One Man’s Opinion
One Man’s Reply to “Rebel flag should not represent heritage“
East Tennessean Online Edition
A brief response to your article “Rebel flag should not represent heritage”:
Definitions taken from Webster’s Third New International Dictionary of the English Language Unabridged (Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc.; 1981)
BIGOTRY: Obstinate and unreasoning attachment to one’s own belief and opinions with intolerance of beliefs opposed to them.
IGNORANCE: A lack of knowledge, either in general or of a particular point.
PREJUDICE: Unreasonable predilection for or objection against something; or an opinion or leaning adverse to anything without just grounds or before sufficient knowledge; or an irrational attitude of hostility directed against an individual, a group, a race, or their supposed characteristics; or an opinion or judgment formed beforehand or without due examination.
I am reasoning from the premise that your article was written from your lack of knowledge rather than from deliberate malice, Mr. Smith. I am always glad to impart knowledge, especially upon a subject near and dear to my heart.
The correct name for the flag you address in your column is “The Confederate Battle Flag.” (There were many hundreds of unit flags that Confederate units served under, but the “Southern Cross” is the best-known.) It was never the national Flag of the Confederate States of America – it was a soldiers’ flag.
“Why are so many Southerners donning the Confederate flag?” you ask. I shall gladly answer that question for myself. I honor the various Confederate Flags because they represent the latest and greatest attempt to return to the form of government begun in 1776 with the Declaration of Independence and continued in 1787 with the United States Constitution: A Federal government as the agent of the State governments, given certain limited powers by the States. I especially honor the Confederate Battle Flag because its design harks back to the Flag of Scotland, whence my ancestors came.
To how many Southerners did you put your question before you wrote your article, Mr. Smith?
You also ask “Is it acceptable for one person to use a symbol if it has been used – or is being used – to signify hatred?”
I call your attention to http://pointsouth.com/csanet/kkk.htm. You will see there thirty-seven pictures of Ku Kluxers with the thirteen-stripe United States Flag. You will also see seven pictures of Ku Kluxers with a cross.
Reasoning from the premise that Ku Kluxers practice hatred, I ask you your own question, Mr. Smith: Is it acceptable for one person to use the United States Flag or the cross if it has been used – or is being used – to signify hatred?
You appear to have an unreasonable objection against the Confederate Battle Flag, an objection formed without just grounds, before sufficient knowledge, and without due examination; and an irrational attitude of hostility directed against those who display that Flag. Moreover, you appear to have an obstinate and unreasoning attachment to your belief and opinion with intolerance of beliefs opposed to them.
Clifton Palmer McLendon
Gilmer (Upshur County) Texas