The Confederate flag has no place in today’s society
The controversial flag has a racist history, so why is it still being flown?
October 12, 2020
Living in a state that is technically considered part of the south or just driving through some southern states, I’ve seen plenty of Confederate flags waving in the air or passing by someone wearing it. Here in Tampa, you used to be able to see a large version of it flying in the air just off of I-75. Even outside of the city, the KKK, the Proud Boys, Neo-Nazis or extreme conservative southern groups use this flag. Most of those are known, racist groups! Yet, if you even dare point out how offensive the flag is to many people, you get met with the argument: “but it’s southern pride!”
Southern pride you say? There is no backing evidence for how this flag represents the south. It’s evident looking back at history that this flag was meant as a sign of succession from the United States. The Confederacy was a group of southern states that wanted to keep slaves, so they left the country in order to keep their “property.” How could anyone even defend a flag that even represents a country whose foundation is built on the harming, killing, torturing and working of people just based on their skin?
Oh, that’s not what was meant by southern pride… was it? What did you mean? What does it mean when that flag is flown? Definitely not patriotic pride. If that was the case, then what’s wrong with the American flag?
It’s because it was never about patriotism or pride. It’s blatantly a sign of racism; a sign of white supremacy. A sign that says “these people aren’t welcome here.” Southern pride is just an excuse to be a racist (which the south has always had a reputation for)
Yes, it is a sign of racism and bigotry. So much so, that this flag isn’t even an American issue. People in other countries use it for the very reason the flag was created: to be a sign of separation, white supremacy and racism. Countries like Germany, Brazil, the UK-many unlikely places-have been seen with this flag. Its value as “southern pride” has been lost and turned into what it truly means.
So… it’s not southern pride, but a way to remember history!
Remembering history is important! We want to remember the harm of the Civil War and all the soldiers and slaves who suffered as a way to not repeat our history, but flying that flag does nothing. It does nothing but feed the fire of those bigots and anger more people.
Truly, if you really want to say that it is to help remember history in these southern states, do it respectfully. Flying this flag has nothing to do with the history of the south. In actuality, many states didn’t display the Confederate flag at all after the Civil War, only in memorial of the veterans who fought. The flag reappeared later, not for Southern pride, but as an opposition to the Civil Rights movement. That in itself is a directly racist motivation to use it.
As people of color fought to just have basic rights, others (specifically white people) used the flag as a sign of hate, a sign of keeping those not like them down. That is using a sign of hate. That is not representing Southern history. Representing history would be keeping the flag in a museum or educating others on the subject, not waving it around at a Trump Rally or at a counter-protest for the Black Lives Matter movement-both are real places that they’ve been seen. It’s almost ironic that the flag’s resurgence came back during the Civil Rights Movement and is seen at these places currently.
As a society, how have we not moved passed this? Yes, the Civil War was a huge part of our history as a country. Yes, it should be remembered, but not by this. The country we’re living in is the United States of America, not the Confederate States of America. We live in a unified country, yet we’re still flying around this flag of the losing team? They lost. They lasted less than 6 years.
There is no Confederacy and hasn’t been for over 155 years. Robert E. Lee, the commanding general of the Confederate army, condemned flying the Confederate flag. He knew they lost and shouldn’t be flying around a flag that stands for treason.
I just can’t fathom how people actually believe that the flag is good for the south. Southern pride is eating a feast of all sorts of Southern cuisine with your grandmother while you sip sweet tea on the porch and talk for hours, not the Confederacy’s legacy. Southern pride is being proud of being from the southern part of the United States. That’s it. It shouldn’t be a sense of pride for a nonexistent country, a sense of pride to be racist, a sense of pride to be ignorant. That’s what flying that flag means.
The flag is a sign of hate, end of the story. There is no debate about it. There is no “Southern pride” in it. Just treasonous, bigoted pride, and that’s not something to be proud of.
Zoe Thaxton is a sophomore and a staff writer for RHSToday and the Knight Writers newspaper. This is her first year on staff. In her free time, she enjoys...
Ethan Adair is a junior and the senior multimedia staff member of RHSToday. This is his second year on staff. In his free time he likes to work on videos,...