a symbol of order, something sorely lackingrnin the new Russia. For still others,rneven many CPRF voters, a continued respectrnfor Soviet-era symbols does not extendrnto “Iron Feliks.” The Lenin mummy,rnyes. The traditional Victory Dayrnparade, complete with the Red Bannerrnof Victory, yes. But “Iron Feliks”—well,rnhe was a Pole anyway. CPRF diehardsrnhave moved on.rnThe Russian squabble tells us muchrnabout the power of symbols within a dividedrnnation that, like our own, is in thernmidst of an idenht)’ crisis. Most Russiansrnreadily accept many Soviet symbols, particidarlyrnthose related to the Great PatrioticrnWar. Efforts to preserve Victor^’ Dayrnand World War Il-era Soviet symbols onrnbuildings and monuments are not necessarilyrnan endorsement of communism,rnbut an attempt to ensure that the bannersrnRussians fought under will not be desecrated.rnIf an old war veteran proudlyrnwaves the hamirier and sickle on Victory-rnDay, it is hardly a call for a communistrnrevanche. Younger Russians largely respectrntheir elders and recognize the validityrnof their symbols, even as both nowlivernunder the resurrected Russian tricolor.rnLet Lenir-i sleep in his tomb and thernvictory not be tarnished by ideologicalrnfastidiousness: We are all Russians.rnThe Old Dominion is host to a phenomer-rnion which has similar roots inrnquestions of myth, symbol, and identity-.rnJanuar)’ 18, once set aside to commemoraternthe South’s two greatest war leaders,rnRobert E. Lee and Stonewall Jacksonrn(Lee’s birthday is January 19), now receivesrnlittle official notice. Some yearsrnago, after Washington canonized MartinrnLuther King, Jr., the Commonwealth ofrnVirginia decided to fuse St. Martin’s feastrnday with Lee-Jackson Day, thus savingrnthe expense of separate official holidays.rnIt has proved a wise move for the cowardlyrnlions of officialdom: The Commonwealthrnis henceforth saved the embarrassmentrnof a real celebration ofrn”Marse Robert’s” and “Old Bluelighfs”rnprowess in defense of the Lost Causernand, equally embarrassing in the age ofrnClinton, of their piet)’.rnThe Washington Times carried arnfront-page story on the King celebration,rnbut there was no mention of either Leernor Jackson. A local newspaper publishedrna fidl schedule of King Day events heldrnin the Loudoun Count}- seat—Leesburg.rnThe parade marched right past the raisedrnmusket of a stone Virginia Confederate,rnhoisted in defense of his native state.rnThere had been something of a trucernin the war of symbols up imtil what isrnnow called the “Civil Rights Fra,” whenrnthe managerial state and its allies began arnprolonged effort to nudge the old symbols,rnespecially those of the South, intornthe menror)’ hole. Under the prior consensus.rnSoutherners were allowed theirrnow-n version of Civil War history, completernwith battle flags and a Confederaternpantheon. In return. Southerners becamernthe nrost fiercely patriotic of Americans.rnRegional uniqueness and nationalrnidentity coexisted. But that was then,rnand this is now-.rnApart from a vigorous defense of oldrnAmerican syn-ibols, what is to be done?rnWhat can we realistically hope for? IfrnRussia, where the bloody Soviet regimernis still within living nremory of the vastrnmajority of the populahon, can reach arncompromise on nadonal symbols, can’trnwe?rnUnfortunately, Americans will find itrnnuich harder to declare a truce in thernwar of symbols. Here, race—an uncompromisingrn”badge” of identit—plays arncrucial role. Scholars like Walker Connorrnand Anthony D. Smith were correctrnin pointing out that all nations are builtrnon ethnic foundations, and that thernmyths and symbols of emerging nationstatesrnhad to be deemed legitimate byrnsub-groups w-ho would be absorbed intornthe national communitv’. Thus, both thernMt. Rushmore and Stone Mountainrnsculptures are familiar and acceptablernsymbols of national histor)’ for the ethnicrncore of the American nation. But thernproblem for traditionalists is that thernAmerican citizenr}- is now more heterogeneousrnthan that of the countr’ whichrnfought the War Between the States. ParsonrnWeems’ mythology- of George Washingtonrnwas entirely imobjectionable asrnlong as America, or at least the dominantrnstratimi, remained, well, American. Ifrnthe managerial elite confinucs to transformrnAmerica into a multicidtural statern(not nation), what will become of thernolder symbols?rnThere may still be hope. Perhapsrncooler heads will prevail, and a new consensusrnwill allow the validit)- of a multitudernof regional and ethnic symbols. Althoughrnone symbol need not cancel outrnanother, such a decentralization ofrnmyth-making presupposes the decentralizationrnof the state, a rebirth of both arnhealthy national consciousness and regionalrnidentities, a degree of mutual respectrnnow absent in public discourse,rnand a halt to massive irrrmigration. Otherwise,rnthose Americans w-hose symbolsrnhave been torn from them may feel theyrnmust resort to the sort of zero-sum politicalrnand cidtural warfare that many blacksrnnow pursue. It’s irot a happy prospect.rn— Wayne AllensworthrnCANADIAN MAGAZINES woidd bernprotected against the tidal wave of splitrunrnissues of U.S. publicatioirs that hasrnswept across the border, under legislationrnsponsored by Heritage MinisterrnSheila Copps. The cabinet in Ottawarnsiqriported her proposed Bill C-55, whichrnwill prevent American magazine publishersrnfrom selling advertising to Canadianrncompanies if those ads are meantrnspecifically for split-runs on sale in Canada.rn(A split-run issue features essentiallyrnthe same content on both sides of thernborder, but different advertisements andrnusually different covers.)rnAlthough the bill is clearly in accordrnwith the “cidtural exemption” thatrnCanada obtained in the negotiationsrnleading up to NAFTA, there has been arnlot of pressure from Washington andrnfrom the so-called “pacifists” in PrimernMinister Jean Chretien’s entourage to rescindrnthe measure. U.S. Trade SecretaryrnCharlene Barchevsky and Anreriean mediarnconglomerates sharply attacked thernproposed law and reiterated their longstandingrnobjection to Canadiar-i protectionrnof cultural industries, most notablyrnfilm and publishing. The U.S. Ambassadorrnto Canada, Gordon Giffen, said hernwas “starried” by the proposal. The impliedrnthreat of trade retaliation jangledrnthe nerves of the Canadian businessrncommunitv-, which shares with its Americanrncounterparts an ingrained antipathyrn— or at least, total indifference — tornany notion of a “national” culture.rnNevertheless, the prospect of Macleansrnfinally succmribing to Newsweekrnand the likes of People and Forbes completelyrntaking over the natioir’s newsstandsrnconcentrated the minds of sufficientrnCanadians to secure broad popularrnand political support for C-55. Thernprime minister himself stated that “somernAmericans don’t like the protection forrnindustries in the cidtural field, but it isrnpart of our identit}-.”rnSo far, so con-entional. But why hasrnthe opposition to the bill in the UnitedrnStates been so vehement? A coalitionrnhas formed, linking the U.S. entertainment,rnmedia, and information-technolo-rnAPRIL 1999/7rnrnrn