Oh Say Can You See: A Tale Of Two Flags

An American And Confederate Flag

I believe there are many Mississippians whose support for the confederate flag is sincerely about heritage and family. I also have loved ones who have fought as soldiers. My grandfather fought in World War II. Besides being a soldier, he was a great man and my family is incredibly proud of him. His picture as a young soldier hangs above our mantle, a section of the frame contains his tour ribbons, another showcasing a Purple Heart. In our family, there is a reverence for the Red, White & Blue.

So, I can relate.

But there are many people, such as Native Americans, Japanese, etc., who do not see the American flag in the same light, rather, a cold dark shadow that it casts. Whether these perceptions are rightfully held is moot. The bottom line is that in some cases the flag as a symbol is offensive, alienating potential allies, business partners and neighbors in a shrinking world.

Knowing this, do we brandish the flag without consideration for how it is perceived? Or do we work to mend the bridges; addressing the grievances, deconstructing past offenses and replacing messages of hurt with statements of goodwill? Though this is often described with¬†lofty words such as diplomacy, doing so is simply an acknowledgement of another’s humanity and a nod to their value. While respecting the confederate flag may not make you a racist, an unwillingness to do the work probably¬†does.

However, I believe my fellow Mississippians are willing to do the work. I am.