Monumental Cloth: The Flag We Should All Know

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In the spring of 1865, a seemingly unremarkable dishcloth played a crucial role in ending the Civil War as the South's flag of surrender at Appomattox. A Confederate horseman carried a humble white linen towel into the lines of General George Custer, near the courthouse at Appomattox. The horseman was sent on behalf of General Robert E. Lee, who was requesting a suspension of hostilities while General Ulysses S. Grant proposed terms of surrender.

Sonya Clark’s ongoing exploration of the legacy of cultural symbols  serves as a timely catalyst for dialogue about the scars of the Confederacy and America’s ability to acknowledge and reckon with history, social justice, institutional racism, and racial inequality.