Podcast | The Confederacy and Southern sympathizers in Seattle

Decades after the Civil War, nostalgia for the 'Lost Cause' took hold in the Northwest. Knute Berger explains how.

Street scene with red, white and blue flags

Bunting, including Confederate flags, hangs over the street in front of The 5th Avenue Theatre. (Seattle "home movies" from the William H. Cheney Collection)

When Gone With the Wind premiered in Seattle in 1940, it was an event. Moviegoers who ventured Downtown to attend a showing of the Civil War drama were met with fanfare. The street outside The 5th Avenue Theatre, where the film was playing, was decorated as if for a Fourth of July parade, with one notable exception: the presence of Confederate flags.

These flags could be seen in brief footage of Downtown that was featured in an earlier episode of the Mossback's Northwest video series about the Seattle Freeze. And while the production team didn't notice, viewers did. 

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In a recent episode of Mossback’s Northwest, Knute Berger and producer Stephen Hegg discuss the feedback and the historical investigation that followed. But there is still more to the story.

For this episode of the Mossback podcast, both Berger and Hegg discuss changing attitudes toward the Confederacy and toward race in Seattle as our city’s Southern sympathizers attempted to rewrite the narrative of the Civil War.

Before listening, we suggest you watch the Mossback's Northwest episode about the Confederacy in the Northwest here.


About the Hosts

Knute Berger

Knute Berger

Knute “Mossback” Berger is Crosscut's Editor-at-Large.

Stephen Hegg

Stephen Hegg

Stephen is formerly a senior video producer at Crosscut and KCTS 9. He specialized in arts and culture.