Re “Case of GOP Lockjaw,” editorial, Jan. 19: The attacks on Confederate symbols are impairing objectivity in the interpretation of history and in some cases even denying people the opportunity to learn about history. How many young people have never--because of censorship--heard the song “Dixie”?
Would removal of the Confederate flag from the South Carolina statehouse dome make anyone more racially or ethnically tolerant? (Or less intolerant?) No. Furthermore, the NAACP has rejected the proposed compromise of moving this flag to a Confederate monument on statehouse grounds.
It is painful to watch quintessential Yankee William F. Buckley Jr. engage in rhetorical contortions as he defends South Carolina’s rebel flag on behalf of “Boy George” Bush (Commentary, Jan. 19).
As Buckley himself points out, the flag has nothing to do with remembering the South’s Civil War dead and everything to do with opposition to the basic concepts of racial equality embodied in Brown vs. Board of Education. In a word, racism. Unfortunately, that’s the kind of pathetic pandering the Republican Party has been reduced to. Perhaps Bush should revisit his own Yankee heritage.
CHARLIE G. DODSON
How Buckley ever gets published remains one of history’s great mysteries. Buckley figures that if he drops in enough words like “reliquary” and “evanescent,” we will scratch our chins long enough to think we see his point.
Buckley would have us believe that South Carolina isn’t celebrating racism and slavery by flying the Confederate flag. Rather, they are merely reacting in protest against the destruction of their Southern “idealism” and “particularism.” How so? By the dismantling of Jim Crow, the Brown decision and other civil rights-related acts. So it is the greatest collective decisions in our nation’s history that prompt South Carolina to fly that hateful symbol over their statehouse?
It is indefensible and even more offensive with Buckley’s rationale. Rip that flag down now!
DAVID A. PEREZ
Re Bill Press’ “Take Down Those Stars and Bars,” Jan. 19: Has he checked out the state flag of Arkansas? C’mon, Bill. Hop to it! Or is your blind and hypocritical loyalty going to ignore this little detail?
Not long ago, liberals told anyone who was offended by the burning of our U.S. flag that such a contemptuous display was an exercise of the desecrater’s right to free speech. Now those same liberals are demanding that a sovereign state yield to their wishes and take down a Confederate battle flag that flies third on the state capitol’s pole.
Respect for the display of the U.S. flag is indeed a matter of concern for all Americans and only Americans. The display of any flag in South Carolina, according to the liberals’ own handbook, is protected by both the 1st and 10th amendments. It is a matter of concern to all South Carolinans and only South Carolinans. After all, it is just a piece of cloth.
JOHN F. TINTLE
The Confederate flag is the symbol of a (proto-) nation that was defeated by the current one. Shouldn’t this be enough reason to remove it from a current member of the union’s capitol building?