Woman Flying Confederate Flag Isn't Honoring Her Heritage

confederate flagDisclaimer: I'm a Yankee. I was born and raised in Connecticut. Consequently, centuries-old debates over deeply Southern issues like the meaning of the Confederate flag are over my head, in a sense. So I understand that there's likely more to 51-year-old South Carolina resident Annie Chambers Caddell's decision to fly the Confederate flag in front of her house than "racist woman makes incredibly insensitive choice."

I just don't understand what, exactly. Sure, we all want to take pride in our heritage. But when a symbol of that heritage evoke memories of pain and hate for so many ... isn't it kind of missing the point?

Especially because Caddell, who is a native Southerner, raised the flag after moving into the historically black neighborhood of Brownsville.

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Over the past year, there have been protests and petitions and fences built; Caddell's neighbor, Patterson James, raised an American flag on a similar flagpole. Patterson James is black. For her part, Caddell insists that she is not, in fact, a racist -- just a proud Southerner.

Local officials have ruled that Caddell is free to fly her flag and her neighbors are free to protest, and I agree with both. I guess what this comes down to, for me, is compassion -- or the absence thereof.

Like I said, I'm not from the South, so I can't really speak to the conflict of wanting to honor my ancestors and the battles they fought while knowing, at the same time, that what they fought for was wrong. (And I know the Civil War was about more than slavery, but let's stick to one piece of the puzzle here.)

But I can say that sacrificing peace and understanding in the present in an attempt to preserve the ghosts of the past is a mistake.

What do you think of Annie Chambers Caddell's decision to fly the Confederate flag?

 

Image via akasped/Flickr

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