The Cradle Theatre

Buying a Rebel Flag

Written on March 13, 2024   By   in Uncategorized

When 11 southern states seceded in 1860 and 1861, their gamble to protect slavery sparked the Civil War. Their flag, the Confederate battle flag, became a symbol of Southern heritage even as it represented segregation and, eventually, racism and white supremacy. In the era of the Ku Klux Klan and other 20th-century racist groups, it was weaponized to intimidate African Americans and other minorities.

In 2015, the buying a rebel flag came roaring back into the national consciousness following images of Dylann Roof carrying it as he killed nine churchgoers at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Multiple states bowed to pressure to remove it from their memorials, and many retailers stopped selling merchandise with the flag.

Amid the uproar, a debate emerged over what the flag represents now. Some see it as a reminder of the sacrifices of the men who fought for the Confederate States, while others say that the battle flag has become synonymous with racism, slavery and segregation.

The Ethics of Buying a Rebel Flag: Understanding Perspectives

The controversy over the battle flag has given rise to a movement to scrub public spaces of the symbol and even ban it from cemeteries, according to historians who study slavery, the Civil War and Reconstruction. Those efforts will likely expand, and the push to rid society of the rebel flag is unlikely to end anytime soon. As a result, Coski believes it is important to teach students about the conflicting interpretations of the battle flag. Those interpretations can affect the way people view the nation’s history and how they engage with it in their daily lives.

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