EDITORIAL: When it comes to allowing Confederate flag, what’s wrong with this one?
Posted: Thursday, November 3, 2011
The Galveston Daily News
There is a simple, practical solution to the furor over whether the Confederate flag should appear on Texas license plates.
Use the real flag. The official one. The one that flew over government buildings in Texas during the Civil War.
That flag is called the Stars and Bars, and it has flown at theme parks such as Six Flags Over Texas, where the purpose is to educate customers, rather than to gratuitously offend.
The Stars and Bars doesn’t look like the Confederate battle flag. The official Confederate flag looked a lot like the United States flag — so much so that the soldiers on both sides were confused. In early battles, they tended to shoot friend as well as foe. So the Confederate armies carried a flag with a different design in battle.
The problem with that symbol is its history after the war, during the terror of Jim Crow. Many, perhaps most, people view it as a symbol of hatred and racism.
How do you say yes to history and no to racism?
Actually, it’s not that hard in this case.
Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, who is responsible for overseeing the license plate program, said the Sons of Confederate Veterans is considering changing the design for its proposed license plate to feature the Stars and Bars.
That would be a welcome change.
Confederate heritage organizations in other states have sued to get the battle flag on license plates.
But if the whole idea is to celebrate heritage and to educate others about it, you’ve got to wonder: What’s wrong with the Stars and Bars?
© 2011 The Lufkin Daily News