The Code Of The South Does Exist! … by J. D. Longstreet
The Code Of The South Does Exist!
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet
I read, just this week, that North Carolina is the 3rd fastest growing state in the country behind only California and Texas. I suppose I should be proud of that. I’m not, particularly. I question how many of the immigrants to North Carolina are LEGAL.
We have had a great influx of folks from the Northern climes in recent years. They have had, we have heard, difficulty in assimilating into out Southern Culture. That is as it should be. We Southerners are, most assuredly, a different people with a different culture. And it is vitally important for all immigrants into the South to understand that the “Southern Hospitality” we are famous for, does have its limits.
Over the years I have been asked about our “Southern Code of Honor.” I assure you it does exist! It is written upon the heart of every Southerner having trod the scared soil of the South.
What is this legendary “Southern Code” we Southerners are so proud of anyway?
Well, you can sum it up in one word. “HONOR”. We cherish honor above everything else. Without honor, all that remains has no value. The word “HONOR” is seared across the ethereal visage of our souls.
To even BEGIN to understand Southerners, you MUST understand this: Southerners believe each man and woman has a duty, a responsibility, to seek nobility in life and in purpose. No matter his, or her, station in life, or the social strata he, or she, was born into. There is nobility in fighting the good fight, on your job, on the field of battle, at anything you turn your hand to. Southerners believe we were, indeed, created in the image of God. We have a duty to uphold that image as best we can. It is a continuous battle against the trials of life, but to shirk one’s duty, in this respect, is unforgivable. It is dishonorable.
Our Southern culture IS a culture apart. We like it that way. We have no intention of changing. To do so would be to dishonor all those who have gone before us as well as their creation of this sanctified, set apart, land. The South is to Southerners what the Holy Land is to the Jewish people.
Never question the honor of a Southerner. It is considered a challenge and your challenge will be answered.
A Southerner will go to the wall to defend honor. No matter the size of the opponent, no matter the place, or the time. Honor will be defended.
There is an inviolate line, which must never be crossed. Where does that line lie? Everywhere. For instance, you do not disparage our women. That is at the top of the list of inviolate things. Others include: our homes, our friends, our religion, our military abilities, and you surely do not speak disparagingly about our ancestors. To violate any of these will bring the wrath of the South down on your head in an instant.
You may have noticed Southerners do not back down. We refuse to accept defeat. We are accused, often, of still fighting the War Between the States. That is true. We consider this era of forced quietude only half time between The South and the North. We have never laid the war down. To quit, to surrender, is not acceptable in our code of honor. So, we fight on. Understand… we will win. It may take another hundred, or even two hundred, years, but we will prevail. We never forget, and we never quit.
It has been said that Southerners are America’s true “Warrior Class.” Look at the great warriors of America. Consider how many were Southerners.
War comes naturally to Southerners. The Scot-Irish-German blood flowing in our veins and the Southern Code of Chivalry, we learn from birth, creates the most fearsome warrior on the face of the earth.
The true Southerner is a gentleman, or lady, always. Well, right up ‘til he takes your head off. He will knock you down then offer his hand to lift you back to your feet. If you make the same mistake again, you will find yourself in need of that helping hand to get you off your back… again.
Southerners are deeply religious people. We unashamedly believe in God. We believe the Bible is His Holy Word. At the same time we know one cannot be perfect, but we believe every Southerner is born into this world with the obligation to strive for perfection. Anything less is totally unacceptable. It has been said this is the Southern interpretation of the European “Noblise Oblige.” Southerners know in the depths of their being they have an obligation to strive for nobility.
The Southern society is not a classless society. We acknowledge our society has an upper, middle, and a lower class. Bur we believe the obligation to nobility crosses those boundaries and emboldens even the least of us to carry the honor of his name, and his family’s heritage, without stain. Anything less is unacceptable.
There exists a divide between the Northern People, and the Southern People, in this nation. The divide is vast and unnavigable. We are two different peoples held together by law. The bayonet enforced the bondage of the Southern peoples. We have not forgotten. Nor will we. We know these bonds are only temporary. We work tirelessly for the day we will once again be ruled only by God and voice of the Southern people.
Tis honor, above all else. It is our code. It is written on our hearts.
Your Obedient Servant,
J. D. Longstreet