Over the past ten-odd days, I've sat and watched this Confederacy flag business and the various 'bumps in the road'. Some folks are taking all this personal, and some folks are on an agenda. If I may.....let me offer six observations:
1. The war ended over 150 years ago, with whom three generations of our ‘kin’ have passed on since it occurred. Oddly...most of southerners will admit that we were dirt poor in 1860, and maybe two or three steps above dirt poor today. In the period after the war, the economics of any of the southern states was lousy. It took at least five decades for most folks to see some light at the end of the tunnel. In some ways, the war fixed a problem or two, and in other ways.....it generated a whole generation of folks on the marginal end of the economic scale.
2. Oddly, ninety-nine percent of people who claim southern status today....never were in any large scale farm situation or owned slaves. You can ask southerners about this and I'd take a guess that more than eighty percent can’t even name their ‘kin’ who was alive at the time if they were in the war or just stayed home. It's a shock to most folks that as you look over some county's residents in 1860....you come to realize that there's only a hundred-odd guys who are plantation 'CEOs' and own slaves. The other two or three thousand males in the county? They are simply small hundred-acre or two-hundred acres farmers.....nothing more than that.
3. Getting any southerner to explain Tennessee’s status of 1860 to 1865....is just about impossible. Tennessee was never part of the Confederacy.....but barely attached to the Union itself. It's a difficult topic and most southerners just avoid this discussion.
4. The pride thing generally only comes from the ‘them-versus-us’ situation. You see the same thing with the Germans after WW I. You see the same attitude with various countries that lost wars. In this case, a lot of southerners got upset over the regional carpetbagger situation. For a decade or two, hostility generally brewed throughout the south.
5. A lot of this southern enthusiasm waned off by 1900 and went to a lesser degree. After 1950s, and going into the mid-1960s...for some odd reason, you see fake enthusiasm built up by some fraudulent political gimmicks/groups. A lot of this flag charm stuff came up in this period....rather than the fifty years after the war. No one has ever tasked the news media or historians to chat over fake enthusiasm of this period, and how it wove itself into hundreds of thousands of people. Much of what you see today....is the result of this period, and not the 1860s.
6. Finally, my general prospective is that there is a vast amount of information concerning this period of 1800 to 1860.....which has been just quietly stuffed into a closet and historians/news media players have simply left either purposely or accidentally on the floor. The same problem exists with the 1920s and the period leading up to the 1929 Wall Street crash. No one ever talks economics in the 1840s or the structured/layered situation of the South from 1800 on. No one talks of politics and the us-versus-them attitude taken in Washington DC.
Maybe some people will stand up and finally ask some stupid questions and come to realize some facts. We are roughly 150 years from the event. What happens in 2150? Will we still be arguing over a war from 1865?