• 70°

Cloth attached to a pole can make strong statements

Last week was a great example of how eclectic Oxford can be at times as its citizens struggle to remain true to their southern heritage while learning to be more accepting of diversity.

On Saturday, the second Pride Parade rolled through the downtown Square, with colorful rainbow flags waving in all directions in support of our local LGBTQ community.

A few days prior, a man holding the Mississippi state flag in front of the Lafayette County Courthouse was arrested for disorderly conduct after arguing with a sheriff’s deputy who told him he had to leave since he did not have a permit.

The issue of the Confederate flag emblem on the state flag has been a hot topic for two years around the state. Universities and cities all over have removed the state flag while those in support of the flag have held rallies across the state defending its use.

All of the debate and rallies are possible because of one simple red, white and blue flag — the American flag. It’s the reason we, as American citizens, are able to march for our rights or express different opinions about our government without fear of retribution — as long as one requires a city or county permit first before they take their views to public land.

Flags are simply cloth attached to a pole, and yet, they have been the cause of great debate, fights among friends and many wars in our world’s history. Whether it’s a plain white flag on a battlefield, signifying a surrender or the placement of the American flag on the moon in the 1960s, flags can invoke people to great emotion and are so important that millions of people have given their lives while defending a flag.

As different groups continue to wave the flags they feel represent their cause, we all need to keep in mind the words of the Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag — the one flag that should represent every single citizen of our great country — “one nation, under God, indivisible, for liberty and justice for all,” with the greatest word there being “All.”

Alyssa Schnugg is Senior Writer at the Oxford Eagle. Email her at alyssa.schnugg@oxfordeagle.com