Your Article "Confederate battle flag doesn't belong on Texas license plate" From: clifton To:star-telegram.com Anyone who seeks an "offensive flag"* needs to look no farther than the thirteen-stripe United States flag. Under that flag, many thousands of Africans were transported to slavery in the New World. No Confederate-flagged ship ever made a slaving-run. Under that flag, atrocities were committed against noncombatant civilians during the 1860s -- atrocities to rank with those committed by the Germans and Japanese during World War II. No Confederate unit ever committed atrocities against noncombatants. Under that flag, Ulysses S. Grant issued General Order No. 11, expelling all Jews from parts of Tennessee, Mississippi, and Kentucky. The Confederate States of America never practiced anti-Semitism. To the contrary -- the Confederate forces included Jewish officers and enlisted men, and from the beginning, the Confederate cabinet included Judah Philip Benjamin, a Jew. (The first Jewish US cabinet member, Oscar Straus, served under Theodore Roosevelt.) Under that flag, the military services were segregated until after World War II. Confederate military units saw many different ethnicities - including thousands of blacks - serving cheek-by-jowl and receiving the same pay and allowances. Under that flag, Indians were cheated, forcibly removed from their ancestral lands, and massacred wholesale. Indians received no such treatment at Confederate hands. To the contrary -- Indians played a vital role in the Confederate Army. General Stand Watie, a Cherokee, was the last Confederate general to sign a cease-fire with the US Army. Under that flag, American citizens in the 1940s were forcibly removed from their homes and herded into concentration camps solely because their ancestors had been born in Japan. The Confederate States of America never put anyone into a concentration camp based on his parents' ethnicity. http://pointsouth.com/csanet/kkk.htm for pictures. So - if you seek an "offensive flag"*, go for Old Glory. The flag that we know as the Confederate Battle Flag was used by many (but by no means all) Confederate military units during the War for Southern Independence (1861-1865). It was the Confederate soldiers' flag, and they alone had the right to interpret its meaning. When the War was over, the Confederate soldiers became Confederate veterans. They formed an organization known as the United Confederate Veterans. The Confederate Battle Flag was still their flag, and they alone had the right to interpret its meaning. In 1896, since many of the Confederate veterans were aged, infirm, and dying off, the Sons of Confederate Veterans was formed as the successor organization to the United Confederate Veterans. The legacy and authority of the United Confederate Veterans was transferred to them over the next ten years. This transfer of power culminated in a speech given 25 April 1906 at New Orleans, Louisiana by Stephen Dill Lee, Confederate lieutenant-general, and commander-in-chief of the United Confederate Veterans, wherein he delivered the following charge: "To you, Sons of Confederate Veterans, we will commit the vindication of the cause for which we fought. To your strength will be given the defense of the Confederate soldier's good name, the guardianship of his history, the emulation of his virtues, the perpetuation of those principles which he loved and which you love also, and those ideals which made him glorious and which you also cherish. Remember: It is your duty to see that the true history of the South is presented to future generations." * Since 25 April 1906, therefore, the Confederate Battle Flag has been the flag of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. They alone have the right to interpret its meaning. They have interpreted its meaning, and explained (repeatedly!) that meaning - and it is not hatred, nor is it bigotry. > Clifton > Upshur County, Texas ******************** Thoughts?