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Letter: Flag has no public place following a long struggle

Flag has no public place following a long struggle

Think had the Civil War never occurred. Slavery would have continued to its farthest reach about 100 miles from the Lake Erie shore in the wedge of land tucked between Pennsylvania and Ohio in what is now West Virginia. The whole southern shore of the Ohio River would have been slave territory.

As mechanization took hold in agriculture in the last third of the 19th century, a glut of slave labor would have been available as America was prepared to take full hold of industrialization.

Would the steel mills of Pittsburgh been built in Pennsylvania or 50 miles away in slave territory? Who would have mined the coal in Kentucky and Virginia (now West Virginia) in competition with the free miners of Pennsylvania? Would the southern route of the transcontinental railroad been built over that taken by the Union Pacific?

It was only 38 years after what would have been the end of the war that Henry Ford incorporated his company. Would it have been in Detroit or at the southern end of a 100-mile rail line connecting the Great Lakes with Virginia?

But the war did come and by mid-1862, the Confederate Army was mostly comprised of conscripts seething with anger because anyone with 20 or more slaves was exempt from military service. By the end of the year, when the South was thought to be winning diarists were confessing to being “sick of the war and sick of the Southern Confederacy.”

So knock yourself out. Paint your house, car, boat, motorcycle, gun stock or even the dog in the Stars and Bars. It is your right; and as far as I can tell, no one can ever take that away from you.

Just don’t spend one cent of tax money on a single flag for a single public building to honor a way of life that is so contrary to what we established here in “blue-collar” Buffalo.

Larry Fallon

West Seneca