|AUGUST 7, 2003 THU
Updated 9:00am CST
|PRISON PLANET.com Analysis|
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|Previously by this author: Americans Still Being Neo-Conned|
|A Difficult Decision
Clint Lacy August 7 2003
Last weekend I contacted our local museum about possibly flying one of our Confederate flags. I walked through the door and was greeted by a lady who was volunteering her time there. "May I help you" she asked?
"Yes ma'am", I said. " Could you please tell me who is in charge of the museum today?"
"Well that would be me", she said.
I proceeded to tell her about the Missouri Flag Campaign and that we would provide a historically accurate Confederate flag of the museum's choice if they would fly it.
I immediately was introduced to the brick wall of bureaucracy. As soon as I started talking about my heritage and what we were doing a man in the museum stood up and started telling her that if she put up one of our Confederate flags that she must put up a Union one. (I would like to know what he considers the Stars and Stripes).
The museum volunteer started coming up with excuses quickly. "We are afraid it would get stolen", " We don't want to offend", etc. She then made me the generous offer that I could donate a flag for their indoor display, telling me that at least 25 people come through per day. I promptly told her, "Lady I'm not giving you a flag to sit in here and collect dust. That's not what we're about".
I didn't take it too hard because I had a business up town that had said they would be happy to fly a Second National Confederate flag. My theory was that those who opposed the display of our flag at the museum would have to deal with the fact that it would be flying at the storefront on their way to the museum.
I thought of how pretty that flag would look flying downtown and it warmed my heart. Those warm feelings were soon dashed when I went to the store Saturday morning to present and mount their new flag.
The storeowner and her 15-year-old son greeted me. I could tell by the look in their eyes that something had gone awry. "I have your flag ma'am", I said. She replied by saying, " If I have any trouble is it all right to take it down?"
" Why have you had trouble?", I asked.
That's when I got the low down on what was taking place. It appears the business owner next door did not like the idea of the flag flying next to his business. What is worse is that this individual was a member of the City Council. He had strongly suggested to her that it would not be a good idea to display the flag.
I also found out that this particular City Council member belongs to a community civic organization in town. But when it came time to purchase T-shirts for that organization, he drove 19 miles to another town and paid more to not do business out of my hometown. (I plan to make that known when he comes up for re-election.)
The story gets worse for even though we live in a community that is on the edge of the Ozark foothills, the kids in the local school district have adopted an urban lifestyle. The store owner's son has had his life threatened for sticking to his country roots, but nothing was done because the parent of the adolescent that threatened him is a member of the local police force.
So we drove to the store owner's house and mounted the flag. I told the young man that, " Even though this flag didn't go up in town it did go up. And no one will bother it here". I think it made his day.
But just when we think things are going the wrong way, we find that our luck turns around just as quick. My wife tracked me down when I got back into town and told me that Rick had called and wanted our families to meet at "Elephant Rocks" state park. We were told to bring the beverages and that the Gibbs family would bring the food.
It was good to see Rick and his wife Meha, and their daughters, Elise, Rema and Arpana (who they affectionately call "Arpie"). We ate lunch and took to the trail. Eventually climbing to the top of the mountain. If you have not been there it is breath taking. There was a cool breeze at the top of the mountain and huge boulders that you can shade yourself under. All while taking in the view of the Arcadia Valley.
While taking in the view I told Rick that we should have brought some more flags up. He informed me that he happened to have a couple in his van. So once again we found ourselves in Arcadia and at the home of Ms. Polly Hollie. It was good to see her again. We visited for a while and then she got on her phone and started calling people who wanted a flag.
Tom and Velma Parker were two of those people who wished to display a Second National Confederate flag. They only lived about a block away from Ms. Polly so we all started walking to the Parker's place. And at the end of the line was Rick and Meha's daughter Arpie and my son Jordy holding hands as if they were all grown up and taking in the day.
We got to the Parker's and Ms. Polly introduced us to Tom and Velma. Once again we found ourselves in the company of some very special people. They are an elderly couple with a very unique story. Velma's ancestors fought for the Union in Pennsylvania. Tom's Great, Great Grandfather was from eastern Tennessee and fought with the Union Calvary.
Tom had jokingly told us that upon finding this out he wished he had never researched his ancestors. He also added that he found out his Great, Great Grandfather upon returning home from the war felt as if he had made a mistake fighting for the Union.
Even the Parker's home has a story of it's own. The house was being constructed at the onset of the War Between the States. The owner of the property had his lumber confiscated by the Union army and it was used in the construction of a Union fort in the area.
Mr. Parker is very astute in Missouri and Civil War history and we soon found ourselves discussing the topic of Reconstruction. He told us, " Boys if you don't know about Reconstruction you don't know about the war". Tom Parker told us that he was retired from the railroad and that even as late as the 1970's the railroad tax in Southern states was 5% higher than in Northern states. He also told us that he lied about his age to get into the Marine Corps. He joined when he was 16 years old. Even then Mr. Parker noticed that almost all of the combat soldiers spoke Southern and expressed that many in the South were so destitute that they had no alternative but to join the military. He agreed with us and felt that the South is still paying for the war and that the mistreatment still goes on.
He also agreed with us that Governor Holden's decision to remove the Confederate flags from Higginsville cemetery and Fort Davidson State Historic site was an extension of this and that political correctness was destroying our country. I also brought up the subject of the Patriot Act and how the current administration was trampling on our Constitution as the previous administration had. To which Mr. Parker replied by laughing and saying " what Constitution is there any Constitution left?"
We mounted the pole and hung the flag on the Parker's front porch and said our good-byes and thank you. Tom Parker and his wife Velma told us thank you and that they really appreciated what we were doing. I can't tell you how good that made us feel.
Isn't it ironic that the younger generations can't give their freedom away fast enough and the older generations recognize what is going on in government? The older generations are some of our biggest supporters. Many have fought wars to preserve our freedom only to see our politicians take them away.
I have also come to a turning point in my life concerning the American Flag. As controversial as this decision is, I can no longer display the U.S. flag in good conscience. Am I a proud American? Of course I am, and I love my country dearly. But this weekend made me realize some very important things. We are only free if we "go along with the program". If we were truly free, our politically correct politicians would not be able to re-write our history. Our local politicians would not be able to threaten business owners about what flag they choose to display. And if we truly had tolerance then there would not be a young man in a rural school threatened because he refuses to adopt the urban lifestyle that is popular.