The Confederate Flag: Civil War Emblem or Separatist Icon?

Flag of Confederacy

For Civil War buffs, the Confederate flag is a piece of U.S. history that symbolizes an important turning point in our nation’s history, but not everyone agrees that it should be displayed, primarily because of its symbolism.  That’s because the Confederate flag, also known as the Southern Cross, has been associated with racist groups like the Ku Klux Klan and Neo-Nazis, as well as other separatist organizations.  As a result, it remains a highly controversial issue. 

Supporters of the Confederate battle flag believe it represents Southern heritage and the distinct cultural traditions that make this area of the USA unique from the North.  Because it has been banned by some organizations and universities, many Southerners insist on flying it as a way of exercising the right to free speech.  Most that fly the flag of the Confederacy are not doing so to make a political statement.  On the contrary, they view it as a vestige of a bygone era.  Many Southerners simply fly the flag to pay homage to their ancestors, who may have been Confederate soldiers.

Because there are so many different perceptions of the Confederate flag among Southerners, it has been at the center of many political controversies, particularly during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950’s and 1960’s. However, Civil War historians are quick to point out that the flag of the Confederacy simply represents the South’s resistance to the North’s political dominance.

Symbols of the Confederacy continue to be debatable issue across America, and the civic placement of the Confederacy flag has been a subject of vigorous discussion in the South for decades.

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