Thursday, July 9, 2015

Rebel Flag?

Growing up in Lamesa, Texas I do not remember ever seeing a confederate battle flag flying anywhere.

The first time I remember seeing someone display the rebel flag was in the navy. A radioman from Georgia had them sewn in the lining of his uniform. They were hidden from view until he rolled up his cuff. He was at once a very patriotic American who would willingly die in the service of the United States of America if we went into battle. He was also a true son of Georgia who railed at Sherman's march to the sea as though it happened yesterday. This walking contradiction could not see the irony.

Today I understand the feelings of some people who distrust the federal government and feel the need to rebel in some visible way. The banner of the defeated army of northern Virginia becomes the way to do that. It is a statement of free speech to display that flag and express anger. Individual citizens have that constitutionally guaranteed civil right to display any flag they desire. In our homes we also have the right to display religious symbols as well.

As a mayor I know that there is a big difference between what an individual can do and what a government can rightly do. A government must represent all its citizens equally and not favor one over the other. Doing what is right and fair is not always easy.

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