After the horrifying events of last Wednesday night, June 17, in Charleston, SC and all the hate embodied in the Confederate flag and all the rallying symbolism of that flag for white supremacists and racists throughout the United States, it far past the time when all traces of the flag of the Confederacy should be taken down and should also be removed from states’ flags, as well.
Yes, there were brilliant generals and brave soldiers fighting for the Confederacy. I don’t care.
Maybe there was a time when that flag meant something—anything—that sounded like valor or honor. So what.
Did you know that the swastika was once a Tibetan good luck symbol? Not anymore. Symbols change and the symbol of the Confederate flag is rancid with racism and ignorance.
In the United States, we are forever talking about the flag and what it symbolizes. We talk about the freedoms represented in the American flag and the valor and heroism of those who died to defend what it symbolizes. Symbolism is alive and well in the Confederate flag also.
South Carolina may not have the Confederate flag in their state flag but that because they fly the real thing! Other states, however, keep the flag alive within the stitching of their particular state flags.
Look at the Tennessee state flag with its red field and the circle of stars. Perhaps it is not as blatant as some states’ flags in the obvious connection with the flags of the Confederacy, but it is there.
Arkansas also has the red field with its triangular shape, a connection to various regimental flags of the Confederacy. But the single star above Arkansas’ name on the flag represents its membership in the Confederacy.
Alabama’s flag may not show the blue and red Stars ‘n Bars but the single red “St. George’s Cross” bears direct resemblance to some Confederate battle flags.
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Florida’s is much the same as Alabama’s flag with the addition of the state seal in the cross section. Florida also used to fly the Confederate flag at the state capitol building and then-governor Jeb Bush had it removed.
Georgia’s flag may look innocuous enough but it is actually based on the first "national" flag of the Confederacy. And don’t forget the 13 stars of the hoped-for 13 states within the Confederacy. As it turned out, only 11 states joined with Kentucky and Missouri staying out.
What a load.
It is long past the hour when the symbols of racism and treason should be removed from the public forum. Not only the battle flag of the Confederacy but remove the symbols from the state flags as well.
Symbols are important. Paul Ricouer said in "The Symbolism of Evil" that "the symbol invites thought." The thoughts invited by this symbol are all too clear: treason, hatred, racism. There is nothing noble there.
Take down that God-forsaken flag!