Letter to the editor: Confederate flag does not represent Frisco | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the editor: Confederate flag does not represent Frisco

Carl M. Birkelbach

I feel obligated to respond to the column written by Susan Knopf (“The Confederate flag and the First Amendment,” published July 18 in the Summit Daily News) and a recent letter to the editor giving kudos to the column. Knopf quotes Roy Stark, who flew the flag, as saying the flag represents soldiers who were trying to object to the federal government’s taxation policy. There may be a few people who believe this “states’ rights” alternative truth. However, I believe the vast majority of our U.S. citizens believe the Confederate flag represents the abhorrence of slavery and white supremacy.

She also quotes Vanessa Agee, Frisco’s marketing and communications director, as saying, “The Constitution and precedent are quite clear that the government should not abridge the freedom of speech.” That’s not quite true, as Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes in 1919 is to have said, “The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing a panic.” There are limits on the appropriateness of freedom of speech. However, let’s not talk about the constitutional right to promote white supremacy in public or the right to wave the Confederate flag in Frisco’s Fourth of July parade. Let’s instead debate its appropriateness.

All the former slave states no longer feel it appropriate to fly the Confederate flag on their capitol buildings because of political and boycott pressure from the public. What is the marketing image that the town of Frisco wants to represent to its huge tourist trade?

Because there are so many negative complaints about the appropriateness of the Confederate flag being flown in the Fresco parade, I suggest the town hold a public hearing on the subject at the next town council meeting. What does the mayor think? 

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