Columnist: Take down the flag

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 25, 2015

One area of controversy that we find among some people involves what to do with the Confederate flag. Some sincerely believe that this flag is just as important as the flag of the United States of America. They want both the Confederate flag and the American flag to fly together. In other words, they believe all of us should honor these flags equally. The young man who killed all these innocent people in Charleston even went so far as to honor the Confederate flag more than any other symbol. In my opinion, the Confederate flag in South Carolina should be taken down immediately. There are many reasons for my opinion. Symbols should always be used to bring people together. When they fail to do this, they become demonic. In the state of South Carolina half the people want the Confederate flag to be left to fly where it is. The other half want it placed in a museum. This is a terrible dilemma for the people in South Carolina. It turns family and friends against each other. One of my favorite Christian symbols is the cross. All Christians – Baptists, Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Methodists, Lutheran, etc. – appreciate the cross on which our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ died. The cross tells us that Jesus, crucified on that cross, shed his blood for the remission of our sins. I am proud to be a member of the Optimist Club of LaGrange. At every meeting we pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. We do not pledge our allegiance to the Confederate flag. The American flag lets us know that we honor our country much more than a particular region. I am firmly convinced that the Confederate flag belongs in a museum. It does not deserve to fly next to the flag of the United States of America. Although I was born and raised in the South, I feel no sympathy for the Confederacy. I am also glad the Confederate states lost. No one – black, white, Asian, Hispanic, American Indian, etc. – should ever be a slave. Again, I am calling on the legislators of South Carolina to put the Confederate flag in a museum. If they do that, then true racial progress can be made. If not, then South Carolina will continue to be a state which, by its actions, honors Jim Crow. Contributing columnist Larry Summerour of Troup County is a retired pastor who enjoys political commentary.