Brantley Gilbert is right- country is indeed country wide-
What is usually thought of as “southern” culture is really the culture of people living outside the big cities everywhere in North America. You may not find people with “southern” accents in Canada, but you will find them right by the border. The “South” extends to central Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and any place these people spread, up to the Pacific Northwest.
The rural culture is the habits, mores, and preferences of people who do physical labor, skilled or unskilled, outdoors and away from the city. Their dress, manners, pleasures, and conduct are straightforward and simple. Their work involves making or doing physical things and they are impatient with abstractions.
The elite finds these people quite suspicious. They are in no way opposed to the economic aspects of the New Deal system. They are working class and like the protections the government provides. Rural people were strong New Deal supporters and many remain Democrats even today. Toby Keith is a conservative Democrat. The problem the elite has is that while the rural white population supports their economic policies, they are resistant to their cultural and racial policies. On top of this, as George Orwell observed in “The Road to Wigan Pier” the working class man is not inclined to mince words or submit quietly when he doesn’t like something.
So the elite despises and ridicules rural working class whites. This is the worst kind of implicit whiteness, and it brings up a specific situation where implicit and explicit whiteness meet- the Confederate flag.
People who know these people understand that the Confederate flag is a symbol of implicit whiteness. It expresses the difference in culture between rural white working class people and urban middle- and upper-class people. There is nothing racist or political about it. It expresses an inchoate sense of resentment and nostalgia, resentment at social marginalization- to borrow a five dollar word from urban sociologists- and nostalgia for a time when rural culture was more important and respected in America.
For the elite and their enforcers though, the Confederate flag is a big no-no. It is an explicitly white symbol of rebellion against the system and the status of blacks in it.
This brings us to the topic of explicit whiteness- not simply living and valuing things that are white as a matter of culture and lifestyle, but the direct expression of white superiority, a desire to celebrate European culture and achievement as European, and the rejection of elite and black political domination. Explicit whiteness is dangerous territory, but that’s where we will go next.