One of your readers wrote in the Opinion section (Feb. 21) that “any son of (a Confederate veteran) . . . would have died over 100 years ago” [“Confederate Flag Project Reflects More Than Bad Taste”]. I beg to argue his math.
Now, it is correct that a Civil War veteran himself would have died over 100 years ago, but not necessarily a son of a veteran. To wit: The three children of my great-grandfather, a Union Civil War veteran, died in 1921, 1928 and 1962 — all of which were less than 100 years ago.
The Confederate flag for many people simply says, “I’m a Southerner.” I remember my mother’s horror when she found a Confederate flag decal on my high school notebook, which I had placed there to demonstrate my membership in a clique that was from West Virginia. That’s all it meant to me, with no thought of fighting to maintain slavery (the “state’s right” that the Southerners were trying to hold onto). I suspect that many flag holders have no deeper thought than mine was. For those who wave the flag while giving a Nazi salute or mouthing denigrations of various groups of people, however, it is a different matter.
Symbols can have deep meaning. I grew up in World War II. I still cannot stand to see a swastika, which to me is ugly and hateful. Why pointedly display a symbol that you know will upset some people unless that is your aim in the first place? As another writer has remarked, what we need in our society (not just Asheville) is more kindness. However, the Bully-in-Chief in the White House is modeling behavior that is just the opposite of kindness. What will we become?
— AA Lloyd