Can you think of a better way for any American to spend Memorial Day than to burn a Confederate flag?
John Sims, a Black artist from Sarasota, Florida,exercised his First Amendment rights by burning and burying the Stars and Bars . Simultaneous coordinated ceremonies occured in 11 former secessionist states, and Kentucky and Missouri.
“We are in America, and people have the right to fly whatever flag [they want],” Sims said. “And I have the right to bury whatever flag, and to burn whatever flag.”
Meanwhile, “This is not only terribly offensive, but astonishingly idiotic, for every flag he burns and buries, we will put 10 more up.” said Ben Jones, a former Democratic congressman from Georgia who is now a spokesman for the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
A century after the surrender at Appomattox, the symbol of slsvery is still
celebrated across the former confederacy. Recently the Sons of Confederate Veterans sued the state of Texas to require a specialized license plate containing their Confederate insignia. Of course Texas was “freed” form Mexico in art bgecause Sam Houston and his followers wanted the freedom to own slaves.. something Mexico had abolished. A statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis sits in a prominent spot on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has its oSaunders Hall honoring Confederate colonel and KKK Grand Dragon William Saunders. In Alabama, Myron Penn (D-AL), a former State Senator and County Commissioner, received death threats after removing Confederate flags from soldiers’ graves in the local city owned cemetery.
After the Brown v. Board of Education school desegregation decision, states such as Georgia reintroduced the flag orother states incorporated the secessionist symbol into their state flags. While Mississippi remains the only state flag to incorporate the Confederate emblem, other still fly the Stars and Bars in a place of honor. Last year, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley defended the flag that flies before her state huse by noting the display of Souther pride was not bad for business “I can honestly say I have not had one conversation with a single CEO about the Confederate flag,”
When you celebrate Memorial Day, raise a fist for John Sims. Thank him for speaking his mind and expressing his beliefs. The Confederate flag is a symbol of white supremacy and the years of suffering of black people, and that lingering hope of some that we will return to toiling in the cotton fields, and swinging from the poplar trees if we get too uppity. This is the N-word on a pole. If America had its own version of the Nazi swastika, this would be it.”