I was deeply saddened by the sight of Confederate flags flying in my town of Pine Island yesterday. Unfortunately, it was not the first time I have seen them here.

A symbol of racism, terror, white supremacy and crimes against people of color, this flag has no place anywhere. Those who claim the flag represents pride in heritage are fooling themselves, as the flag was created to represent those supporting treason against the United States of America.

The continuation of the institute of slavery, and the economic benefits that it provided to the Southern states was the overlying reason for the South’s succession from the Union. Since then, the Confederate flag has been adopted as a symbol by the Ku Klux Klan and other hate groups.

Waving the Confederate flag and the USA flag at the same time is a contradiction, as their ideals are completely opposite. Yet, that is what I have seen in Pine Island. When I see a Confederate flag, it is obvious to me that the person waving it does not care about history, patriotism or the rights of Black Americans.

Tina Larson, Pine Island