The Governmental Display Of The Confederate Flag

1963 words - 8 pages

The Governmental Display of the Confederate Flag

The confederacy is dead. The Civil War is long over, and the United States has experienced much growth and development since its end, much of this due to the outcome of the war. A new, united America flourished throughout the late eighteen hundreds gaining a great deal of power through high levels of commerce and trade. There is no doubt that America is better off now because of the outcome of the War between the States. However, many of the symbols of the Civil War remain very active in the present world; they are very much alive and charged with meaning and power. Probably the best known among all of these symbols is the Confederate Battle Flag. The “rebel flag” has taken on many different meanings since its conception in the 1860’s. Unfortunately, today it is often associated with different hate groups and people who would wish it to be used as a symbol of oppression. Though we may be better off now as one united country, this freedom to rebel is what America was founded on over two hundred-fifty years ago. The men who fought for a better country in the Civil War were just as patriotic as the soldiers of the Revolutionary war. This is why it is so unfortunate to see their banner tarnished and defiled the way it often has been in the last several decades. However, it is also revered and glorified by many people and organizations. It’s spirit of sacrifice and nobility, and the patriotism demonstrated by the men who fought under it is often acknowledged and demonstrated through the public display of the Confederate Flag. The debate of which I write stems from the display, by certain state governments, of the Confederate Battle Flag both in its original form and incorporated into other state symbols. This debate has raged for quite a while in many southern states, with different action groups bringing sanctions and boycotts against the accountable states until they change their actions. The first to accommodate the groups was South Carolina, who has flown the Battle Flag atop the statehouse dome for the better part of thirty years. Soon to follow, though, was Georgia, whose state flag has resembled the Battle Flag for a great many years. Mississippi was also brought into play, though the constituents there ultimately put an end to the quandary at the ballots.

In South Carolina the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People began an economic boycott of the state in hopes that the government would decide to remove the flag from the statehouse and all “positions of sovereignty” (Darby par. 2). After much deliberation, and despite very little lost revenue due to the boycott, the state of South Carolina did decide to lower the flag. However, the powers at be didn’t entirely satisfy the NAACP’s demands; there was a compromise instead. The state decided to move the flag from its location atop the statehouse to a much less conspicuous location on the statehouse...

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