Confederate flag…Controversy used to divide whites, blacks

Thursday, July 28, 2005

H.K. Edgerton is a former president of the Asheville (N.C.) NAACP and a member of the Sons of the Confederate Veterans. He is an African-American and a supporter of the public display of the Confederate battle flag.

“We’re family – black folks and white folks,” Edgerton said during a stop at the Octagon Hall in Simpson County. “The tragedy is America began a propaganda process. The (Confederate) flag was used as a weapon to divide us. They’re always two sides to every story, and another side to this story is that black soldiers were Confederate heroes, too.”

His grandfather served as a surgeon’s aide with Dr. Thomas Edgerton Frady of the 34th North Carolina Confederate Regiment of the Confederate army.

Edgerton brings his message of tolerance and explains why public and school displays of the Confederate flag should not be banned to audiences throughout the country.

“I was there when the NAACP national convention proclaimed its intention to remove all vestiges of the ‘Old South’ and saw the propaganda machine at work in order to unify its membership,” Edgerton said. “Since then, statutes have been moved, streets renamed, the playing of Dixie banned, Rebel sports teams renamed – all in the interest of that demon, political correctness. So, where is the tolerance that a diverse population shares.”

Edgerton said he came to Kentucky to educate school officials about the importance of sharing a diversified history of the south. He noted that in Casorina vs. Madison County, Ky. Schools, the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that schools could not arbitrarily ban Confederate clothing. Days after his arrival, the Ohio Count School Board voted not to ban Confederate symbols.

Edgerton also warned that setting such a precedent as ridding the nation of what is preceived as good or bad history at the time may spell trouble down the road.

“What choice will this nation make when our grandchildren are confronted by the Hispanic and Asian populations and demand that Old Glory be replaced or removed because that ‘evil flag’ invaded our country or dropped the A-bomb on us. It was only right because in 2005 you removed the evil Confederate flag from the nation,” Edgerton said.

Edgerton attended the National Conference of the Sons of Confederate Veterans in Nashville last weekend.

“I never have condoned the use of ‘my flag and my grandfather’s flag’ as a hateful device. It is a symbol of the heritage left to me by may Confederate ancestor. Why can’t I be proud of his service to his country?”

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