I was at the local auto repair shop the other day and Russ and his friends were there sitting around the cracker barrel. They were discussing a story in the Norwich newspaper (there still is one, believe it or not) about our first selectman who had apparently allowed himself to be photographed in front of a Confederate battle flag at an outdoor meeting in the neighboring town. Evidently the flag just happened to be there, a homeowner was displaying it. The meeting was about building codes or some such anodyne matter.
So Dan should have known better but the interesting question for me is why we see so many Confederate flags here in northeastern Connecticut. The people who display them have probably never been south of New York. Not too long ago I saw a pickup truck in a restaurant parking lot. The front license frame proclaimed the owner to be the town fire chief. Instead of a license plate, it contained a Confederate battle flag. For a while it was fashionable to fly a U.S. flag on your pickup. Some guys actually had a U.S. flag on one side and a Confederate flag on the other. There's a house on a road that's heavily traveled because it connects Windham Center with North Windham, where there's a commercial district. This guy has a lot of old heavy equipment rusting in his yard, and a huge Confederate battle flag hanging from a tree.
I don't think I have to tell you that Connecticut did not join the Confederacy. Connecticut was in fact the home of many noteworthy abolitionists including, of course, Harriet Beecher Stowe. Lincoln won the state's electoral votes in a landslide. The state lost more than 4,000 men in the Civil war.
So what point are these clowns trying to make? There must be some intention behind the gesture. Unlike southerners, they can't pretend they're honoring their ancestors or remembering their dead. What do they want us to think of them?