Document Type

Blog Post

Publication Date


Department 1

Civil War Era Studies


In 2004, Gettysburg College hosted an art exhibit by John Sims, a Florida based artist and ethnomathematician. The exhibit focused on varied recolored versions of the Confederate Flag. The press outrage was quick and damning. I should know, I was quoted in it (in the Civil War News).

Back in 2004, I called the exhibit, "sickening," and condemned the college for, "trying to distance itself from the town by rejecting the Civil War past in which it is steeped." I was wrong. I figured that out no sooner than passing through the doors of the art gallery and viewing the exhibit. Sims' presentation was provocative and jarring, but had some of the most profound things to say about the Confederate Flag that I think can be said. It's been six long years, my views have shifted and solidified, and I now look back on those words I spoke against Sims' project in shame. [excerpt]


Interpreting the Civil War: Connecting the Civil War to the American Public is written by alum and adjunct professor, John Rudy. Each post is his own opinions, musings, discussions, and questions about the Civil War era, public history, historical interpretation, and the future of history. In his own words, it is "a blog talking about how we talk about a war where over 600,000 died, 4 million were freed and a nation forever changed. Meditating on interpretation, both theory and practice, at no charge to you."

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License