COMMON sense is prevailing in regard to the Confederate flag.
The state attorney general’s office in South Carolina recently gave the opinion that a Confederate flag displayed at the Citadel military college in Charleston can keep flying even though there were objections that it is offensive, according to a recent report by Reuters.
A Charleston County councilman objected to the flag, which has flown in the college’s Summerall Chapel since 1939, and he wanted nearly $1 million in public funding cut from the school. He told the Charleston newspaper that “it’s just still as if they are trying to preserve the Confederacy.”
The flag has been there for 75 years, and reports of special endeavors or uprisings to preserve the Confederacy haven’t been overwhelming during that three-quarters of a century.
Then, too, South Carolina’s 2000 Heritage Act protects “monuments and memorials honoring the gallantry and sacrifice in this state’s various wars.”
That law came into being as a result of years of controversy concerning the flying of a Confederate flag over the State House in Columbia. As a result of the Heritage Act, the flag was moved to a Confederate memorial on the South Carolina Capitol grounds.
The South lost the Civil War, but that bloody conflict resulted in approximately 600,000 deaths on both sides, including some199,110 Confederate war dead.
A Civil War Trust website reported people, even those on the international scene, were shocked at the unprecedented violence of battles such as those at Shiloh, Antietam, Stones River and Gettysburg. Most consider those battles to be Union victories (providing anything so bloody can be thought of as victorious).
THE CONFEDERATE flag at the chapel at the Citadel could be considered as a memorial for those Southerners who died. They’re also Americans even though the leaders in that long-ago war weren’t in agreement with the thinking in the North.
As early as 1866, some Southern women laid flowers on the graves of both Union and Confederate soldiers.
Although that was a time when thoughts and effects of the bloody conflict were still fresh, this action could be a sign of forgiveness to some extent.
THE WAR which divided our county ended long ago. It would have been mean-spirited to remove a flag from the chapel where forgiveness is emphasized.