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Emerald’s Gem Box: Heritage not hate!

So much controversy these last few weeks . . . On June 17, a young 21-year-old boy walked into a church and opened fire, killing nine people during their prayer meeting. A horrible, horrible tragedy. The liberal media began showing pictures of this same boy holding a Confederate Flag and, thus, the controversy began. To me, the Confederate Flag stands for Heritage. I was born in the South (Madison County, Florida) and have lived here my whole life. I have never owned a plantation or any slaves. I don’t take pride in the Confederate Flag as a symbol of slavery; I take pride in it because it is my heritage, my birthplace, my history! Why is it that everyone else can be proud of their history (Indians, African-Americans, northerners) but if someone from the South flies a symbol of their history it’s considered a “hate symbol?” I totally disagree. Are there some that fly that flag for other reasons? I’m sure! But why pass judgement on millions because of the actions of a few thousand? The majority of us “Confederate Flag lovers” love and respect that flag (almost) as much as the American Flag.

Why? Because it is our heritage and our history! Just as the United States of America Flag is our heritage and our history. It is a Confederate Battle Flag - - a battle flag. The war between the North and the South wasn’t JUST about slaves. It was about the South standing up to the governmental control of having laws forced down their throats. It was about the men protecting their homes and families from invaders who came to destroy and burn their livelihood down. The flag means Southern Pride! We might have lost the war, but we are a proud group of people! We are proud of the South and the brave men who gave their life to fight for their way of life. It was the State’s Rights they fought for. They were against governmental control. (The same reason so many people think that another war will break out within our own borders, once again.)

Many people that want the Confederate Flag taken down and “stored away” say it shows hatred because the KKK used this same flag during their demonstrations. But that, in and of itself, shouldn’t be held against the flag. The KKK also used white sheets, crosses and Bibles, yet we don’t ban those three items. The whole issue shouldn’t be about the flag, or what it may or may not represent. It’s the fact that a few people used a tragic event to push their own agenda. That flag didn’t kill those people in that church no more than a spoon makes people fat. Crime is going to happen no matter what flag is flying, whether there are stricter gun laws, or whether someone is white or black. It’s the type of person – one that has no respect for anyone or anything. Racism stops and starts with each and every individual person – not with a flag. Make your own choice and then move forward, not backwards. You cannot erase history by removing a flag from view. History is history! I, for one, am tired of the blame game. Until then . . . I’ll see you around the town.

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