Last week’s massacre of nine black churchgoers by a white gunman in Charleston, South Carolina, re-ignited debates over the Confederate battle flag.
While federal and state flags were lowered to half-staff in the wake of the shooting, the symbol of the Confederate forces flew high over the state’s Capitol grounds in Columbia. That flag is padlocked in place, preventing it from being lowered to half-staff, but many activists, politicians and regular citizens want it gone altogether, citing it as a symbol of racism and hate.
Even South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley called for the flag's removal from the statehouse at a Monday press conference, saying that the symbol "does not represent the future of our great state."
While some supporters of the flag say they see it as a racially neutral symbol of Southern heritage, the flag has strong ties to racial injustice that extend far beyond the Civil War.
The flag flown above the Capitol grounds in Columbia and commonly called "the Confederate flag" was never actually the official flag of the Confederate States of America. The CSA had three national flag patterns between 1861 and 1865, which can be viewed at the Museum of the Confederacy website.
However, because the first CSA national flag was so similar to the United States flag, it was difficult to tell which flag was which on the battlefield. That’s why the Army of Northern Virginia began using a separate battle flag that looked like a square version of the flag most people are familiar with today.
An oblong version of this flag was used by the Army of Tennessee and adopted as the Second Confederate Navy Jack. This version is the one most strongly associated with the Confederacy today, and has been nicknamed the “rebel flag,” “Southern cross” or “Dixie flag.” It’s sometimes incorrectly called the “stars and bars” -- a term that actually refers to the stars and bars present on the CSA’s first national flag.
Champions of the battle flag argue “it’s not a racial thing,” but it’s tough to deny the pattern has strong links to slavery.
Those who believe slavery was not a central point of conflict in the Civil War may wish to peruse the South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi and Texas declarations of secession. Those documents all explicitly cite threats to slavery as reasons for secession. Mississippi's declaration goes so far as to say that “a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization.”
McPherson adds that the government refused to recognize the secession because they feared it would result in the U.S. turning into "several small, squabbling countries."
It was not until long after the Civil War ended, however, that the battle flag began to take on even stronger connections to racial injustice.
In the late 1940s, the flag was adopted as a symbol of the Dixiecrats a political party devoted to, among other things, maintaining segregation. They also opposed President Harry S. Truman’s proposals to instate anti-discrimination laws and make lynching federal crime.
Because the CSA flag of today was invented during the 60's to protest civil rights. I would have no problem with the actual flag being flown (though that would be something of a declaration of war), but this flag is ONLY a symbol of racial hatred that has no place on government buildings.
This flag is not meant to represent heritage or anything deep and meaningful, the reason the Civil War even occurred was the North wanting to abolish slavery. Flying or even respecting this flag is a symbol that you support the enslavement of human being and there for is EXTREMELY offensive. Even if you're one of those ignorant people who say the flag represents your "heritage", the flag is still highly offensive to a HUGE precent of the population. I suppose the first amendment states that we can't take away your right to fly this flag, but to answer the question, hell yes this flag is offensive.
The southern armies flew this flag in defense of slavery but also many other issues, if this were the only problem this wouldn't be so bad but it has since been used by the KKK, segregationists and white nationalists even today. The flags symbols are not racist but neither was the swastika it was just an ancient Indo-European symbol until it was adopted by the Nazis, we all know that the swastika is racist, no one says stop its my European pride (except neo-Nazis of course). The confederates weren't as bad as the Nazis but both of their symbols have racist connotations.
If you're a proud Southerner this might be a symbol of heritage, but if you're black then this would probably be a symbol of oppression. Now, I'm white but I see it as a symbol of oppression. I have ancestors that fought on both sides of the war and I'm descended from a Southern general. I don't like it, but I can't really do much about it. O_o
If it is offensive to tons of people, then it is offensive. Don't give me that southern heritage excuse so you can feel better about it. Claim whatever reason you want, most folks will just see a racists who for some reason is still supporting the losing side of the Civil War 150+ years later. To me that is like if Germans today ran around with Nazi flags on their cars and shirts... This is America so you CAN do it, I honestly just don't know why you WOULD do it. Are you anti- American Flag? Why wouldn't you just choose the current flag? Snowflakes trying to feel special?!?!
The confederates were racist, sexist and downright terrible. No wonder why we beat them in the civil war. Put the flag away dear we are trying to be equal here.
I need more words but i don't have any.
Why is there a requirement anyway? I don't think it's necessary
It is so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so rude
Yes it is offensive, but it absolutely should not be banned. First amendment includes being a stupid, racist, offensive, douche-bag.
I'm from the south, and can tell you that though 99% of those supporting the flag really believe the whole Heritage not hate thing. It's bs and they simply do nt know it.
I like turtles so dont even look at me.When you put mustard on your owl it doesnt make it taste better, so dont try you bruhvs. I have a dog named toby who humps peoples legs. If you dont want him to hump you try putting rubbing alchohal on your eyes it really helps. I mean the confederecy is a synomyn for skiing in hawaii on a sturday afternoon with the temperture of 17.38 degrees am i right? Only on tuesdays also stay classy san diego
Of all the people I've met who've flied the Confederate flag, none are racist they are simply proud to be Southern. The problem is that only evil Confederates like Dylan Roof get featured on the news, never does the news cover anybody who flies the flag out of Southern pride.
And anyone who is about to say "Oh, the Civil War was a war against Southern slavery." need a history lesson. The South wasn't fighting for slavery, they were fighting because they didn't like the government, and the North wasn't fighting to end slavery, they were fighting to restore the Union.
For God sake's, Robert E. Lee was against slavery. He once called it "A moral and political evil."
It's only offensive to thin skinned knee-jerk leftist scum bags. It's a part of our heritage. The only racial connotations associated with it are the ones GIVEN to it by the left. What really gets my goat is that these same leftist turds want to ban it! What's up with that? I'll use a slightly modified leftist argument for this one. If you don't like the Confederate flag, don't F*CKING buy one!
If you are offended by a flag, you need to rethink your life. The flag never enslaved or killed black people. Banning it won't magically free every dead slave. And besides, the South was planning to free their slaves gradually. Lincoln wasn't, he was frankly quite racist and only fought to preserve the Union, and only issued the EP to garner more support for the North. If the Confederate flag is racist so is the American flag. And many flags of the world.
The Confederate flag is about as offensive as breast feeding women in a mall-it is not evil in of itself, but what it represents (a woman feeding a baby through her, er breast; a South that long ago defended slavery) can often cause offense and make many uncomfortable. This is no more reason to put the flag away than it is to risk your child's health!
The flag is a symbol of the south. Not every white person who flys the flag is racist, my family died in the Civil are fighting in something that they did not believe in. I to this day fly the flag out of my truck because i love my family so y'all can drink a beer and chill out.
It's just a flag. It never stood for slavery. The other comment above was correct that the history of the civil, although resulting in an end to slavery, was not a "war on slavery." And flying the confederate flag did not symbolize one's support for enslaving another race of people. If people get offended by it in a situation that is not meant to be offensive (i'm not referring to the SC church massacre) then those people need to come to the sad realization that the constitution does not protect their right to never be offended.
A large portion of ‘social justice warriors’ are middle class whites that say stuff is offensive to minority’s, When most of the time they wouldn’t even have cared if it wasn’t brought up in the first place. Then, It is used as a campaign issue to make people look bad.
The flag was carried by black men on to the battle field and that tradition was carried on for many of many years. To be quite honest if you think the flag is racist you need a history lesson over all 3 of the confederate flags. Don't hate on the flag that men died fighting for just so you can be free today. Thank you for your time!
Why would any of us care. It's a piece of fabric with a design on it. Did the fabric "diss on you" ? This new generation is such a sensitive prick. Look, I don't have a confederate flag, but I don't care who does. It's none of my business. Taking away flags forom people becomes my business only if the person is strangling me with it. Grow up, just because something offends you doesn't mean you have to butch and moan about it to daddy media and mommy government. "WAHhh, take away everyone's fabric with the confederate picture on it cause it hurts my feeeeelings. "
It isn't offensive. The Confederate flag affiliates with states rights. Even though one of those "rights" just happened to be the legality of slave owning. Which most people would consider immoral. If people want to fly that flag they can go right ahead, but don't be surprised if other Americans take unkindly to you flying the symbol that rebelled against our country.