Letters to the Editor

Don't forget the history of Mississippi's flag

The Mississippi flag controversy concerns the battle cross in the upper corner.

Though often referred to as the "Confederate flag," it was never adopted by the Confederacy, but they did adopt several other flags, one of which was simply a magnolia tree on a white background. However, problems arose when it was flown in battle. If there was no wind, the draped flag looked like the white flag of surrender, so the troops developed battle flags to be flown while engaged in battle.

The symbol in the corner of Mississippi's flag represents the battle flag of Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. The 13 stars in the cross or X represent the 13 colonies that founded the U.S., not the seven states of the Confederacy, and it became popular due to his many victories.

Within a decade after the Civil War ended, the flag was used as a memorial to fallen soldiers. In World War II, the flag was flown by troops of all races and colors to express themselves as Southerners, and it was used by college football teams. It was a flag of respect.

But recently, the flag hasn't been treated with respect. It's appeared on beach towels, swim suits and even baby diapers. Truckers and motorcycle gangs used the flag as a symbol of rebellion, and then the KKK started using it.

Today, many people forget or don't know the history behind the flag and concentrate on the disrespectful displays instead. But eliminating or banning the flag would give victory to those who disrespect it. Don't give a piece of our history to the KKK, motorcycle gangs, etc.

JIM VALENTINO

Picayune

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