The Confederate Flag is a symbol of hate, not heritage
Every day my dog goes wild at the sound of a large black Chevrolet truck. It’s not so much the sound of the deafening exhaust spewing global-warming inducing carbon dioxide like it’s going out of style or the towering jacked-up size.
No, she goes wild at the white “stars and bars” cloth flapping in the wind behind it.
My dog may be the dumbest animal on the face of this earth. She ate neurotoxic rat poison, and when my uncle found out, he said, “You have to have a brain to be affected by neurotoxin.” But when she barks at that strip of cloth,I think she’s the smart one.
It’s brainless to think that the Confederate flag has ever been about heritage — or I should say that the Northern Virginia Confederate battle flag has ever been about heritage.
The several iterations actual Confederate flag looked only vaguely similar to the one flown on the backs of trucks and T-shirts. So if the flag were truly a “symbol of Southern pride and heritage,” why do people not fly the original Confederate flag?
Because they don’t truly care about heritage. They care about hate.
The Confederate flag we typically see today was hardly ever flown during the Civil War. It became incredibly popular, however, from the early 1940s until the mid to late ’60s. It was flown by a political party called the Dixiecrats, whose main goal was to perpetuate a racist agenda by opposing anti-lynching and anti-poll tax measures.
It was also flown by George Wallace, the governor of Alabama, a man whose name is synonymous with hatred and bigotry in the South during the Civil Rights era. If you can’t remember him, he was the guy who said, “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow and segregation forever!”
What a great person for your symbol to be associated with.
Let’s look at another more recent person associated with this “precious sign of heritage.” Dylann Roof, the insane white supremacist gunman who decided to execute nine people inside a predominantly black Charleston church, posed in many pictures with the Confederate flag.
He wrote in his so-called manifesto, “(racial slur)s are stupid and violent. At the same time they have the capacity to be very slick,” he wrote. “Black people view everything through a racial lens….” What great words of wisdom for you Confederate flag supporters.
This racist sentiment should be a thing of the past just like this flag. The flag is simply a relic of a bygone era. Read your history books, ladies and gentlemen! We no longer live in the Confederate States of America.
The Confederate States of America no longer even exists. Russia doesn’t fly the hammer and sickle anymore (as much as Putin might like to). Germany no longer hoists the swastika over Nuremberg. So why in the greatest nation on earth do we feel the need to fly an object of antiquity and plain-and-simple racism over our capitols?
I’m not going to hop into one of that truck bed and tear that strip of cloth down because I recognize it is free speech to display that symbol. But just know if you plan on flying it, you are brainlessly promoting racism.
By Ari Sen
The Confederate Flag is a symbol of southern heritage
When Dylann Roof shot nine people in an AME church in Charleston last June, he did more than fuel the fires of racial prejudice. Photos of Roof holding the Confederate flag alongside a number of guns have surfaced and reopened the controversy over the Confederate flag.
“I feel like it’s an important part of our nation’s history,” senior Bailey Tavel said. “People who use the flag for racism are the ones making it such a controversial topic. I support the Confederate flag because I know it was the South’s flag, and it shows a part of our history that sometimes we’re not so proud of, but we can still use it to show that we’ve grown as a nation.”
For some of the 70 million Americans whose ancestors fought in the Civil War, the Confederate flag is a symbol of their families’ sacrifices, bravery and heritage.
According to a writer for the New York Times, “The current attacks on that legacy, 150 years after the event, are to us an insult that mends no fences nor builds any bridges.”
As a result of Roof’s actions, the Confederate flag was removed from flying outside the statehouse in Columbia, South Carolina in July.
“Honestly, I don’t think it should have been flying in South Carolina,” Tavel said. “It is a good thing that they took it down because it did cause such a riot. They took it down and put it in a museum, and I think as long as we don’t put it away forever and forget about our history that it is a good thing.”
The legacy of the Confederate flag should not automatically be assumed as a legacy of hatred or racism. According to the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, 385,000 Southern families owned slaves, out of a population of 1,516,000 white, Southern families, so 25 percent of Southerners owned slaves. Men from the other 75 percent enlisted to fight for the Confederacy for reasons other than protecting the institution of slavery. In the Army of Northern Virginia, the majority of soldiers did not come from families that had a personal connection to slavery.
“Robert E. Lee was the general of the South, and he didn’t even have anything to do with racism,” Tavel said. “If you look at it, the war itself wasn’t even about racism. If you look in a history book, it will say that the war was about states’ rights. I understand that slavery was one of those rights, but there were also black people fighting for the South. So it really wasn’t just about racism.”
Some groups who oppose the flag have also called for the removal of Civil War monuments, including statues of Robert E. Lee. In Virginia, Robert E. Lee High School received criticism for its name. But history is history. “Generations of families have graduated from Lee High School since 1958. It has a rich tradition, a long-standing history, and the alums have really made their voices clear that they do not want to change the name,” said Aubrey Chancellor in an interview with the local ABC News network.Chancellor is the executive director of communications at North East Independent School District. “There are many petitions circulating right now. One of them is in favor of keeping the name, not changing it, and it has more than 2,000 signatures.”
By Caroline Ward