Confederate flag photo
The photo (“Confederate battle flag comes under fire,” WJW, July 2) is seriously biased. [It] is of some obvious crackpot. That is similar to portraying Pamela Geller or Meir Kahane as typical of all Jews.
It is exactly 50 years overdue to remove the Confederate flag from public display, especially from the South Carolina State House. Before about 1963, the Confederate flag had no racial connotation. That is why older baby boomers and older Southerners have such a difficult time accepting that Northerners and African-Americans cannot recognize its earlier values as a positive regional symbol generally, and a memorial to fallen ancestors for many. The first time I saw the flag used for a racist purpose on TV was probably the summer of 1963 (’62?) by segregationist protestors in the Land of Lincoln, in Cairo, Ill., and was equally angry at the racist use and that it was being trashed by Yankees.
The flag was ubiquitous in the South of the 1950s and ’60s as a non-racial regional symbol. Moderate Southerners were angry over its abuse by segregationists starting in the mid-60s. It was painted on every plumber’s and electrician’s truck. It was a school or college flag in many areas, including those recently desegregated. It was on bags of Dixie Crystal sugar. It was onDixie Cups.
Starting in the mid-1960s, it is fair to say that the flag took on a dual meaning. That is sad, and it is indeed time for it to be removed from public property other than museums or historical events. However, we should remember that the overwhelming use has always been commemorative and regional pride, and not racism. The latter is a wrong impression given by biased reporting in the Northern media, as emphasized by that awful photo leading this article.
Praise for WJW
Re: last week’s issue (WJW, July 9), from Nathan Lewin’s op-ed on gay marriage to your articles about the BDS phenomenon, to the families that are making aliyah, to the editorials and even the recipes, you really outdid yourself. You put out an excellent, informative edition. WJW is in a position now to show other Jewish newspapers how to improve their product.