Confederate Army was ethnically diverse
The Oxford Press is evidently unaware that the Confederate soldiers who revered their battle flags were white, black, American Indian (like my Confederate ancestor and General Stand Watie), Hispanics, Jews (such as Confederate Secretary of War Judah Benjamin), Filipinos (an entire company of a Louisiana infantry regiment), and yes, even women! Documented cases exist of over 400 women who disguised their gender and enlisted to fight.
Less than ten percent of Confederate soldiers ever owned a slave. Although slavery was definitely a cause of the war, it was not the sole cause, and most men and women didn’t fight for that reason.
Yes, the battle flag has been hijacked by racist hate groups. So has the USA flag, which is actually the KKK’s official flag, and the Christian flag, used by the Aryan Nation. Should we ban them too?
Confederate descendents fly the battle flag to honor the sacrifices made by their ancestors. We are ethnically diverse, and are equally outraged that our history and symbols have been misused by hate groups such as the Ku Klux Klun.
Last month I stood with other Confederate descendents and reenactors at Sharpsburg, Maryland, to protest the KKK’s rally at Antietam National Battlefield. We will be present again on September 2 when the KKK rallies at Gettysburg, to tell the world that no, racist hate groups do NOT represent Confederate heritage, they do NOT represent southerners, and they do NOT represent Americans. I invite the Oxford Press reporters to come and see who those "racist, redneck idiots" who fly battle flags really are…..proud Americans who hate racism too.
Reverend Helaina Hinson