My Turn, Michael Chapman: Symbols are important

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 29, 2023

By Michael Chapman

Can someone please direct me to the bookstore that sells the book; “History Told By Liberals: A.K.A. make it up to fit your agenda.”

I get tickled when I see liberals throwing their facts around as truth. As a lover of history, I try to get my facts straight by going to as many primary sources as possible. When I read something that looks inaccurate, I investigate it. Such was the case with the Jan. 8 column in the Post about the Confederate Flag.

The proper name for the flag referred to is the “Battle Flag” or the “Beauregard Battle Flag.” There were three official Confederate flags used by the CSA. This was not one of them.

The first faux pas: “Most of the men and women who died in our nation’s wars did not die in the Civil War.” Wrong! If you add the deaths from World War I and WWII, plus Korea and Vietnam, they fall short of the number of deaths suffered during the four-year war for Southern independence. Percentage wise for the population at the time, it’s the bloodiest war our nation has ever been in.

Then the writer says this, “According to Lincoln, our laws and actions should be for the people, of the people and by the people.” Let me share another Lincoln quote in his first inaugural address on March 4, 1861, in Washington, D.C.: “I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the states where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.”

I am not defending slavery, just stating that this was part of the thought process of that time.

The tree trunk analogy is very flawed. Yes, the South was an agrarian culture. There were many reasons why the South seceded. To say it was only about slavery is shallow. Other factors include the tariffs, one which was referred to as the “Tariff of Abominations;” the election of Clay inspired Lincoln by Northern voters, with virtually no Southern votes; the rights of the states provided by the constitution; and the final straw was the call for federal troops to invade the South. The different views of slavery were a contributing factor but not the only reason.

Last but not least; “Yes, a rich man’s war and a poor man’s fight.” You just described every war this country has ever been in. Here is another absolute false statement: “North Carolina was a poor Southern state during the Civil War.” In the 1860 census, North Carolina was the 10th wealthiest state per capita out of 35 states. There were no Northern states wealthier than N.C. and Connecticut was the closest Northern state at No. 13.

To conclude, symbols must be looked at and described at their conception. People adopt symbols to fit their agenda. Look at the rainbow. From a sign from God to Noah, to the rainbow coalition of the ’70s to gay pride of today.

So in the photos above with this column, based on the symbols, who is the patriot and who is the racist?

This is a Faith community decision. Southerners have deep traditions. If you don’t like who is in the parade, go to another parade.

Michael Chapman lives in Salisbury.