Confederate vets honor their forbears
I am a proud member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp Captain P.J. Thurmond 2190, based in Winfield. Most people have the wrong idea about who we are and what we do.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans was organized in June 1896 to take care of veterans. It later took on maintenance of veterans' graves and monuments and educating the public about the principle they fought for.
Our membership is open to all male descendants age 12 and over who can prove they have Confederate ancestors who served honorably in the Army or Navy. Connection can be lineal or collateral.
Though most of our membership is white, there are black Sons of Confederate Veterans.
People think we are racist because we display the Confederate Battle Flag as our symbol.
The Confederacy had many flags, and we display them at events. The Battle Flag is the most recognized, and was the one our ancestors fought under.
The battle flag is said to be a symbol of slavery, yet there were slaves also held under the Union flag. It bothers our members just as much as everyone else when hate groups use the battle flag, but it also bothers us that they also carry the American flag.
We are not racist, and do not associate or support any group that is or allow someone to become a member who is.
We do not display or wear the Confederate flag to be racist, rebellious or cool. We wear it to honor ancestors, who died for it.
Most of our members are veterans and we have some overseas fighting for the American flag.
With West Virginia's sesquicentennial in 2013, it's time to honor all the men who helped make this state, no matter what side they fought on. Many Confederate soldiers came home, forgot their differences, and served as governors, legislators and mayors.
It is time for Confederate soldiers to be honored, not seen as criminals for fighting for what they believed. It wasn't slavery.
If you think you have a Confederate ancestor, contact me at (304) 722-2908 or go to www.scv.org for more information.
We don't want to rewrite history. We just want it told correctly.