A recent issue is the State Flag of Mississippi. The governor directed that the state flag of Mississippi be removed from Freedom Way (Liberty State Park) because it incorporates the Confederate battle emblem. The Confederate flag doesn’t represent who we are as a people – as Americans – anymore.
This issue reminds me of an episode from “Star Trek.” In that episode, Captain James Kirk defiantly tells Apollo that society has outgrown the ancient gods. Just as the Olympians had become antiquated, so has the Confederate flag. Granted, some may argue that the Confederate flag symbolizes heritage and culture. Others denounce it as a dreaded symbol of rebellion, treason, assassination, murder, hatred, and racism. Whatever one believes, the basic fact of the matter is that the American Civil War ended over a century and a half ago. The Confederacy was defeated and the Union has been preserved.
Whether we like it or not, we – all of us – are Americans. We may not share the same heritage, beliefs and/or culture. But, make no mistake about it, we do share the same endearing and enduring values – the very same values that unite each of us as Americans. Indeed, we may disagree and quarrel over issues. Ultimately, however, we resolve our differences as a united people.
Personally, I view the Confederate flag as an anachronism. It simply is out of time – and out of place – in our unified nation. That being said, Gov. Murphy was right to have the state flag of Mississippi removed from Freedom Way. Furthermore, the Confederate banner should be removed from the state flag of Mississippi – as was the case with the state flag of Georgia.
The Confederate flag sowed derision and division. That flag means different things to different people. But, in the final analysis, the Confederate flag is a throw-back to the pro-slavery, antebellum period of America. As Americans, we should look toward the future. Maintaining the Confederate flag – in any of its forms – is living in the past.
John Di Genio