The Bulldog believes wearing Confederate flag shorts at Ottawa Bluesfest is abhorrent.
On one hand the flag stands for the great military strategies of Gen. Robert E. Lee, the exploits of Stonewall Jackson, the heroic fight of U.S. southerners against long odds.
But more significantly, it represents slavery, segregation, oppression, family splitting, whippings, lynchings, discrimination, racism, vote-rigging, murder, violence, poverty and a huge scar on the history of one of the world’s great democracies, the United States.
The downside of the Confederate flag is far greater than its minute upside.
One of the few roles Canada played in the Civil War was acting as a refuge for escaped slaves … the antithesis of what the Stars and Bars represents.
So yes, a person can wear Confederate flag shorts at Bluesfest because we value free speech. Unfettered words and actions are vital to democracy. Too bad blacks in the Confederate states were denied that.
But so too can right-thinking people condemn that action and what it represents. That’s part of free speech, too.
Civilization has progressed significantly since the days of U.S. slavery. But wearing the Confederate flag sets back that move to a better society.
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