The common refrain is heritage, not hate, but in the case of one Southern family standing up for the Confederate battle flag, heritage apparently is hate.
In an interview on Monday, Anna Robb, owner of Dixie Outfitters in Branson, Missouri, defiantly told News-Leader that the Confederate flag represents Southern culture. Her franchise, also owned by her husband, Nathan Robb, sells Confederate flag merchandise.
The flag, Anna Robb said, represents faith, family, and freedom – not racism, slavery, or white supremacy.
On Thursday, however, a darker truth came out, proving that heritage and hate are not mutually exclusive to one another, just like racism, slavery, and white supremacy are inseparable from the flag.
“It has nothing to do with slavery”
On Monday, Anna Robb gave an interview with News-Leader, where she explained many of the “misconceptions” of the Confederate flag. A staunch defender of the flag, Robb said “It has nothing to do with slavery, which the media always want to bring in.”
Instead, she contended that it has to do with family, faith, and freedom.
Most don’t feel that way. That’s why big box stores have promised to stop carrying it.
As a consequence, business for the franchise was “absolutely up,” according to Robb. The store, Dixie Outfitters, specializes in Confederate battle flag memorabilia. In one hour Thursday, Robb said the store received more than 300 orders, compared to a dozen a day last week.
“We are working around the clock,” she said. “People from across the country are excited about our store. They are flooding our website. I had to bring in extra staff just to fill orders.”
Nathan’s father is Thomas Robb. If that name sounds familiar to you, that’s because Thomas Robb is the national director of the KKK.
In 1991, a 20-year-old Nate Robb — then a “den commander” for a Klan group in Harrison, Arkansas — attempted to adopt a one mile stretch of U.S. 65, at the Arkansas-Missouri State Line in Boone County. The state Highway and Transportation Department turned them down, and for good reason: participants in the program were given sign posts with their names along the adopted highways.
Robb had tried to adopt the stretch of highway so he could name it after his father.
When asked about this sordid past, Anna Robb said that she and her husband haven’t spoken to Thomas Robb for years, and denied that both she and her husband were part of the KKK — although she did admit that she had attended KKK events in the past:
I have years ago. That was years ago, and that is not even something that comes up anymore.
She added, “It has nothing to do with me, the store or this issue at hand.”
Of her husband, she said that transpired “when he was very young” and that he wasn’t available for questioning because he was trying to keep up with merchandise in their warehouse.
When News-Leader contacted Thomas Robb, he declined to speak about his relationship with his son and daughter-in-law, calling it a “family matter.”
Anna Robb has one thing right: the Confederate flag certainly represents her family.
Featured image via News-Leader