Stars and Bars

IMG_5018fI’ve always found it interesting that, for all their sharp differences, evolutionary biologists and young-earth creationists agree on one very important fact: every human alive on Earth today, all 7,255,000,000 of us, belongs to the same family tree. They may differ on the details, but both parties accept as fact that all people are cousins, literal blood kin, and that we are all equal in the eyes of our universe, our Creator, or both. In news that seems related (to me, at least), I found myself in the capital of South Carolina this afternoon, so I headed over to the Capitol building where I snapped this photograph (also featured in the banner) of an empty flagpole. The image stands in sharp contrast to this photograph that appeared in the Washington Post a few weeks back, when the state and national colors were dropped to half-mast out of respect for the victims of the Charleston massacre, but the Confederate flag remained at full-mast. It was one of the starkest images that this historian has seen in recent memory. Removing the Confederate flag from the grounds of the South Carolina state house may seem like a small gesture, but it’s also a tacit acknowledgement that the Civil War is over, that all humans deserve to live free, and that those of us born in southeastern North America (including yours truly) can thank our lucky stars that the Confederacy did not prevail.