In the past year, our monuments and memorials have become the new targets of dogmatic, left-wing activists who have now moved on from their attacks on Confederate flags. These activists not only wish to erase Confederate heritage or consign it to obscure museums, but also to eliminate all the symbols of American history that they find politically incorrect.
They do not stop with our monuments and flags, but have already begun efforts across the nation to remove symbols honoring historical figures like Washington, Jefferson and Columbus, to alter longstanding names of schools, and even to banish the National Anthem.
The North Carolina Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, officially began the “Flags Across the Carolinas” program in 2015 as a response to increased efforts to eradicate Confederate symbols in North Carolina and across the nation. The program operates in a manner by which private property owners donate, sell, or lease land to the Division, and Confederate flags of various sizes are erected and flown.
While we have placed many smaller flags, the Division currently flies three “mega” flags of 20-by-30 feet near I-95 in Godwin in Cumberland County, I-40 in Burke County, and N.C. 16 in Newton in Catawba County. We are always interested in new flag sites and encourage anyone with any interest in helping us to get in touch with us via our website, www.ncscv.org.
What many citizens fail to understand is that the campaign from the left-wing activists is a never-ending, ideological campaign to completely re-write our history and selectively cast our ancestors and forefathers as villains, despite the fact that they built this country and secured the freedoms that we enjoy today.
What we see happening in our country is a frenzied effort to transform our nation. The origins of this fanaticism lie in an ideology that has been termed “cultural Marxism” and its desire to remake America. Accordingly, all of our nation’s historic symbols must be either remade or removed from the public square – and erased from public memory.
Confederate flags are an essential part of American history and culture. They remind us of our difficult and painful past, but also of our ancestors, the great majority of whom were not slaveholders, who simply answered the call of their state, left their families and went off to war, to fight and many to die on remote battlefields – the ultimate sacrifice.
The “Flags Across the Carolinas” program is a form of response to this new reality. It is a simple way that we, the Sons of Confederate Veterans, can say, “We’re still here, we still honor our ancestors, and we remember who we are and have been as a people.” Our single purpose is to honor our Confederate ancestors. It is our sole motivation, and it is our sacred duty. We honor them by proudly displaying the symbols for which and under which they fought and died. In short, we will not allow their sacrifices to be forgotten.
We reject the frenzied hatred of those who are against our flags and heritage. They will most likely never understand or accept us for who we are. There is no point in playing their games.
Further, we actually receive strong support from the general public. As several recent polls (from Elon, Meredith College and others ) have shown, a large majority of North Carolinians do not wish to see Confederate symbols, the monuments, flags and memorials, consigned to the scrap heap of history by those advancing a leftist agenda. We will never stop honoring our ancestors and our Confederate heritage, and we will place our flags wherever and whenever we are able.
R. Kevin Stone of Sanford is commander of the N.C. Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.