Washington Babylon — September 10, 2009, 3:21 pm

Congressman Joe Wilson: Confederate General

From Facing South:

Rep. Joe Wilson is getting his 15 minutes of national fame after bellowing “you lie!” during President Obama’s health care address last night. But Wilson earned notoriety in his home state of South Carolina in the late 1990s when, as a state legislator, he was one of the staunchest defenders of flying the Confederate battle flag over the state capitol.

Facing South cites a BBC report at the time which quoted Wilson as saying, “The Southern heritage, the Confederate heritage is very honourable.” As the magazine noted, “The decision to fly the Confederate battle flag was made by an all-white legislature in 1962 as the civil rights movement was picking up steam. The bill passed in 2000 didn’t even remove the flag entirely — it called for a different version of the flag to be flown in front of the state house instead of on top of it.”

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More from Ken Silverstein:

From the November 2013 issue

Dirty South

The foul legacy of Louisiana oil

Perspective October 23, 2013, 8:00 am

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How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy

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A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits 

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