Confederate flag preserves ongoing racism in America
By HANNAH PARKER
“It is southern patriotism, and I am just supporting my state’s history,” a phrase you have probably heard far too many times by southerners sporting the Confederate flag, has and never will be viable.
Sure, the Confederate flag supports southern states and their history, but in a highly negative light. We all know why the Confederacy broke off from the Union, because of state rights, significantly the legalization of slavery. The Confederacy lost the Civil War, and slaves were freed through Union President Abraham Lincoln’s issue of the Emancipation Proclamation.
So why, if the Confederate flag was flown during a time of racial and national division, would so many Southern Americans want to support such a symbol?
Some argue they want to fly it in honor of the Confederate soldiers who fought for their families and states during the Civil War. Although that is understandable, any solider should be honored for their sacrifice and bravery and there is a place for such recognition.
Civil War battlegrounds, for instance, would be a perfect place to fly the Confederate flag in honor of fallen soldiers. Perhaps even in a museum for American history where these soldiers could be recognized.
This resolution is unfulfilling to many people, where as our First Amendment rights give any and all Americans the right to freedom of speech, and while flying the Confederate flag is a form of that, it is still racially offensive.
In Lebanon County senior Christopher Shearer, of the Lebanon County Career and Technology Center, was sent home from school by the principal for wearing an offensive Confederate flag t-shirt that had the word “redneck” running across the top.
Fox43 covered the incident, and in an interview Shearer’s mother, Jennifer Shearer, spoke out, saying,
“I demanded to talk to the principal. He told me that the shirt that he was wearing was offensive and I immediately asked him, ‘offended who? Did Chris say something wrong? Did he offend someone? Was he mean? Was he rude?’ And he said ‘he offended me,’” Shearer said. “He mentioned recent events down south.”
Shearer claims that her son was not being offensive to anyone because he did not say anything outright, but clothing can speak just as loudly as words.
Based on recent shootings such as the ones in Ferguson, Missouri, there is constant debate over the usage of the Confederate flag, making it almost impossible to be ignorant about the stigma that it carries.
Yes, Shearer’s son has the right to wear the Confederate flag on clothing if he wanted to, but in school systems, obscene or offensive clothing is not tolerated, and a Confederate flag shirt falls into such category.
For there is no refuting the fact that the Confederate flag highlights a low point in American history, and it supports a time of division.
Flying the Confederate flag in modern day America is equivalent to flying the Nazi flag in modern day Germany.
Today African Americans are still fighting oppression and racial division in America. If America is trying to be a country of progression and acceptance, why support an outdated symbol that is offensive to so many Americans.
The Confederate flag is a symbol we should remember along with those who gave their lives for the cause that symbol represents, but do not disguise it as a symbol for “southern patriotism” when it is truly a symbol of racism.