Ignorance and prejudice are powerful forces. In his letter "Confederate flag still offends many" (May 13), Greg M. Garnett beautifully illustrates the power of both. His letter is based upon pure emotion, and sadly lacks historical facts.
The Georgia state flag was changed in 1956 to incorporate the Confederate battle emblem to celebrate the approaching centennial of the War Between the States. If Mr. Garnett would take to time to make use of the Internet, books and even legislative records, he might overcome his prideful ignorance and discover the truth.
Slavery has been around for thousands of years and has been practiced in every corner of the world. Slave trafficking is still practiced today in some Muslim nations.
At the time of the American Revolution, the colonies still engaged in slavery. However, the British had abandoned the "peculiar institution." From these facts we could conclude that our war for independence was fought over the singular issue of slavery. The colonists wanted their slaves and feared that the Crown might remove this right.
But we all know that the American Revolution was not fought over slavery -- and neither was the War Between the States. There was a whole host of issues that led to the war between the North and South. To say otherwise is to oversimplify the complexity of political associations.
We might also need to remember that it was the Stars and Stripes that flew over many a slave ship chartered out of Northern ports. Many Northern families grew wealthy from slave sales in the South. There is enough blame to go around for everyone, not just the former Confederate states
I recall the words of my grandfather who died in 1978 at the age of 87 years. He always spoke with pride regarding his grandfather, a private in the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia.
The South has every right to honor her past with the symbols of her history.
James L. Cavanah II