PERSPECTIVErnThe Emperor’s Tattoornby Thomas Flemingrn’A monarchy that’s tempered with republican equality.”rnWho would have thought, 100 ears ago, that b^ the end ofrnthe Auicrican Century the great burning publie issuernwould be the Confederate flag? Back in 1900, Americans wererneager to put their cjuarrels behind them. Rebs and Yanks hadrnfought side by side in Cuba, and writers like Owen VVister wererncalling for reconciliation between the good people North andrnSouth and solidarih’ against flic “Yellow Rich” who were evenrnthen destroying flie Old Republic.rnF.ven 40 to 50 vcars ago. Southern swnbols were not subjectrnto controversy. I well remember the hordes of Midwesternrntourists who came to Charleston to celebrate the centennial ofrnthe firing on Fort Sumter. It was during those centennial ‘cars,rnin fact, that the C^onfederate flag was revived, and I do not recallrnhearing of protests from the NAACf^ or any odicr race-baitingrnorganizahon. The most popidar film in fiiosc days. North andrnSouth, was still Gone with the Wind.rnThat spirit of tolerance and national unit- has disappeared,rngone with the wind indeed, and the attacks on all Southernrnsymbols hayc reached the proportions of a national campaign.rnMonuments to Southern leaders arc defaced, flags that includernthe Confederate St. Andrew’s Cross are banned from hotelrnchains and corporate headquarters, streets and schools bearingrnwitiicss to the Confederate past are renamed. Up here in Illinois,rntalk-radio programs are plagued by crank callers who tiiinkrnit is their dut’ to tell tiic people of South Carolina what flag tornfly—as if tine revived Ku Klux Klan of the 20fli century had notrnbeen strongest in Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin; as if African-rnAmericans were not moying South to escape the hell that Midwesternersrnhave made of their cities.rnThe Northern liberal attack on Southern conservative traditionsrnhas been a great boon for organizations like the League ofrnflie Soufli, but many patriotic Souflierners who do not fulK’ understandrnwhat flie struggle is about persist in giving historylessonsrnto riieir opponents. The flag controversy is not an argumentrnover logic or histor, but a struggle for power. In trying tornpro e their good &ith, Soufliern apologists make much of thernfact that flieir flag is not a symbol of racism, but a Christian emblemrnof a brave and honorable ]3eo]3le who believed they wererndefending their homes and ci’ilization itself. That is just fliernpoint. It is precisely bravery and honor, civilization and Cliristianih’rnwhich flie flag’s detractors are out to destroy, not only inrnflie South or witiiin flic United States but ever’wliere.rnriie rewriting of history, the renaming of streets, the replacementrnof old .symbols by new, the redesign of the calendar—rnfliese are flie hallmarks of ideological revolution, whcflicr Jacobin,rnBolshevik, Nazi, or Democratist. And if the U.S.rngovernment has not vet sponsored a Festival of Reason on flicrnWashington Mall, U.S. legislators and judges have done muchrnworse in promoting an official ideology that is opposed to even,-rndecent tiling Americans once believed in, from the Holy Trinihrnto a normal man’s love for flic woman who will bear his children;rnand in marginalizing and demoiiizing flie last few Americanrnmen who love women, acknowledge Christ, or maintainrnthe customs and traditions of their ancestors, the regime thatrnbeams its big-toothed benevolent grin to the entire world revealsrnits true colors.rnGo)7e with the Wind was a dominant political nitli from thern30’s to the 60’s, but in the years between David O. Sclznik’srn19?9 screen homage to Margaret Mitchell and tiie decisionrnmade bv Sclznik’s spiritiial heirs, four decades later, to prefacern10/CHRONICLESrnrnrn