Not all flag supporters racist
Letter to the editor
Published: November 25, 2008
I am a resident of Culpeper, but I like Madison and always buy your weekly newspaper to keep informed on what is going on over there.
A statement in your Nov. 13 column caught my eye. In describing a celebration of Barack Obama’s election victory, you quote a Wolftown resident who saw a family going to vote with their Confederate flag-wearing children as saying, “Racism is alive and well in this county.” This is the type of ill-informed statement that drives me to distraction.
Assuming that an individual wearing a Confederate flag is a racist is just as dumb as concluding that a property owner displaying an Obama sign is a Marxist. Both are based on prejudice and ignorance.
I have Confederate soldier ancestors. I am also a retired U.S. Army officer who has happily served all over the country and around the world with people of all backgrounds and ethnicities. My wife is Hispanic.
I am not a racist, but I like the Confederate battle flag. For me it is a symbol of my ancestors’ sacrifices and willingness to fight for their homes, and I feel pride when I see it displayed in the proper context.
On a wall in my house I have a photograph of the Confederate battle flag under which my great-great grandfather from North Carolina marched into battle at Gettysburg. Would the gentleman from Wolftown conclude I was a racist from this evidence?
I would advise those who presume prejudice in others to first look to see if it exists within themselves.
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