Some conservatives have seen efforts to remove the Confederate saltire battle flag from the statehouse in Columbia, South Carolina, and also from other public places around the South, as the beginning of a slippery slope in which roads and landmarks named after Confederate figures are changed, monuments are removed, and a significant part of American history is obscured from view.
"The Left's 21st century agenda: expunging every trace of respect, recognition or acknowledgment of Americans who fought for the Confederacy," tweeted Weekly Standard editor William Kristol on June 23. "It's our own mini-French revolution, expunging history in a frenzy of self-righteousness."
There are clearly some who would like to do just that. David Brooks, the New York Times columnist, recently advocated removing Robert E. Lee's name "from most schools, roads and other institutions, where the name could be seen as acceptance of what he did and stood for during the war."
"This is not about rewriting history," Brooks argued. "It's about shaping the culture going forward."