OC's Getting Rid of Mississippi's Flag--What About Our Other Markers to the Confederacy and Klan?

Y'all come back now, ya here?
Y'all come back now, ya here?

It's been fun to see the Orange County Board of Supervisors, the Orange County Bar Association, and now the Orange County Human Relations trying to outdo themselves in getting Mississippi's flag taken down from the Santa Ana Civic Center. REAL brave to take on Mississippi, the Hemet of America. How courageous to get offended at the Confederate flag, the ultimate symbol of the ultimate losers. Why, if we just had such conviction in government, legal, and nonprofit circles, we'd eradicate racism forever!

Please. Betcha those groups don't have the stones to confront the true racist menace littering Orange County's landscape: monuments to the Confederacy and the Ku Klux Klan.

On Broadway, just within walking distance of the offending Mississippi flag, stand beautiful magnolia trees that give ample shade to the Orange County courthouse. They were planted by the pioneers of Orange County, who wanted a reminder of home. Where was home? The South? Who were these founders? People like the guy to the right, Henry W. Head, who just happened to be OC's founding father. Almost all of his cohorts were Confederate veterans who dearly missed the Lost Cause and thus had those magnolia trees planted. Hey, wait: Mississippi's official state tree is the magnolia, and its first flag featured a magnolia tree. Let's chop those fuckers down and get firewood for a carne asada!

Then again, it's not the tree's fault that loser Confederates love it so. But very much the fault of humans are the streets, schools, and other landmarks named after OC pioneers who joined the KKK in the 1920s. As I documented in my 2013 cover story "Welcome to Ku Klux Kounty," and award-winning series, "Profiles in OC Pioneers Who Were Klan Members," dozens of such examples exist across the county. And just in case apologists start whining here that the Klan of the '20s was different than the Klan of Reconstruction, let's not forget the heroic efforts of OC District Attorney Alexander P. Nelson to dismantle the Invisible Empire despite death threats, and the below membership form of former OC Sheriff Sam Jernigan:

Ta-da!
Ta-da!

See that part where it says that Klan members vowed to support "the maintenance of White Supremacy"? That's what all those streets, schools and magnolia trees symbolize. So, OC Bar Association/Board of Supervisors/Human Relations: when are you going to mount a campaign against all that? We'll wait around while whistling "Dixie"...

Email: garellano@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @gustavoarellano.

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