I’m always a bit puzzled when I drive around here in the North and I see the Confederate flag displayed.
It can’t be denied that the Confederate flag is a part of US history. Hundreds of thousands died beneath those colors. From Fort Sumter to Appomattox, where the Confederate Battle Flag flew, brave soldiers on the losing side fought and died. It is a powerful symbol that must be respected. Not misused.
The Confederate Battle Flag has its place. My take on it is that it should be displayed in cemeteries where Confederate soldiers are laid to rest, on battlefields, and in private displays during Memorial Day where a family had direct ancestors who fought for the Gray.
So it’s odd to see the CSA flag displayed so often in Ohio. Ohio provided the most soldiers per-capita (but third in overall numbers) to the Union effort in the Civil War. 320,000 Ohioans served in some military capacity during the war, 35,475 were casualties. Ohio regiments (such as the 122nd Ohio, an ancestor’s unit) served in key engagements throughout the war. Shiloh. Gettysburg. Chickamauga. Cold Harbor. The Wilderness. Abraham Lincoln said of Ohioans “Because I know that if there are many Ohio soldiers to be engaged, it is probable we will win the battle, for they can be relied upon in such an emergency.”
It is a proud record of service.
An estimated 750,000 Americans died in the Civil War. It was by far our deadliest conflict, and its legacy endures to this day.
We should be very careful with its symbols.