fended the United Daughters of thernConfederacy over the flag, the numberrnof chapters of the Sons of ConfederaternVeterans founded or revived has doubled.rnI think a number of things happenedrnamid resistance to forced integration tornbring the flag into use as the chief symbolrnof Southern identity. I rememberrnmy own father and uncles returningrnfrom World War II with stories of howrnSoutherners, particulariy rural and working-rnclass ones, were denigrated andrnridiculed by conscripted urbanites forrntheir speech, manners, attitudes. Therernwas a general cultural attack at the timernon “hillbillies.” This was the beginningrnof their sectional consciousness, whichrnhad hardly existed before. It was afterrnthis that we began to display the flagrnfrom the front porch. It was ten years beforernBrown v. Board of Education, andrnour actions had nothing to do with thernDixiecrat movement or with football.rnNor has time and the success of therncivil rights movement diminished thernConfederate flag as a symbol of Southernrnidentity. On the contrary, the factrnthat the United States is increasingly arnmulticultural empire rather than a federalrnrepublic will make ethnic identities,rnincluding the Southern, even sharper inrnthe future, and their negotiation muchrnmore complex. Imagine, for instance,rnthe struggles over symbols that are in thernoffing in a few years, when Hispanics willrnbe a larger minority than blacks.rnI have often spoken to meetings of thernSCV, UDC, Civil War roundtables, variousrnheritage groups, all places full of defendersrnand displayers of the battle flag,rnand my impression is that for most ofrnthese good Americans the flag is a symbolrnnot of white supremacy but of identificationrnof their own ancestors and heritagernand an affirmation of their ownrnidentity. For those interested in extendingrnthe civil rights movement, I suggestrnthat you find another and more constructivernbattle to fight, and one that yournhave some hope of winning, because yournwill not win this one.rnThe Chicago press reported last yearrnthat a Mr. Ernest A. Griffin, a black manrnof advanced age and a grandson of arnmember of the United States ColoredrnTroops in the Civil War, owns part of thernland which was once the Camp Douglasrnprison, where some 6,000 Confederaternsoldiers are buried who died of starvation,rndisease, exposure, and neglect. Mr.rnGriffin flies the battle flag in honor ofrnthese men, disdaining criticism.rnLast May, the United States andrnConfederate flags were displayed andrntrooped together at a memorial servicernfor the POWs who perished at CamprnDouglas, jointly sponsored by the ConfederaternPOW Society and the reenactorsrnof the 29th United States ColoredrnInfantry. The program included an invocationrnby a black pastor, the ReverendrnLeon Perry, speeches about CamprnDouglas, and a series of talks on NativernAmerican Confederates, Hispanic Confederates,rnJewish Confederates, andrnAfrican-American Confederates, inrnmost cases delivered by descendants ofrnthe same. Then there was the main addressrnby Mr. Walter Kennedy, an energetic,rncolor-blind defender of everythingrnSouthern: “Confederate Diversity: OurrnCommon Ground.” The program concludedrnwith Mr. Kennedy’s presentationrnof an award to Mr. Griffin and thernsinging of “Dixie” by another blackrnAmerican, Mr. Al Ingram.rnMuch of our present unease comesrnfrom a sense of threatened identities andrnthe scars of past conflicts. But it seemsrnto me that our future, if it is to be a happyrnone, will be in the direction of the reconciliationrnand mutual respect for all ourrnidentities offered by the example of Mr.rnKennedy and Mr. Griffin, and not inrnuseless confrontations from which nornone can gain.rn-Clyde WilsonrnT H E HEINOUS CRIME that wasrnperpetrated against a 12-year-old girl byrnthree American marines on Okinawa hasrnharmed many people: the young girl andrnher family; the three men, whose livesrnwill be blighted by the consequences ofrntheir crime; the reputation of the Americanrnforces overseas; Japanese-Americanrnrelations; and indeed the Americanrnpeople.rnBut what is the most painful consequencernof this event for our country? Itrnis the abrupt departure of a distinguishedrnnaval commander, whose onlyrnassociation with the event consisted of arnfew truthful if tactiess words spoken afterrnhe had already condemned the rape.rnAdmiral Richard C. Macke, commanderrnof United States forces in the Pacific,rnwas forcibly retired by our senior civilianrnwarlord, William Perry. Was AdmiralrnMacke in any way involved in the offense?rnCould he be accused, like his unfortunaternfellow admiral Frank Kelso, ofrnhaving hampered an investigation or attemptedrnto sweep offenses under a rug?rnNo, he could not. Like ydmiral Kelso,rnbut unlike Messrs. Perry and Clinton,rnMacke has a distinguished career in thernArmed Services. But that did him norngood: no amount of distinction or servicernto the nation can compensate forrntransgression against the commandmentsrnof political correctness and sensitivity.rnActually, Admiral Kelso’s “offense,” ifrnoffense it was, was protracted over a periodrnof months, in that he did not proceedrnwith the utmost rigor against the simplyrnscandalous eents at the notorious Tailhookrnconvention. Admiral Kelso mightrnconceivably have been able to redeemrnhimself during the eariy days of the scandalrnhad he begun to intervene with vigorrnagainst the rowdy miscreants of Tailhook.rnTimes have changed; conditionsrnhave become more stringent. AdmiralrnMacke had only a few hours before committingrnhis own atrocious offense, beforernthe ever-so-sensitive Defense SecretaryrnWilliam Perry demanded his resignation,rnfor the offense was committed onrnthe morning of Friday, November 17,rnand Admiral Macke was out by late afternoon.rnMr. Perry said, “We decided thatrnhis lapse in judgment was so serious thatrnhe would be unable to perform effectivelyrnhis duties as Commander-in-Chiefrnof LIS. Forces in the Pacihc.” It appearsrnfrom the context that Mr. Perry’s “we”rnincluded the admiral. Apparently AdmiralrnMacke was induced to agree in hisrnown condemnation, a procedure familiarrnfrom the history of the Inquisition andrncommunist show trials; it was known inrnthe old Soviet days as “self-criticism.”rnSuch speechcrime is too much forrnsensitive souls to bear. “Loose lips sinkrnships,” American posters warned duringrnWorid War II. Feind hort mit, “The enemyrnis listening too,” the correspondingrnGerman posters read. It seems thatrnwhenever a high military official opensrnhis mouth, he must beware of the Feindrnwho hort mit, only the enemy of our highrnofficers is not someone in the spy servicernof another country, but American reportersrnand high American officials.rnSecretary Perry’s sensitivity was matchedrnby that of our equally sensitive if unmilitaryrnPresident, for Mr. Clinton quicklyrnrallied to the support not of his insensitivernadmiral, but to that of his valiantrnSecretary of Defense.rnA Chicago Tribune headline read, “Admiralrnloses post in wake of rape.” Onern6/CHRONICLESrnrnrn