The following is a letter to the editor.

In reference to Sen. Dale Zorn wearing a face mask that was said to mimic the Confederate flag, the Rev. Dr. Douglas Ralston states that he shares a great-grandfather with Sen. Zorn who fought in the Civil War “to maintain the United States against those who…wanted to tear the Union apart.”

I suggest this is not an entirely accurate depiction of the Civil War. Our Founding Fathers met in Philadelphia in 1787 to revise the Articles of Confederation, however, rather than revising the articles, they came up with a new Constitution.

At this point, the former 13 colonies were in actuality 13 free, independent and sovereign nations. On the 28th of September of that year, Congress sent a copy of the Constitution to each of these nations. If nine of the 13 were to adopt the new Constitution they would form a union delegating to the federal government very limited and specific powers, retaining all other powers to themselves or to their people.

Specifically, these powers granted to the federal government were to unite them against foreign invaders, act as arbiter among themselves when differences arose and regulate commerce between themselves and foreign nations.

These states formally reserved to themselves the right to freely leave or abandon their new creation as they had abandoned the old union under the Articles of Confederation. Initially nine states joined this union with Virginia, New York, North Carolina and Rhode Island maintaining their independence.

Finally these four did join with, of course, the provision that they could abandon the union at any time. For example, Rhode Island waited almost two years, joining on May 29, however, with the condition “That the powers of government may be resumed by the people whensoever it shall become necessary to their happiness.”

The Civil War was fought to negate this power to leave the Union. Things certainly would be different if the state had maintained the threat to secede. For example, the Supreme Court would hardly have voted as it did on Roe vs. Wade and the federal government wouldn’t even consider negating the Second Amendment.

Everett Luoma