By Robert Romano
On April 9, 1865, over 155 years ago, the traitor known as Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House, Virginia. Yes, for some it may be hard to believe, but the Confederate States lost the Civil War – it surrendered, yielded, resigned, gave up, quit, came in second out of two. The turncoat and collaborating Confederate army, the one that turned its back on its own nation, pitted brother against brother, decided to tuck its tail between it legs, threw up its hands, waved the white flag of defeat, and went home. See, that is one thing we all need to remember, the Confederacy lost, and all those who fought on its behalf, were traitors to the United States of America.
Interestingly though, the flag flown by the traitorous Confederate army wasn’t the one known as the ‘rebel flag’ or the ‘southern cross’ that has been flying over NASCAR events and SEC football games for the last 70 years. That ‘flag’ has no association with the so called “Confederate Southern Heritage’. The original Confederate flag, the ‘stars and bars’, went through three different variations during the Civil War, but the ‘current rendition’ wasn’t one of them. That ‘current rendition’ was rejected as an official emblem and only came to be associated with the Confederacy long after of the Civil War.
In 1948, almost 100 year after Appomattox, the segregationist group known as the Dixiecrats, the political party whose slogan was ‘Segregation Forever’, adopted the ‘southern cross’ as its symbol. In the following years, it became an even more important part of the segregationist movement and was featured prominently on the 1956 redesign of Georgia’s state flag, a legislative resolution that was in response to the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown vs. Board of Education. So, it is without question, nor is it debatable, that the ‘southern cross’ or the ‘rebel flag’ or whatever you want to call it, is nothing less than a symbol of racism, prejudice, discrimination, hate, and segregation. And if you need further proof, the flag in its current version is commonly associated with white supremist groups such as the Ku Klux Klan.
So why are we now, as sports fans, in 2020, applauding NASCAR for banning the flag at all of its events and properties. NASCAR, as a U.S. company that has been around, coincidentally, since 1948, should have banned this icon of racism, segregation, and hate years ago. But, finally, in 2020, the racing organization has decided that the presence of the flag “runs contrary to our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all fans, our competitors and industry.” My question is – “What took you so long?”
Additionally, for those who are no longer willing to attend or support NASCAR because of its long overdue position, you, the Confederate flag wavers, are the current traitors to this country. That flag is a symbol of systemic racism that has plagued this country for over a hundred years, it is hate speech in its purist form. That flag, and what it symbolizes, has no place in these UNITED STATES, not at a NASCAR race, an SEC football game, nowhere!