Whenever I set up my table display for selling books, there’s always a flag. All my books have a flag. My therapy dog book has the TDI flag, Avery and Gunner have the Bonnie Blue, the Hospital and the U.S. 1865. Bread Upon the Water has a Vietnam flag and Rock and a Hard Place has a Lithuanian flag. Both of those were replaced in their homeland by communist variations and are only available for the immigrants here who cherish their “real” ones. Cracks in the Ice has an Olympic flag and Jim Limber has the first, second and third flag of the confederacy used during Jefferson Davis’ tenure as its president. July 3 and 4th I signed books at the Community Center in Sapphire Valley resort. Since all the books were displayed, so were all the flags.
I wondered if anyone would mention the confederate flags, since that was the hot topic of the week on facebook and evening news here in this part of the country. No one did. But I watched the flags fluttering under the overhead fan and wondered, what would Jefferson Davis say about all this? I’ve spent a lot of time with J.D. research, his senate orations, his essays and letters. He was pragmatic in most decisions. Contrary to unkind portrayals of him, he was not “for” the war. He didn’t want to be president of the confederacy. He hoped for diplomacy to avoid conflict. When it was finally over he advised his supporters to let the lost cause be put to rest. Never forget the horrendous loss of life and property, but put it to rest; get on with a better future.
The battle flag flies at the Jefferson Davis Museum and Library in Biloxi, MS, and at the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, VA. I think J.D. would say the battle flag should be entombed in display cases inside the museums, in memoriam. Outside the museum, fly one of the official flags of the confederacy. Let the battle flag rest. The future would be better without it.
A flag is a piece of cloth attached by one edge to a staff and used as the distinctive symbol of a country or as a signal. That’s what Oxford American Dictionary says. Just a piece of cloth.