It is hard to believe that the media continues on the track of the South and its symbols somehow being responsible for African slavery. Mary Schulken’s column on the confederate battle flag was a sad display of historical amnesia and lack of research. The flags of that American Confederacy, a government as legitimate on this continent as the one that seceded from England in 1776, slavery intact, represented a new government that was created with the consent of the governed. This reason for forming republican governments is clearly stated in the Declaration of Independence, which is a secessionist document. If the Confederacy was evil because it condoned slavery, then so was the federation of states formed in the 1780s called the United States.

And, there are far better candidates for the distinction of symbol of slavery, such as the flags of Portugal, Spain, France, England and of course, the United States. Remember too that Providence, R.I., was the slaving capital of North America in the mid-1700s, surpassing Liverpool as the home port of slavers that plied the west coast of Africa. And those Europeans and New Englanders could not have maintained a healthy slave trade had they not been welcomed by the African tribes that practiced slavery long before the appearance of the Europeans.

The Confederate Constitution outlawed the slave trade, which the U.S. Constitution still allowed in 1861, meaning that the Southern version was the more progressive and enlightened document.

Again, those responsible for African slavery were in Africa, Europe and New England, not those south of the Mason-Dixon line.

Bernhard Thuersam
Cape Fear Chapter
North Carolina League of the South
Wilmington NC