In a little noticed voice vote Tuesday on a funding bill for the National Park Service, the U.S. House passed a measure banning the display of Confederate flags at federal cemeteries in the South. A final vote on funding will happen Thursday. Only two historic cemeteries are affected — Andersonville, Georgia, and Vicksburg, Mississippi — but the flags are privately funded and placed. The Park Service maintains 14 national cemeteries, and many of them contain the graves of soldiers who died in the War Between the States. Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA) introduced the measure, and he was the only person to speak about it. “The American Civil War was fought, in Abraham Lincoln’s words, to ‘save the last best hope of Earth,’” Huffman said. “We can honor that history without celebrating the Confederate flag and all of the dreadful things that it symbolizes.” That depends on whose view of symbolism you accept. A bizarre hive mind has infected all things Confederate since the Charleston murders. It began with a move to pull the flag from South Carolina’s capitol grounds, but continued to include merchandise and TV shows that even depict the flag. And the Park Service already removed the flags from their shelves. For the Left, this is clearly a bid to paint all Southerners — and, by extension, Republicans — as racists. But Republicans have rather easily gone along with the flag’s removal in various circumstances. We can only conclude they see nothing to gain by fighting for a symbol of the old Democratic South.
Update, July 9: After an uproar, the House scheduled a vote for today to undo the Democrat amendment. Naturally, Democrats are scandalized and headed for their fainting couches.
Update, later July 9: Aaaaannnd, never mind. Republicans bailed.