Ignoring the usual specious messages concerning the Confederate battle flag, let’s look at this another way.
Since ostensibly our government is a representative one, we can make the claim that public property–the government land subsidized by the citizens–is property belonging to the PUBLIC (setting aside for the moment the fact that collectively-owned property is an impossibility, which makes the whole argument about what should or shouldn’t be displayed upon it thus irrelevant). This being the case, any private citizen should be able to petition the government to display his or her works upon public property; that is, if we want to consistently apply the idea of public property–property owned by the people, which is (theoretically) the very definition.
There can be no rational and therefore no moral reason to deny any such petition other than if the display is in service to an expressed intent to violate the life or property of another citizen. (For example, if someone wanted to display a swastika on public grounds to openly express his or her desire to kill all the Jews, this would make such a display immoral, and thus it should be denied.)
Since symbols are subjective, one cannot deny such a petition on the grounds that the symbol ITSELF is offensive, or means this or that…because again this is an attempt to invoke the logically impossible argument that symbols have objective meaning. To claim a symbol means something to EVERYONE is clearly overstepping one’s own epistemology, since it is impossible for you to know what something MEANS to someone else unless they concede YOUR definition of it.
The only other alternative is to ban, in a rank display of contradiction, ALL symbols from the private citizen upon public grounds. But this of course would need to include ALL monuments and flags pertaining to the State itself, since (again, ostensibly) the government represents an extension of the people; thus, there can be no such thing as purely a “governmental” or “national” symbol.
You see, what those calling for the arbitrary removal of the confederate flag from all state grounds are doing is attempting to reconcile two mutual exclusivities. The symbols of the Central Authority (the government) AS BEING and AS REPRESENTING the symbols of the private citizen, thus making government or national symbols acceptable but private symbols illegal. Insofar as it is impossible to make that which is COLLECTIVE a symbol of and for he or she who is INDIVIDUAL, it is impossible to declare the moral and legal display of national symbols while declaring the display of private symbols upon government grounds immoral and illegal. As soon as you appeal to the right of the nation to display ITS symbols on public grounds, you MUST appeal to the right of the individual to do the same, since the first CANNOT exist without the second. That is, if you mean to be rational. Which is only an assumption, of course. Looking at the nature of the predominant philosophies in circulation today, one might just as easily assume the collective eschewing of rationality.
Nevertheless this is the argument being made, and that we are being asked to swallow; and those rationally minded among us simply cannot concede that it is ever a good idea to exchange reason for madness simply because not doing so is “offensive”–whatever that means.
The idea that the government has the right to display its symbols and monuments upon public property but the individual does not, due to the risk of “offense” , is merely conceding the right of the State to subordinate the citizen to itself. Which is PRECISELY what this flag nonsense is all about. Nothing more nor less. This is a fight not for the rights of the oppressed minority, but an attempt to spread oppression to ALL people because it is now commonly accepted–either consciously or tacitly–that the only moral individual is one who is being sacrificed to the Group; and ALL Groups derive their just meaning and purpose from the State .
In other words, the only good individual is a dead individual.