This has been a hot-button issue for me lately. Just the other day I saw an old truck on the road with what I thought to be a needlessly offensive bumper sticker. It read, “American by birth, Southern by God’s grace.” Nothing wrong there. But the message was flanked by two images of Confederate flags.
I have a problem with this. First of all, the Civil War is the only reason the Confederate Flag was created. That war remains the bloodiest and most deadly war this nation has ever fought. Why should it be remembered?
Secondly, the Confederacy, regardless of your position on states’ rights (by the way, I am very Federalist), was a foreign enemy of the United States. The fact is, this enemy of Americans is sad, but not justifying. A brutal war was fought because this confederacy was created. I don’t see what there is to be so proud of about it.
A girl in South Carolina does see something to be proud of and she (along with many others in the recent past) has protested her school’s decision to ban confederate clothing. This girl says she wants to “pay tribute to ancestors who fought on the Confederate side.” Maybe I’m completely crazy, but in my view, she wants to honor the memory of an enemy who waged war against her country. Having personal family heroes is fine; publicly displaying promotional material for a foreign enemy is not.
Why, I ask, is this so important anyway? Why must we display confederate symbols? Is American sectionalism still that vitriolic? I sincerely hope not.