Will the Confederate flag soon be removed from children’s history books? That seems the next logical step in the current ferocious Sherman-like purge of the controversial flag. Apple is now removing all video games and apps that display the flag from the App Store.
Yet PBS will still show Ken Burns’ exhaustive, historically authentic documentary, The Civil War. In fact PBS plans to air a remastered version of the series this September. Unless remastering means redacting, Burns’ film will be filled with Confederate flags. Are they insulting? Are they racist? What incites and what educates? What’s simply accurate representation and what’s conflagratory? A complicated issue is seeing companies like Walmart, which will no longer sell items with the Confederate flag’s representation, and Apple marching close to censorship and first amendment encroachment. (But corporations –whether they’re citizens or not — have no interest in the first amendment. They’re interested in their reputations, their customers, and their bottom lines. These commercial concerns are the ultimate power. If you can’t buy a confederate flag anywhere anymore, it will slowly fade away to nothing — like the flags of ancient vikings or any other group on the losing side of history.)