A reader states that Southern secession from the Union occurred “as a result of many federal government intrusions … slavery being one of those issues” (letter, 6-27).
That the abominable practice of slave-holding provided a flash point between Union and secessionist interests is simply unconscious knowledge. However, Southern support for and Northern opposition to the enslavement of human beings was actually the paramount force that divided the national consensus and reduced us to waging war upon ourselves.
Had the issue of retaining human beings as personal property not been at the forefront of the debates and disagreements, it is very unlikely that secession of the Southern states would ever have occurred.
Moreover, if the Stars and Bars banner stands chiefly as the symbol of a defiant statement on separatism and secession, then the part played by the slavery debate is dead center in relevance. The topic of secession simply cannot be discussed with any sense of completeness without addressing the issue of slavery.
One hundred fifty years ago, Southern citizens did what they thought was best. Now that they know better, they should do better. Retire that flag from public and government buildings.