New Memorial Day Tradition: Burn the Confederate Flag

Artist and activist John Sims isn’t content to limit his Memorial Day fire to a barbecue grill; he wants to start a brand new annual tradition:

Burning the Confederate flag.

Sims, a native of Sarasota, FL, first took aim at the flag 15 years ago with an art project that recolored it with red, black, and green paint – the colors of black nationalism. In 2004, he created an art project called The Proper Way to Hang a Confederate Flag which slipped the flag through a noose. Last year, after the church shooting in Charleston, he organized a Confederate Flag funeral in 13 states.

Now, Sims wants to keep the tradition going by holding what he calls “Burn and Bury” events.

In an interview with ThinkProgress, Sims explained: “It is a way to ritualistically confront through reflection and catharsis the pain and trauma of a very horrific part of American history.”

Sims acknowledged that there were objectors, including the Sons of Confederate Veterans – a group that has vehemently opposed efforts to eradicate statues and symbols that honor Southern soldiers.

“I expect them to be offended,” Sims said. “The way I expect old slave masters in the 1850s were offended by the abolition movement or runaway slaves.”

Hmm, yes. That’s one way to put it. Let’s just casually dump these people who are trying to protect statues and flags with people who were trying to keep human beings enslaved. That’s fair. That makes sense.

“I challenge the Sons of Confederate Veterans to come correct and acknowledge that the Confederate flag should be retired as an artifact,” Sims told the website. “And after that they should help advocate for reparations for slavery.”

Well, you can’t accuse Sims of lacking a sense of humor.

For a group of people who identify with the ideology of “progress,” they sure have a hard time moving on. They don’t miss a single opportunity to wallow in the past, crying over things that they never experienced. Demonizing people who belonged to a different age.

But of course, this has nothing to do with the past. This is an attempt to change the future by cutting all ties to American history. If they can successfully convince the majority of Americans that everything prior to, say, the election of Barack Obama was evil and corrupt and racist, they’ll find it much easier to enact whatever silly plans they have for the future.


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