Yes, take down the Confederate flag from its place on the grounds of the state capitol in South Carolina. It doesn't deserve the state's sanction.

Take down the statues of Jefferson Davis, and please take his name off Route One in Virginia.

But leave Robert E. Lee alone. He opposed secession, and in his later years did the right things for his country. And please, do not think of shelving Gone With The Wind, that irresistible book (and riveting movie) on the grounds that it was a pro-Dixie screed. Do its critics know that the book's four leading characters — Scarlett, Rhett, Ashley and Melanie — never thought that the South should secede?

In one of the first scenes, Rhett Butler starts a war of his own when he tells a group of enthused Confederates not only that they will lose the war but how and why they will lose it — because the North has more money, munitions and people than they do, while they have slaves, cotton and arrogance.

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