Confederate Flags Are Your Massachusetts Senate Issue of the Day

Ed Markey asked a pro-flag donor to stay away from his fundraiser.


The General Lee from the ‘Duke’s of Hazard’ has a Confederate flag on its roof. Image: cliff1066 via Flickr

Winning the award for most random political issue in the campaign today is … the Confederate flag. Ah yes, the old red and blue banner waved its improbable way through our Senate race when Ed Markey learned that a guest at his upcoming fundraiser— none other than Cooter Davenport from the Duke’s of Hazzard (or rather, the television actor turned congressman Ben Jones but we’re gonna go ahead and keep calling him Cooter Davenport)—had once expressed support for the Confederate flag. Specifically, ole’ Cooter took NASCAR to task last year when they said a car from the TV series couldn’t appear in an event because it had a Confederate flag painted on the roof.

The Confederate banner is a hot-button symbol, debate over which flares up now and again. Opponents protest its appearance not so much for what it represented in 1860 as for the way it was co-opted by Dixiecrats through the 1960s as they staunchly opposed Civil Rights. Its supporters suggest it’s a reminder of their heritage not a symbol of support for slavery. (Except, we suppose, the actual neo-Confederates who fly it, but they’re a special bunch.) Wherever you fall, we’d go ahead and say it isn’t a hugely animating issue this far north of the Mason Dixon line. But anyway, Ed Markey is no Confederate, as he made clear when he basically rescinded Cooter D’s invite to his fundraiser. “Ed believes such Confederate relics are highly offensive, and should not be displayed in public settings, period,” a spokesman told the Globe.

This, by the way, makes Cooter just the second former congressman from Georgia to make an unwelcome foray into the Massachusetts Senate election this week. And hey, it’s only Tuesday!

  • David McCallister

    Seems like some considerable Confederophbia going on in the ole’ Bay State. And I thought y’all were supposed to be liberal. I guess not when it’s other people’s Constitutional rights being trampled on.

    Mr. Randall says “Mr. Markey is no Confederate”. I guess that’s true. But he’s no good American either, if he wants to deny the First Amendment. What’s “should not be displayed in public settings” all about? Content Discrimination – ethnic genocide- that’s what. Anyone with that cavalier attitude toward the Constitution should not be running for political office; at least not in Dan’l Webster’s home state. Maybe he’s just afraid of the Big Bad Confederate Flag? I guarantee, we Southerners won’t try to Shermanize Massacheusetts.

    When the Confederate Flag is rehabilitated by educated, intelligent citizens all across the country, led by such good folks as the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the United Daughters of the Confederacy, and is restored to its place in the mainstream of society as a frequent, familar, and respected feature of the civic landscape, it will cease to be the Bogeyman of the extremists of the KKK and the NAACP.

    Where does all this “offense” come from? Who are these mysterious “opponents”? What is their beef?

    Mr. Randall asserts that the “opponents” have no issue about 1860 (although I think he means the WBTS of 1861-1865. The only proto-Confederate banner in 1860 was the Bonnie Blue flag). So it’s a case of “that was then, this is now”? But the Dixiecrats are a spent force, having gone the way of the Know Nothings, Boll Weevils, and Mugwumps. So, who’s the bad actor now?

    In 1991, the NAACP passed a national resolution that the abstract symbols of the CSA, including the Confederate Battle Flag, were “an odious blight on the universe”. This hate speech has been used ever since by the self-serving NAACP at every opportunity to try to force a heckler’s veto on public discourse. They’ve waved the bloody shirt so often, crying wolf, It’s become a mindless mantra of the misinformed Politically Correct. But, surely it doesn’t take a Harvard degree from Prof. Gates to figure out that blaming a flag for everything is a specious fallacy. Now, you can’t even have a Southern Cross flag on an iconic TV comedy show car at a candidate’s rally just for fun? Please.

    If the voters of Mass. want to fall for this malarky, I guess that’s your business. But I thought Yankees were supposed to be smarter than that. Readers of Boston Magazine, use the brains God gave you.

    Bless your hearts.

  • Jamey Creel

    It’s notable no one had a problem with this car till the NAACP, in finically troubles, made up an issue and starting attacking those they disagreed with…

  • JosephineSouthern

    You can hate the Confederate Flag for the way that people used it in the
    Civil Rights Era, but if you look at the once beautiful cities of the
    South now after 50 years of this civil rights they are horrible places to live. A recent article said the 12 worst crime cities to live in are:

    Little Rock, Arkansas – remember Gov. Faubus at the school door and the State Militia called out against him their governor.
    Memphis, Tenn – the flower of the Mississippi, now 63% black poor democrats and crime riddled.
    Birmingham, Alabama – Gov. Wallace tried but he was run over by Washington too.
    Atlanta, Georgia – Gov. Maddox tried his best. Out gunned by Washington DC. taken over by black activists democrats.
    Louis, Missouri – Gateway to the West, Once a thriving river front
    community bustling with prosperity now crime ridden taken over by
    incompetent, immoral democrats.
    Cincinnati, Ohio – A thriving Mississippi River trading port founded by early citizens from KY, VA and other points East.
    On that list were only 3 of the 12 outside of the South.

    this civil rights was a total usurpation by the USA Washingtonites and
    the naacp to force people to live by their idea of what would be a
    perfect civilization. we know about freedom for slaves we paid for it! How you like your empire now?