The great state of Maine has adopted a new state ballad, which I guess is in addition to the state song.*
It honors the 20th Maine volunteer infantry regiment, which is best known for saving the Union at Little Round Top during the Battle of Gettysburg.
It appears that some Republicans in the state are objecting, because they feel that the song is insufficiently considerate of the sensitive feelings of the traitors on the other side:
With Governor Janet Mills’ signature today, the “The Ballad of the 20th Maine” became Maine’s official state ballad.
The stirring anthem recorded and performed by the band The Ghost of Paul Revere tells the story of the 20th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment, which fought for the Union Army under General Joshua Chamberlain in the American Civil War. The regiment is best known for its brave defense of Little Round Top at the Battle of Gettysburg on July 2, 1863.
The bill to enshrine the ballad was sponsored by Rep. Scott Cuddy (D-Winterport) and passed without objection in both chambers. It did see some initial opposition in the legislature’s State and Local Government Committee, however, where two Republicans raised objections that the song’s unabashedly pro-Union message may be unfair to the South.
“I find it a little bit, we are united states, we are not Union, we are united states. And I find it just a little bit – I won’t say offensive but that’s what I mean – to say that we’re any better than the South was,” said Rep. Frances Head (R-Bethel) during a May 1st public hearing on the bill.
“I am a lover of history and especially a lover of the civil war period and regardless of what side people fought on, they were fighting for something they truly believed in,” said Rep. Roger Reed (R-Carmel), who specifically praised Confederate General Robert E. Lee. “Many of them were great Christian men on both sides. They fought hard and they were fighting for states’ rights as they saw them.”
Let me translate: “Great Christain men,” means let’s keep those n*****s from getting uppity.
Reed eventually voted in favor of the ballad legislation. Head voted against it.
They may represent a minority position, but the statements of these Republicans show just how far the Myth of the Lost Cause, a systematic effort to rehabilitate the racist legacy of the Confederacy, has spread. These objections were raised in Maine, which contributed a largest number of Union soldiers in proportion to its population of any state.
The American Civil War was fought on the issue of slavery. That’s the “state right” that Confederates were seeking to defend. To ignore or elide that history doesn’t just denigrate the sacrifices of our ancestors, but bolsters the resurgent white supremacist movement we’re seeing across our union today.
This is a feature, and not a bug of the modern Republican party and the myth of the lost cause serves their political agenda, even in Maine, where the 20th saved the Republic.
F%$# their bigoted small minds.
*Which is called, interestingly enough, State of Main Song.