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When Does Our Confederacy Conversation Target Street Names in Oak Cliff?

I don’t need to say it: in the wake of the Charleston shooting, there has been a lot of talk about the Civil War and what the various ways in which we remember, honor, or commemorate its history say about a legacy of racism in America. Alabama has removed a Confederate flag from a memorial at the state capitol. There are calls to take down a Jefferson Davis statue in Kentucky. Dallas’ Lee Park has come under scrutiny. I could go on.

At this point in the conversation, the momentum seems to point towards a gradual, though thorough washing-out of Confederate memorials throughout the nation. But how far will it go? How sublimated do references or symbols of the Confederacy have to be before they are deemed inappropriate? Statues and flags are one thing, but what about the more subtle reminders.

I found myself wondering this driving down oh-so-topical Davis St. in Oak Cliff.

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Welcome to ‘Five Flags Over Texas. Plus One We Don’t Really Want to Talk About.’

Given the current move to eliminate all things Confederate, isn’t it just a matter of time before the history rewriters set their sights on Six Flags Over Texas? After all, the flag of the Confederate States of America (1861-1865) is one of six referenced by the theme park name. While the CSA flag is not the “battle flag” that’s under fire these days, even statues and other memorials associated with the Confederacy have become prime targets for eradication recently.

“At one time, the park had a themed section called The Confederacy, and the Confederate Battle Flag was used as part of the theming and a civil war re-enactment,” says Six Flags spokeswoman Sharon Parker. “The name of that section of the park was changed to The Old South in the mid-1990s and all Confederate Battle Flags were removed. Six Flags Over Texas continues to fly the Confederate States of America Flag, but does not fly or sell any variation of the Confederate Battle Flag.”

Chances are, that explanation won’t cut it with the rewrite crowd. So get ready for, “Welcome to ‘Five Flags Over Texas. Plus One We Don’t Really Want To Talk About.’ “

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Ask John Neely Bryan: Lightning Round Via the Twitterverse

It’s been brought to my attention that a fair number of you, dear readers, are too lazy to type out an electronic missive and push a button to send it to me at ask@dmagazine.com. Even though I have a well-established track record of solving your problems — bringing hope and joy and irresistible animal magnetism to the most troubled of souls — some refuse to seek my help.

Go where the people are, the editors of this web blog have repeatedly enjoined. And so I finally had no choice but to accede to their wishes. Yesterday, shortly after 3 p.m., I took command of the @DMagazine Twitter handle to offer up insights in bite-size portions. Since it is exceedingly difficult to limit my wisdom to 140-character chunks, I’m offering bonus contest below, in this sampling of what transpired:

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Ask John Neely Bryan: The Secrets Beneath Downtown Dallas

Question: Do you spend any time in the underground Dallas space? Is there anything to do like shop or dine? — Dave S.

Your cryptic query proves a bit of a mind-tickler, as I’m not at all certain to which of our city’s subterranean spots you refer. I could, of course, extoll upon the virtues of any and all of these places. However, some are more secretive than others, and thus it is difficult to judge how much I am at liberty to reveal without inconveniencing many of my most loyal acolytes.

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