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Letter: It’s OK for Southerners to be proud of heritage

It’s OK for Southerners to be proud of heritage

I am glad that the Confederate flag is being removed from state capitols and other public buildings. It has become so associated with hate groups, prejudice, violence and militias, that it is offensive.

As I read comments about this, however, I see some tendency to despise all things Southern. That is unfortunate. Speaking as a Southerner, although I have lived in New York since 1961, I am still proud of my heritage. There are some very good things about Southern culture. Let me name a few:

Children showing respect to parents and teachers by saying, “Yes, Sir” and “Yes, Ma’am.”

Friendly folks who say, “Come on over to our house, y’hear?” and mean it.

Churches that are centers of generosity, kindness and love.

Country music. You can understand the words and maybe relate to them, or laugh.

Country ham, red-eye gravy, grits, collard greens and black eyed peas.

People who are patriotic and proud of being American, and fiercely independent.

Robert E. Lee is one of my heroes. He opposed secession, but he said he could not draw his sword against Virginia. He considered that to be his homeland. Some of his soldiers wanted to engage in guerrilla warfare from the hills. He told them, “no.” The war was over; go home, live in peace. He was a gentleman.

None of this means it’s OK to keep the Confederate flag. It is meant to say it is still OK to be proud of one’s heritage.

Charles Lamb

Youngstown