VITAL SIGNSrnFlags as Symbolsrnby Jack KershawrnAt the end of the 60’s, the Establishmentrnbegan a deliberate campaignrnto destroy a number of American smbolsrnit considered inimical to black welfare.rnThat these symbols—such as thernvarious flags of the Confederate States ofrnAmerica and the song “Dixie”—arernrevered by a large section of our countryrnfor reasons not connected with race orrnhatred of blacks makes no difference;rnthe liberal Establishment, both blackrnand white, is determined to suppressrnthem. This campaign logically extendsrnto the American flag as well as the Christianrncross, because they too are iconsrnwhose acceptance is based on traditionrnand faith. This plan proceeds virulentlyrndespite its obvious challenge to the rightrnof free speech as protected by the Eirstrnand, some say, the Eourteenth Amendmentrnto the Constitution.rnThe Establishment has had a measurernof success. Its many lawsuits haverncreated new law, sometimes very confusingrnlaw, particularly in schools, wherernpresumably the function and significancernof symbols are taught, or shouldrnbe. For instance, students in Louisianarnmay wear “Ereedom Buttons” andrn”SNIC” buttons; students in Indiana andrnIowa may wear black armbands tornprotest conflicts being actively engagedrnin by their country; students in Texasrnmay wear brown armbands for the samerngeneral purpose; a draftee in a Californiarncourthouse may wear a jacket emblazonedrnwith lettering urging an unlikelyrnsex act upon the entire draft board. Butrna student in Tennessee may not wear arnsmall shoulder-patch replica of the Crossrnof St. Andrew in memory of his grandfather.rnThe above display of variousrnsymbols is liberally condoned by ourrnlearned federal courts, but the display ofrnthe Southern Cross is forbidden; itrnmight offend, and those offended mightrnbecome restive and vigorously protest byrnburning down the town.rnAs early as 1931, the Supreme Courtrnruled that “a reproduction of the Flag ofrnSoviet Russia, which was also the flag ofrnthe Communist Party in the UnitedrnStates” might properly be flown at arnsummer camp for children. A pledge ofrnallegiance to “The Workers’ Red Flag” inrna compulsory morning ritual was alsorncondoned. In a subsequent case therncourt ruled that a pledge of allegiance tornthe American flag could not be requiredrnin a West Virginia school.rnIn the flag burning cases of 1989-90rnthe Court ruled that there was “a perceivedrnneed to preserve the [American]rnflag’s status as a symbol of one nationrnand certain national ideals,” includingrnthe right of “free expression”; however,rn”free expression” included the right tornburn “national ideals,” so convictions ofrnflag burners were reversed and staternstatutes declared unconstitutional, as wasrnalso a later law attempting to protect thern”flag as rag,” i.e., its “physical integrity.”rnEven this shield is not allowed because ofrnthe possible symbolic status present inrnthe burning itself—act becomes symbol.rnThe latest tactic in the strategy of destructionrnis the discovery of a newrn”speech”: “government speech,” whichrnrapidly becomes “racist governmentrnspeech” or “discriminatory governmentrnspeech,” and by some mysterious alchemyrnunsupported by any precedent, thernFourteenth Amendment, which is clearlyrna restriction on the several states andrnthat alone, becomes a power that convertsrnthe Eirst Amendment from a restrictionrnon the national or federalrngovernment to a restriction on state governments.rnThis is a shocking shell game;rnso Eastern law journals now refer to thernEirst Amendment as an affirmative authorityrnfor the courts to forbid thernsinging of “Dixie” and any flag associatedrnwith the South or her heritage. For arnstate to fly any semblance of a Southernrnflag is “racist speech” that chills the “freernexpression” of a small pack on the fringernof a minority. A small claque is offended.rnThe claque now seeks to use therncourts and a newly discovered ogre—rn”government speech”—to choke the freernspeech of everybody else in the state. Arnremarkable contortion—complete censorshiprnof speech (the flag is banned) inrnthe name of “free speech.” Once againrnthe courts are used as legislative bodies;rnjudicial usurpation becomes judicial tyranny.rnThe NAACP and its friends seem tornthink they are opposing a “flag of rebellion.”rnI think it’s fair to point out thatrnthe “rebellion,” or The War of NorthernrnAggression upon the original Republic,rnas represented by the South, ended inrn1865 for most folks. The flag now displayedrnbv most Southerners is simply arngesture of respect to our grandparents.rnThose who fail to understand that are remissrnin the use of good manners universallyrnobserved. For any group protestingrnor disagreeing with “speech” in the formrnof a flag, the proper response is to wavernanother flag—not burn or prohibit ourrngrandfather’s. The NAACP needs arnblack flag, and if it wishes, it needs to getrnsome state to incorporate or adopt it.rnTry Massachusetts.rnSenator Carol Moseley-Braun and herrnsympathizers see the Confederate flagsrnas svmbols of slaver)’, racism, and prejudice,rnwhich are to be hated, spit upon,rnand trampled in the dust. Braun “doesrnnot want to be reminded of slavery.”rnWhat the senator obviously does not realizernis that all the charges she levels atrnthe Confederate flags (the SouthernrnCross, the Stars and Bars) can likewise bernleveled at the Stars and Stripes. She canrnlook at that banner and be reminded ofrnslavery also. Our Revolutionary War flagrnwaved over slaves. The Constitution providedrnfor slavery for seven decades untilrnthe Thirteenth Amendment was ratifiedrnin 1865.rnWhen the Civil War began, thernUnion included five slave states (Maryland,rnDelaware, West Virginia, Kentucky,rnand Missouri), with a slave population ofrn42/CHRONICLESrnrnrn