The confederate flag doesn’t stand for bigotry and hate, it stands for southern pride. A heritage that teaches courage and resiliency, freedom and the same rights fought for and won in the Revolution. The confederate flag and other symbols of southern heritage have been kidnapped by men and women whose narrow perspective of the world has led them to damaged, bigoted, and hateful thinking.
If we remove the symbols of our past that have been used in hate, in wars that were fought for defective reasons, and battles that helped one group but horrifically damaged another then we would have to remember that in our gaining this country we nearly destroyed the people who lived here, the Native Americans who were here before “America.” We would have to forget not only Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee, but Thomas Jefferson and John F. Kennedy. We would have to forget Harry S. Truman, Malcolm X and many others we consider heroes.
Philosopher and writer George Santayana said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
Likewise, Winston Churchill wisely said, “When the situation was manageable it was neglected, and now that it is thoroughly out of hand we apply too late the remedies which then might have effected a cure. There is nothing new in the story. It is as old as the sibylline books. It falls into that long, dismal catalogue of the fruitlessness of experience and the confirmed unteachability of mankind. Want of foresight, unwillingness to act when action would be simple and effective, lack of clear thinking, confusion of counsel until the emergency comes, until self-preservation strikes its jarring gong–these are the features which constitute the endless repetition of history.”
Destroying all the remnants of our history, even those which offend many will not make the past disappear but may very likely doom us to repeat its mistakes. Rather than eradicate the reminders of a difficult and horrific history, let us together learn from it and improve our present and future.