It’s been a busy week for me, so I have not had the time to write up anything fresh. However, some interesting things have come across my news feed. So here is a short list.
- Behold! The rise of the Ukrainian Flaggers. Okay, not really. Ukrainian rebels are summoning the power of the Confederate Battle Flag. There are some notable differences though. The Ukrainian version does not include stars, but that is because there are no real identifiable states to be represented by stars. The use of the American icon is rather ironic given the amount of disdain for America held by the pro-Russian separatists. There is also an interesting parallel to be drawn between the rugged racial history of the CBF and the former Soviet Union’s propaganda machine, which promoted the idea that the U.S.S.R. was more tolerant in race relations. The Separatists claim that the flag has its historical roots in Cossack banners, flown when the group seized Novorossia from the Tatars and Turks in the 18th century. Most deem this to be a false narrative. Regardless, the separatists are using this false account of Cossack heroism to dispel comparisons between the pro-Russian Ukrainian Rebels and Confederate Rebels. Sound familiar? (Controversial Symbol: Check, Pseduohistory to defend symbol: Check). Granted, much of this probably comes from Russia’s history of using the St. Andrew’s Cross on flags.
- In light of the recent Bowe Bergdahl prisoner swap, Kevin Levin has written several posts directed at Bergdahl and desertion during the Civil War: Confederate Desertion and PFC Bowe Bergdahl; There Are No Monuments To Deserters on Civil War Battlefields; and “Let Them Go To the Devil”: Desertion Among USCTs. I really do not have much to add to his work at this time, Kevin always does a wonderful job. I would however like to invite readers to watch this video of Jon Stewart discussing the Bergdahl prisoner swap. Like Kevin, he manages to bring the Civil War into the discussion. The first nine minutes is all you need.
- Vietnam Vet. protests the inclusion of the Confederate Battle Flag at Memorial Day events. The argument is that the CBF is divisive, racist and the symbol of enemies of the U.S. What do you think?
- Some Civil Rights History events have passed of late: Wednesday (June 11th) was the 51st anniversary of Kennedy’s Civil Rights Announcement; Yesterday (June 12th) was the 51st Anniversary of the Assassination of Medgar Evers; and today in 1967, President Lyndon Johnson nominated Thurgood Marshall to the U.S. Supreme Court.
- A doctoral student at Columbia University claims that Political Scientists have ignored the Appalachian Region. I’m curious about the parameters of his research into what constitutes the “pertinent counties [that] depict a composite Appalachia (spanning 13 states) and Central Appalachia (Kentucky and small sections of bordering counties in West Virginia, Virginia, and Tennessee).” Also, how about you present that paper at the annual Appalachian Studies Association Conference to scholars who have spent the lives researching the Appalachian region, rather than conferences outside the region?