Hey friends. I wanted to say a few quick words about the #ConfederateFlag and all its goings ons of late. Obviously, it has become a hot button item, and I feel like I’ve read just about everything both sides has had to say about it.

I grew up in rural, metro Atlanta, so I have been surrounded by markings of the Confederacy, including its flag, or homages thereto, for my entire life. So let me just say this:

The Confederate Flag is NOT racist! The Confederate Flag is just a flag. It has no feelings, thoughts, ability to reason, or communicate. It is not capable of hate, nor of love. It cannot own a firearm, vote in a democratic election, hold a position of power, or anything of the sort. It is merely a flag.

Flags cannot hurt you. Flags originated as a way to symbolically represent the ownership of land. They have since been used more often than not to symbolize the land, or geographical area, from which one, or one’s people originated. So again, a symbol which signifies a geographical area of land from a certain period of time, in this case, the Southeastern United States during the American Civil War, is incapable of causing harm.

The same cannot be said for the men and women who have wielded the flag throughout the years. Those people have feelings, thoughts, and the ability to reason and communicate. They are capable of hate and love. They can own firearms, vote in democratic elections, and hold positions of power. Those people absolutely can hurt you, and absolutely can be held accountable for any racism and wrongdoing for which they are guilty.

All that being said, banning, burning, or otherwise forbidding the presence of the Confederate Flag does absolutely nothing, whatsoever, to counteract racism, and other types of hate and intolerance in our society. In fact, I’d be willing to say it makes matters worse.

If the Confederate Flag cannot hang sideways over the front porches of those who still choose to wield it generations after its relevancy, how is an honest, possibly slightly lost, black person in the South supposed to recognize the neighborhoods in which they should not find themselves?

If the Confederate Flag cannot fly freely over the historic buildings of old southern towns, how are people who continually choose to live more than 160 years behind the times supposed to find each other?

If the Confederate Flag is not prominently displayed on belt buckles, bandanas, hats, license plate holders, gun racks, cowboy boots, beer coozies, and anything else you can buy in the hunting section at Walmart, how are we, the rest of humanity, supposed to identify the source of ignorance, inbreeding, hatred, and intolerance in today’s world?

Alas, I think it would be a great disservice to humankind to do away with this type of absolute identifier; a marker indicating the type of people living under the “Stars N’ Bars” as it flutters in the humid, southern, summer breeze, and all for which they stand.

I say let the Confederate Flag fly. There is nothing more free than a nation of people who bare the right to advertise their own excommunicable offenses. To do away with such a right, would be anti-American.

Flags can’t hurt people. People can. Burn Ban the person, not the flag.