Two Confederate Flags

By Dufresne, Bethe | Commonweal, August 14, 2015 | Go to article overview

Two Confederate Flags


Dufresne, Bethe, Commonweal


Most Americans cheered last month when the most conspicuous symbol of the Confederacy, its battle flag, was removed from South Carolina's capitol grounds. But the flag remains with us, as does the debate over its significance. Nowhere is it more tenacious than in the province of the dead.

Two Confederate flags haunt my memory of a recent trip to Cedar Key, a small island off Florida's upper west coast. This is "old Florida," where a stroll through the town cemetery, shaded by cedars and moss-draped live oaks, is as soothing as a walk in the woods. That is, until you encounter the final resting place of "Big Ed."

A massive stone replica of the Confederate battle flag, in living color, forms the headstone for Eddy Peters, born March 21, 1963; died March 3, 2004. He was a firefighter, a beer drinker, a hunter, and a lover. Judging by the profusion of mementos--toy fire trucks, plaster angels and ducks, beer bottles--and a stone bench erected for contemplation at the gravesite, Big Ed had a lot of friends. All the trinkets pale, however, against the giant Confederate flag etched onto his black granite headstone. The left triangle of the flag reads, "American by Birth"; the right, "Southern by the Grace of God." A color photograph of the big man himself adorns the top of the monument. Smiling broadly, with one strong hand Big Ed holds aloft what looks to be a large, freshly slain boar; with the other, he extends his middle finger. But the greatest obscenity to me was the flag.

While my husband snapped photos to show our friends back home in New England, I stood in silent debate with Big Ed. He must have loved the Confederate flag and felt it conferred some kind of honor on those who continue to cherish it. Didn't he understand or care how painful the flag is to the descendants of slavery? A daughter of the South myself, I knew, or thought I did, what Big Ed would say: that racism has nothing to do with the Confederate flag; that it is a symbol of rebellion against all who would curb our freedom to define our culture and live as we choose.

Just beyond Big Ed's gravesite, atop a gentle rise, I spied another Confederate flag. This one was small, a cheap cloth swatch atop a wooden stick, tattered and tottering beside a plain, slim white headstone. I walked over to read the faded letters: "Isaac Richburg; Co. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Two Confederate Flags
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.