I’m reading “The Sit-Ins”, by Christopher W. Schmidt (University of Chicago Press, 2018), which is about the 60’s sit-in movement begun by 4 black students who were tired of being denied service in the segregated South. To summarize, these brave kids went to a segregated lunch counter and refused to leave before they were served. Each day more students joined them until a movement across the entire nation resulted. The opposition was led by groups such as the KKK. The righteous protestors behaved as Christians should, the unrighteous racists didn’t. “When the ‘toughs‘ paraded around waving Confederate flags, black students responded by waving American flags.” Ibid. at 19. As one of the black students explained, “We don’t expect violence…but if it comes we will meet it with passive resistance. This is a Christian movement.” Ibid. at 20.
These protests led to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and desegregation on a national scale. Good prevailed because good didn’t resort to bad. I wish Americans would learn from this history. Racists don’t typically wrap themselves around the American flag—they have the Confederate Battle flag for that—regardless of what Colin Kaepernick and flag burners claim. When they do, we should reclaim that symbol of freedom and liberty for all men, not degrade and abuse it.
The flag represents the Declaration of Independence and its guarantee that all men are created equal and share the same unalienable rights, as well as the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights (Amendments 1-10), which spells out some of these rights. It’s these American ideals that led to desegregation. It’s these American ideals that give all Americans equality of opportunity if they just grab onto the American Dream and work it like generations of all creeds have done before.
Defend America. Defend the Declaration and the Constitution. Don’t let uninformed and uneducated people take them from us, or change them into something that can’t be used by future generations to fight for freedom and liberty.
Also, fly the flag bravely, just like those men who flew it at the Greensboro, South Carolina lunch counter.