As 21st century activists seek to topple monuments to the 19th century Confederate rebellion, some white Southerners are again advocating for what the Confederates tried and failed to do: secede from the Union.

It’s not an easy argument to win, and it’s not clear how much support the idea has: The leading Southern nationalist group, the Alabama-based League of the South, has been making the same claim for more than two decades and still has an address in the U.S.A., not the C.S.A.

But the idea of a break-away Southern nation persists.

The League of the South’s longtime president, retired university professor Michael Hill of Killen, Alabama, posted a message in July that began, “Fight or die white man” and went on to say Southern nationalists seek “nothing less than the complete reconquest and restoration of our patrimony – the whole, entire South.”

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