ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

OUR VIEW: Confederate flags should have no place in SD

South Dakota has become the focal point of a racial controversy that could become newsworthy on the national scene. The Veterans Administration Medical Center in Hot Springs removed two Confederate flags last week after receiving complaints that ...

South Dakota has become the focal point of a racial controversy that could become newsworthy on the national scene.

The Veterans Administration Medical Center in Hot Springs removed two Confederate flags last week after receiving complaints that the flags smacked of racism. Now this week, the flags have been restored to their previous place in a Medical Center rotunda display of historic flags, after the release of the patients who complained.

The veterans who filed the complaint are black.

The Confederate flag -- or traditional rebel battle flags -- are offensive to many people who feel the flags represent a history of slavery and servitude. Others find the flags offensive because they represent the rebellious cause that eventually claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans during the Civil War.

After last week's complaint, officials at the VA center removed the flags, saying "we realize ... that there are people who have strong opinions on both sides of the issue."

ADVERTISEMENT

When the patients were released from the hospital, the flags apparently were re-hung.

If the reports about this incident are true, we are ashamed for the VA Center. What a disingenuous act. The flags should simply be removed, forever.

We consider Confederate flags offensive. We have heard others dismiss them as just harmless symbols of a bygone era, but the only era we can associate these flags with is one of bondage, slavery and white supremacy. Even if the flags aren't racist -- which they are -- they represent a rebellious, enemy nation that started a costly and bloody war with the United States.

It's time for America to grow up. And that time has especially come for a government-run medical center in Hot Springs, S.D., that caters to men and women who fought to preserve the same freedoms that were gained with the United States' victory in 1865.

What To Read Next
Work will begin Thursday
According to the RFP requirements for interested developers’ plans to qualify for the land, the land must begin development within 180 days after the RFP is awarded by the MADC.
“Let’s put this in the rearview mirror,” Sen. Michael Diedrich, a Rapid City Republican said.
Special meeting to cover base bids and alternatives