Minnesota's State Flag Is Racist, And Overreach In The Culture Wars


You can’t make this stuff up:

As the campaign to tear down the Confederate flag from statehouses, shops, and memorials continues to be waged across the country, one professor has chosen to weigh in on a flag she says is similarly offensive: Specifically, the state flag of Minnesota.

At a glance, Minnesota’s flag seems pretty bland. Like many states, it simply has its state seal on a blue field. Said seal shows a pioneer working his fields, while a Native American rides southward in the background. But Judith Harrington, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, published an argument shortly before the July 4th holiday complaining that the flag creates a racist contrast between peaceful whites and supposedly violent American Indians.

Most reasonable people would find Professor Harrington’s argument to be less persuasive as to the racism of Minnesota’s flag than to the notion that some academics have far too much time on their hands.

But this story gives me an excuse to link to this excellent essay about the culture wars at The Federalist.

“The iron law of the culture wars is that the public hates overreach—and each side will always overreach,” they write.

As proof of the concept, they give us a history of the culture wars that reads like a ping-pong match between the left and the right. The excesses of 1960’s and 70’s counterculture brought us to the excesses of “moral majority” prudishness of the 1980’s and 1990’s which, in turn, brought us to where they are today.

The authors, Benjamin Domenech and Robert Tracinski, argue that we’re on the cusp of another shift in the culture wars back to the right as the left gets carried away with demanding the conscription of bakers and wedding photographers and discerning racism in everything.

Including bland, innocuous state flags.

It’s a compelling argument, and spot-on I think.