Joe Soucheray: If We’re Going to Rename Lake Calhoun, Where Does It All End?

The following article by Joe Soucheray was published in the Pioneer Press on June 23, 2015.

Joe Soucheray: If We’re Going to Rename Lake Calhoun, Where Does It All End?

Joe Soucheray


Removing the Confederate flag, as it might be flown adjacent to the state Capitol in Columbia, S.C., is not at all problematic and does not at all attempt to be a sanitization of anything, much less our shared American history. We have a flag. The American flag serves South Carolina as it does Minnesota or any other state.

Calls to remove the Confederate flag from the Capitol in Columbia have intensified since it was discovered that the latest devil in our midst, Dylann Storm Roof, featured a Confederate flag license plate and other Confederate flag paraphernalia, the likes of which Walmart will stop selling. If that was our only flag, the implications of its removal would be complicated and highly suspicious of rewriting history.

But it is an adjunct flag, superfluous, mindful only of a divide.

We have a flag. Problem solved.

Now, as a result of the same evil force who shot up the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., the spire of which is seen from everywhere in Charleston, local activists want to change the name of Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis. That is a problem.