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Who was being repressed in 1862?

My heart broke when I read what Mike Leow wrote in his letter to the editor: “The Confederate battle flags don’t represent racism; they represent revolt against repression just as they did in 1862.”

Let’s be clear and tell the truth: the so-called Confederate flag we see flown at protests and terrorist raids was never the national flag of the Confederate States of America. From 1861 to 1865, the CSA adopted three different flags and many other flags were associated with various military units.

For decades after the Civil War, this flag was rarely seen. It surfaced, along with Confederate statues, in the 1950s and 1960s as white southerners resisted efforts to dismantle Jim Crow segregation. Worst of all it became THE flag of the Ku Klux Klan as it began its campaign of bombings, murders and other violence against African Americans and civil rights activists. It still is today.

“There is no doubt among reputable historians that the Confederacy was established upon the premise of white supremacy and that the South fought the Civil War to preserve its slave labor,” according to Southern Poverty Law Center.

You can check out the founding documents of the Confederacy which spell it out: “Our new government is founded upon … the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition,” declared Confederate Vice President Alexander H. Stephens in his 1861 Cornerstone speech.

In truth, who was being repressed, subjugated and controlled in 1862? Let’s get real.

If you truly want to fight repression, Mr. Leow, maybe you are flying the wrong flag and attending the wrong rallies.

ELAINE STENGER,

Alpena

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