POWER OF PRIDE

     On the subject of the Confederate flag, Mr. Jon Elliston wrote ["Uncivil War," Jan. 16] that "no matter who is flying it, that flag remains an offensive symbol to many." May I remind Mr. Elliston that the flag was not a subject of controversy until the NAACP declared it to be offensive and that for many years it had been displayed at all public functions without a single word of protest? I don’t think the Confederate battle flag is offensive at all, but what I find offensive are small-minded bigots such as the NAACP who make demands that all of their views must be tolerated and catered to while they refuse to listen to the opinion and views of others.
      The mass media of this country, much like Mr. Elliston has done, have surrendered their objectivity and have waded into this culture war on the side of the NAACP bigots, telling proud Southerners that we should be ashamed. We sir, we are not ashamed. We are the descendants of the greatest soldiers this earth has ever produced; soldiers who nearly defeated a foreign nation that outnumbered them five to one. We are the descendants of a citizen-soldiery who strove to rescue and preserve Constitutional government from the hands of those who strove to twist and pervert it. We are, proud to be their descendants and proud to be of a Southern culture, a Southern heritage and Southern way of life.
      We are proud to know that we are the bulwark of this country from the colonial days to the present, always giving more to our country than any other section. If the NAACP or Mr. Elliston wants us to feel ashamed of who we are, he has a long task ahead of him. We are proud of who we are. I’m not so sure Mr. Elliston can say the same.

— Terry M. Crayton, Charlotte