by Edwin Santana, Democratic candidate for Congress in VA-01
Tuesday night, I attended a Board of Zoning Appeals hearing in my home county of Stafford to lend my voice to the debate over the infamous flag. The Board voted to dismiss the appeal without allowing public comment, so I wanted to make sure my stance on this flag is heard.
Nothing says “Welcome to Stafford!” like a giant, racist, iron cross-adorned Confederate Flag flying over I-95. We need to stop pretending that this isn’t about racism. If that flag represents southern heritage and states’ rights, then it represents a state’s right to enslave another human being.
The owner of that flag has many racist tirades online that show that what he actually wants, is to drag our country back 150 years. It is a disgrace to veterans and those of us who have served in the military of the United States of America.
This Confederate Battle Flag represents a group of people that Americans fought and died to defeat 150 years ago. It represents a group of Nazi sympathizers, whose role models our grandfathers defeated on the beaches of Normandy over 70 years ago. Look no further than the streets of Charlottesville, last summer, where we saw Swastikas and Confederate Battle Flags goose-stepping their way down our streets.
How many tens of thousands of people sit in traffic on I-95 every day and think “I don’t want to move my family or my business here. Look at the racist flag that county condones.”
I love Stafford, and I know this doesn’t represent all of us, but we need to stop letting this flag, towering over the interstate, give everyone the impression that it does.
Thank God our forefathers had more courage than some of our current elected officials, or we may still be living with slavery today.