Veterans For Peace (VFP), an international veteran's organization, applauds the state government of South Carolina for removing the Confederate Battle Flag from the state Capitol grounds. We appreciate the government of South Carolina taking this stand to place this flag in its rightful place (a museum where it can resume its appropriate part of 19th century history). After being furled at Appomattox, VA in April 1865, the flag was unfurled in 1961 on the state capitol of South Carolina to mark the 100th anniversary of the Civil War and in 1962 was legislatively mandated to stay in response to the Civil Rights movement. For more than fifty years, African-American taxpayers in South Carolina had to witness and pay for that symbol of hatred on public property. As South Carolina Governor Haley said, “That flag is part of our past, not our future.”
However, the “battle” is not over. The Confederate Battle Flag is being flown by private citizens throughout the south. VFP does not advocate taking first amendment rights away from anyone, but many Americans perceive that flag as a symbol of treason and hate. This sentiment is not restricted to the African-American community.
Recently, the US Supreme Court ruled that the state of Texas had the right to deny Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) specialty plates which included the image of the Confederate Battle Flag. Veterans For Peace supports this Supreme Court decision and strongly urges the nine states who currently have SCV specialty plates that still includes the image of the Confederate Battle Flag to repeal these laws.
Veterans For Peace also encourages the state of Mississippi to change its state flag which currently incorporates the Confederate Battle Flag into the design.
As an international veteran’s organization, we support and encourage the removal of the image of the Confederate Battle Flag from any state, county, municipal, and federal sponsored feature or event. This would not include displays in museums or the temporary display during re-enactments or other educational events.
Veterans For Peace believes and encourages that the Confederate Battle Flag should not have official federal, state or municipal presence outside of a museum or other educational site.