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[204]

We are content in the home of our fathers.

The Past asks what of the Future? We can answer as fearlessly as the dead answered the call on them—we are content in the home of our fathers. Neither fealty to the dead, fidelity to principle, nor any laws of honor or interest, impels us to a different answer. It is important, however, to inquire why this is so.

It is a narrow and dishonoring view that this content comes from defeat and the parole at Appomattox. A new generation has risen since then. Paroles bind the generation which gives them; but neither future generations or great principles can be paroled. There must be surer and better foundation for this content, now, of millions in a government from which, a third of a century ago, they made so many sacrifices to separate, than the memory of parchment which recalls a disaster in arms.

We are Americans, proud of our country and its flag, because Alabama is lord of her own and vassal to none, and our highest hopes of happiness are bound up in the rule of one government of co-equal States under the Constitution, for the North American continent.

Why should it not be so?

When the Confederate furled his flag, no strange flag vexed him. The new banner that rose over his home was the old flag of his forefathers. Every battle-field and glory it recalls is bright with the valor and achievements of his ancestors. When we left, we did not claim the flag, and as it comes back to us now, it stands for no thought at war with our interest, our liberties or our honor, but lifts its folds proudly in the skies of every land, as our protector and defender. Why may we not love it now as the symbol of a reunited land?

If, then, not the flag, is it the feeling between those who dwell under the flag, that should keep our hearts apart? Never was there better understanding and more good will between the sections.

Industry and economic conditions have so changed that Federal legislation rarely presents even a sectional aspect. Hostility and discord between the sections are weaker than ever before, since the sections are juster to each other than ever before. We have our share in glories of the Republic. We have thrilled at the thought of a loved Montgomerian, standing under the broad pennant of the Secretary of the Navy, in an American flag-ship, as it ploughed through the waters of the Chesapeake, and he received the salutes

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