(November 16, 2018) If a tendency to voluntarily join America’s military indicates loyalty to the United States, then Southerners may be stronger patriots than Northerners despite the South’s fondness for Confederate symbols. The table below shows that today’s residents of the eleven states of the former Confederacy are more likely to serve their country militarily than are residents of the twenty Northern and Western states that fought against the South during the Civil War.
Only Louisiana among the former Confederate states currently contributes fewer soldiers than its proportional share of America’s population. The rest provide between 105% to 144%. An arithmetic average of the eleven states indicates the entire region supplies about 120% of its population parity.
In contrast, the twenty Northern and Western “slave free” states that fought for the Union during the Civil War currently provide only about 85% of their population-based share. Thus, in proportion to regional population the South is supplying 41% more soldiers than the former “free” states.*
Of the twenty “free” states only Nevada and Ohio exceed 100%, although New Hampshire, Maine and Kansas are at parity. The remaining fifteen don’t contribute their fair share. New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, Minnesota and Wisconsin are the weakest suppliers with a below-parity arithmetic average of 67%.
While critics of Confederate symbols often disparage them as traitorous icons, it appears that the region that most reveres such emblems is making the greater per capita effort to defend our reunified nation. That ought to justify more tolerance for Southern heritage.
* [100*(120/85) – 100]
Source: Elizabeth Chang, “Where do Military Recruits Come From?” The Washington Post, July 17, 2017