Shortly after my announcement, I got a visit from my friend, Randall, who also happens to be the Camp Commander of General Robert C Newton Camp 197 of the Sons of Confederate Veterans in Arkansas. He, as he put it, “Came in defense of my ancestors.” I was expecting him.
For a long time, Randall and I sat at a table in FlagandBanner.com’s break room, visiting. Through near tears, he spoke of his organization, a veteran’s group formed to remember the fallen soldiers, both black and white.
Like most wars, the men and women who died were patriots and pawns in a war fought by politicians and the one percent-ers. If you were a historian, you might argue that all our wars, except maybe WWII, were fought over greed and power. Nonetheless, I think everyone would agree that it does not lessen the sacrifices made by families. I still wince when I think of how Americans treated our returning vets from Vietnam.
Back to Randall. He told me how, in 1896, since many of the Confederate veterans were aged, infirm, and dying off, the Sons of Confederate Veterans was formed as the successor organization to the United Confederate Veterans. Out of all the flags used in the Civil War, it was the battle flag these vets chose as their logo. They assert that they alone have the authority to interpret its meaning.
Randall went on to say, along with taking care of graves and memorials, he now emails hate groups who have no connection to the South, asking them to stop using his flag. Poor Randall. I felt for him.
To wave Nazi flags and Rebel flags with violence in your heart seems un-American. Nothing good will come from hate speech against fellow brothers and sisters. We will all suffer.
We Americans must fight the “good” fight and triumph over evil. Stop the resentment, for it stunts growth. Stop the hate speech, for it preys on the mentally ill.
Stand up, Americans, for what is right in our country. “That all men are created equal.”
Stand up, Christians, for Christ’s second commandment. “Love thy neighbor as yourself.”
Let us continue to set ourselves apart and above all other nations and live up to our name The United States of America.
A letter from Randall J Freeman, Camp Commander of Sons of Confederate Veterans: