CHARLESTON, S.C. — Fresh off an historic upset over the South Carolina Gamecocks, The Citadel managed yet another surprise this year by beating a dead horse.
In developments that shocked literally dozens of people around the country, cadets at one of the nation's oldest senior military colleges were photographed “embracing their school's heritage of 'hoods not hate,'” according to defenders. This spells trouble for the thousands of active duty and reserve military officers and enlisted servicemen who have graduated from The Citadel.
Capt. Ray Farlow, a 2008 graduate of The Citadel, admits that the actions of these cadets have had real impact on his plans to separate from the Army early next year.
“I've been preparing for the job search, and I've just been racking my brain all day, trying to figure out how to remove 'The Citadel' from my resume without attracting attention,” Farlow explained. Other alumni have had similar difficulties.
“How am I going to be taken seriously as my company's EO rep, when I spent all of last drill bragging about the Bulldogs' win over Carolina? I can hide my ring, but I can't hide that,” laments Staff Sgt. Ritchie Brockman, a 2010 graduate and enlisted National Guardsman.
While statements from the cadets involved have not yet been released, Kickstarter campaigns have already been launched to raise funds for their defense.
“Let's not rush to judgment, here,” says one such supporter, Earl Ray Tibbs. “Sure it looks bad, but it's just an expression of their proud Southern history, not hate.”
Packing in a massive wad of dip, Tibbs continued, “And if any of these liberal sissies think this has anything to do with keeping the Confederate Jack up on campus, well sir, I just don't see the connection.”
The Confederate Naval Jack, a standard flown at sea by Southern forces during the Civil War, has been displayed for decades in The Citadel's Summerall Chapel, and was the subject of controversy in the wake of the Emmanuel A.M.E. Massacre just blocks away. The Citadel is prohibited from removing the flag by the Heritage Act of the South Carolina State Legislature.
“The Heritage Act serves the same purpose as any museum: it preserves our historic legacy for future generations,” explains State Sen. Tom Thurmond IV.
“Imagine a world where little children, six and seven years old, don't grow up seeing Confederate flags at the state capitol building, or flying from the backs of cheap pickup trucks with 40” mud tires; or on bumper stickers, license plates, anti-government conspiracy screeds, and every single t-shirt sold at the state fair? And who is looking out for the blue-collar working man, selling Confederate onesies at kiosks in the mall?”
“That's not the South Carolina I know and love,” Thurmond concludes, wistfully.
Editorial Disclosure: Dirty is an infantry sergeant and graduate of The Citadel, unless you're hiring. In which case, he went to a small school you've probably never heard of, and hey, that's a nice picture. Is that your wife? You have beautiful children. What's that? There's no need to call security. He'll find his own way out.