Michael Bray

Author of A Time To Kill

Flying the Flag(s)

17 July 2007

To bar or not to bar the (Confederate) flag at fair booths is the question asked and answered by the editor (Journal, 17 July 2007).  Mr. Huffenberger alleges the flag to be “an emblem of slavery,” a “racist symbol” unbefitting the “fairground landscape.”

Before attempting to utter a word in defense of that flag in the present milieu, I must offer up in peace some credentials to the monitors of political correctness which lurk behind or sit in the very seat of every editor’s desk.  A small sample of available evidence of my purity as a non-racist are as follows:  1) I have attended many majority black churches, 2) black people have dined and slept in my home, 3) my daughter, with my hearty approval, almost married a black college classmate.

Onward, then. I would proffer some obvious evidences against the charge that the South and its flag ought to be shunned as nothing less than a “racist symbol.” Shall the U.S. Flag be associated exclusively with a given major sin from its history and be denied reverence?  Confederate Generals Lee and Jackson, for example, had no slaves while some northern generals did.  Moreover Initially the Northern goal in the war was the speedy restoration of theUnionunder the (racist) U.S. Constitution and the laws of 1861, all of which recognized the legitimacy of slavery.  Since interfering with slavery would make reunion more difficult, Union generals like George B. McClellan inVirginiaand Henry W. Halleck in the West were ordered not only to defeat the Southern armies but also to prevent slave insurrections – their liberation.  The slaves were not to be freed; the union was to be kept in tact.  This was alwaysLincoln’s stated goal.  During the first months of the war, slaves who escaped to Union lines were returned to their masters in conformity with the law: Fugitive Slave Act of 1850.

Why should the Southern flag be summarily denounced as a racist symbol and the Union flag get a pass? Old Glory may be called a racist symbol as well.Lincolnwas a racist; he did not believe in equality among the races.  He was a tyrant who locked upMarylandlegislators who were planning to vote for secession.  He believed in the racism which the Constitution established and loved theUnionto the extent that he would not allow the South the freedom to secede when the North was violating that Constitution. He believed in preserving theUnionat literally all costs and against the wishes of a free people to freely and by popular vote to withdraw from it. He was what the man who started the war which the South called, “The War of Northern Aggression.”

Some Quakers despise flags as idols and all wars as sinful.  Communists tend to despise all flags.  Among those living, mostU.S.flag haters also hated theU.S.involvement inSoutheast Asia. And some now despise the flag forU.S.involvement in theMiddle East.

There is plenty more indignation to find in Old Glory than there ever was in the Confederate Flag.  Consider the 4 million people in bonds in the South in 1861.  The fact that there were relatively few in the north does not excuse the fact that at the time of Independenceall colonies had slaves.  But consider that number compared to the murder of that number every three years by abortion under the U.S. Flag in the 21st century.

Which flag is more offensive to fly?

Those who abhor the Confederate flag might well find plenty more to complain about in the flying of Old Glory.  But we obviously do not fly our flags because they represent perfection.  We fly them because they represent us as a people united under God in pursuit of liberty and justice.   And when we fail to live up to the ideals they represent, we begin to despise our symbols or look around for alternatives.  We disintegrate.  Let us pursue national righteousness by upholding His laws and thus avoid His chastisements and judgments.  If we repent and seek to please Him, we may avoid the latter.

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