From: greg.manning@us.army.mil

Dear Sir,

I know that the NAACP voted in 1991 to remove all Confederate symbols within ten years. They failed in that mission yet their effort continues. Therefore, my question is quite simple really. At what point do we stop allowing venerated symbols of the South to be removed? Already we sit quietly by as NASCAR succumbs to the NAACP onslaught against the Confederate flag. Now, even Southern heroes such as General Robert E. Lee are under assault. Will the headstones on Confederate graves be next? Where, exactly, do people stop being offended by Confederate symbols? Besides being a demand to institutionalize historical ignorance, the NAACP resolutions call for nothing less than the genocide of our Southern cultural, historical and military heritage.

After the War for Southern Independence (since it was by no definition a ‘Civil War’) even the federal authorities recognized and honored the Southern officers and men against whom they fought. Now, 160 years later and in a ‘politically correct’ environment we are told that these honorable and Christian Southern gentlemen are to be reviled for the sake of ‘inclusiveness’. So, let me get this straight, we are to be inclusive of all other races and ethnicities EXCEPT Southern ones? Somehow the logic of this argument escapes me.

The NAACP will tell us that our symbols must be removed because they are offended since they represent their enslavement. However, the ruse that the war was fought to free the slaves is just not true. The war was fought to keep the ‘cash cow’ South firmly in the grasp of the federal government. President Lincoln stated in his inaugural address that he had no authority to free slaves. Indeed, the Emancipation Proclamation freed not one single slave anywhere! However, President Lincoln went on to state in the same address that he would use his authority to force the south to pay its duties and imposts.

The Confederate Constitution forbade the further import of slaves into the country. This is something that the United States constitution did not do until 1866. So tell me again, which flag best reflects a pro-slavery stance; the United States flag or the Confederate flag? I do not hear anyone calling for taking down the U.S. flag. Well, at least not yet.

I know that the War for Southern Independence seems a long time ago. However, my great-grandfather fought for the South. That was only three generations ago! My mother used to talk to him! When taken in that context, it is not some long ago war at all. It is still a very close, personal event for many families in this State to include White, Hispanic, Native-American and black families. My great-grandfather’s efforts and dedication to duty are still greatly honored in my family! I know that there are many others throughout the South that feel precisely the same as I. Even Southerners with no Confederate ancestor still honor their Southern heritage.

And what is that heritage? In my case, my great-grandfather joined the Confederate army as an 18 year old farm boy from north Georgia. He and his family worked the soil with no assistance from slaves. He answered the call to duty because he knew his State was in danger of an unconstitutional invasion by the federal army. He did exactly the same as the men and lads that stood at Lexington and Concord only 84 years prior! He enlisted in the army of his new country to uphold the Rights granted him in the United States Constitution, reinforced, and better confirmed in the Confederate Constitution. At no time did the South ever seek the destruction of the United States government as many of our modern ‘federally funded’ schools like to teach.

The South did not threaten to invade the United States or to overthrow its government. So, explain to me how Article 1, Section 8, Clause 15 of the United States Constitution applies to the constitutional withdrawal of the Southern States from the Union? I would submit that if the United States government was too weak to stand without the Southern states then that was certainly not the fault of the South. It was, rather, the fault of a federal government that had recently elected a sectional president, against the sage advice of George Washington, and strayed too far from the premise that States Rights should be preeminent over the Federal government.

The American Republic, as originally founded, died in 1865 and was replaced with the strong central federal government as envisioned by Abraham Lincoln and his ‘American System’ under which we still labor. The People were no longer dominant over the government but, rather, the government was now dominant over the People. It remains so to this day.

Am I apologetic for the actions of my kin, Texas or the South for standing up for their constitutional rights? Not one damned bit. I hope that you will stop the anti-Southern bigotry evidenced in actions such as those being proposed in Midland to appease the sensibilities of the few (one) at the condemnation of the many. It hardly seems fair to me that this generation is so willing to trample on a generation that is no longer here to argue its own defense. Furthermore, I am ashamed whenever any Southern institution apologizes for the actions of the South. Please do not make me ashamed of MISD.

Thank you.

V/R

H.G. Manning
Salado, Texas

"In the beginning of a change, the Patriot is a scarce man, Brave, Hated and Scorned. When his cause succeeds however, the timid join him, for then it costs NOTHING to be a Patriot." – Mark Twain

"To me, the campaign by certain groups to remove all the symbols and memorials to our Southern past amounts to the same thing…a desecration of graves. Every flag or monument that is removed, every plaque taken down, every school or street or bridge that is renamed, is no different from a broken tombstone. It is wanton and hateful violence directed at the dead who can no longer defend themselves.” — John Field Pankow