To commemorate the Civil War's Centennial, the State of South Carolina hoisted the Confederate Flag proudly above its state capitol building in 1962. During Campaign 2000, the Republican candidates have stirred the fires that General Shermanstarted back in 1865 when his troops burned Columbia, the South Carolina capital (Newsweek).Today, there is a strong sentiment in the country that the flag should be lowered forever. Some people feel that the flag is a symbol of slavery.The NAACP has launched an economic boycott against trade in the state until the flag is removed, and the business community seems in favor of its removal because of their anticipated loss of revenue (Newsweek). Editorials, television news shows, and commentaries tend to make one feel that overwhelmingly, the nation favors the removal of the flag from the South Carolina Capitol.This position, supported in his essay, "The Rebel Flag" by Michael Cohen, is not the only side to the issue, however. To fully comprehend the debate from the perspective of those people most closely involved, the South Carolinians, one must examine the history and heritage involved with flying this flag. Contrary to his contention that both sides of any argument must be examined, Cohen takes a narrow view in examining the recent controversy surrounding this issue.
In order to understand the importance of this flag atop the capitol, consider the impact of Sherman's March near the end of the Civil War on South Carolina.On February 17, 1865, Union General William T. Sherman marched his army into Columbia, the state capital of South Carolina. The mayor of Columbia surrendered the city, and he was in turn assured by Sherman that neither the citizens nor the city would be harmed. Even so, as the Union Soldiers began to enter the city, some journals and letters from citizens have recorded for posterity the Union Army's vengeful actions that cut Columbia to the …