Monday, January 04, 2016

Campaigns mounting in rural South to revive Confederate flag

While 2015 saw some areas in the South campaigning—often successfully—to have Confederate flags taken down from government and university buildings and removed from state flags, heritage supporters have been working to lobby legislators and prepare lawsuits "to restore or maintain Confederate monuments," Cameron McWhirter reports for The Wall Street Journal. (AP photo: Confederate flag removed from South Carolina Capitol on July 10, 2015)

"Confederate heritage groups say that membership and donations are up; and Confederate flags unfurled on trucks or waving in front of homes remain a common sight across much of the rural South," McWhirter writes. "Dewey Barber, owner of Confederate flag retailer Dixie Outfitters, in Odum, Ga., said sales have 'overwhelmed' his company last summer and fall. Many flags are out of stock as suppliers rush to fill orders, he said."

The South is one of the fastest growing regions in the U.S., McWhirter writes. The 11 states that made up the Confederacy—Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia—have increased in population from 84.2 million in 2000 to 102 million in 2014, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That's an increase of 21 percent, compared with a 13 percent overall U.S. growth rate. "Southern states’ ethnic and racial composition has evolved significantly, with black, Hispanic and Asian minorities growing." (Read more)

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