I was hardly surprised when the national media ignored Jefferson Davis' 200th birthday last week. I understand it can be difficult to differentiate between commemorating and celebrating such an event. Perhaps the media was wise to sidestep the entire issue.
However, not everyone seems willing to let it slide.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans have been lashing out as of late, with a series of rather embarrassing displays.
Take, for example, the massive Confederate flag now greeting travelers along Interstate 75 in Tampa, Florida. That’s right, a 50 x 30 foot Rebel flag now flies atop a 139-foot flagpole.
Remember when Florida used to give you a glass of orange juice when you crossed into the state? You probably can still get the juice, but now you get to drink it while you stare at the most divisive symbol in American history.
When did this happen? The SCV unveiled the flag on Davis’ 200th birthday.
Now that they’ve got the Rebel flag planted in the ground, the SCV has set their sights on a statue controversy in Richmond, Virginia.
If you thought the controversy over the statue of Lincoln and his son Tad (pictured above) was settled a few years ago, you’re mistaken. Though defeated in that battle, the SCV has refused to concede the point.
To mark the Davis bicentennial, the SCV is now calling for a life-sized statue of Jefferson Davis to counter the one of Lincoln. But this won’t be just any old Davis statue. The proposed design depicts Davis, along with his son Joe, and a mixed-race child, Jim Limber, who allegedly lived with the Davis family.
SCV representatives are scheduled to present their design to site officials next week.
Though these are just two stories, I think they represent the first wave of a prolonged "bicentennial backlash."
Disappointed by the resounding silence surrounding Davis' 200th birthday, the calls for “historical balance” by groups like the SCV will no doubt grow increasingly louder as we approach the Lincoln bicentennial in February.