Multiculturalism is a multisplendored thing

Julian Bond seems to have a fanciful view of the Confederate flag, which he has morphed into an increasingly famous alternate history symbol he calls "the Confederate swastika."

Noting that it's a "comment that he makes often," Brendan Loy cites a speech Bond made in Fayetteville, in which he said:

"Their (Republicans) idea of equal rights is the American flag and the Confederate swastika flying side-by-side,"
(Via Glenn Reynolds.)

"Comment that he makes often" is no understatement, because I have an additional report, with more from New Orleans. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Julian Bond made an identical remark in Indiana in 2004:

NAACP chairman Julian Bond, speaking to lawmakers and business leaders in Indiana last month, said Bush and other Republicans appealed to a racist "dark underside of American culture."

"They preach racial equality but practice racial division," Bond said. "Their idea of equal rights is the American flag and Confederate swastika flying side by side."

At the 2001 NAACP convention in New Orleans, Bond said Bush "has selected nominees from the Taliban wing of American politics, appeased the wretched appetites of the extreme right wing, and chosen cabinet officials whose devotion to the Confederacy is nearly canine in its uncritical affection." (Emphasis added.)

When I spotted the "Confederate swastika" remark in the Inquirer, I commented on its silliness, but it seemed like such a typical thing for an admirer of communists to say that I spent more time with his rather delicate evasion of the gay marriage issue.

I think Brendan Loy is correct that the evocation of Nazi imagery results from the fact that the confederacy and the Nazi Holocaust have been the subject of endless rhetorical linkage. With that implanted in people's minds, when you say "confederate swastika," people will nod their head in profound agreement. Add "Republican" and, well, not only is the case closed, it's time for major outrage!

Whether there is any such thing as a Confederate swastika is beside the point -- because there might just as well have been! And the Confederate swastika might just as well have included Republicans!

I know this is old ground, but I believe in standing on old ground, and if Julian Bond can make links, so can I!

So, forget the Confederate swastika. (For that matter, forget the Pink Swastika!)

Once again, what we need most is not a false flag or a Confederate flag posing as a swastika.

We need a symbol to unite us.

The Confederate Rainbow Flag!


Because bigotry comes in all races, sexes, sexualities, and yes, even creeds!

UPDATE: I tried unsuccessfully to locate an image of a Confederate swastika. But I did find at least one very New Agey Rainbow swastika. Perhaps Julian Bond was trying to balance the, um, karma?

posted by Eric on 02.07.06 at 02:57 PM


wish I had thought of that flag.

bird dog   ·  February 7, 2006 4:06 PM

Thank you for not asking me to apologize!

Eric Scheie   ·  February 7, 2006 4:18 PM

Your flag is perfect symbol for this fractured country to rally behind in the face of the external threat we face.

Curt   ·  February 7, 2006 8:15 PM

What's the matter? You don't like an inclusively divided America?

You must be divisive!

Eric Scheie   ·  February 7, 2006 9:25 PM

There actually is a Confederate swastika design on the the cover of Harry Turtledove's alternate history novel _The Center Cannot Hold_ . In his case, it's because the story is about a South which won the Civil War, but lost the American part of WWI, turning to facism in the same way Germany did in the real world.

Aaron Davies   ·  February 7, 2006 11:17 PM

Not bad, Aaron! Julian Bond should hire you to bail restore his, um, credibility!


Eric Scheie   ·  February 7, 2006 11:20 PM

Oops, here's a link to that novel.

Aaron Davies   ·  February 7, 2006 11:24 PM


It certainly is comical to read your harumphing, if humorous outrage at Julian Bond... given your sidebar ads featuring Hillary and Kerry et al as Stalinist/Soviets... Oh, the irony.

Godwin's Law needs to be expanded to Stalinist/Soviet comparisons, and Al qaeda comparisons -- that one's worn out too.

tikihead   ·  February 8, 2006 1:13 AM

I actually saw T-shirts with a confederate gay rainbow flag being sold in Atlanta, GA back in the early 90s. Too bad I didn't buy one - what an artifact that would be!

Patrick Rothwell   ·  February 11, 2006 12:35 PM

A confederate gay rainbow flag t-shirts would really fit in well at the all-gay rodeo. Yee-Ha. Ride-em cowboys.

TRACY   ·  February 13, 2006 4:23 PM

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