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Southern Hospitality

Posted by on February 25, 2011

I’ve noticed for some time now, an abundance of Confederate flags, dotting my landscape at every turn. As my bicycle wheels churn past the homes on County 349 each morning, I notice at least a half dozen in this sparsely populated area. Either heading up the Suwanee to Fanning Springs or south to the Gulf, I spot them at random, dotting both fish camps and vacation retreats with equality. There’s an underlying sense that the Civil War is not yet over here. Last weekend I went to the re-encatment. OK, the battle was a representation, and done oh so well. The actors played their part to the hilt, beyond reproach and I was pleasantly entertained. What caught my surprise was the gallery. Just prior to the start of the battle, cat calls and “hollers” from the crowd made me feel much like a football game. You know the ones. The guys who yell out from the stands as if the players actually hear their chants. They enjoy calling attention to themselves. Verbalization of ‘kick those damn Yankee asses’, and “show ’em we mean business down here in the South’, and it’s “Johnny Rebs day today, boys”, called attention to the fact that this wasn’t just a re-enactment, but a reincarnation of hope, that once again the Rebels would rise and claim their own country. I haven’t seen this degree of regionalism since last visiting Texas. That was a cultural adjustment for me. Those Lone Star natives actually believe that Texas is it’s own country.  And perhaps it is all about regionalism. I have always believed that people don’t necessarily root for a team of players, but a uniform. Should a player be traded to another team, the loyalty of local rooters is left abandoned. It matters not the man under the helmet, or the cap, or the mask, what matters is the uniform that they’re wearing. Maybe the reason here for the cat calls at the battle. But I’m still confused about the meaning of colors of the Confederacy waving all over the Suwanee.

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