Flag’s history denotes racism

Confederate battle flag still used despite offensive message


Whether on the back of a truck or above a government building, the Confederate flag was flying through headlines all summer long.

On June 15, 21-year-old Dylann Roof shot and killed nine people in the historically black Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., after sitting through a Bible study and going on a racist rant.

Roof had posted photos of himself with the Confederate flag online, where he also shared racist ideology. The association between Roof ­— who is a terrorist by definition — and the flag has led many Americans to question the continued use of the flag.

After the shooting, public figures like President Barack Obama, Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush renewed calls to remove the Confederate flag from the South Carolina statehouse grounds. On June 20, thousands of people protested on the grounds for the removal of the flag, helping lead to its move to a nearby museum on July 10.

The removal of the flag was backed by Democrats and Republicans and was seen as a step forward.

A similar movement to move past national shame has also been seen in Germany, where citizens still to this day feel remorse for Germany’s actions in World War II. But instead of admitting responsibility for clinging to slavery, Americans (particularly in the south) see the Confederate flag as a unifying and prideful reflection of southern heritage.

The German attitude should be adopted by Americans, particularly in the southern states. Flying the Stars n’ Bars with pride is like flying an emblem of white supremacy.

For these people, the flag has been disassociated from its history. In reality, the flag represents those who wanted to break from the union in order to keep black people enslaved. From that history, it has continued to be embraced by white supremacists.

The continued use of the Confederate flag seems to come from a skewed message within the crimson and cobalt design. It has been turned into a symbol of southern pride, while in reality the flag wasn’t really relevant until it was flown above the state capitol grounds in South Carolina in 1962, in the midst of the Civil Rights movement.

Flying the flag was an act of defiance against the beginning of the equalization of black and white Americans.

Certainly, there are people who fly the flag for their belief in southern pride. Yet, its use by groups like the KKK and people like Roof, make it impossible to see beyond its racist connotation. The intention of the person displaying it is unimportant because it itself represents hostility toward black people and even Mexican and Jewish people.

The Confederate flag is a lot like the F-word. Most respectable people will avoid using the F-word, especially in public, because they know someone could be offended by it.

The Confederate flag is highly offensive to many groups of people, so if someone personally doesn’t see the Stars ‘n’ Bars as offensive, they should be considerate enough to not display it in order to avoid offending or alienating others.