My Turn, Carol Pomeroy: Confederate flag should not be flown in public places

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 20, 2022

I stand in agreement with those who oppose the Confederate flag being flown during Faith’s Fourth of July parade. It does not represent all the people and should not be displayed or flown in public places.

There are only two flags that represent all the people in the United States of American and all the people In North Carolina. Those are the American Flag and the North Carolina state flag.

The American flag was authorized by the Continental Congress on June 14, 1777. It consisted of 13 alternate red and white stripes and 13 white stars in a blue field which represented the original 13 United States. President James Monroe and the Congress agreed in 1818 that the flag should be 13 stripes as well as one star for each state in the Union. Today the flag consists of the original 13 stripes and 50 stars representing the 50 united states, which make up the United States of American. This flag has always represented one nation, indivisible, that which cannot be broken up or divided. The American flag has always been a symbol of unity.

The North Carolina state flag was adopted on March 9, 1885. There are two dates on the flag, May 20, 1775 and April 12, 1776. The first date represents the Mecklenberg declaration of Independence when the residents of Mecklenberg County declared themselves “free and Independent people” and absolved themselves from all allegiance to the British Crown. The second date was the Halifax Resolves, which was the first official action in the American Colonies calling for independence from Great Britain during the American Revolution. Again this represented the unity of the people to fight together for their independence. The flag’s design incorporates and “N” for North and a “C” for Carolina. The single star in between represents North Carolina. The three colors, red, white and blue were used to match the American flag.

The Confederate flag does not represent unity. It is a symbol of hate and oppression because it was a flag flown by those who fought to preserve the enslavement of millions of Black Americans. In a speech in 1861 then vice president of the Confederacy, Alexander H. Stephens, said “the confederacy was founded on the principle that the negro is not equal to the white man and that the slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition”. The Confederate flag is still associated with the glorification of the Civil War, celebrating the Myth of the Lost Clause, racism, slavery, segregation and white supremacy. Today this symbol often appears at pro-white rallies.

The Confederate flag was designed to represent a divided nation. The Confederate army lost the war almost 158 year ago but the flag still represents a deep and bitter divide across American today. By the mid 20th century the flag symbolized white resistance to ending segregation laws. The Ku Klux Klan flew it at lynching parties and angry mobs waved it outside public schools as Black children enrolled.

Why would the town of Faith still support a symbol that represents so much pain, division and a difficult history. In a recent Salisbury Post article former mayor of Faith, Todd Peeler, was quoted as saying, “We’re not racist people here. We love everybody . Everybody is welcome here.” Do you really think everybody feels loved and welcomed in Faith? Maybe they would if the Confederate flag was not part of their parade.

Carol Pomeroy lives in Salisbury.