The Dude had on a Confederate Flag T-Shirt…

It was a Friday night and I had been driving for more than 15 hours. I had taken my daughter back home and was making my way back to Georgia. I still had 2 hours before I reached home safely but I needed to get some gas and take a stretch break. I walked into the store paid for my gas and went to the restroom. As I washed my hands, I could see how tired I looked, as my eyes were turning red. It was at that moment that a white gentlemen next to me says, “I hope you are almost home my friend.” I replied, “Two more hours.” He stated that he was shutting it down for the night because he was so tired. I told him that I was going to keep moving and as we parted he said, “Get home safe brother!” This may sound like two men having a friendly conversation but the man I was speaking with was wearing a t-shirt with a Confederate Flag.

It was not until I was in my truck, that I realized what was on his shirt. It struck me as odd that he would strike up a conversation wearing such a shirt. As a week has passed since this happen, it has really been on my mind. The importance of symbols and how we display them can be detrimental to relationships of all kinds. This man at most times in my life would have received a different welcome from me than he did that night. My awareness and alertness was not at its usual highness which accounted for my lack of noticing his shirt. But, it allowed me to have a good and pleasant conversation with someone who would have otherwise been ignored.

I still have a problem with people who wear or have Confederate Flags but I also learned not to jump to fast to dismiss a person without knowing them. I still don’t have much respect for those who choose to brand or wear a Confederate Flag but I nonetheless I had a conversation with a man that did. I will never see that man again in my life but for those brief 2 minutes that man gave me enough encouragement to get home after 15 hours on the road.  He gave me a pound and told me to perk up and we parted our ways.  The hate that fills the mystic and prowess of the Confederate Flag did not fill this man, at least from my perspective, but its presence displayed on his shirt impacted me more than him…

Think about it…

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