In response to the current controversy concerning the Confederate battle flag, I affirm that it is an insult to the memory of our ancestors and an affront to my culture and to Southern history, that this precious emblem be removed from public life. As a descendant of men who fought under that banner, I take it as an indictment of who I am that the flag should now be considered racist and indecent.
My fourth great-grandfather, Pvt. Henry S.M. Wade, 41st Ga. Regiment, Middle River Volunteers, was captured in the Battle of Atlanta and was sent to Camp Chase, Ohio, where he contracted smallpox and almost died. He also served honorably in the Vicksburg Campaign, and most importantly, he was not a slaveholder.
The flag represents Southern heritage and valor, not oppression of blacks. The American flag and the Bible have been used by racist groups, too; are we going to do away with them as well?
When history and culture are sacrificed for the whims of political correctness, free speech in America is diminished and all people will suffer.
The Rev. Stacy Wade