against the South is not over, and the South’s enemies—thernliberal-conservative Establishment that owns and operates thernUnited States as a private monopoly—will not rest until thevrnhave erased every vestige of the Southern identity.rnOne typical complaint against the Confederate flag is thatrnit is the symbol of treason and rebellion. I say “typical,” becausernno one who knew anything of our history would be so obtuse.rnThe withdrawal of a commonwealth from a federationrndoes not constitute rebellion, much less treason, either in politicalrntheory or in international law. There are those who willrnsay that the states of the Union did not have a right to secede.rnThey are wrong, but let us concede the point. The Virginiansrnand Carolinians of the 1860’s certainlv had better right to secedernthan their fathers and grandfathers who liberated theirrnstates from British rule, and yet we are not ashamed of Washingtonrnand Adams, and we do not curse the memory of theserntraitors to the only lawfullv constituted authority that hadrnbeen conceivable from the time John Smith set foot in Virginia.rnThe government of Andrew Johnson had wanted to tryrnJefferson Davis for treason, but the President thought better ofrnit when he realized that world opinion would be solidly againstrnhim.rnSo far from being traitors to the American Republic, Southernersrnhave been, at least since the Spanish-American War, therngreatest chauvinists, sensitive to anv blot on the nationalrnhonor, eager for war, and proud of the Stars and Stripes. It isrna pernicious piece of nonsense to claim that a man cannot bernloyal to his state or region without being disloyal to his nation.rnThe Modern Boswellrnby Thomas FlemingrnFor Mel and MariernThis is what you’ve waited for all your life,rnstoring up every stupid thing he said.rnYnu spent these thirty years sharpening the knifernyou stuck into his back once he was dead.rnWhat was it you were thinking all those yearsrn()U placd the colleague, cfjnfidant, and friend?rn] le blnrbed vour books, true, put up with your sneersrnat his success. You got him in the end,rnW’hv? Was it that he wa.s just too damn good?rn()thers you niigiit have hoped to emulate,rnh doing een half the work you could.rnBeing himself he made you second-rate.rnWe hate whom we have harmed, says Tacitus,rnso you elucidate his path to hell,rna friendless and unransomed Theseusrnwho stumbled on his love for vou and fell.rnThat is like saying a man cannot be a good father or a goodrnBaptist, unless he is just a little bit of a traitor to the state thatrndemands perfect and total lovaltv.rnI often think of our late friend, M.E. Bradford. The onlyrntime I think we seriously disagreed was during the Gulf War.rnHe understood and accepted all the criticisms I made againstrnthe injustice and imprudence of that crusade for democracy,rnand yet, at the end of a discussion, he would always come backrnto the same point: it would do Americans good to punish thernstrutting little despot who had insulted our country.rnI do not think I ever met a more patriotic American: he hadrnserved his country in the Navy, had devoted much of his valuablerntime to political battles both in Texas and in Washington,rnand had spent much of his later years explaining the meaningrnof the Constitution to a nation that had turned its back on thernrule of law. As a leader of the conservative coalition, he hadrnbeen an excellent fighter on behalf of principle. His onlyrnweakness was that he was a very poor hater. He could get temporarilyrnincensed against those who lied against him—IrvingrnKristol and George Will—but he could not bring himself tornseek revenge and would not countenance it in his friends. AsrnPaul Gottfried always used to say, Mel was too much of arnChristian to make a good politician.rnTo his academic colleagues, even those who consideredrnthemselves his friends, Mel often seemed an anomaly. Herernwas a literary historian who could have carved out a very comfortablerncareer, if only he had stuck to his trade and avoidedrncontroversy. When Clyde W^ilson’s volume of essays Why thernSouth Will Survive was published in commemoration of thern50th anniversary of 17/ Take My Stand, the reviewer in the VirginiarnQuarterly took all the contributors to task for politicizingrnthe Agrarian inheritance. The shaft was aimed at Mel, ofrncourse, to make it appear that he had diverted a literary movementrninto politics.rnBut the contributors to 17/ Take My Stand were nothing ifrnnot political, and several of them wanted to call the volumernTracts Against Communism. Indeed, it is hard to think of arnman of letters more political than Donald Davidson. Even ifrnhe had tried, Mel Bradford could not have disentangled politicsrnfrom literature, not in the trivial sense that he could notrnrecognize literary merit in liberal writers, but because the careerrnof the writer and scholar was bound up with the communityrnthat had given him life and cultural sustenance. His rolernwas not to go off into the wilderness in order to discover somernunheard of system of thought and expression to spark a revolution.rnOn the contrary. Speaking of the resemblance ofrnSouthern writers to ancient Romans, he wrote: “[B]oth reflectrnthe all-absorbing corporate spirit of the culture for which theyrnspeak. The Southern writer, like his ancient counterpart, hasrnalmost always felt the pressure to be a public man and to performrna service in relation to that powerful sense of culturalrnidentity.”rnFor me, Mel was a kind of touchstone of integrity. Whateverrndecency a man had was sure to be called forth and encouragedrnby the mere fact of knowing Mel, and if there were those whornresponded to his open nature with distrust and chicane, theyrnrevealed themselves for what they were. In offering this numberrnof Chronicles to M.E. Bradford, we are paying tribute to arnman who represented the last link in many chains: a man of lettersrnwho put his pen to his nation’s use, a passionate Southernerrnand loyal American, a faithful friend, and a Christianrnhusband and father who did his duty. crn14/CHRONICLESrnrnrn