New Flag for an old problem


Today I created a new flag.

Peace flag

It is my response to the number of Confederate Battle Flags that have cropped up in my county in the last couple of years. It seems odd that a Northern Maryland County (we border Pennsylvania) is suddenly dotted with field colors that last saw legitimate  action in 1865. But I’ve noticed more and more of them on flag poles, hanging in from front porches and in upper story window along the rural route of my daily commute. Its not like there’s one on ever block, but there are too many to be ignored.

The latest one appeared today. It was on private property (I presume) but it was displayed high enough to be seen from the interstate, just before an off ramp. How very welcoming.

The Confederate battle flag, called the “Southern Cross” or the cross of St. Andrew, has been described variously as a proud emblem of Southern heritage and as a shameful reminder of slavery and segregation. In the past, several Southern states flew the Confederate battle flag along with the U.S. and state flags over their statehouses. Others incorporated the controversial symbol into the design of their state flags. The Confederate battle flag has also been appropriated by the Ku Klux Klan and other racist hate groups. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, more than 500 extremist groups use the Southern Cross as one of their symbols. [Infoplease.com]

I ignored them when they first started to appear, then I got embarrassed by them, then I got angry by them. But what could I do?
How could I show the world that I disagree with this symbol synonymous with hate groups? Well, one way to protest a flag is to hang it upside down* but when you hang Ole Dixie upside down… it still looks like Ole Dixie.
rebel flag updown
I needed a response that said I am a peaceful, loving person, and I believe that THAT is the side we should be showing to our neighbors and visitors. That is the side I want to celebrate, and that’s the flag I want welcoming people to my community.

I suspect I’ll get some unhappy responses to this post. Perhaps some one will tell me that flying the Rebel Flag  is part of their Freedom of Speech. I believe strongly in the Freedom of Speech, and I’m glad I live in a country that allows me the right to speak up when I see something that I wrong. (And it is wrong to fly a symbol that is allied with the KKK and more than 500 extremist groups.)

And if you are flying THAT flag to show your appreciation of Southern culture, do us all a favor… get in touch with your inner  Southern gentleman and find another Southern icon to celebrate… Pecan Pie, perhaps.

*(I know … that’s also the way  you show distress,)

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About ritalovestowrite

Freelance writer and graphic designer in Northern Baltimore County. As a writer I enjoy both fiction and non fiction (travel and local interest stories.) Most recently my non fiction writing has been featured in Mason-Dixon ARRIVE Magazine. As a graphic designer I focus on cover designs and have done a number of designs for books and magazines. Recently I've entered the e-book cover field. I also enjoy working with community organizations and churches to bring their communications to a higher standard. As an advocate for the ARTS, one of my biggest passions is helping young people find a voice in all the performing arts. To that end it has been my honor to give one on one lessons to middle and high school students in graphic design and music. View all posts by ritalovestowrite

4 responses to “New Flag for an old problem

  • Liisa

    I remember moving to Maryland from the west coast and was appalled at the number of confederate flags (back in 1999) And overcome by the beauty of the Maryland state flag. Over the years they have slowly disappeared but I have recently noticed a resurgence. Very disturbing. All I can hope is that the current phase is a fad of ignorant individuals that don’t understand the symbolism and as a fad, this too shall pass? Hope is eternal after all.

  • Merritt Burton

    Actually, my father, a lifelong flag collector, just explained to me that the Confederate flag was designed for the stars to point to the top of the stripes, not the top of the flag, so funny thing…almost everyone is flying it upside down already.

  • ritalovestowrite

    Not sure I understand how the stars would point to the top of the stripes. Would the flag have to be hung on the pole so the long side was facing the pole and shorter side was top and bottom? Not sure I get what your father is saying, but I’m interested to know. Also I find it curious that I wrote this original post in 2013 and it is still so topical. Hmm. Thanks for your input.

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