It looks like Dylann Storm Roof, the white man who shouted racial epithets while committing mass murder inside a predominantly black church, and his plans to start what he called a “race riot” may not have succeeded in one way, but in a roundabout way, he just may have started another type of riot concerning the Confederate flag that may ironically divide the south. The governor of South Carolina wants to now take the Confederate flag down from the grounds of the State House saying it’s time to do away with this sign of hatred and racism. My only question is why does it take a mass murder to bring on the multi-racial hand holding and the singing? Racism didn’t just magically appear the day Mr. Roof went berserk, it’s been here for ions and nobody cared….until now. This is where we learn if the pen is indeed mightier than the sword, or the dollar, because while everyone wants to pay homage to the fallen African-American church members, some southerners feel to be asked to do away with their symbol of pride and heritage is asking a little too much. That’s why those who take pride in the solidarity flag may do so on his or her private property.
Since war first began there have been flags, (colors) to signify a certain battle group. Flags are also used to identify certain tribes, civilizations, etc, and flags have become a sense of pride for whoever flew them no matter if it was friend or foe. The United States flag is a culmination of decades of war and it stands for the “brave” who gave their lives for what they believed in which most of the time was protecting peoples right to be free. It’s no different for the solders of the Confederacy who went to war and died fighting a war that in their minds they saw as a worthwhile cause. We know now that the majority of the country saw things a little different but that doesn’t take away their honor as soldiers. When soldiers go off to war under orders from their governments, whose to say if the reasons are just, but they should not be denied the right to have a flag to honor their fallen dead, especially if they lost the war. African-Americans always knew that the Confederate flag was a symbol of the south, racism and slavery, but they also knew that the south lost the war and that in a sense set them free. And while it’s taken a snails pace in history to get this far, there are those who will never comply. Until this day, the Confederate flag posed no threat to anyone and only remained as a proud remembrance for those generations of family members who went off to war and never returned, to hell with the reasons.
One of the most popular television shows on from 1979 until 1985 was The Dukes of Hazzard with Bo and Luke Duke and the “General Lee”, the orange Dodge Charger with the number 01 on the side and a big Confederate flag on the roof, but as of this posting, they were removing the flags from all toy cars being produced. Not one time did that flag enter into the show as a symbol of racism. We all knew the show was based on two good “ole” die hard southern boys having fun, who cared about the flag. That flag is everywhere, or I should say “was” everywhere, but now some people want to distance themselves from it because of what happened in SouthCarolina, including Wal-Mart who is based in Arkansas. What is going to really make people tune in to this controversy is to hear what the presidential candidates have to say about getting rid of the flag. This could make or break a candidate in the southern states, and even Hillary is not immune to judgments because after all, Governor Bill Clinton celebrated the flag while governor of Arkansas. If you stood for the Confederate flag your whole life, and suddenly shift to the other side to gain popularity votes, in the eyes of the voters you just turned to cellophane meaning they can see clear through you. That would be insulting voter intelligence and while the GOP elephant seems to always forget, the voters won’t.
As an African-American, I am well aware of what some say the flag stands for, but to me it depends on the persons reason for displaying it. If it is to honor ancestors who died in a war that divided this country, it was still a war and I have no problem with that. But if you take this flag and use it to justify hatred and racism, you are doing a discredit to those who have long since died and been buried along with Lee’s sword. It is said that the meaning of any flag is best discerned “in the words of those who bore it.” There are a hell of a lot more things we can be doing to have better race relations in this country but it requires going a lot further than banning a solitary flag.