Other Voices- A Page for Independent Thought


The Confederate Flag- A Diversion from Tragedy

By Joe Wilson

Why is there an American flag and the words, “One Nation Under God” at the beginning of an article about the senseless murder of nine people in Charleston church? Because the reactions to those murders shows that many people have lost sight of the meaning of our our flag and our creed. The reactions of many people are almost as horrible as the crime itself, and are an insult to our nation.

Nine God-fearing people were murdered during a Bible study, by an obviously deranged person, and yet all some people want to do is point fingers and place blame. The confederate flag didn’t cause a crazy person to go on a shooting spree. Neither did the city of Charleston.

Charleston is a wonderful city with great people. It’s a city with a great heritage and a lot of history. But history is just that. History. Events in a time past that shaped played a part in shaping the future. I lived in Charleston for many years and met many wonderful people. In fact I still have many friends there. The people who supported the displaying of the Confederate flag had nothing to do with this tragedy. The flag had nothing to do with it either. Period.

The Confederate flag is nothing more than a symbol of history. It’s understandable that some people are offended by the flag and see it as a symbol of hatred, but it’s pretty clear that removing it will not solve the social issues we face today. What will solve those issues is an understanding that the past is history and history is the past. It’s what shaped us but, it’s not who we are.

We are a nation that cares for everyone and gives everyone opportunity. It’s the responsibility of each one of us to use the opportunity we enjoy as Americans to look back at history, learn from our successes and failures, and enhance our future. Removing the flag does not accomplish that and takes focus away from the real task at hand, recognizing and dealing with divisiveness, hatred and all too often, the resulting mental derangement. We as Americans and South Carolinians will come together to face any disaster and any challenge. Regardless of the flag flying in the wind, dealing with hate mongers is one of those challenges.

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