Being from South Carolina, I fully understand that the Confederate Flag has many different meanings for many people. For many in the South it represents those who bravely died for our country, it represents Southern history and pride, and it represents the South's heritage. But, the war those brave soldiers were fighting for was undeniably to uphold the enslavement of a race of people, and the flag was created for the South during a time when our country looked at thousands of our own people as property. Saying the flag is 'racist' is not correct, but understand that it was created, and therefore represents, a time in history that was full of hatred, anger, and abuse toward an innocent race of human beings. I understand the flag was not essentially created to hold this meaning, but it is ignorant to argue that the flag simply represents "The Army of Northern Virginia" because if that was the case there would not be much controversy at all. No, the confederate flag was not made to have a negative meaning but, like many historical symbols it DOES depict a horrific way of life that the South wanted to continue. It's meaning goes much deeper and reminds many people of a sad, unethical point in history when our own united country was broken, the North with one flag, and the South with the other. Banning the flag would offend much less people than if it were to be kept around to be publicly flown around with 'pride' for the 'south.' If the Confederate Flag represents the South, wouldn't it be much less offensive to fly the ORIGINAL Confederate Flag, the 'Stars and Bars' flag, not the rebel flag which was, and still is used by hundreds of white supremacy groups to symbolize the old, outdated idea that the Caucasian race is superior to others.
People love to say the Confederate flag isn't offensive because it's about southern independence, not slavery. However, the legality of slavery was a major factor in the South seceding from the North. Also, even if the flag means something different to eyes of Southerners, just look at the swastika - it was once a symbol of peace in many cultures, but once the Nazis claimed it for themselves, it has been warped into a symbol of hate. You cannot shake the connotations of the Confederate flag, no matter what people say.
A person should have the right to have a Confederate flag on their own property, but it shouldn't be on public property African Americans has to pay taxes because the people that flag represents fought to preserve slavery. Vice President of the CSA, Alexander Stephens made it clear
"Eve of Secession" speech. If by chance that is not enough to convince you, it's in black and white, and it's undeniable in each Confederate States "Cause of secession" for South Carolina, who tries to make it a little more difficult to find it's original letter of secession it's listed under their "Immediate Cause of Secession".
These documents still exist in most Confederate state archives and you can look up any Confederate State cause of secession and it will tell you why they wanted to secede thus causing the Civil War. The proof that CSA states were fighting to preserve slavery is there, and no state denies having these letters or their authenticity, and it's not just one it's EVERY CSA state. To have a Confederate flag shows a lack of empathy towards slavery, thus showing a lack of empathy for African Americans. There are groups like the "United Daughters of Dixie', with an agenda to purposely obscure the facts of the Civil War in what is known as their " Lost Cause of the South/Confederacy" agenda. This started almost immediately after the Civil War primarily to take blame off whites who had to live among freed blacks that they once enslaved and to restore some nobility, to what was never a noble cause. Their purpose is to simply downplay the Confederates role in preservation of slavery. There are those who either know of this agenda or those who are fooled by this agenda, but it's simply not true.
The Confederate flag almost exclusively conjures up images of racism and slavery for the vast majority of people. Most people find it highly offensive for these reasons, much like most would find the Nazi swastika offensive. Symbols can become hate symbols, regardless of their original meanings. Regardless, I think that facts are fairly clear regarding reasons for the war. The Confederates wanted to preserve their property and their way of life. Sadly, their property of greatest concern were the slaves. Their way of life, the driving force of their economy? Plantations, worked by slaves.
First off the Confederate stands for a nation that wanted less taxes not slavery, So the civil war was about... Taxes. Getting its name the Second Revolution or the Southern Revolution, because our Revolution was about taxes too. When this topic comes up its make the South seem like all black men were slaves but there were freed ones too, just go to Florida or Tennessee. Men died for a flag that needs to banned sounds like bullsh*t.
You're entitled to have and show an opinion, even ignorant or based in hatred. I think it should be banned in government buildings and public spaces (i.E. Parks, STATE CAPITALS, etc.) I would also be fine with local level bans, but a sweeping ban I think will just shake up the crazy.
The confederate flag does not have anything to do with discrimination, hate, race, or anything of that nature. It's intent was that it did not want to be part of the union. The southern states withdrew from the union in a movement called "secession". So by banning this flag you are saying you are not allowed to have an opinion or freedom to choose or say what you would like.
People view everything differently and are always looking to get something banned. We can go buy the book Hitler wrote, we can fly a Nazi flag; I would say that the Nazi flag and Hitler are far worse than the Confederate flag. People need to realize that even if they view the flag negatively, the person flying it may not have the same negative view of the flag. May people use it as a symbol of southern pride, a link to their ancestors who fought in the war, or many other things. To ban the flag would be banning our right to freedom of speech as Americans.