Public opinion condemning the racism that the Confederate flag promotes continues to rise amid bi-partisan calls to bury this symbol of hatred, prejudice and intolerance.
Many point to a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that says the Sons of Confederate Veterans have no rights under the First Amendment to force states to issue spcial license plates that depict the flag.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe Tuesday ordered Virginia to recall the less than 1,600 Virginia plates that display the flag in a special plate for the group and replace them with ones without the symbol of a Confederacy that lost the Civil War.
Wal-Mart, Sears, Amazon, eBay and a growing list of retailers are removing items that display the flag from their shelves.
In South Carolina, where a young racist displayed the flag along with his guns before he gunned down people at a historical African-American Church in Charleston, Republic Rep. Doug Brannon announced he will sponsor legislation to remove the flag from the State House grounds.
U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina says the flag should be removed. His calls were echoed buy President Barack Obama, 2012 Presidential challenger Mitt Romney and even Libertarian leaning Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky.
Writes Karen Tumulty and Robert Costa of The Washington Post:
The banner was long considered politically sacrosanct in the South, at least among conservative whites. It now appears that a rush is on to banish it, along with other images that evoke the Confederacy and sow racial divisiveness.
“It’s a baby step of progress, but we had to step through the blood of nine dead people,” said former College of Charleston president Alex Sanders, a longtime critic of the flag.
On Facebook and other social media sites, rabid rebels shout loudly to try and stem the tide of resentment towards the flag. That tide threatens to bury them and their racist rants.
Sadly, those who cling to vapid claims of a “Southern heritage” that does not exit blithely ignore the racism and repression that the Stars and Bars represents.
President Obama says the Confederate flag should be in a museum. Perhaps. A hall of horrors would be a better location.
Others say burying the flag is a better idea.
Or why not just burn the damn thing? Turning it into ashes, sadly, won’t wipe away the hate and racism that it represents.
But it could, at least, be a start and in America, a nation divided by racism and driven by hate, we have to start somewhere.