Anywhere else in the Southern United States, the actions of local governments regarding the Confederate Flag controversy may be about something else–but here in Escambia County, Florida, the latest action of the local government is about government censorship.
And I didn’t even realize this until after I’d written the last sentence in the following letter-to-the-editor I submitted to the Pensacola News Journal:
I was hoping Pensacola would be spared this misplaced hysteria concerning the Confederate Flag; since the Confederate Battle Flag was replaced with the First Confederate Flag many years ago. But I was sadly mistaken.
The Escambia County Commission’s decision to replace the First Confederate Flag with the State Flag of Florida is insulting to the intelligence of all residents of Greater Pensacola. We know that Spain, France, Britain, and the United States all participated in slavery in the Americas, just as the Confederate States did. And the State of Florida participated in slavery too. The Confederate States of America may not have been any better than the four other nations in Pensacola’s history; but it was certainly no worse. And it made positive contributions to the culture of our city, just as the other four nations did.
Since the Escambia County Commission has resolved never to fly any design of the Confederate Flag again; it must also remove the flags of the other four nations of Pensacola’s history and heritage, with the possible exception of the Flag of the United States.
One cannot censor part of history without censoring all of history.