To many the confederate flag
means heritage. But to others it means hatred, white
supremacy, and slavery. That's what the whole ordeal is about,
a pure symbol.
The events that have been happening
in South Carolina have occurred for more then one reason. The
problems date back to 1962 when there was a confederate rally
in South Carolina. The state said that they would fly the battle flag during
the days of the rally only. But days turned into years. The flag
flew on top of the state house for 38 years until the N.A.A.C.P
had a tourism boycott that cost South Carolina lots of money.
On August 1, 1999, the Southern
Party had a confederate rally in front of the South Carolina statehouse.
This rally was to register a bona
fide political party
in all thirteen original confederate states and also the five
bordering ones. "Were kind of a nation within a nation."
Stated George Kalas president of the Southern Party. He also said
"We had four years of independence as a nation to develop
that separate culture that is not co-
opotable. You can't
co opt our southern heritage, you can't co opt our drawl, our
southern cooking, southern music, our deep religious faith."
Party leaders insist that the group is not racist, but talk of
southern heritage stirs up some disturbing thoughts. The confederate rally began with the
reading of the names of 26,000 soldiers who died during the "War
of Northern Aggression (civil war)." The next day re-enactors
participated in a two mile march.
Supporters of the flag say
that it stands for courage and for the men and women who died
during the civil war. Some people say that the flag has been given
a bad name because of all the hate groups such as Ku Klux Klan.
Texas Governor George W. Bush
said "My advice is that all of the people that do not live
in South Carolina should butt out of the matter." The N.A.A.C.P
says "Bush should take his own advice." Bill Bradly
said " I wouldn't fly it. I think that it offends a large
part of the population." Patrick Buchanon, a member of the
Sons of Confederate Veterans, stated that "The southerners
ought to be respected and so should the flag under which they
fought and died."