Rev. Clementa Pinckney
Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton
Rev. Daniel Simmons
Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor
You can buy a big one of these big red Xs from the good people over at AmericanFlags.com. 3'x5' in the Econo-Poly line. The "econo-" part is the $10 price and polyester, I'm thinking, is the "-poly" part. (If so, in the 70s, I bought some econo-poly pants.) And, at $10 (see the ad, above), there's no tax on that either but you'll have to pony up $5 for the shipping. Still, flags are cheap to buy.
You're thinking, hey, Dale, you're being unfair in thinking that the Alabama flag is just a big red X. You're right, it's more than that. According to Wikipedia, the official description of the Alabama flag is "the Crimson cross of St. Andrew on a field of white." It's not a red X, it's a crimson cross. Not a white background but a "field of white." And apparently it belongs to St. Andrew. I think he's Episcopalian because I see his name on a lot of Episcopal churches. I don't know what any of this has to do with Alabama and no one else seems to be sure either. There are some accounts that might link the design of the flag back to something resembling the Confederate flag. Sort of the overall x-iness of it. I like to imagine maybe during the Civil War someone walked by with a Confederate flag and a confused 3-year old drew a picture of it with the wrong crayola. And that little boy invented the Alabama flag. (But what was he wearing? What grade was he in? What was his name? Historians and I don't know.)
Anyway, flags shouldn't be such a big deal so I'm going to give you some advice. If you have a flag you don't like, get rid of it. If someone tries to burn your flag, let them. It's not worth the headache. Don't get killed over it, epecially when you can just go online and order another one. In fact, if this happens to you and someone burns your flag, I'll buy you another one. Seriously, I promise I will. (Except after I retire because then Marilyn and I will be on a fixed income. We will, however, give you one of those little flags you hold in your hand.)
Also, if you put up a flag that really hurts the feelings of a lot of people, remember it's not that important. Heritage is overrated, especially if you're an American. Some of our heritage sucks really bad. And the flag isn't heritage anyway. (If it were, our heritage in Alabama would be a big dumb X.) Just remember it's hurting people's feelings. Your neighbors, your countrymen. Take the stupid thing down and go get a prettier flag. Maybe with a picture of a shrubbery, or a pretty lady in a robe holding a ribbon or something. Or a squirrel or a bluebird. Or a mountain. A prairie. An ocean. White with foam and no big dumb X.
Thank you reading Right Hand Pointing. My thanks, as always, to co-editors Laura M. Kaminski, F. John Sharp, copy editor F. J. Bergmann.