Friday, June 11, 2010

Flag inspires mixed emotions

I have been following the letters pertaining to the use of the Confederate flag at South High School with interest. As a 63-year-old white male growing up in the South, I came to have conflicting opinions about displaying the flag. While it serves as reminder of the heroism and sacrifice of both Union and Confederate soldiers at Bull Run, Chancellorsville, Chickamauga, Gettysburg and other Civil War battles, it also brings to mind some despicable actions: the 1958 Clinton High School bombing, the 1963 Birmingham church bombing that killed four young girls, George Wallace blocking the schoolhouse door in Tuscaloosa in 1963, Lester Maddox and his axe handles at the Pickrick Restaurant in 1964, the 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King and decades of discrimination.
As a citizen, you have the absolute First Amendment right to display the Confederate flag if you so desire. However, I am not so sure that the mixed reactions to the flag make it a fit symbol to be displayed at a high school event.
James Lee