Symbol of racial segregation should not be placed on graves

Published 8:49 am Friday, June 4, 2010

To the Editor:

I was distressed, as I hope many local citizens were, of the placement of the historically incorrect and regretfully inappropriate “battle flags” on the graves of Confederate veterans at Poplar Springs Cemetery as pictured in The Tidewater News on Saturday, May 29.

I was also dismayed that this display of ignorance of proud Southern tradition was being passed on to future generations by the “father-and-son team” who were shown planting the insulting banners.

It is manifestly appropriate and honorable on Memorial Day to mark a Confederate hero’s final resting place with the National Flag of the Southern Confederacy, but never the “battle flag,” which has unfortunately been misappropriated by Klansmen and other white supremacists for use as a hate symbol. Memorial Day in America is about honor, respect and reconciliation, not divisiveness.

Our most sacred national holiday should never be used to display ones own personal prejudices.

Our Southern forebears would be proud to have their graves honored by the Confederate National Flag. They fought for the ideals of individual and state’s rights, not the subjugation of others as the ignorant display of the “battle flag” suggests. Shame on those who affront us all by using this symbol of racial segregation in public and especially those who would use it to desecrate the consecrated burial sites of honored Confederate veterans.

Albert Burckard