Opinion Columns & Blogs

Make removal of Confederate battle flag permanent

Good for Mayor Jeff Longwell for having the Confederate battle flag removed on Thursday from Wichita’s Veterans Memorial Park pending further discussion with veterans and others about the display’s future. But the best way forward on the John S. Stevens Memorial Flag Pavilion already has been proposed to City Council members by Stevens’ son. The younger John Stevens said that the flag doesn’t help the memory of his father, a former mayor and city commissioner. He also noted that “there is no point in it being up.” The flag pavilion has showcased 13 of the flags that have flown over the United States, but there are hundreds of alternative flags that aren’t visual and visceral symbols of hate and prejudice. As Stevens has told council members: “Take it down. It hurts somebody; take it down.” – Phillip Brownlee