the current state flag.

View attachment 300860

It resembles an older version of the flag, which is seen in this image, from 1941:

View attachment 300861

The conflict over the Georgia flag illustrates the contest over the representation of southern heritage in official objects of the state. Wiki notes:

The Georgia state flag that was used from 1956 to 2001 featured a prominent Confederate battle flag and was designed by Southern Democrat John Sammons Bell, a World War II veteran and an attorney who was an outspoken supporter of segregation.[4]
The 1956 flag was adopted in an era when the Georgia General Assembly "was entirely devoted to passing legislation that would preserve segregation and white supremacy", according to a 2000 research report by the Georgia Senate. There are few, if any, written records of what was said on the Georgia House and Senate floors when the 1956 flag bill was being introduced and passed by the Georgia legislature, nor does Georgia law provide for a statement of legislative intent when a bill is introduced, although former U.S. Congressman James Mackay, one of the 32 House members who opposed the change, later stated, "There was only one reason for putting the flag on there: like the gun rack in the back of a pickup truck, it telegraphs a message."[4] Additionally, the 2000 report concluded that the "1956 General Assembly changed the state flag" during "an atmosphere of preserving segregation and resentment" to the U.S. government's rulings on integration.[4]
The 2000 report states that the people who had supported the flag's change in the 1950s said, in recalling the event years later, that "the change was made in preparation for the Civil War centennial, which was five years away; or that the change was made to commemorate and pay tribute to the Confederate veterans of the Civil War."[4] Bell, who designed the 1956 flag and supported its adoption during the 1950s as a defense of the state's "institutions", which at the time included segregation, claimed years later that he did so to honor Confederate soldiers.[4] The 2000 report states that the claims that the flag was ostensibly changed in 1956 to honor Confederate soldiers came much later after the flag's adoption, in an attempt by the change's supporters to backtrack from prior support of segregationism in an era where it was no longer fashionable, saying that the "argument that the flag was changed in 1956 in preparation for the approaching Civil War centennial appears to be a retrospective or after-the-fact argument" and that "no one in 1956, including the flag’s sponsors, claimed that the change was in anticipation of the coming anniversary".[4]
At the time, opposition to changing the flag came from various sides, including from Confederate historical groups like the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC). Opponents to a change of the flag stated that incorporating the Confederate battle flag into the design would be too sectionalist, counterproductive, and divisive, saying that people should show patriotism towards the United States rather than the defunct Confederacy, referring to the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance, which states that the U.S. is "one nation ... indivisible".[4] Opponents of the flag's change also said that there was nothing wrong with the 1920 flag and that people were content with it.[4] Others opposed changing the flag out of the burden it would place on those who would have to purchase a new flag to replace the outdated one.[4]
The 2000 Georgia senate report and other critics have interpreted the adoption of the 1956 flag as a symbol of racist protest, citing legislation passed in 1956 which included bills rejecting Brown v. Board of Education and pro-segregationist comments by then-Governor Marvin Griffin, such as "The rest of the nation is looking to Georgia for the lead in segregation."[4][5][6]
Political pressure for a change in the official state flag increased during the 1990s, in particular during the run-up to the 1996 Olympic Games that were held in Atlanta. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) focused on the Georgia flag as a major issue and some business leaders in Georgia felt that the perceptions of the flag were causing economic harm to the state. In 1992, Governor Zell Miller announced his intention to get the Confederate element removed, but the state legislature refused to pass any flag-modifying legislation. The matter was dropped after the 1993 legislative session.[citation needed] Many Atlanta residents and some Georgia politicians refused to fly the 1956 flag and flew the pre-1956 flag instead.[citation needed]​
Miller's successor as governor, Roy Barnes, responded to the increasing calls for a new state flag, and in 2001 hurried a replacement through the Georgia General Assembly. His new flag, designed by architect Cecil Alexander, sought a compromise, by featuring small versions of some (but not all) of Georgia's former flags, including the controversial 1956 flag, under the words "Georgia's History." Those flags are a thirteen-star U.S. flag of the "Betsy Ross" design; the first Georgia flag (before 1879); the 1920–1956 Georgia flag; the previous state flag (1956–2001); and the current fifty-star U.S. flag.​
In a 2001 survey on state and provincial flags in North America conducted by the North American Vexillological Association, the redesigned Georgia flag was ranked the worst by a wide margin. The group stated that the flag "violates all the principles of good flag design."[7] After the 1956 state flag was replaced in 2001, the Georgia city of Trenton adopted a modified version as its official city flag, to protest its discontinuation.[8]
There was widespread opposition to the new flag, deemed the "Barnes flag". It led, according to Barnes himself, to his defeat for reelection two years later; the flag was a major issue in the election.[9]
In 2002, Sonny Perdue was elected Governor of Georgia, partially on a platform of allowing Georgians to choose their own flag in a state referendum. He authorized the Georgia legislature to draft a new flag in 2003.[10]
The Georgia General Assembly's proposed flag combined elements of Georgia's previous flags, creating a composition that was inspired by the Confederate First National flag, the Stars and Bars, rather than the Confederate Battle Flag. Perdue signed the legislation into law on May 8, 2003.[11]
The 2003 flag legislation also authorized a public referendum on which of the two most recent flags (the 2001 and 2003 versions) would be adopted as the flag of the state; the 1956 flag was not an option. The referendum took place during the state's March 2, 2004 presidential primary election. If the 2003 flag was rejected, the pre-2001 design would have been put to a vote.[12] The 2003 design won 73.1% of the vote in the referendum.[13]

A key point which is not noted above is that when the CBF-based flag was adopted in 1956, African Americans were shut-out the of electoral politics in the state. The adoption of the flag was a whites-only process.

Had African Americans been similarly disenfranchised during later debates over the flag, there might not even have been a debate over the look of the flag at all; the 1956 version of the flag might still be alive today. To be sure, support for changing the flag was biracial. But biracial support was probably essential in the process.

- Alan
Thanks for reminding us! If Georgia can make the change, why can't Mississippi? The CBF belongs in museums and reenactments.
 

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Closing thoughts on the contest over southern heritage since the Civil War, from the Brundage book. As always, please forgive any typos:

The 150 year struggle between blacks and whites over the past teaches several important lessons. In growing numbers southerners understand that the hard edges of the past cannot be smoothed over by well-meaning talk and that confronting the region’s traumatic history is more than boosterism or a pleasant learning exercise.​
In a pluralistic nation like the United States, competing groups and individuals need to acknowledge the history they share with people who are not like themselves. In the absence of healthy exchange, privileged groups will perpetuate exclusionary paths, thereby privatizing the past, reinforcing inequalities, and impeding salutary change. …if Southerners speak freely, respect difference, deliberate collectively, and reject categorical claims that employs stark oppositions, they may avoid the divisions that have contaminated Southern public life for most of the past century and a half.​
With time and commitment, they may enlist the region’s public spaces to foster a heterogeneous public life rather than division and alienation.​
Southerners, then, face an exceedingly difficult task. The creation of a public culture that fully and appropriately acknowledges the South’s contested past will requires stamina, experimentation, and tolerance. As long as white and black Southerners do not succumb to nostalgia, do not idealize an exclusionary pass, and do not presume the inherent virtue of their idealized historical identity, they may fashion a fully democratic civic culture, an accomplishment that generations of Southerners have long for.​

- cont -
 

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- continued from above, from the Brundage book -

Can no “true” history of the region be offered? Is there no narrative of the South’s past that southerners should collectively adopt? Certain interpretations of the southern past are indefensible and cannot withstand any standard of historical credibility: slavery was not a positive good for the enslaved; white supremacy after the Civil War cannot be justified by alleged black barbarism; and the modern Civil Rights movement was not a front for Communist subversion and atheism. These interpretations should be challenged and rebutted whenever and wherever they surface…​
But such simplistic interpretations are unlikely to be at the center of controversies that roil the contemporary South. Instead the complexities and contradictions of the South’s history are often the points of contestation for black and white Southerners. Slavery was an inhumane institution and yet both slave masters and slaves found ways to retain their humanity. How do we discuss this central facet of the history of slavery?​
The oppressiveness of the Jim Crow south was unquestionably soul numbing, and yet blacks were never reduced, in the words of Ralph Ellison, to “the sum of [their] brutalization.” How can this apparent contradiction be presented? And however much the Civil Rights movement was a triumph for social justice, it was accompanied by incalculable losses for Southern blacks.​
These are the nuances of the south history that complicate any search for simple historical “truth” and inspire sharply divergent interpretations. Although some historical narratives cannot be condoned, it is equally important to acknowledge that many of the most important historical questions are messy, confusing, and ambiguous.​

- cont -
 
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- continued from above, from the Brundage book -

The search for historical “truth” cannot be separated from an appraisal of the unequal power that competing groups and individuals exercise over the interpretation of the past. To trace how power operates in the making and recording of historical interpretation, as this book has done, is also to acknowledge that history cannot be separated from practices of domination.​
Power operates at each stage of the processes that render some historical narratives credible and others beyond the pale. This power to privilege and silence narratives does not play out as a conspiracy as specific moments. Instead it operates continuously, and has always been present in debates over the past in the South. It was manifest at the end of the 19th-century when whites etched their version of the South’s past into the region’s public spaces and life, and at the end of the 20th Century when black city officials in Richmond renamed bridges after civil rights activist.​
Careful consideration, then, of the long history of unequal power over the meaning of the South’s past may not resolve specific controversies. But it should teach valuable lessons to blacks and whites alike. Whites may gain a better understanding of how the southern landscape that their ancestors created appears to blacks. At the same time, it may help blacks to better understand the responsibility that comes with their new power over how history is told and fixed on the south’s landscape. There are lessons in this contested history for all those who wield power over the past and all those on whom that power is exercised.​
- end -

- Alan
 

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"Chism Strategies has served more than 2,500 clients in all fifty states with a range of direct voter contact services. From the Courthouse to the White House, our team has earned its reputation as America’s premier phone firm for Democratic candidates and progressive causes."

I would expect that a polling group like this would do all it could to sway the results a certain way - and still the current flag won.
It seems the fact that the polling firm works for Democratic candidates leads to the conclusion that they are biased and their results can't be trusted. But that seems to indicate some bias against the pollsters, and suggest that biased responses to the poll cannot be trusted...

Was Former Ole Miss chancellor Robert Khayat being biased when talking about removing the Confederate flag from the U of Mississippi campus in a 2013 article?:

The perception created by the Confederate flag was causing people to look on us in a negative way... It was being used by our opponents -- not only in athletics, but in the general recruitment of students, as a negative to say that Ole Miss was still in the past...​
...The volume of mail (responding to the removal of the flag at the university) was remarkable. Most of it was threatening, some of it life-threatening to me, since I was symbolically the leader of this. And we worked our way through it and finally resolved it....​
Since that time, we are prospering at the university in ways that none of us could have imagined. And I think it had a significant impact on the way we were perceived not only in Mississippi, but nationally...​
Over time, people began to see that the benefit of not having that flag tied to our university, or vice versa, was far more valuable than the enjoyment that anybody received from waving that flag. It was measurably destructive to the university.​

The former chancellor was not responding to opinion polls. He was responding to the reactions of potential students in real time. Note that he says "And I think it had a significant impact on the way we were perceived not only in Mississippi, but nationally." That is, his primary concern had not been about what the flag meant outside of the state, but rather, what it meant to people in the states.

The fact that the university pulled the flag is itself a testament to changes in attitudes within the state. I can't imaging that would have been acceptable several decades earlier, regardless of the reason or benefit.

As I said earlier, I think this is about generational change. Older generations will not change their views, but younger ones will form their own. As has been suggested here, heritage is an inheritance. But that doesn't mean that we keep everything that is given to us. Every generation makes its own relationship with the past, informed by what happens in the present. And as the former chancellor of Ole Miss suggests, sometimes older generations have to adapt to that. My guess sis that more adaptation is coming, however incrementally... it is Mississippi. Georgia seems to have been quicker on the draw.

- Alan
 
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archieclement

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That's the one used from 1920 to 1956.

The current GA state flag is fashioned after the Confederate Stars and Bars-

View attachment 300925
Apparently the CSA stars and bars model is PC and accurately reflects southern heritage, while the stainless banner variation of a St Andrews cross isn't...…….go figure, guess just roll with the Stars and Bars
 

19thGeorgia

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Since Mr. Brundage has been made the star of this thread, I thought I would examine some of his other statements.

"An observer scanning the commemorative landscape of North Carolina will see little evidence of the tens of thousands of white North Carolinians who fought for the Union"


Tens of thousands? That means at least 20,000. Try about 5,000.
Before someone preaches about the commemorative landscape shouldn't they know some accurate history?

"Perhaps the defenders of Confederate monuments will demonstrate their good faith by pressing for funding for new monuments to Southerners, white and black, who fought on behalf of the Union or otherwise opposed the Confederacy."

Strange thought.
He expects Confederate heritage groups to help raise monuments to the enemies of the Confederates - those whose aim was to kill their antecedents. Sorry, Mr. Brundage, the defenders of those who fought for the "Union" will have to raise those monuments.
 
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ForeverFree

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This is Former Ole Miss chancellor Robert Khayat talking about removing the Confederate flag from the U of Mississippi campus in a 2013 article:

The perception created by the Confederate flag was causing people to look on us in a negative way... It was being used by our opponents -- not only in athletics, but in the general recruitment of students, as a negative to say that Ole Miss was still in the past...​
...The volume of mail (responding to the removal of the flag at the university) was remarkable. Most of it was threatening, some of it life-threatening to me, since I was symbolically the leader of this. And we worked our way through it and finally resolved it....​
Since that time, we are prospering at the university in ways that none of us could have imagined. And I think it had a significant impact on the way we were perceived not only in Mississippi, but nationally... Over time, people began to see that the benefit of not having that flag tied to our university, or vice versa, was far more valuable than the enjoyment that anybody received from waving that flag. It was measurably destructive to the university.​

The former chancellor was not responding to opinion polls. He was responding to the reactions of potential students in real time. Note that he says "And I think it had a significant impact on the way we were perceived not only in Mississippi, but nationally." That is, his primary concern had not been about what the flag meant outside of the state, but rather, what it meant to people in the states.

The fact that the university pulled the flag is itself a testament to changes in attitudes within the state. I can't imaging that would have been acceptable several decades earlier, regardless of the reason or benefit.

As I said earlier, I think this is about generational change. Older generations will not change their views, but younger ones will form their own. As has been suggested here, heritage is an inheritance. But that doesn't mean that we keep everything that is given to us. Every generation makes its own relationship with the past, informed by what happens in the present. And as the former chancellor of Ole Miss suggests, sometimes older generations have to adapt to that. My guess sis that more adaptation is coming, however incrementally... it is Mississippi. Georgia seems to have been quicker on the draw.

- Alan
A theme of the Brundage book is that southern African Americans have resisted attempts to create a biased, one-sided, and exclusionary representation of southern heritage within the South. We can see how this worked out, in a very interesting way, in the case of Ole Miss.

As noted, former Ole Miss chancellor Robert Khayat helped institute a policy that the Confederate flag should be removed from the U of Mississippi campus in a 2013 article. In the article, Khayat talked about the various things that led to that policy, including this:

On a particularly gloomy Sunday morning in 1996, after his alma mater had laid a goose egg in a 17-0 loss to in-state rival Mississippi State, Ole Miss chancellor Robert Khayat paid Rebels head football coach Tommy Tuberville and his staff a visit.​
Khayat... thought he had walked into a funeral home. “The mood was not just somber, it was morose,” he writes in his new book, “The Education of a Lifetime.” “Assistant coaches stared at the wall. Others had their heads in their hands. Tommy looked like he’d been kicked in the stomach.”​
Khayat asked what was wrong. Without hesitation, coach Tuberville replied: “We can’t recruit against the Confederate flag.”​

Chancellor Khayat had no intention, or desire, to mess with Confederate flag.

But his school was suffering in the face of black resistance. Black athlete recruits had no power to change the policy with respect to displaying with flag. But they could vote with their feet. And they did.

Hence, Khayat and the school instituted a policy that they surely knew would be controversial and even upsetting to many of the scholl's supporters and the public at large in his state. As he said in the article, "The volume of mail (responding to the removal of the flag at the university) was remarkable. Most of it was threatening, some of it life-threatening to me, since I was symbolically the leader of this. And we worked our way through it and finally resolved it..."
Edit
He said the policy proved to be a success: "Over time, people began to see that the benefit of not having that flag tied to our university, or vice versa, was far more valuable than the enjoyment that anybody received from waving that flag. It was measurably destructive to the university."

Black resistance was not always fruitful, and throughout much of post-bellum history, it wasn't. It seems that college football made for some weird power dynamics.

- Alan
 
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ForeverFree

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Since Mr. Brundage has been made the star of this thread, I thought I would examine some of his other statements.

"An observer scanning the commemorative landscape of North Carolina will see little evidence of the tens of thousands of white North Carolinians who fought for the Union"

Tens of thousands? That means at least 20,000. Try about 5,000.
Before someone preaches about the commemorative landscape shouldn't they know some accurate history?

"Perhaps the defenders of Confederate monuments will demonstrate their good faith by pressing for funding for new monuments to Southerners, white and black, who fought on behalf of the Union or otherwise opposed the Confederacy."

Strange thought.
He expects Confederate heritage groups to help raise monuments to the enemies of the Confederates - those whose aim was to kill their antecedents. Sorry, Mr. Brundage, the defenders of those who fought for the "Union" will have to raise those monuments.
1) RE: Since Mr. Brundage has been made the star of this thread,

Let's discuss how this thread has progressed.

The purpose of the thread - I know because I started it - was to discuss Brundage's 2005 book on southern heritage. I wanted to focus on how African Americans and white southerners have had different views of southern heritage, and how the power relations between blacks and whites ~ in which whites have had power, and African Americans, not ~ have created an exclusionary commemorative landscape. A landscape that is open to further contestation as southern African Americans gain power to affect the landscape themselves.

I have made it clear in 1 or 2 posts that this was my goal for thread, to avoid going off topic.

You have shown practically no interest in the thread topic at all.

You've basically ignored that to focus on Brundage's 2017(?) article which calls for the removal of Confederate monuments from the public square. Your clear goal is to make that "the star." You have a palatable distaste for Brundage. So much so that you desire to discredit his scholarship, because, I guess, if he says bad things about Confederate monuments, he must be a bad scholar, or more generally, he has to destroyed rhetorically.

If I recall - and I don't chose to look - you've had maybe 2 or 3 comments about the Brundage book. I don't recall that you've found any fault in fact or reason with what I've presented.

I choose to focus on the subject at hand.

2) RE: "An observer scanning the commemorative landscape of North Carolina will see little evidence of the tens of thousands of white North Carolinians who fought for the Union"

Tens of thousands? That means at least 20,000. Try about 5,000.
Before someone preaches about the commemorative landscape shouldn't they know some accurate history?


Feel free to open a thread on the number of NC Unionists.

3) RE: Strange thought. He expects Confederate heritage groups to help raise monuments to the enemies of the Confederates - those whose aim was to kill their antecedents. Sorry, Mr. Brundage, the defenders of those who fought for the "Union" will have to raise those monuments

This is not related to the comments from the book or the thread topic. But I will say three things.

First, I know for a fact that the SCV donated money to the installation of monument to USCT in Tennessee. Along with others who donated money. Perhaps they see things differently than you do.

Second, Brundage uses the language that groups should "press for funding" for these other monuments. To me, he is saying that those groups should advocate for such funding with the government, not necessarily provide money themselves.

Third, I have talked about this several times in this thread, I guess I'll say it again. The southern public space is owned by all southerners, and all southerners pay taxes to maintain those places. Why should African Americans, for example, allow their taxes and co-owned space to be used to support a memorial landscape that is exclusionary and misrepresents southern history? I don't understand why they would do that.

The goal with the commemorative landscape should be to have a place that fairly and accurately represents southern history. We know African Americans were systematically excluded from that. If we want a fair and balanced landscape, then that is something for all stakeholders to discuss. If there is no goal to have a fair and balanced landscape, then I see no incentive for all the people to support it; I see a path that leads to the destruction of everything. Is that what we want?

- Alan
 
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RobertP

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I live in Texas. There are 3 times as many Hispanics in the State as there are African Americans. Most of those people have roots in Mexico. Should they be required to support with their tax money the Alamo and the San Jacinto Monuments, probably the most prominent of public spaces in Texas, along with the hundreds of Texas schools, streets, parks, counties, towns and cities named after the white heroes of the 1836 Revolution?

I’m just asking for a friend.
 
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ForeverFree

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I live in Texas. There are 3 times as many Hispanics in the State as there are African Americans. Most of those people have roots in Mexico. Should they be required to support with their tax money the Alamo and the San Jacinto Monuments, probably the most prominent of public spaces in Texas, along with the hundreds of Texas schools, streets, parks, counties, towns and cities named after the white heroes of the 1836 Revolution?

I’m just asking for a friend.
??

The question is, are those publicly supported monuments? If so, it's a fait accompli. If so, then their tax money is already going to those monuments, and the public space which belongs to all is already being used.

Additionally, their money is going to any publicly supported Confederate monuments in the state, although none of their ancestors might have lived in the Confederacy.

The public space belongs to everyone in the public. The goal should be to have a commemorative landscape that fairly and accurately represents the history of a place. And if the landscape represents some groups and not others, the excluded groups will wonder, "why am I paying my tax dollars to support that?"

The whole point is that different people in a place have a different history or heritage, and they should all be accommodated. I would think most people would think that's a good idea, but maybe I'm wrong.

- Alan
 
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Hello,

Your depiction of the current state flag is incorrect; rather this is the version that flew from 1902-1906. Here are some of the Georgia state flags by design from its inception in 1879 (designed by Georgia Confederate veterans by the way).

The first is the 1879-1902 flag. You already posted the 1902-1906 so then there's the version from 1906-1920. After that is the flag that flew from 1920-1956 (probably my favorite version). You have posted already the controversial 1956-2001 flag so we will follow with the 2001-2003 flag (derisively called a Denny's place mat!). Finally we close with the current flag adopted in 2003.

Hope this helps.

Flag Guy

Georgia State Flag 1879-1902.png


Georgia State Flag 1906-1920.png


Georgia State Flag 1920-1956.png


Georgia State Flag 2001-2003.png


Georgia State Flag 2003 to current.png
 

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I really need to get this book. Been a topic I've been interested in. Heritage is a very nebulous thing. People often speak about it as if it's singular and static when it is neither.

Random tangential thought, what about the White minority heritage that was pro-Union and/or anti-slave (of course in States that were a majority African American at the time it would make that one a minority of a minority view).

A lot of this (going back towards the OP topic) is crystallized for me when people express "Confederate Heritage" being synonymous with "Southern Heritage."
 
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