Is "Dixie" A Nation?
"Way down South, in the land of cotton,"
Ain't that inspiring?
Hurrah! Hurrah! We'll join the jubilee!
And that's going some, for the Yankees, by gum!
Red, White and Blue, I am for you!
Honest, you're a grand old flag!
Part III of the report tries to find any image that could represent the South and then subjectively connects it with honoring the Confederacy.(Page 8-11) The section titled "references to Dixie" will be problematic to anyone with a historical understanding for the term Dixie and the famous song. Even the Encyclopedia Britannica admits that there are competing theories regarding the origin of the word! One thing is certain, it pre-dates the Civil War.
The song "Dixie's Land" was written by a Northerner, Daniel Decatur Emmett, for the minstrel stage in 1859. It was popular in the North & the South and was among one of the favorites of Abraham Lincoln, who asked to play it in April 1865.The fact that it was played at Jefferson Davis's inaugural address is not surprising because it was the most popular song in the country at that time The Confederacy had no national anthem, just as the United States had no national anthem. Yet, somehow the report claims that "Dixie's Land" was the Confederacy's "de facto national anthem." What is the source for the claim? The Naming Commission has a policy of not naming sources. What they mean to say is simply that it was popular among Southerners during the war-- but so was "The Bonnie Blue Flag" and the Southern version of "The Battle Cry of Freedom."
After the war, Dixie became incorporatedin many songs, such as national tunes like "You're a Grand Old Flag." Why would a song about the American flag honor the Confederacy? It wouldn't. During WWI a popular song existed called "You'll find Old Dixieland in France." Is the song looking for the Confederacy in France or simply soldiers from the South as representative of a geographic region? When Irving Berlin referenced "Dixie's charms" in "Let me Sing and I'm Happy," was he referencing the Confederacy or the South? These questions answer themselves.
Congress and the Department of Defense must reject these conclusions. The law was written not to rid the armed forces of all mentions of the South, only assets that honor the Confederacy & individuals that voluntarily served in its armed forces. Once again The Naming Commission overstepped its mandate.