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2014-01-08 / Opinions

LETTERS

I-95 Confederate flag: legal but not wise

Rarely have I ever felt the need to express my concerns in the editorial pages of any newspaper. However, the recent display of a Confederate flag over the most traveled highway in the world rouses my concern. Although Virginia is arguably one of the most progressive states in the nation, nearly 150 years after the Civil War there seems to be a faction of people who want to live in the past or try to make what “could have been” a reality. The Civil War has been over for a long time; however, the Confederate flag remains a symbol of oppression to 13 percent of our nation’s population. This fact is reason enough not to fly it over Interstate 95.

I think now would be a good time to set some facts straight and correct some of the erroneous statements perpetrated by the Virginia Flaggers, the group responsible for the banner being flown.

1. The “stars and bars” banner that is being flown was not the flag of the Confederate States of America. It is in fact the battle ensign for the Army of Northern Virginia (Gen. Robert Lee’s unit). There were several Confederate flags, each had a white field and some variation of the stars and bars.

2. Spokesmen for the Virginia Flaggers claim that the flag being flown is a monument to southern Civil War soldiers because “this was their flag.” We know this to be untrue. I think that Virginia Flaggers should look into their hearts and explore their true motives.

3. The Virginia Flaggers claims that they had no idea that the banner would generate the controversy and publicity that it has. This is less than truthful. What did they expect would happen following the placement of a 15-by-15-foot reminder of oppression and evil? Make no mistake about it, the adoption of this symbol by hate groups such as the Ku Klux Klan has tarnished the image of the Confederate battle ensign.

Unfortunately it has become a true banner of evil for millions of Americans. The Virginia Flaggers make the claim that the battle ensign does not represent evil. One could make this same argument about the swastika; however, I think most Jewish people would disagree with that.

We have enough present and future challenges as a nation. Let’s not resurrect quarrels from 150 years ago that distract us from the present. I consider myself a simple person and I truly believe in respecting the personal freedoms of everyone. I am not questioning the legality of placing this flag next to I-95. I am questioning the wisdom of doing it.

Delwyn D. Logan
Petersburg

No synagogue in county

Once again, you have produced a noteworthy article. I am referring to “‘There have to be Jews in Chesterfield’” in the Dec. 25 [and ironically enough, Christmas] issue.

I have lived in Chesterfield County for 20 years but was totally unaware that there are absolutely no Jewish synagogues here, notwithstanding Congregation Or Ami on Huguenot Road that you cited.

I am an agnostic that was raised in a Lutheran household, so theologically it makes little or no difference to me. However, from a purely demographic/academic standpoint, I find that to be a stunning revelation for a county with 320,000 or so people.

I always learn a great deal from your articles. Keep up the good work.

Robert Greiner
Chesterfield

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