Thursday, 8 July 2004

Crosses and flags


Rather, just like “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance and the Confederate battle flag motif used in Southern state flags, it was a belated addition of the Eisenhower era. Both the cross and “under God” were added as part of a wave of religious iconography that swept the nation in the 1950s in response to fears of “godless communism,” while the Confederate flag was added to demonstrate contempt for the growing civil rights movement — and to rally local support for continued enforcement of Jim Crow laws.

(Minor) point of fact: the Confederate battle flag emblem was first incorporated in the Mississippi state flag on February 7, 1894—Mississippi’s legislators must have been quite prescient to forsee a conflict over civil rights arising in another six decades or so.* The only other state to incorporate the battle flag “motif” into its own was Georgia, which did so in 1956; however, the use of Confederate imagery in the Georgia state flag dates back to 1879. No other state adopted the battle flag in part or whole, although South Carolina put up the flag in 1962 over its statehouse, but never incorporated the design into its flag.

* For all you budding time-series econometricians out there: did incorporating the battle flag “Granger-cause” the civil rights movement?