It's been a couple of weeks since I've seen the Confederate flag. Around here that flag flew all summer long. Cars with the flag lashed to their antennas; pick-up trucks flying two flags, one on each side of their bed railings, like floats in a twisted parade; motorcycles with the flag hanging tail-like off their backsides: all here, all summer. I'd drive the backroad to Richmond to fetch groceries and see the flag flying outside of businesses.
And so even as that miserable flag mets its sudden and strange and unexpected and belated demise in so many state capitals across the South, it refused to die here in small-town Kentucky. I'm guessing the same thing was happening in towns and cities across Appalachia and the South, and that all of it was missed in the headlines about the flag vanishing from Walmart shelves and Amazon web pages and the Charleston state capital.
Maybe, then, I haven't seen the Stars and Bars lately because the people here who decided to unfurl their white supremacist banner after the Charleston murders have decided out of boredom or conscience or happenstance to stow their flags, or maybe it's just that I haven't been on the road as much the last couple of weeks since the semester started. We'll see.
Meanwhile, in Frankfort, Jeff Davis still stands, the sentinels of the state's Historic Properties Commission at his back.