On the EDge: An uncivil war over Confederate flag

OPINION — There’s a rather uncivil war raging as a nation tries to come to grips with its latest hate crime — the killing of nine innocent people in a Charleston, South Carolina, church.

The guy who committed the horrendous slaughter told the cops he was trying to start a race war.

Because it was nine African-American people who were cut down by a nut-job, white supremacist in the South, the flashback was, for historians, to those not-so-gentler times when slaves were sold, whipped, beaten and raped in the Land of Dixie.

And, the outrage sparked a movement that has gained some traction to ban the Confederate flag.

The flag in question has been a sort of loophole for some who understand that, well, it never did represent the Confederate States of America during the Civil War, that it was a battle flag for the Army of Northern Virginia.

That’s true.

But, it does not diminish what the flag stood for and represents.

They argue that it is a symbol of Southern heritage.

That is also true.

But the heritage it reflects is ugly, vulgar, violent.

But, does that mean the Confederate flag should be completely banished from not only our sight, but the history books?

No.

As much as I detest the repression, bigotry and hatred that flag represents, anybody who wishes to display it is protected by a First Amendment that also protects the words you are reading at this very moment. Limiting one person’s freedom of speech or expression limits all freedom of speech or expression, and it would be hypocritical to limit that right only to symbols or words that I agree with or approve.

No matter how detestable that flag is to me, no matter how large the insult to a race of people it diminishes, an individual has the right to fly that flag, just as I have the right to comment upon its use.

However, when it comes to a government entity — a township, municipality, state or anything else funded by taxpayer dollars that is supposed to represent the people — it needs to come down.

Flying the Confederate flag under those circumstances is equivalent to flying a flag of treason because it represents an event in history where a nation, the Confederate States of America, declared war and fought viciously against the United States of America. If you would not approve of an ISIS flag flying over the state capitol or a city office, you should not approve of a symbol of another enemy combatant flying over the same building.

Raising the Confederate flag over city, county or state buildings is a tacit endorsement of a lifestyle we, as a people, do not believe in. It’s simple as that.

The First Amendment guarantees anti-war activists the same right to assembly and speech as it does the Ku Klux Klan. It extends the same rights to Greenpeace as it does to the American Nazi Party; the same freedom to the Democrats, Republicans and those in between or at the far, far fringes.

I must admit that being the rebellious sort that I am, there was a time – a short time – that I had a Confederate flag license plate on a vehicle I owned as an expression of that rebelliousness.

However, I saw the pain it caused friends I had who were people of color.

It soon went away. Besides, there are other ways to express one’s rebelliousness.

There is no law against being stupid, just as there are no assured rewards for enlightenment.

The thing is, I guess you really don’t understand bigotry, racism or exclusionary behavior unless it is directed at you. But, once you are a victim — whether it’s because of race, religion, political persuasion, gender orientation or whatever — you never forget.

There have been some bold steps taken in recent weeks, some sensible, others not.

It is sensible to call for banishment of the flag from public buildings and property. The heritage it reflects is illegal by today’s standards.

It is not sensible, however, to insist that it be forever banished, that companies be forbidden to reproduce or sell it or for individuals to display it. You can still purchase flags emblazoned with the Swastika, another hated banner of oppression representing another nation that declared war on the United States.

It is not sensible to fly the flag over school buildings or in classrooms. All that does is further water the roots of racism.

It is also not sensible to ban the image of the flag from textbooks and teaching materials. It should — no, it must — be used as a tool to represent how here, in the land of the free and home of the brave, an entire race of people were subjected to unspeakable horrors and the struggle to establish civil rights for all.

As difficult as it may be, we need those lessons so we can do all within our power to ensure our darkest hours of history are never repeated. Revisionist history serves nobody and insults those valiant struggles of the past.

We should not ignore who we were, but instead, learn how to become what we should be.

And, we cannot start up that so-called slippery slope of censorship, because sooner or later, your words and thoughts, my words and thoughts, our words and thoughts could suddenly vanish.

As a matter of principle, I must borrow the words of Voltaire biographer Evelyn Beatrice Hall, who summed up the French historian, writer and philosopher’s thoughts on free speech thusly: “I do not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

So, no, let’s not hide the Confederate flag or ban it.

Instead, let’s use it as a symbol, a symbol of what not to be.

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Ed Kociela is an opinion columnist. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.

Email: edkociela.mx@gmail.com

Twitter: @STGnews, @EdKociela

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

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57 Comments

  • NotSoFast July 7, 2015 at 7:45 am

    Ed,
    As for as I’m concerned, an excellent piece you penned. Thanks for your opinion. Freedom isn’t free . Without the ability to think, pray, say what you think, associate with whom you want, Or even read who’s opinion column you want, your a robot.

  • JOSH DALTON July 7, 2015 at 7:55 am

    The truth is…white people are the reason our/my history is going to be torn down. The people who have ignored the real meaning of the “stars and bars” and associated with hate are white people. The epicenter of misrepresentation of the Rebel Flag is right here in Southern Utah. If you were to go back east or even do a small amount of research, the Confederate flag is a symbol of unity and coming together as one. THE SOUTH! GO FALCONS!

    • 42214 July 7, 2015 at 9:07 am

      What reason did the South come together in unity. What was the “Noble” reason?

      • native born new mexican July 7, 2015 at 9:20 am

        Because they were being invaded by aggressive, constitution violating northerners. Study your history.. ALL of it. My people in Virginia were not slave holders or fighting for slavery. They believed in the rights of the individual and the state verses a totalitarian central government. That is why Stonewall Jackson and Robert E Lee were fighting also. Go read their own words. They were great Christian men. Among the best this country ever produced! Stop it with your ignorant slander!

        • 42214 July 7, 2015 at 9:34 am

          You are a great representative of the old Confederacy. Fighting a losing battle of revisionist history. Was it a felony to litter in the South like it is in Arizona? Oh, and don’t forget felony speeding too.

        • Jensen July 7, 2015 at 10:06 am

          I keep hearing people say to study YOUR history, and read what Jackson and Lee had to say in their own words, but nobody ever says what it is that they said and give references. I’m for the United States of America and against the treasonous states who broke away and made war that got so many Americans killed. If they didn’t like what was going on at the time, the southern states had the ways and the means of fixing it constitutionally on the floors of the senate and house of representatives. Lincoln was a just enough man that he would have supported them.

          • KarenS July 7, 2015 at 10:51 am

            I have wondered about references myself so I found a letter written by Robert E. Lee five years before the Civil War. He does think that slavery is a “moral and political evil” but states that the slaves are better off than they were in Africa and that their “painful” discipline as slaves will somehow help them in their future. He goes on to say that the institution of slavery will end by God’s will, very slowly. He warns that only through a civil war can the institution of slavery be abolished sooner. All this revisionist history about “state’s rights” as the reason for the Civil War flies in the face of what Robert E. Lee actually wrote in 1856. Here is the reference if you want to read his letter.
            http://www.civilwarhome.com/leepierce.html

  • Uncle Lenny July 7, 2015 at 8:19 am

    Today it’s the Confederate flag. What’s next? Dixie? Monuments to confederates, and more, are being removed and erased. This is a terrible slippery slope we are on. Where do you think it will end?

    • Simone July 7, 2015 at 3:02 pm

      When will it end? Its just beginning. As far as im concerned, those statues and names cannot be removed fast enough. The fact that our university bore the name Dixie as long as it did is disgraceful. Same goes for that statue. The statue got removed because people in my generation don’t tolerate blatant racism. I can only hope that the university will soon “outgrow” its name and change it to something more fitting of people who don’t think that black people and women are less then anything but equal to white men. To answer your question, It will end when every racist, oppressive, bigoted belief those confederates represented are nothing but tiny obscure blurbs in history books.

  • native born new mexican July 7, 2015 at 9:12 am

    How dare you call my heritage and my ancestors ugly, vulgar and violent! If you want to call Grant the butcher or Sherman who made war on civilians that go right ahead. That is true about them. You are name calling things you know nothing about. go read the political views of Stonewall Jackson or Robert E. Lee. They were serious men and serious thinkers and they did not support slavery or beat slaves. I have ancestors ( grandfathers uncles several greats back) who fought under that flag. They were the Scotch Irish from the Virginia hill country NOT slave holders! They were trying to do the exact same thing that the American colonies did to England; leave because of political differences- mainly states rights; YES states rights like it or not! You are a poor historian and a terrible name caller. I could but I chose not to find something in your heritage to horribly misrepresent and name call. That is not OK. If you want respect and civility in this country then live it and and show it. Your article is far from that. I think the killing of those nine black Christians in their church is awful. I feel terrible about it. SO would my fine Christian ancestors. Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee would have the crazy maniac who did it executed, which he should be! You show the very worst of of the behavior you claim to dislike.

    • 42214 July 7, 2015 at 9:36 am

      Keep it up “Woe is Me”. You’re very entertaining.

    • Jensen July 7, 2015 at 10:14 am

      Jackson and Lee were traitors against the United States of America. They were not patriots in support of the constitution or it’s ideals. The South chose to declare war rather than work out a just solution before Congress and the Supreme Court. Slavery??? Owning other human beings??? Human Trafficking??? You bet it was the major reason of what caused the Civil War.
      READ YOUR HISTORY.

      • Curtis July 7, 2015 at 2:57 pm

        The Constitution of the CSA was virtually identical to the Constitution of the USA except that it specifically endorsed the existence of slavery along with some other differences. The Constitution of the USA did recognize slavery and carefully did not prohibit it or make it illegal at the Federal level.

    • Chris July 7, 2015 at 10:57 am

      The “Native” goes off yet again showing her ignorance of even the simplest matters in American history. It is well documented that both Lee and Jackson owned slaves. Not once did either of them condemn the institution of slavery in any public speech or writing. If they did not support slavery, as you claim, then they must have been amazing hypocrites. You keep telling us to “read our history”, but as Jensen mentions above, you never give a single citation of any source that supports your distorted views.

      • native born new mexican July 7, 2015 at 11:26 am

        You did no research what ever Chris. Jackson never owned slaves and Lee condemned the owning of them and freed his own. Go read about it.!

        • native born new mexican July 7, 2015 at 12:00 pm

          Here is a very insightful article about Jackson.

          http://www.civilwarinteractive.com/BookReviewBlackManFriend2.htm

          • Chris July 7, 2015 at 12:49 pm

            Hilarious! Did you even read the “article” (actually a book review) that you cite? It contradicts you explicitly:
            “It is likely that Jackson’s early attraction to Christianity was aroused by the slaves in his own household.” Jackson most certainly did own slaves before and during the war. But of course, you will find a way to disbelieve the truth.

          • Chris July 7, 2015 at 1:05 pm

            Here is a quote from the website for the Stonewall Jackson museum, http://www.stonewalljackson.org/faq.html

            “How did Jackson feel about slavery?
            Jackson did not leave behind any writings indicating how he felt about the institution of slavery, so we don’t know for certain how he felt about it. We do know that he participated in the slave economy. Jackson owned six individuals while he lived in the Washington Street House.”

            As this comes directly from the museum dedicated to his life, I’d think you’d find this reliable information. However, you will find some way to deny it.

        • Curtis July 7, 2015 at 2:43 pm

          Lees wife owned slaves. Lee was the executor of his father-in-laws estate which included many slaves. As executor Lee could have freed those slaves but chose not to.

    • Curtis July 7, 2015 at 2:50 pm

      You are correct that many if not most of the men who fought for the Confederacy did not do so to support slavery. However, the states that seceded did so to maintain slavery. South Carolina, Mississippi, Georgia and Texas all published documents as to why they were seceding — to maintain slavery. In March 1861 Alexander Stephens, the Vice President of the CSA, gave what is known as the Cornerstone Speech as to why the seceding states had felt it necessary to form a new government — to maintain slavery. All these documents readily available on the internet.

  • KarenS July 7, 2015 at 9:54 am

    I think it is useful to read the words of South Carolina State Senator Paul Thurmond, son of Strom Thurmond (yes, that Strom Thurmond), and his views on the Confederate flag.

    “For the life of me, I will never understand how anyone could fight a Civil War based in part on the desire to continue the practice of slavery. Think about it for just a second. Our ancestors were literally fighting to continue to keep human beings as slaves, and continue the unimaginable acts that occur when someone is held against their will. I am not proud of that heritage. I am proud to be on the right side of history regarding the removal of this symbol of racism and bigotry from the Statehouse.”

    • Jensen July 7, 2015 at 10:15 am

      Amen to that.

    • native born new mexican July 7, 2015 at 10:37 am

      Mr. Thurmond is playing politics in the worst way and he does not represent history truthfully. He can say anything he wants to. That does not make it the truth. One man’s words do not change history or speak for all the honored southern dead who died for STATES RIGHTS! Why don’t you go study and find out the whole truth and not just quote the politically convenient words of a crooked politician. He would sell his soul if he thought it would get him votes. I absolutely do not believe in slavery either. The war between the states was not about slavery whether modern revisionists want to make it that or not. I stand with Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee. Go read and study those men’s words – unless that is too much work and trouble for you. By the way the poor Indian Mexican side of my family were slaves to the Spanish. I get it about slavery. I also believe the absolute truth should be told. Long live the rights of the individual and their local, representative state government. I love you Thomas Jefferson!

      • Chris July 7, 2015 at 11:03 am

        and Thomas Jefferson loved his slaves too. So much so, in fact, that he had illegitimate children with them. Jefferson, like Jackson and Lee, did nothing to end the practice of slavery.

        • native born new mexican July 7, 2015 at 11:29 am

          Why are you willing to slander Jefferson? A better person than you will ever be. There is no proof for what you just stated. There is HUGE controversy about it but NO proof, unless you were there and saw what went on.

          • Chris July 7, 2015 at 12:55 pm

            DNA proof. Do you understand that? Of course, you do not because you are a science denier. You don’t even know the difference between slander (spoken defamation) and libel (printed defamation). Your defense of slave owning hypocrites is quite amusing. Keep us laughing!

      • KarenS July 7, 2015 at 11:16 am

        Native, you might want to read the letter by Robert E. Lee that I referenced and posted a link. He recognized five years before the civil war that the abolition of slavery would come more quickly only by a civil war. The revisionist history about “states rights” as a reason for the Civil War might work for some but only as far as the confederates believed that it was their right to decide whether to have slavery or not. No matter how you look at it, it was the institution of slavery that brought about the Civil War. Robert E. Lee knew that.

        • native born new mexican July 7, 2015 at 12:32 pm

          It was my people’s belief that it was their right to decided all things for themselves. I told you they were the Scots Irish. They had had enough of central government pushing them off of their lands and impoverishing them. That is why they had to leave Scotland and later Northern Ireland. They were not going to let that happen again. They were poor farmers, not slave holders. Stonewall Jackson was a neighbor of theirs. He was also Scots Irish and he had the same views as they did.

          • KarenS July 7, 2015 at 1:24 pm

            Native, there were a variety of individual reasons why people fought on both sides in the Civil War. Obviously, not all Confederate soldiers owned slaves. But the overall reason for the Civil War, as acknowledged by Robert E. Lee himself, was over the institution of slavery. The revisionist history people call it “Lincoln’s War of Northern Aggression” in an attempt to mask it as states’ rights. That is why that argument is “revisionist history”. The facts do not support it.

          • 42214 July 7, 2015 at 1:36 pm

            Woe is Me, you’re killin it today. Really on your A game. Don’t think I’ve ever seen you so stupid.

  • Brian July 7, 2015 at 10:26 am

    The biggest problem we have with race in America right now is the massive double standard that exists, but is completely ignored. If a white person sneezes the wrong way (or *gasp* disagrees with a black president on any issue) they’re a racist. ANY white on black crime, of any kind, is racist, racist, racist. But black on white crime, or black on black crime, is never racist. The black panthers standing outside a voting station with billy clubs is just fine, but asking for proof of citizenship to vote is racist. You can have the “Congressional Black Caucus”, but can you imagine the outrage if there was a “Congressional White Caucus”. The NAACP is fine, but the NAAWP would be racist. Destroying cities in protest is fine (even when the 99% of the protesters were bussed in from out of the area by Al Sharpton et al), but securing the border is racist. The list goes on, and on, and on. Honestly, the confederate flag and the names of sports teams should be the last of our worries. As a society we have a 2×4 sticking out of our eye but we’re too busy telling the other guy about the dust on his eyelash to notice.

    • Bender July 7, 2015 at 11:39 am

      You and me both man. It’s tough being a white man in Southern Utah Brian. I’m so fed up with the disadvantages and discrimination I suffer that I am moving to….. uh. Never mind.

      • anybody home July 7, 2015 at 1:26 pm

        You’re a funny guy, Bender. Had to laugh at this…And Brian – “black panthers standing outside a voting station with billy clubs”…could you give us the reference for that one? When? Where? Pictures?

        • Dene July 7, 2015 at 2:18 pm

          The New Black Panther Party and two of its members, Minister King Samir Shabazz and Jerry Jackson, were charged with voter intimidation for their conduct outside a polling station in Philadelphia.

          The Department of Justice later narrowed the charges against Minister King Shabazz and dismissed the charges against the New Black Panther Party and Jerry Jackson. The decision to dismiss the charges has led to accusations that the Department of Justice under the Obama administration is biased against white victims and unwilling to prosecute minorities for civil rights violations. These charges have been most notably made by J. Christian Adams, who in May 2010 resigned his post in the Department of Justice in protest over the Obama administration’s perceived mishandling of the case, and by his former supervisor Christopher Coates.

      • NotSoFast July 7, 2015 at 1:40 pm

        Brain & Bender, You are making way too much sense. ‘Go to your room’ you couple of bigoted honkies. I’m telling Al Sharpton and his staff on you pronto.
        The other commentators? Instead of finding so call articles and (quotes) based on true facts from Snoops,etc., go back and read Ed’s opinion piece and think for yourself for a change.

  • beacon July 7, 2015 at 10:46 am

    The Confederate flag represents people owning other people to do their work for them and provide the lifestyle they desired. It may represent other things, too, like unity, rebelliousness, etc., but at the heart of it, it represents one group of people thinking they are so special that they can own other human beings and fight a war to protect that ownership. This was the issue at the heart of our nation’s birth that our forefathers did not want to deal with for fear of the Constitution not being approved. Those who support the flag may want to revise history but that’s the way it was.

  • tcrider July 7, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    Its no different than flying a nazi swastika, it represents white supremacy and slavery, if the local bigots can’t get over it, they are going to have a hard time, even if they try going to other places, in the state of utah.

  • Curtis July 7, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    ED — the flag was more than the battle flag of the Army of Northern VA. It was incorporated into the last two of the four national flags of the Confederate States of America. The CSA never declared war on the Union. It certainly did fight — to resist the invasion of the CSA by Union troops and also raids into Maryland and Pennsylvania to try to ease pressure on Virginia and cause the Union to give up on trying to force the seceded states back into the Union

  • BIG GUY July 7, 2015 at 6:40 pm

    Good article, Ed.

  • fun bag July 7, 2015 at 7:09 pm

    all this talk of confederate flags and racism and slavery and there’s only one black guy on the whole of stgnews to discuss it. what does this tell us?

  • Bender July 7, 2015 at 9:27 pm

    Sure are a lota Southern Man wannabes around here. Alabammy’s just a bus ticket away if a guy wants the real thing.

    • native born new mexican July 8, 2015 at 12:54 am

      Have a good trip Bender. Hope you enjoy it. I wouldn’t be handing out any sarcastic insults if I were you. It might not go over too well with the locals.

  • JOSH DALTON July 8, 2015 at 7:59 am

    Folks got lucky yesterday. I had to handle my clients I did not have the time to jump back on and defend my point. My colleagues informed me I did a great job of rocking the boat. According do a interview on Channel 2 News, a Professor at Dixie University has the same views that I do! This Professor is pushing to change to name of Dixie University. The Professor said that University did not have any connection to the history of Dixie, nor did Utah succeed from the Union, and that it was never part of the original 13 colonies. It was also mentioned that students are not happy with putting it on their resumes. Once again hitting on my point of misrepresentation! First the “good ol boys” ran the Native Americans out of the area, then call it Dixie. Was the plan to keep certain folks from moving to this area? The plan failed! My family moved here. The ironic thing is we moved from Marietta,Ga (The Real Dixie) to the misrepresented Dixie. Again, I don’t think my family has issues with the flag or even the fact that its call Dixie here. We lived in Stone Mountain,Ga for years. My point is, our society needs to quit trying to change history and own it. Learn from our mistakes. If they LGBT can have their flag and get married, then the South can keep our flag, and Polygamist can marry as many women has they want. DSGB!

    • fun bag July 8, 2015 at 11:38 am

      you’re just blathering on and on, and your opinion is irrelevant

    • 42214 July 8, 2015 at 2:37 pm

      Josh, does supersizing one of your clients order take that long?

  • anybody home July 8, 2015 at 10:15 am

    Gee, Josh, I hope your clients don’t need somebody who’s literate to help them.

  • anybody home July 8, 2015 at 10:19 am

    Here’s the thing – Ed’s right. Anybody can fly any flag they want personally. Nobody’s rights are being infringed there.

    But it’s different with flags that fly over government buildings. Government buildings represent all the citizens and the American flag is the flag to fly. We don’t fly flags of other countries or former enemies on government buildings, but we can fly them at home if we so choose.

    It’s really a simple point.

    • native born new mexican July 8, 2015 at 12:28 pm

      We can fly them in public places anybody. we can wear them on our shirts and we can have them in public parks. We can display them on the top of our cars if we want to. We can carry them into government offices and state capitals – unless the bill of rights has suddenly gone away. Has it?? We can do the same thing with Christian symbols and books also. Do you know if that has changed?? Do some people have more rights than others?? Do some people get to call names and be insulting but others should not do it?? Is the southern US, it’s heritage and history an enemy never to be spoken of or allowed a voice again? If so who else deserves that kind of treatment? Who decides when that happens and to whom? Is it OK to do it to you or your friends?

      • anybody home July 8, 2015 at 2:08 pm

        Do you even read what people write? You can have your confederate flag anyplace you want (I can think of a good place), but not fly it on a public building. That’s the one place it doesn’t belong. Otherwise, fly it as you want. I just wrote that and you seem to be ranting again as if you disagree. Nobody and I repeat NOBODY is speaking against your southern heritage. Ye gods and little catfish. At least read what somebody writes before going off on a tear.

        • 42214 July 8, 2015 at 2:36 pm

          Woe is Me gets her exercise by jumping to conclusions.

          • anybody home July 8, 2015 at 3:08 pm

            Native born New Mexican can fly a flag with a picture of her rear end on it for all I, or anyone, cares. But not on a public building.

        • Simone July 8, 2015 at 3:36 pm

          I agree 100% A.H. If Native or anyone else wants to publicize his racist beliefs by wearing a T-shirt with the confederate flag on it, putting it on his car or painting it on the front of his house, he has that right. That said, that flag has NO PLACE in, on or outside any public building except museums. As an American he can believe whatever the hell he wants, regardless of what the facts are.

          • native born new mexican July 8, 2015 at 11:14 pm

            Still name calling I see Simone. You forgot to read the part in my posts where I said I did not believe in slavery and also the part where I said I come from a mixed cultural heritage. My other language isn’t English and my family name comes from south of the border. New Mexico is the south- west where several cultures met and married each other. I am actually a mix of three groups of people who make New Mexico the land of three peoples. You can guess what they are. It isn’t hard. No I am no racist. I have actually had people be racist towards me because of the south of the border name and my second language. That is why I believe rights and respect are SO important! Thomas Jefferson had it right.

          • Simone July 9, 2015 at 1:57 pm

            Native, IDGARA about what your beliefs are, how many of your grandparents fought in the civil war or where you and your family come from. The FACT is that the flag you’re suddenly so passionate about keeping was created by people who thought that black people were less then they were, that black people should have no rights, that they should be able to OWN them like they were a coffee table or something. The CSA “founding fathers” wrote the following into their constitution:

            <strong"No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law denying or impairing the right of property in negro slaves shall be passed".
            ~Article 1 Sec. 9.4
            and this:
            “The citizens of each State shall be entitled to all the privileges and immunities of citizens in the several States; and shall have the right of transit and sojourn in any State of this Confederacy, with their slaves and other property; and the right of property in said slaves shall not be thereby impaired”.

            IMO, As you can clearly see the white people who wrote the CSA constitution considered slavery a “right”. Thankfully, they lost the war. As I said you can fly that flag wherever you want to on property that is owned by you and your family and I will defend your right to do that until the day I die. That said, In my opinion the ONLY public places that flag should be displayed is in a museum exhibit about the war or a history book.

    • BIG GUY July 8, 2015 at 5:57 pm

      South Carolina’s state flag does not include the “stars and bars.” Choosing to fly a Confederate flag over the capitol seems unnecessarily provocative. I hope their House votes to take it down.
      .
      Mississippi’s state flag seems to be the only the only one that does contain a reduced version of a Confederate flag as part of the design. Getting that changed–which seems like a good idea to me–is bound to be more difficult but worth the effort.
      .
      Several years ago, I was asked by a member of the Utah Board of Regents how I felt about retaining the name “Dixie” in our local university’s name. Both she and I were opposed. But the “Dixie” name reflects both the heritage of many of the original pioneers in this region and our climate as compared to Salt Lake’s. She noted that substantial local donors to the university would refuse future financial support if the name was removed, not because they were racist but because they wanted to retain the heritage. I’m still opposed but to no avail.

      • Bender July 8, 2015 at 7:59 pm

        “substantial local donors to the university would refuse future financial support”
        .
        Small town bigwigs acting parochially. Not surprising. Try again in a generation BIGGUY, maybe have better luck. Even disregarding the racial aspect, the Dixie moniker has always rubbed me the wrong way. A world class, jaw droppingly beautiful region saddled with the same name as a place with largely negative, and foreign, overtones. IMHO.

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