In the last half-century, Americans have increasingly tended to emphasize race and tribe in promoting “diversity,” rather than seeking to strengthen the more tenuous notion of unity with their fellow citizens. We have forgotten that human nature is fond of division and must work at setting aside superficial tribal affinities to unite on the basis of core values and ideas.
Symbols, flags, organizations, and phrases that emphasize racial difference and ethnic pride are no longer just fossilized notions from the 1960s; they are growing fissures in the American mosaic that now threaten to split the country apart — fueling the suspicion of less liberal and more homogeneous nations that the great American experiment will finally unwind as expected.
It should never have taken this long to repudiate the battle flag. I applaud Governor Haley and those state and federal representatives, including the Chair of the RNC, as well as Jeb Bush, who forced removal of the flag while Governor of Florida, for finally, hopefully forcing this issue. No one can dispute the hateful message behind this flag. Good riddance.