The holiday set aside by Virginia to honor Confederate generals Lee and Jackson falls on or near Martin Luther King Jr. Day. This coincidence prompted debates in my community about whether it was appropriate to fly Confederate flags when the nation is remembering its most important civil rights leader.
For me, seeing the American flag stirs pride, yearning, and pain. What did the flag of the Confederacy stand for? The harsh reality is that it symbolized the establishment of a country that depended upon maintaining the systematic denial of independence and freedom to black men, women, and children.