Tuesday, May 20, 2014

League of the South Billboard in Alabama taken down resulting in national publicity.

The League of the South (LS) put up a bill board in Alabama like their billboard in Florida.

This is a link about the Florida billboard at the LS website.  http://dixienet.org/rights/2014/secede_billboard_in_florida.php

This is a link about the Montgomery, Alabama billboard at the Southern Nationalist Network website.


The LS would have gotten some publicity with the billboard  It is a billboard after all and it has a message that you don't see everyday. However, after being up for a while, and some local commentary, it would have disappeared from public awareness.

However, the billboard advertising firm, Lamar Advertising, gave into pressure from its other advertisers and pulled the LS billboard last weekend. I am guessing, but I suppose the local chamber of commerce saw the billboard and imagined that it was bad for business. I don't think it is the type of thing you want a visitor from a company that might locate an operation in your city to see.

Censorship is always a topic of interest to the public and the AP distributed a story on the billboard being taken down. So the removal of the billboard has been in the media all over the nation. The LS is publicized not in ads which people often ignore, but in news stories.

Both the Washington Post and the Washington Times had coverage of the billboard being taken down.



The removal made the Miami Herald's "Weird News" section.


Being in the "Weird News" section is actually a fairly good thing. People like to read those sections.

As the old saying goes, "You can't buy publicity like that."

Also, it is of interest that local business interests saw the billboard as a threat when most people would find it an amusing thing from a fringe movement. I thought it was interesting that in Florida a billboard actually went up in response to the LS bill board.

The suppression of the billboard in Montgomery was a stupid strategy. People don't like censorship. People generally feel that they can judge ideas on their own. This act of the Lamar Advertising generated national publicity for the LS and negative publicity for itself as a censor. It is surprising that Lamar Advertising didn't learn from the Florida LS billboard that their clients are probably not happy seeing secede billboards. The chamber of commerce in Florida did a counter billboard with the word "Succeed," which gave the LS more publicity.

The Lamar Advertising agency from here on probably won't be allowing a LS billboard anywhere in the future. The League can probably find some other means to get themselves before the public.

The billboard campaign I think is doing more than publicizing the LS and drawing to them potential members. It is making the public aware that there is a neo-Confederate movement. One thing about the billboards is that a person realizes that the LS has significant money to spend. It costs a lot of money to rent a billboard and it costs money to put it up. That a secessionist group has money like this to spend means it is to some extent a significant movement. The image of the South is being changed to that of a region where there is a contemporary secessionist movement.

I think now more people will look at the entire Lost Cause phenomenon such as Confederate Memorial days, Confederate monuments, ceremonies by groups like the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) and the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) differently. If a person praises the Confederacy it isn't an unreasonable assumption that that person might to seek to emulate the Confederacy, that is support secession. Possibly reporters will ask the SCV and the UDC what they think about neo-Confederate secessionists. This could have all sorts of ramifications.

This shows that the LS is understanding how to be a viable movement. Instead of endless study events they are becoming active and getting in the news. The study events are not a mistake. A movement needs to define itself and have a world view and create its own core of individuals with that world view, but at some point it is time to get on to the next stage. The LS with the billboard being pulled down will certainly learn, if they haven't learned already, that getting your opposition to react foolishly is the most effective strategy.

So I think that we will see a continually more activist LS. They recently have had protests against gay marriage that has gotten themselves in the news. The LS likely has adopted provocation as its agenda.

Another development is that the Civil War and southern studies are likely in the future to be more and more considered in a context where there is a current secessionist movement and a realization who in these academic fields act as enablers whether these enablers are aware of it or not, such as Kevin Levin. Also, actions by elected officials will be evaluated in context of an ongoing secession movement like sending a presidential wreath to the Arlington Confederate Monument.

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