LETTER from PAUL CONWAY
To the Editor:
Jennifer Hill’s article “… A Matter of Freedom,” raised the issue of whether Confederate flags should be marketed at county fairs such as ours, in Morris.
One side of the issue is well stated there. The vendor quoted was a reasonable individual who articulated the rights of all citizens to symbolically express themselves with displays of flags. There is “more and more buying both the rebel flag and the American flag together,” he remarked.
Historically, Confederate flags have symbolized support for slavery and secession from the USA. Most recently the flag in question has become a symbol that inspires defiance by Alt-Right and White Nationalist groups that promote random violence against non-white people.
Recall the photos of Dylan Roof in Charleston, S.C., and recent mass murders in other American cities. Just as the Nazi flag is seen as a dangerous perversion of contemporary German nationalism, the Confederate “rebel” flag is now ominous for many of us, a symbolic perversion of American nationalism.
No one should question the Constitutional right of individuals in this country to possess or display confederate flags: They still mean many things to different people.
Rather, given the context of increased polarization and mass murders by domestic terrorists, the question is simply: Do we want our county fair(s) to permit the display and sale of Confederate flags? For many of us here, as in Delaware County and throughout the state, the answer is NO!