Official Wants Authentic Confederate Flags Returned to Texas
Thursday, 28 Jan 2010
In the shadow of the Lone Star State capital towers a mounted warrior carved from stone.
It is a monument to Terry’s Texas Rangers – fierce cavalrymen who warred for the Confederacy a century and half ago.
"You would describe them as hell raisers," says Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson.
Some 1,700 rode off to serve, but less than two hundred were still mounted by war’s end. Somewhere between the battles of Shiloh and Bentonville, Terry’s Texas Rangers lost a treasured flag.
A hundred-fifty odd years later Patterson, a former U.S. Marine, is leading the charge to get the battle flag back.
"Candidly, I don’t think those flags should be there, they should be here," he says. "They’re in the case of the ranger flag is a museum in Chicago.
"These flags were lost on the battlefield. Their home is in Texas. They were carried into battle by Texas troops and they ought to be in Texas where those of us with a historic interest in these flags are able to view them," he adds.
It’s a rescue mission some might view as misguided. The emblem, after all, was carried by troops whose government sought to perpetuate slavery.
Among students studying history at the University of Houston the issue aroused strong reactions.
"There may be some value to some people, but there are others who may find it offensive," said UH student Jessica Capistran.
"We don’t need to, being that its in the past," said UH student Chris Ramsey of the flag acquisition effort. "Leave it in the past and look to the future."
UH Senior Brandon Chizer sees the retrieval attempt differently.
"It’s like learning about the holocaust. That’s painful for a lot of people, but should we not learn about it because it was bad? No, if we don’t learn about it, we are doomed to repeat it right? Isn’t that the point of history?" he asked.
Commissioner Patterson couldn’t agree more and believes these emblems of by-gone days can trigger deeper understanding.
Reason enough, he contends, to bring a banner home.
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