Letters to the Editor

   Written by on June 26, 2015 at 1:15 pm

Thinking the Flag Evil Makes it So

Once again this country has had a mass shooting by a young and deranged man. Aside from (perhaps) being a, “copy-cat” from like shooters in recent years, this man in South Carolina was unique, seemingly driven by racial motives. Each time something like this happens, high profile people from the president on down want to point a finger of blame at someone or something. Those like the president who have an anti-gun agenda will throw the blame at privately owned firearms but, this time the Confederate flag has (also) become the focus of ridicule and the object to assign liability for this horrific shooting at a church. There are quite a number of flags the Confederate army fought under but, the “Stars and Bars” is the most immediately recognized today. During the time of the Civil War, I doubt there was a single Confederate soldier who saw the “Stars and Bars” as anything other than an emblem of their country they were willing to fight and died for.

Now certain separatist groups have made the Confederate flag a symbol of their racist agenda and the flag is now (largely) resented by the public. A great cry is now rising up to have the flag removed from public sight across America. If this should happen, what other flag (Confederate or otherwise) will take its place? To borrow a line from Shakespeare, “There really isn’t anything good or evil … unless thinking doth make it so!” Focusing on the Confederate flag in relation to this shooting continues to empower the flag for racists. Racist groups have made the Confederate flag their identity banner and many across America have bought in to it. Some across the globe see the American flag as evil. Flags really represent what an individual wants to see and only that individual’s perception counts. There isn’t anything intrinsically evil about the Confederate flag. It was a battle flag for the Southern states, benign and harmless beyond that. It had no other meaning of hate or racism by the time the war ended. The Confederate flag is simply not a symbol of hate or racism……. unless thinking doth make it so!

 Karl Schmidt

Farmville, Va.

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