It’s finally time to take down those Confederate flags!


FitzbeatsquareSo we have no misunderstanding, the Confederate flag is by my definition a symbol of hatred. I have always felt that way. What do you think of the Confederate flag? Is it racist, or does it symbolize the South’s heritage?

When you tell someone to take a flag down, it is a form of censorship. Four of the Rebel flags were recently removed from the State Capital grounds in Alabama and South Carolina.

It took the murders by shooting suspect Dylann Roof, pictured holding Confederate flags after the tragic killings of nine at an African American church in Charleston, South Carolina, which has shaken the landscape.

I ask why has it taken so long? Have you heard of the Civil War? Do you know the reason and purpose and what was at stake in that American war?  Did you know that back in 1863 during the Civil War the Democratic Party was in full support of slavery and represented the Confederacy of the South?

The Republican Party leader was President Abraham Lincoln who stood tall, his forces with the Stars and Stripes U.S flag fighting against slavery and the Confederacy. The Confederate flag during that time was the flag of slavery and oppression. Blacks were treated as second-class citizens, wealth builders, free labor.

Today, 2015, the Democratic Party represents a total reverse in its ideology. Republicans are more in line with the ideology of what the Confederacy represents. My parents, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Fitzgerald, being from the Deep South — Natchez, Mississippi — told me many times as a child growing up in the North, Chicago, of the horror stories they experienced growing up when the Confederate flag was carried by the Ku Klux Klan.

It was stamped in my mind what that flag represented. Now we’re hearing NASCAR recently denouncing the Confederate flag at future races and putting in a flag exchange for NASCAR fans arriving with flags. One man’s agony is another man’s freedom of expression.

That Confederate flag has stood for evil and the worst of the South in its purest form, hatred. Satan himself and those who have associated with that flag for any length of time had to be fully aware of its meaning.

Stock car racing king NASCAR and retailers like Walmart and Amazon simply ignored reality. Suddenly they have taken stances by stopping production and sales. But during our new time of instant social media expression — Twitter, Facebook, Instagram — the ability to connect you with what is socially wrong and evil has brought about lawmakers being forced to act.

Two-time Masters Champion Pro Golfer Bubba Watson just last week announced that he was going to paint over the Confederate flag that is on the roof of his General Lee Orange antique race car. TV Land announced they are discontinuing the showing of Dukes of Hazzard, the 1980s country program where the Confederate flag was blazing on the roof of the two stars’ car.

Discussions about racism and prejudice are now front and center. Nothing has changed the reality, which is that racism is anchored in the hearts of individuals, and this is where it must be attacked. The flag supports as a symbol attitudes of racism. Symbols of slavery do not embody the American spirit.

Larry Fitzgerald can be heard weekday mornings on KMOJ Radio 89.9 FM at 8:25 am, on WDGY-AM 740 Monday-Friday at 12:17 pm and 4:17 pm, and at He also commentates on sports 7-8 pm on Almanac (TPT channel 2). Follow him on Twitter at FitzBeatSr. Larry welcomes reader responses to, or visit