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Letter: We can dissent without throwing out American principles
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An American flag flies in the wind after being raised during Grant-Reeves Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7720 flag dedication ceremony in Alto, Saturday, June 30, 2018, at Anderson Village along Tommy Irvin Parkway. - photo by David Barnes

My compliments to The Times editors in their selection of opinions in the July 12, Friday edition. All the opinions in their own way dealt with what our country stands for. 

I believe that Star Parker’s column most nearly captures the real foundational principles of the founding of this country and thus what our flag represents, as there seems to be a lot of misrepresentation in the flag issues we see discussed today. 

Three paragraphs in her column it seems to me very succinctly captures the essence of why we should respect our flag. 

And I quote, “The American flag made by Betsy Ross, and the one we have today, stands for this struggle and for the principles articulated in the Declaration of Independence that Benjamin Franklin signed.” 

“The truth and power of those principles of freedom is what made us and makes us great, despite the presence of evil.”

“Let us not make the grave error of thinking that what needs to be eliminated are the principles rather than the evil.”

We heard this type of thinking expressed by President Barack Obama as he disrespected our flag, buying into the thinking of his father, as expressed in his book titled “Dreams from My Father” published in 1995. I seriously doubt that many read his book and thus we knew little about his background and views.

Dissent and freedom of speech are privileges we have in this nation, but the manner in which that dissent is expressed needs to be examined as to its validity. 

For example, when it misrepresents what the flag actually stands for, as Obama and more recently Colin Kaepernick have done, then it creates a great deal of needless conflict. All too often we see this played out by college student demonstrations, and brings into question as to the source of this type of thinking in our education system. Certainly, in most cases, it is not constructive. 

And the division we see in our country is becoming more and more harmful, as there will always be the presence of evil, so we need to be very careful not to “throw the baby out with the bathwater.”

Clint Hawkins


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