Racism or Heritage? What Does the Confederate Flag Really Stand For?

A sign comparing the Confederate flag to the Nazi flag. Symbols of heritage or of racial hatred?

A sign comparing the Confederate flag to the Nazi flag. Symbols of heritage or of racial hatred?

Debbie Lawhead, Co-Editor-in-Chief

In the South, you can see Confederate flags flying high, on many people’s cars, and many other places. For many years, people have claimed the Confederate flag is a symbol of racism and pro-slavery while others believe it’s simply part of their heritage. What does this controversial flag really stand for? The answer is simple, heritage or not, the flag is a symbol of racism and promotes pro-slavery concepts.

With many defending their oddly-beloved Confederate flag, history proves modern-day design of the flag isn’t even the design used in the civil war. The flag went through many changes before today’s known design was finalized. Originally the Confederate flag mimicked the American flag and was referred to as the bars and strip flag. This design lost the interest of many Southerners because of it’s closeness to the traditional American flag. After this loss in interest, the flag changed to a more modern look. The Confederate “logo” was in the upper left corner and the remaining area was left blank. Until it finally became the flag we see today.

The original design for the Confederate flag

How does a flag symbolize slavery? The flag was used in the Civil War, which defined the meaning behind the flag. The Civil War was a fight over slavery and state rights in a federal union. The symbol of the pro-slavery side, the South, was the Confederate flag. This flag was their symbol of belief; the belief that blacks were subhuman and nothing more than an enslaved race. The confederacy stood for nothing more than racism and cruelty towards blacks. There is no heritage in this flag. The confederacy didn’t want to be a part of America nor did they want any type of equality for slaves.

Many Republicans are fighting to keep their beloved flag. Many were outraged when conversations about banning the flag were introduced.

At the head of this battle to keep the flag is Donald Trump. He complained about ‘cancel-culture’ being the only reason for the removal of the flag. He, along with many of his supporters, believe that flag is a symbol of American history and that nobody can take their flag away from them.

Many supporters claim it’s not a hateful flag, that it only stands for the Confederacy. What seems to be lacking in their “knowledge” is that the Confederacy stood for racism.  Many of these supporters were against the banning of Confederate flags on military bases and their anger only intensified when NASCAR banned the flag as well.

After NASCAR banned the confederate flag a noose was found in a Bubba Wallace’s garage. This apparent “accident” was a prime example of the racism held within the flag.  (This incident was later found not to be directed at Wallace as the noose had been there for quite some time, according to authorities.)

A KKK rally with the members carrying Confederate flags

With a strong push to protect the flag, there is an even stronger push to ban it. Many people and states across the nation acknowledge the meaning within the Confederate flag.

KKK rallies are somehow still happening, and a common sight accompanies the horrific white hooded cloaks–the Confederate flag. Nearly every single image from KKK rallies feature many of the members proudly flying their Confederate flags. The Confederate flag is always present when these people are rallying for white supremacy. No matter which angle you choose to look at, the Confederate flag is racist. There is no real heritage connected to it, just a heritage of racism and white supremacy.