Take The Damn Flag Down

I try awful hard on this blog to stay away from political or religious discussions, mainly because someone is going to be offended by what I write. Quite honestly, I don’t mind that because you can’t please everyone. But I prefer lighter writings laced with humor or questions that make you think about how you might handle or react to a situation.

But Charleston, S.C. has changed that for this post. For the purposes of full disclosure, I’m a 63-year-old white male who lives in New Jersey and has his entire life. I grew up in a pretty diversified town and have seen enough things, including race riots, so that nothing really surprises me.

The murder of nine African-Americans as they sat in their place of worship by a white man whose desire was to start a Civil War was horrific. The fact that the confederate flag ever had a place of honor in any state defies the logic of common decency. The fact that it is still flying today, after all that’s happened, leads me to think of words that I prefer not to use.

My purpose is not to engage in a history lesson here but it should be noted that this symbol was never the official flag of the Civil War. In fact, three different flags were used but the one that was generally considered the official flag of the confederacy was General Robert E. Lee’s army flag of Northern Virginia.
The confederate flag  that flies today was used at Veteran’s events following the Civil War but gained prominence in the 1940’s when used by the newly formed Dixiecrat Party as a symbol of segregation and whose motto was “segregation forever.”

Many people argue that this flag is a source of southern pride. I’ve always been curious about that statement because I’m not sure why this flag needs to be a source of pride. I’ve visited Charleston and other cities in South Carolina. The area is beautiful and the people have always been very friendly, even to this northerner. That should be your source of pride South Carolina, not a symbol that is associated with segregation and slavery; and make no mistake, this flag, is a symbol of a darker time in this country. If perception is indeed reality, there should be no discussion here.

The person who committed these murders, whose name I won’t mention here and whose face I prefer never to see again on any news show or paper, wanted to create civil unrest in this country. He believed the murder of these innocent people might create the type of riots he saw in Baltimore. Or worse. But that didn’t happen. Instead the families of those who were murdered forgave him of his crime and the church and community came together in prayer and hope for understanding and healing.

By law, only the government of South Carolina has the power to remove this flag. But the stronger message it will send to this murderer and anyone else who may have similar thoughts is this….

We don’t want this symbol of slavery and oppression to be a part of our lives any longer. We don’t want it associated with the state in which we live or the people we represent. We understand this move will not change the past but we also understand that we can’t move forward to a place of understanding unless we educate our children and own up to our mistakes. Because our only hope is that our children aren’t taught hate and fear. Our only hope is that our children will learn acceptance and understanding. The removal of this flag would be a small step in that direction so that future generations don’t have the false belief that this symbol is a source of pride.

Just take the damn flag down.

34 thoughts on “Take The Damn Flag Down

  1. fillyourownglass

    It is long overdue, and I believe it will happen now. I am a New Jersey transplant living in South Carolina. We have so much to be proud of in this State, especially the way our community has come together in love and tolerance. The Unity Chain with thousands of people on the Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge this weekend was an inspiring event to behold. We have amazing hospitality to offer and love to give. We surely do not need that flag to fly on public grounds. There has been a bipartisan call from our govt leaders to remove it.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. George Post author

      I agree, it’s a beautiful state with much to offer and the unity rally across the bridge was inspiring. I know the Governor just came out and thought it should be removed. Hopefully it’ll happen soon.

      Like

      Reply
  2. marymtf

    Thanks for explaining it to an Aussie, George. You’ve probably explained it to a lot of your countrymen (ooh, can I say that?) too. If we’re going to segregate anyone, it should be scum from the rest of the community. How amazing those people must be to have forgiven that excuse for a human being. I know that I couldn’t have done it.

    Like

    Reply
  3. A.PROMPTreply

    I can’t think of a better reason to break your usual form of steering clear of politics and religion, George…..I remind you of this quote…

    “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”

    Can’t do much better than Churchill…You’re in good company!

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply
  4. Dale

    As a Canadian, I probably have no business whatsoever in adding my two cents’ worth… but yes, take the damn flag down. I was terribly moved by Jon Stewart’s opening monologue the other day and had to agree with everything he said. Somehow, this racism has to come to an end once and for all. Though I fear we won’t see it in our lifetimes…

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. George Post author

      I don’t think it’s a matter of nationality, it’s just common decency and respect so you have every right to voice an opinion and I’m glad you did. Thank you, as always.

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
  5. davidprosser

    Beautifully put George.The world will breed more nutters of his ilk who will treasure the meaning of such a rag but there’s no need in this day and age to have it flying by the Government in a prominent place.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. George Post author

      Thank you, David. I agree that the crazies will keep coming but at least they’ll know the distorted mindset they support is not waving over their government.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
    1. George Post author

      I bought so too, Joy. I’d like to think I’d be able to forgive as they did because in many ways it makes your own life better, but I’m not sure I would have been able to do it so soon and in a public way. God Bless their faith and strength.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  6. vanbytheriver

    Nicely expressed, George, and a lot of valuable info in your post. I have taken a week or so to calm down. There is a lot more to be said, but losing/ moving that obnoxious flag would be a start. The SC legislators will be meeting to “discuss” the possibility. Protecting their asses, one and all.

    Like

    Reply
  7. Mindy

    I agree, George! Although, I don’t think it’ll make all of their problems go away, I think it’ll be a great start and hopefully help others to take a stand against racism!

    Like

    Reply
    1. George Post author

      I agree, Mindy. We just have to begin removing those symbols that seem to be a source of contention. But there is a long road ahead with more serious issues to address. Good luck with your last week at this job. I’m guessing you have another lined up?

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. Mindy

        YES! Thank you for thinking of me :)’yes, it’s the last week and I start my new job on Monday because I didn’t want to give myself any time to settle 😳😳

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s