Letter to the Editor - May 4, 2017
When my wife and I made the decision to move to Charleston one of the key reasons was its deep roots in American history. Prior to moving to DI, I had taken up the hobby of Vexillology (the study and appreciation of flags). The how and why I took this up is a story too long for your pages, but, since taking it up I have collected well over 50 flags. Most are related to American history and or world events directly effecting America. Every day there are two flags flying from my front porch. When the date of a significant event occurs, the flags are changed. For example, on April 9, 1865, Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House...virtually ending the bloodiest conflict in American history…the Civil War. In reverence to this monumental date, and after seeking advice from several SC natives, an American flag with 36 stars (the number of Union states at the time) and the Third Flag of the Confederacy (yes, the Stars & Bars are on the flag in the upper corner) were flown from my front porch. Several days later, the historical event ended, the flags were taken down and replaced because new historical events occurred and different flags were put up. Later that week, a letter (see box on right) appeared in my mail box. I am interested in reaching out to the person who mailed it….unfortunately they did not sign it or leave a return address on the envelope…honestly I was disappointed they took this path. Had they been open to “talking” I would gladly explained WHY those particular flags were flown. We cannot change history. We must learn from it and we must teach others. It is only through addressing tough issues head on, without fear of being ridiculed, that we move forward and not repeat the mistakes of the past. In my opinion, flags are a great learning tool. They capture attention and raise our curiosity and are a fun way to learn.
Nicholas Pappas of Daniel Island received the following anonymous letter in his mailbox after flying the Third Flag of the Confederacy outside his home:
Dear Resident, Thank you for taking down your confederate flag. We know it is the third confederate flag. It is still a symbol of hate and bigotry. That flag is disrespectful to all Daniel Islanders and residents of Charleston. We are fast approaching the two year anniversary of the Mother Emanuel Church murders where 9 peace loving people participating in bible study were assassinated by a white supremacist who reveled and wrapped himself in the confederate flag. The state of SC had the good grace to take down the confederate flag from the state house capital after the Mother Emanuel Church murders as a sign of respect and a strong statement that the hate embedded in the confederate flag will no longer represent who we are as a people. Your flying of the confederate flag hopefully was just an oversight, not insensitivity and bigotry. We thank you for taking down that flag!