Vietnam War veteran John Medlin planned to protest on Memorial Day against the inclusion of the Confederate flag at Veterans Affairs ceremonies–his fourth annual protest, he said in a recent letter to a local newspaper.
Medlin, who is originally from South Carolina, and who notes that his forebears fought for the South, says:
Under the Veterans Administration’s National Cemetery Administration Directive 3220 the flag of the Confederate States of America–a sworn enemy of the United States of America–is permitted to be flown on Memorial Day at national cemeteries administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Confederate flags are not permitted to be flown at national cemeteries administered by the U.S. Park Service, e.g., Gettysburg, nor are they permitted at national cemeteries administered by the Department of the Army, e.g., Arlington…
I also have no illusions about what the Confederate flag represented in the South of my youth in the 1950s and 1960s. It was then and is now often used as a symbol of racism, fear, and intimidation to persons of color and also non-Protestant religions–Catholics and Jews. This is not what our country stands for today or in the future. It is not what I and many others fought for in Vietnam.
Medlin did not return a request for comment.