The Confederate flag has been, arguably, a symbol for the south since the start of America’s Civil War. But the deep-rooted message of racism and discrimination still rings in the ears of Americans today. This is why, when someone totes a Confederate flag as a symbol of “patriotism” or “southern pride,” some people get upset.
Some who display this flag feel it does not represent racism or discrimination, but rather represents “southern pride” and is used to show the south’s history and heritage. Because of this, the usage of the confederate flag by non-extremists, one should not automatically assume that the flying of the Confederate flag is a display of racism or white supremacy. However, this does not mean that the flag is not offensive to others, seen as racist and celebrating racism. The people who are flying this flag need to realize the history and importance of what they are doing, as well as other interpretations.
The flag might not have initially stood for racism, and in fact did stand for the south’s secession from the union. But during the mid 20th century, the Ku Klux Klan and other racist groups flew the flag as a symbol of hate and superiority. In the following decades, some white supremacist groups have used the Confederate flag as a symbol of hate and prejudice. While the majority of Confederate flag-wavers are nowhere near as extreme as the KKK, the flag still holds a symbol of hatred rooted in the blue and red fabric.
“I personally believe in some traditions, but this is a tradition that is so oppressive to blacks. I wouldn’t be proud waving a flag that has an ambience of racism and negativity,” author Clenora Hudson-Weens said in an interview with BBC.
The symbolism inbedded in the Confederate flag is much more sinister than some believe. For many, the Confederate flag has been seen as a symbol of intolerance and ignorance from its conception. The history of hate with this flag has not been forgotten and will live in the mind of many generations.