Originally written for the Fourth of July, 2015
|From a post on FB The Veterans Site|
|D. Denise Dianaty|
I had many relatives who fought in the Civil War; I do not feel the need to fly their battle flag any more than I feel the need to fly the flags of any other of my ancestors. I had relatives who sided with the British in the Revolution and in the war of 1812 -- you probably do as well. I had relatives who sided with the Scots against the British in every single war they ever fought against each other; in the same wars, I had British ancestors who fought the Scots. Heck, I even had Scottish ancestors who fought with the British (Scottish nobility usually hedged their bets and sent a son to fight with each side). I’m as proud of my Scottish ancestry as I am of my Southern ancestry and heritage -- AND my American heritage. A historical emblem cannot change that. But, that emblem and all Confederate monuments belong in the museums, in permanent historical portrayals, and in the history books alongside the artifacts of all the wars in which my ancestors fought. Confederate icons do not and never have belonged on display any more than Nazi monuments belong on display.
Just like my dear friend and black former neighbor who sits and prays with me on Sundays at our local church, and just like my immigrant Middle Eastern husband (and father of my child), I am a citizen of the United States of America -- UNITED.
Further, to say that the Confederate Battle Flag or any Confederate monument is NOT an emblem divisiveness is, at best, naïve. Those monuments were set up years after the end of the Civil war precisely for the purpose of making it clear to the freed slaves that the white man still decided their fates, that their destinies would never be their own. That flag and all those monuments were always and are still emblems of Civil War… of the division of America… of the Union of our forefathers torn asunder – by Confederate forefathers who were TRAITORS to and waged a bloody war to destroy our United States of America. The flag is inarguably a them-versus-us emblem. And, it is, or should be, a reminder of the humiliation and tragedy of that period -- after all, the Confederacy LOST that war and the Union of the UNITED States of America was preserved.
Finally, should our ethnic minorities have to tread the halls of public government buildings under what is a sign of their marginalization to so many?
We agree on so many points, Denise. I will not display, and never have displayed, that symbol of the Confederacy. Why just inflame the emotions that divide us? On this day when we celebrate our birth as a unified republic, I'll display only the Stars and Stripes. Coming from Texas, where we have a stubborn and independent streak, I'm proud that we became an independent republic, but even more proud that we're part of the USA.
That said, the controversy over the Confederate flag has generated a knee-jerk reaction with regard to ALL relics and symbols of the Confederacy. I don't believe in taking down all memorial statues, and for example, I disagree with the National Cathedral removing stained-glass windows. It's important to preserve at least some of our history, if only in museums.
Thanks for giving me the opportunity to air my views on this Independence Day--Independence Day for the UNITED States of America.
©4 July 2015