Letters to the Editor: Confederate flag a painful symbol

I agree with the man in your story last Thursday who said he has the right to fly any flag he wishes and the flag only means the “Dukes of Hazzard” to him. He can have that thought because he is a white man and he can have that innocent attachment to the Confederate flag. Yet, the other man in the story recalls a painful memory and he now feels he must have the race conversation with his children about being a child of color in the U.S.
I don’t live near this flag but my first memory of the Confederate flag is visiting family in Florence, S.C., and it is Saturday night some of the young white men want to have a good time. They come to the colored section of town as it was known in the ’50s to ride around with their torches and Confederate flags looking to have some fun. I didn’t know what fun to them meant and wasn’t told because I was a child, but it did mean we went in the house, turned off all the lights, closed all the doors, put the windows down, stayed away from the windows and got on the floor.
I could tell my uncle and aunt were frightened. They told us we could get up, but we knew because it was quiet outside now, there wasn’t anyone hollering the N word and making scary noises anymore.
My cousins and I were visiting from Boston and New York City; of course we were aware of being called the N word but not this kind of behavior. Our aunt and uncle just said get up and didn’t talk about it, but we could see their relief it was over, and none of our neighbors or other kids spoke about it the next day and for some reason we knew not to bring the subject up in conversation.
Yes, he has the right to fly his Confederate flag but for a lot of people of color it has a sinister meaning. I thank you for covering both sides of this issue.
Beatrice Parwatikar, Shoreham

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