Sunday, January 30, 2011
"African slavery, as it exists in the United States, is a moral, a social, and a political blessing." - Jefferson Davis
A house in Lancaster at the corner of Pine and Jefferson streets has a Confederate flag flying (the flag of the Army of Northern Virginia). It is at the top of a long flag pole. No national flag flies above it. I can only imagine what the reaction to this would have been in the latter half of the nineteenth century, for this city sent many of its sons to fight against the slavery and rebellion represented by this flag. Many did not come home. To see a symbol such as that flag flying in the streets of their beloved city would probably have been cause for severe action. This county was also the home of the Pleasant Ridge African American community, many ex-slaves. Brave men paid a very high price to keep the nation whole and end the scourge of African-American slavery. Seven hundred men from Grant County were killed or wounded. Jefferson Coates lost his eyes in the Battle of Gettysburg and won a Medal Of Honor. General Callis, from Lancaster, was gravely injured there, and lay on the battlefield for three days. They fought at Antietem and Vicksburg and a hundred other places. There are as many stories as men who volunteered to fight for The Union, and now we have a flag, detestable to them and even more so today flying in our city. Of course the owner has the right to fly anything he wants, but I object.