A recent article by David French discussed the Confederate Battle Flag that flies over the Confederate war memorial on the state capitol grounds in Columbia, South Carolina. Mr. French discusses the subject from the point of view of his Virginia family, which fought in the American Revolution, the Confederate Army, and most of America's wars since. My family history starts early in Virginia, similarly to Mr. French's, then veers off. My ancestors from Virginia fought in the French and Indian War, where one of them served with Col. Washington, as well as the American Revolution. However, they decided that slavery was wrong. The last slaves my family owned were freed and sent to Liberia in about 1855 with money to buy land once they got there. My family did not think it was safe for them to remain in Virginia. My family then moved to California and stayed out of the Civil War as a result.
I can understand displaying the Confederate Battle Flag only in the context of war memorials and war cemeteries. However, in both cases, I think any of the official Confederate States government flags would be less incendiary, although less acceptable to Mr. French. I think that the Battle flag on the grounds of the state capitol is not appropriate, even if it's over a Civil War memorial. It’s ironic that the Confederate Battle flag was originally displayed over war memorials and war cemeteries because the veterans wanted to be associated with the Confederate Army and not the Confederate government. However, now the Battle Flag has assumed a different meaning.