Undated, but I’m guessing 1960. A.L. Brown High opened in Kannapolis in 1951. Decal maker Angelus Pacific was founded in 1932 in Fullerton, Calif. Both are still in business.
“Whatever the motive behind secession, once the war began the overwhelming number of Confederate soldiers, most of whom were non slaveholders, fought to defend their states, homes, and families from the invading federal armies. Such was the case with my four great uncles, poor dirt farmers who owned no slaves. Two served as privates in North Carolina infantry regiments and two carried the mail for the Confederacy. One of the former was killed in Pickett’s Charge and the other died during the Peninsular Campaign of 1862, thus becoming two of the 40,000 North Carolinians who paid the ultimate price fighting under the now much-maligned Confederate battle flag….
“I am proud of my Confederate heritage and proud to live in a state that still recognizes that heritage in its state banner.”
An 84-year-old white Mississippian defending the Confederate flag may qualify as dog-bites-man, but Bill Scarborough is also an accomplished academic whose doctorate and bachelor’s degree are from UNC Chapel Hill and whose papers occupy 27 feet of shelf space in the Southern Historical Collection.
Scarborough’s op-ed column threw me back to 1970, when I interviewed him for the micromonthly Mississippi Freelance.
In his Confederate-flag-draped office at the University of Southern Mississippi we talked about his recent stump speeches (“I’m a segregationist, no apologies, no denials”), his brief and unhappy tenure at Millsaps College (“It had assumed that since I was a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina that I’d be fairly liberal”) and most viscerally his fond recollection of the James Meredith crisis that wracked the state in 1962:
“The Citizens Council issued a call for men to surround the Governor’s Mansion; they had heard the federal marshals would try to arrest him [Ross Barnett]. It was great. The women brought lunches and chairs, and there was patriotic music coming over the loudspeakers…Emotionally, it was the high spot of my life. For the first time I could really see how the Civil War took place….”
So, no, I wasn’t surprised to see Scarborough’s attachment to the Confederacy undiminished by the intervening 47 years….
“Council Member James Taylor is backing away from his suggestion that [Winston-Salem] consider dropping the word ‘Dixie’ from the name of its popular fair.
“ ‘The support at this time seems to be for leaving the name the same,’ Taylor said of the Dixie Classic Fair. ‘Because this seems to have driven a wedge in the community, I don’t see a need to pursue it any further’….
“Taylor’s discomfort with ‘Dixie’ makes sense to…William Ferris, senior associate director of the Center for the Study of the American South at UNC Chapel Hill: ‘It’s a highly charged word and, like the [Confederate] flag, it will increasingly be relegated to the pages of history in a public way.’…
“Though Taylor is now supporting keeping the fair’s name, it’s likely the issue may surface again, Ferris said.
“ ‘You have people who look back at displaying the flag and singing “Dixie,” and the Old South was a place to long for,’ he said, adding that those memories are being increasingly contested by people who view the Old South through a prism of violence and human rights violations with little affection for the “land of cotton.”
“ ‘The South is evolving and considering its future and figuring how to best understand its history. And contesting those memories is one way to do that,’ Ferris said. ‘The word “Dixie” is part of that re-evaluation of what the South is and how it should be publicly presented.’ ”
— From “Council member says he won’t pursue name change for Dixie Classic Fair” by Lisa O’Donnell in the Winston-Salem Journal (Aug. 12)
“As punishment for losing civil wars go, the South got pretty lucky. It got to honor its military leaders with bronze statues. It got to name its streets and schools after Confederate leaders. It even got to keep symbols of the war, like the suddenly at-issue Confederate flag.
” ‘The Southern losers were treated with extraordinary leniency,’ said Harry Watson, a history professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill….
” ‘In most of the civil wars that I know anything about the losers were subject to much more serious repression…. They were sent to camps or they were shot or put in jail or any number of horrible things like that.’
“Two high-profile gruesome examples: The French Revolution in the 1790s that popularized the guillotine, and executions during and after the end of the 1920s Russian civil war that reached genocide levels.
“The losing sides’ flags in these cases were most certainly destroyed. In the case of the Russian civil war, Watson said, ‘If you flew the czarist flag after that war was over, or in Communist-controlled territory while the war was going on, you’d have been in very big trouble.’
“Watson thinks the North didn’t have the political will to remake Southern society after the war. He sums up the North-South peace deal this way: ‘ “As long as you [the North] give us the right to rule these states,” said the South, “we will not demand national independence.” That was essentially what it amounted to. And the North said “OK.” ‘ ”
— From “Why is the Confederate flag still a thing even though the South lost the Civil War?” by Amber Phillips in the Washington Post (July 10)
“In the hours after the massacre at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, American and South Carolina flags across that state dipped to half-staff….
“But the Confederate battle flag that sits on the grounds of the capitol in Columbia was left untouched….
“The Charleston Post and Courier explained that ‘Its status is outlined, by law, as being under the protected purview of the full S.C. Legislature, which controls if and when it comes down.’ ”
— From “Why the Confederate flag at South Carolina’s capitol didn’t dip for the Charleston dead” by Jim Galloway at ajc.com (June 18, 2015)
“A Confederate battle flag hung inside the old North Carolina State Capitol to mark the sesquicentennial of the Civil War is being taken down after civil rights leaders raised concerns.
“The decision was announced hours after the Associated Press published a story about the flag, which officials said was part of an historical display intended to replicate how the antebellum building appeared in 1863….”
— From “North Carolina taking down Confederate flag from old Capitol building” by the Associated Press (March 29, 2013)
What a contrast! One state welds itself to official veneration of the flag, the other leaps to erase it from even historical display.
Even so, North Carolinians who wish to share with the world their attachment to the Lost Cause do have options.
Update: That now-dead link was to an item listed on Amazon — a contemporary mashup of the North Carolina state flag and the Confederate battle flag. Like many other retailers, Amazon has now removed all Confederate merchandise.
“The tomb of Ulysses S. Grant on Manhattan’s Riverside Drive was closely guarded over the weekend by damyankee police who had heard that North Carolina rebels, in New York for the Notre Dame game, were planning to hoist the Confederate flag over the shrine.”
— From Time magazine, Nov. 21, 1949