News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Opinion

October 31, 2013

RONN MOTT: Confederate States of America

During the government shutdown a handful of veterans and a whole bunch of Tea Party activists picked up the fencing that blocked the WWII Memorial and dropped it in front of the White House. And then they began to wave the Confederate flag.  

I guess I’m the only living American who considers that flag an act of treason. And if it isn’t treason, it’s a flag that reminds me that 650,000, both Blue and Gray, died during the war the South started. Six hundred and fifty thousand people died in that conflict, and now these half-baked rebels fly the damn thing anytime they’re mad about anything. Or, maybe they’re flying it because they still believe in slavery, or maybe it just makes them feel their anger is justified at whatever they happen to be angry at.  

My great-grandfather, who was born in North Carolina, moved to Parke County at age 16 and joined the Army to help President Lincoln save the Union when he was 27. He didn’t think he was doing anything special, merely adding his effort to keeping the Union intact.

So, these people who wave the flag of the Confederacy are not really doing it for the cause of the Confederate States that was decided 200 years ago and, in case all of you have forgotten, the Confederates lost.

There are other things you can do to protest, but to wave the battle flag of the Confederacy is just not very smart. To do it as a matter of protest, for whatever political thing has you in an uproar, is not helping your cause at all.   

Perhaps it would be better to remember the men who wore the Gray and the Butternut and Brown, and remember they fought for a cause they believed in … and were willing to die for. They were not fools, except in a political way. They were being manipulated and that’s really unfortunate. I would recommend many books on the Civil War so you can see how foolish you look waving the rebel battle flag.  

Ronn Mott, a longtime radio personality in Terre Haute, writes commentaries for the Tribune-Star. His pieces are published online Tuesday and Thursday on Tribstar.com, and in the print and online editions on Saturday.

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