PARALLEL UNIVERSE: March Madness: Mississippi, South Carolina Shooting Themselves in the Foot Over Wrong Flag

By David M. Kinchen
The Stars and Bars Confederate Flag
The Stars and Bars Confederate Flag
Like just about everybody in the known universe, I'm gobbling up as many March Madness basketball games as I can. That Arizona State v Texas matchup at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee on Thursday was a stunner, wasn't it? With a last second basket saving the bacon for the 'Horns. Of course, as a Texan for almost six years now, the Longhorns were my team.  


Thursday's (March 20) games were held in Buffalo, Milwaukee, Orlando and Spokane, and Friday's games   will be held in another four cities: Raleigh, San Antonio, San Diego and St. Louis. The NCAA women's tournament begins Saturday, March 22,  with weekend games spread out over 16 cities.   None of those cities will be in South Carolina or Mississippi. An article I read in Slate explains why:   Quoting from the excellent article:  

"The reason: The Confederate battle flags that still fly over the state capitol grounds in Columbia [SC] and Jackson [MS].

"In 2001, the NCAA imposed a ban on either state hosting post-season sporting events at predetermined sites (an important caveat I'll get to in a second) as long as the flags continued to fly, and neither it nor the states have budged since. That is set to change somewhat next year when a format tweak will allow for a key exception for the women's tournament. But that change won't be in place in time to help the Lady Gamecocks, who are currently bearing the brunt of the NCAA post-season boycott of the Palmetto State."

This is beyond ridiculous for those two Deep South states, in my opinion, since the familiar X-shaped Battle Flag isn't even the real Confederate flag. They're kissing off precious revenue from fans attending events for the wrong flag!

If you look it up, you'll find a number of flags that the Confederate States of America displayed from 1861-1865. The Battle Flag never was one of the government's flags: The "Stars and Bars" (pictured) was probably as close to an official flag as anything. It was displayed from 1861-63. Other flags adopted by the Confederacy incorporated the X-shaped "Southern Cross" in the flag.

The seven stars represent the original Confederate States; South Carolina (December 20, 1860), Mississippi (January 9, 1861), Florida (January 10,1861), Alabama (January 11, 1861), Georgia (January 19, 1861), Louisiana (January 26, 1861), and Texas (February 1, 1861).

My suggestion to the people of South Carolina and Mississippi: Stop harming your state by sticking to the wrong flag. Fly the Stars and Bars, or better yet, follow the example of Texas: Fly the Stars and Stripes. Of course, in Texas, the Lone Star state flag, dating from the days (1836-1845) when Texas was an independent republic, will be displayed with pride.

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