Two Flags

From the welter of democratic hysteria, illogic, historical ignorance, and political self-positioning and posturing, the eminently sensible remark by Tate Reeves, lieutenant governor of Mississippi, regarding the public display of the Confederate Battle Flag stands like a stone wall above the general confusion.  “Flags and emblems,” Mr. Reeves said, “are chosen by a group of people as a symbol of all that unites and ties the group together.  The good and bad in our shared history, and all that we have learned from it, is [sic] something that ties [sic] us together.”

The good and the bad together . . .  Without doubt, the history represented by the Battle Flag encompasses both.  It is beyond question also that this particular flag is an offense to many people, though perhaps not so many as those for whom it remains an inspiration of the sort only a tragic emblem can be.  But precisely the same thing can be said of the federal flag, the Stars and Stripes.  A century after the War Between the States ended, protesters on the nation’s college campuses and in the streets of its greatest cities trampled on and burned the flag celebrated at Fort McHenry by Francis Scott Key, which to them represented exploitive capitalism, militarism, and imperialism, as well as racism in both the South and the North.  No country is without its sins as well as its...

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