Editorial: Let voters decide flag’s fate

Protesters from the NAACP lined up along the South Carolina borders this weekend to once again protest the flying of the Confederate flag on South Carolina state property. Neither the NAACP nor the supporters of the Confederate flag deserve to have the final say in this issue. Instead, the decision should be put to the entire voting populace of South Carolina.

The controversy started in January of 2000 when protests were raised about the flag flying atop the dome of the state capitol building. The state legislature agreed to a compromise after the NAACP launched an economic boycott of South Carolina businesses.

The flag was moved to a Confederate war memorial, within walking distance from the capitol building. However, it is still on tax-funded property.

The NAACP claims that this compromise was reached without its input and that because the flag remains on state-funded property, it continues to violate the civil rights of South Carolina’s black citizens.

Those who revere the flag as a symbol of heritage and history say that flying it on state property is simply an attempt to officially honor the courage of those who died for a purpose, no matter the cause. They don’t see this as an issue concerning race or civil rights, but as a reminder of the Old South and its ideals.

As much as these two groups may think they have the answers to this problem, neither represents all of South Carolina’s residents. In order for the true voice of the people to be heard, this issue should be put to a vote in South Carolina’s next election. Only this will tell what South Carolinians truly think about the Confederate flag and its place in their state.