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A Southern Secessionist in Scotland 

What lessons have the League of the South learned from Scotland's vote on independence?

Shane Long

Shane Long

While Scotland's decades-in-the-making independence referendum saw defeat at the voting booth last week, secessionist movements around the world are taking notes.

Among them is the League of the South, whose mission is "the independence of the Southern people," says Shane Long, chairman of its Virginia-Maryland chapter.

Long ventured to Scotland to observe the final hours before the vote, he says, following activists while they made their final pitches. He predicts that "Yes" voters would have won if the vote had been limited to native-born Scots.

"The Scottish vote showed us what is possible," he writes in an email while votes are being counted Thursday, "but also the dangers of having so many people slide [into] your country who have no ties to your people."

Such extreme views aren't unexpected from Long's group, which the Southern Poverty Law Center describes as "a neo-Confederate group that advocates for a second Southern secession and a society dominated by 'European Americans.'"

So does Long envision the former Capital of the Confederacy taking back its role as the center of a new nation? Not exactly, he says.

"Every Southern State is capable of running its own affairs," he writes. "It would be completely unnecessary to form another government so closely resembling what we view as a failed experiment."

Long also has a pitch for how Richmond could benefit by freeing itself of the federal yoke.

"Richmond has a lot to offer as part of an independent Southern nation," he says. "With several fine educational institutions, industry, contributions to the arts and culture, and the Port of Richmond's access to the Chesapeake, Richmond could see growth and prosperity beyond anything in recent memory once free of federal regulation and control."

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