On my run last night I spotted a raft on the lake with a confederate flag. When I asked them what it represented, they came back with “the south.” “The south” is a bullsh@t answer, akin to someone from Germany waving a swastika saying it represented their region in Europe, or that it memorialized soldiers fallen at the hands of outside aggression (another excuse for waving the flag of idiotic bigotry is that it represents the fallen soldiers at the hands of norther aggression). Al Sharpton wrote a good piece on this topic saying “The Confederate flag symbolizes dehumanization, injustice and pain. It is a stark reminder of an era in our history that was defined by the abhorrent practice of slavery” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rev-al-sharpton/confederate-flag-white-house_b_4100189.html). I agree with him.
If you see these idiots on Lady Bird lake while kayaking, running, or biking, please make it known that shit like that isn’t welcome here in Austin. The cool thing about this city is that others will join you when you question their ignorance and racially charged decoration.
Just because it’s still widely adopted in many southern states doesn’t mean it’s okay. This article (http://www.elon.edu/e-web/pendulum/Issues/2005/04_07/opinions/flag.xhtml) presents a pretty rational take on the whole matter.