In response to Don Balyeat regarding the Confederate flag display at the VA Center in Hot Springs, it is well to keep in mind that flags are symbols. At the time of the Civil War, this Confederate flag represented the beliefs of the South that emphasized the importance of states' rights. The states' rights that were so important to the South involved the continuation of slavery.
The slave population in the 1860 census indicated that the slave population was nearly 4 million or 13 percent of the population. To ensure the monetary superiority of the slave-owning families who were only 8 percent of the population, 214,938 people lost their lives.
I toured a Southern town recently and as the tour guide was explaining the economic impact of the Civil War, he stated that the demise of the economic landscape following the war was a result of lost "affordable labor." That loss, my friend, was human bondage in the form of slavery.
Perhaps Mr. Balyeat should reread "Uncle Tom's Cabin" to fully comprehend a bloody war fought to uphold an ideal that honored monetary gain as well as prejudice, hate and bigotry over human rights which was symbolized in their flag.
Jacqueline Schnittgrund, Rapid City