Vail Daily letter: Flag hypocrisy | VailDaily.com

Vail Daily letter: Flag hypocrisy

To be “politically correct” these days is to refrain from any display, verbal or pictorial, that would offend some faction of our society; and it now seems that to display the Confederate flag is offensive to those of a certain descent, because of the civil abuses of the Southern states between 1861 and 1865. Offensive names or phrases such as Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, Charleston or Dixie are considered to be in poor taste by those of more refinement or pedigree. So, to be accepted in today’s more progressive society, watch what you say or wave, albeit, flags are a form of rightful expression, and accordingly protected by the First Amendment.

Amache (Colorado), Heart Mountain (Wyoming) or Manzanar (California) and the like also should remind us of our past civil abuses; for those not in the “know,” these were but a few of the Japanese internment camps established between 1941 and 1945 to isolate and relocate those Americans of Japanese descent from the west coast of the United States, albeit their civil rights were supposedly protected by the Constitution. Using the same sentiments and sequitur regarding the Confederate flag, one would think that displaying the American flag (aka Union Jack) would also be offensive to those among us of Japanese ancestry. Where is the hue and cry from those progressives and bleeding hearts to remind us of our sordid history when that flag is displayed on every government edifice, in every military cemetery and on most private lawns during Memorial Day or on the Fourth of July?

Colorado River (Colorado), Sacramento River (California), Brazos River (Texas), Sand Creek (Colorado) or Wounded Knee (South Dakota), to name but a few, were all massacres against Native Americans (women and children included) — times we find it convenient to forget when we rise and salute the American flag during outings such as baseball or football games. We, descendants of those American soldiers and settlers, even stole their lands and papered over it with treaties to assuage our collective conscious. Do we still revere and pay homage to the flag of those perpetrators in spite of that? Yes! This country was built with as much blood and pillage as it was in sacrifice and honor, and either flag is reminiscent of both. There simply is no difference between the Confederate flag and our American one when we consider what we did as reflected in our history as a nation. Confederate soldiers were ever bit as valiant as those in the Union brigades — the only difference being the orders by which they were to obey and for which they died.

Some of us are still fighting the Civil War when we proclaim a “high road,” and condemn a mere emblem such as a Confederate flag, but ignore the many derelictions of the American flag under which they readily honor, express and exercise their sensitivities and Constitutional rights of “free expression.” Hypocrisy may be manifested by one draped in the American flag, but trampling on that of the Confederacy. To put it more tragically, the coffin of a soldier from Alabama that is shrouded with the Confederate flag on its return from Iraq is as acceptable to me as a soldier from New York covered by that of the Union Jack, if those were their respective convictions when they were living — in death each soldier earned his emblem in his chosen way.

Fredric Butler