Before we begin, I will say this: Yes, I am from the North, but no, that does not mean I am wrong.
(That’s right, I’m talking to you, Southerners in support of keeping the flag. Don’t dismiss my point just because of where I’m from; I didn’t dismiss you because of your location.)
Alright, time for some real talk.
Look, I get it: The Confederate flag is a huge part of American history, so I can see why people may want to preserve it in their communities. It reminds them of the various struggles and sacrifices that were made in their area, many even by their own ancestors. BUT, may I remind you that, even though a part of our nation’s history — even though lives were given for it — the Confederate flag still was a bad part of our nation’s history. Even though a cause near and dear to some (for many reasons), it was still a wrong cause, which means that, even though people we loved died for it, the Confederate flag (and thus all that it represents) still should not be celebrated by being hung up in public places — including on your car’s bumper.
A more appropriate place for the Confederate flag than a federal building or your front porch: a museum. Why? Because it still honors all that the flag was — still doesn’t let anyone forget what it stood for (both good and bad) — but it’s also in a place where history cannot be taken out of context.
What do I mean by that? Well, if you and your kids can only see a Confederate flag at your local museum, then you’ll never be tempted to, oh, I don’t know, take seeing the flag as a statement regarding the Confederacy being right over the Union. If it’s hanging in front of your city’s capitol building as well as on your grandma’s porch and your uncle’s car antenna, however, well, it’s very easy to eventually start believing that all that it stood for — slavery, racism, white privilege, succession from the United States — is not just history but is also correct history.
A.K.A. Hanging the Confederate flag with pride every two steps does not help people to remember lost loved ones and a cause that ruined a country so as to prevent it from happening ever again. Instead, it breeds a tiny seed of thought regarding the idea of the white person versus everyone else. What exactly that thought is, I’ll let you fill in.
*cough, cough* RACISM *cough, cough*
Alright, enough beating around the bush: Bottom line, the Confederate flag promotes racism, the biggest downfall our country has ever had, and in saying that you wish for it to remain a legitimate flag to fly in public (and by “legitimate” I mean that it does not smear the good name of the United States), you are, whether you like it or not, promoting racism.
I mean, doesn’t it just seem a little odd to have people defending the Confederate flag so strongly? To me, at least, it’s just as ridiculous and appalling as the thought of modern day Germany arguing to suddenly start publicly displaying swastikas again due to what they say is “essential German history.”
You want essential history? As I said before, go to a museum. Or buy a textbook. But don’t publicly display what promotes something as horrific as human mutilation. There’s never a history that essential to where it needs to be on every other person’s front lawn.
So, like I said, museums = fine. Everywhere else, however, is not okay, for whether or not you take the flag as racism-promoting, someone somewhere definitely does. So why not just move it to a real place of education, if that’s your biggest concern?
And P.S.- If you even so much as think of trying to argue that the Confederate flag is one of the most American things out there and thus deserves to be displayed anywhere anyone wants, then you can just leave right now. The Confederate flag is quite possibly the furthest thing from American there is; the Confederacy solely concerned itself with hating America, with wanting nothing at all to do with us — nothing more than to leave us. That’s why they have their own flag: They didn’t want to be American (because, to them, America was the evil, wrong one). So, try all you want to argue that it’s American, but you’re wrong; it’s rather the antithesis of this great place.
(Here’s to hoping I never have to write about idiots and racism again.)