Capitol Riot: The 48 Hours that Echoed Generations of Southern ConflictBreaking News
tags: Southern history, Confederacy, Mississippi, Capitol Riot
Hours after Mississippi legislators took the final step of removing a Confederate emblem from their state banner, a violent white mob waved the Stars and Bars as it ransacked the U.S. Capitol.
The ratification of a new Magnolia flag followed a year in which white Southerners were forced to confront the legacy and symbols of the Lost Cause, an enduring, pernicious myth that the Confederacy had fought for a valiant purpose and a noble way of life had been brought to an end. The removal of the Confederate emblem and the historic elections in Georgia should have signaled a moment of celebration for the South, embracing its multicultural reality.
Instead, President Donald Trump offered his supporters a new Lost Cause, spreading lies that an election had been stolen from him. And their nation was on the verge of being taken from them. Like in the aftermath of the Civil War, he found a group of supporters willing to enforce that lie through violent ends; and he found a group of politicians committed to enabling it through official channels.
One hundred and fifty years after the end of the Civil War, 48 hours across Mississippi, Georgia and Washington D.C., demonstrated the promise of the South, the demons continuing to haunt the region, and new dangers looming on the horizon.
In Mississippi, Southerners removed a symbol of an old rebellion. In Washington, D.C., Southern politicians and insurgents began a new one. And in Georgia, Southerners found themselves at a familiar crossroads.
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