The South and the New Reconstructionrnby Michael HillrnAtlanta, the self-styled “capital of the New South” and thernhost of the annual debauchery known as “Freaknik,” was arnnatural to host the 1996 Olympics. The quadrennial event hasrnbecome a giant block party to celebrate the smiley-face aspectsrnof the New World Order: universal brotherhood, multiculturalism,rndiversity, and tolerance. But amidst the revelry and selfcongratulation,rnthe “City Too Busy To Hate” has discovered arntarget for its pent-up indignation: the Old South.rnThe 1996 Centennial Olympics revealed the dichotomy betweenrnthe two Souths. On the one hand, the New South greetedrnthe gathering of the world’s tribes with its usual boasting andrncivic boosterism. On the other, the Old South viewed the garishrnpagan spectacle in much the same way it views the annualrndescent of the sandals-and-black-socks crowd from Ohio—asrnan aggravation to be borne until it goes awav.rnIn order to spare the feelings of international visitors, the Atlantarncity fathers and ACOG (the Atlanta Committee for thernOlympic Games) went all out to banish every vestige of the OldrnConfederacy, including the Georgia state flag, which containsrnin its design the Confederate battle flag. A resident of Crawfordville.rnthe home of CSA vice president Alexander H.rnStephens, told me that when a vanload of federal bureaucratsrncame to scout out Liberty Hall as a potential Olympic touristrnsite, several of them refused to go inside, and one spat on arnmonument to “Little Aleck,” calling him a “hooky racist.”rnNeedless to say, politically incorrect Libert}’ Hall was not putrnon the official Olympic pilgrimage.rnBut traditional Southerners fought the international octopusrnMichael Hill is a liistorian and president of the SouthernrnLeague. This article was originally given as a speech at the 1996rnmeeting of the ]ohn Randolph Chib.rnin their own small ways. A lawsuit was filed against the Atlantarnsuburb of Roswell, which forced the city to allow Confederaternreenactors to march in a parade escorting the Olympic flame.rnIn the rural north Alabama hamlet of Battleground, named inrnhonor of General Nathan Bedford Forrest’s victory at Day’srnGap in 1863, city officials were asked to remove the battleflagrnthat waves over the ‘olunteer fire station on Highway 159 so asrnnot to offend the bearer of the sacred flame. The local Bubbasrnreacted by hoisting two additional flags over the roadsidernplaque commemorating Forrest’s triumph. “Them ‘lympicrnfolks ain’t gonna tell us what to do,” one retorted.rnWhv have loyal Southerners come under such heavy firernfrom the New World Order’s artillery? In part, I think, becausernthe traditional South is seen as the world’s largest (and maybernthe last) bastion of historic Christianity, the last “infam” to bernwiped out. Southern Christians (the Southern Baptist leadershiprnperhaps excepted) see in Biblical scripture the mandate forrna hierarchical societ’ in which modern egalitarian notions havernno place, and they view the scattering of the nations at the Towerrnof Babel as an indictment against the United Nations. ThernBible is also one of the sources of the Southern view of the nationrnas an organic expression of loyalty to kith and kin. The impersonalrnmodern state, like the universal rights of man it is supposedrnto protect, derives from the delusion of humanrnperfectibility. The Southern identity—largely Anglo-Celtic—rnis not dedicated to any proposition; it is bound up in that vastrnmemory of the blood captured so well in Stark Young’s So Redrnthe Rose. Young’s protagonist, Hugh McGchee, tells his son asrnhe sends him off to join the Confederate Army: “It’s not to ourrncredit to think we began today and it’s not to our glory to thinkrnwe end today. All through time wc keep coming into the shorernlike waves—like waves. You stick to your blood, son; there’srnMARCH 1997/21rnrnrn