No rebel flags on the Fourth

For more than 40 years, Arlington has tried to leave its Confederate past behind.

Named for Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Virginia hometown, the city let go first when UT Arlington changed its 1950s-era Rebel mascot, and then as Six Flags Over Texas gradually downplayed and changed the Confederacy section to the Old South.

Now, it’s time for the city to let go of Confederate battle flags in the Arlington Fourth of July parade.

Ancestry groups from the Sons of Confederate Veterans have agreed not to carry the “rebel flag” this year. But the emblem is part of SCV camp banners or patches that may be visible.

July 4 is not the holiday to remember an open rebellion against the U.S.

The battle flag has been a prominent feature of the SCV presence in many Fort Worth Stock Show parades also. As events of the past two weeks have shown, the flag as become a symbol far distinct from its origins on the Civil War battlefield.

Arlington, as a national tourist destination, has been wise to stow away its Confederate past and divisive symbols.

If rebel flags show up on July 4, that is not a useful or positive message for Arlington.