The Event That Will Make The Confederate Flag Come Down
The tragedy in Charleston should be the impetus to end official displays of the confederate flag. That’s the nicest way I can say it. What I really want to say is, I love America and would much prefer that we celebrate the roughly 200,000 southerners, roughly 90,000 of whom were black, who fought for the Union rather than the traitors who fought against it. Take the dumb ass flag down. The State of Georgia agrees with me in outlining the history of the Confederate battle flag.
Civil War Until the 1940s
Display of the battle flag was mostly limited to Confederate commemorations, Civil War re-enactments, and veterans’ parades. The flag became a tribute to Confederate veterans. It was during that time period, only thirty years after the end of the war and fifty years before the modern civil rights movement, that Mississippi incorporated the battle flag into its own state flag – well before the battle flag took on a different and more politically charged meaning.
That year, the battle flag began to take on a different meaning when it appeared at the Dixiecrat convention in Birmingham as a symbol of southern protest and resistance to the federal government. Then, in 1963 as part of his continued opposition to integration, Governor George Wallace of Alabama raised the flag over the capitol dome. Despite the hundredth anniversary of the Civil War, the likely meaning of the battle flag by that time was not the representation of the Confederacy, because the flag had already been used by Dixiecrats and had become recognized as a symbol of protest and resistance. Based on its association with the Dixiecrats, it was at least in part, if not entirely, a symbol of resistance to federally enforced integration. Undoubtedly, too, it acquired a racist aspect from its use by the Ku Klux Klan, whose violent activities increased during this period.
The Confederate battle flag today carries the same meaning it did in the mid-1950s, when it was closely tied to resistance to federal desegregation efforts. Its value alienates the descendants of enslaved southerners, who have just as much claim (much more so in my opinion) in deciding which symbols ought to represent southern heritage as the descendants of Confederate veterans do who were traitors to the union. Take the confederate flag down now please. It’s time.