The producers of a Washington, DC visitor’s guide dropped the National Museum of Civil War Medicine from their guide because of the museum’s logo.
As you can see it has the US Flag and a confederate flag side-by-side with a caduceus between them and the slogan “Divided by Conflict, United by Compassion.”
The producers sent the museum an email asking them to submit another image, one without the confederate flag.
Is this a case where the logo needs to be changed?
Kevin Levin thinks so:
David Price, the museum’s executive director, said, “That logo is dead-on what we do, divided by conflict, united by compassion.”
Union and confederate medical personnel treated soldiers from both sides without making distinctions.
The tourism group understands the flag here is presented in a historical context, but they still object to it. According to the story, “Price said the unity between opposing sides that characterized medical treatment and history in the Civil War is a lesson for the divisions and conflict of today.”
“Danielle Davis, director of communications for Destination DC, sent an emailed statement on behalf of Elliott Ferguson, the organization’s president and CEO. ‘We are constantly evaluating how best to promote Washington, D.C., for visitors and have decided not to include images that can be considered controversial, which includes the confederate flag and weapons,’ the email stated. ‘We certainly recognize that the National Museum of Civil War Medicine is a place to learn about American history and we are willing to promote the museum without the confederate flag imagery in our publications.’ ”
The museum has been a member of Destination DC and paid the yearly $1,000 membership fee since 2011. Their ads have been in previous visitor’s guides.
“Price acknowledged the heightened awareness surrounding these symbols. He wrote in an email on Tuesday that discussions of Confederate flags have often ended with the conclusion that the proper place for the flag is a museum. ‘Well — we are a museum,’ he wrote. Price said by phone that he respected Destination DC’s decision, but he also called it a ‘missed opportunity’ for education. ‘I wish they would have taken it as an opportunity to explain our museum and the flag and why we have it and how it’s used,’ he said.”
I have to respectfully disagree with Kevin on this. I come down on the side of the museum. I think the logo is perfect to show what happened during the Civil War regarding medicine, and you can’t tell the story of Civil War medicine without telling both sides, and the logo shows clearly both sides are being included in the story. This is not a case of racial intimidation and is a textbook case of the flag being used in a historical context. I think the good people at Destination DC are mistaken and should include the museum’s ad with its logo. Perhaps they could include a short message explaining the use of the flag, but I don’t think the logo should be changed.
What do you think?