COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Walmart, Sears, Amazon and eBay have announced they will all stop selling items that display the Confederate battle flag.
South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley made a forceful call to remove the so-called "Southern Cross" flag from state display.
Other southern states have followed, seizing on the fact that that particular flag - there are other variations - is now forever associated with the hateful, racist killings of the nine Charleston church members by self-proclaimed white supremacist Dylann Roof.
As the funerals begin for those victims who were killed during a prayer-filled Bible class, the Confederate flag has become the latest flash point in our national discussion of race.
The flag's meaning can be debated: some see it as a symbol of regional pride - a way to memorialize Southerners lost in the Civil War. But it also symbolizes race-based policies in more modern times when that was a top priority of segregationist politicians.
What we should do instead is unite behind one flag, the American flag, as the symbol of national harmony.
The killings in Charleston shocked the entire nation. "One nation under God" - as we all learned in the Pledge of Allegiance.
So if we are serious about being one country and uniting against hatred and bigotry, we need only one flag that shows we are - as the pledge taught us - "indivisible...with liberty and justice for all."
The Stars and Stripes is that symbol. The Red, White and Blue are supposed to symbolize bravery, purity and justice.
The time to salute one flag, the American flag, is now. Because what happened in Charleston is an American tragedy, not just a southern one.
General Manager Holly Steuart brings two editorials a week to WTVM. If you would like to respond to an editorial, e-mail your response to WTVM Editorial Committee or write to:
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