Good Stuff

Elmwood Cemetery: Fixing Flags

… OF ALL STRIPES || By WILL FOLKS || One morning over the Labor Day weekend I took my family for a stroll through Elmwood Cemetery in downtown Columbia, S.C.  If you’ve never been, do yourself a favor this fall and check it out.  The park is located at 501 Elmwood Avenue…

… OF ALL STRIPES

|| By WILL FOLKS || One morning over the Labor Day weekend I took my family for a stroll through Elmwood Cemetery in downtown Columbia, S.C.  If you’ve never been, do yourself a favor this fall and check it out.  The park is located at 501 Elmwood Avenue … and most days it’s open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Also the Historic Columbia organization sponsors moonlight tours of the grounds.

Founded in 1856, the sprawling 168.5-acre cemetery was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1996.  One of its oldest, most famous sections memorializes soldiers of the Confederate States of America (CSA) – including many unknown dead.  In fact this Confederate cemetery is one of the locations visited by 21-year-old white supremacist Dylann Storm Roof in the run-up to the “Holy City Massacre” earlier this summer.

That’s a shame … because the memory of these soldiers (like all of those buried in Elmwood) deserves better.

On the morning my family paid its visit, a late summer thunderstorm had rolled through the area the previous evening.  Branches and limbs from nearby trees were scattered everywhere, and the runoff from the storm had deposited piles of sand and mud all over the place.  The storm also did a number on the flags adorning the various graves.  Most had been blown over, although a few had been totally uprooted and sent flying across the grass.  Several were ripped beyond repair.

Those of you who read this website regularly will recall FITSNews leading the charge to remove the Confederate flag from the grounds of the S.C. State House.  And you may also recall there being a bit of buyer’s remorse in the aftermath of that effort.

While I still don’t think the flag should have ever been (re)raised in a position of sovereignty, I believe the ongoing demonization of white southerners is every bit as offensive.  Same with the racially motivated violence toward whites in the aftermath of the Mother Emanuel AME tragedy.

Seriously: Which flag do we blame for that shooting?

On this day, though, as my youngest son Phillippe and I walked through the cemetery we resolved to fix all the flags that had fallen during the recent storm – American and Confederate (even though my “allegiance” to the country that’s bankrupting me and spying on me has waned considerably in recent years).

As we did, I taught him about the different flags on display in the cemetery (many of which we featured in this history lesson).  I also taught him about the different wars in which the soldiers had fought – although he seemed far more interested in raising the different banners and watching them blow in the morning breeze.

“This is a ‘Federate flag, daddy?” he would ask at one tombstone.

Yes, I answered.

“This is a ‘Merican flag?” he would ask at another.

“Yes, son.”

Cute …

Anyway, here are some pictures from our trip …

(Click to enlarge)

Banners of the South ...Confederate cemetery ...An early Confederate flag ...Phillippe fixing a Confederate flag ...An American flag ripped by the storm ...Confederate grave stones ...An unknown Confederate grave ...A Confederate gravestone ...Elmwood Cemetery ...Confederate battle flag ...

(Pics via Sic)

Will Folks is the founding editor of the website you are currently reading.  Before that he was a political hack.  And before that he really was a rock star.

***

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19 comments

opengovernmentup September 8, 2015 at 11:17 am

If it gets out Will Folks, previous bankrupting, persecuted, Rock Star, has a heart, less lone respect for anything who knows what might happen?
The State employees ie: Governor, politicians, might put SC and it’s people before their own political agenda.
There might be a previously unknown leader out there for the people willing to take over the reins of politics.
SC might throw out Common Core.
It’s heady to think of the might be’s out there.

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CNSYD September 8, 2015 at 11:43 am

8 killed and 46 wounded in shootings this weekend in Chicago. Must be that Confederate flag, right?

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Sandi Morals September 8, 2015 at 11:51 am

2 officers in Vegas ambushed/shot and Aurora/Denver cops being threatened with murder.They told us taking down the confederate flag would end ALL racial strife.

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mamatiger92 September 8, 2015 at 1:33 pm

Who is “they”?

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LoLz September 8, 2015 at 12:28 pm

It’s fun watching weak white racists crumble under the littlest bit of scrutiny.
You reap what you sow. Ask the native tribes if they would have liked their heritage respected by the white settlers. When your ‘heritage’ is based on white superiority, it’s all fair game.

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CNSYD September 8, 2015 at 1:08 pm

Answer the Joe Pyne question first.

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Original Good Old Boy September 8, 2015 at 1:26 pm

Wonder if the native tribes who were defeated and had their land “stolen” by other native tribes before a white man ever stepped foot in America want their heritage respected by the tribes that conquered them?

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LoLz September 8, 2015 at 4:56 pm

And another ‘monument’ bites the dust in Charlotte.
This is fun!

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Tammie McClure September 8, 2015 at 11:44 am

I shared your posting on my work Facebook, I work for a small flag company that did not stop selling the Confederate flags this summer because we, like you, believe those who died for that flag deserve to be remembered. They were someone’s father, uncle, son and so on. Even if I wouldn’t personally fly a Confederate flag at my home I can’t dictate to someone else what they do at theirs. That isn’t what America is about. Anyway, I really enjoyed your blog.

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Otto September 8, 2015 at 12:55 pm

How much for a 2×3 Nazi flag, Tammie?

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Original Good Old Boy September 8, 2015 at 1:30 pm

It’s really sad that idiots such as yourself presumably had your parents pay thousands of dollars for an education — and yet you still can’t distinguish between a nation bent on conquest and extermination versus a nation who sought liberty (for admittedly poor reasons) while clinging to an outdated and immoral form of labor beyond its historical expiration date.
In short, it’s a lazy and off-point analogy, but it seems “edgy” to make the analogy.

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CNSYD September 8, 2015 at 2:19 pm

Read “Slavery was not the cause of the War Between the States” by Kizer and “When in the Course of Human Events” by Adams and see if you still hold your current belief.

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Otto September 8, 2015 at 4:57 pm

Same thing. So, how much for a Nazi flag, Tammie.

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Mom September 8, 2015 at 5:51 pm

What’s the big deal? If you want a Nazi flag, buy one. Fly it all over the place. Hell, have it tattooed to your forehead. Just don’t expect to win any popularity contests.

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Rakkasan September 8, 2015 at 2:09 pm

Oh, they are remembered. Not so much as the state’s arrogant elitist leaders at the time who led the state down a path of ruin. But, they’re remembered. They get a pass no more than ex-soldiers of other immoral causes–like how all the Germans “didn’t know what was happening to the Jews”. Gee, what’s that smell?–as in “What’s that man doing hanging in that tree over there?” Give up the Lost Cause fantasy. It only makes you sound delusional.

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mamatiger92 September 8, 2015 at 11:45 am

Love this piece. And, your son is a cutie.

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Rakkasan September 8, 2015 at 12:41 pm

Getting bankrupted? Work harder. Stop whining. Stop breeding some many kids if you can’t afford them. I guess that means they’ll be on welfare school lunch, right? Or, bankrupt in the Trump sense?; just a tool to not pay just debts.

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erneba September 8, 2015 at 1:00 pm

Erasing past history, displacing, and destroying historical articles does nothing to ensure peace, tranquility, and understanding for future generations. When one attempts to destroy, ban, and impugn anyone’s character by associating their actions to past history and symbols, they are usually driven by political, racial, and social prejudices. One can only expect more of this shallow thinking, distorted logic, and continued discord in the future.
These artifacts, whether good or bad should remain present as a valid part of history, not a misconstrued symbol for some modern day nut.

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Bible Thumper September 8, 2015 at 3:30 pm

The kid has your hairline, but he will grow out of it

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