© 2022 WNIJ and WNIU
Northern Public Radio
801 N 1st St.
DeKalb, IL 60115
Northern Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Perspective: A 30-Foot George Washington

public domain

On July 11, 1864, Lt. General Jubal Early, leading the Second Corp of the Army of Northern Virginia on a desperate raid aimed Washington D.C., sighted the dome of the U.S. Capitol. That raid failed, along with the last best chance for a Confederate flag to fly inside the walls of the Capitol for the next 156 years.


That is until January 6, 2021. That flag, along with any number of other stomach-turning symbols on display that day, is a hard reminder that fascism is still alive and well in these United States.

This isn’t our first go-round with lunatic fringe “patriots” who believe the only way to save our democratic republic is to destroy it. We are just as susceptible to demagogues with all the “right” answers to complex problems as anyone else. All one has to do is read a little history. And here’s a little tidbit from February 20, 1939. On that day, the German-American Bund, the American version of the Nazi Party, held a rally in a most American place, Madison Square Garden, with 20,000 members in attendance. The backdrop of the stage featured someone we all recognize: a 30-foot tall rendition of George Washington.

Surrounded by swastikas.

I’m Andrew Nelson, and that’s my perspective.

Related Stories