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Confederate flag controversy continues

By Megan Johnson
On October 5, 2015

 

The Confederate flag is a hot topic in social media, newspapers and television. Americans are discussing whether or not the flag should be banned and the meaning of the flag itself. 

According to CNN, the controversy sparked after 21-year-old Dylan Roof gunned down nine African-Americans at a Bible Study in Charleston, South Carolina. 

Eight members of the church died at the scene and one member died at the hospital, according to CNN. Roof allegedly came to the study group to join them in prayer and then opened fire. 

While the people of Charleston mourned their losses, the rest of the country is turning red with anger. 

Now that the Confederate flag is being scrutinized, Americans are scouring the Internet trying to find out what the flag truly means as well as the history behind the Civil War. 

The Confederate flag with the “stars and bars” is not the original national flag of the Confederacy.  According to usflag.org, the Confederate States of America had many national flags. The “stars and bars” was only used during battles.

However, the flag used today has become generally recognized as a symbol of the South. 

There are many misconceptions of what the flag really stands for. Some Americans believe it stands for the rights and fallen soldiers of the South during the Civil War. Others believe it stands for white supremacy. 

Usflag.org stated, “It is necessary to disclaim any connection of these flags to neo-Nazi, red-necks, skin-heads and the like. These groups have adopted this flag and desecrated it by their acts.” The “stars and bars” flag was never meant to be associated with any hate groups. 

Usflag.org further stated, “The crimes committed by these groups under the stolen banner of the confederacy only exacerbate the lies which link the secession to slavery interests when, from a Southerner’s view, the cause was state’s rights.”

However, according to livescience.com slavery was the only reason for the Civil War. 

Livescience.com reported when Mississippi proclaimed emancipation officials stated, “Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery…a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization.” Basically officials were saying that slavery is what keeps the south thriving. 

Texas also had widespread supporters of white supremacy. Livescience.com stated before the Emancipation Proclamation Texas said “….the confederacy itself, were established exclusively by the white race, for themselves and their prosperity; that the African race had no agency in their establishment; that they were rightfully held and regarded as an inferior race.” 

The war was fought over the south wanting a less-involved federal government so they could have as many slaves as they wanted. 

The flag being used today has been essentially “stolen” for racist and demeaning purposes and the southern states do not honor these uses. It is other groups who are giving the Confederate flag a bad name.

There should be no debate about banning the Confederate flag. Americans must remember that the First Amendment protects the rights to buy, sell and fly any flag that they choose. Our country is truly special in that way.

 

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