Originally created 12/08/96

Hails action on `banner of slavery'

Gov. David Beasley is showing great courage and leadership as South Carolina finally gives serious consideration to removing the Confederate flag from our State House. You have accused the governor of breaking a campaign promise. Maybe so, but the Confederate flag really isn't an issue at all. Issues include education, economic growth, crime, and taxation - things that really matter.

The Confederate flag is just that - a flag. Sure, it's a part of our heritage. So are the flags of Great Britain, Spain, Hungary, Mexico and China. If we were to have all the flags of our heritage flying over the State House, our capital would look like the opening ceremonies of the Olympic games.

I agree, however, that the Confederate flag is uniquely ours, a symbol of the breakup of our country because of slavery. That's it, period. Not a memorial to war dead, or a reminder of the importance of states' rights. It was the banner for those who wanted to destroy the United States in order to preserve slavery.

Removing such a symbol is akin to removing the bandages of a wound on the mend. Blacks across the South feel the pain of slavery, segregation and bigotry every time the flag waves in their sight. By taking it from atop the capital, our governor is saying, "This state doesn't want you to hurt anymore." It is a very positive step forward for a state which has struggled with a reputation as an oppressor to minorities.

You want to fly the Confederate flag? That's OK by me, but fly it over your business or your home. Stick it on the bumper of your vehicle. You have that right. But the only place the state of South Carolina should fly the flag is inside the state museum. ...

Greg Capers, North Augusta


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