I was pleasantly surprised recently in Owosso when I saw a vehicle drive by flying the American flag. Too often I have seen vehicles around town flying both the American flag and a Confederate flag together, sometimes only a Confederate flag or a Confederate flag license plate is displayed. I have even seen a few Confederate flags flying in front of houses in Owosso.
When I see the Confederate flag proudly displayed in public, it angers me for two reasons. First, the Confederate flag is antithetical to the official flag of the United States of America. One ideal our American flag represents is the evolving premise stated in the Declaration of Independence, published on July 4, 1776: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” Conversely, the Confederate flag is representative of the horrendous opposing notion that fellow human beings can be enslaved because of race.
And second, the Confederate flag is a flag of treason. Article III Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution, which was ratified on June 21, 1788, stated, “Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.”
On April 12, 1861 at 4:30 a.m., secessionist forces began bombarding Fort Sumter defended by United States soldiers flying the American flag. After 34 hours, the U.S. military forces at Fort Sumter surrendered to Rebel forces. And thus began the Civil War. Rebel forces started a destructive war against the United States of America, with an estimate of 750,000 soldiers killed in four years. The Confederacy became an enemy of the United States.
When I see the Confederate flag still being proudly displayed in public, I wonder if the person flying that flag is either ignorant of the true history of the Confederate flag, or worse, he or she supports what that flag stood for: racism, the subjugation and hate of fellow human beings based on race.
Bill Workman, Owosso