Article on Confederate Flag Draws Threat

Provencal-Flags

City Hall Flags – Provencal, Louisiana

By Edwin Crayton

An anonymous caller has threatened of one of the content providers of the Natchitoches Parish Journal.com for running an article asking why the Confederate flag flies over city hall in Provencal, Louisiana. Read the article at http://wp.me/p5VQCS-Ky

The fact that someone actually threatened a life merely for publishing an article questioning the flag’s legitimacy illustrates the vicious hatred that still surrounds the controversial symbol.  And it also demonstrates why a growing number of people across the nation are calling for it to be removed from government buildings.  In the interest of full disclosure, I must share that I wrote that article on the Confederate flag flying over the city hall.

The article simply polled whites and African Americans and asked them what they felt when they saw the Confederate flag flying. While several whites and African Americans differed on whether the flag is positive or negative, most agreed that some saw it as a symbol of heritage and people in both groups also acknowledged that it stirred up division.

Indeed, one thing no one can deny, the flag is indeed divisive and tends to open up old wounds. Perhaps this is why even General Robert E. Lee, the south’s top general in the Civil War distanced himself from the flag. In a story from CNN.com, quite surprisingly, Lee is quoted as having said about the flag, “I think it wiser moreover not to keep open the sores of war,” Lee is said to have written this in a letter declining to attend a battlefield Memorial in Gettysburg. The CNN article goes on to comment that there were no flags flown at his funeral, “Confederate or otherwise.”Read the article at: http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/24/us/confederate-flag-myths-facts/

Before the Journal article ran, the city hall at Provencal flew two Confederate flags. But curiously after the news story ran, one of the Confederate flags was replaced with an African Liberation flag but it was flown upside down for some reason. I wondered if that was on purpose or just an accident resulting from ignorance of the flag. So I called Provencal’s mayor to ask about that and about the Confederate flag they’re still flying, but did got get a response by press time.

Supporters of the flag claim that they support it because it’s part of their heritage. But what heritage are they referring to? A look at the history of the Confederate flag, which is technically referred to as the “battle flag” reveals that the truth is, the flag’s entire history has been connected to hate and violence. After a lull in popularity for years, in the 1950s and 60s, the flag began to experience a rebirth, as the Klux Klux Klan and other racist groups began to use the symbol in their opposition to integration and to demonstrate support of white supremacy. Indeed the KKK uses it today quite prominently. In the1950s, angry white mobs who tried to prevent 9 black children from integrating schools in Little Rock, waved the flag as they attacked and cursed the brave high school students, who had to be led into schools by armed federal officers for protection. In the tragic murder of white Civil Rights worker Viola Liuzzo, the flag appeared at rallies as people actually celebrated her killing. But its impact as a racist symbol isn’t limited to America. In a story on businesinsider.com, Matthew Speiser wrote an article that reported that in Germany today, because Nazis are banned from flying the Swastika, they fly the Confederate flag. He adds, “Nazis have adopted the Confederate flag and variations of it because of its historical association as a symbol of racism and white supremacy.” And then of course, we know that Dylan Roof, the young racist who shot the African American church goers in church, prior to the act, had a photo taken of himself holding a Confederate flag. Ironically, despite his act of hatred, in this case the hate crime didn’t inspire racial violence, but offers of Christian forgiveness from the church.

With a heritage of violence, division and racism like that, the question should be, why would anyone really try to claim with a straight face that the flag is just about heritage? And again, if it is, is it a heritage we need to celebrate? To be fair, people have a right to wear it or display it at home. But the question is, should a government building fly such a clearly divisive symbol since government facilities are supposed to represent all the people? When a person feels he must threaten someone simply for an article that criticizes the flag, the final question we all need to ask is, is flying any flag really worth all that?

Rebel Flag

The flag we’ve come to know as the Confederate Flag is really the Battle Flag of the Confederacy and was not the original flag. The sad but historical reality is the flag is most famous for being the one used by white supremacist groups starting in the 1950s and continuing today.

6 thoughts on “Article on Confederate Flag Draws Threat

  1. Really…of all the things to spend time and energy on, people choose THIS? Aren’t there much more important things to deal with? The more time we spend focused on such trivial things, the less time we can spend on what truly matters. This whole issue is just a diversion from the truly important things. At the end of the day, whether or not this flag stays or goes, will either option truly make a difference in the quality of your life? Will either option make you a better person? No.

  2. Hmmm. Where are you from, Boy?? Certainly aren’t from around here, are you?? Why is it only divisive because you deem it such?? What about the dozens of pictures circulating on social networks of black folks rallying around the flag?? What about the black regiments in the Civil War who fought under that flag?? Yes, their pictures were posted also. So just whom is it divisive towards?? Black from white?? North from South?? Are you one of the ones who wants to rid our history of all the statues of our heroes, too?? Erasing history doesn’t make it not so. If you want to find divisiveness you can find it anywhere. Yes, I’m prejudiced. Each time I choose cornbread over white bread I’m displaying a prejudice towards cornbread. At least for that meal. Without folks like you intentionally trying to stir up trouble there would be none. It frankly disappoints me that this website would even post a letter as juvenile as yours. I don’t fly that flag on any of my vehicles or my home but any and every person has the right to. Including municipalities if that is the consensus of their voters. If the voters want it taken down then I’m sure it will be. We sure don’t need folks like you going around trying their best to stir up trouble where none exists.

  3. Why was it that we were able to get along so peacefully for so many years with Rebel flags flying in the south, but all of a sudden its now a problem.. Any “death threats” are inexcusable, but I would like the writer to sit back and think, what if I am on the other side of this argument. What about the people who fly the Confederate flag.. don’t you think they would be mad at you for telling them to take it down because you don’t agree with it?? We don’t have to agree with each other, Lord knows I don’t with a lot of things that are more important in this parish than this, but we should respect each other and try and work for the greater good..

  4. I think it’s sorry that a life would be threatened over writing on any subject. That being said, I think the biggest conflict is not so much about heritage, but rights. It seems that more and more of our rights are being taken away and this is just another example. It seems that government responds more to the minority of dislike than the majority of likes. Say you don’t want prayers in school and at the football games and it’s done. What about all those that didn’t want it removed? When was their voices heard? Many many more examples but space is short to list them all. It boils down to taking our rights and freedom of speech and expression. That’s what the fight is really about. Wondering what will be next. Will the government watch all of your articles and only let you print what they approve of??

  5. If you’re going to be a little instigator who denies this flag is a part of our heritage, don’t be surprised when you elicit an emotional response from your readers.

  6. Mind your own business people .if it’s a problem let the people vote of city if it’s at someone’s house or car deal with it . There’s alot that offends me . From what I read if this offends you the fleur-de-lis must too. You can fly Isis,rainbow,any other nations flag. But this flag is the one who offends you give me a break get you a hobby and a life .And if it’s not on your property it’s none of your business get over it

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