Woodstock Sentinel letter dishonors Confederates
From: rwaldburg2@swissinfo.org
To: Group Publisher Woodstock Sentinel, Pat Logan: plogan@bowesnet.com

Dear Mr. Logan,

I am writing to you from Europe as a German citizen to make a comment about a letter published July 19th in your newspaper. Mrs. Marianne M. Park from Woodstock wrote a strange letter both calling to cut down someone’s liberties and expanding lies and a totally wrong historical view. As there is a difference between using freedom to write what you may want and to misuse it to expand lies and even hate and prejudice, let me please respond to Mrs. Parks letter.

She told about her dismay after seeing a Confederate battle flag for sale with many other flags. Then she says it is inappropriate to have that flag be offered for sale in your city. Then she mixes the strangest arguments to underline her point of view. Racism, intolerance, hate, the KKK, white supremacism, etc. The entire catalogue of lies and prejudices involving the Battle Flag of the Confederacy. Finally, the most disgusting comparison, she says the Confederate battle flag should draw similar ire than displaying a Nazi swastika flag.

To make such a comparison is not only stupid, but highly offensive. Until the early 90s, after the beginning of the hate campaigns by the NAACP and certain liberal and leftist groups against everything Confederate, a campaign that broke a spirit of reconciliation and respect of the symbols, monuments, memorials, celebrations and the right to proudly display the own historical heritage, there was no trouble about the Confederate battle flag at all. It was displayed in stores, at NASCAR races, during town celebrations, etc. It had become even a cultural symbol of Southern normality. You may know that German tourists liked for decades to buy battle flags with Elvis Presley’s face on it.

Now, after years of hate campaigns, with well trained liars who act as historians, politicians, cultural board advisors and seem to be good citizens, say wolves acting as sheep, we can hear and read more and more often letters like the one of Mrs. Park. She said also:

I am a member of the Civil War Society, have donated funds to preserve the battlefield at Shiloh and am ashamed to say that I once displayed such a flag at my home.

I won’t go to comment the emotional changes that her mind may have suffered and why, probably she is a victim of the campaigns I have mentioned, but let me remember to her, and to every reader of your newspaper the following:

In Europe, especially in Germany, we think it is highly offensive in a double manner to compare the Battle Flag of the Confederacy with the Nazi swastika. First. We know very well that the Confederate flag has nothing to do with slavery or modern KKK racism, the US flag instead has much more, the CS battle flag stands also for the Southern citizen soldier, who went out to the field to protect his family, his homestead, home country and the rights of his State, the real reasons the great American War of 1861 to 1865 was fought about. The misuse of CS flags by modern extremists is an act of dishonor to the battle flag. But to punish the flag for it is nonsense and doubles the dishonor. There was a time the significance of the Battle flag was well known and respected, even by preachers of the Union. Some Americans must learn again to accept this as a matter of normality, because it is normal!

Second. The CS battle flag was respected by many thousands of Southern soldiers who fought against the Nazis in WW2. So many of them died, in the beaches of Normandy, the mountains of Italy, the woods of the Ardennes, in the streets of Germany, to crush the totalitarian Nazis and make the people of Europe be free! As a German I know that American soldiers made my grandparents free. I had even one aunt freed from a Concentration Camp in Bavaria. To say the CS flag and the Nazi flag are the same is extremely disgusting and it is offensive to me, to every German and also to so many dead American soldiers. Also it is historical nonsense.

My final suggestion to Mrs. Park, and to every reader of the Woodstock Sentinel who may have thought she is right, is simple and clear: learn history, also watch the social and political developments in the entire US in the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries, then the development in the last decade. The Confederate battle flag must fly in honor and must be kept well away from all this dirt. You said you had once a flag displayed at your home, Mrs. Park, I still have mine. It was handmade for me in South Carolina and is my greatest pride, because I know what it does stand for.

Respectfully yours

Raphael Waldburg

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