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June 22, 2015

Sometimes Flying The Confederate Flag Is The Right Thing To Do

A little less than a year ago, I railed against the removal of the Confederate battle flags from Lee Chapel at Washington and Lee University, noting that it constituted a politically correct travesty. It struck me as inappropriate to remove the flags from above a statue of a Confederate general located above the crypt where he and his family are buried in a building named after him on the campus of a college that bears his name. It was, I argued, one of those places where that flag is contextually appropriate. I stand by that argument without reservation.

Why bring it up? Because in the wake of the Charleston Horror, efforts have been renewed to remove the flag from the grounds of the South Carolina capitol. I think those efforts, while certainly well-intentioned, are misguided. After all, the flag does not fly over the capitol building itself, where it was first raised in 1962 by Democrat Governor (later Senator) Fritz Hollings. It instead flies next to a memorial to Confederate war dead. Don't believe me? Here's a picture.

Rebel_Flag_SC_capitol[1].jpg_1412278560

It is that location which, for me, makes all the difference in the world regarding its presence on the capitol grounds. No, that flag does not belong flying over government buildings (or on state flags). Yes, its presence in museums is appropriate. But I would also argue that it is appropriate as a part of memorials to those who fought beneath that banner -- which is what that particular flag is in that location. As the descendant of a soldier who fought in the Union Army, I take no offense at remembering those who fought against my ancestor with the flag under which they fought.





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NAME: Greg
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