Flags, Sheets, and Other Assorted Fabric

Posted on July 8, 2020


In the enlightened era that surrounds us, folks are beginning to look around them and say, “Whoa, that’s bad! Why haven’t I noticed that before!” They are referring to statues and flags that represent shameful behavior in our nation’s past, that very behavior that is now being touted by our Psycho-in-Charge as exemplary of the Good Ole American Way.

At the center of all the hubbub is the Confederate flag, or at least what people believe to be the Confererate flag. Those who proudly wave such flag believe in a time when all was right with the world and some humans, mostly white, were legally entitled to own other humans, all black. .

In a service to Loyal Readers, Life in the Boomer Lane has done some deep research, mostly consisting of LBL’s younger son saying “Hey Mom, I read a really cool article about the Confederate flag and the Ku Klux Klan.” LBL hereby passes the information on to you.

In 1861, eleven southern states seceded from the Union to form the Confererate States of America, in which they sought to preserve an antiquated agricultural food production system and maintain the right to bestow free room and board to their loyal African American workers.

The South knew that war with the North was imminent, and a necessity in war at that time was to carry a flag around to tell everyone who you were. The flag they created was swell, except it looked too much like the existing US flag. If it were carried in battle, no one could correctly tell who to shoot at.

One thing led to another, as things generally do, and the result was something called the Civil War. One of the big problems for the South was that the flag they designed looked too much like the existing US flag. Soldiers got confused and the result was a lot of unruly shooting. The flag was redesigned.

In addition to their national flag, most regiments had their own individual flags, prouding representing their states. If one could ignore the blood and mayhem, battles would look like parades or like the front of the United Nations headquarters or grand hotels.

The flag of the Virginia regiment was especially nifty and became known as the “Southern Cross.” Lots of other regiments tried to copy it, and had there been social media at the time, it would have gone viral, with it’s own Facebook page and millions of followers. It was so nifty, in fact that the Confederacy incorporated the southern cross into their second attempt at a national flag.

That second flag had one small problem. It was largely white, and so on a windless day, it looked like the entire South was surrendering. This turned out to be an omen of sorts. The flag was changed yet again. The third attempt at a flag was an improvement but only lasted a couple months, because the South did, indeed, surrender.

The Confererate’s surrender meant the end of the war and the end of slavery. The North rejoiced. Most of the South didn’t but decided to turn their attention elsewhere and move on with their lives. But some decommissioned officers of the confederacy had an idea. “Let’s dress up like the ghosts of dead Confederate soldiers, and find freed blacks and scare the shit out of them!” Other decommissioned officers thought this was a swell idea. They formed a group called the Ku Klux Klan. Inspired by the costumes of small children at Halloween, they threw white sheets over themselves and went berserk. They were super popular for awhile among racists and folks who had extra sheets at home. But eventually, the KKK began to fade into obscurity.

While this was going on, Confererate symbols continued to be super popular in the South, one of them being battle flags used by the various regiments. Statues of Confererate generals and their horses began popping up in towns across the South. In 1904, the United Confederate Veterans decided that the “Southern Cross” battle flag, one of many, would be deemed the Real and True Symbol of the Confereracy.

In 1915, the blockbuster film “Birth of A Nation” appeared in movie theaters. “Birth of A Nation” celebrated the KKK as a heroic fraternal order that saved the US from the scourge of freed slaves. “Birth of A Nation,” in addition to being a marvel of filmmaking for its time, was also responsible for creating the rebirth of the KKK.

The “Southern Cross” version of the Confederate flag became a symbol of rebellion and protest. In the 1920’s, the KKK adopted it as their very own. From then until now, people throughout the South have waved the Southern Cross flag to show pride in their Southern roots. It lives on in tattoos, and has been printed on caps, TV shows, mud flaps, lingerie, and a backdrop for Mitch McConnell. Most people believe it was the flag of the South. They wouldn’t want to hear any other explanation.

White sheets on the other hand, continue to be used quite successfully as mattress coverings and children’s ghost costumes, without the association of being used to terrify, torture, and/or massacre law-abiding residents of the United States. LBL, a fan of crisp white linen sheets, is especially grateful.

Posted in: history, humor, satire