Many citizens of the United States of America, the winning side in the Civil War, by the way, accurately view the Confederate battle flag as representing a government which sought to perpetuate the slavery of a specific race of people. Many of us had ancestors who, though owning no slaves, enlisted to fight for the Confederate States of America for principles unrelated to slavery. Many descendants of Confederate soldiers tend to see the Confederate flag, “Dixie” and Johnny Reb as honorable symbols of our ancestral heritage, not as emblems of hate or racism. Regardless of how innocent we may rightfully intend to portray this heritage, these divisive symbols should no longer be forced upon half the Fort Smith high school graduates to serve as a heritage of their education.
Michael S. Cole, M.D.