When did it become wrong to be born of the South? When did it become wrong to be proud of your heritage? What happened to "freedom of speech" and "freedom of expression"? And why should history be changed to suit the needs of ignorant people who refuse to hear and learn the truth? I am personally sick of every wrong in this country being placed on the South and all it’s symbols.

From the teachings we received in school we have been trained to call it The Civil War. Just another lie that has been forced on us and our children. What the South fought was not a civil war. Webster defines civil war as follows: a war between opposing groups of citizens of the same country. The Confederate States of America was a sovereign nation, a separate country from the United States. And what the South fought for was independence, not to take over the U.S.

And what few choose to understand is that people of both races fought for the South. It is estimated that as many as 180,000 African Americans assisted the Confederate Army. They fought side-by-side with the white soldiers, ate meals beside them, slept beside them, and even died beside them. The northern army did not allow blacks and whites to eat or sleep amongst each other, and the black soldiers were put in separate regiments and companies than the whites and often time were sent into battle first. Abraham Lincoln frequently made the point that he would gladly protect the institution of slavery if it would preserve this country.

As far as the flag, the Confederate Naval Jack (or most commonly called "the rebel flag") never flew over slavery. The flag only flew over the battlefield. The United States "Stars and Stripes" flew over slavery for almost 90 years, from January 3, 1777, until the 13th Amendment was ratified on December 6, 1865. As far as the flag being a symbol of racism, that depends on how you choose to see it. If we classified every symbol that the Ku Klux Klan displays, then the American flag, the Christian flag, and the Cross must all be symbols of racism, because they are all used by the KKK.

If everybody in this country wanted some symbol or item removed or destroyed because it offended them, then we would soon become a communist country with no freedoms at all. The US Constitution protects our rights as citizens of this country to believe in what we want, what we want to say, and how we express ourselves. We can not change history or hide from it. And we can’t make up a different history to suit others.

As Southerners, we must honor our Confederate veterans, and as Americans we must honor all veterans. They are the people who gave everything they could for us and our country. They were husbands, fathers, brothers, sons, friends, neighbors, and fellow countrymen who believed in what they were fighting for. Who are we to say that what they died for was wrong or that they died in vane. We need to teach our children the correct history and the truth behind the War Between the States. We should all take pride in where we come from, whether it’s the South, the North, Canada, Africa, or even this very land we live on today. As Southerners, black and white, we must stop all this non-sense about the Confederate flag being a symbol of hate. Instead we should attack those who have made it that, and say enough is enough, give us back our flag! Find your own symbols and leave us alone!

Rebekah Basford Rogers
Pinetta, Florida