I know. I can hear those of you who live in places like Boston and San Francisco and Baltimore snickering. But the fact is that I am by heritage and culture a Redneck, and always will be.
You need to know what a Redneck is, and what it is not.
It is not a southern, Appalachian, bearded fan of hunting, NASCAR, moonshine and country music who grew up in the Hollers of the South, though many people who fit in those categories are Rednecks as well. It is not a designation for poor and ignorant southern whites, though Northerners have tried hard to twist the definition to fit that.
In Scotland in the 1640s, Protestants called Covenanters rejected rule by bishops of the Church of England, often signing manifestos using their own blood. Many wore red cloth around their neck to signify their position, and were called “rednecks” by the British to denote that they were the rebels in what came to be known as The Bishop’s War. Eventually, the term began to mean simply “Presbyterian“, especially in communities along the Scottish border.
When Scots began to immigrate to the United States, they were driven out of the prudish colonies of the north, and sought refuge in the mountains at the western frontier of America. The religious and political bigots of the northern colonies sneeringly referred to them by the derogatory name “Rednecks,” then turned their attention to creating the American slave trade with Muslims in Africa.
Dictionaries document the earliest American citation of the term’s use for Presbyterians in 1830, as “a name bestowed upon the Presbyterians of Fayetteville [North Carolina].”
Call me a “Redneck?” You bet. I will fly the Cross of St. Andrews – the Scottish national flag that became the basis of the “Stars and Bars” battle flag of the Confederacy. I will stand against religious and cultural bigotry. And stand for the rights of citizens, which the “Rednecks” of Virginia and the South had written into the US Constitution over the objection of many northerners.
Redneck? Hell, yeah, y’all!