From the great historian Clyde Wilson, no less important or timely now as in 2001:
"You can either honor your Southern heritage and preserve your Southern identity, or you can give unthinking obedience to the America of today. You cannot do both without engaging in self-defeating contradiction.
Here are a few suggestions.
Don’t compromise. Compromise is only a defeat and a springboard for another attack. Don’t think that being a good sport will make the other side good sports. Who follows an uncertain trumpet? You will probably lose. But a loss on principle preserves a rallying point. John C. Calhoun says: a defeat on principle is not an overthrow, while a victory by compromise is a defeat.
Be worthy of your ancestors. Don’t be a goody goody "American" humbly begging to be allowed to keep a shred of your heritage. You are a member of a great people who are under attack and have been betrayed by their leaders. It is needed to defend the Southern people here and now and not just the noble Confederate soldier.
Think like a Southerner. We cannot defend just our Confederate forebears, as important as that is. They are but a part of Southern history. Lay claim to all of Southern history and culture, from Captain John Smith and Pocahontas to Dale Earnhardt. To concentrate on Confederate history alone is to concede to the enemy that the Confederacy can be segregated off as an evil episode of slavery and treason. It also plays into the North’s everlasting tendency to claim anything Southern that is good, as "American," that is, non-Southern. George Washington is just as Southern as Robert E. Lee. Thomas Jefferson is just as Southern as Jefferson Davis. Andrew Jackson is just as Southern as Bedford Forrest. Alvin York, and Audie Murphy, and the Alamo are just as Southern as Stonewall Jackson. Lay claim to all your heritage!
Avoid argument with the enemy and concentrate on educating yourself and members of our people, especially the young, not forgetting the many Yankees of good will. In Heritage Haters you are dealing with people who send their children to private schools while busing yours and still think they are morally superior to you because they are in favor of busing and you are not. They are not interested in debate or evidence. Remember, they are not attacking your great-grandfather’s war: they are attacking you! And, as we learned in the flag fight in South Carolina, this goes double for the academic "experts" in the war era, who are even less interested in evidence and perspective than the ordinary flag hater.
Don’t be discouraged. So beautiful and powerful is our heritage that it has taken them decades to cut away as much as they have. It will take some time and hard work to recover lost ground.
If you have to argue, turn the tables. The significant factor is the North’s motives! They are the ones who invaded us, violating the fundamental American principle of the consent of the governed.
If you must debate, don’t make indefensible statements that will be laughed out of court, like the war was not about slavery, most Southerners did not own slaves, and an exaggerated count of black soldiers in the Confederacy. Yes, the war was partly about slavery, though not on their side and not as centrally and in the way that they claim. Counting families, approximately one-fourth of Southerners were owners of domestic servants, almost all of them of a few people who lived and worked closely with the family. Yes, there were a great many black Confederates who helped sustain the armies and the home front, but not as enrolled soldiers.
Stop supporting federal government wars out of unthinking loyalty. For a long time the US armed forces had a chivalric Southern flavor. They now combine all the worst aspects of bureaucracy, imperialism, graft, affirmative action, and Political Correctness, in an atmosphere of moral depravity.
Cure yourself of Republican party thinking. What further proof is needed that the South and Southerners have nothing to expect from the Republican "conservatives" except payoffs to individuals to betray their people? As the Rev. Robert Lewis Dabney pointed out long ago, the Northern "conservatives," in the entire course of American history have never conserved anything. George W., though raised in Texas, suppressed innocuous Confederate plaques. McCain, though a descendant of Confederates, branded our flag as a hate symbol to be suppressed. The Republican governor of New York banished the Georgia flag. Shortly after their candidate was elected President, the Wall Street Journaland National Review published pieces ridiculing Southern conservatives. The message was clear: Give us your votes and shut up.
The worst thing that can happen to the South is to be turned into an appendage of the bland, principleless elements represented by the Republican party. Think like a Southerner, not like a knee-jerk "conservative." If Jesse Jackson causes a ruckus in Decatur, Illinois, applaud him. You can be sure that if he was making trouble in your town, Decatur, Illinois, would be cheering him on. They just don't want him to bother them.
My standpatter compatriots, if you want to be a good American as defined by the ruling institutions today, forget about your Southern heritage. But most Southerners care for family, place, Christian social order, courage, loyalty, honor – all things besieged in America today. That is, after all, why we love our heritage.