I do not even own a Confederate flag, but I am disappointed in the hypocrisy displayed by South Carolina legislators who voted to take down the flag.

Here’s the hypocrisy (the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform). If the Confederate flag is offensive to people because it represents slavery and slave owners, then maybe South Carolina should take down the American flag, too. An alternative to letting it fly in South Carolina would be to remove one stripe and one star that represent South Carolina as one of the original 13 states.

According to the state library of South Carolina, the state’s founders were slave owners, and opposed emancipation.

Charles Cotesworth Pinckney owned slaves throughout his life and believed that slavery was necessary to the economy of South Carolina. At the Constitutional Convention, he agreed to abolish the slave trade in 1808, but opposed emancipation. In 1801, Pinckney owned about 250 slaves. When his daughter, Eliza, married, Pinckney gave her 50 slaves. On his death, he bequeathed his remaining slaves to his daughters and nephews.

Although John Rutledge claimed that he disliked slavery, as an attorney he twice defended individuals who abused slaves. Before the American Revolution, Rutledge owned 60 slaves; afterward, he possessed 28. His wife, Elizabeth, manumitted her own slaves, and his nieces were abolitionists Sarah and Angelina Grimke. Despite this, Rutledge convinced the Constitutional Convention not to abolish slavery. When Rutledge died in 1800, he owned one slave due to financial difficulties.

Flags do not kill people, and guns do not kill people. Radicals and bigots kill people, and no legislation in the world can change their views. In my opinion, if you are offended by flags, symbols or words, then you really do not know who you are.

Ronald Cain

retired state employee

Baton Rouge