On a road leading out of town there’s a house that for many years had a Confederate flag hanging out front. Actually, the flag was on a pole within the grounds of the house, behind a high, tightly bound picket fence, the kind of fence you might have seen around an early Puritan settlement. The residents of the house had also posted a large sign that said: “Loud bikes save lives!”

Not so long ago, the flag came down. A woman in town–a woman who works for social justice and is visibly and vocally liberal–was so pleased to see this that she baked a batch of brownies and went to the house and knocked on the door. And was admitted inside. And offered her brownies as a sign of her gratitude. And talked for an hour with people who had been, for years, both neighbors and strangers.

When she asked the man of the house what the flag had meant to him, he said that it had been through two wars. Which wars? The world wars, he said, in the 1800s. He also said that he liked The Dukes of Hazzard. He was being sincere.

People of Earth: Come to know your history. Come to know your neighbors.