Flag a symbol of defiance

Published 5:31 pm Tuesday, August 11, 2015


In response to Joe Scheid (“Different view of the Confederacy,” Friday, July 31), he asked a question of how many Union soldiers were “pillaging rapists” to besmirch the reputation of the entire army? I ask, “How many does it take?”

How many cases of rape were visited on civilians of the South by Union soldiers? History may never know. Only a few would be enough to strike terror.

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Mr. Scheid said it was “flawed judgment” by those who wished to fly the Confederate flag today. The stigma of losing that war and the atrocities that came with it lives on. If Lincoln’s objective was to preserve the Union, acts of northern aggression on civilians with personal acts of violence on the helpless wasn’t the right approach to bring a nation together. Lincoln may be highly revered but, it was he who signed off and condoned this manner of war against the South making the Civil War anything but “civil.” What Lincoln visited on the Southern civilians via the Union army was enough to spark a greater cause for Southern secession than any unfair tariffs or the preservation of slavery.

Flying the Confederate flag is an attempt to preserve Southern pride after a humiliating defeat. It’s a symbol of defiance. Though not able to vindicate (on the battlefield) its desire to become a separate nation, the flag represents a resolve of southerners to be a people apart. If those in the South want to fly the Confederate flag, it’s a small consolation. After all, the South lost the war. Mr. Scheid needs to go easy on assigning the word “traitor” to the leaders of the South. Had George Washington lost his battle for independence and this country were to be known today as the “United Kingdom of America,” history books would refer to George Washington as a quintessential traitor. Both the Union and Confederates were fighting for freedom as George Washington fought for “freedom.” Since Washington won his war, he was not imprisoned, shot or hanged by the British, but rather became the first president of the United States! Had the Confederacy won in Gettysburg (and ultimately the whole war), the “Stars and Bars” flag would be highly honored today along with Davis and Lee as celebrated heroes (liken to George Washington) of the “Southern States of America!”

Karl Schmidt