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Letters to the Editor: Stars and Bars symbolizes racism not history

Published: March 27, 2009
Section: Opinions


Dear Editor,

In last week’s column “Symbol hijacking: Give us back our symbols!” (March 20, 2009) Jordan Rothman wrote “I would like to have a small Confederate flag on my desk, so that I may display my interest in southern history.” Actually, having a Confederate flag on his desk would display Jordan’s ignorance of Southern history. What we recognize today as the Confederate flag was not the official flag of the states that declared themselves “the Confederacy,” but simply one of several battle flags that disappeared completely after the Civil War. It was not used again until the mid 1950s when it was resurrected during the Civil Rights Movement as a clear symbol of white supremacy.

White supremacy is all that flag means today. Even if Jordan wishes to erase this part of this part of Southern history, he would be displaying the symbol of those who, unprovoked, made war against the United States of America, unilaterally breaking the Social Contract they had agreed to under the Constitution, for no reason other than their discontent with the outcome of a free and fair (by the standards of its time) election and their desire to expand the institution of slavery. Either Jordan’s flag is the symbol of White Supremacists or of traitors and anarchists. If he wishes to display his interest in Southern history, I suggest an old map, old newspaper, or a Civil War battlefield poster instead.

Rivka Maizlish ’10