What should be done with Confederate flag

Published 9:08 am Wednesday, July 8, 2015

To the Editor:

Being a native of Southampton County and a descendent of three great-grandfathers who soldiered in the Confederate Army, I read with interest the views on the Confederate Flag.

For 50 years, I have owned an antique, linen Confederate Flag (probably circa the 1920s). For some time, I have debated what I should do with it. I could sell it at auction where it would define its monetary value. I could offer it to the Rawls Museum in Courtland, where it would most likely honor the local white heritage. Or, I could pass it on to a friend or relative with Southern roots. I was not enamored with any of those options, because from the beginning, the flag was a battle flag for those fighting to continue the right to human bondage. Some may still argue “states rights.” Yes, but it was a state’s right to continue the right to own slaves. Further, since the days of Jim Crow, it is obvious that the Confederate Flag has been co-opted as a symbol of defiance and hatred by any number of groups and individuals and even some state legislatures.

Last week, I offered it and my flag was accepted by the Charles H. Wright Museum of African-American History in Detroit, Michigan, an institution dedicated to the journey of Africans from the earliest known human — “Lucy” — through slavery in America to the struggle for human dignity and on to the present.

I will always be proud of my Southern heritage, but I am equally proud that this particular Confederate flag has found a proper home.

Ed Bradshaw
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan