The editor’s view on The Confederate Flag
First, I believe in the freedom of speech for all people; especially those with whom I disagree vehemently. If we attempt to abridge the freedom of speech for our ideological opposites, then we have completely missed the point of what the freedom of speech was designed to do. It is clear that a private citizen has the right to say or wear whatever they damn well please, without consideration of the ugliness of their words, without government censure. Conversely, other private citizens are also free to say whatever they damn well please about those same people. That is how this system works.
That same freedom of speech has been put to work in the capitalistic market where individual consumers have banded together to threaten retailers with boycotts and protests if they continue to sell the confederate flag. I see nothing wrong with this, as it is merely freedom of speech in action.
However, the conversation about the confederate flag that is presently ongoing doesn’t have a thing to do with an individual’s freedom of speech. It has to do with state governments who give representation in the public to a symbol of slavery and racism. One can say that the flag represents heritage…but that heritage is of hundreds of years of slavery and racism, so why are we splitting hairs?
The confederate flag being flown over government buildings is similar in the reasoning as to why government does not endorse specific religions, because if they do they must give the same endorsement to all religions. We can see examples around the nation as to why this is a bad idea. The Temple of Satan, in Missouri, has been giving the public a wet slap in the face to the reality of equal representation. The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster also comes to mind. For the system to be truly fair, southern state governments must give equal space to every flag and those who wish to see it flown. Since they are unwilling to do that, it exposes their hypocrisy.
Flying a confederate flag over government property is akin to the loser of a war flying their flag as if they won. We don’t have a Japanese flag flying over islands in the Pacific that were lost and regained in WW2, for example.
The confederacy lost, and therefore their flag has no place on government property except in a museum.