When I watch the broadcasts of the latest controversy involving the display of the Confederate flag in South Carolina or the controversy over the Texas license plate with the Confederate flag, my mind is immediately drawn to the analogy of how would we feel as Americans if we were watching a broadcast that a government agency in Germany were flying the swastika proud and high or a broadcast that showed various social functions and individuals’ homes where the swastika was being displayed prominently. It’s not hard for me to imagine that German agency or those German individuals saying that the flag is a symbol of heritage and culture and having fought proudly for their country as some people do here.

Not all Southerners see the Confederate flag as a racist symbol, and I do not automatically assume a person is racist who would display the flag, but how is it possible in one’s mind to look at a Confederate flag or a Nazi flag and completely ignore what ultimately lies behind them outside of culture and heritage? Certainly racist tendencies, lack of reflection or ignorance (lack of education) would have to be considered as distinct possibilities in part or in sum.

However, we would never see that broadcast from Germany or any other countries directly involved with Germany in the war because that swastika flag is banned. The only place the swastika flag can be legally displayed is in museums, and this is where its distant cousin, the Confederate flag, should be relegated to in the United States and that is where the Sons of Confederate Veterans or anyone else can view their proud heritage and culture as perhaps a possible but unconfirmed “Sons of Nazi Veterans” group might currently do in Germany.

Rikki Tharpe

retired chemical plant employee

Baton Rouge