Some insight on the controversy over Confederate battle flags. I was born and raised for 21 years in a former Confederate state, Arkansas. My great-grandfather was a soldier in the Confederate army. He was wounded in both legs and had to use two canes for the rest of his life so that he could walk. I inherited those canes. They are a constant reminder. I often wondered why he fought. He was a poor dirt farmer, so slavery shouldn’t have been an issue for him. He died long before I was born so I couldn’t ask him. I never found any of his writings. I’m not even sure that he could read or write. I saw recently where some people from Northern Idaho were talking about secession, and I thought, “Not again. Don’t people ever learn?” We killed over 700,000 in that tragic war — more than in all our other wars combined. And for what? Just because, “The government can’t tell me what to do.” So, yes, we should preserve those battle flags — but in museums, where the tragic nature of their history can be explained, not flaunted pridefully as a symbol of “gallant” resistance.
Al Bolin, Boise
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