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Letter: Put Confederate flag and Civil War in the past

The South Carolina and American flags fly at

The South Carolina and American flags fly at half-staff behind the Confederate flag erected in front of the State Congress building in Columbia, S.C., on June 19, 2015. Credit: Getty Images / Mladen Antonov

The flying of the Confederate flag in front of South Carolina's Statehouse is abhorrent .

That flag is part of the state's history, and it should remain in the past. No legitimate reason for flying it or placing it on license plates exists today.

Would we be revolted if Germany were to fly a swastika flag in front of the Reichstag building, using the excuse that that flag is part of German history? Of course we would.

Ilene Klinghoffer, Malverne

Beyond the need for gun control is the need to rid this country of the hatred behind this terrible tragedy. This country fought one of its most terrible wars; more than 600,000 Americans died during the Civil War. White supremacy and slavery were behind this hatred so intense it created an atmosphere that led to the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.

The South hated President Lyndon Johnson so intensely for signing the 1964 Civil Rights Act that many in Southern states left the Democratic Party.

It's not hard to see where this young man got his hatred. I lived it and witnessed it as a white Northern person stationed in Mississippi in the 1960s. I've never forgotten the hatred I saw and the terrible treatment of African-American people. Adults who still glorify the Civil War are teaching young people to hate.

Richard T. DeVito, Long Beach