Recently, the Governor of the State of South Carolina, Nikki Haley, has called for a removal of the Confederate Battle Flag from the state's capital building. The flag, which is officially known as the Battle Flag of the Army of Northern Virginia, is more commonly referred to as the Confederate Battle Flag, the Confederate Flag or the "stars and bars". The flag come under protest recently after a self-professed racist entered a church in Charleston South Carolina recently and shot and killed 9 African American parishioners.

The killer, 21-year old Dylan Storm Roof, shot and killed 9 people while they were worshiping at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Roof, a self-professed racist has claimed he was firing the first shots of a "race-war" or "second revolution". He has posted several videos on social media showing his possession of weapons and displaying the Confederate flag and also the flag of the white separatist government of the country of Rhodesia, a country that no longer exists do to its governments policies.

"We have decided to prohibit Confederate flags and many items containing this image because we believe it has become a contemporary symbol of divisiveness and racism," ...eBay Press Release

In the wake of these shootings, several retailers, including Walmart, Amazon, Sears, KMart and eBay have removed items featuring the flag from their store shelves and on-line sites. The city of Boise, Idaho removed the state flag of Mississippi from a display of state flags at its city hall, due to the flag featuring the "stars and bars".

As I said, I applaud the decision. As the descendant of both victims and survivors of the Nazi death camps in both Auschwitz and Nuremberg, I can understand the pain that the site of a simple flag can generate. To this day, my blood boils at the sign of a Nazi era German flag, especially being used to promote intolerance in this day and age. So I get it where a lot of people might not. It took recent incidents and responses for this to occur to me, but I get it. But I also know that this might be being taken too far. Recently, Warner Brothers Studios, producers of television programs and movies have announced that they will no longer be producing or selling models of the General Lee, the iconic orange '69 Dodge Charger that those pesky Duke boys drove around in the mid-80's tv series and later feature film versions of the Dukes of Hazard. Recently, Warner Bros. Consumer Products division announced it would stop participating in Confederate Flag merchandising, issuing the following statement:

“Warner Bros. Consumer Products has one licensee producing die-cast replicas and vehicle model kits featuring the General Lee with the confederate flag on its roof, as it was seen in the TV series; we have elected to cease the licensing of these product categories.” ...Warner Brothers Press release


But is the fixation on this symbol the answer? I do agree that it is time for the battle flag of the Army of North Virginia, the Confederate Flag if you will, to be removed public locations. I do agree that it is time for the state of Mississippi to remove the symbol for their state flag. I agree that it is time for corporate greed to be set aside and the memory of those lost in the fight for equality to be honored and respected.

There comes a time when lines need to be drawn and common sense needs to come into play. The states of South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama have all called for the Confederate flag to be removed from the grounds of their State Capitals. There is a current movement underway in Mississippi to design a new state flag, sans the confederacy reference. I agree with all of these movements, and with corporate America discontinuing the monetization of the Confederacy. But it won't solve the problem.

Because in the end, there is one thing we must all come to realize. You can remove every offending flag, every television or movie reference, every glorification of the rebellion known as the American civil war and its causes and effects. You can remove every name, date and battle field from the American consciousness...

But you still can't remove the irrational hated that killed 9 people in a church in Charleston, South Carolina, simply by removing items from store shelves or erasing them from a television program. Yes, its a good start, but by doing all the things that have been done so far, you are simply removing the flag that is being waved, not the hatred that waves it.

The "Dukes of Hazzard" General Lee car is displayed at the Barris Star Car Collection Auction
Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

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