How I See It
William E. Walthall
Wednesday, March 7, 2007
Marsha Mercer, in her column Sunday titled “Still flying Confederate flag,” paints one side of the flag debate while ignoring the heart-felt admiration and memory of those who served so valiantly for independence and freedom.
For those who want to con-tinue to tarnish the Confederate flag with “it stands for hate,” please explain to me why the British flag and Old Glory which stood for slavery for more than years prior to the Civil War are not considered symbols of hate.
Do we remove these symbols from all public buildings? Do we prevent shipping from New England states to punish the memory of slave traders? How about eliminating all Civil War battlefields where Old Glory and the Confederate flag rallied both sides to incredible feats of courage? Where does the politically motivated “outrage” end?
Because some hate groups chose to use symbols of the South to influence or try to lend credence to their speech, the political left wants to blame the Confederate flag for every act of hate that occurred in the South while ignoring the rampant racism and violence that occured north of the Mason-Dixon line.
The South has moved into the 21st century preserving its past and honoring the public service of all its citizens. The state of Mississippi, for example, leads all states in the election of blacks to public office. This should be celebrated by all Americans instead of looking for wedge issues for an upcoming election.
Wesley Pruden once wrote “the standards for valor and devotion to duty were set by Confederate soldiers during the Civil War and remain today unsurpassed.” I agree and also point out that the veterans from both sides of the conflict were the ones that healed the nation’s wounds due mainly to their respect for each other earned during brutal conflict. Both sides fought for their interpretation of the Constitution.
We cannot erase the stains on American history by burying “symbols.”
We can all agree that the failure to speak out against wrongs committed by hate groups was one of our biggest failures as a nation.
Do not blame the Confederate battle flag for that.
For most of us, looking in the mirror should suffice.
© 2007 Media General