Why we need to think about the Confederate flag

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By: Alex Coleman @Its_YoPalAl [Executive Newspaper Editor]

History is an important part of who we are as people. Events will repeat themselves, and have already, and so we must learn history to avoid similar mistakes as our ancestors. Things that happened in the past are still relevant today, like the 14th Amendment and its relevance to gay marriage rights, or the racial tension still present within our culture.

One of the hot topics many people seem to talk a lot about is the use of the Confederate flag. It seems, though, that the majority of the people who like to argue about this topic do not know enough about its history. It can be argued that the Confederate flag is simply a symbol of racism, and for this reason alone it should be removed from every place possible. It has been compared to the Nazi flag in level of disgrace. The question, is though, should Confederate flags be banned from everywhere? Can we ignore such a key part of our history?

Personally, the removal of the Confederate flag from state/federal buildings seems right. Flying the rebel flag directly below that of the American flag is extremely contradictory. The Confederacy was a separate nation from that of the United States of America, they separated themselves in every way. They made their own currency, they had their own flag, they succeed from the Union entirely. Would we fly Germany’s flag below ours? Would we fly any other country’s flag that we defeated? No, so why would we fly the Confederacy’s?

Similarly, using the flag for personal purposes is more often and not solely to cause arguments. People exercise their right to freedom of expression with this, but many people fly the flag from their homes or cars for the wrong reasons. If someone is showing off the colors to start an argument, or to show ‘southern pride’, maybe they should look more into the history. The Confederate flag is anti-America in nature as the rebels were, so unless the people displaying the flag will admit to being against the idea of the United States, they shouldn’t be flying it.

The only issue is the ban of the flag as a whole. Although it was a very dark time, this is a symbol of our history. The flag has been banned from Fort Sumter where the war started, and also from being used in any Confederate cemeteries or memorials. Although it’s best for the flag to be removed from state/federal buildings, it can be argued that this is still apart of our history. To remove the rebel flag from memorials of the Civil War would be like removing Jesus and crucifixes from Christmas.

Mississippi still has the Confederate symbol in their state flag, people still continue to fly the banner and use image for profile pictures and backgrounds, arguments will be made about this part of our history. For now, the issue remains wide open. With people using the Confederate flag in their hate crimes against black people, it may morph from a symbol of times before us to that of simple racism. In the meantime, if people feel the need to argue on the topic, maybe they should do some research first to make sure they’re not spouting nonsense.

The Confederate flag was first used at the inauguration of Jefferson Davis on March 4, 1861.

The Confederate flag was first used at the inauguration of Jefferson Davis on March 4, 1861.

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