Nonfiction from NER 40.4 (2019)
When folks say the war was about states’ rights, that was the right—the right to hold people as property . . . That is the history that [the Confederate] flag commemorates.
I was born and raised in Milledgeville, Georgia, and going to school in the 1980s I said the Pledge of Allegiance along with my classmates, facing the American flag with our hands over our hearts, at the start of each day. I liked the rhythm of the words in my mouth in the cadence we were taught—the syntactical pauses inevitably ran “for which it stands” together to almost become one word. It and those other morsels—“and to the Republic,” “indivisible,” “with liberty / and justice for all”—pleased my tongue and my ear, though first-grade me surely didn’t have enough context to understand to what I was making my pledge.