Virginia Revisionists Dishonor Dead, Disavow History

By Knott, Tom | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), August 2, 2001 | Go to article overview
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Virginia Revisionists Dishonor Dead, Disavow History


Knott, Tom, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


Byline: Tom Knott

The Confederate flag is caught in the cross hairs of political correctness.

As far as symbols go, the flag represents a place that no longer exists, except in the hearts and minds of those who seek to celebrate their heritage.

This apparently is too much bear amid the squishy sensibilities of 2001, 136 years after the fact. These, after all, are the enlightened forces of the political left and the mushy-headed thinkers who, after stroking their chins, discovered that Columbus was a very bad man and not really much of a discoverer at all.

Not surprisingly, the boat back to Europe in the '90s was not crowded at all. Being incredibly sophisticated does not necessarily mean having to leave your comfortable existence, owed in no small part to the explorer who made a lucky left turn.

In trying to airbrush the Confederate flag out of the historical picture, the forces of political correctness are employing one of the favored tricks of the old Soviet Union. History's losers lose their very being to the hard-working revisionists.

The Virginia division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans is putting up the spirited fight, from New Castle in the Shenandoah Valley to West Point in the Tidewater region of the state.

Virginia Gov. James S. Gilmore III, who, like any vote-conscious politician, wants to be all things to all people, undoubtedly is trying to play all ends while wishing the flap would go away.

He can run from history, but he can't hide. All he can do is stay out of the way of the state's attorney general, who is appealing the court ruling that grants the request of those who want the flag on their Virginia license plates.

Mr. Gilmore tried to find a compromise in April, proclaiming it Civil War History Month instead of the customary Confederate History Month. This semantical shift failed to quell the growing antagonism between the two sides.

The good governor is a victim of geography, stuck as he is south of the Mason-Dixon Line, in the old capital of the Confederacy.

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