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05 July 2015


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Germany banned the Hakenkreuz, applying even to restored, historical military equipment. The only place it still manages to turn up in Germany is during illegal nazi or nazi-sympathetic rallies.


Take the time to Google KKK images. Note the early black and white photos has the KKK using the US flag at events as a means to mainstream their beliefs. The KKK and Stars and Bars together does not appear until color photography appears, likely with the advent of the Civil Rights and desegregation movement.
The meaning of symbols changes to meet the times. A less controversial example can be found in the various intrepretations of George Armstrong Custer over the last 150 years.
The lesson here is symbols matter and when your symbol is hijacked it is best to fight the trend early before it becomes part of the new narrative.


It should be remembered that guys like Colin Woodward make their living every four years tied to the presidential election by ferreting out wedge issues and then blowing them out of proportion. A foreign reader of this blig might conclude that the Union was in imminent danger of splitting. I read that last month a Texas representative was at the St. Petersburg economic conference to promote separation to a curious Russian audience that somehow thinks the southwest will split off or reunify with Mexico. A foreign audience will not appreciate the utter profoundness of the civil war on the body politic of America Any more than the US might understand the psychic connection between Russia and the Crimea.

Brad Ruble

Good for us. This is America, we can stand the debate.


Something that should be pointed out to the critics of the Confederate flag is this flag is also an American flag just like the US flag. When people served the Confederate States of America they didn't abdicate being Americans as the official name of the Confederacy shows. Too bad the court historians and other parties up to no good continue to promote this nonsense that those who served the South ceased to be Americans.

It should also be noted that US citizenship only started with the 14th amendment. Prior to this amendment Americans were citizens of the state they resided in.

I hope everyone had at the minimum a decent Independence Day.

Duncan Kinder

What is more to the point, we are increasingly the incoherent states of America.

A template well suited to answer the issues of the Great Depression and Nazi Germany simply is not necesssarily one suited to answer the issues of globalized high tech and ISIS.


All these things are just sticks to beat people with. It won't be long before someone is asked: "Do you now, or have you ever owned, saluted, admired, felt ok about, not been too bothered by, or otherwise felt anything less than unbridled shame at the Confederate flag?"

It is the latest in an inexorable march toward conformity and cringing self-immolation led by those who Orwell described ever so perfectly: "that dreary tribe of high-minded women and sandal-wearers and bearded fruit-juice drinkers who come flocking towards the smell of ‘progress’ like bluebottles to a dead cat.”


Tidewater to All,

Frankly, I don't get these Politico articles. The fact is that South Carolina is in a renaissance. The economy is doing better than ever. Check out the SC- BMW website. BMW bypassed Virginia and went to Spartanburg years ago. They found the upcountry Scotch-Irish had a work ethic and could be trained to German standards. The BMW plant employs 7,000 people. There is now a transportation/ industrial corridor on I-85 running from Charlotte to Greenville/ Spartanburg and on to Atlanta that seems to be the foundation for a brand new economy in the upcountry. I can remember when these interstate highways were not there. I would love to own one of these upcountry cracker mobiles.

Charleston has now put in "connectors" which means one can drive from Mt. Pleasant around Charleston to West Ashley in very short order. The whole geography has changed. New developments out in the piney woods. Or Daniel Island, a brand new residential area on the Cooper River. Charleston and the Isles and the area around it is growing. I would have loved to have been near the harbor at Mt. Pleasant. (Laugh. Dream on.) The "Isles" are too much for me. I got my own spot somewhere else on an old timey island. Neighbor caught a tiger shark off the mouth of this creek, which is an ocean inlet, three years ago.

The Boeing plant in North Charleston rolled out its first "Dash Nine" last February. This is a 787-9. These planes are going to European countries like Norway, or Asian countries like Singapore. A world class product from the low country! Beautiful, too, if you ask me.

There was Charleston pre-Hugo and post-Hugo. Hurricane Hugo meant one or two billion dollars went into the economy. And everything took off. I happen to know since I've been paying taxes in Richland County and Charleston County in the first instance since 1971. They have now stuck it to those who don't live in state. I'm not sure what I am going to do.

Lind says something to the effect that without the south the US would be more like Canada. I don't understand this. Geography is geography. The Carolina low country is Africa. West Africa basically. People have been dealing with this for hundreds of years. The Black Border is a well established reality. The whole original economy was based on the simple trick of using a six foot tide. Before that they tried indigo. Didn't really work like short grain brown rice.

The Maritimes are entirely different and the Scots don't like being compared to Maine. They don't like their old dwellings being compared to Cap Cod salt boxes. And they are not. Further, the Blue Nose usually beat the American fishing schooners.

The Maritimes are a super place and a super people. I want to go back to Cape Breton. But the Maritimes are in serious economic trouble. If in doubt, check it out. One thing Cape Breton used to have was Sydney Steel, which became SYSCO. They don't make steel on Cape Breton anymore.

They had a heavy water plant called Deuterium at Glace Bay. Someone pumped salt water into the vast piping system. That was that.

They are rapidly expanding the government in the Maritimes. That won't work.

South Carolina has been pragmatic for a long, long time. This had led to some superfund sites. But they have slowly been building up the economy since folks like Mendel Rivers and Senator Russell brought the air force to Charleston so it could run sub hunters up and down the Atlantic coast.

I really don't think these folks would want to exchange with the Maritimes or anybody else. Like the song says, "Summertime and the livin' is easy..." Ten per cent cheaper. With the right permits you could take two large ice chests of shrimp out of the marsh over a weekend if you were good at it.

I think a lot more about Dyllan-the Kid will sooner or later be brought out. This crime does not have anything to do with something that lies just under the surface in South Carolina. Something dangerous like race hatred or race war. Dyllan-the Kid's violent race hatred --if that is actually what caused the explosion and not something else like a BPD or sexual abuse--is just not there. I know a lot of Columbia and low Country folks who will have been shocked, even humiliated by what has happened. But that doesn't mean that everything will stop. As I said, its a steady, slow moving renaissance.

Has Lind done his homework? Has he ever even been in South Carolina?







This pesky thing keeps getting in the way:


Tidewater, thanks for your enlightening comment!

I do however, have one small gripe about modernized South Carolina.

It was 40 or so years ago when my dad, an engineer newly in sales, got offered one week free for our family to stay at small 4 bedroom house in Hilton Head Island as part of a sales bonus. It was nice suburban style house but not fancy and in a small development abutting a golf course, though my dad was not interested in taking up golf to impress his higher ups. We had to drive down from NJ and the week we got was in August so the ocean water was about 85 degrees, but siblings and I enjoyed the vacation very much. A few nights I drove my brother to a local bar I'd spied (18 was the drinking age then so I was just legal) where we could shoot pool and chat with very friendly locals (workers, not the rich guest home owners) and had a good ol' time.

IIRC, back then the island was pretty much owned by the Hilton Head corporation who had very strict zoning laws so the island would maintain it's beauty for the wealthy golfers and tennis players the island seemed to be catering to. Signs for stores were so tastefully placed in the foliage, you could barely find them and barely see the shops behind the foliage.

I'm guessing most of the business folk hated this, and of course, in the end, they had their way and now I tell people to avoid Hilton Head Island liek the plague. Last time I was there was in the '90s and it was so totally different from my mid'70s experience that it was unrecognizable, also the food had gotten much more expensive and less tasty. My dad lived in Atlanta for many years and had a friend who owned a house in Hilton Head which was apparently 30 minutes from the island itself... talk about "urban sprawl".

But other than what has been done to Hilton Head Island ;) it's great to see that South Carolina has become more successful.



Two quotes you might have missed:
"A lot of the traits that make the United States exceptional these days are undesirable, like higher violence and less social mobility."

"Religiosity is one example of American exceptionalism among English-speaking countries that is largely the result of Southern exceptionalism within the United States."

He really does hate the South and religious people. Maybe he should visit Detroit sometime this summer to enjoy the peace and harmony. He might want to take along a police escort since it is the most violent city in the country right now.


"idea of a nation of very different kinds of people united only by a common passion for freedom and democracy"

"idea of a nation," "very different," "united only," the creeping corruption of the four lettered words. They are small, no one notices the damage.


Why does Nazism enter so many conversations that involve Free Speech and the dysfunction of a society?

Richard Armstrong

Pirouz- the 45th Inf Div used a gold swastika within a crimson square which was turned 45 degrees to form a diamond. The swastika being a common Native American symbol in the 4 southwestern states that made up the 45th.

Prior to WWII the swastika was replaced with a gold thunderbird.

An example of common sense and good taste winning out over heritage.

If you're ever in Oklahoma City be sure to visit the 45th Inf Div museum. You'll learn quite a bit. The 45th were right there with the "Band of Brothers" when Hitler' Eagle's nest was taken. The proof is the Life magazine cover photo showing a T-Bird lounging in one of Hitler's opulent chairs.

Trapped on Anzio beach, 45th artillery officers taught the Navy how to use synchronized "time on target" with their big guns to great affect.

Doesn't appear to me that giving up a symbol hurt them one bit.

The 179th Inf Bn still recognizes with pride the warriors who would, armed only with their combat knife, sneak towards German (and later NK) lines - count coup and bring back hair pieces.


Tidewater to Valissa,

Hey, Valissa! (In S.C. they say "Hey." In Virginia they say "Hi.") I am amused to find myself a 'booster.' You got me thinking about Hilton Head. I have a friend I grew up with who has been there for years in the professional working community. He keeps telling me to come visit him, but I am a couple of islands up and am a little bit overwhelmed. (I like the way you plan your trips, with business and a little fun.)

I haven't seen Hilton Head in a long time. I first saw it in 1969. I remember sitting in the cockpit of a beloved Cal.40 which, against my wishes, we were taking down the ICW to a yard in Florida to be sold. At that time Mr. Fred and Mr. Orion Hack came on board and the discussion my father had with Mr. Fred was about buying an ocean front lot for $10,000 at the Hack development which was Port Royal Plantation. (I talked with Mr. Orion Hack about the Seminoles, who they were, where they came from.) Later I begged my father to buy the lot. He shook his head. His situation was not as solid as having a 40-footer would indicate. (Though many other boats would follow.) And for generations his family had been focussed on Chesapeake Bay. In those days Hilton Head Island seemed a long way away. It was an Idea! It was challenging. People in Virginia had hardly ever seen a South Carolina license plate. I'm serious.

I just took a quick look at the timeline on the island at a couple of sites. Famously, in 1949 some lumber men down on the other side of the Savannah River in Liberty County, Georgia, got an idea to put together the money to buy 18,000 acres of a Carolina barrier island noone had ever heard of. No electricity, no bridge. There was a boat up from Savannah to Daufuski, the island across the sound, that the Gullah black folk called "The Maybe" cause it didn't run on a tight schedule.

I don't know where the ferry to Hilton Head ran from. A Carolina girl still in my life derisively calls some of these islands including mine a "hunter gatherer" island. Women north and south all love Pawleys. I have no idea why. My friend's hostile bias to my island could be because her alcoholic uncle lost a substantial part of the island in a poker game. I have picked up on the idea that a group of veterans important in the postwar development of my island had had a pretty intense time of it in the war, and finding themselves still alive, decided to just live in a different way than the life they might have lived in "the Holy City."

So the first motel on Hilton Head Island was the Sea Crest Motel opened in 1955 with a state representative on hand for the ceremony--see, there's that 'pragmatism' I keep talking about --and the grand resort had begun. (I wonder why Strom Thurmond wasn't there. He is said never to have missed a Charleston funeral and was always first in line to pay his respects.) The motel had two rooms.

They had gotten electricity in l950. The swing bridge was built in 1956. At some point they had to pipe in water.

The Hack brothers and Mr. Charles Fraser had thought the thing through. Right down to the little ponds with the alligators. (What an idea! I would have thought, why not parrots? Parrots everywhere!) They had timbered the island very carefully, sparing the beautiful live oaks, as many as they could. The early planning must have been pretty thorough, and often changing, with many architects involved, because the island is low, has been under water before in 1898 Hurricane, for example, and they needed to dig out huge runoff basins to weaken a storm surge.

Frankly, I think a number of these island have a little hurricane problem, and I am hopeful that mine is less. I've ridden out three tropical storms that were not that to begin with. National guard didn't know my area. Floyd was like an express train going by offshore. The run up to it was very tense making with many weird little signs, like odd globs of water suddenly plopping down as one is boarding up, and at one point the sky turning yellow. The wind flattening the area out front when it becomes in effect the Notch. That's a hundred mile an hour wind out there and it doesn't look it from my sheltered area. What I get is the splat, splat, splat of small sections of trees hitting my hurricane boards.

During Floyd I sat in the dark in a closed in house listening to the emergency radio. There were folks from up and down the coast phoning in to the station--a play within a play. They were all talking about the other hurricane, Hugo. Where they were when the Eye passed over. Things like that. And finding out they were just about cousins and had dear friends who had been neighbors of each other off of Tradd Street and had both had been at so-and-so's wedding...I sat there listening to these gentle folk, glaring into the blackness and drinking in the sound of the elements, waiting for the big pine to come down; and eventually wondering why I was so tightly clutching a knife. A sketch for a Goya Black Painting! 'Madman in a Storm.'

Anyway. Point is that Hilton Head is a town, just like Charlottesville. So I compared. Hilton Head Township has a year round population of about 40,000, and C-Ville has about 47,000. Beaufort County has a population of 171,838 and Albemarle County is 103,707. This some years back, of course. Both places growing, C-Ville like crazy. The median household income at Hilton Head is $67,079 and for C-Ville it is $57,000 or thereabouts. Charlottesville, by the way, is also a tourist/resort destination.

One thing that I find surprising about Hilton Head and other islands on the South Carolina coast is that Europeans and Californians have discovered this part of the world. I have heard German spoken at the place I get my shrimp. The South Carolina coast relative to everywhere else seems to be not as pricey. (For the big hitters of the world.)

Anyway, what I am thinking is that Hilton Head came into maturity some time back as a real community, a legit real little city. So it did and had to change.

If someone gave me a week at one of these island spots I would do a lot of planning. I would have to explain to the Cossack, who simply has taken on too much, and whose animals have to be cared for, why she couldn't come. Unless. (Which is why I wouldn't do it.) I would probably make a study of where the restaurants are that I might like. I would see about that Coastal Museum. I would swim in that lighted pool in the early evening. Drive over to Harbor Town and walk around. I would probably buy a new hat or something. Actually if I made my trip now my friend and possibly some other school chums he had gathered in we would probably be talking about Richmond. There's a lot of juicy suppressed stuff suddenly coming out with age. Really interesting bad stuff that had been very adroitly ghosted away. But I am not a resort type either.

Frankly, what I do on my creekside is put on my snake boots, which make me feel more manly, and work around my considerable underbrush, shoot rattle snakes and copperheads, get some seafood and some country style chicken pot pie from the wayside place, some ten dollar wine (Meridian is good), watch the Charleston and Savannah TV--there is always some interesting crime or boat news-- also ETV with Rude Manke. And Storm Team Two with Debbi Chard. (They have doppler radar.) I always tune in to my little Radio Shack weather radio, and get the wave height out at Gray's Reef etc. I keep an eye on the marsh and the changing tide all day long. I am very aware of the tide. There are two big porpoise that have for years hunted up my slough at high tide. Also two little ducks called buffleheads or mergansers. I am not a big nature guy but I try. I tend to go to bed earlier and earlier and get up to see the marsh at dawn. I also struggle to get on the internet and I read. I have left Toynbee's An Historian's Approach To Religion sitting on a table there which even has an eerie foreshadowing of climate change. (In 1957.) I have just gotten a second copy of Henry Beston's 'The Outermost House.' I think about him in winter northeasters.

Valissa, thanks for your comments! Bye.

Sidney O. Smith III


I have been meaning to write you a note for a few days now and thank you for the comments about my essay that popped up on a different thread.

Sure sounds like we have been around the same places. From what you write, it wouldn’t surprise me if we have passed each other several times and didn’t know it.

Now you and your husband are on a Pacific Coast Hiway tour? I have done the same (when living in California) and actually drove through Eureka during one spectacular sunset. Didn’t stay there but it is one beautiful, beautiful place. It has that Pacific NW feel.

When I was living in your hometown, Boston, it was a different time. When people in Boston around my age thought of the South back then they were just as likely to think of the (Duane) Allman Brothers (few years before my time but still extremely popular). And dollars to doughnuts, you are a fan.

Boston is fantastic nowadays. I was there last February.

And let me guess about the location of your NC property …Wilmington or close by?

I love the low country (which I basically mean from Savannah to up north past Sullivan’s, Georgetown and Pawleys) and know it well.

Read Conroy’s Prince of Tides if you haven’t already.

Again thanks and enjoy Eureka!


Hey Tidewater, love your storytellin' ;)

Despite my being a northerner, I have a Hugo story too! In early September of 1989, my boyfriend of the time and I started on a 2 week motorcycle trip on a 1100cc 1980 Black Honda Goldwing/Basewing (aka naked goldwing, stripped of all the fancy goldwing stuff) to which he added a small windshield and two softsided Yamaha saddlebags. Had a small tent strapped to the front of the bike for camping.

We started out in eastern MA and our vacation goal was to meander to Florida and back as fancy took us. We were in a campground somewhere in eastern NC and one morning we happened to catch the news on the tv at the camp store. It's was all about Hurricane Hugo and how big it was going to be and how it was going to most likely hit the Charleston area. We had decided a couple of days prior that we wanted to check out Charleston and were going to head there the next day.

But news of the pending hurricane totally changed our plans. We dashed back to the tent, and packed up the bike in record time. Then we headed west towards Tennessee to see how far we could get before the rain stopped us. It was a beautiful ride through the back highways of western NC and we got as far as Chattanooga, TN, and saw a sign for a cheap hotel and decided to stay there. We spent 3 days in that hotel room waiting for the rain to stop or be light enough for our rather skimpy raingear.

Coastal places I like in SC are the Surfside Beach and Murrell's Inlet area just north of Pawley's Island. Have camped on the beachfront at Huntingdon State Park. Beaufort was a sweet town the last time I saw it. Charleston is probably my favorite southern city and I have been there a few times. When I finally made it there for the first time, 2-3 years after Hugo, I was quite moved by the Hugo memorial on the waterfront. I noticed then that foreigners had been buying up some of the downtown properties and I heard both French and German spoken as I walked through the beautiful historic district.

Take care & be well, Tidewater!


Hey Sidney! Good to hear from you... love your posts! got back from our vacation this weekend and now I'm recovering.

Yes, our NC property location is Wilmington, a great little city. But I almost always stay in Carolina Beach when I'm down on business/pleasure. Like both the beach and the vibe there better than the more upscale Wrightsville Beach.

You're right about the Allman Brothers too :) I've always enjoyed southern rock, as well as rockabilly and bluegrass.

Prince of Tides is one of those books I've always meant to read. On your recommendation I'll add it to my current to-read list, thanks!


Tidewater to Fred,

I sought guidance about the Politico article and Lind from John Gunther's 'Inside U.S.A.' Written in 1946, published in 1947. I went right to Chapter 40 and found this: "The South: Problem Child of the Nation." Gunther's opening sentence for this section is drolly portentious: "We face now the South."

These modern guys have brought forth TIMID little screeds. I don't know if Harper and Brothers would even publish Gunther nowadays.

Gunther is the man to go to for statistics, and he is funny. But after a while I stopped laughing. "...the average income per capita in the ten southern states was $716 iin 1944, as against $1,284 in New England, $1,459 on the West Coast, and $1,117 for the country at large." The statistics are always the lowest in the south.

Gunther suggests that Marshall may have had the failure of (punitive) Reconstruction (twelve years of military government in South Carolina, similar he notes, to what he had just seen in Germany), when he thought up the Marshall Plan.

Mark Etheridege, publisher of the Louisville Journal, is quoted on Why such southern militancy: "We know better than anyone else that war settles questions."

And Professor Howard Odum of UNC: "The South has been invaded so often ...by thousands of reformers and accusers that it is automatically prepared to defend itself."

Georgia's Lillian Smith, who wrote 'Strange Fruit' and 'Killers of the Dream', was visited by John Gunther. I think her second book is possibly important, but I never heard of it till now. She was like a grand Abolitionist of the old school,though part of her struggle was the effect of Jim Crow on a girl's psyche growing up. Which exactly reminds me of the famous Grimke sisters of Charleston. She is the writer as Freudian. Her notion of the "the three Ghosts" is very interesting. But it implies life-long close contact with black people, which is not the way it is now. She was often at odds with Ralph McGill, editor, of course, of the Atlanta Constitution ('The South and the Southerner'). McGill thought that Lillian Smith had gone way too Freudian in 'Killers of the Dream.' I suspect he is right.

I love this Freudian analysis simply as an art form (like Dali's dreamscapes): "Everywhere I went in the South I asked why it was so dry, legally speaking, and I got a considerable variety of answers. One was that Southerners fear outbursts of drunkeness by Negroes. Surely what this means is that they also fear outbursts of drunkeness by themselves...Lillian Smith...pointed out (using the Freudian hypothesis): "The South contains a great number of pronouncedly schizoid people; the whole region is a land of paranoia, full of the mentally sick; most Southerners feel a deep necessity to hate something, if necessary even themselves. Their hatred (=fear) of alcohol is partly a reflection of bad conscience; the South fears that liquor will release its own most dangerous inhibitions. The Negro problem is inextricably involved; so is the sexual problem. A Southerner will, perhaps without expressing it consciously or concretely [nota bene] work out an equation something like the following: "We are not going to give up the Negro; therefore we must give up something else. We will not give up fundamentalism, sex, white supremacy, or slavery; so we give up rationality instead."

I had almost completely forgotten how powerful Freudianism was back in the forties!

Gunther adds a personal note which seems to raise some doubt about this theory: "Never in Port Said, Shanghai, or Marseille have I seen the kind of drinking that goes on in Atlanta, Houston, or Memphis every Saturday night--with officers in uniform vomiting in hotel lobbies, seventeen-year-old girls screaming with hysteria in public elevators, men and women of the country club category being carried bodily off the dance floor by disinterested waiters..."

Wow! That's because of a war? I've never seen anything like that in a hotel anywhere.

William R. Cumming

There is a very interesting historic site and graveyard near Carolina Beach still under long term archlogical digs and surveys. The site was burned by the British in their early 19th Century meanderings during the War of 1812.

William R. Cumming

Personally I believe SEX not SLAVERY was and is the South's biggext cultural problem.

Check out the life of deceased US Senator Strom Thurmond and the Presidential election of 1948!

And IMO no candidate can now become President who does not come from the South or West. President Obama will be regarded as a fluke in that depiction of Electoral College politics.

And if wrong then Civil/Military interface in the USA about to undergo a long term change.

Poverty seems to drive many but not all great athletes and warriors.

Nancy K

I'm sure BMW and Boeing, both very large international companies are putting pressure on the SC Gov and legislature to do away with the Confederate flag on government and public facilities. The Gov is urging removal on the SC Capitol grounds and it seems as the legislature will follow suit. Both those companies are presently in SC but that does not mean they have to stay there.


Thanks William, I had no idea! Added your info to my local notes and will hunt down the location next time I'm in town.



"I believe SEX not SLAVERY was and is the South's biggest cultural problem" I find it hard to imagine a more Yankee, puritan notion than that. pl

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