I once confidently stated in these very pages that in the annals of art and design, there was only one example of ice hockey and the Lost Cause comfortably co-existing: in the logo of Virginia’s Roanoke Valley Rebels of the Eastern Hockey League, circa 1971.
I am horrified to learn that I was incorrect in this assertion. Above is a Golden Gophers hockey-themed maroon-and-gold Confederate flag, hanging at the Gopher Bar in downtown St. Paul.
Oh my god. Where to even begin? A fucking Minnesota Confederate flag?
The St. Paul poet Paul D. Dickinson and I went to the Gopher Bar for lunch yesterday to eat what they bill as “the best fuckin’ Coney Islands in town,” and take in the atmosphere, which might best be described as “authoritarian Palinist/libertarian North Country dive bar” — equal parts U hockey memorabilia and wildly tasteless anti-Obama paraphernalia. Also, lots of signs with swear words on them (“no fucking credit cards”). It’s the only place in town I know of where the proprietors swear at you. Maybe bar owners swear at people all the time on the East Coast or in Chicago, but it’s not the kind of thing that goes down in the Upper Middle West that often.
The Coney Islands were indeed amazing. The decor was horrifying. The swearing was hilarious. What a terrible place! What great Coney Islands! What uncomfortable moral dilemmas!
On a purely logistical note: where do you even buy a maroon-and-gold Confederate flag? Are they specially made? Maybe by the same people that make the Minnesota SSR flag?