What do the confederate flag and used-truck prices have in common?

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Updated Jul 10, 2015

They’re coming down, according to word from the South Carolina legislature and governor and the latest, June edition of the NADA/American Truck Dealers’ Commercial Truck Guidelines report, the latter of which you can access here. A lot of it details trends that continue from the May edition, illustrated in part in the “Buyer’s market” feature that hit the site here yesterday, with detail of the year over year declines in 2-4-year-old sleeper tractors that are hitting the used market at a somewhat accelerated rate by some reports.

Anybody moved into late-model equipment of late at decent prices?

Also coming down is the “confederate flag.” Specifically, according to the legislature and governor in South Carolina, as early as tomorrow the flag will be removed from the monument just off Gervais Street in Columbia on the State House grounds — such monument, offering visitors to the Capitol grounds a much clearer view of the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia (and other Confederate units that flew it) than they’d had prior to the monument, I’ve always thought a fairly spiteful “compromise,” as it was dubbed at the time the thing went up.

What it replaced, of course, was a flag that flew way up on top of the Capitol for decades — since the early 1960s, as has been reiterated time and again in the news of late. When it was up there, unless you were looking for it you’d probably never notice it.

I know I never did on my several childhood visits to the State House, or not that I can recall, in the 1980s. I grew up in Rock Hill up in the northern part of the state, born in the mid-’70s the son of a native Rock Hillian father and a mother from a more central part of the state around Newberry. Though I never noticed the flag up there before I was old enough to be cognizant of the state’s contentious issues, I was for a time that classic 1970s/’80s Southern kid who loved the flag for the pop-culture rebellious-type sensibility it came with at the time, for some. Dukes of Hazzard episodes and all that.

As a particularly little kid, I had two favorite bandannas — one a white base with a bunch of indecipherable Japanese or Chinese characters all over it, the second, yes, a confederate-flag variety — I might tie variously around my head, neck, wrists, ankles and maybe even knees a time or two for who knows whatever reason. That is, until one black friend or another — or, more likely, his father or mother, or perhaps even more likely my own — gave me a bit more of an indication of just what the symbol meant to them or gave me a recent-history lesson. There was no incident or series of them that rose to the drama required of memory-making events, but as a testament perhaps to the odd persistence of meaningful things, I do at least have a memory of my own interior deliberation that led, ultimately, to putting the stars-and-bars aside, banishing it from my kid-choices of attire. (It may well still be in my childhood closet, way down on the small left-hand shelf  at the bottom of the thing where I tended to stuff things meant to be forgotten — unless Mom has long since cleaned that old closet out, eh Mom?)

Small stuff, for sure, in one sense, and there’s more to the issues around the flag, of course, than a kid’s choices of headwear. All the same, recognition of the flag as a symbol of things well beyond “heritage,” or attempts to honor the dead in the wake American history, is no recent development, to say the least. Not for me, not for millions around the country. My little ditty I’ve felt compelled to share today because, well, as a South Carolinian who’s lived most of his adult life outside the state, I’m glad that flag is on its way down, finally, righting the wrong that was putting it up there on the Capitol dome in the first place, as I see it.

I know a lot of readers might disagree with me on this, at least according to the results as of this writing of the poll at this link.

Nonetheless, I’ll side with fellow Carolinian (of the North variety on the other side of Charlotte from Rock Hill) Dale Earnhardt Jr. on this one — the thing belongs in the history books, as it were, or where it’s going, a museum documenting state history. Not in a sanctioned place of honor, as it were.

What’s your view?

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