Editor’s note: This editorial expresses the views of the Log Cabin Democrat. The editorial board is composed of Frank Leto, Jeanette Anderton and Alex Kienlen.

Take the fourth

We state this simply: If Mississippi can strike its state flag in favor of a flag which does not honor its confederacy history, Arkansas can certainly remove its confederacy-supporting fourth star from the center of its flag.

The fourth star, the single star above the word “Arkansas,” was first added in 1923 – this according to Arkansas Secretary of State John Thurston’s website – to commemorate Arkansas being part of the Confederate States of America. Originally it was a fourth star in a line of stars but after a “furor,” per Thurston, three stars were moved below the state’s name with the single confederacy-supporting star remaining above the word “Arkansas” at the flag’s center.

We could go on as to the temperament of Arkansas, if not America, in the early 1920s and the thought process which would lead to the addition of the fourth star. We will note, however, that the 20s were also the time of the Ku Klux Klan’s ascendancy in Arkansas and, yes, America. That fourth star reflects the “Who’s in charge here” politics of that group and its brow-beating in that era.

And those white-supremacy politics are wrong, simply wrong.

We note further the “furor” moving three stars below the state’s name and the single, then-new, star above is not without its own symbolism, that “Who’s in charge here” being somehow above (above!) the name of the state is further not coincidental.

In fact to assert otherwise, that the fourth start, that the star’s arrangement, doesn’t mean anything or some other “No harm intended” response is so much whistling past the graveyard. The fourth star was put there in support of the confederacy. The fourth star was ultimately placed above the name of our very great state – and this is unacceptable.

Arkansas was formed by people who came, cleared a space on a wild American frontier and formed an identity. In time, and with statehood, a state flag was formed, the three stars in its center symbolic of its heritage leading to its formation. The fourth star, added 10 years after on our flag does not reflect heritage but instead the goals and schemes of those who would separate us, divide us. Those politics must not be honored.

The fourth star is not who we are; the fourth star must go.

Editor’s note: The above editorial originally ran in the Log Cabin Democrat July 25.

Hebrews 12: 1-13 (NIV)

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

God Disciplines His Children

4 In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5 And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says,

“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,

and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,

6 because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,

and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”

7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? 8 If you are not disciplined – and everyone undergoes discipline – then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! 10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

12 Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. 13 “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.

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