Confederate Flag Decision

Chalk up another poor judgment call for Gov. Bob Holden’s administration. The governor has upheld the decision to remove Confederate battle flags from two historic sites in Missouri–Fort Davidson and Higginsville.

There had been no controversy about the flags at those two sites until Congressman Dick Gephardt issued a statement in South Carolina that the Confederate flag should not fly anywhere in this country. There was an Associated Press story on that statement and a spokesperson for Holden passed it on to Steve Mahfood, director of the Department of Natural Resources, who that day ordered the flags removed. Holden was told about the decision later.

Last week when editors and publishers met with the governor in Jefferson City, Holden was asked about the decision to remove the flag in the face of a poll that showed two-thirds of Missourians disagreed with the decision. Holden said it was the right decision!

Wrong, governor. When you said the Confederate flag has been used as a divisive instrument in recent times to drive people apart, you overlooked the fact that that is not the case in your state. Your administration now has made it a divisive issue in Missouri. You should have countermanded the order by your DNR director, who in haste made a terrible judgment call.

It must be noted that Holden once worked for Congressman Gephardt and they are close friends.

The Civil War is part of this nation’s history. The Confederate flag is part of our history. What is wrong with displaying that flag at Civil War sites along with the American flag? We allow flags to be flown in this country at various sites and on certain occasions from countries that once were our enemies. The German flag has been flown here on certain Sister City events. We allow flags of foreign countries who were our enemies to be flown at their embassies and offices in this country. Is that wrong? We think not!

The governor should admit that the DNR director used poor judgment and restore the Confederate flags at those two Missouri sites.

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