How dare you insult this
I read with sad amazement the editorial brief by
Bob Caylor in The News-Sentinel. Caylor’s comparison of the
Confederate battle flag to a shirt with a four-letter word for
excrement on it should offend all readers but certainly any with
any ties to the Southern states. His naive perceptions of
America’s bloodiest war cause question as to exactly what level of
educational attainment he may have risen.
Although we of the Indiana Division, Sons of
Confederate Veterans, agree with Bloomington South Principal Mark
Fletcher that this issue provides a “teaching opportunity,” what
will he do with it? Will the school system provide the same
politically correct propaganda we were all fed as elementary
school students or eliminate the ignorance of historical fact that
caused his initial problem?
Should we continue to ignore the fact that the War
between the States occurred because for the first time an American
president called for 75,000 men to invade a weaker neighbor whose
president declared, “We only wish to be left alone”? Will racial
tensions be decreased if we continue to hide the fact that the
U.S. Constitution protected the tragic condition of slavery for
more than 80 years and did not end it for nearly a year after the
Confederacy existed? Will high school students make better
citizens if they don’t realize that soldiers who fought under the
Stars and Stripes fought not to end slavery but rather to force
the southern states back into a union for political rather than
humanitarian reasons? Will we perpetuate the myth of “Father
Abraham,” who declared repeatedly that this war was being waged
not to end slavery but to preserve the Union? Why is it so hard
for us all to admit that 19th-century America was a racist place
to live and many lessons could be learned from it? Here are two
reasons: The young scholars who could make a difference are not
provided the facts of history, and newspapers print editorials
based on sensational rants with no basis in fact.
I am proud to be a Son of a Confederate Veteran!
Stephen Lee Ritchie
Recruiting Officer Indiana Division Sons of Confederate Veterans
A primer on
How is it possible that you identify a single flag
(usually the Army of North Virginia Battle Flag) as “the”
Confederate Flag? There were four “official” national flags, none
of which is the battle flag that represented the Confederate
States of America, the Bonnie Blue Flag, the First National Flag
(also called the Stars and Bars, which closely resembled the
American Flag on which it was based), the Second National Flag
(called the Stainless Banner) and the last flag, technically still
the legal flag of the Confederate States of America, the Second
National Flag with a red vertical stripe on the outside right
edge. There were approximately 80 versions of the Confederate
You went on to say that “the flag of the
Confederacy can’t be separated from that rebel government’s
support for slavery and its secession that precipitated the Civil
There are two factual mistakes in this single
sentence; they are both common assumptions. First, since you are
clearly talking about the battle flag, it was never connected with
the Confederate government. It was a soldier’s flag. It never
represented or stood for any political cause. The second error was
your assumption that only the Confederate government stood for
slavery. The first 13th Amendment, also known as the Crittenden
Amendment, was to guarantee slavery in perpetuity. Its passage was
endorsed by President Abraham Lincoln in his first inaugural
I appreciate that you used the word “precipitated”
instead of “caused” in reference to the War for Southern
Independence. The war was never civil as in a war between two or
more parties for control of a single government. The Southern
states wanted nothing to do with the Northern states or their
government. They just wanted to be left alone. The war was not
civil in nature or in the way the Union conducted it.
The Rev. William H.
Swann Living Waters Ministries
Hoosiers are no
example on race
I was amused by your comments on how the
Confederate battle flag should be treated as gang colors or vulgar
advertising and banned from Bloomington South High School in your
state. As you editors know, but apparently won’t admit in print to
your readers, Indiana was the center of Ku Klux Klan activities in
the 1920s. In fact, it apparently is still the center of Klan
activities. The only Klan members we ever see in North Carolina
these days drive down from Indiana and try to pass themselves off
It would seem that the state flag of Indiana
should be treated as gang colors or vulgar advertising for its
long association with racism. What do you say, editors? Do you
have the nerve to propose that? No? I didn’t think so.
“So much for the Confederate battle flag”? I never
heard of such an uneducated editorial statement. To say the flag
represents slavery is to show the ignorance of the person writing
this editorial. The flag should be honored as representing
American men who died fighting for their country, most of whom
never owned slaves. The slaveowners were sold slaves by Yankee
slave brokers. I guess Atlanta should bar anything representing
Yankee Doodle Dandy in memory of the bombardment and murder of
civilians by Yankee cannons with no Confederate army within 30
miles of Atlanta. No wonder hatemongers get a load of this kind of
editorial and unload on the South, as usual.
Herb Koudelka Hot
Bob Caylor’s statements about the Confederate flag
are pretty outrageous but typical of today’s journalism. The
campaign against the Confederate flag and indeed against the
Confederacy (which translates into a campaign against history
itself) was begun by the NAACP in 1987 and is filled with big
lies, intimidating tactics and half-truths.
Suppression of freedom of speech and censorship of
ideas are always wrong, but suppression of and censorship of the
truth are unforgivable.
You only support freedom of expression some of the
time, however, as another editorial brief the same day proves. You
support censorship of all things Confederate, but not of people
talking to the press.
What you can do to stop your school from banning symbols of
The following is from the
Dixieoutfitters web site and should be of interest to
Click on this link,
An Open Letter to Schools (opens in new window), and print
the letter entitled "An
open letter to schools considering banning Dixie Outfitters
shirts" along with the
"Dixie Outfitters' Mission Statement" and submit them to
your school principal or administrator. Ask for his/her
consideration of these documents in his/her decision regarding
banning of Confederate symbols.
If your school official does not rescind the
banning policy then you must organize a petition signing.
Click here (opens in new window) for a form named
"Petition" for you to use or to use as a guide.
Secure as many names as possible, complete with
addresses and phone numbers. Encourage the petition signers to
call their principal or school board members and express their
displeasure at being denied their freedom of expression, as
provided by the
United States Constitution.
Contact your school board and request a time to
speak at the next school board meeting. Contact all the people who
signed the petition and tell them of the date and time of the
school board meeting and ask them to come in support of the
petition. Ask them to wear their Southern Heritage clothing.
If the petition and calls to the school board does
not change the policy the next option is to sue the school board.
Contact a local lawyer of your choice or contact
Kirk Lyons of the Southern Legal Resource Center. The SLRC contact
information is as follows:
Phone: 1-800-370-3617, 1-828-669-5189
PO Box 1235
Black Mountain, NC 28711
Suggestions for resolving a school ban on
Confederate symbols in your community.
By Kirk D. Lyons
Word Document |
To report a heritage violation contact the SLRC
case manager at 1-864-476-0656 and email at
The SLRC is a group of Southern lawyers
specializing in Southern Heritage offenses. They may take your
case at little or no cost to you.
Also, you may want to contact the American Civil
Liberties Union (ACLU) at
or check your phone book for a local office.
You may also contact your local Sons of
Confederate Veterans. Their national website is
Procedures for reporting a heritage violation are detailed at
We at Dixie Outfitters know that most Southern
people are "live and let live people" with a high tolerance level
and a firm belief that all should enjoy the freedoms guaranteed by
the Constitution of the United States. We are not racist and do
not hate people because of their color, but we cannot continue to
allow the NAACP and the liberals to keep on destroying all
vestiges of our Southern Heritage.
We have a right to be proud of our ancestors who
gave their lives for their Southern homeland. We have a right to
be proud of our Southern traditions and culture. The Confederate
battle flag is a symbol of this heritage and culture. We have a
right to be proud of this symbol. We must take a stand. We must
continue the fight to save our Southern Heritage. I urge you to
take all actions necessary to preserve our Southern culture.
Our ancestors were brave. They gave their lives
for what they believed. Let us now summon the courage to start a
petition drive or sign a petition or carry a flag and support our
children and their legitimate Constitutional rights.
President, Dixie Outfitters
For more information: