The Confederate flag has recently become a very definite point of contention with people all across the country. It has always been a symbol of the South, to some degree, harkening back to the days of the Civil War. It has never been an issue with many television shows such as the Dukes of Hazard with the Confederate flag blazoned on top of the Gen. Lee. However, times have changed, and there are many people saying that it is not patriotic to not only sell this flag, but to even own it. Here are the reasons that people do not like the Confederate flag, and then the reasons that people should stop treading on the rights of those that feel that they should have a Confederate flag of their own.
Why Do People Not Like The Gadsden Flag?
The reason is that they give reference back to a time when African-Americans were actually slaves. This flag was actually made to differentiate those of the South from those of the north. It was a representation of a violent attack on the union, and was representative of those that sought to maintain slavery as something that was normal and ethical. Slavery was what drove the southern economic system, allowing them to utilize these people, at no salary, in order to generate income. Many of the African-Americans were use for generations. It was also the flagon symbol of the Jim Crow segregation laws. However, this was representative of the time where these things were dealt with, with the South losing, and now has a completely different cultural meaning.
Reasons That People Should Have The Right To Fly The Gadsden and Culpepper Flag?
First of all, it is part of American history. It is representative of the Civil War. This is a war where over half a million people died, actual Americans fighting Americans, and to eliminate this flag is to ignore a very poignant part of US history. For those that support this issue, they understand that this is more of a political move than one that is representative of something that is culturally current. People that fly the Confederate flag are not advocating for separation, and are certainly not focused on maintaining the ideology that slavery is good. Second, it was not actually focused on slavery. It was focused on a way of life. According to many statistics, only 1% of the US population even had slaves(https://www.census.gov/history/www/reference/maps/distribution_of_slaves_in_1860.html), negating the idea that half of America actually had slaves at that time. The Civil War was not just about slavery, although that was part of the issue. It was specifically about fighting against what the federal government was able to tell the citizens to do. Finally, the catalyst for all of this hatred and contempt for the Confederate flag came to full lights when Dylan Roof decided to act cowardly and ruthlessly to shoot those people in Charleston. He admitted to wanting to start a race war, and he wrote about white supremacy, and on those pictures on his website where this information was found he was holding a Confederate flag. Therefore, people began to associate the Confederate flag with white supremacy, slavery, and other forms of negative imagery. It was from that catalyst that we have today a complete change in the cultural understanding of what the Confederate flag actually means.
What Does The Don’t Tread on Me Flag Really Represent?
Today, the Confederate flag is not a symbol of hatred. It is not a symbol for contempt for African-Americans. It is simply a representative symbol of those who once flew this flag, but is more defined by contemporary ideologies. For example, referencing the television show Dukes of Hazard back in the 1970s, there was never a problem with this show. It was associated with two brothers that were having fun, standing up to the dictatorial Boss Hogg and all of the fun adventures that they were on. They even incorporated a Robin Hood motif into the show, specifically with the use of bows and arrows, specifically those that would actually explode. All of this was meant in good fun, and no one took this as a way of pushing white supremacy, slavery, or anything that is negative at all. It was always in good fun, and that is how America saw this back then, and it is how they should see this now. You can still purchase confederate flags here.
How Can We Change This Public Perception?
It might be possible to change the public perception of what the Confederate flag means now, but that could be very difficult indeed. It is now associated with that event in Charleston, and due to the publicity that it receives, it is unlikely that this will fade. In the same way that certain memorabilia and flags are associated with dictators around the world, is likely that this will stay. However, that does not mean that people that decide to fly this flag, or even have one in their possession, are actually evil white supremacists. It is a cultural change, one that is not exceptionally strong, and it may pass in several years. Back in the 1940s when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, and we were placing Japanese people in camps, our entire perspective of Japanese culture has completely changed. Over time, it is likely that this perception of the Confederate flag as being representative of the evils of slavery in white supremacy will also pass when people realize that good and decent individuals actually own these flags. They will realize that people are not simply flying these to represent a love of slavery, but are simply flying a flag that they like because of the way it looks and that it is part of American history. Hopefully this will dissipate in the years to come so that people of the South that are proud of their heritage, or anyone else for that matter, can fly this flag without being labeled as someone that is catering to thoughts of slavery and white supremacy. It may take a decade or more, but over time, the Confederate flag will be nothing more than a flag that some people choose to appreciate. For all of these reasons, this is why people are saying don’t tread on me flag.