The slaughter of more innocents in Charleston South Carolina brings back the continuing controversy of South Carolina’s state flag which is identical to the Confederate Battle Flag. That flag needs to go it is a symbol of a cause that was not a just cause and it is a continuing symbol of racism, bigotry and slavery. It represents a time when men slaughtered other humans over the right for one human to enslave another and despite what the Old Testament may say there is no justification ever for slavery.

Nor should there be for continuing to hold the symbols of slavery, racism and bigotry as sacred. That flag cannot and does not represent all the people of South Carolina and for that reason alone it should be relegated to the trash heap of history. Put it in a museum if that tickles your fancy but get it off of flagpoles. For African-Americans it represents a time when they weren’t citizens of this nation and a time when they were considered to be less than human. It needs to go.

As a part of our heritage it represents a losing cause that did not deserve to continue. Like the Nazi Swastika it represents hatred, bigotry and racism. The Civil War ended 150 years ago. We are the United States of America not the Confederate States of America. The south ain’t gonna rise again and it never was. The Civil War is and was not a heroic war for independence. It was a war in which one side wanted to perpetuate an evil that had existed in the world for far too long.

My great-grandfather Everist served in that war on the Union side. He attended the 75th Anniversary of Gettysburg in 1938. His comment to my mother when she asked him about his trip was a very telling comment and still echoes in my mind. “Them damned old fools were still trying to fight the Civil War. This is America we are all Americans they need to get over it and forget it. It was a terrible time. It was a horrible time. And there was absolutely no justification for going to war in the first place! People should never, ever be bought and sold!”

The confederate flag should not be flying over any state house or government entity in our nation. We are Americans not Confederates. The south is part of America it is not part of the Confederacy. That flag flew off 150 years ago and it should no longer be used to divide our nation nor its people.

The Nazi Swastika is a vile symbol of a time when other humans slaughtered humans they considered to be inferior. The Confederate flag is a symbol of hatred, bigotry and racism and it should have no honored place in our society. Of course we can’t deny history but we don’t have to worship symbols of a time in our history when humans enslaved other humans. Remove the confederate flag, keep in your home if you so choose but don’t try to pass it off as a sacred symbol of our American Heritage because it is not.

Bob Bearden