What Price for My Soul?

Letter From Mississippi

What price would you place upon your soul? For the people of Mississippi, this question recently became more than a mere philosophical or theological inquiry. True enough, all of us face this question in small, unnoticed ways as we move through life. Thankfully, most of us can make our choice quietly, in private, and away from public scrutiny. But occasionally, people are forced to make their choice with the entire world watching. The recent vote in Mississippi on whether to keep the state flag (which contains the Confederate Battle Flag) was just such an occasion. The vote, 65 percent in favor to 35 percent opposed, was an overwhelming victory of tradition over political correctness.

Despite relentless accusations of racism from the politically correct media and claims by leaders of the business community that the current flag hinders economic development, the people of Mississippi rallied to the defense of their flag and their society. What motivated such a vote? Why did the people of Mississippi, the citizens of the "poorest" state in the Union, reject their business leaders' promise of economic progress? And why make such a controversial choice for a symbol, a mere flag?

Non-Southerners habitually underestimate the importance that Southerners attach to their heritage. No doubt the p.c. crowd thought it would be a simple matter to use the media monopoly to propagate the notion that the current flag is a...

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