From: Valerie Protopapas <>
Date: Thu, Mar 31, 2011
Subject: The flags of Lexington
Cc:, Joan Hough <>,, Chuck Demastus <>, "Dr. Michael Hill" <>, Bernhard Theurson <>, Dewey Barber <>

Ladies and Gentlemen

When I was growing up, “The Grand Bargain” was still in play. For you younger folks, that unspoken arrangement was simply this: all hostility between the sections was abandoned in return for the North admitting that the South fought bravely for a good cause and that her heroes were true American heroes and her symbols worthy of being displayed and respected anywhere in America. In return, the South was to admit that the North fought honorably and that it was better that their cause had been lost and the Union retained. This situation remained in effect from the end of the 19th through almost the middle of the 20th century and gave rise to many glorious cultural kudos to the South and her heritage as well as celebrations of the War itself. Certainly, the South participated eagerly in the restored nation, giving to America’s armed forces a disproportionate number of men and women to serve in our nation’s wars and spill their blood in her defense.
Sadly, there is no such bargain in place today albeit the South is supposed to continue its participation by embracing the Union victory and sending its youth to fight and die in Washington’s wars. However, those promises made to the South, that is, respect for its heritage and reverence for its heroes and symbols is not just lessened or even merely disappeared, but, in fact, the “Northern” part of the bargain is entirely betrayed and  the heritage, history and heroes of the South are now at all times and in all places viciously attacked, wrongly excoriated and marked for extinction. Worse, much of this cultural genocide is coming from those who should be stepping forth to defend Southern heritage. It would be bad enough if a vote were being taken in Lexington, Massachusetts to ban the display of Confederate flags. There are folks from all over the nation – not just Dixie – who think that there is something in the water in Massachusetts! But to find that such a vote is even being considered never mind taken in Lexington, Virginia makes one reflect upon the ancient Greek adage, “Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.”
I won’t go into First Amendment guarantees though apparently these seem as dead as The Grand Bargain, but I will point out that one cannot govern justly or decently by surrendering to every special interest claim, especially those claims based upon nothing more than subjective—and ignorant—opinion requiring actions diametric to liberty and freedom of speech and expression. To begin with, it is just plain stupid. But worse, it opens a Pandora’s Box of the need to respond to every group’s demands regarding every other group’s activities. Soon you don’t have rational government but an ongoing effort to keep order such as might be found in a kindergarten or a prison. Therefore, the simplest, most intelligent and most rational thing to do is to allow citizens to have their displays so long as they do not cause someone actual, demonstrable injury rather than some specious claim of offense being taken and noses out of joint. Indeed, if you really look around, you will find that some of those making the most noise in these anti-Southern heritage contretemps have considerable baggage of their own when it comes to offensive agendas and public displays.

There is no reason why folks can’t “live and let live.” It’s infinitely easier for all concerned and infinitely more just. It is also infinitely more in keeping with the Constitution.
Thank you for your courtesy.
Valerie Protopapas
Huntington Station, New York