You are on page 1of 1

January 5, 2016

To the Honorable Mayor and the City Councilors of the City of Easthampton,
The Confederate flag has been put through a lot of stigma lately, saying that somehow the flag
itself is racist. I am here to say that a flag cannot by itself be racist; it is under what context the
person flies such a flag. This battle flag was a symbol used by people in this country who
believed they had the right to secede if the federal government took authority over state
governments. This was a key point to the Civil War. The Civil War was fought over states rights
but I acknowledge that slavery became an issue in the war. That being said, I do not condone
the ownership of another person. I will never condone such a gruesome act against humanity.
Speaking of gruesome acts against humanity, comparing the Confederate flag to the Nazi flag or
the ISIS flag is not right. Slavery and the Holocaust are not comparable. Neither are the ISIS
beheadings and slavery. They are not the same thing.
The reasons that I choose to fly a Confederate flag on private property should not be of anyones
business but my own. I choose to offer an explanation here because the defense of civil liberties
is an important issue to me. My first amendment rights allow me to fly this flag and will continue
to do so until it is changed. My private property rights allow me to fly this flag as well. My
personal reasons for flying this flag leave me with a clear moral conscience, not because of any
racist message. On the contrary, I fly it because without the Civil War this country would not
be as great as it is today. I believe this country is one of the most tolerant and accepting in the
whole world because of lessons learned from history. This flag should still be respected as
peoples heritage. I am currently studying history and am a history major in college. My love of
history allows me to respect this flag not as a racist symbol but as a symbol of our
countrys ability to reunite as one. That ideal should be embraced by all people in Easthampton
indeed by all people in this great country.
The First Amendment does not contain the right not to be offended. If we continue down the path
of allowing the squeakiest wheel to decide when offensive speech should no longer be
tolerated or even allowed, we will all lose our First Amendment rights. Once we allow
limitations to be placed upon our freedoms then we can never be free. Benjamin Franklin once
said Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve
neither Liberty nor Safety. He also said Freedom of speech is a principal pillar of a free
government; when this support is taken away, the constitution of a free society is dissolved, and
tyranny is erected on its ruins.
If you have any questions about my Confederate flag I strongly encourage you to speak to me
personally before making assumptions about my right to fly it on my property or about my
personal beliefs of said flag. I thank you for your time and appreciate your valuable leadership of
the City of Easthampton.
Andrew Morey, Easthampton resident