Evidently, the young lady wrote the letter in favor of me, but she called it wrong [“Be Respectful or Be Gone,” Jan. 30 Xpress]. What she says was not exactly what was happening. She said that these young men were laughing at me and were displaying some kind of disrespect. That's totally untrue.
Not one of those babies — red, yellow, black or white — and especially the young men she was talking about, said anything disrespectful. This is not the first time that those young men have posed with me and my flag. They did it last year. They were extremely courteous, extremely kind. We laughed and joked with each other. There was no harm intended toward me, no disrespect. I love those baby boys. They were very, very, very kind, and I want all of your readers to know and understand that.
While I did receive a couple of derogatory remarks, they were few and far between. The only thing that made me unhappy for the day was to come to a Martin Luther King march and see that there was an Abraham Lincoln look-alike, with [a copy of ] the Emancipation Proclamation in his hand, which I think was very demeaning and insulting to intelligent black folks.
And certainly being there with my flag is certainly definitive of what MLK talked about. The sons of former slaves and sons of former slave owners sit down at the table of brotherhood. You cannot get to the table of brotherhood if you deny a seat to [those with] the Confederate battle flag.
— H.K. Edgerton
Editor’s note: Edgerton was the man with the flag referenced in the original letter. His response was dictated to Xpress over the phone.