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The Failure of Confederate Heritage


A provocative challenge from the historian Brooks D. Simpson:

In short, many advocates of the Confederate heritage movement in fact do not celebrate Confederate heritage.  They even have trouble defining it.  The best they can do is to claim that “it,” whatever “it” is, is under attack.  It is in fact the failure of this movement to define what they are celebrating and to make that case, to provide a compelling alternative, that tells me that in the end this movement will continue to fail to achieve anything else than the obfuscation of historical understanding.

IMAGE: The stained and torn flag of the 28th Virginia Infantry Regiment exhibits the ravages of war and time. The regiment was part of the Army of Northern Virginia. This silk flag was issued to the unit in November 1861, and probably carried until June 1863. (The Museum of the Confederacy)

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