Stop misusing Battle Flag

As a Sons of Confederate Veterans member here in Mobile, indeed as a state officer, southwest brigade commander, I feel I must answer the editorial ("Flag out of context in the reborn South," Jan 23) and letters concerning our Southern Battle Flag.

I’m afraid we are talking "apples and oranges" here. The editorial refers to our flag as getting a bad reputation in the civil rights demonstrations of the 1960s. It was used as a symbol of hatred and degradation by hate groups and hoi polloi, a small percentage of people, but not by us.

These groups had no right to use this flag in this fashion. We should have protested then, but so should the Press-Register have. We both must share some of the blame.

As an SCV member, I apologize to all the people who were subjected to this rudeness. This flag still means to us, as it does to all true Southerners, Southern pride in our way of life. The big difference between the newspaper’s editorial board and us is that the board has given it up, and we haven’t.

The Ku Klux Klan, which freely misuses our flag, also uses the cross as its main symbol (although be it a flaming one), but no group of Christians — white or black — has considered the cross a symbol of racism or given it up.

The cross was a sign of execution and hatred in the Roman empire, but now it is a sign of love and peace.

So what’s to be done? We are not going away; and we are not giving up our flag. What shall we all do?

A suggestion: Let’s absent ourselves from the ugly racial debate. With the media’s help, we may again make our flag a Southern symbol of pride, and not a symbol of hatred. Join us as we demand that hate groups and white trash stop using our flag as their symbol of hate.

The Klan should design its own flag and leave ours alone.

I humbly ask for everyone to support this effort.