Educated viewpoint on the flag would help

March 25, 2008

To the Editor:

Due to the recent media attention toward the historic Confederate Flag, the Cumberland Historic Cemetery Organization feels an educated viewpoint should be expressed. Since 1983 this organization has upheld the values of the United States Constitution and the phrase in our pledge, "Liberty and justice for All."

All Americans are created equally in the eyes of God. The CHCO has erected and restored over 800 monuments in the Eastern Section of our nation. These monuments range in all different sizes, styles, and architecture, They have been erected in honor of United States Revolutionary War soldiers, Civil War Union and Confederate soldiers as well as distinguished citizens.

In 1991, the organization restored Sumner Cemetery located on Yale Street in Cumberland in which was Allegany County’s first all black cemetery. The CHCO discovered the graves of six black Union Soldiers who were members of the United States Colored Troops Regiment. The group began a private fund raiser to build a major monument to honor this regiment. Each year on Memorial Day weekend we hold a memorial service open to the public in honor of these men.

In 1994, when Cumberland Mayor and City Councilman removed a Confederate Flag from the Historic Display from the City Hall, this action of historic revision opened our eyes. Since this time the CHCO has erected several monuments in cemeteries honoring Confederate heroes.

The Cumberland Historic Cemetery Organization would like to use the opportunity to attempt to educate the public about the many different Confederate Flags.

First of all, racist organizations, for example the Klu Klux Klan in the past has carried the Confederate Flag known as the Naval Jack. Apparently these. uneducated fools have no idea what they are carrying which also includes the current United States Flag. Both of these flags are our nation’s Old Glory and the Naval Jack.

The more common Confederate Flags were; The Bonnie Blue, The First National, and the Third National, the later of which the CHCO flies on all Confederate graves in the area. The graves we fly the Third National Flag over are all Confederates who supported states rights and never owned slaves.

The Third National, the last official flag of the Confederacy in 1865, is white with a St. Andrews Cross in the upper left hand comer, and it is marked with a red band on the right side. During April, the designated month of the Confederacy, many members of our organization flies this flag at their residence.

The organization also flies this flag over the graves of distinguished Confederates and they are listed in the protected gravesite program. The flag flew in honor of States Rights from an oppressive government.

The Cumberland Historic Cemetery 0rganization condemns those in our area that would use this American Historic Icon to promote hate and racism. We would ask those responsible to leave this great American Icon from their racial aggressive behavior and follow the Ten Commandments.

We encourage the public to read and view photos of all our monuments on our website: www.chco/ and attend our ceremony honoring Confederate dead buried in Rose Hill Cemetery on Saturday, April 5 at 2 p.m., Fayette Street, Cumberland. For more information contact (301) 722-4624.

Edward Taylor Jr.

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