Given that he helmed the definitive documentary series on the most destructive conflict in American history, it makes sense that CBS invited The Civil War (and so many others) creator Ken Burns on Face The Nation this morning to talk about the legacy of that war in context with the recent tragedy in Charleston and the debate over the Confederate flag it sparked.
Noting that the legacy of slavery leaves deep wounds that linger to this day, but that the “African American transcendence” of that legacy has been good for American culture as a whole, Burns noted that the Charleston massacre offered a chance to have another look at that history. “Everybody was brought up with the idea that that flag was the flag of the Confederacy. It was not, it was one of many battle flags adopted by the Army of Northern Virginia, it got adopted after 1954, worked into state flags in the old south. And what happened in 1954 was the Brown vs The Board of Education [decision]… And that flag coming into prominence was essentially not heritage, not about civil war heritage, but about resistance to civil rights.”
See the whole thing above.