I was shocked when I first saw a Confederate flag on a pickup truck in Charleston. I am a 66-year-old American, but I have only rarely seen this until moving here. I have heard why they do it. It is free speech, but do they know what it says to the rest of us Americans? Put aside for a minute the idea that the Southern States promoted the ownership of humans as slaves. The Confederate flag was not a flag of the United States. It is not American. That flag is the battle flag of a sovereign nation, a foreign power created to attack the United States and destroy our government, and used in battles against us. It should never be flown beside our flag. The Southern States did not just secede from our Union and live in harmony. They took up arms against the United States, and tried to destroy our country. They killed hundreds of thousands of us in battles where they flew that flag. There is no difference between the Confederate flag and an ISIS flag, or the Nazi flag. Actually the Confederate States were worse, because they were our fellow Americans who turned on us. Their reasons don’t excuse their betrayal. Is it about heritage? Are we expected to honor their heroism in battle against us? My great-grandfather fought for the Confederacy under Bedford Forrest and was in the Ku Klux Klan. But I do not honor that. He was wrong. I honor my country, the United States of America. All true patriotic Americans reject those who attack us for any reason. That was treason in its purest form. Let that ancient war die, and keep that flag in the history books. That flag represents hatred of our country and of us.
Cynthia Adams, Charleston