Displaying The Confederate Flag Essay

1487 words - 6 pages

Displaying the Confederate Flag

Ever since I first moved here, I have always wanted to know why so many people from this area go out of their way to display a symbol that is regarded by many others as a symbol of hate. I see it everywhere I go—on clothes, backpacks, license plates, and even in yards. The confederate battle flag is flaunted by many in this area, and I think that we can all attest to this. Why do so many people display this flag on an everyday basis, and who exactly are these people? What does the flag’s glorification say about these people, and how do they want to be thought of by displaying this symbol? Finally, I would like to better determine what the flag means ...view middle of the document...

Is it just a coincidence that many other whites from surrounding areas so proudly display the symbol as well? I wonder why the supposed non-racist southerners decided to use the same particular flag instead of the many other symbols that can be used to show southern pride. What’s wrong with a flag that says “Southern Pride” written directly on it, which would even more directly state their southern loyalty? Or why not use the original Stars-and-Bars flag that was originally created to represent the South in March of 1861? Instead of these alternatives, parking lots are flooded with the confederate battle flag that was used during the Civil War as a navy jack at sea. These people know that many people disagree with the flag and what it stands for, yet they continue to display the symbol ostentatiously. If these people are sincerely not racist, then why are they so dissenting towards using an alternative symbol with less offensive connotations? These reasons have led me to believe that most people use the flag in order to illustrate their racist beliefs while avoiding controversy at the same time.

I did mention that there are some exceptions to these racist people, as I think some people are bona fide proud southern Americans. The racist people have given these people a bad name. One guy I talked to said he believes that other races of the region have positively influenced the southern heritage he takes pride in. He said that African Americans, Cajuns, and the increasing Hispanic population have enriched the south in many ways. He told me he greatly appreciates the contributions that these groups have made to many different aspects of the south’s culture. He agreed with me when I told him that racists were creating false stereotypes for people with his genuine beliefs. After talking with me, he said that he plans on finding a new way to show off his southern upbringing without having to use the flag, because he wants to include all of the people who have played a vital role in creating the southern way of life. He also said that he has chosen not to exhibit the flag because he does not want to be included in the ignorant group of individuals that have stolen the flag and transformed it into a symbol of hate. We both wish that more people shared his beliefs in being proud of their southern heritage in a non-racist fashion.

I have found that there is a third group of people who display the flag as more of a fashion statement than for any kind of meaning. For some reason the flag has become a trend for much of the white community. I have seen the flag patched onto backpacks, screened onto T-shirts, and even worn as bandanas. With so many students displaying the flag for whatever symbolic reasons, many young adults observe this popular emblem and follow the bandwagon in order to fit in with their peers. These people display the flag in hopes of appearing cool, as the flag has been perceived by many as a symbol of rebellion....

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