Consuming the Confederacy
Beyond the scope of these national discussions, my research on Confederate myths and memory finds, many unexamined Confederate symbols have made their way into people’s kitchens, bedrooms and living rooms.
Take “Confederate cookbooks” that help modern-day chefs recreate the recipes of the Old South and stuffed animals based on Little Sorrel, the taxidermied war horse of Confederate General Stonewall Jackson, for example.
People probably don’t reflect on the horrors of slavery when baking an apple pie or purchasing a cuddly toy for their child. They aren’t meant to. But they are participating in that history and its mythologies nonetheless.
In that way, seemingly apolitical objects like cookbooks, toys and Christmas ornaments commemorating Confederate history serve to normalize the objects, rituals and stories surrounding the Confederacy.
Adam J. McCleod