Saturday, July 11, 2015

Yes, that is a Confederate flag on my Civil War News custom

Back on Dec. 18-20, 2014 on my blog I presented a pair of Civil War-themed custom cards in the format of the 1955 Topps Rails and Sails bubblegum card set.

At that time I mentioned that I had plans for a custom card in the style of the 1962 Topps Civil War News set.

Months passed and that project got put on the back burner.

Recent events, however, have spurred me to action. I present herewith my CWN custom, a tribute the University Greys of Ole Miss.

When I first heard the story of that unit, I was deeply moved.

When Mississippi became the second state to secede from the Union, on Jan. 9, 1861, the students at the University of Mississippi, along with many of their professors, left school and formed Company A of the 11th Mississippi Infantry Regiment.

The back of my card offers few more details, and you can spend days on the internet  studying the unit's participation in the war.

The patriotic spirit of the student-soldiers from Ole Miss is exemplified in a surviving letter home from one of Company A's casualties.

It is preserved in John Cofield's blog entry on, linked here:

A rebel's last words

As a child collecting Civil War News cards in 1962, I couldn't intelligently discuss the whys and wherefores of the war; I still can't. Suffice it to say that I was--and am--an admirer of the common man who took ups arms to defend what has been romanticized as the Lost Cause.

I have no illusions that the University Greys were the "common man" of 1860s Mississippi. The college students would have certainly been among the slave-holding aristocracy, but they were willing to fight and die for their beliefs. 

And that's all I'm going to say about the current politicization of certain symbols of Southern heritage.

Aw, hell. That's not all I'm going to say.

If that peckerwood had posted internet photos of himself holding the U.S. flag before he desecrated that church would there be an outcry to banish it? Or would the pointy-headed liberals find another pretense to reinterpret and demonize Southern history? Is what the Neo-Reconstructionists are doing any different than Isis's campaign to obliterate what it feels are politically incorrect historic sites and relics in the Mideast and Africa?

Once the Confederate battle flag has been removed from all government properties, will the bronze statues be toppled? Will bodies be exhumed from National cemeteries? There are already reports of Confederate soldiers' headstones being broken or defaced with graffiti. Will the playing of Dixie be outlawed?

Where does it end?

How divisive and/or violent will the inevitable backlash be?

Because my Civil War News custom card uses an original painting, "Imperishable Glory," by noted Gettysburg artist Dale Gallon, I will not be offering it for sale.


  1. I respect you greatly, Bob, but.... It wasn't "pointy-headed liberals" who called for the removal of the so-called Confederate Flag following the racially motivated massacre at a South Carolina church. It was conservatives, who were shamed by the grace of the victims' families and who very much wanted a distraction from the discussion on gun violence that otherwise would have dominated. They decided to sacrifice the flag rather than face an honest debate about doing something tangible to curb gun violence, even if that only means universal background checks (which better than three-fourths of the country support).

    The flag in question was never the flag of the Confederate states; it was a battle flag used by Robert E. Lee's troops in Virginia. It was the Klan that kept the "stars and bars" alive after the War. It did not fly over state houses either during or following the Civil War. That only became "a thing" in the 1960s as a direct response to Brown v. Board of Education and other federal government attempts to end forced segregation that persisted for nearly a century after the War. Go back and read what those promoting the flag in those days had to say about it. They were much more honest then, saying directly the flag symbolized their determination to maintain separation of the races. The only "heritage" the Confederate Flag was intended to symbolize was the heritage of slavery, racism and treason. We know this because the promoters of that flag told us so. You'll find no other example in human history where the losing side of a Civil War was afforded so much leniency--no place where the losing side is permitted any symbol of their cause. Whether that speaks to the tolerance of America's winning side or its stupidity (or, indeed, their own racism) I can not say.

    And its not as though attitudes on race have changed all that much in the American south. It wasn't that long ago I moved here. The first person I met told me, "You're gonna like it here; our n****** know their place." The local real estate people assumed I was black over the phone and would only show me vermin infested, completely run down properties. As soon as they realized I was white, they started showing me beautiful homes in beautiful neighborhoods. I know this because I asked and they told me. "Why wouldn't you show me these places to begin with?" "We thought you were black." Their excuse was that they figured, if I was black, I couldn't afford the nicer places. And maybe that would have been reasonable...had not the prices of the vermin infested properties exceeded the prices of the nicer places in every instance. And neither you nor I will ever have to worry that a routine traffic stop will end with our being shot dead because of the color of our skin.

    All that said, if someone wants to celebrate the "heritage" of treason and racial hatred by displaying a Confederate Flag, I say go right ahead. At least everyone will know what you are. I would much rather have had the universal background checks.

  2. I'm sorry that demonizing slavery and white supremacy bothers you so much. Personally, I think it's precisely the right reaction to such things.

    As for the comparison to ISIS, they have been *destroying* the historical artifacts. No one destroyed the flag that was hanging in South Carolina. There's been talk of removing Confederate statues and such, but not of blowing them up. That's the difference.


Your comments, criticism, additional information, questions, etc., are welcome . . . as long as they are germane to the original topic. All comments are moderated before they are allowed to appear and spam comments are deleted before they ever appear. No "Anonymous User" comments are allowed.