North of the Mason Dixon

Flying a flag for all the wrong reasons

There are many things in this world that irk me, but one of my biggest pet peeves to date is the ubiquitous use of the Confederate flag by people who have no idea where it comes from or what it means. It’s a part of our country’s history, but today it has been reduced to a synonym for “redneck rebel.”

In the past weeks some vagabond chalkers hit several places on campus writing obscenities and in one place drawing a Confederate flag. I’m not mad about that. I’m all for harmless chalking. It makes me laugh.

What vexed me was the story my boss told me. She was walking by the chalked flag and noticed a student taking a picture of the flag. A short conversation ensued, which entailed my boss noting that she didn’t mind or find the flag offensive since it was part of our nation’s history, but said it was odd to see it so far north of the Mason Dixon Line. What my boss told me next floored me. The student’s response was “What’s the Mason Dixon Line?”

The heritage versus hate argument I see no quarrel with, considering the version of the stars and bars popular today wasn’t the only flag used in the civil war. The Confederacy was so disorganized flag-wise that there were at one point 10 official flags used. To me, the Confederate flag we see now is a bastardization of a memory that is slowly being forgotten by the many ignorant fools wishing to seem like a rebel. The Confederates weren’t rebels. They were soldiers fighting for their country. The descendants of Confederate soldiers have every right to celebrate their history.

However, the memory of these soldiers is forgotten and lost when we take a symbol of suffering and war and turn it into a pop-culture icon used by people who drive enormous trucks and listen to country music. I’ve found in my travels and relations that more people north of the Mason Dixon Line use and display the Confederate flag than those of true southern heritage and habitude. Most of my southern relatives fly an American flag. Why? Because we are one country united. The conflict of the North and South has been put to rest for well over a century. The South will not rise again.

Persons who choose to display the Confederate flag with little to no regard of its significance only tarnish our country’s history and the memory of the hundreds of thousands of individuals who died during the war. The Civil War alone caused more deaths than all other wars America has entered combined. It turned families against one another. It freed slaves in the South, but killed thousands of Irish immigrants from the North in the process. In the long run, it left both the North, the South and the subsequent reunified nation in dire straits.

The sheer obtuseness of not knowing where the Mason Dixon Line is located only underlines the stereotype of those who fly the stars and bars. Not all people who fly the Confederate flag are ignorant, but I’ve found it very hard to find someone North of the Mason Dixon Line who actually has a claim to flying this flag or respects what it stands for, both the good and the bad.


Apparently the author has never been in the “true” south. Taking a vacation to Atlanta or driving through on your way to florida in no way exposes you to the south. Go to Mississippi and look at their state flag or the old Georgia flag and tell me if more northerner’s still fly stars and bars.

“The Confederates weren’t rebels. They were sol­diers fight­ing for their coun­try.” 
   They succeeded from the union. That makes them rebels, hence the rebel flag. What country were they fighting for?  The CSA were never a country, just a group of rebel states.


   I’ve been told it’s okay to comment and discuss my own articles, so I shall.  @d89cd710e6281393abe12d8812ae4ca0:disqus Taking I-75 down south is the Tourist route. If you take that way you miss all the GOOD boiled peanut stands, like the ones that sell cajun flavored boiled nuts. I could eat my weight in boiled peanuts. You also miss the good pit bbq places in Alabama if you take I-75. You know- the places where they use wet-wipes instead of napkins and unbuttoning your pants is just a way of saying “thank you for the delicious meal.” Sadly though my family’s favorite place to stop outside of Mobile was destroyed with the Tornadoes a couple years ago.I’ve vacationed in Flordia, and I’ve BEEN to Florida. There is a difference. The difference is one is Disney/ Orlando area, and the other is my G’ma’s house in the middle of the State far from any big city,  where you fight mosquitoes as big as your head. I love air boating, gator watching and hoggin.      Mississippi  and ‘Bama fly their version of the Stars and Bars because as stated above- it’s their heritage. A few households I’ve been to have a state flag, but I’ve mostly seen them outside of municipality buildings and at certain hotels off of  I-65. Its the same principal as you see up here, some people chose to fly the State flag w/ the American one, and some don’t. They don’t look at it as a rebel flag any more than we look at the Michigan flag as an homage to deer. 

The CSA was a country, or it least it aimed to be one after the war was done. They minted their own money, sold war bonds and for all better purposes, planned to be a separate country from the United States all together. To get that point, look at our Revolutionary war. America ceased to be a British colony by our standards on July 4th. The CSA likewise thought themselves and independent nation while the war was going on. The difference between the succession of the Confederate States and the Revolutionary war is that the Confederate States lost, ergo any claims they had to a country were lost when they lost the war. Just was we’d still be a British entity (like Canada) today if we had lost the Revolutionary war.     Don’t get confused either- these rifts in the states had existed since the Revolution as well. Many of the forefathers from the “northern” parts wanted nothing to do with slavery,  while the Southern farmers insisted that they needed them for their economic survival. The Civil war was a result of our forefathers throwing an issue under the rug for years and trying to ignore it. It wasn’t until the Dred Scott case was decided that the fuse for the war machine was ignited. Thanks for your comments guys!-Jax 

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