Letter: Confederate soldiers should get their due

December 22, 2008

Regarding Mr. Paul Shirley’s Dec. 4 letter about the display of a Confederate flag at a Veterans Day event:

First, I express my thanks and gratitude for service and sacrifice of Mr. Shirley’s father to our country. As a son of an Army veteran and a great-grandson of a Union Army veteran, I feel Mr. Shirley’s pride.

The men who fought and died in the Civil War were all American veterans. The Confederate States of America was not recognized as a sovereign nation by any European government. Did the U.S. government strip the southerners of their U.S. citizenship as a consequence of their attempt at secession from the Union? They did lose their representation in Congress until Reconstruction, but were and remained citizens of the United States of America during the war.

Some see the Confederate flag as a symbol of states rights regarding slavery, or white supremacy. The issue of human bondage has been settled. It is morally wrong and as a practice is incomprehensible to civilized people. Others see the flag as a seditious symbol of rebellion. I see the Confederate flag as a symbol of a time when American brothers fought against their own over beliefs both sides were passionate about. History has ruled on the justness of their motives. Let’s honor those on both sides for what they were: American soldiers.

L.T. Pond

Live Oak

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