A listening tour in Mississippi asks flag advocates why they are continuing supporting a emblem that represents ache, division and difficult history
It was 1957 when little Lindy Luby’s great-uncle proved up at her house near Benton, Mississippi, where the family had lived for generations. He was a justice of the peace in Yazoo City, the gateway to the fertile, brutal lands of the Delta.
” Effie, it’s just been a bad day ,” the lawman said to his sister, as the six-year-old listened.” I just had to go cut a black boy down off that hanging tree and take him to his momma .”
The infamous tree, used for lynching, was bending over a bridge on Highway 433 toward Lexington.
” What did he do ?” Effie Luby asked.
” He raped and killed a white girl .”
Lindy , now 66, has shifted her posture on the death penalty. After she sat on a jury that condemned a human to demise, she now campaigns for alternatives to executing and stars in a new documentary about her experience.
The first cut of the movie also proved Lindy and husband, Ira Isonhood, flying the Confederate battle flag on a 20 ft pole in the backyard of one of their homes.
To many white people in the south and beyond, the Confederate flag is a sign of historic pride and defiance to whatever is currently called ” liberalism “; to most black Americans, the flag stands for white ascendancy and racial violence. Today, the symbol often appears at “pro-white” rallies and is a lightning rod in America’s calcifying racial divides.