It’s time to fold flag issue and move on

Published: May 11, 2009

The Auburn City Council condemned Rev. Arthur Dowdell’s actions and urged the Ward 1 representative on the council to apologize at its regular meeting last Tuesday night.

That’s just what Dowdell did, less than two weeks after he removed small Confederate flags placed in observance of Confederate Memorial Day from the graves of Confederate soldiers at Pine Hill Cemetery.

The meeting’s outcome may not have exactly been a “kiss and make up” situation, and peace offerings made may have been just a formality, but peace offerings were made.

What the City of Auburn, its citizens, the Daughters of the Confederacy, Dowdell and anyone else involved in this controversy must do now is put this issue to rest.

Sure, heated feelings will continue to simmer.

Dowdell’s actions only served to stir the emotions of many and did nothing to heal divisions within the community.

It was counterproductive and did damage even to the arguments of those who oppose using the Confederate battle flag only in a ceremonial nature.

But what members, and leaders, of this community must do now is put this issue behind us, and concentrate on other matters that not only bring unity, but also produce a better quality of life for residents.

Talk of the flag issue is counterproductive to our growth.

We challenge the city to be good stewards of the taxpayers’ money and continue to find better means to fund schools, attract industry and maintain the city infrastructure.

We challenge Dowdell to steer away from practices that might be perceived as divisive and concentrate on measures that improve the quality of life in his ward.

Like any city councilman, Dowdell needs to fully understand the needs of his constituents and do what he can as their elected representative to meet their needs in the chambers of city hall.

He needs to put arguments for or against the Confederate flag to rest and fight battles that are productive for our growing community.

Many understand that the Confederate flag is a part of history.

What happened at Pine Hill Cemetery two weeks ago should be just that … history.

Let’s move on.

©2009 Media General Communications Holdings

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