On Confederate Symbols
Mike Bennighof, Ph.D.
President, Avalanche Press
In 2017, a crowd of white nationalists waving Confederate flags descended on Charlottesville, Virginia, purportedly in support of an old piece of Confederate statuary. One of them murdered a young woman named Heather Heyer. At that point, we decided that we would never use Confederate iconography in our products, ever again.
This week, they returned. This time, they trashed the U.S. Capitol, chanting their desire to murder elected officials and once again waving Confederate flags. They murdered a Capitol Police officer, Brian D. Sicknick. They beat a serving police officer to death as he carried out his sworn duty to defend the American people’s elected representatives.
There is no excuse, no redemption, for anyone who carried out such a despicable act, who marched alongside them, who cheered them on from afar or who incited their assault. There is no condemnation strong enough for the acts, their perpetrators, or their supporters.
Our corporate statement: We will never use Confederate iconography in a product again. We regret ever having done so in the past.
The Confederate flag is a symbol of racism, hate and murder. Of rebellion against democratic rule. Not just in 1861, not just in 1963, but in 2021. We have no American Civil War themed books or games currently in print, but several on the future schedule. They’ll have no stars-and-bars. If that means we’re erasing history, well, it’s a symbol that deserves erasure. Criminals carried it into the very symbol of American democracy, defiling 232 years of a proud tradition of constitutional government. We’re not going to use a symbol that we find repulsive.