The flag of the failed Confederate States of America flying over the South Carolina capital

Mr. and Mrs. Southern, take that flag down. Take that flag down everywhere it flies today. It should have come down 150 years ago this past April. The flag of the rebels belong to a vanquished foe.

I hate to tell you 150 years later, but the cause for which southern Americans died under that flag was a lost cause.

It is time southern pride get over the fact that those men fighting on the side of the confederacy did not have the will or superior force to vanquish a union “conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”

Some white citizens say that removing the flag will not stop racists from hating and haters from acting out their racism. They are probably correct, as some beliefs die in the grave.

One thing it will do is to raise up a generation of white children whose minds will not be polluted by the wounded feelings of a hate filled heritage.  It is too late for many in my generation, who will be unable to accept the drumbeat of change from a system that protected the interests of the working white poor over coloreds of any economic strata in a scheme designed to keep the races divided, while the rich get richer, the powerful more powerful and freedom seekers are left in a quagmire of hopelessness.

Many of them will not be able to heal their wounded feelings over losing a sense of privilege, a sense of superiority over colored citizens. Many will close their eyes for the final time holding onto the fantasy that the South will rise again in all of its white dominance glory. The reality is, it will not. If ever that tragedy repeats itself , it will be a cold day in hell.

Far too many African Americans think that it is a distraction to discuss the removal of  southern icons steeped in the blood of racial hatred and divisiveness in the face of the Charleston Massacre. As sad as these days are, it is time to chip away at the hate that has been destroying America from the day the first African was brought ashore in chains, captive to greed and the whip.

“Seize the times,” as Bobby Seales, Chairman of Information for the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, often said back in the 1960s.

If not today, when? Will there ever be a better time to remove these symbols?

To my countrymen who say the flap over the flag is a distraction away from a much needed discussion on race, I say that removal of the Confederate flag is part and parcel of the discussion on race.

Some of my black friends argue that the flag should continue to fly because to take them down is to rewrite history. They contend that the Confederate Flag should remain as a reminder of the pain and suffering endured by African Americans.

I say to them, the act of flying the Stars and Bars is an effort by my white southern friends to rewrite history. It is an act of white southerners to project that in spite of Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, they like native Americans, are an independent nation within the United States of America. It is time that this foolish revision of history comes to an end.

Equally, it is time that African Americans revel in the fact that freedom was won at Appomattox when the Union Army aided by a host of black soldiers surrounded Lee at the courthouse. This triumphant story has been overshadowed by the South’s rewrite of history, which makes it appear, that the southern confederacy still stands and it is only a matter of time before it will have subdued the Africans underfoot again.

Take that fly down!


Harold Michael Harvey, is the author of the legal thriller “Paper Puzzle,” and “Justice in the Round: Essays on the American Jury System,” available at Amazon and at He can be contacted at




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Published by Michael

Harold Michael Harvey is a Past President of The Gate City Bar Association and is the recipient of the Association’s R. E. Thomas Civil Rights Award. He is the author of Paper Puzzle and Justice in the Round: Essays on the American Jury System, and a two-time winner of Allvoices’ Political Pundit Prize. His work has appeared in Facing South, The Atlanta Business Journal, The Southern Christian Leadership Conference Magazine, Southern Changes Magazine, Black Colleges Nines, and Medium.

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