I mentioned last time that I had picked up some really old MODEL RAILROADER magazines at a train show I had recently attended. This one was among them… the August, 1960 issue. Given recent news events, I thought about it in a different light when I picked it up to look through the other evening.
There are times in this blog where I get just a little off the track and this will probably be one of them. Our nation has a rich past. Have we been perfect? Not by a long shot but that doesn’t mean that we can somehow erase those imperfections and they will go away. Southern heritage is just as much a part of our nation’s history as the Wild West. Just as there were parts of the Wild West that were wrong, the South has had its faults as well. But to suggest that the Confederate Flag is symbolic of those faults is just wrong as saying that the Wild West was only about gunfights and cattle rustling. There are people today out west who still hold those good Wild West values as a way to live as there are people in the South who still take pride in the charm, hospitality and other good traits of Southern living. If the Confederate flag symbolizes that lifestyle to them, they have a right to embrace it.
The General was one of two locomotives that took part in one of the most spectacular events of our nation’s Civil War. Yes, it was owned and operated by the South. Because of that, to picture it with a Confederate flag is not inappropriate. That event is truly a part of our history just as much as Bunker Hill, Iwo Jima and Pork Chop Hill. If there are parts of our past that one does not like, let that person resolve not to repeat them. But to try to erase them is just trying to pretend that they never happened.
Now let’s get back to model railroading!