A lot of people won’t be happy with Sarasota, Florida artist John Sims this Memorial Day. But, as Sims explained to “ThinkProgress” in a recent interview, he has been reclaiming and remixing the Confederate flag through various projects for the past 15 years. But last year after the Emanuel A.M.E Church shooting, Sims set up an event called Burning and Burying the Confederate Flag on the fourth of July. And now he plans to make it a Memorial Day tradition.
On his website, Sims sums up the proposed event this way:
‘To remember the horrific legacy of American Slavery and to honor all of the soldiers of justice who have fought against slavery, Jim Crow segregation and contemporary white supremacy, there is a call to Burn and Bury the Confederate flag, all across the United States of America every year on Memorial Day.’
Sims explained that certain groups were not too happy with the event last year, which took place simultaneously in 13 cities:
‘The Sons of Confederate Veterans have been my nemesis since the Gettysburg installation. So I expect them to be offended, the way I expect old slave masters in the 1850 were offended by the abolition movement or runaway slaves.’
That sort of antagonism is to be expected from such groups, but as Sims explains, he has little patience for their arguments that the flag isn’t about racism:
‘These groups have failed to recognized the unredeemable nature of the Confederate flag as symbol of Southern heritage. And to deny this flag’s connection to American white supremacy and fear of the loss of white privilege is insane. I challenge the Sons of Confederate Veterans to come correct and acknowledge that the Confederate flag should be retired as an artifact. And after that they should help advocate for reparations for slavery.’
This year Sims wants to include as many people and burning Confederate flags as possible, so he has created downloadable Burn and Bury kits, which you can find here. In addition, he will be livestreaming his own Burn and Bury event here. You can get a sense what’s in store and how to arrange your own Memorial Day event from the video below.
Featured Image via YouTube screengrab.