To the Editor:

The flags of Farmers’ Day

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On Saturday, Sept. 3, I went to the Farmers’ Days event at Silk Hope. I’m a farm boy myself from Tennessee, and I had a great time and appreciated the community’s work for this 47th Annual Family Event for a “Celebration of an American Way of Life.” There was a lot to like and remember there — I found the tractors I grew up on — a Farmall H and an Allis-Chalmers WD. I saw kids showing their young calves along with parents’ help. I saw the old cotton gin like the one my family used when I was a kid. I saw the good support from the Farm Bureau, the Lion’s Club and others. I talked to men and women about their memories. I walked the whole event and had a cup of delicious ice cream with my last three dollars. 

And I saw these Confederate flags and symbols. I wondered how the celebration of an American way of life fit with this picture. These flags once were a symbol of regional pride for white Southerners, but now they represent something different. Now I wondered who this flag message was for. Now it stands for a history that condemned fellow Black Americans to enslavement and a history of cross burnings and lynchings. 

I thought about how much more inspiring it would be to see only the flag many of us fought for and some of us died for ­— white Americans, black Americans, brown Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans and every other kind of American. The one with 50 stars and 13 stripes that is supposed to stand for the best that we are and can be. I wondered if the organizers of the Farmers’ Days event next year might ask that only the flag that stands for all of us be part of a wonderful celebration of an American way of life.

Bob Pearson, veteran, U.S. Navy


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