Thursday, July 30, 2009

Confederate etiquette

At the cemetery on Monday evening, Jon wondered why the confederate battle flag on several of the grave markers was depicted "backwards" - that is, left-facing instead of right-facing. The blog's research department believes that it has the answer, which saves sensitive blog readers from having to do their own search (some search terms, including "confederate," need to be deployed very, very cautiously). The answer appears to be that the confederate battle flag was often part of a two-sided flag, with the state flag on the other side. Most state flags (for example, the state flag of North Carolina) are only being flown correctly if they are right-facing (the same is true for the U.S. flag, as the canton should always go in the upper left corner). But the confederate battle flag does not have this requirement. So, there is unlikely to be a deeper meaning hidden in these grave marker depictions, which are clearly meant to honor a memory rather than to provoke.

1 comment:

  1. I'm not sure that the bit about the U.S. flag is correct. On U.S. military uniforms and on aircraft, depending on the side of the body or fuselage the flag is on, the canton will often be on the upper right. It is to depict the flag as if it is flying. Because of reading, I think, we tend to associate left-to-right with a flag's standard layout. The Confederate flag being symmetrical, why would it matter. Perhaps the headstone carver was a southpaw.