Anyone from our state who reads this knows that THE FLAG has been the issue this week. Not the U.S. flag, or the state flag. Just one particular flag. The Confederate flag.
Differences abound and emotions run high.
I know where I stand on this issue. In many ways it is a gut thing. I may not be able to articulate the reasons entirely, but . . . I believe that the flag should come down from the Statehouse grounds, and am glad that this morning that it did.
It would be a different issue if a law had been passed that made flying the Confederate flag illegal. But all the people who are unhappy about the flag coming off the statehouse grounds can fly a thousand such flags in their yards if they so choose, and are welcome to do so. They can wear their flag bowties, and put their flag bumper stickers on their trucks, and use that symbol however they decide, to thus honor their ancestors who fought valiantly.
However, flying it over the Statehouse is another matter entirely. The Statehouse, being the house of the people, gives an official sanction to this flag of history--a flag that, like it or not, offends many people. That official sanction should not be.
I saw something on the internet this morning, said in jest but with some truth of feeling, that the name Cracker Barrel should be changed because the term "Cracker" is offensive to white people. (The fact that Cracker Barrel is a private business, not an official statehouse, is another, entirely different, issue.) Many other such PC issues have been likewise brought up. But the difference is this, at least in my mind: The term "Cracker," while offensive, has not been used in the commission of horrible crimes. It was never the symbol of the KKK. It is not used to promote racial superiority groups. Nor have a number of other symbols that have been mentioned been such used.
I cannot remove the mental image of that vicious murderer, wrapped in the Confederate flag, taken not long before he slaughtered nine people, simply because they were of another race.
Racism will continue. Offenses will continue. Political correctness issues will abound, to the irritation of many, including myself. Things are not entirely right or fair yet. (They never will be until the return of Christ.) Fly, wear, display your flags in any way you personally choose. But, in an official capacity, the Confederate flag belongs in the state museum.