My Turn, Gordon Correll: Confederate flag represents division

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 8, 2023

By Gordon Correll

When I was a child and left my home to go to school or other places, my parents always told me to do the right thing. Receiving guidance from my parents, church and school, I did attempt to do what was right in their eyes.

Is the town of Faith doing the right thing by displaying the Confederate flag in the Fourth of July parade?

According to Lincoln, our laws and actions should be for the people, of the people and by the people. Since there is no federal or state law against displaying the Confederate flag, the decision should rest with the citizens of Faith.

If we compare the causes for the Civil War to a tree, slavery would be the trunk of the tree, but the roots that feed the tree would be geography.

Geography determines our climate, rivers and lakes. It determined that the economy of the Northeast would be based on industry.  The South with its climate would have an economy of agriculture. Once cotton became king in the South, it took much labor to bring the cotton to market.  Unfortunately, slave labor become the answer to the need.

The South used many arguments to justify slavery. It even attempted to use the Bible for its justification.  If slavery was abolished, the South believed, with some justification, their economy would be ruined. When one’s economy is ruined, then people are greatly affected, especially the rich who benefited by the use of slaves.

Today, most people believe that slavery should never justify an economy, but that was not the case for many people in the 1800s, especially in the Southern states. Many of them believed that slavery was absolutely necessary to the economy and their way of life.

Who controlled the votes in the Southern states? It was the slave owners and not the common man.

The common man was sold a bill of goods to the point that it was the common man who did most of the fighting for the Confederate cause during the Civil War. Yes, a rich man’s war and a poor man’s fight.

North Carolina was a poor Southern state during the Civil War and provided many soldiers for the cause. In fact, North Carolina may have lost more Confederate soldiers than any other Southern state during the war.

Most of the men and women who died in our nation’s wars did not die in the Civil War.  They died in World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam and the Middle East.  All of those men and women who went to war fought with the Stars and Stripes. That flag represents the unity of our nation. The Confederate flag represents division.

I ask you: do we want to carry a flag representing a divided nation, or do we want to carry a flag of unity?  The town of Faith has the right to decide this issue.

I pray that when they go out of their doors and into their community, they will do the right thing.    

Gordon Correll lives in Salisbury.