Letters to the Editor

Letter to the editor: Symbols of hatred

February 7, 2018

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To the editor:

I support carrying the United States flag and yelling “USA!” After all, I carried our country’s flag for 24 years as an American soldier.

But if you are participating in a group activity where members of that group are displaying white supremacist hate symbols such as the flag of slave owners and rebels, then you are either saying “I’m a white supremacist terrorist” or “I support white supremacist terrorists.”

That I do not support and will actively fight against in our community.

You are not a patriot and you are not displaying the values that make our country great when you march with white supremacist terrorists and their symbols of hatred.

Comments

Steve Hicks 2 weeks, 2 days ago

Well stated, Mr. Phillips.

Flags are symbols. It's infuriating when people try to make a good one represent evil things...and an evil one symbolize good.

Ken Lassman 2 weeks, 2 days ago

I might add that the Confederacy flag is also a symbol of the time when the United States was dis-united by a civil war and seceding states: how anyone can display this symbol of division during a demonstration supposedly in support of our flag is the very definition of a contradiction! You might as well tear our United States flag in half because that's exactly what the Confederate flag is a symbol of.

Bob Smith 2 weeks, 2 days ago

Symbols are open to interpretation. Not everyone see the Confederate flag as a symbol of hatred. How fascist do you have to be to think you can demand that everyone share your point of view?

P Allen Macfarlane 2 weeks, 2 days ago

"How fascist do you have to be to think you can demand that everyone share your point of view?" That's pretty funny considering that "fascism" is a an ultra-right view of the world. The Confederate flag is a symbol of a society based on slavery? It may be that those who celebrate the Confederacy don't see it as a symbol of hate, but the values that society had with regard to race are anathema to the values of a democratic society. The Bill of Rights allows them to believe whatever they will, but they should be recognized as not being patriotic.

Bob Smith 2 weeks, 1 day ago

There are fascists on the port side of the aisle. If you want to compel everyone to agree with you, you may be one yourself.

Armen Kurdian 2 weeks, 1 day ago

Bob, it's probably in how your portray it or carry yourself if you display it, because it could be seen both ways.

I would add to the letter that the black flags of ISIS and Al Qaeda, or the ANTIFA flags would go in the same category.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 2 weeks, 1 day ago

Some people did not see the swastika as a symbol of hate, and maybe if it hadn't been for the KKK and other white nationalists, maybe the confederate flag would have just been a symbol of the South, but that's not what happened is it? Let's hear you condemn those who stole the flag from "your heritage". And, no, not everyone shares my point of view, but people know that racists have adopted this flag; therefore, if you display it, that must be how you want to be judged/

Bob Summers 2 weeks, 2 days ago

The fantasies people create under the influence is astounding.

LTE goes from a flag to their code words "white supremacist hate symbols" in one sentence.

It is truly dumbfounding the self inflicted vicious emotional fervor these people create out of their own fantasy creations.

Here is a little history for u haters.

http://www.historynet.com/embattled-banner-the-convoluted-history-of-the-confederate-flag.htm

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 2 weeks ago

Well, one of the organizers of the defend the flag march last week was "under the influence" later that night when he was arrested for attempted murder. But he would still be a good guy to you, right?

Armen Kurdian 2 weeks, 1 day ago

There's the straight up white supremacist flags, KKK flags, anti-semitic, ANTIFA, this is all pretty cut and dry. Displaying the Confederate flag along with those symbols probably has the connotation of hatred. Displaying it on its own doesn't connote hate or racism.

Brock Masters 2 weeks, 1 day ago

Do you think it was used as a symbol of white supremacy when used as part of campaign promotions for the Clintons and Gore? Was the Dukes of Hazards about white supremacy? No, in those contexts it was about Southern pride and the unique culture of the South.

Now while I contend that all who display the Confederate flag are not racist I do acknowledge that it can be viewed in the context of fighting to keep slavery and we all should be sensitive to that point.

I agree it is time to retire the Confederate flag, but attacking all who display it as racist white supremacists is counterproductive and unwarranted.

Greg Cooper 2 weeks, 1 day ago

First, Brock, I didn't attack anyone. Second, "the unique culture of the South" is not all about mint juleps and genteel plantations, but also encompasses the dark period in US history that was built on slavery. It may not be hard for many to forget or minimalize that, but there's a huge population of people in the country whose mere existence here is built on that institution. And they will not forget that that flag is an outright symbol of their antecedents' lives.

Now, how about this: Kansas has a unique flag that bears the symbols of its beginnings; California, North Dakota, and every other state has the same, and, by coincidence, only the flags of select southern states still bear the likeness of the Confederacy while none of the others allude to it. To me, and many others, that is a statement of allegiance to the times when slavery was important to them, and to throw that statement into the faces of those who abhor slavery is an affront that can not be excused in any way.

Just my opinion.

Bob Smith 2 weeks, 1 day ago

You are certainly entitled to that opinion. People who disagree also have rights.

Greg Cooper 2 weeks, 1 day ago

You might have noticed, Bob, that I did specifically say that my post is "Just my opinion". Yep, everyone has the right to think what they want. But, and this is important, simply believing something doesn't make it true, or correct, or even right. Somewhere along the line each of us has to find the "truth" as it relates to life in this nation. And the truth is that the Confederate flag, to me and the majority of the nation, represents repression, lack of respect for the country as a single nation, and the notion that we don't all have to follow the same rules. And that don't work for me, guy.

Steve Hicks 2 weeks, 1 day ago

Armen, I presume you consider the American flag a good symbol.

If I understand right, you consider the "... flags of ISIS and Al Qaeda, or the ANTIFA..." and "...white supremacist flags, KKK flags, anti-semitic, ANTIFA..." all evil. (doubling-down on "ANTIFA"...?)

I'm curious: how's the Confederate flag alone qualify as "either/or" in your thinking ?

Gary Stussie 2 weeks, 1 day ago

The flag I proudly carry was born in conflict and controversy. Granted, it has been the banner under which things that myself, and many other, find despicable, however to me and “my” people it symbolizes a shared heritage.

"Our" flag is not meant to offend, or trigger, people that don’t share our history or our deeply held beliefs. It is not meant to anyone down. Rather it is a rallying point for those, like me, that are proud of our past struggle and concerned about our country’s future.

As with all belief systems there are some members of my group that have distorted our views, and ignorant others that use our cause as an excuse to act out. They are as offensive to us as they are to you.

When you see my banner, reach out to me, try to understand my concerns and beliefs. You will see my flag is nothing to fear!

To which flag does this refer?

Ken Lassman 2 weeks, 1 day ago

And are we willing to stand up behind the colonies separating themselves from the British Empire as a free country independent from the Crown? You bet. Now: are you willing to stand up behind the southern states seceding from the United States at least in part to defend the institution of slavery and the economic system that was built on it?

So is that really the point you wanted to make?

Tracy Bedell 2 weeks, 1 day ago

Interesting how freedom of speech only applies when people agree with your speech.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 2 weeks ago

True from both sides. If I see someone dragging a US flag down the street, I would tell him he was stupid, then walk on, because it's not illegal. If I see someone carrying a US flag around, accidentally dragging it, to protest someone dragging the flag, I will tell him he is stupid, but walk on, because it's his right. The same with the traitor flag people. But when they disrupt businesses and art center fund raisers, by shouting obscenities, laying rubber, assaulting people with flags which they don't like, threatening to beat them up, then their freedom of speech goes too far. Did all the protesters do this? No. But they probably need to reign in their trouble makers.

Bob Smith 2 weeks, 1 day ago

Totalitarians believe that everyone should think only approved thoughts and hold only approved opinions. There are some excellent examples on this thread.

Greg Cooper 2 weeks, 1 day ago

No, Bob, totalitarians believe everyone should act as they're told. Thinking is not approved but is uncontrollable so it goes on. Actions are more easily controlled so that's where the totalitarian gets his power.

Web Kay 2 weeks ago

People just looking for a reason to scream and fight. I find people to be very aggressive on the LJworld comments too.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 1 week, 6 days ago

If you want the confederate flag to represent the south, maybe you should get these guys to stop using it.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 1 week, 6 days ago

And the guy in the middle of this photo is not a Buddhist or Hindu monk is he?

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