Confederate History Month: Cocktail Chatter

Jeanne Sager
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Flickr photo by divemasterking2000
Every week in cocktail chatter, we tell you what you need to know to sound like an expert at this weekend's play date, dinner party or post office meeting.

This week's cheat sheet: Confederate History Month.

What it is: The commonwealth of Virginia is honoring the Southern side of the Civil War in the month of April -- based on a proclamation issued by Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell. McDonnell's failure to mention slavery any time during his speech about the confederacy has sparked criticism.

Terms to know:

Confederacy: Officially known as the Confederate States of America, these states seceded from the United States -- a move that sparked the Civil War.

Heritage Not Hate: The motto of Southerners who honor their side's fight in the Civil War, preferring not to focus on the issue of slavery but on history. McDonnell said he proclaimed this month Confederate History Month in order to celebrate the state's history and encourage tourism. Virginians are mixed -- in a survey on HamptonRoads.com (representing the area around Virginia Beach and Norfolk), McDonnell's move gets a big thumbs up.

War Between the States: Another name for the Civil War, it's the name used in the governor's proclamation. It's also called the War for Southern Independence, the War of Northern Aggression and the War of Rebellion -- it just depends who is talking about it.

Phrases to drop:

"McDonnell is the third Republican governor to honor Confederate History Month in Virginia."

"They've added a sentence to the proclamation now that says slavery was evil and inhumane."

"President Obama has called McDonnell's failure to mention slavery unacceptable."

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