For the average non-Southerner the continued affection residents of Dixie display toward the controversial Battle Flag can be baffling. If African-Americans are so incensed by the banner, why not just fold it up and put it away? Greta Van Susteren of Fox News called for just that and defined the issue a “no-brainer”. Why indeed? The war has been over for 143 years. Certain unsavory groups of a racist stripe seem unduly attached to the symbol as well. No one in the print or electronic media seems willing to come forward and offer a counterpoint. Is there another point of view after all?
Newspapers however, have developed the habit of concluding all flag related stories the same way. The throwaway line for the other point of view is usually something like “flag defenders say the banner stands for heritage”. But what does that mean? If such an understanding can be developed is it still not overshadowed by prevailing negative opinions? Can a symbol so emotionally charged ever be mutually understood?
Therein lies the problem.
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