Several people have asked me recently what my thoughts are about the Confederate flag controversy. It occurred to me that there is no better explanation than in the following excerpt from the book.
“In a room across the house, away from the sounds of children laughing and dogs barking, stood another mantelpiece, much plainer than any in Walter Ridley’s house. Sitting on it, in its own wood frame stretched on canvas, was a Stars and Stripes only a few had ever seen. It was certainly not the one Molly Hickenlooper had once promised her son.
For on it were a scrap from a Rebel Stars and Bars, speckled cloth from a rag doll dress, a shred of red bandanna and a button off an ex-slave’s coat. Nestled in the center of these things was a small gold ‘Co. D’ from a Union Army forage cap. All had been carefully sewn into the spaces where she never finished.”
The flag I described here depicts for me the essential hope of A House United, that shows all the parts of who we are, for better and for worse. It is also the symbol of a war and a Reconstruction that are the gaping wounds embodying our national PTSD as well as painful reminders of a healing that has yet to take place.
by Antonio Elmaleh
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