Letter to the Editor: Confederate flag stood for slavery


Many letters and articles have been written about the flying of the Confederate battle flag. Phrases such as “states’ rights” and less federal government have been offered as reasons for the flag being a symbol of heritage, not hate. The flag is a symbol and like all symbols, it is important. If you don’t think so, ask a Christian about the cross. The flag was carried into battle after battle [Bloody Lane for instance] to keep slavery alive in the Confederacy and in any lands it conquered.

In Article IV, Section 3, Clause 3 of its constitution are these words:
“The Confederate States may acquire new territory; and Congress shall have power to legislate and provide governments for the inhabitants of all territory belonging to the Confederate States, lying without the limits of the several States; and may permit them, at such times, and in such manner as it may by law provide, to form States to be admitted into the Confederacy. In all such territory the institution of negro slavery, as it now exists in the Confederate States, shall be recognized and protected by Congress and by the Territorial government; and the inhabitants of the several Confederate States and Territories shall have the right to take to such Territory any slaves lawfully held by them in any of the States or Territories of the Confederate States.”

To make an interpretation from history is each reader’s right, but to deny that the battle flag stood for what it stood is mistaken. It was for slavery and even in 1963 it was raised in Columbia as a symbol against school integration.

Davis and Lee led an unsuccessful rebellion which was badly lost. Look at the burning of the valley. Their decision caused the very destruction of what they claimed to cherish, and they caused the loss of limbs, lives, and property in order to enslave another human being. What’s heroic about that?

Private citizens have the right to fly that flag from his or her porch to symbolize their feelings. However, it should be removed from public spaces because that hate is not a public sentiment.

Roger Barbee, Edinburg

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