Letter: Wave the flag...

(Editor's note: Read more about the flag controversy here and here.)

To the Editor:

Wave the flag...correctly.

One of our veterans of World War II recently told me that “we need a lot more flag waving,” and I agreed with him. Neither he nor I realized that a few unthinking individuals had used our flag at athletic events to “taunt” certain members of our community.

That situation prompted the Travelers Rest High School principal to prohibit individuals from carrying American flags into a football game recently. He was correct to be concerned about public safety at the game. That is part of his job, but he did not understand the deep love and respect our community has for the flag and the country which it represents. When Principal Lavely heard the large outcry from our community, he made the right decision to reverse his position.

This is a teachable moment. The actions of a few unthinking individuals can promote anger, fear, resentment, and even hate. This is true in high school athletics, and it is also true in our larger political arena. We should be careful how we express our feelings about the country that we all love. Our armed forces and other citizens have worked and fought to preserve the freedoms we enjoy every day. We should not use anger, fear, and hate to promote dis-unity in our nation. If things are wrong in the country, we should work to fix them; but we should not take down our unity in the process.

Let’s wave the flag more and more, but let’s be sure to respect the flag and use it to promote unity and love for our country by everyone.

Lamar McCarrell, Greenville
Upstate Spirit of '45 organizer