Driving home from an errand, I passed a young guy who was waving a big Confederate flag from the driver's side mirror of his pickup. The thing had to be 2 feet wide, and it was a little frayed as if it had been through the battle at Fort Sumter. What does this guy in central Ohio know about the Confederacy, for Pete's sake? This isn't South Carolina. This isn't Atlanta.
When someone above the Mason-Dixon line flies that flag, you have to wonder what they think it stands for, especially when they wave around one the size of a beach blanket. And you have to wonder if they have any southern roots at all.
Of all the noble things one could draw from the South and its history, you'd think we could find something other than a symbol of secession and division (I'm not including bigotry here because I'm not interested in opening up old war wounds.)
Here are some things I like about the South that would be valuable to copy, even if we can't stick them on the sides of our trucks:
- Respect for authority and the elderly
- Social delicacy
- Mint Juleps
- Front-porch neighborliness
- Fried ocra
- Coconut cake with 7-minute icing
- The smell of honeysuckle
- Subtle humor
- Decent barbecue
- Whittling without purpose
I'm sure my southern sisters can add to this list. When I was a kid I used to sing "Oh I wish I was in the land of cotton..." in preparation for visiting Alabama every June. I loved those visits, but there may be a few things I've forgotten.