In defense of St. Andrews

No rational or moral person today can accept the concept of slavery. That has been true for the last 150 years of an estimated 12,000 years of civilization.

The Confederate battle flag is unfairly targeted as a symbol of slavery and racism. It has never been either.

Slavery was introduced into North America under British colonial rule at a time in history when 80 percent of the world populations were slaves or serfs. The British brought slaves to the agrarian South to farm labor-intensive crops of cotton, tobacco and rice for England. About 1.2 percent of all slaves in history were of African descent: 97.8 percent were not. Harvard’s Henry Louis Gates Jr. reports that 388,000 (3.2 percent) of those Africans came to what is now the United States.

Not a single African slave was brought to America under the Confederate flag.

New England Yankees, under the Stars and Stripes, controlled the slave trade: their bankers, their shipbuilders, their ships, their captains, their crews, their trade routes.

European emigration populated the North, and by the 1800s unbalanced the representation in the House where taxation and government spending are controlled. Federal taxes on exports (cotton) rose to nearly 40 percent to fund solely Northern projects. Between bankers and taxes the North took the lion’s share of profits from Southern agriculture: a repeat of “taxation without representation” that caused the Revolution in 1775.

Fort Sumter was a tax office, not a slave market.

America was born of rebellion against oppressive government. When America no longer respected the rules of governance under which our Republic was created, the Confederacy was born to resist that federal tyranny.

No rational person looks at the battle flag and longs for slavery. Rather, it symbolizes the rebellious spirit that honors the inalienable individual rights equally endowed to each of us by our creator over usurped government authority: honor over oppression and justice over might.

One hundred years after the Civil War, a campaign was started to misrepresent what the Confederate battle flag stands for. That is both an irony and a travesty, and as a lie, it cannot be permitted to succeed.

Frank D. Banta

Newnan



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