As mentioned many times in the past-the Civil War is still with us. The Confederate flag, which is actually the Confederate battle flag- is in the news again. It’s not what you’re thinking-this time the news has a unique twist. According to the Macomb Daily (December 2, 2011), a college student had a Confederate flag displayed in his room. The 19 year old student attends the University of South Carolina Beaufort. The college asked him to take it down after receiving complaints from other students and parents. Sound familiar? Not so fast-here’s the twist—the 19 year old student is African-American.
The black student Byron Thomas stated that for him the flag’s “real meaning had been hijacked.” He said further: “When I look at this flag, I don’t see racism. I see respect, Southern pride. Thomas said even his parents may not support his view. In all fairness, he said that he had received some support from other students. Thomas posted a video on CNN’s iReport about the incident. It logged in above 60,000 viewings. After further consideration, the school informed Thomas that he could repost the flag if he wished. The article doesn’t say whether or not he did.
Now for my point of view. The young man has a right to display the flag. I don’t agree with his thinking on the flag. It is a Confederate battle flag. It is a flag that was used in the service of a military in rebellion against the government of the United States of America. That rebellion spawned a government that supported the slavery of human beings-particularly black human beings. That’s the meaning behind the flag. I hope Byron Thomas has thought this out. If not, go do your homework!
I reminded of the incident involving Union officer Elmer Ellsworth. Many consider him to be the first casaulty of the Civil War. He was a friend of Abraham Lincoln who had studied law in Lincoln’s office prior to the war. Later in 1861, President Lincoln looked out a window of the White House and saw a Confederate flag flying in the town of Alexandria, Virginia. Colonel Ellsworth volunteered to retrieve the flag-it cost him his life. He was killed after taking it down. Abraham Lincoln and the whole Lincoln family were personally saddened by the loss. The nation mourned. That was a Confederate flag-it had meaning. Yes, the Civil War continues.Mail this post