View single post by Cookie12NJCoD
 Posted: Fri Oct 5th, 2007 02:35 am
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Cookie12NJCoD
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Not sure where this actually fits but I wanted to get it out there and, hopefully, generate some good old fashioned email bombardment on the matter. A local paper recently ran a story about a high school in our county that removed a replica Confederate Battle flag from a Civil War display case because one 19 year old student found it offensive. http://www.nj. com/news/ gloucester/ local/index. ssf?/base/ news-7/119139725 211100.xml&coll=8 

 I and members of my unit have emailed the Superintendant of Schools in Franklin Township here in Gloucester County NJ of our outrage over this decision.  We would like to have as many historians, reenactors and other folks also send an email to this gentleman expressing overall disappointment over this decision.  Send to Superintendent Frank Borelli at  fborelli@delsea.k12.nj.us 

(a 19 year old still in high school???)  Anyway, here is my two cents worth.  Any additional voices to our chorus would be appreciated.

I am terribly disturbed by your decision to remove the Confederate flag from the Civil War display at a local high school.  This sets a very poor precedent and equally poor example to the young people you are supposed to be educating.  By removing that flag you are making a consious decision to change the face of history.  That flag represented the Confederate States of America. It was a symbol of their sovereignty long before it, unfortunately, became a symbol of racism in America.  It represented hundreds of thousands of southern soldiers who fought and died in a terrible war that defined who we became as a nation. It cannot and must not be "removed" from our history lessons or our memory.  The Civil War was a terrible time for our country but it happened. It's history. It should not be changed because some people are "offended" by it.  Historic events will always offend someone. What happens next?  Do we drop all reference to the holocaust because it offends those who chose to not believe in it?  Do we forsake the teaching of Algebra and Geometry because they are products of the Muslim world back when most Europeans were illiterate and now we are offended by Muslims after 9-11? 
Being offended by the Confederate Flag is a result of being ignorant of it's history.  Perhaps instead of supporting and enabling this uneducated and purely emotional reaction to a part of history your school district should spend a little more time actually TEACHING about this time period with ACCURACY. Most school curriculum's spend all of 3 days on the subject. No wonder this flag is misunderstood.  It is unfortunate that today this flag has been adopted by a subculture that promotes racism but that is not what it originally stood for. Here's another tidbit, the now famous Nazi symbol - the swastika - has for centuries been a religious symbol and can be found on many ancient artifacts. Because it is now so strongly associated with Hitler and the Nazi's no one remembers the fact that it has its roots in religion. 
I am a Civil War reenactor. I portray a female civilian from the north. I have no love for slavery or what the south tried to do in order to keep their "peculiar" way of life. I've no stomach for the KKK or any racist organization and that goes both ways including non-whites who are racist against them.  But what I find more disgraceful is the willfull exclusion of a legitimate part of our history because "someone" finds it offensive. You cannot change history.  You should not whitewash it either.  Otherwise how will we learn from those mistakes and grow?
I strongly urge you to replace the flag and educate this person as to it's true meaning. If he still finds it offensive, I strongly suggest he avoid the display but please don't screw up our history for the rest of us.
 
Lorraine Clementi
Civilian Reenactor/Living Historian
12th NJ Co D
Mullica Hill, NJ

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