This letter is for people who are objective. I’m offering another point of view from all the recent controversy surrounding the Confederate flag. I will begin with a fact. Seventy percent of the estimated 750,000 to 1,000,000 soldiers who fought for the South did not own slaves. There is no known percentage of the 2.5 to 3 million soldiers for the North who owned slaves, but I would guess it to be less than 10 percent.

The leadership for both sides (who wanted this war) had to use a different sales pitch to raise an army to fight their battle. For the South it was “states’ rights.” For the North it was “preserve the union.” It’s hard for me to believe that all these soldiers who left their homes and families, traveled hundreds and thousands of miles, endured the heat and cold, suffered through diseases, starvation, amputations, mutilations, prison camps, torture, and numerous other hardships (that I don’t have enough space to list) fought and died (approximately 620,000) for something that had nothing to do with them.

I do believe that the No. 1 contributing factor that started the Civil War was slavery, but to raise an army to do the actual fighting was for a different cause. I also believe that the animosity toward the Confederate flag is due to the unlawful events surrounding the Civil Rights era of the 1950s and 1960s. Many hate groups (KKK, Neo-Nazis etc) used this flag as an emblem.

Many people are still alive today who experienced the atrocities of that era, which is more recent than the Civil War, thus being more influential. In no way do I condone any of these actions. My point is that everyone has the right to an opinion for an action of removal of an object on public property, but leave the Civil War out of it!

Clay Fletcher

electrical mechanic