Stars And Bars
by L. Neil Smith
Special to TLE
I grew up in the Deep South -- any deeper and I'd have been out
swimming in the Gulf of Mexico. In the 1960s, going to junior high
and high school, I hated what you might call "professional
southerners", with their rebel yells, their faded glory, their
might-have-beens, their lame excuses, their poor white trash, and
their goddamn Dixie cups. Spanish moss gave me a rash and southern
patriotism was often nothing more than an excuse for forced
conformity and dullwitted bullying.
(What I didn't understand then was that in junior high and high
school, anything is an excuse for forced conformity and dullwitted
I disliked the Confederate flag and anyone who wore or displayed it.
Shortly before his death, my own father gave me a leather belt
embossed and painted with that flag and I have never worn it. I write
an ongoing series of novels about a confederacy, the North American
Confederacy, an alternate world that has no connection with and bears
no resemblance to the Confederacy of Robert E. Lee and Jefferson
Over the years, my attitude changed a trifle as I learned more of the
real War between the States, the reasons that people on both sides
gave for fighting it, and especially the vicious, power-hungry
fascism and the perverse taste for mass murder that characterized the
Still, I had no great liking for that flag. But now I'm beginning to
reconsider even that, thanks to Mayor Wellington Webb of Denver. I
would be extremely interested to hear what justification -- under the
Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution -- Wellywebb and
his strange and corrupt administration have to offer for their
bizarre and probably illegal behavior on the capitol steps the other
day in Denver.
You may have seen it on TV.
Just like every other large city in America, Denver has become a
festering boil on the backside of an otherwise wonderful state to
live in, a churning sinkhole of dirt, grime, crime, pollution,
socialism, outright jackbooted thuggery, and welfare parasitism,
lorded over by a comic-relief collection of latterday Mussolinoids
whose antics and attitudes make the late Emperor Joshua Norton look
like a serious statesman.
Travellers beware: this is the gang of slimy thieves who'll steal
your car if the cops find a perfectly Constitutional gun or knife
"Liberal" Democrat Wellywebb -- the very incarnation of one of those
inflatable bopping-clown toys kids like to play with -- is still
stinging from a humiliating defeat at the polls some years ago, when
the people of Colorado decided not to give special protected status
to yet another minority (in this case, homosexuals) and we got
labeled, consequently, the "Hate State" by the round-heeled eastern
mass media. For some reason, even a bogus Supreme Court declaration
that the vote was unconstitutional failed to ease his agonies and
those of his hangers-on.
Aside: do my views on this subject make me "homophobic"? Hardly. I'd
oppose special protected -- and, I might add, undemocratic -- legal
status for middle-aged Polish-American males, which is what I happen
to be. Exactly as each and every one of us is personally different,
we're all politically the same under the Bill of Rights. That's all
we need, and that's the way it should be. Nothing else is necessary.
More recently, Wellywebb and his drooling hordes failed miserably to
use the Columbine High School murders as a lever to promote English
style victim disarmament in Colorado, even though the tragedy was
milked beyond decency or belief by the media and despite the best
supporting efforts of our evil and stupid Republican governor Bill
I repeat, evil and stupid: Bill Owens.
It appears sometimes there's a limit to what forced conformity and
dullwitted bullying can accomplish -- even when it's undertaken by
So what -- in an election year -- did that leave Rocky Mountain
bedwetters to be conspicuously liberal about, in order to work off
with the press what they imagine is Colorado's shameful public image?
You guessed it: the Confederate flag. That hated and controversial
rag that currently flies over the state capitol of South Carolina.
Wellywebb and his sniveling gaggle of political mouthbreathers held a
highly publicized rally on the Colorado capitol steps to denounce
what they called a vile symbol of slavery, racism, and oppression --
by showing the Stars and Bars in a form big enough to land Navy
It looked beautiful on TV.
Speakers included the predictable collection of crooks, cretins,
crazies, and commissars, including His Dishonor himself and Allegra
"Happy" Haynes, who always manages to look like a museum exhibit
labeled "Marxist Woman". They all called for an economic boycott of
South Carolina -- significantly -- like the organized homosexual
boycott of Colorado so costly to convention-related businesses in
Or so we're told.
Let's get this straight once and for all, shall we? The War between
the States had no more to do with black chattel slavery than the War
of Jenkins' Ear. The very fact that Frederick Douglass and his fellow
abolitionists had to work so hard trying to make it be about
slavery -- well after the shooting had already started -- is more
than enough evidence of that. Abraham Lincoln thought black people
Wellywebb and his ilk have already cut George Washington out of
public school history texts, and Thomas Edison, as well. They're
working on Thomas Jefferson (although presently, he's sort of stuck
sideways in their gullets). What's next after South Carolina's flag,
the Gadsden flag with its rattlesnake and politically incorrect dire
warning? The Pine Tree flag that was the first flag this nation ever
Let's stop kidding one another, shall we? From their previous work,
we know too well what sort of flag Wellywebb and his bunch would
raise over the South Carolina capitol. It would feature a hammer and
Or a swastika.
To them I say, leave the battered south's history the hell alone.
After all, it's all they have.
For my part, to honor this boycott of South Carolina, I'm going to
see if they make anything in that state that I want and can purchase
online. In the name of undermining and defeating Wellywebb's attempt
at forced conformity and dullwitted bullying, I urge you to do the
An unreconstructed rebel in his own cause, L. Neil Smith is publisher
of The Libertarian Enterprise and author of 24 books including
The Probability Broach,
The Lando Calrissian Adventures,
Forge of the Elders (forthcoming in April, 2000),
with JPFO founder and executive director Aaron Zelman.