Letter to the Editor: Restaurant’s flag an affront to Maine’s heroes, common decency
On July 2nd, 1863, the soldiers of the 20th Maine Volunteer Infantry regiment---out of ammunition and facing a series of furious confederate attacks--fixed their bayonets and charged. Led by Bowdoin professor and Maine native Joshua L. Chamberlain, they routed the rebel attackers and secured the Little Round Top, a moment considered pivotal to the Union victory at the Battle of Gettysburg.
I now imagine what Chamberlain and his men would think to see a business in their very own Maine flying the noxious flag of both slavery and open rebellion against the United States of America. The owners of Grant Lee's Tavern in Farmington are surely aware of the history of Maine during the Civil War, and surely also aware of the meaning and significance of the Confederate battle flag, which makes it all the more upsetting that they would choose to fly it next to their restaurant's entrance...right along Rt. 27 where it is seen not only by locals, but thousands of tourists en route to Sugarloaf and Saddleback. What an embarrassment!
Racists and Confederate apologists will try to claim that the confederate flag is a symbol not of slavery, but of state's rights, cultural heritage, or any other number of things. But don't believe it. The only right the confederate states were fighting for was the right to hold slaves. The only heritage the flag recalls is the heritage of the plantation. That it is still flown in the south is bad enough, but that it should fly in the home state of Lt. Col. Chamberlain is a disgrace.
In this free and great nation, the owners of Grant Lee's have the right to fly whatever flag they wish. And I have the right to boycott their establishment until they remove it. I encourage all others who love their town and country to do the same.