Dear Editor:

At the outset of this letter, let me make clear that as a Libertarian individualist and activist that I am not really enamored of any flag. They are all symbols of nationalism and statism, both of which are collectivist philosophies and ideologies that believe the individual should be subordinate to the so-called "greater good."

Having said this, let me also make clear that the current frenzy over the Confederate battle flag (erroneously referred to by many as the "Stars and Bars," which was the flag of the Confederate government) shows that the "politically correct" liberal crowd is just as intolerant and hateful as the people they claim to be against!

Most of these (such as The Record's columnist Mike Kelley and editorial page editor Alfred Doblin) know nothing of history but will seize any excuse to call for more curtailments on the Bill of Rights, especially the Second Amendment and now apparently the First Amendment as well.

Slavery existed under the American flag far longer than under any Confederate flag, so maybe that flag should come down too. The American flag flew over all the forts and military installations that were involved in subjugating the native tribes on this continent. Fast forward 70 or 80 years to the 1940s and the American flag flew over Roosevelt's interment camps for Americans of Japanese ancestry in which the government put them.

As to the gun issue, has it occurred to anyone that if one of the parishioners in that church in Charleston, S.C., had been armed, the shooter, Dylann Roof, may have only gotten off a few rounds before being shot himself? It's a bit ironic that the late pastor of that church was also a state senator in South Carolina who was an advocate of gun control; he indirectly set up his own people to be victims.

All Americans – black, white brown, red, yellow, North, South, East, or West, of any faith (or none), gay or straight – must come to understand that out-of-control government is the enemy – not each other! If you feel the need to display a flag, I'd recommend one I've always liked, the Gadsden flag, with the words "Don't tread on me" on it.

Flags are just pieces of cloth that many people have made a near fetish over; it's too bad that they don't revere the Constitution and the Bill of Rights the same way!

Mark Richards,
West Milford