I am writing in response to "You have got to be kidding, right?"
First, the flag, which (the writer) spoke of was in existence before the Civil War. Its true name is the Bars and Stars, like our Red, White and Blue.
I am from the South, raised and reared in Florida by a fine Kentucky father, my mother from Illinois.
(The writer) has a gross misunderstanding of early American history.
(The writer) needed to start with Congressman Davy Crockett. The real man, not Walt Disney's character. He knew and fought in Congress to help the southern farmers to get same equal value and fair pricing for corn, grain, cattle, hogs, etc. As the southern states received far less market value than the rich and fertile farmers of the north. Thus, he learned the politicians of the North would not give in, so he resigned and fought and died at the Alamo to free Texas from Mexican rule. So after years of tyranny and oppression, the South rose up to war with the North, not just for slavery.
When President Lincoln heard that Lee surrendered, he was having a formal dinner at the White House. He rose up and told the band to play Dixie and Reb for the South, as Lincoln in his young adult life lived in Kentucky and knew first hand the hardship that was being placed on the South. He also would not have honored the South if the war was totally about slavery.
It was the North, years before the war, who allowed scumbbag captains of ships carrying their human cargo into ports along eastern seaboard to dock and openly sell humans on their streets.
Men filled with greed purchase humans and carried them south by wagons for the sole purpose to resell them for a profit and went home with pockets full of cash.
The rich of the North as did Congressmen, Senators and the White House, all had these poor colored people as servants/slaves working for them and just recently, it was proven an American president fathered a baby by a servant all under the Red, White and Blue.
While growing up, the Bars and Stars flew atop schools, city and state government buildings and even now, 2008, some cities and counties in the south still fly the Bars and Stars, not to rebel or make light of slavery, but because it is part of our heritage.
The largest time discrimination took place during the 30s, 40s, 50s and early 60s were because of the color of a person's skin, they were denied the right to eat where they wanted, work, sleep in hotels, vote, etc. All over the U.S., and under Old Glory Red, White and Blue.
If personal opinions are going to be made and based on types of flags then why allow Germans living here to celebrate their customs and colors because of what Hitler did or the Japanese living here and allowed to celebrate their customs because of Pearl Harbor, or the African Americans celebrating their tribal customs and festivals. Why not ban all flags and customs because of past events?
I think this would be grossly unjustified.
I said I was raised in the South. I also wear colors of the South, but don't agree with obsolete opinions of the South.
In closing, being raised in the South, you are taught respect for others, to be polite and courteous, and help anyone with only a thank you as payment.
In my years living in this area, I have encountered more rude and obnoxious people. I you speak to someone in passing, they give you dirty looks as who are you? I cannot count how many times I have held doors open for ladies and men just to have them stick their nose up in the air and keep on walking as I owed them and yes you will hear me say, "you're welcome Yankee," or have a person hit you with a cart in a store and just walk off, and yes I let them know.
There are many more examples I could use, but should I hold all persons in the area responsible for a few. No, that would be wrong, as was the letter on the Bars and Stars.
What makes my blood boil is when anyone hangs the American Flag upside down or burns it to make a statement. As the U.S. Supreme Court has stated, this is a form of Freedom of Speech and expression, so flying and wearing the Bars and Stars is a lot less disrespectful than burning the Red, White and Blue.
Southern by the Grace of God.