A Virginia boy, I treasured the battle flag my big brother painted me; its “meaning”—my brother’s love. During the Civil War, Confederate officers used that symbol to track troops’ progress; its meaning, war against blacks (and any who’d see them free).
Church teaches, grownups relinquish early attachments. History teaches, wars’ losers surrender symbols of conquest.
It seems Germans learned both lessons, of spiritual development and political progress. Can Americans, too?
After World War Two, Germans realized flying the Nazi flag, symbolizing “Aryan” supremacy, was hostile to Jews and other minorities—and to neighboring nations whom Nazis also enslaved and slaughtered. Germany determined Nazi glamorization, and symbols, nationally unacceptable.
The Confederate battle flag symbolizes a threat to millions, mainly African-Americans, whose ancestors were lynched by the thousands in early decades of the 20th century, their kin by the hundreds in the...
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