The PJ Tatler

Confederate Battle Flag Sales Through the Roof

Until Amazon.com stopped selling them at 2:30 PM Eastern time today, sales of the Confederate battle flag had shot up 4,000% over the previous 24 hours according to this Business Insider story:

People are snatching up the flags online after several major retailers — including eBay, Wal-Mart, and Sears — pulled them from shelves.

The retailers banned the flags after last week’s shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, in which a gunman killed nine people in the historic black Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

The man arrested in connection to the shootings, 21-year-old Dylann Roof, reportedly harbored racist sentiments and wanted to incite a “race war.” He appeared to pose with the Confederate battle flag in several photos that were unearthed after the attack.

Gov. Nikki Haley (R) of South Carolina and a bipartisan group of local elected officials announced Monday that they supported the removal of the Confederate flag from the state capitol grounds.

The debate has since shifted to other Southern states with Confederate imagery on their banners. Mississippi prominently features the Confederate battle flag in its official state flag, and some top Democrats and Republicans have said they want that changed as well.

Gov. Phil Bryant (R) of Mississippi, however, pointed to a 2001 referendum on the subject and said he opposed overturning the will of the voters.

I am still trying to find the logic of using the tragedy in Charleston to set off this hysteria against an icon that barely has a tangential relationship to the killings. About the only thing I can come up with is that the reason the campaign to bury the Confederate battle flag is happening is because it can. The people pushing it have the power so why not exercise it?

I would like to see a campaign to ban the image of Che Guevara. I mean, if we’re going to go around banning symbols of hate and murder, you can’t do better than banning the image of a man who is personally responsible for thousands of deaths due to his unreasoning hatred and bloodlust.

Che’s image may not grace the capitol grounds of a state, but its iconic presence in liberal politics is undeniable. If flying the Confederate battle flag is an indication of racism, then wearing the image of the mass-murdering Che indicates support for violence and hate, right?

The perception of both icons is in the eye of the beholder. You can choose to see racism when looking at the battle flag or you can see a celebration of heritage, or even just a symbol of hard drinking and fast cars. Conversely, you can view the image of Che with revulsion against his horrific blood filled rampages, or see a fighter for someone’s idea of “social justice.”

Why should one interpretation be the “correct” interpretation for either icon? Who decides? In the case of the battle flag, the left has arrogantly aggrandized itself and has mobilized to force its interpretation down the throats of everyone else. I agree that the battle flag should be consigned to museums (a decision for the people in states where the battle flag flies), but why this outpouring of vitriol? Especially since the battle flag had no direct connection to the slaying of 9 innocent people?

Getting rid of the battle flag won’t lessen racism in America by one iota. But it sure will make liberals feel better about themselves, won’t it?