Banning flag only sends racism underground

Published: March 17, 2008

To the Editor:

I read your articles in the Times-News today about the racial problems in this area. Banning the wearing of Confederate flags does not solve the problem. If anything I would want to know who embraces a racist view. Banning it only sends these people underground.

The sad story is that these racists in no way represent what the Confederate flag stands for. The Confederate flag is not and never has been a symbol of hate. Just because a group of people adopt it, wrongfully mind you, does not signify they embrace the ideals of the Confederacy.

The Constitutional freedoms we are losing today began with Lincoln’s war in the 1860s The Confederacy was fighting to preserve the Constitution, NOT overthrow it. One cannot preserve a Union at gunpoint as Lincoln did. A Union that is not voluntary is no longer a Union.

The very fact that the principal of Fort Hill has banned the wearing of this symbol supports what I am saying about the loss of Constitutional rights.

This is a Second Amendment issue that cannot be denied a citizen. What is the meaning of a symbol. It depends on who is putting it out there. Millions of patriotic, non-hating people embrace the Confederate flag.

It’s estimated that nearly 80,000 blacks served in the Confederate forces. Many were slaves who volunteered to serve with their masters. A good percentage of blacks who served were free blacks. There were several all black volunteer regiments that served in combat for the South.

And Lee’s army in his Northern campaign passing through Frederick had nearly 3,000 armed blacks in Confederate uniforms marching in ranks with whites as observed by a Union officer.

So, suggesting the Confederate battle flag is racist because a few punk, ignorant white thugs adopt it is ignorant itself. The Klan did not adopt the Confederate flag until the 1950s. When the Klan was at its greatest strength in the 1920s and ’30s its symbol was the U.S. Flag. Is the principal of Fort Hill going to ban that too?

Joel Menges
Lancaster, Pa.

© 2008, The Cumberland Times-News

On The Web: