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April 4, 2001

By Staff
Constitution anti-slavery
To the Editor:
In regard to the March 18th letter to the editor by Rev. Chuck Culpepper ("Flag: Saddened by distorted view,") I fear that his statement "From the fight over protection of slave interests in the U. S. Constitution," coupled with the inflammatory rhetoric of the likes of Jesse Jackson, could lead one to infer that the U.S. Constitution is a pro-slavery document. It is not. In fact, it is anti-slavery.
Joseph Story, a U.S. Supreme Court Justice from 1811-45, wrote in his work, A Familiar Exposition of the United States Constitution, that:
The slave holding States insisted on a representation strictly according to the number of inhabitants, whether they were slaves or free persons, within the State. The non-slave holding States contended for a representation according to the number of free persons only.
The compromise of the disagreement between the two factions was the Three-Fifths compromise. Had the non-slave holding states agreed to count slaves as free men, when they were not, insofar as representation was concerned, they would have been perpetuating slavery.
Instead, they sent a message to the slave states: Free your slaves and they will count toward representation as free men do. Otherwise, so long as you own them as property, you will only be able to count them as three-fifths in terms of representation in the House.
Counting slaves as three-fifths instead of free men was a detriment to the slave holding states in terms of governmental representation. Therefore, it would have behooved them to free the slaves and count them as free men in order to increase representation. Thus, the Constitution is an anti-slavery document and not a pro-slavery one as some, most notably Jesse Jackson, insist.
To further prove that the U.S. Constitution is anti-slavery, I quote black abolitionist Frederick Douglas:
My fear is that in all the rancor over reparations, slavery and the changing of the flags in Georgia, South Carolina and Mississippi, that the next target(s) will be the U.S. flag and/or the U.S. Constitution. The thought that the ill informed proponents of political correctness may attempt to subvert the infrastructure of our time tested republican form of government frightens me.
And it should you too.
Mike Lee
Philadelphia
Flag: Long may it wave
To the Editor:
Although a citizen of South Carolina, I have visited Meridian on several occasions and am impressed by the beauty of your city. It would be wrong to change the wonderful flag of Mississippi for many reasons.
First of all, the Confederate emblem in the flag bears the cross of St. Andrew, which is a Christian symbol. The X-shaped cross is also the Greek letter chi, which has always been a Christian abbreviation for "Christ."
The Confederate flag is known all over the world as a symbol against tyranny. It flew in Eastern Europe, over the Berlin Wall for example, and in Budapest in 1956. More recently, I saw it in a picture of Black Christian soldiers in Sudan who were defending their families against Muslims from the north of Sudan who were trying to captures them as slaves.
This flag stands for our heroic Confederate ancestors, who were fighting to maintain the constitutional republic handed down to them by our Founding Fathers.
This flag did not fly over slave quarters; it flew over brave men in battle. It would dishonor those Confederates who gave their lives in such a noble cause to change this great flag, which has flown proudly since 1894.
It is my hope and prayer that the wonderful people of the Old Magnolia State, with you motto of "By Valor and Arms," will vote to keep you flag flying. Long may it wave!
All of your fellow Southerners are watching you since you are the only state where the people are allowed to have a referendum on this issue. Our Southern heritage is under total assault by those who would erase it from the face of the Earth. You must sand by your history and heritage. We are all looking to you.
Robert L. Slimp
Columbia, S.C.
New design implies federal authority
To the Editor:
When proponents of the newly designed state flag state that its design is a "great compromise," I wonder if they really understand what the word "compromise" means.
In the spirit of true compromise, the flag committee
could have chosen the historical Magnolia Flag or proposed a flag which incorporated various flags unique to Southern heritage, like the Vicksburg flag with its blue field and white cross. However, it appears their sole intent was to remove any vestige of Southern heritage and Mississippi state sovereignty contained within our present state flag.
Their new design is more representative of the "federal district of Mississippi," rather than the sovereign state of Mississippi. Its circle of stars represent the number of states in the Union when Mississippi was admitted, and its blue, white and red bars are symbolic of the national colors. Such a design could be the state flag of any state and implies absolute federal authority.
Defending their "compromise" flag, the committee explained that their flag celebrates the state's heritage stating that seven of its 20 stars represent the nations which have ruled Mississippi, to include the Confederacy.
If the committee's flag is adopted as our new state flag, I wonder when those who presently oppose our current state flag will demand that the "Confederacy star" be removed as their cohorts are presently trying to accomplish in Arkansas with their state flag?
Dr. Arnold M. Huskins
Ocean Springs

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