By Bill Maher
The Supreme Court’s decision to hear arguments on gay marriage was such big news you probably missed some of the other cases they decided to consider. Such as Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans. Like many states, Texas offers specialty license plates and the Texas branch of the Sons of Confederate Veterans sought to create a plate featuring their group’s logo and a Confederate flag. Texas denied the request after hundreds of complaints. The Supreme Court will decide whether specialty license plates are private speech or government speech. Thus begging the question: Again with the Confederate flag? When are these Confederate flag-hags going to give it up?
If you’re a white guy, living in Texas, driving a pickup truck with a shotgun rack and a “Nobama” bumper sticker, isn’t the Confederate flag license plate a little redundant? We get it. You’re a redneck. I don’t know how we’re going to find moderate rebels in Syria when you can’t even find a moderate rebel here in America.
Oh, wait. I found a moderate rebel: Robert E. Lee. General Lee – whose birthday was a week ago – was not a big fan of the Confederate flag. Writing for The Daily Beast, Jonathan Horn points out that, after surrendering the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in April 1865, Lee took an oath to support the US Constitution and advised fellow former Confederates to follow suit. So take that, Dukes of Hazard.
“Lee did not want such divisive symbols following him to the grave. At his funeral in 1870, flags were notably absent from the procession. Former Confederate soldiers marching did not don their old military uniforms, and neither did the body they buried… So sensitive was Lee during his final years with extinguishing the fiery passions of the Civil War that he opposed erecting monuments on the battlefields where the Southern soldiers under his command had fought against the Union. ‘I think it wiser moreover not to keep open the sores of war, but to follow the examples of those nations who endeavoured to obliterate the marks of civil strife and to commit to oblivion the feelings it engendered,’ he wrote.”
If the Confederacy’s most famous general had washed his hands of the Stars and Bars why can’t the rest of them?