Confederate Flag Controversy: A Proud Heritage of…What?

Are+you+an+American%2C+or+a+Confederate%3F

Courtesy of Tribune News Service

Are you an American, or a Confederate?

Z Goodman, Staff Reporter

The Confederate Flag.

Yes that flag with the red background and the blue “X” with stars inside of the “X” representing the original Confederate states. The flag has a lot of “heritage” as some people may say, one that people continue to defend with phrases such as “pride not hate.” But in reality I only see this flag as a symbol of years of prejudice, deep rooted hatred and a violent time of history. The flag was created and flown by the Confederacy during the civil war. These states even went as far as to make their own constitution. This flag protested the Union’s decision to end slavery. The flag was a symbol of division and hatred during that time period, and the states that flew it made clear in their seccession documents that they were fighting to keep slavery going.

Although this flag did nothing but support the oppression of people based off of something as frivolous as the color of their skin. The flag promoted racist attitudes that still exist in this country today. Knowing all of this people still continue to defend this flag. I can’t seem to get my head wrapped around that. Even our own politicians are blatantly ignoring facts. Charles Kelly Barrow, Commander- in- Chief of the Sons of Confederate Veterans chose to defend the flag with a simple “our heritage is under attack”. When in reality absolutely no one is attacking your so- called heritage, we’re just rolling with the facts here and historically this flag stood for oppression and inhuman treatment of people. South Carolina Representative Mike Ryhal argued that “the confederate flag is no different that any other artifact” when it really is. The ideals that the flag held took over The United States for a very long time and even went as far as causing division and a war where more people went on to lose their lives. So no I do not see the Confederate flag as just an artifact.

I am a strong believer that the flag and the defenses of the flags need to be laid to rest. Germany had no trouble taking down swastikas and making them seem something as taboo. Those flags are not seen as “Nazi flags” or “Heritage”, so why can’t we do the same? Why can’t we understand that this was a terrible part of history and there is no justification? As a 15 year high school student I have zero trouble understanding this. The Confederate Flag is still accepted and continually defended largely out of ignorance, social blindness, by the omission of actual history–frequently all three.  While I am not here to tell people what to do, what merchandise to purchase, or what flags to fly, I want ask this question and get a serious answer: if the only Southern pride you could possibly find is a flag that cost thousands of lives along with pain, division, and destruction, what exactly about that makes you proud?

Please note: the opinion(s) above are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of the entire WarriorInk staff, the teachers or administrators of Indian River High School, or the district Board of Education.