Dear Eloise, I Just Can’t Get the Slavery out of My Flag

You don’t need to be a Marxist historian to understand the Confederate flag but it doesn’t hurt to recall the central place of social class and economic controls when we remember the origins of the United States. Thomas Jefferson’s slaves still matter because they were the human capital upon which the American banking system was founded. Alexander Hamilton’s Bank of New York was the first engine of liquidity in the nation, and though our founding treasury secretary took a dim view of slavery and favored industrialization, much of the nation’s wealth derived from the slave states. Moreover, even after the industrial revolution took a firm hold in North America, slavery drove the engines. When “some” people wave the Confederate flag today they’re attempting to imagine something noble—as if southern heritage has finally been bleached of substance like Wonder Bread. Most who wave the flag want to extoll racial hate.

I wrote a one liner on Twitter last week: “No matter how many times you wash the Confederate flag, you just can’t get the slavery out.”

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