Capture the Flag, Part I

In an earlier letter I cheered my buddy Chris's suggestion that announcements at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics be given in both Southern and Yankee English but pointed out that on preliminary form Atlanta's civic leaders are unlikely to cotton to the idea. I didn't mention another of Chris's proposals, one they're guaranteed to like even less: he wants to fly the Stars and Bars at the Games. My first impulse is to unleash a rebel yell for that proposition, too, but let's think about it a bit before we write Maynard Jackson.

Chris observes that the Catalans got to fly their flag in Barcelona, and personally I like the idea of the South as a sort of American Catalonia. But we have a problem that the Catalans don't. Unlike their historic symbols, which are signs of national unity, ours are mostly the symbols of the Confederacy, which these days signify and inspire mostly discord.

Witness the fact that many of Georgia's and virtually all of Atlanta's political bigshots are now campaigning to end what the Atlanta Journal-Constitution calls the "disgrace" of including the Confederate battle flag as part of the Georgia state flag. Far from wanting to fly the rebel flag at the Olympics, these folks want it completely out of sight before the television cameras come to the City Too Busy to Hate and beam it out worldwide. The Journal-Constitution's editorial cartoonist even did...

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