I read in recent news articles about the Lexington City Council’s Position to prohibit flying the Confederate Battle Flag on street light poles during certain commemorative events in the town. Mr.Ellestad, the Confederate history of Lexington makes your town what it is. Two of the most admired men who fought on either side of the War Between the States are buried in Lexington and that Confederate heritage should be proudly displayed and promoted not hidden and discouraged. You stated, "that displaying the Confederate flag is very hurtful to groups of people. In their mind, it stands for the defense of slavery." If ever there was a teachable moment and a place so deserving, it would be Lexington in defense of Confederate heritage and the Battle Flag. It was Lincoln who stated he had no desire or inclination to free any slaves and wished to ship all blacks back to Liberia - that was not Jefferson Davis; it was Grant who owned slaves even during the War - that was not Robert E. Lee. No slaves were ever brought to America for sale under any Confederate flag; the same cannot be said for the United States star spangled banner. I can only trust that you and your City Council will reap your just desert for taking such a cowardly position and that you will find yourselves displaced by councilmen who value truth and our noble Southern heritage. I for one will not visit or patronize any Lexington businesses as long as the Lexington City Council supports this position prohibiting the display of the flag on street lights. The Battle Flag displays an historic St. Andrew’s Cross and is emblematic of strength and progress. The Confederate Battle Flag has been proudly flown by US forces in every worldwide conflict since and including World War II including at Okinawa, at Khe Sanh in Vietnam and in the mid-east conflicts. The flag has been desecrated by hate groups but it has never represented slavery and you and the Lexington city council have forfeited an opportunity to relay the truth about the flag and what it represents. It is a symbol of the defense of freedom and liberty, the values under which the Southern states attempted to form the Confederacy as the one true continuing model of our nation’s founding fathers Constitutional ideals. The Confederate armies fought and died under that flag to defend their homeland from invasion and for liberty from an overbearing overreaching federal government which should be only too apparent and comprehensible in today’s political climate. Any belief that they fought in a single purpose defense of the institution of slavery is simple mindedness and ignorance. President Jefferson Davis’ wife Varina Howell eloquently wrote, “Under it we won our victories and its glory will never fade. It is enshrined in our hearts forever.” Your city council dictate and your legacy will assuredly fade.
Sincerely, Stuart Waldo