A Republican candidate for governor of Virginia, Corey Stewart, absolutely loves him some confederate flags and heroes. He gives the usual line that it’s not about racism or slavery, but about “heritage.” And without it, he says, Virginia loses its identity.
Stewart championed Confederate leaders Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson and repeatedly emphasized Virginia’s “heritage.”
“It’s the state of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. That is our heritage. It is what makes us Virginia,” Stewart said, speaking at the “Old South Ball” in Danville, Virginia, in a video posted by Blue Virginia. “If you take that away, we lose our identity.”…
Stewart has already been in the news recently for his virulent opposition to plans in Charlottesville to take down a statue of Lee. As governor, he said on Saturday, “Over my dead body… are we going to take down the statue of Robert E. Lee.” The Charlottesville city council voted earlier this year to remove the statue.
“I’m proud to be next to the Confederate flag,” Stewart said. “That flag is not about racism, folks, it’s not about hatred, it’s not about slavery. It’s about our heritage. It’s time that we stop running away from our heritage. It’s time that we embrace our heritage, we embrace our history, and we take back Virginia.”
Notice that they never spell out what that heritage is? What history does the flag commemorate and celebrate? It’s the battle flag of the Confederate army, which fought for the “right” to own slaves. Calling it one’s “heritage” to distinguish it from racism and slavery when that heritage IS racism and slavery is rather absurd. And this notion that they will lose their “identity” without the Confederate flag is downright ridiculous. Remove every single Confederate flag and every statue of Confederate leaders from the entire state and what happens? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. “We’ll lose our identity” is just empty sloganeering, a meaningless platitude.