In testimony to the deep impact the Civil War (1861-1865) made on Americans, there is an ongoing quarrel between a Southern and a Northern state over the possession of a Confederate battle flag captured at Gettysburg.
Marshall Sherman, a private in the 1st Minnesota, captured the flag of the 28th Virginia in the heat of hand to hand fighting during Pickett’s Charge.
Turns out, Virginia wants her flag back. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell has asked Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton to loan the flag out to Virginia to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg (July 1-3, 1863). Dayton’s response to McDonnell reflects the acidity which plagued relations between North and South all those years ago.
The governor of Virginia earlier this year requested that the flag be loaned, quote, unquote, to Virginia to commemorate–it doesn’t quite strike me as something they would want to commemorate, but we declined that invitation.
It was taken in a battle at the cost of the blood of all these Minnesotans. And I think it would be a sacrilege to return it to them. It was something that was earned through the incredible courage and valor of men who gave their lives and risked their lives to obtain it. And, as far as I’m concerned, it’s a closed subject.
Read the coverage in the National Journal here.