Sunday, June 6, 2010

Don’t use flag for frivolous purposes

As a native Virginian, a student of the Civil War, a descendant of three Confederate great-great-grandfathers, a rebel re-enactor for 10 years, and someone whose last request is to be buried in a grey wool uniform, I have been troubled by the battle flag being used at football games and flaunted in the beds of pickup trucks. Compared to the bloody horrors of a Civil War battlefield, a football game is an insignificant and frivolous event. Using the same flag that flew over our gallant, brave, and heroic ancestors as they were being killed by the thousands to urge on a football team only trivializes that flag. Our flag certainly should never be used by those who would substitute it for their clenched fist in the faces of our African-American brethren. Both actions denigrate our colors.
All Confederate flags should be treated with reverence and flown only in historical settings: Civil War battlefields and re-enactments, Sons of Confederate Veterans programs and meetings, on graves, in museums and individual homes, etc. We should do this not because we are forced to do so, but because I believe our ancestors, who loved that flag and who suffered and died while following it, would want us to treat it with the utmost honor, dignity, and respect. If we don’t treat and think about our flag in this manner, how can we expect others to do so? Robert Vanover Kingsport

Everyone is a rebel from time to time

In view of the recent comments about the rebel flag, people will complain about anything because they are never satisfied. (I know a few who are like that.) I don’t see anything wrong about the flag. It is the name of teams at school. The rebel flag represents rebellion, mostly from young people. Whether it be from teachers or parents, or even people we work with, we all rebel against something from time to time. Parents that are strict will tell their teenage children not to drink. But nine out of 10 kids will do it anyway. This is a form of rebellion just to spite their strict parents. Teachers will tell people not to talk or throw things in class. They will do it anyway just to spite the teachers. When people go against other people’s wishes, it is rebellion just like the school; they are called rebels, so the rebel flag represents the teachers and the student body. Eddie Holdway Big Stone Gap, Va.