LTE Regarding Virginia Article & Poll

From: "james king"


My LTE to both newspapers referenced below.

The Confederate Flag and the United States Flag are judged by different standards and criteria, and are not held to the same levels of accountability. In analytical science and weights and measures, comparisons are made against known standards. However, in politics comparisons are never made in a fair and impartial manner.

In order to understand the hypocrisy, ignorance, and bias that have been directed against the Confederate Flag, it is necessary to use the U.S. Flag (Stars and Stripes) as a standard of comparison. The purpose of this comparison is not to berate or disparage the U.S. Flag, but rather to prove that the Confederate Flag has received unfair and unequal treatment.

The genocide and racial cleansing of the American Indians took place under the U.S. Flag. Finally, the U.S. Flag flies over a nation that has murdered an estimated 50 million babies by abortion.

Political Correctness has been used to attempt bans of The Confederate Flag from schools, parades, public and private property, and even historical monuments and sites.

The Confederate flag represents Constitutional Limited Federal Government, States Rights, Resistance to Tyranny, and Christian Values and Principles. Thus it represents the principles and values of America’s founding fathers. To say that it represents racism and bigotry is a negative and shallow interpretation comparable to saying the U.S. flag represents the genocide of the American Indians and abortion.

James W. King
Antique Classic Collectible Firearms Inc.
PO Box 70577
Albany Georgia 31708
—– Original Message —–
Keep the battle flag out of the

[Virginia] Capitol
The Roanoke Times
By Christian Trejbal

Take the Poll on the Flag (found in the middle of the story vote Disagree, the question is confusing) at:

Post a comment on the story at:

Send Letters to the Editor at Comments to the Roanoke Times at:

The Richmond Times Dispatch posted a similar story at:

Send The Richmond Times Dispatch a comment or letter at:

A quiet discussion is under way at the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond. Its outcome will reveal much about the character of the commonwealth in 2007.

"We do find it very distressing that the Confederate flag has not been restored to the chamber where it has historically resided," Brandon Dorsey of the Virginia Division of Sons of Confederate Veterans wrote to Bruce Jamerson, clerk of the House of Delegates.

No, Mr. Dorsey, it hasn’t, and it shouldn’t.

The Confederate battle flag used to hang in the old House chamber, just off the rotunda. It was draped next to the speaker’s chair with the flags of Virginia, the United States and West Point.

Those flags came down during the recent Capitol renovations. The $105 million project is worth checking out. Thomas Jefferson’s Capitol building looks fabulous.

So far, though, none of the four flags has gone back up.

While standing in the quiet chamber recently, Jamerson said he and other officials are still weighing the merits of restoring them.

"You want an accurate historical renovation," he explained.

Contrary to the Sons of Confederate Veterans, the battle flag historically was not part of the old House chamber. Jamerson is unsure when it went up, but a painting of the room from the 1860s and a photo from the 1890s show no flags around the speaker’s chair.

Nor would the battle flag even fit well with the statue of Robert E. Lee that stands in the chamber. The statue commemorates April 23, 1861, the day Lee accepted command of the forces of Virginia. No battle flag would have flown then because it did not yet exist. Its first use was in November of that year.

By Labor Day, Jamerson will present options to House Speaker William Howell, who will make the final decision on the flag. Hopefully he will choose a Capitol that welcomes all Virginians and not cave to pressure from Confederate heritagists and apologists who naïvely believe theirs is the only valid history of the flag.

The flag — yes, I know it took many forms — originally did represent the soldiers of the Confederacy, the average men who fought for their nation and not necessarily for slavery. History supports that view.

Yet Virginians cannot claim intellectual honesty while ignoring the other meanings it embodies.

The battle flag is also a symbol of hatred and racism. Even if it were pure up until the mid-20th century — a dubious proposition — the forces of intolerance seized the flag for themselves. The Ku Klux Klan, Dixiecrats and other segregationists used and abused it.

The battle flag is not unique as a corrupted symbol. The swastika, for example, was a peaceful symbol of good for thousands of years around the world. Nazi Germany turned it into a terrible thing.

Southerners are not equivalent to Nazis by any stretch of the imagination, but evil people twisted and tainted whatever the battle flag once nobly embodied, just as they did to the swastika.

Racism and slavery now are inextricably interwoven into the battle flag’s fabric.

John Coski, historian and library director for the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, observed, "Many people today have a visceral personal experience of seeing those flags waved in anger."

The hate most strongly associated with the flag occured in their lifetimes. Any original use is distant past.

The flag also symbolizes rebellion, insurrection and even treason. The armies that carried it into battle sought to sunder a great nation.

The South lost, and the nation was preserved. Virginians today are residents of the U.S.A. not the C.S.A.

George Washington did not fly the British flag at Mount Vernon after the Revolution. Virginia should not fly a Confederate flag in its capitol. We owe no allegiance to that nation.

Though the old House chamber still hosts a few official functions, including the quadrennial meeting of Virginia’s Electoral College representatives, it is primarily a stop for tourists. More than 100,000 visitors pass through its doors every year.

Some would see the battle flag and smile. Others would see it and curse. History justifies both reactions, and the state cannot impose just one.

"The reality is that all these varied uses are based on actual experiences," Coski said. "Regardless of what you want the flag to mean, … it behooves you to understand why the other guy doesn’t agree."

Coski takes no position on whether the flag should hang in the Capitol.

If Virginia has truly moved beyond racism, rebellion and intolerance, if it truly meant its expression of regret for slavery, then endorsing the antithesis of those convictions is not an option.

Hang the flag on your house if you wish to evoke Southern heritage, other historic meanings be damned. Put a sticker on your truck. Paint it on the top of your 1969 Dodge Charger. Pretend, if you must, that you offend no one.

Just don’t hang it in the Capitol, in the commonwealth’s heart, where all should be equal and welcome.