Letters to the Editor
Readers write about the Confederate flag.
What the Confederate flag means in America
In response to the Aug. 4 article, "New battle over an old flag": I was raised in Louisiana and trained in the strongest of segregationist beliefs. Then life – primarily Vietnam – took over my education. I came to realize that black Americans have been fighting for the rights given by the Bill of Rights up to and including now.
The Confederate flag stands for groups who fight the good fight, but lose because it is the wrong fight or an unjust cause. The US flag simply stands for the group that won. But to Black America, both flags meant the same treatment.
Let both flags fly – let all of us realize that the Constitution means the same to all, and let us meld both flags to this meaning: that all citizens can have equal justice, equal education, equal opportunity, and equal respect.
In response to the recent Confederate flag article: The Confederate flag does not represent racism to most Southerners. It represents pride and love for our region of the country; its history, for better or worse; its cultures; its people; its geography; and the brave soldiers who fought for it with courage unsurpassed.
Regarding the recent Confederate flag article, I question Prof. Jim Farmer's comment that some Southerners consider themselves under siege. I think we bristle at the idea that we are racist because we honor our Confederate ancestors, but that is entirely different from feeling left out of society, as Professor Farmer seemed to say.
Few people question if it is proper for other ethnic groups to honor their heritage by flying flags of their national or continental origin, or celebrating holidays such as Kwanzaa or Cinco de Mayo. To do so would invite the charge of being a racist.
But those same people who see nothing wrong with those celebrations of cultural and ancestral heritage often ignore the rights of Confederate soldier descendants to honor their ancestors in the same fashion.
In today's politically correct environment, just acknowledging you have Confederate ancestors is enough to draw scrutiny from hate-group watchdogs. Since there are millions of Confederate descendants, there are a lot of us out there to watch.
Regarding the recent article on the Confederate flag: I think it is a sad state of affairs when we accept the Confederate flag as a meaningless, harmless symbol. This flag is a symbol of the period of time when men found it acceptable to oppress other human beings physically, spiritually, and mentally.
Regarding the recent article on the Confederate flag: The Confederate battle flag has the same symbol as Scotland's flag, Saint Andrew's Cross, and the Irish flag, Saint Patrick's Cross.
E. Dabney Howe
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