The Instigator
Con (against)
0 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
5 Points

Is the Confederate flag (rebel flag) a symbol of racism

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/17/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,582 times Debate No: 70229
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (1)




The first round is for accepting and I would like to thank in advance my challenger. I am on the position that the Confederate flag is not a symbol of racism and that it should stop being considered as such.


I accept to debate Con. If I am not mistaken the BoP is shared.

Looking forward to a great debate.
Debate Round No. 1


Thanks for accepting to debate this topic, because regardless of what people at Berkeley University, or the MSNBC meat puppets, or the folks down at Huffington Post state, I am against the notion that the Confederate flag is a racist symbol, and here's why. First off, if someone states that the flag flew over slavery, that's an incorrect statement. The flag which has become known as the Confederate flag was actually a battle flag, never to be flown over a building or the like. Besides, the flag never flew on the slave ships, but do you know what flag did fly over those ships? The American flag, the Stars and Stripes. If you wanna talk flags over slavery, let's suppose for a second the Confederate flag did fly over buildings. The Confederate flag only flew over slavery for about 4 years, but the Stars and Stripes did for well over 70 years. I know the lesser of two evils is still evil, but I'm just saying. Next thing I always hear, the Klan (KKK) flies the flag. I looked into it and as it turns out, one of the "Grand Wizards" of the Klan sent out a memo to various leaders telling them not to fly the flag because they didn't want to be associated with the flag. So, the Klan didn't want to be associated with the Confederate flag, which tells me that they don't use it. "But ForestMan, I see some rebel flags at the rallies!" You might, but what flag will you always see beyond a shadow of a doubt at any Klan rally? The American flag. Now onto the mother of all racist crews; the Nazis and Neo-Nazis. Some say that they often fly Confederate flags, so the flag is racist. But if they are true neo-nazis, they still follow Hitler's teachings, right? Well, Hitler actually banned the Confederate flag in the 1930's, because he recognized the anti-totalitarian message behind the flag, which contrasted with the totalitarian system Hitler sat over and Hitler banned the Confederate flag. So I'd like to hear what you gotta say. Thanks again for accepting my challenge.


Thank you, Con.

I fully am in favor of the motion that the Rebel Flag, or the Confederate Flag, is a racist symbol.

First and foremost, let's examine the reasoning behind the creation of the flag. The flag was conceived to differentiate the North and the South during the Civil War. It was created to glorify the south's ideal of an independant nation, with slaves and unequal rights for African Americans. So, the flag was specifically designed for a racist ideal, for a racist state.
Symbols are what we make of them, the flag's sole purpose was a racist purpose, Con omitted that from his argument. The United State's flag symbolizes our ideals and beliefs as embodied in the Constitution. Likewise for the Confederate flag, it symbolizes their ideology as enshrined in their constitution. I am sure we're all aware, the South's constitution is a tremendously racist one. Judge for yourself :

  • Article I Section 9 reads "No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law denying or impairing the right of property in negro slaves shall be passed." [1]
Or let me quote Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens :
  • Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner-stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth… [2]
Regarding Con's argument on the Klan's Grand Wizards passing a memo banning the flag as a symbol of the KKK, I would have to see valid source before addressing the claim. Notwithstanding, it mustn't be omitted that the KKK were founded by Confederates [3], which again, would explain the Klan's relationship with flag. Finally adressing Con's last argument, that claim is deflective, Con argues that Hitler banning the flag equates to it being exonerated of its racist past, that is completely refutable.

To conclude I would like to remind the voters the troubling facts behind the Rebel Flag. It was conceived during the war as thousands rallied behind that flag to fight and kill, to assure white supremacy and slavery. There's no pride to be found in a defunct flag representing a defunct governement whose sole
raison d'etre (reason/justification of existence) was to preserve an entire race enslaved.

Sources :

Debate Round No. 2


Very nice argument, Mayday. As I said before, the flag most call the rebel flag was in actuality just a battle flag, whereas the actual flag of the Confederacy was called the Stars and Bars, which looked too similar to the American flag, so for battles an alternative was used. Besides, these days the flag is more synonymous with southern pride and non-conformity than it is with racism, similar to how plenty of surfers and bikers whose fathers fought in World War 2 would wear various Nazi associated medals and imagery that their fathers plundered from Nazi Germany, even though they had no racist beliefs and wore it for non-conformity or shock value purposes. (I'm aware that there are a lot of racist bikers, but I'm just saying.) And since Pro claimed "Symbols are what we make of them", what about the swastika? The symbol in this day and age is the most well-known of all the Nazi symbols, and thus totally racist, at least in the Western world. But, before Hitler came into power, it was a common Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist symbol and is still used to this day as a symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism, despite stigmatization in the West. So, getting back to the Confederate flag, what a symbol is originally created for and is currently used for all depends on the context, and the ideals one actually has. Courtesy of the folks down at ADL, on their entry on the Confederate flag, they said, "However, because of the continued use of the flag by non-extremists, one should not automatically assume that display of the flag is racist or white supremacist in nature. The symbol should only be judged in context." Then it shows multiple images of racists with rebel flags and swastikas, weapons, and the like. I will agree that in such instances, the flag is a symbol of racism, those flying it in those cases should be looked on as racist. But if a redneck in Georgia is flying the flag from his truck with a buddy of his in the shotgun seat riding home from deer hunting drives by me, I'm not going to think he's inherently a racist. But nonetheless, I do appreciate Pro debating this controversial subject with me.

Sources: "Confederate Flag"


Thank you, Con.

Firstly, I would like to begin my round by asserting that, as I argued in the previous round, the Rebel flag is a symbol of racism. It was conceived by racists to differentiate them, as they engaged in a bloody civil war whose sole purpose, (I am repeating myself, aren't I?) was to maintain a slave-owning country. As to Con's claim about today's usage of the flag, I would like to ripost by saying that if the history of the flag was studied by those who harbour it today, I believe they would show more reluctance before thinking that it is representative of pride for southerners; unless, slavery and racism is part of Southern pride. Flying the flag today does not make it okay, just like flying it in the 1960's or during the Civil War, did not exonerate it in any form. The meaning doesn't change, the flag sole purpose was to represent racism.

Furthermore, Con introduce the Swastika claim; the comparaison between the Confederate/Rebel flag and the Swastika. This is a common argument but let's not omit that the Swastika was used centuries ago, across the globe, and as a symbol of good, before Adolf Hitler violated it for his own purpose. In sharp contrast to the Rebel flag that was specifically designed for a racist state.

Lastly, Merriam-Webster Dictionnary describes a symbol by the following :
  • symbol
    noun sym·bol \G2;sim-bəl\

    : an action, object, event, etc., that expresses or represents a particular idea or quality

    : a letter, group of letters, character, or picture that is used instead of a word or group of words [1]

The Confederate flag is : a flag, that expresses a racist idea, (the one imbedded in the southerners state of mind during the Civil War years), thus, it conforms to the motion of the debate, that the flag is a racist symbol.

To conclude, I hope I have proven to Con and the voters that the Rebel flag is indeed a racist flag. The flag to which thousands of southerners, rallied to, to maintain in incredibly racist lifestyle, for which they were ready to kill. It is the flag of those who went to war with The United States of America over their 'god-given right to enslave'. The flag should stop being flown, as it is reminiscent of a shameful past in the history of the United States. Unfortunately, some still fly it, either by ignorance of the facts behind the flag, or outright racism, like the Ku Klux Klan.

I would like to thank the voters and Con for taking part in this debate, and remind the voters to vote Pro.

Source :

[1] :
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Fascist_Ferret 2 years ago
It's certainly a symbol for a racist cause, which doesn't lead too much room for discussion about the matter. But I'll let mayday handle this and then have my input if anything is missed
Posted by TBR 2 years ago
Well @maydaykiller. I think you should be able to build a good debate and rebuttal from the material. I don't want to interject material into the debate, but I most certainly think the Confederate flag is a symbol of racism.

Looking forward to your round.
Posted by maydaykiller 2 years ago
What's your stance on the matter, @TBR?
Posted by TBR 2 years ago
I would like to see if this goes anywhere. Looking in.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by TBR 2 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
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Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
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Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct - I almost gave conduct to Pro. Con made unnecessary derogatory references to "UC Berkeley, "the MSNBC meat puppets" "Huffington Post state". While petty, it was not aimed at Pro, a tie. | G&S is close, but Con's arguments had no formatting making it difficult to read. Pro did a nice job with that. Still its not S & G, so a tie. | Convincing argument - Where pro hit the mark was the argument. Cons attempt to connect the flag with southern pride was only statement, and the attempt to compare with the nazi swatchka didn't do much to help. Pro did well connecting the flag to a symbol of racism. | Sources - Both used Wikipedia, however, Pro used references more topically, and more often.