In my opinion, the flag should come down and be placed in a museum. Simply put.
Growing up, I was instilled with a deep love and loyalty, not only for my country, but the South as well. I have always taken great pride in being Southern and always will. My great-great-great grandfathers fought for the Confederacy. Nary a one of them own a slave. Matter of fact, one of them was dirt poor and died fighting in the war. He left behind a family that struggled mightily to survive after the carpetbaggers descended upon the South. My grandmother, Ruby Lee Womack Caveness, still harbored deep resentment toward the North for the treatment of the South after the war to the day she died. The hardship that the war brought was not and will not be soon forgotten.
Saying that, the one fact that we Southerners tend to overlook is that we brought it upon ourselves. We refused to free the slaves; we refused to compromise; we fired the first shot. We dared the Union to stop us and they did.
The war did not go like the we Southerners planned for one reason. Our Southern leaders reacted out of stubbornness and heart, not logically. I could go on about the many mistakes made before the war began and the foolishness of the Southerner leaders to go down the path they chose. I have long looked at the war as a Rich’s Man’s War and a Poor Man’s Battle. To most Southerners the war wasn’t about slaves, but being told what to do by Yankees. Riled us up. We are a stubborn lot. But…But the heart of a Southerner can never be questioned. It may have been misplaced during the Civil War, but our heart runs deep with loyalty and love for our home.
We Southerners take pride in being Southern and there is nothing wrong with that. It is where we are from…good or bad—it’s who we are. My pride in being Southern has absolutely nothing to do with owning slaves….My direct ancestors didn’t own any, not that I know of at least. My parents taught me at an early age to respect all people and accept who they are no matter of their color.
I grew up looking at the Confederate flag as a symbol of my heritage. My grandfather died a brave and honorable man for a cause he believed in—his home and family. He was protecting his home. But that’s not the symbol the flag has become and that is the reason it should come down.
When the KKK took to using it as their emblem, the symbolism of the Confederacy flag changed. To me, the Confederacy did not symbolize terror; the KKK does. When African-Americans look at the flag, they see a totally different heritage. The Rebel flag should come down.
I love history. It is the reason I write historicals. I have so enjoyed writing about the American Revolution in my Winds of Betrayal Series. Southern Legacy—has been so hard to write, but something I have wanted to do for a long time. I write Romance. I am not political, but Southern Legacy is my way of coming to an acceptance of my Southern heritage. I have tried not to whitewash history. My heroine struggles with what it means to be a Southerner woman in the world she lives in.
I believe that there were brave and courageous men and women on both sides. I have tried to integrate some of the Southerners that fought for the North in Southern Legacy. In reality, they are truly brave and courageous to make a stand for what they believed in, when most had to make a stand against their own families as well. I, also, found it extremely interesting to have found many African-American leaders in my research that I previously knew nothing about such as William Still. Southern Legacy is a love story, but I believe that the conclusion will be satisfying to all readers.
I also want to caution those that want to widen the reach of taking down the Confederate flag. I even heard on Facebook that they wanted to remove Gone With the Wind. You can’t change history. History is meant to be studied so that the mistakes that we made in the past will not be repeated in the future. We certainly don’t want to repeat the Civil War, but learn from it to become a stronger and better nation.