Re: Confederate Flag hung in wrong place editorial

From: _terrywayers@msn.com_

*Reply to News Journal Editor – Confederate flag…in wrong place*

From: _terrywayers@msn.com_

Editor, News Journal
Re: Confederate Flag hung in wrong place editorial

Dear Mr. Williams,

Your recent comments on the Roxana Fire Company and the Confederate flag are insensitive and reveal a lack of knowledge of your subject matter. And your comment about people flying the Confederate flag being ‘creepies’ reveals your lack of familiarity with your home state, Delaware. So if I may, I would like to inform about certain pertinent facts so that you will not look foolish (to use your term) in future editorials.

First, the Confederate flag is an AMERICAN flag deserving of respect. An estimated 300,000 Americans died under its colors, a half dozen of them were my ancestors. First and foremost the flag is about history and heritage. The United States Congress recognized this fact and the men who defended it with their lives by granting Confederate soldiers the same rights as any serviceman (United States Statutes at Large, 85th Congress, part I, volume 72, pages 1330134 and is known as public law 85-425).

The Confederate battle flag, which is what was hanging from the rafters in the truck bay at Roxana Fire Company, is the flag representing the Confederate soldier. The Sons of Confederate Veterans has a local camp in Delaware, based in Seaford, (The Delaware Grays) who defend the honor and good name of the Confederate soldier and his symbols against mis-use by groups like the KKK. The “Official” flag of the KKK by the way is the United States flag, not the Confederate flag. And just to let you know – the “Stars and Bars” as you called it and the Confederate battle flag are two entirely different flags. A quick Google search would have been prudent on your part.

One complaint about the flag certainly does not paint a picture of "racial hatred" as you mention in your editorial. There are many reasons to fly the flag. Mississippi features the battle flag as part of its official state flag and recently had a statewide vote in which voters overwhelmingly approved keeping it. The state of South Carolina did remove the battle flag from the top of its courthouse, but moved it to a nearby privately funded monument to Confederate soldiers where it is displayed in its proper historical context. People fly the flag to honor their ancestors; Confederate re-enactors fly it during recreations of Civil War battles. Many states – Maryland and Virginia to name just two – feature the battle flag logo of the Sons of Confederate Veterans on their license plates for members of the organization to display. Some people just like the way the flag looks. And polling by major news organizations since the 1960’s have consistently shown that people do not disapprove of the Confederate battle flag when it is not used for racial purposes.

It may also be interesting for you to know that the Sons of Confederate Veterans are engaged in on-going research to identify the thousands of Delawareans who went South to fight for the Confederate states. Yes, maybe the fellow who hung the flag at the fire house had an ancestor in the war. There were as many as 2,000 Delawareans who fought for the Confederacy, but fearing persecution by the government, most felt the need to hide their identities after the fact making identification difficult. Some of the names of these Delaware men are on a monument in Georgetown where the Confederate flag flies proudly every day to honor their sacrifice. One of the names on the monument is David White of Georgetown who served aboard the CSS Alabama, a Confederate ship which was the terror of the Union navy til it sunk off the coast of France in 1864. Mr. White served as a fully paid crewman of the CSS Alabama, and rejected offers to leave his shipmates. The monument honors his service. And he was of African descent.

Eleanor Roosevelt once said "You can’t be offended unless you want to be." It seems like in the case of the Roxana Fire Department, no one was offended except one citizen and one editorial writer with an agenda that "wanted to be."

Terry Ayers
Delaware Grays Camp 2068
Sons of Confederate Veterans
Seaford Delaware