American Renaissance

Edwards would Ban Confederate Flags on Public Property

Les Kinsolving, © 2004, Jan. 23

SALEM, N.H. — Democrat presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, denounced the Confederate flag on Wednesday, Jan. 21, calling it “divisive” and “a symbol of oppression to some Americans.”

He also declared that the Confederate flag which flies on the state capitol grounds in Columbia, in his native South Carolina, should be removed.

WorldNet Daily: “Senator, do you believe that all Confederate war memorials — like the one in Columbia — are divisive and should be removed?”

SEN. EDWARDS: I don’t know what that question means.

WND: It means a war memorial. Do you believe that all Confederate war memorials are divisive or not?

SEN. EDWARDS: Confederate war memorials vs. …

WND: Statues, grave sites, and so forth. Do you believe they are all divisive like that war memorial in Columbia?

SEN. EDWARDS: Are you talking about private property? On private property, people can put whatever they want on private property. What I believe is that the Confederate flag — and you asked me the same question earlier today …

WND: This is a follow-up.

SEN. EDWARDS: Would you let me finish please?

WND: Yes, of course.

SEN. EDWARDS: My answer is that the Confederate flag, which is a symbol of oppression to a lot of Americans, is a divisive symbol and should not be flown in a place like it’s being flown in South Carolina, in front of the state capitol. It shouldn’t be flown on public grounds like that. That’s my position and I stand by it.

In almost every two-century-old city and town in the South, there are statues of Confederate soldiers — on public property — in front of courthouses, or in city squares.

Will Sen. Edwards, when he campaigns in the South Carolina primary, call for the removal of thousands of these Confederate memorial statues on public property all over the South — particularly in his native state of South Carolina and his adopted state of North Carolina?

Might Sen. Edwards have done a great deal more for the cause of truth had he had the political courage to take on this presidential campaign’s chief rogue and most flagrant hustler, Al Sharpton?

Why couldn’t Edwards have been loyal to his native state by daring to denounce the NAACP’s attempted boycott of the entire state of South Carolina — because of this one Confederate flag, which the state legislature voted to remove from the top of the state capitol building? But they refused to move this flag from the state capitol’s Confederate war memorial.

Earlier that day, at an Edwards-for-President rally in Nashua, N.H., WND questioned the senator on this matter:

WND: Senator, do you agree or disagree with Gov. Dean’s revised opinion that the Confederate flag is “loathsome”?

SEN. EDWARDS: I didn’t know he had a revised opinion. [laughter]

WND: Yes, he revised his opinion. First he said: “We want the votes of those who have Confederate flags on their pickup trucks.” Now he says, the Confederate flag is “loathsome” — one of whose stars was North Carolina.

SEN. EDWARDS: I believe the Confederate flag is a divisive symbol and should not be flown on — a specific example: It’s being flown right now in front of the state capitol in Columbia, S.C.. I think that Confederate flag should be taken down there. I think what it represents to a lot of Americans is a symbol of oppression. And I think for that reason the Confederate flag should not be flown on public property like it is right now.

In Salem, N.H., when WND followed-up this question which was asked in Nashua, N.H., Sen. Edwards was visibly annoyed. So I was unable to ask my follow-up question in Salem, which would have been: Francis Marion of South Carolina fought very bravely and effectively under the flag of a slave nation, which was produced by Betsy Ross. Since there are some who burn, or spit on this flag called the “Stars & Stripes,” isn’t that also divisive?

On the same day of these questions, presidential candidate Al Sharpton led a protest demonstration against this Confederate flag in a memorial park in Columbia, S.C.