The shots keep coming.  Now Archie Manning, who once was from Mississippi but moved away to play football, has determined, in his opinion, that Mississippi’s flag need to be changed.  Archie, in the eyes of most, has forgotten who brought him to the dance. Sadly, that dance partner bled and suffered for so many, not only in Mississippi, but in the South.

And the blood that poured out at Vicksburg and Shiloh, or Pickett’s charge where the U. of Mississippi’s (Ole Miss) company of University Gray’s suffered 100% casualties, was shed in the name of the same secession sought movement almost 90 years before–a movement to keep a confederated republic apart from a unitary national state.

Every day of every week of every month of every year we are bombarded with the all familiar histrionics painted history of a Southern culture born of racial hatred of Negroes, blacks, coloreds –take your politically correct pick. Most relate untruths, or legends or blatant fiction while never reaching into the archives of history to see what was the war was “about” or why those 5000 black confederates were with their white confederate Southern brothers as the University Gray’s gave their last full measure on Cemetery Ridge.

In the story about Archie Manning’s flag opinion we are graced with the granddaughter of a well-known Mississippi Senator, John C. Stennis and her determination to bring a new flag to Mississippi that will unite all. Say what? How is bringing a new flag to make 35% happy going to unite them with the 65% who believe in their honorable and courageous heritage. Suddenly they will be united in happiness because they will have been shown the light by an ill-read artist and a fumbling ex quarterback? This is thought? Critical analysis?  Perhaps revised Yankee history.

I can almost hear the talk show demagogic tub-thumpers now, in their race to be heard saluting the War Between the States’ (they will insist it was a civil war) real goal of eliminating racial inequality and showing the door to freedom to all, they will ballyhoo this Mississippi moment that continues to drive the final rednecks further into the backwoods.

I can’t help but feel sorry for Archie Manning. He seemed to have lived his life in a dignified way with always a special remembrance of the roots he had and the gentle down-home sleepy Delta town he was reared in. But I assume, he has traded in his roots for new downtown friends. S’long Archie. We knew you when you were “Who.”

Paul H. Yarbrough

I was born and reared in Mississippi, lived in both Louisiana and Texas (past 40 years). My wonderful wife of 43 years who recently passed away was from Louisiana. I have spent most of my business career in the oil business. I took up writing as a hobby 7 or 8 years ago and love to write about the South. I have just finished a third novel. I also believe in the South and its true beliefs.

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