As a proud life member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, the nations oldest Southern heritage organization, I felt compelled to reply to Audrey DeCourseys letter (Stars and bars same as Nazi swastika, June 30).
First of all let me say, we have nothing to do with the Lions Clubs use of the battle flag image in promoting its outdoor festival. The image being discussed is a battle flag, a soldiers flag, not the Stars & Bars as the headline referred to.
Our organization has stood the test of time since 1896 and contains both black and Hispanic members. We promote heritage, not hate. It should also be noted that black and Hispanic Confederates died while imprisoned in cattle pens at Camp Morton POW Camp in Indianapolis. All they had to do was take the oath and put on the blue suit and they would be freed, but they refused. Also, shooting of black Confederates took place within many Northern camps by their guards.
The battle flag does not stand for slavery. It was President Abraham Lincolns call to arms and the invasion of the South that started this terrible war. Lincolns Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 did not free any slaves within his control. Slavery continued to exist in Northern states until the passage of the 13th Amendment. Lincoln himself said it was used as a war measure to subdue the South. Gen. Robert E. Lee freed his slaves before the war started, while Gen. Ulysses S. Grants wife kept slaves until December of 1865. Lincoln was working with other countries to colonize freed blacks up until the day he died. Read Lincolns quotes, he was very clear on the subject. The list goes on and on. Rather than listen to political correctness that some try to pass off as history, why not read the words of the men of that time who lived it? They will tell you states rights and high tariffs imposed on the South were the main issues that brought on a separation from the Union.
We are deeply offended when any hate group uses our sacred symbols to promote fear and dissent. They also fly the Stars and Stripes at their rallies. Perhaps the writer would also like its banning too? To equate any flag to a Nazi flag is a terrible injustice to the truth and the brave citizen soldiers who fought to repel unwanted invaders from their homeland. Would you not do the same yourself?
Lee told his troops at Appomattox to go home and become good citizens and together, North and South, they built this great nation. Lets respect each others heritage and follow Lees advice.
ALAN E. LOSURE