A Portrait of the Modern Confederate American: A Tragicomedy

1:37 PM on a humid Southern Saturday.

A stylized portrait of Robert E. Lee stares back at him as he flips open his MacBook Pro. Upon navigating to Walmart.com, he types “confedarate flag” into the search bar (his previous flag was ripped sheer off the pole during an especially intense mudding sesh the night prior).

Though he’s sad his trusty ol’ confederate flag has suffered an untimely demise, the prospect of buying a brand new one fills his heart will wondrous merriment.

He’s startled, however, upon perusing the results:

Screenshot of Walmart Search for "confederate flag"

The flag of the great state of Mississippi, as fine a flag as it damn sure is, reveals itself as the first result. Followed by nothing but American flags.

It’s been months since he’s watched the news; not because he lacks the technical means to consume it, but because he can’t stand to bear witness to the ignominious knavery into which his country so gleefully descends.

Downward he scrolls, but not a single instance of his beloved heritage turns up on the subsequent pages. Nothing but American flags; which, despite considering himself a devout patriot, he has no interest installing on the back of his truck.

“The fuck kinda horse shit is this?” he mutters to himself with indignation. Surely, this must be a mistake.

With an air of apprehension, he clatters away on the keyboard, sure he’ll find his beloved symbol of heritage elsewhere.

“Target! Yeaaaa, buddy!” He’s sure they’ll have one.

Screenshot of Confederate flag search results on Target.com

But alas, not a single result.

In a fitful pique of burgeoning ire, he scours the internet further, determined to satiate his idolatrous desire. “The big internet vendors have got to be selling them,” he assures himself.

He heads to eBay, but to no avail.

eBay Search results for "confederate flag"

In jest, however, he does opt for a paperback copy of Why I Wave the Confederate Flag, Written by a Black Man: The End of Niggerism and the Welfare State by Anthony Hervey. He can hardly wait to absorb the quality talking points in Mr. Hervey’s literary masterpiece.

Completing the order, he continues the hunt.

“Amazon will have one! They sell damn near everything!”

Amazon search for "confederate flag"

O, but alack! To his dismay, there are no Confederate flags available on Amazon either!

Under the influence of a peculiar vexation, he resolves to take action. Gallant, headstrong, princely in disposition as he climbs the massive shiny running boards leading up to his Ford F-350 with the gusto of Robert E. Lee venturing north to slaughter his fellow Americans. You know, real honorable-like.

The destination is clear: Big Willie’s Military Surplus Warehouse.

Big Willie’s, he’s positive, would never give in to the bigoted demands of the tree-huggin’ butt-fuckin’ dick-lickin’ liberal elite who are no doubt behind the drought of Confederate memorabilia which doth enrage him so.

Luke Bryan’s “Kick The Dust Up” roars out the speakers as he twists the ignition. Thick black smoke spews from his truck’s exhaust as he commences full speed toward his destination, a solid 45 minute trip.

In his adamant haste, he arrives in a mere 37.

He dashes through the entrance of Big Willie’s, and scurries straight to the flag section, which he has no trouble locating. After a quick overview, he’s stunned to find there are no Confederate flags available.

Out upon’t! It can’t be so!

Big Willie’s, his last bastion of hope, hath betrayeth him! His family! His heritage! Tainted is all which ever he held dear!

His psyche becomes infected with fury as a potent cocktail of hormones and neurotransmitters biosynthesize and course through his body, responding to what he perceives as the complete manifestation of the Socialist States of Obama.

He is no longer in control of his facilities. Rage consumes him.

With an eerie, determined calmness, he struts dead-eyed back to his truck. Popping open his glove compartment, he grasps his Glock 42, not even bothering to conceal it as he saunters back across the parking lot.

Exhibiting the same outward calmness with which he exited, he returns through the automatic sliding doors. Though Big Willie’s has a sizable crowd of patrons on this Saturday afternoon, not a single person notices the pistol melded in the furious grip of his right hand as he struts toward them.

Walking past the patrons, he takes the same route down the aisles, back toward the flags. Still calm. Still possessed. The sight of the bare aisle where the Confederate flags were once displayed consummates his delirium.

An aging Vietnam veteran, searching for the same rectangular piece of cloth, enters the aisle from a blind corner with an abruptness unconducive of cogent thought. The old man is stricken with duteous instinct as the Glock makes its way unflinchingly toward the opening mouth of our misguided protagonist.

With not but a millisecond to consider his response, the old man pounces forward with a prodigious blitz of power.

Perhaps instinct, perhaps rage… Perhaps the force of the old man’s tackle is what alters the Glock’s trajectory in such a way. What’s certain is, as they fall to the floor, a round discharges square through the heart of the old man, the sensation of his weathered bones crashing upon the cold concrete floor a harsh welcome to death.

Our protagonist rises to his feet in horror. The sobering effect of killing a man evolves into a mental state much different than the one devised by his impetuous desires.

Consumed with devastation, he rises to his feet and bites down on the warm barrel of the Glock, expelling himself from this cruel, peccant new America.

The bodies spend a minute steeping in blood when a lone employee, struggling to carry a couple large boxes, stumbles upon the gruesome aftermath of the brutal murder-suicide.

So traumatized is he at witnessing such violent death, he relinquishes his feeble grip on the hefty boxes of inventory a couple feet from the lifeless bodies, expelling their contents among the carnage.

The detectives are the first to take note of the bloodsoaked Confederate flags. Demand had been so high in the wake of Charleston church massacre, Big Willie’s had sold out early the prior day.

The lamentable irony of this cruel tragedy not apparent, the officers presume it an attempted mass shooting, thanking God with supreme sincerity that so many lives were spared.

And the flags spared of blood stains were sold out just after noon the following day.

The Sincerest Form of Flattery

  • ap3ekinton0thing

    great story with awesome twist!

  • What a good short story, really liked it.

    • Haha I’m glad someone other than myself enjoyed it. :P

      For the record, the melodramatic tone and language was meant to be sardonic, not some sad, garish attempt to demonstrate my exquisite and masterful – one might even say ethereal – writing style.

      I loathe any writer who endeavors to emblazon their work with such ostentatious interpolations. It’s just so malapropos.