Open forum: Union, Confederate flags are symbols of liberty
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Some further comments on the Civil War Confederacy are in order, in reference
to the article stating that we should not permit political correctness to destroy
our nation’s actual historic heritage.Slavery existed in northern as well
as southern states prior to the Civil War. The slaves of the north were house
slaves, as contrasted with the African plantation workers in the south. Racial
segregation after the war existed in both north and south. The U.S. Supreme Court,
in voting to codify Jim Crow laws in the case of Plessy v. Ferguson, based their
decision on a Massachusetts legal precedent, and all the federal judges who approved
the Jim Crow laws, except one, were northerners.
The southern states referred to the same language in the Declaration of Independence
for their cause, as the colonists in their rebellion against England 80 years
earlier. Insofar as the states had joined the Union voluntarily, they felt it
was their God-given right to leave it if they felt so disposed. Thus, the Confederate
flag is not a symbol of racism and slavery, any more than is the Union flag. Rather,
it is a symbol of liberty to choose one’s own political associations freely.
This was the view of Thomas Jefferson, as starkly contrasted with the idea of
an omnipotent central, federal government advocated by Alexander Hamilton and
supported by Abraham Lincoln.
Today, we are faced with an all-powerful federal central government, which
has long ago violated the Constitution’s 10th Amendment. Confederate historic
symbols should be retained today, to remind us of the urgency of reversing this
disastrous trend towards final and total tyranny from Washington, D.C.
Lawrence K. Marsh, Gaithersburg