Dear Fellow Southerners,
I am proud of my Southern Heritage, I am proud of my ancestors who fought for what they believed. I grew up in Lexington Virginia where two Southern military giants are buried. I attended a school steeped in the traditions of the South, I belong to a fraternity that is also steeped in Southern tradition, and lastly my abiding academic interest has always been Southern political history.
Now let me tell you something, the Confederate States lost. Yes they were defeated, Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant on April 9, 1865, Jefferson Davis was captured and imprisoned, and the last of the Confederate forces gave it up by June 1865. In April 1865 the Confederate States of America ceased to exist and became a part of the history books.
When the first former Confederate used the Confederate Battle Flag to terrorize freed Black Southerners it ceased to a banner worthy of admiration. Its honor was besmirched; it ties to a heritage of bravery severed.
Patrician Southerners have claimed it was an honorable symbol, but they did nothing to condemn the racism of Klan and other hate groups, they did nothing to end the terrorism of the Klan; the only action they took was to insure that freed Blacks were denied the right to vote, that Jim Crow segregation was imposed, that Southern Blacks were enslaved in a legal and social slavery that guaranteed they were at best second class citizens.
Imagine for a moment if Germans were to display the Nazi flag, we would be going high and to the right demanding they take it down because of what it represents as a symbol. The Confederate Battle Flag, or any Confederate Flag for that matter is a symbol of hate; it is a symbol of terrorism.
My fellow Southerners it time to take the flags down, it is time to put them in the museums. It is time to quit pretending the Confederate Flag is anything but a symbol of hate.
Henry J. Foresman, Jr.