Our view: Why did it take violence to arrive here?
Herald editorial board Still think Confederate flags and memorials should be allowed to stand in today's United States? Back in May, we wrote here that anything honoring the rebels from the Civil War shouldn't be allowed to remain on display in p...
Herald editorial board
Still think Confederate flags and memorials should be allowed to stand in today's United States?
Back in May, we wrote here that anything honoring the rebels from the Civil War shouldn't be allowed to remain on display in public places. That means battle flags associated with the Confederate States of America, as well as monuments to the men considered heroes and leaders to the Southern cause.
The problem with such mementoes is that no matter what logic is used to justify them, there remains a simple truth: These items - flags, statues, memorials - honor a rebellion that led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of men on both sides of the Civil War.
The war was about slavery. And with the passing of each of the 152 years since the end of the war, Americans have matured to understand that displaying these items is contrary to a true "united" United States. In effect, it condones the slavery and servitude that led to the war.
Confederate memorials - whether flags or statutes - shouldn't be allowed on public property. And anyone who displays them privately needs to contemplate and fully comprehend the message they appear to be sending.
In May, we wrote that it's easy to admire the military ingenuity of certain leaders of the Southern cause. Yet it's also important to remember that they did form an army against the United States, and they did it to preserve slavery. That was their choice, we wrote, and their legacy must suffer as America evolves and better comprehends racism and the symbols - some subtle, some not so subtle - that still seem to promote it.
Even last week in Minnesota, a game booth at the Dakota County Fair was offering Confederate battle flags as prizes. Whether the booth's owner was racist or simply ignorant, it boggles the mind.
Now, violence is erupting as the issue comes to a head. One woman is dead after she was intentionally run down by a car at a public protest in Virginia.
Public entities are fast-tracking efforts to get these symbols - mostly statues - off public property. Political leaders from both major parties are uniting in the process to have the symbols removed. Even politicians from the South are recognizing the importance of the effort.
"Our Civil War history is important, but it belongs in textbooks and museums - not a place of allegiance on our Capital grounds," North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said this week.
Similar comments are coming from local and state politicians throughout the South.
This is good. Sadly, it's also late.
Why did it take protests, violence and a death to get to this obvious point?