HOT off the Wire
Racism has tarnished a historic flag ~
By: Northwest Florida Daily News
Three flags fly above a Crestview War Memorial in Crestview Florida.
Together they tell the history and life story of Civil War veteran William "Uncle Bill" Lundy.
One day, I'm going to go up there and see it. And I'm going to take my son, John. I want to explain to him what one of them, the Confederate battle flag, really stands for. I want him to understand the history of the South.
When he looks at the Confederate battle flag, I want him to see what I as a southerner see.
I want him to visualize a time in our history when there was no electricity,
no modern conveniences, and the mailman rode on a horse. I want him
to understand everyone in the South wasn't a wealthy land or slave
owner. I want him to know 79 percent of the 6.2 million southerners
in 1860 were not slave owners. I want him to think about the real
people of the South.
I want to tell him about the Confederate battle flag. About how Confederate soldiers used the flag to identify their units because they had no other means of communication. I want my son to understand the importance of the flag to the Confederate troops.
I envision a troop of ragged, wounded soldiers, mostly white but dotted here and there with blacks and Indians. I see them camped on a hillside writing letters on any scraps of paper they could find. Writing letters home, spilling their souls and then picking up their guns again to fight and die for their cause. I see their battle flag flapping in the breeze - a symbol of what they are fighting for.
What were they fighting for? Was it all over slavery? Or was it about a nation divided culturally, economically and politically? Did southerners fear the growing power of federal government? Did the federal government impose an undue proportion of the taxation burden on the South? Did southerners view the North the same way their forefathers viewed the British? These are questions I want to discuss with my son.
British author Charles Dickens said of the American
Civil War: "Union means so many millions a year lost to the South; secession means the loss of the same millions to the North. The love of money is the root of this, as of many other evils. The quarrel between the North and South is, as it stands, solely a fiscal quarrel."
That is part of what I want my son to understand when he looks at the Confederate battle flag. The Civil War wasn't fought over racism or hatred; it was fought because our nation was divided over many issues. North against South.
We can't change history, and likewise we shouldn't try to bury it. One day I'll explain to my son how racism and hatred have tarnished the image of the Confederate battle flag. But, for now, I just want him to understand the real meaning of that flag.
Lundy was the last surviving Civil War veteran in Florida. His memorial is probably the most appropriate place in the world to fly the Confederate battle flag.
Lundy was an integral part of the history of the South, and so is that flag.
Daily News columnist Brenda Paprocki can be reached
"DONKEY FOR SALE"
A city boy, Kenny, moved to the country and bought a donkey from an old farmer for $100.00. The farmer agreed to deliver the donkey the next day. The next day the farmer drove up and said, "Sorry son, but I have some bad news, the donkey died." Kenny replied, "Well then, just give me my money back." The farmer said, "Can't do that. I went and spent it already." Kenny said, "OK then, just unload the donkey." The farmer asked, "What you gonna do with him?" "I'm going to raffle him off." "You can't raffle off a dead donkey!" "Sure I can. Watch me. I just won't tell anybody he is dead."
A month later the farmer met up with Kenny and asked,
"What happened with that dead Donkey?" Kenny said, "I
raffled him off. I sold 500 tickets at two dollars apiece and made a
profit of $898.00." "Didn't anyone complain?" "Just
the guy who won. So I gave him his two dollars back."
Camp fundraiser anyone?
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