Political differences are never a justification to insult the president.

You don’t need to look further than your internet browser to find the answer to whether the Confederate battle flag is a remnant of racism. The evidence points to it being a vile reminder of all the injustices of slavery.

In 1863, William T. Thompson, the editor of the Savannah Morning News, proposed a design that became the Confederate battle flag, the Stainless Banner recently removed from government grounds by South Carolina’s state legislature in the aftermath of horrendous tragedy. Nine people, attending Bible study, were murdered by a disturbed young man obsessed with that flag and its true meaning.  One of the flag’s designers, Mr. Thompson was a strong supporter of the Confederacy during the American Civil War.  His words leave no room for doubt what that battle flag stood for when he wrote and published multiple editorials.

“As a people, we are fighting to maintain the Heaven-ordained supremacy of the white man over the inferior or colored race; a white flag would thus be emblematical of our cause.… Such a flag…would soon take rank among the proudest ensigns of the nations, and be hailed by the civilized world as the white mans flag.… As a national emblem, it is significant of our higher cause, the cause of a superior race, and a higher civilization contending against ignorance, infidelity, and barbarism.”

And so, all these many years later, most of us have finally acknowledged the truth.

With full protection under the First Amendment, there are individuals who decry the banning of the Stainless Banner. Some of those people chose to put the Confederate flag on display in Oklahoma as President Obama arrived to visit. Protected free speech. No law against it. Still, Tom Cole, Republican Member of Congress who hails from Moore, Oklahoma, stood tall against the bigotry and disrespect those flag wavers showed to the President of the United States. His words, in a statement released earlier today, make clear his honorable intentions as well as his sense of decency.

“I was shocked and disappointed by those who showed up to wave Confederate flags soon after President Obama arrived in Oklahoma.” Read Representative Cole’s entire statement here.  You’ll feel better about our nation’s leaders – on both sides of the aisle. Thank you, Congressman Cole. We needed that.

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