J.D.R. Hawkins

One bullet can make a man a hero… or a casualty.

The Craziness Continues

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I’m sure glad I bought my Confederate battle flag when I did, because now it will be increasingly difficult to find one. In the latest news, the oldest flag manufacturer in the country, Annin Flagmakers, has stated that it will cease manufacturing the flag. Not only has Walmart pulled the flag from its shelves, but now Amazon, Sears and eBay have pulled the flag from their sites as well. It’s amazing all the uproar one deranged lunatic has caused. Never mind that he killed nine innocent people and nothing’s been said about that – let’s get rid of that nasty flag instead!

“We never want to offend anyone with the products we offer,” Walmart said in a statement.

I could name many items Walmart sells that offend me, but that’s another story.

According to USA Today, “Flag makers say there isn’t much of a market anyway for the Confederate flag in the U.S.”

“It’s not something regularly produced,” says Reggie Vandenbosch, chairman of the Flag Manufacturers Association of America. “It’s not even a 10th of a percent of the overall business.”

So then what’s the big deal? If there aren’t that many flags being sold, why are they all being pulled? Is it because they supposedly might offend some people? Mass murder offends me, not the flag.

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The Flag Manufacturers Association plans to discuss continuing the manufacture of the Confederate flag. In the meantime, Valley Forge Flag, where Vandenbosch is the vice president of sales, will stop selling it.

The states of Tennessee and Virginia have banned the use of the flag on license tags. This action directly attacks the Sons of Confederate Veterans, because their banner is the Confederate battle flag. To me, this seems highly unjust. The SCV uses the flag to honor 480,000 Confederate Civil War casualties, not to stir up social unrest.

A Confederate activist group, the Virginia Flaggers, regularly displays Confederate flags on private property along major highways. The group condemned the move, stating that their displays have always occurred without incident.

In other news, the governor of Alabama removed the Confederate flag from the capitol grounds in Montgomery. There was no press conference or fanfare; no vote or ceremony. The flag was just gone this morning.

“We are facing some major issues in this state regarding the budget and other matters that we need to deal with,” said Alabama Governor Robert Bently (R). “This had the potential to become a major distraction as we go forward. I have taxes to raise, we have work to do. And it was my decision that the flag needed to come down.”

Wow. A distraction? So keeping the flag flying would prevent the governor from raising taxes, then? How does that work? So far, the governor of Mississippi has vowed to keep the flag, which is in the state flag’s canton.

I wonder what would have happened if Dylann Roof had been holding an American flag in his photo instead, or a Bible? Hypersensitivity reigns in the U.S.A. now, but instead of directing blame at the person who deserves it, the Confederate battle flag is being blamed because it supposedly stirs racial unrest. I can’t imagine how many people are offended by all of this, in that their history and heritage are being suddenly swept away. There are many people in the South who love this flag, both black and white, and I’m sure they feel personally attacked. Still others say it’s time for the flag to go, and that it’s time to move on. I believe the flag needs to be reinvented, instead of being associated with racism. Removing it from public view won’t solve any problems.

Protesters display Confederate flags United States flags from the bed of a pickup truck May 6 on a highway about 15 miles south of Miami in what organizers said was a protest to show support for Attorney General Janet Reno and respect for the flag. Organizers said they wanted to counteract demonstrations held by members of the Cuban-American community that followed the April 22 seizure of Cuban rafter Elian Gonzalez by government agents from the home of his Miami relatives. BC/CLH/

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