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Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016

Flag controversy is now close to home

Sunday, January 19, 2003

Here we go again. The Confederate flag is in the news again but this time the battle ground is right here in Missouri. And the ugly stains of political fingerprints are all over the issue. Just chalk this up to yet another stupid trick by the ever-brilliant Gov. Bob Holden.

Here's exactly how it happened. Democratic presidential candidate Dick Gephardt wanted to clean his political slate so last weekend he announced a new-found problem with Missouri historic sites flying the Confederate flag "anytime, anywhere". So his buddy and former employee Bob Holden quickly endorses a new approach and agrees to remove flags from two Confederate sites, one a burial ground of 700 Confederate soldiers from Missouri.

For countless years these two flags have flown without any concern. But Gephardt wants to polish his image and Holden is more than willing to assist. I suspect Holden is vying for some slot on team-Gephardt because his stay in Jefferson City will likely be limited to one single term, given his track record thus far.

I have used this column on past occasions to share my opinions on the Confederate flag. If you want to view it as a symbol of racism, that lies within your mind and attitude. I choose to view it as a sign of valor and southern heritage and as a reminder of the thousands of men and women from Missouri who died in the Civil War.

This cancerous move toward political correctness and the attempt to rewrite history is repugnant. I am sickened that the views of a majority of Missourians are being ignored for political reasons. Gephardt is a hypocrite in the worst way and Holden is his accomplice. Together they are opening wounds to advance their national agenda at the expense of others. Neither has sufficient character to accept that reality.

A simple act of honoring those who gave their lives in the Civil War has turned into political mileage for Gephardt. The St. Louis Democrat should be ashamed of his sleazy actions. He dishonors those who fought and died in that great war and he intentionally opens wounds in his on-going drive to make a name for himself. He just doesn't get it.

If you want to view any symbol as racists, you're free to do so. But that doesn't make it right. Why not ban the racists views expressed in FUBU clothing or Malcolm X attire, both of which carry massive racial overtones? I think such a ban would be stupid because I don't view these symbols as offensive. I recognize them for what they are. I am not comparing these examples only pointing out that symbolism lies in the eyes of the beholder. But that doesn't mean I advocate their removal.

What hurts most about this flag flap is the obvious political motivation of the Gephardt-Holden duo. These two cronies are everything wrong with today's political landscape. They take hypocrisy to a new level.

And they are wrong. Again!

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