Sunday, August 9, 2015

Korean Confederate Flag

Dear Gentle Readers,
I hope you will appreciate 
this beautiful story from
America's past.

"House Calls"
A painting by
Mary H. Kimmel

A young American soldier in Korea

An American solider
from North Carolina
serving on the front lines in the
Korean War wrote to Dr. Moore's son:

"Dear old college mate Pete,
(began the letter to my son)
  It's a long hike
 from Chapel Hill to Korea,
 but, buddy, I'm here just the same.
 There is a bit
 of a lull in the shooting,
 for the moment,
 but these lulls
 are often ominous.
 It is bitter cold here
 and difficult to combat.
 We do not have
 the necessary military complements
 for this bloody mess out here,
 where one's breath 
literally freezes in midair.
 If it were not for
 the emotional plunge
 into a business of survival,
 this loneliness would become
 almost unbearable.
Pete, my pal, 
please do me a favor, won't you?
 I want you to send to me
 the biggest Confederate flag
 you can get.
 Send it over to me
 as soon as possible.
 The Chinks are
 almost in "spittin' distance" of us,
 and they don't mind
 taking pot shots at us
 even when we are doing 
no more than writing a letter
 to an old school chum.
 I guess you wonder,
 in the midst
 of all this serious war business,
 just what in the world I intend to do
 with a Confederate flag. 
I am going to let it fly
 right in the face
 of those yellow boys
 the minute it arrives. 
Do your best for me, Pete,
 won't you?"

At risk of being trite one could say that you can
 take a fellow out of college
 but you can't take college out of a fellow.

  No sooner had Pete received this letter appeal
 from his old University of North Carolina school chum
 than he came to me for help.

"How can we get a Confederate flag
for this boy, Dad?"

Yes, really how could we?

 Here we were right
 in the heart of Yankee land,
 wishing for a rebel flag. 
But after all, the boy wants it 
and get it we will-somehow.

A letter was dispatched in the next mail 
to one of the largest flag-manufacturing plants
 in the world not too distant
 from our home in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.

       In less than forty-eight hours came a reply.
 There were no Confederate flags in stock.
 But that was not to be the final word. 
No sir, not from this generous, thoughtful, 
kind-hearted, flag manufacturer. 

Here is his letter:

 Dear Dr. Moore,
"I am truly sorry
 that we do not have
 a Confederate flag in stock,
 but I am having one made up
 specially for this lad in Korea.
It could be my son, you know.
 I will have made
 one of the biggest flags
 for immediate shipment
 to this soldier boy.
 We are going to pay
 for half of the cost 
 of manufacture and will ship it 
directly to Korea at our expense."

What a wonderful letter-
 a real American, this flag manufacturer. 
What a thrill! 
And now the flag would soon be on its way
 and into the hands of the youngster 
who had suddenly grown to be a man,
 and was accepting the dire 
responsibilities of a man.
 But, at heart, beneath the grim
 and solemn face,
 there was someone's "little boy" 
far from home and lonely.

Sandwiched between World War II and the Vietnam War,
the conflict in Korea (1950-53) has often been referred to as
"America's Forgotten War"

 It was not long before we received word
 from the Korean soldier
 that the flag had arrived,
 unharmed, and now it flew 
from a provisional masthead.
 The chilling breeze of Arctic air
 unfurled this beautiful flag 
directly in front of the enemy lines.

The Americans have a new flag.

 Now what flag is it? 
Of course any real southerner
 could spot the stars and bars any time, anywhere,
 -but not those Mongolians who were bent on killing men.
 Life to them was cheap, so why not?

But this flag?

 Out went the reconnaissance planes of the enemy. 
It took little time to report to headquarters that,
 "the Americans have a new and unknown ally".
Their intelligence department came up 

with that much, but little more.

And indeed they did have an ally
-thousands of sons from Dixieland-
who were happy to see their much loved flag
 fly right along with the Stars and Stripes.

 The ghosts of Lee, and Jackson, and old Jeb Stuart
 rode across the frozen wastes of Korea.

Korean War Memorial
Washington DC

God bless all our American heroes
who honorably served our nation in the
past, and those who are 
serving in the armed forces of
the United States of America today.

Thank you for my freedom.

"Korean Confederate Flag"
 From the book, "Mustard Plasters and Printer's Ink:
 A Kaleidoscope of a Country Doctor's Observations
 About People, Places, and Things"
 By Allen H. Moore MD  

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